Fun Fact of the Week #436
Surprisingly, there were no Scooby-Doo comics at all for a period of 17 years, between 1978 and 1995. There were a few reprints of Charleton comics in 1992, but there was no new content during this period.
Another fun fact you may not know about the comics is that even before Scooby began frequently running into real monsters in the 1980s TV shows and films, Scooby ran into real supernatural threats quite a few times in the 1970s comics.
Thanks to Tom Holste for coming up with the idea for this week's fun fact!
Weekly Poll #161
This week, we've got possibly the most classic question in the entire Scooby franchise: which episode did the "haunted house" trope best? I tried to go broad and pick any episode that someone could possibly think would fit the trope. Since this poll question has so many different options, I've divided it up into three by decades. The first poll (this one) will consist of the 1960s and 1970s episodes. The second poll will feature the 1980s episodes and "Bravo Dooby Doo," which is the only haunted house episode from the 1990s. The third poll will feature 2000s, 2010s, and 2020s. After all three of those polls are done, we'll take the three winning options from each poll and pit them against each other, just like we did with the sports polls and the villains-by-season polls.
If you feel there is any episode that fits this theme that I missed, please let me know in the comments! Note that I did not include haunted castles in this list, since we already had a "castle" setting poll back in October.
Looks like Urkel got the short end of the stick again with last week's poll results on best adaptation of the "giggling green ghosts" design, getting only 2 votes for his episode, "When Urkel-Bots Go Bad!" "Where There's a Will, There's a Wraith" and "The Ghost of the Bad Humor Man" both tied for third place with eight votes each. "Scoobynatural" was our second place choice with 11 votes. As expected, "A Night of Fright Is No Delight" is our winner, and blew all the other options away by getting an impressive 51 votes!
Velma Episode 1 and 2 Review
I just finished watching the first two episodes of Velma, and since the show is one large recurring plot, I think I'm going to do my reviews in groups of two as the episodes come out, rather than reviewing each of the individual episodes separately. I also want to highlight that this is a non-spoiler review, as I want people to be able to read this review if they're wanting a sense of the series even if they haven't watched it.
I went into the show remaining open to whatever it might be, and to be completely honest, I didn't love it. The show feels like Scooby-Doo done in the style of Family Guy. I'm not really a big fan of Family Guy personally for its "edgy for the sake of edgy" tone, and I must say that this struck a very similar tone. That being said, I'm not just going to stop watching the show and say "it's garbage" or "the franchise has been ruined!" At this point in time, I can safely say that the show isn't quite my cup of tea, but I can definitely see how the show would appeal to some people.
I did like Velma as a character. I think Mindy does a great job voicing her, and even though she's a bit edgier and sassier, the character development feels natural and she still feels like Velma. With Daphne, the character development doesn't feel quite as natural because Daphne acts very stuck-up and entitled at times; however, she was like this in A Pup Named Scooby-Doo and that YouTube fan series that I like, Mystery Incorporated. I didn't feel her entitledness was overbearing, and it honestly reminds me a lot of her characterization in the YouTube series. I thought Constance Wu did a great job with voicing her.
With Norville and Fred, I was not as big of a fan of their characters or voice actors. Both of them felt like almost entirely different characters. Norville was the better of those two characters, but besides the fact that he has a cooking YouTube channel, nothing about the character really screamed "Shaggy" to me. His voice actor did a fine job, but the fact that it felt like a completely different character kept me from enjoying it as much as I could have.
Fred's character is very odd, and I don't love his voice actor. He's very childish in his demeanors and can't do anything for himself, even things such as cutting a piece of steak. I will outright say I did not like the recurring joke where he's made fun of for not hitting puberty and having a tiny penis. I know society likes to make fun of people for that, but that's not something that can really be helped, so I feel making fun of someone for it is quite mean and immature. If it were just one joke, I could have ignored it, but it seems they are milking the joke for all it's worth, and I'm sure we haven't heard the last of those jokes. In general, Fred's character is kind of annoying and thus far, I'm not really a fan.
The other characters are fine. I don't have a lot to say about them since they haven't appeared much, but the couple standout characters for me were Daphne's moms. I thought they were quite amusing, especially with them immediately rushing to help Daphne with a sick cat.
I don't have much of a comment about Fred or Shaggy's parents, other than Frank Welker does a really good job as Fred's dad.
Velma's dad is interesting, and I'd say my favorite aspect of the show is the mystery of Velma's missing mom and sister. I'm definitely fascinated by where that plot point is going, and I can't wait to see more about it and why the murderers are happening. I also like Velma's fear of mysteries and panic attacks being represented as physical monsters attacking her. I thought that was a really neat way to still incorporate monsters into the show, even though the show does not actually have a monster-of-the-week.
Velma's first mystery being the discovery of her mom being a smoker was a bit odd, and the stuff about giving her mom "idea juice" (aka hard liquor) was a bit much, especially in the scenes where Velma gets drunk off her mom's alcohol as a little girl. Velma being voted "most revengey" in the yearbook was funny. As another aside, I liked the social commentary where Velma says she'll give Daphne's text a "thumbs up" by Monday was hilarious. Personally, I don't understand how people can just give texts a thumbs up without responding, especially when it's a direct question, so that part really amused me.
I thought the references to the Creeper with that mask, and the pictures of Redbeard, the Ghost Clown and Carlotta were neat.
Like I briefly mentioned at the beginning, the humor is not my cup of tea in most cases, though there were a few funny jokes, namely Velma saying all of her money is tied up in streaming services, Shaggy's blog about Lil Wayne, and the literal humor that came with Velma actually spray painting "Daphne is a huge bitch who ditches people to be cool" and signing her own name haha.
Granted, I want to underscore that the humor is not objectively bad. I can absolutely see the appeal for that type of humor, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with liking edgier, more mature humor. Personally, I just don't enjoy humor that is "edgy for the sake of being edgy," which a lot of this seemed to be. Stuff like the two bugs getting intimate and Shaggy trying to cut out his own kidney was a bit too much. There was also some humor I just didn't find funny, like the joke where Shaggy says "420" means adults who still watch cartoons, since that's basically just drawing upon a bad stereotype that cartoon-watching adults are all burnouts sitting on their mom's couch in the basement.
All in all, while this show doesn't really seem like my cup of tea at the moment, I didn't hate it and I plan to watch and review the rest of this season. Even for people who thought it was the worst thing ever, I feel like there still isn't any reason to freak out about it. This isn't going to impact the rest of the franchise in any major way, and my guess is that this will only last one season, and by next month, the show will be over. I hope you enjoyed reading my review, and here are my rankings thus far of the two episodes:
1. The Candy Man
Trailer for Velma Released
With only hours left before the show premieres, a trailer has been released for Velma. The trailer shows that a lot of classic villains, including Captain Cutler and The Creeper, will be making cameos in the show. You can check out the trailer above.
There's also an uncensored R-rated version of the trailer that can be watched on the official Velma Instagram page.
After ranking the Where Are You theme songs last week, I thought it might be fun to also do a quick post ranking the What's New, Scooby-Doo? theme song versions, since it's the only other Scooby-Doo theme song that has had multiple covers done of it at the time of posting this.
Unlike the Where Are You theme songs, I don't dislike any of these; I just like the other two a bit better. This cover from Mystery Begins is a pretty solid adaptation of the theme song, but personally I prefer "You & I" from them. I find it amusing that WB keeps reusing this cover so much on all the DVD menus. Like I think I mentioned in a recent post, my head canon is that one of the WB executives jams to this in their bedroom every night, and is like "we have to use this in everything!" haha.
2. The Hex Girls
The Hex Girls cover of this from "The Vampire Strikes Back" is great; nearly as good as the original Simple Plan version in my opinion. The cover sounds very consistent with the rest of The Hex Girls discography, and works very well in their style.
1. Simple Plan
'Nuff said lol.
Although I like both the covers, the original will always be my favorite. This is such a classic and Simple Plan does an amazing job with it. The pop-rock feel of this feels so reminiscent of the early 2000s to me. This remains my favorite Scooby-Doo theme song of all-time.
This post was much shorter than the Where Are You one, but I hope you enjoyed it nonetheless! I think I mentioned it briefly in a comment section, but coming later this week, I'm planning to post my reviews of the first two episodes of Velma when they come out on Thursday. Regardless of how bad or good it is, I plan to review all 10 episodes within a day or two of when the episodes come out. I can't believe we're only days away from a new series!
Fun Fact of the Week #435
Between all the promotions with food products, toys, Wendy's, LEGO, and even 1-800-COLLECT, Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island had the largest marketing campaign of Warner Brothers Family Entertainment's history at the time of release in 1998. Even Nascar joined in on the fun by having the #9 racer at the time, Jerry Nadeau, have his car painted with a promotional image from Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island at the 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup on September 12, 1998. Scooby-Doo Another surprising promotional tactic is that according to an AWN article from 1998, Scooby fans were treated to a live chat on AOL with an animated version of Shaggy and Scooby.
Weekly Poll #160
Thank you to Mr. Neither for suggesting the idea for this week's poll!
We had a surprising winner from last week, so I'm going to do something a little different this week and reveal the results for in reverse! "Movie Monster Madness" got no votes for favorite Abominable Snowman episode/movie, and "Tenderbigfoot" didn't do much better with only one vote. "Snow Job Too Small" was only slightly ahead of it with 2 votes. Scooby-Doo and the Monster of Mexico came in fifth place with 5 votes.
Our top 4 this week was surprisingly very close! "The Ghost of Bigfoot" took fourth place with 10 votes, and was just barely edged out by our third place winner, "Kitchen Frightmare," which got 11 votes.
I was expecting "That's Snow Ghost" to win, but it ended up in second place with 17 votes. Chill Out, Scooby-Doo! is our winner, winning by two votes with 19 votes overall!
If you know me and/or have followed this blog for a while, you know how much of a soft spot I have for the 1980s Scooby-Doo films. After writing that alternate 13 Ghosts ending this summer, I was thinking about how Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf also ends on a cliffhanger where Dracula follows Shaggy home. I love a good cliffhanger in media, especially when they make you think. The cliffhanger in Boo Brothers where we see that the ghost of Shaggy's uncle is real is genius, because it makes you question if any of the other spirits they saw throughout the film were real. With Reluctant Werewolf though, the cliffhanger seems kind of pointless, because it doesn't seem like there was any intention on Hanna-Barbera's part to show what happened after Dracula showed up again. That's how I came up with the idea for this project, which I'm super excited about.
Picture this: a cinematic universe of all the Scooby-Doo content from the 1980s, with the main plot giving Reluctant Werewolf a conclusion. That's my new fanfic in a nutshell. The plot begins right where Reluctant Werewolf left off, where Shaggy, Scooby, Googie and Scrappy have to find a way to escape Dracula now that he's followed them home. In their quest to escape Dracula, the four adventurers revisit the Beauregard Mansion and Miss Grimwood's in hopes of seeking refuge. An underlying subplot of the fanfic is Shaggy's struggles with anxiety around any type of danger, and how Shaggy's tendency to run away from anything he's scared of affects he and Googie's relationship. (For those that don't like romance, don't worry - the relationship stuff is kept at a minimum, and plays directly into the story in a way where it's not a distraction from the main plot). Fred, Daphne and Velma make limited appearances in the fanfic, and Vincent Van Ghoul and Flim-Flam also play a role in helping the four main characters escape Dracula.
In essence, this is kind of a "fix-it fic" that addresses some holes in the story that are left unexplained. The fanfic provides closure to plot points such as why Scrappy and Googie don't appear again after this film, and explains why the gang has met so many Universal Monsters that all look different between "A Halloween Hassle at Dracula's Castle," Ghoul School, and Reluctant Werewolf. Although it is an 1980s cinematic universe, the fanfic predominantly centers around the 1980s films and 13 Ghosts, but references are made to the other 1980s series. There's a short story attached to one of the chapters that was essentially me trying my hand at writing a Scrappy short, involving Shaggy's misadventures at a bank after his check bounces. The tone of that short story is kind of self-parody of how ridiculous Shaggy and the dogs acted during some of those Scrappy shorts, where they'd basically antagonize a person and then run away.
My goal with the 13 Ghosts ending was to write something that felt exactly like the tone of the original. While I also aspired for that here, I did add a bit of a comedic, goofy edge to it, but I feel like the original film was goofy too so I think it works. The fanfic is rated T, but that's just because there's mild swearing. As with all my other fanfics, there's nothing vulgar or distasteful, and on the rare occasion one of the characters does swear (and I think it's only Shaggy that does), it's always in a playful tone. Speaking of which, if you happen to like Sassy Fred, there's a great Sassy Fred moment in the first chapter.
I'm really proud of this story, and I'm so excited to finally share it with you. It was so much fun writing in the goofy tone of Reluctant Werewolf, and I had a lot of fun coming up with my own creative interpretation of how to tie everything together. The first chapter is now available on Fanfiction.net and AO3. Like usual, a new chapter will be posted every Friday. There are 10 chapters in all, and the final chapter will be posted on March 10. I hope you enjoy this fanfic if you decide to check it out!
There have been quite a few different adaptations of the iconic Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? theme song over the years. By request, I'm going to rank them all for you here! I don't necessarily have a ton to say since I'm basically ranking the same song over a dozen times haha, but if for some reason I glossed over any aspect of the song you'd like to know my opinion about, you're welcome to ask in the comments1
Like with the other music post from Tuesday, I tried to find official versions of each of theme songs, but there weren't any official uploads for many of these, so I unfortunately will have to link some unofficial YouTube uploads here.
13. Guess Who Theme Song
This is basically the Where Are You theme song, so I'm including it here. This is likely a hot take, but I am not a fan of this version. Someone left a comment a few months ago that said the theme song sounds like a "playground taunt against the guy who sang the original," and honestly, I kind of agree with that lol. Something about the guy's voice is sounds almost mocking and unpleasant to listen to.
12. Best Coast
I want to start by saying even for these I've ranked lower, there's no version of the Where Are You theme song from here forward that I actively dislike. For this one, it's just kind of mediocre. Best Coast's vocals sound kind of generic, and the production isn't really anything special.
11. Legend of the Vampire Opening
This is the last version I'm not a big fan of. The rock-inspired cover here sounds kind of generic and there isn't really anything special about it, especially compared to the others.
10. Legend of the Vampire - Velma's Cover
Another version from Legend of the Vampire, but I like this one much better. I think Crystal Harris, the voice actress who was Velma's singing voice in this movie, who sounds great here.
Fun fact if you didn't know, the 2002 live action Scooby-Doo film originally had a completely different opening that provides a backstory to why the gang started chasing the Luna Ghost. This opening includes a cover of the Where Are You theme song by the rapper Shaggy (not to be confused with the character of the same name haha). I think Shaggy's version sounds quite good here, and Shaggy's additional rap verses work well for what they are.
Surprisingly, I had actually never heard this before writing this post. I thought I had, but when I relistened to all these, I had no memory of this. In contrast to the generic sounding Legend of the Vampire rock cover, I think this sounds really good! It reminds me a bit of Simple Plan's What's New, Scooby-Doo? theme song, as it's in that same 2000s punk rock vein. I think their take on the song sounds really good! Besides the version I linked, there's also apparently the "10 hour extreme extended version" of this song lol.
I genuinely did not realize this version was the B-52s until now, but that's really cool! You may recognize the B-52s for their famous hit, "Love Shack." I quite like how they got famous singers to perform the Where Are You theme song for these four Zombie Island era movies. That's a concept that easily could have been cringey, but I think in all four cases, they fit in really well. I think their version sounds really good, and I like the production here.
6. Jennifer Love Hewitt
Jennifer's cover of this sounds great! The electronic production works really well here, and gives it a kind of out-of-this-world feel, which fits well with Alien Invaders for obvious reasons haha.
5. Third Eye Blind
I really like Third Eye Blind's version of the cover. I like the echoey sound of their voices, and it feels very reminiscent of the new wave music that was becoming popular in the 90s.
4. Scooby-Doo, I'm So Blue
This version of the theme song in Trick or Treat, Scooby-Doo when the gang has no monsters to catch is absolutely hilarious! It was so funny watching the gang doing odd jobs around town haha.
3. Billy Ray Cyrus
The original two will always be my favorites, but this is easily my favorite cover. I think Billy's voice sounds great here combined with the groovy retro instrumental. The production feels very 60s to me, and the twang in Billy's voice sounds really good combined with it.
2. Season 2 Version
The higher-pitched vocals are a cool spin on the original, and I think George A. Robertson sounds really good. However, the classic season 1 version will always be my favorite out of pure nostalgia. I'm not going to rank the unused instrumental version, since it basically just became the score music for the title card, and it was used a couple times as background music in the series.
Which leaves us with my #1 choice...
1. Season 1 Version
I hope you enjoyed this article! It was fun going through all the different versions of the theme song, and as always, if you want to share your own rankings, I'd love to see them in the comments!
Similar to the Scooby-Doo x Glamlite makeup collection from last year, an announcement of another more obscure piece of Scooby-Doo merch came out today. Goose Creek, a bath, body and home company, has shared that they have released a Scooby-Doo candle collection just in time for Valentine's Day. There are six candles, including the following scents:
The burn time for the candles is approximately 35 hours. The candles are now available on Goose Creek's website for $13.99 per candle. You can watch Goose Creek's promotional video for the candles here. Here are images of each of the candles (the sugar cookie candle image is above):
~ WildwindVampire ~