Fun Fact of the Week #390
Today's fun fact was written by Sam Kirkwood!
There are two different versions of "The Haunted Horseman of Hagglethorn Hall" from The New Scooby-Doo Movies. The DVD version shows an animation error where you can see the gang somehow on the other side of the door; however the TV version has this cropped out. You can also see how different the resolution looks in the remastered DVD version!
Weekly Poll #118
Here are the results for last week's poll:
Which season of The New Scooby-Doo Movies collectively had the best villains?
Season 1 - 32
Season 2 - 24
Fun Fact of the Week #389
There have been multiple Scooby-Doo references in the show Superstore. In the episode "Golden Globes Party," Jonah tries to make his girlfriend feel included by saying everyone likes her as much as Mystery Incorporated loved Scrappy. His girlfriend challenges this and argues that Scrappy is everyone's least favorite character, and that the gang only felt obligated to like him because he was Scooby's nephew. In the Halloween episode "Trick or Treat," Mateo dresses up as Fred for Halloween. In addition, in the episode "Biscuit," Glenn has just recovered from getting COVID-19 and wants to help Dana get back her old job after having to fill in for him. Glenn decides to write a threatening letter including letters cut out from a magazine, causing Dana to retort "What is this, Scooby-Doo?"
Thank you so much to James for coming up with today's fun fact!
Weekly Poll #117
Here are the results for last week's poll! The result was very fitting given when the question was asked.
What is your favorite What's New, Scooby-Doo holiday special?
A Scooby-Doo Valentine - 37
A Scooby-Doo Halloween - 32
A Scooby-Doo Christmas - 18
Fun Fact of the Week #388
It's Valentine's Day, but why talk about love when we could be talking about Don Knotts? Scooby-Doo! Night of 100 Frights is the only video game role Don Knotts ever had in his entire acting career, despite the fact that he voice acted in many other animated films and TV shows.
Thanks to John Locke for coming up with this week's fun fact!
Weekly Poll #116
Since it's Valentine's Day (and we've already done a love interest poll), I thought this could be a fun idea for this week. Thanks to Shadowscooby for suggesting it!
Today's the Super Bowl, and that means we also have to tally up the football episode poll results! I love that the two joke answers accounted for 22 votes this time haha.
What is your favorite Scooby-Doo football episode?
The Ghost that Sacked the Quarterback - 55
Soccer is the real football - 13
Both of the football episodes are awful, football in general is awful, in fact, all sports are just plain awful - 9
Pigskin Scooby - 4
Since people seemed to love this one and the baseball poll, I'll have to do more sports polls to break up the "which season has the best villain" polls that people have suggested (all of which are coming soon)!
Fun Fact of the Week #387
The original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You instrumental theme by Ted Nichols aired during the opening titles for "What a Night for a Knight" and "A Clue for Scooby-Doo" when they originally aired in 1969, instead of the theme song with lyrics. After the original airings, the theme song with lyrics that was used for the other 23 episodes replaced the instrumental intro in all rerun airings of "What a Night for a Knight" and "A Clue for Scooby-Doo." The instrumental theme for those two episodes was not heard again until 1990 when the episodes aired on the USA Network. The copy of those two episodes that used the instrumental was shown again during reruns throughout the 90s. In 1998, Turner remastered all of the Where Are You episodes, but used the copies that used the theme song with lyrics for those two episodes. Since then, the instrumental intro for those two episodes has not been used in any airings. All home media releases for those two episodes include the theme song with lyrics.
Despite this, the original instrumental theme is not completely lost. The instrumental theme was repurposed as the music that plays during the title card. It was also repurposed (and extended) for background music in two episodes of season 2, "Mystery Mask Mix-Up" and "Jeepers It's the Creeper."
Weekly Poll #115
I did this poll a long time ago in February way back in 2015, but it only got about 10 votes since I'd just started the site and blog, and not all that many people knew about it yet. Given this, since next week is the Super Bowl, I wanted to re-ask the same question seven years later. I debated about whether to just do it next week on the Super Bowl, but I thought it would be more fun for people to see the results on Super Bowl day, rather than having to wait until the week after. And of course, the final option wasn't in the original poll, but I couldn't resist using the option from our baseball poll back in September again lol.
Here are the results for last week's poll:
Which Where Are You season collectively had the best villains overall?
Season 1 - 43
Season 2 - 26
Season 3 - 15
MG Collectibles and Toys, who are officially licensed with Warner Brothers to distribute their own brand of collectibles, is releasing six brand new collectible Scooby-Doo figures. These figures include the Space Kook, Captain Cutler, the Tar Monster, Velma, Scooby & Shaggy, and Fred & Daphne. Each of the gang figures features a cemetery background (Scooby and Shaggy's features a reference to Silas Long from "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Werewolf"), whereas each of the villains have their own backgrounds specifically designed. This includes a shipwreck background for Captain Cutler, an abandoned aircraft carrier background for the Space Kook, and an ancient ruin background for the Tar Monster. The figures will be shipped in July 2022, and are currently available for pre-order at costs of anywhere between $350-400 per figure. If you choose to pre-order, the company is allowing the option of paying 25% of the cost now, then paying the rest in July when it's shipped. These collectible figures will be incredibly hard to get, however, as there are only 500 made of each! You can pre-order these figures at the following links:
Space Kook ($350)
Captain Cutler ($360)
The Tar Monster ($365)
Shaggy and Scooby ($375)
Fred and Daphne ($400)
Here's a quick look at what each of the figures will looks like (Shaggy and Scooby can be seen in the header picture above):
Over the past few years, there have been a ton of reused villains in the Scooby franchise. It all springboarded with Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated utilizing classic villains in the Crystal Cove Spook Museum, such as Charlie the Robot, the Miner 49er, the Space Kook, etc. The reusing of classic villains continued with Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!, though in this case, head writer Jon Colton Barry intended to reimagine entire classic episodes from Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?, such as "What the Hex is Going On?" and "A Night of Fright Is No Delight." After Be Cool, we saw a resurgence of classic villains reappearing in Guess Who and some of the movies. In this article, I will analyze and compare all of the "classic" villains that have made reappearances within the franchise. For the sake of making the scope of this article manageable, I'm only analyzing the villains that have reappeared as main villains, without including ones that have just popped in as cameos for a second.
The first episode that reimagines a classic Scooby-Doo plot that we all know and love is the pilot of Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! "Mystery 101." Personally, I think it was genius for Jon to place this episode as the premiere episode of the series. Given Be Cool was intended as a reboot of Where Are You, a reimagining of such a classic Scooby-Doo plot is a perfect way to create a bridge between the two series right from the start. Despite the many similarities, the Be Cool episode is a very different plot-wise. Rather than having Daphne visiting her friend and having her uncle be kidnapped by a ghost, we instead seeing Velma trying to get into her dream university which is being haunted by the founder's ghost. I found this to be a very interesting plot, equally as much as Daphne visiting her friend Sharon in the original episode. Even though this episode departed from the original in a lot of ways plot-wise, I felt like that's what made it such a good reimagining. If they would have just done the exact same thing again, it would have likely been somewhat boring. I think this demonstrates that reimagining an episode requires a good balance between drawing upon the source material and making it your own.
In terms of comparing the two villains, the Be Cool Elias Kingston is a lot more monstrous with his growls and roars. According to Jon Colton Barry, this was because WB had at first mandated a rule that said monsters could not talk. Even if JCB didn't really have control over that aspect, I think it created an interesting contrast between this reimagined Elias Kingston and the original. The original Elias's voice from Where Are You, sounded kind of nerdy and nasally, which didn't exactly make him all that scary. His ability to turn people old was pretty terrifying, and that's something I wish they would have kept for the reimagined version, but I understand that it may not have fit with JCB's vision for reimagining this ghost and this episode. Overall, I found this more "monstrous" adaption of Elias Kingston to be much more intimidating than the original. "What the Hex is Going On?" is one of my favorite classic episodes, and I felt "Mystery 101" did a wonderful job reimagining it.
I debated including "All Paws on Deck," but Jon Colton Barry has confirmed here that it's not a reimagined episode, just a monster design that was slightly inspired by the Beast of Bottomless Lake. Given this, let's move on to "Where There's a Will, There's a Wraith." I feel like this was the perfect way to reimagine a Scooby-Doo episode! This episode completely reworks the plot of one of the most classic episodes in Scooby history, "A Night of Fright Is No Delight." Just like in the original, Scooby goes to a haunted house to claim the inheritance of a famous colonel, though this time, it's a "jerky colonel" haha. All the same basic elements from the classic episode are there: there's a reading of will where the house is revealed to be haunted, the colonel's relatives are captured one by one, and the gang realizes there are two phantoms as they solve the mystery. At the very end (spoilers if you haven't seen the episode), it's even revealed that the colonel's inheritance was actually confederate money. Although, as a humorous twist, the house is blown up right before the episode ends, which is obviously not what happened in the original lol. Visually, the ghosts look pretty similar, though these look a little greener and their skeleton hands are super creepy! Despite all the similarities, the reimagined episode was very much its own thing and had a lot of unique elements as well, such as the B-plot of Daphne wanting to turn it into a slumber party, as well as the different character interactions due to the nature of how the gang is characterized in this series. I think this is the perfect example of the right way to reimagine an episode: interpolating aspects of the episode you're drawing upon, while also creating new plotlines and putting a twist on something that's classic. Be Cool all around did that very well, and I applaud JCB and the other writers for that.
"In Space" is a good example of an episode that reused a classic villain while completely reimagining the episode into something wildly different. While the design of the Space Kook was used, a romp around an abandoned airfield was changed into a full-blown alien infection plot. "In Space" was personally one of my favorite episodes of the entire series for this reason - it took a classic plot that every Scooby fan knows and took it in a completely different direction, while also drawing upon the classic horror film Alien for inspiration. The aliens looked a little creepier than the Space Kook to me, even though they didn't have the same laugh, which I liked. While Scooby-Doo is technically targeted at kids, it definitely does have horror-inspired elements within it, as can be seen a bit in the dark atmosphere of Where Are You. For that reason, I think mixing such a critically acclaimed horror film with a classic Scooby episode was a genius creative decision of the writers' part.
The last Be Cool Scooby-Doo that reimagines a Where Are You episode is "Naughty or Ice." This episode's reutilization of elements from "Scooby's Night with a Frozen Fright" feels somewhere in between "Mystery 101" and "Where There's a Will, There's a Wraith." Certain elements like the caveman being frozen in ice and coming to life are reused, but the setting of an "ice hotel" and a research lab at Oceanland are starkly in contrast with each other. The caveman visually looked incredibly similar to the original, though the one scene where Shaggy and Scooby try to teach him his own name (which was super cute) shows that he seems to be a bit more evolved than the original caveman. Once again, a unique Be Cool twist on the episode is added in the form of Daphne sneaking around and seemingly hiding things from the gang, making the episode much more complex than the original episode was. I think this episode struck a perfect balance between using elements of "Scooby's Night with a Frozen Fright" and building on the original plot to make something unique.
On the other hand, I do not think Guess Who did as good of a job with this in the three episodes that they "reimagined." "Scooby on Ice!" was intended to reimagine "That's Snow Ghost" and the very next episode, "Caveman on the Half Pipe!" reimagined "Scooby's Night with a Frozen Fright." I'm not sure how deeply the Guess Who writers wanted the elements of these episodes to play into the original episode, but I do not feel like they did a very good job interpolating the reused villains here at all. It seemed like they just plopped reused villain designs into new plots, without much thought on how to draw inspiration from the original episodes they were taking these villains for. The same goes for the utilization of the green ghost as the Technomancer in "When Urkel Bots Go Bad!" It reminds me of how they reused Redbeard and his crew by removing all the coloring from their character design in "The Ghostly Creep from the Deep" from The New Scooby-Doo Movies. I didn't mind the episodes themselves and found all three of them to be enjoyable, but the use of the villains was arguably not nearly as creative as it was in Be Cool, where they took elements from the original episode and interpolated them into the new plot.
However, in the Guess Who episodes that reimagined classic New Scooby-Doo Movies episodes, like "The Dreaded Remake of Jekyll and Hyde!" and "Cher, Scooby and Sargasso Sea!", I thought they did an amazing job staying close to those original episodes. The Sandy Duncan episode honestly like the type of sequel I wish we would have gotten with Return to Zombie Island and Curse of the 13th Ghost. It was literally a perfect reimagining of the original, even including several different random villains that popped up throughout the episode like the manta ray and the mummy and such. The gang being chased by all these monsters on movie set that even looked a lot like the original one was so amazing to see. It felt like the gang picked up where they left off with the last adventure with Sandy Duncan, which created a bridge between the two episodes similar to what Be Cool did with Where Are You in "Mystery 101." The same goes for "Cher, Scooby and the Sargasso Sea!" which I felt drew on elements of the original super well (even down to the villains being the same) to create a sequel. However, I wouldn't say I really view these as reimaginings. I'd say they're more continuations of the original episodes. Even though I really didn't care for the "sequels" that were made for the 50th anniversary, I would honestly love to see more sequels to classic episodes if it were done in the vein of how the Sandy Duncan and Cher episodes were done.
Another instance in Guess Who where I kind of liked the reutilization of classic villains was "A Haunt of a Thousand Voices!" I felt like it was fitting given the voice actors were the guest stars, but at the same time, there was no real lore behind any of those villains being at Frank's house, which goes to my point of how Be Cool reimagined villains more creatively than Guess Who.
It's always a fun Easter egg when classic villains from Scooby are reused, but I also feel that if they are going to reuse villains, there should at least be some sort of lore around why the villains are being reused, and aspects of the original episode the villain is from should be drawn upon, as opposed to just plopping an old villain in the middle of some random setting without much thought. In addition, now that this trend of "reimagining villains" has become a thing, I kind of wish we wouldn't get the same ones reused so much. It tends to be always similar villains from Where Are You, and villains from other series are rarely used. Even some of the Where Are You ones, like the Wax Phantom and the Puppet Master for example, are neglected. While it's not to the point of me being annoyed by the reuse of these villains so much, I feel like it might get there if they continue to do stuff like "the gang meets Redbeard the pirate for the eighth time!" It just feels like the writers can be a little more creative than that, but that may just be me.
If there's anything to take away from this article, I think it's that Be Cool did an excellent job interpolating classic elements of each episode when using old villains, creating something new and wonderful in the process. In the future, I'd love to see another Scooby series do some more Be Cool-like reimaginings of villains!
~ WildwindVampire ~