I'm so excited to share with you all that I had the amazing opportunity of interviewing someone who has worked with none other than Joseph Barbera! That man's name is Sandy Fries, who is a screenwriter that currently teaches Mass Communication at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, IL. He previously taught at Columbia University in New York and was an NBC Fellow. In addition to this, Sandy has had dozens of amazing experiences writing for popular television shows, including Star Trek: The Next Generation, Spider-Man: The Animated Series, The Tom & Jerry Kids Show, Droopy Dog: Master Detective, The Snorks, and The Smurfs. Sandy also worked quite a bit with Sam Simon, the creator of The Simpsons. In the past few years, Sandy has released a book detailing all of the amazing experiences he has had with scriptwriting, titled Secrets Your Textbook Will Not Tell You: About TV, Movies, and Life. While Sandy hasn't specifically worked on Scooby-Doo, he has so many amazing stories of working with Hanna-Barbera, and details them all in his book. I'm really excited for you all to hear these stories in my interview with Sandy below:
1. ScoobySnax.com: How did you get into screenwriting?
Sandy Fries: Screenwriting was something that I always thought would be fun, and the biggest motivator in my career is enjoying myself. I believe that if you have the talent, and the communication skills, looking for fun things is always the way to go with your career. What's the alternative? Being boring and miserable? That's not something I'm interested in, so instead, I look for opportunities where I can have fun.
2. ScoobySnax.com: One chapter of your book goes into detail about how you worked with Joseph Barbera at the start of your career. Do you have any favorite memories or stories about working with Joe Barbera?
Sandy Fries: Absolutely. Joseph Barbera was a wonderful person to work with, and he was brilliantly funny. I learned so much by working with him. One of the things I loved the most about working with Joseph Barbera was his office. He had the coolest office I have ever seen in my life. In one part of the office, he had several Emmy and Academy Awards that were all lined up. When you walked into that office, seeing those awards made you go, "Wow… this is amazing." The first time I ever went into his office for a story meeting, he said, "Sandy, have you ever held an Academy Award?" I meekly replied, "Uh, well…no, Mr. Barbera, I haven't". A big smile appeared on his face, "Well, would you like to…?" So, Mr. Barbera let me hold one of his Academy Awards, which was a memory that I'll never forget.
3. ScoobySnax.com: In addition to Hanna-Barbera, your book mentions how you have worked with creator of The Simpsons, Sam Simon. Do you have any favorite memories or stories of working with Sam?
Sandy Fries: Sam Simon was a very, very, talented guy. I mean, obviously you must be to co-create The Simpsons. He and I wrote four projects together, and he was a brilliant, humorous, and profound writer. I knew him personally, and he helped me get my first big break in Hollywood. There's a dramatic, and really heavy, story about Sam Simon in my book, Secrets Your Textbook Will Not Tell You: About TV, Movies, and Life. It's a powerful, very moving, and a very sad story. This is a story I genuinely believe that everyone can learn a valuable life lesson from.
The story is so poignant that I'd rather let whoever is interested in the story read about it in my book. I can't do the story justice by retelling it. It took me a long time to write that chapter, I edited it several times, and then I even rewrote it several times. The best way for that story to be told is the way it is told in the book, Secrets Your Textbook Will Not Tell You: About TV, Movies, and Life. I can't do it justice, but I promise that if you read it, you will learn something from it, and you will be moved by it.
4. ScoobySnax.com: How did getting your start writing at Hanna-Barbera influence how you approached the rest of your career as a writer?
Sandy Fries: Hanna-Barbera was the studio that I had the most fun writing for. I wrote for Star Trek: The Next Generation, Quantum Leap, Spider-Man, and while they were enjoyable, they were not nearly as fun as writing for Hanna-Barbera. Star Trek: The Next Generation dealt with some heavy-duty subjects, which cannot be as enjoyable as writing for animation. Writing for Hanna-Barbera affected me because I learned I wanted to do animation more than most live-action shows.
Usually when I was writing for another studio, I would say something to the effect of, "This is fun, and this is really great, but working at Hanna-Barbera, with Joseph Barbera, is the best". One of the things about me that other writers don't do, is that I've written for a lot of different genres. Drama, science fiction, comedy, animation, soap operas … most writers don't do that. However, I did that deliberately so that I could learn to write in a lot of different styles. Despite learning to write for all those genres, I always loved animation the most. When I was a writer at Hanna-Barbera, I said to myself, "This is as good as it gets for me. I love comedy, I love animation, and I have a great executive to work with." Hanna-Barbera was the best, and it always left me wanting to go back into that world.
5. ScoobySnax.com: You worked on a number of shows during your time at Hanna-Barbera. What was your favorite of those shows to work on, and why was it your favorite?
Sandy Fries: My favorite show that I wrote for was called Droopy, Master Detective. I loved writing for that show because you could do anything with the animation. Whatever my mind could come up with, the animators were able to create, and I loved having that creative freedom with my writing. I also really loved the Droopy character, especially his dialogue. Droopy talked slowly with a deep toned, but quirky sounding, voice. For those of you who might not know, Droopy is the basset hound who worked as the elevator attendant in the Steven Spielberg movie, Who Framed Roger Rabbit. He started at MGM, but eventually was brought over to Hanna-Barbera.
6. ScoobySnax.com: What memorable responses or feedback have you received about your work at Hanna-Barbera (or in general for all the shows you've written for)?
Sandy Fries: I had asked Joseph Barbera to autograph a Hanna-Barbera book about Tom & Jerry one time. What he wrote in the book was thoughtful, kindhearted, and something that I'll always remember for the rest of my life. He wrote in the book, "To Sandy… my top writer. - Joseph Barbera". You know, when you get that type of a compliment from a person like Mr. Barbera… it's just phenomenal.
7. ScoobySnax.com: What inspired you to write your book?
Sandy Fries: It happened almost automatically. It sort of flowed out of me like a tidal wave. There are a couple big reasons why I wanted to write it.
The first reason is that I've worked with brilliant people. I've been very fortunate in my life and with my career. I've been able to meet three presidents of the United States -- and even got to spend a decent amount of time with them. I knew the head of CBS News personally, and I am proud to call him a friend. I've been fortunate enough to work with some of the most creative people in history, like Stan Lee, Joseph Barbera, and Sam Simon. I've even worked with the creator of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry, and the creator of The Big Bang Theory, Chuck Lorre. Each of these people are considered to be the top of the line in terms of brilliance and creativity in show business. I learned a lot about how to live a great life from each one of those people, so I almost felt like I had a responsibility to put their lessons into a book. My goal for anyone who reads the book is that you can hopefully find wisdom, or motivation, to have a better life. If you read it, I think it will help you improve your life in a lot of different ways. It's more than a book about writing, it's a book about how to live a fantastic life. You don't need to like show business to like this book.
The second reason I wrote the book is that some of the stories are just too darn funny to not ever be told. Some of the things that happened to me in my life are really out there, and also really edgy. I remember when those things happened to me in real life, I said, "Whoa, this would be great for a book… or maybe even a movie!". Another story you can read about is the time I almost died at Warner Brothers. The place that I almost died in was a, well, very unusual place to die. I won't go into too many details, but I remember in the moment it was horrible. I was sure I was going to be dead. But in retrospect, it would've been a really, really, funny way to die. There are a lot of stories in the book that I felt compelled to put in there because they were funny, or they were a great learning experience.
Ultimately, the main reason I wrote the book was that it was fun to write. I've written hundreds of scripts, articles, and advertisements -- but I would say the book is absolutely, without a doubt, my favorite thing that I've written in my whole life. I highly encourage everyone to give it a read, it could change your life.
8. ScoobySnax.com: What inspired you to get into teaching? In addition, do you have a favorite course to teach, and why is this course your favorite?
Sandy Fries: One of the things that I always wanted to do was to be a professor at a college or a university. That just struck me as a very cool life. Reading and discussing things I was interested in was very appealing to me. I also am a firm believer that a person doesn't need to live just one life. A person should be able to live two or three lives in terms of what one does with a career. One of my lives is as a professor at a college in Illinois. I'm reading books about subjects that I love, I'm talking about them with intelligent people, and what I read is stuff I would read for fun anyways.
Academic life is idyllic. The campus is beautiful. The nature around me is peaceful. I have a great office with an amazing view. I read about topics that fascinate me… and even get paid money to do it. How cool is that?
My favorite class that I teach is a film class. As someone once said to me, "Sandy, you watch movies all day, and get paid for it?". It's certainly more than that, there's lectures, analysis, but I love watching movies. I love pulling them apart and putting them back together. I love being able to discuss movies in a multi-level way with students. It's fun.
Before I was a professor I would go to the movies and the best part was, afterwards, when I would discuss the movie with friends. What did you think about this scene? What about that dialogue? How about that character? When I teach my film class, I'm doing all the stuff I would do for fun anyways, but it's even more fun to do that when you are getting paid for it.
The other thing was, when I was an undergraduate at Clark University, I had to take a lot of tests. My collegiate experience would've been perfect if I could be at school and not have to take any tests. Well, now I'm in college again, and I don't have to take a single test!
I've lived several lives. I've lived a New York City life, a Los Angeles life, and now I'm living my Midwestern life. Every one of my lives has had its challenges and luckily I've been able to get through them. Overall, each of the places I've lived have been fantastic. I prefer that I've had the New York life, the California life, and the Midwest life, because change is healthy and exciting.
9. ScoobySnax.com: Besides teaching, do you have any plans of writing for more shows or films in the future?
Sandy Fries: My attitude is that I've done it, and I've done it as well as I can do. I might want to write for Family Guy, and probably could if I really wanted to. I think the characters are really funny, the writing overall is really tight, and there's a lot of creative freedom on that show. However, for right now, my key focus is on enjoying myself and being a great professor. The rest of the time I enjoy watching TV, reading books, eating good food, and sleeping.
I remember one time Sam Simon said to me, "You know Sandy, I like working, but not as much as I like not-working." Similar to Sam, I like working, but I also enjoy not-working just as much. So, the very long-winded answer to that is that I might like to write an episode of Family Guy, but there's no internal pressure on myself to do that.
10. ScoobySnax.com: If you could work on any show or movie in the world, what would it be?
Sandy Fries: There was a phenomenal show that I loved, called St. Elsewhere. I almost became a writer on that show, but unfortunately, I did not get the job. It was a brilliant show in terms of writing, acting, directing, -- every element of St. Elsewhere was exceptional. I almost wrote for it because a producer on the show really liked the script that I had submitted, but it never happened. Mark Harmon, Denzel Washington, and Howie Mandell all debuted on that show. Despite the great acting, what I liked the most was how diverse the writing could be. There were episodes where a scene would include heavy drama, but then in the next it would be heavily filled with comedic relief. Sometimes they even worked in the fantasy genre, and it was still well-written.
If anyone wants to watch a really good television show, stream St. Elsewhere. It went from heavy scenes to hilarious scenes, and it all worked brilliantly. Somebody should revive St. Elsewhere.
11. ScoobySnax.com: Do you have any advice for anyone who is looking to go into the world of scriptwriting?
Sandy Fries: Well, this is going to sound like a shameless, self-promoting, plug -- but read my book Secrets Your Textbook Will Not Tell You: About TV, Movies, and Life. It's on Amazon for $5.95, and it has really great reviews. People love the book, and I really love the book. If you are looking to break into Hollywood, or writing in general, reading my book will be exorbitantly helpful in bringing your career to the next level.
Another helpful hint is that if you have talent, go after that goal. Don't worry about the competition, because I can tell you that there aren't many good writers in Hollywood. There are many people who think they are good writers, but they are not. And if you have talent, go for whatever you would enjoy. If you worry about the money, do not. If you are talented, in the right career, and you enjoy your work, the money will come automatically. If you're talented, and if you have a good work ethic, you will accomplish your goals. And if you don't go for it, when the time comes for you to drop dead, you'll probably be bitter and dislike yourself.
Oh, and I'm not sure if I mentioned this yet, but you should also read my book, Secrets Your Textbook Will Not Tell You: About TV, Movies, and Life.
12. ScoobySnax.com: Is there anything else you would like to share that I have not asked about?
Sandy Fries: Joseph Barbera had great taste in restaurants. JB would frequently take the writers and I out to lunch at a variety of different places. We went to a Chinese place called Fung Lum, and often visited Musso & Frank's - which appeared in Tarantino's most recent film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Everywhere we'd go, people loved Mr. Barbera. Not because of who he was, or what he accomplished, but solely because of his demeanor and his personality. And he also always picked up the check.
Another thing about Joseph Barbera was that he was very quick, in a creative sense. One time when I was in a story meeting with him, inspiration struck. He immediately began explaining a gag for the Tom and Jerry Kids Show to me, but he was talking as fast as his thoughts entered his head. It sounded something like this:
He went, "So Tom [unintelligible] and then Jerry [unintelligible], so then Tom [unintelligible]."
I just stared blankly back at him, and JB responded, "You didn't understand any of that did you?"
He began to act out and sketch the gag so that I was able to understand it. It was a very good gag. But the very first time he explained it, his mind was running so quickly that he couldn't communicate it properly. When Joseph Barbera would explain his ideas, he would act out characters, and do their voices as well. This helped him communicate many of his thoughts to the writers and animators in an understandable way. It was great to see him do sketches and gags that we were discussing. I would come in with a script, he'd read it through, he'd edit it, and then add his ideas. Any idea he added made the scene, or a gag, or even the dialogue, better. There were times my script was passed through with very little changes made. Being able to write a script that Joseph Barbera put through with very little edits was very fulfilling.
One day we were in the studio watching one of my scripts being recorded by the voice artists. At the beginning of the interview, you asked me how I got into screenwriting, and I said that it was because I wanted to have fun. Well, I cannot emphasize how fun it was to see these incredible voice actors performing my dialogue during a recording session.
There's a picture of me and the voice actors -- along with Mr. Barbera -- and in the photo every single person is smiling and having a fun time. That's my kind of job. That's what I like to do.
I've learned a lot over the course of my life, from many different talented people. Stan Lee taught me the relevance of responding. Gene Roddenberry taught me how to overcome overbearing obstacles. Joseph Barbera taught me how to work hard with a smile on my face. Big Bang Theory creator, Chuck Lorre, taught me to never give up even when the work seemed worthless.
Those tips, and other stories on how to achieve a good life, are filling up my book, Secrets Your Textbook Will Not Tell You: About TV, Movies, and Life. It's available on Amazon for only $5.95. It'll take you under three hours to read, and it could change the rest of your life. There's a link to it right below this sentence, and I truly believe you will enjoy reading it.
I hope everyone enjoyed reading this interview! This was such a fun opportunity to get to talk to someone who worked with Joseph Barbera, hear all Sandy's experiences writing for Hanna-Barbera, and get his perspectives on screenwriting and the world of show business. If you're thinking about purchasing his book, Sandy was nice enough to provide a free five-page sample of the book specifically documenting some more of his experiences with Joseph Barbera, which you can read here. Note that there are some stories in the book that are not appropriate for younger audiences. I want to give a big thank you to Sandy for sharing all these stories, and to Colin as well for reaching out and helping set this interview up!
Tony Cervone has just shared our very first look at Scoob! Holiday Haunt. The image features Tony Cervone in the studio, sound editing some footage from the film. The image provides our first look at the film, showing young Shaggy and Scooby's designs. Scooby's design remains the same from the first SCOOB! film, while Shaggy's outfit has been changed so he now wears his trademark brown bell-bottom pants and a green sweatshirt. Tony shared these images on his Instagram page, which you can view here. As previously announced, the film will be released in late 2022 around Christmastime. The image looks really good, and I'm really excited for this film!
One of the most hotly debated issues among the Scooby-Doo fandom is the use of fake monsters versus real monsters. Many people feel fake monsters should be exclusively used, to abide by the classic "person in a mask" formula that Scooby started out with. Others don't mind if real monsters are used in the franchise, and some even prefer the use of real monsters because of the dark tone it creates. In my 14 years in the online fandom, I definitely see and respect both sides of the argument, but in this article, I would like to provide another perspective of the fake vs. real monster debate.
I want to start out by providing a brief history of the use of real monsters in the franchise, as compared to the more traditional fake ones. The first real monster appeared in The New Scooby-Doo Movies episode "Mystery in Persia." The episode involved Scooby and the gang teaming up with two genies, Jeannie and Babu, who were trying to get rid of an evil djinn named Jadall. Besides random little cameos that may or may not have been real monsters (i.e. the creatures in the Addams Family house, random talking skeletons that showed up for a moment like in "Hang in There, Scooby-Doo, etc.), the monsters in the franchise remained exclusively fake for the first 10 years of the franchise, besides the one exception with Jadall. Beginning in 1980, when Fred, Velma and Daphne left the show, so did the fake monsters. When they weren't running away from angry doctors and irked carnival owners, the monsters Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy faced were always real. This lasted until 1983 when Daphne returned to the series. The mystery-solving format returned to the show, although occasional episodes did have plots where the gang was dealing with real spooks. Examples of this include "Scoobygeist," in which Daphne and the guys stay the night in a haunted house, and "A Halloween Hassle at Dracula's Castle," where the gang attends a Halloween Party, which unbeknownst to them, was hosted by real monsters from Dracula's realm. Starting in 1985 with The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, the plot shifted completely to including only real monsters, as the gang had to help Vincent Van Ghoul recapture 13 of the most terrifying ghosts on Earth. The three Superstars 10 films succeeding the show also included real monsters, although Boo Brothers leaves it open to interpretation if some of the ghosts were real or not.
When the franchise went back to its roots in 1988 by getting rid of Scrappy and reintroducing the whole gang as regulars, the real monsters also went out the window as well. No real monsters were included in A Pup Named Scooby-Doo or What's New, Scooby-Doo? (with the exception of the Coral Creature in the latter, who only briefly appears). In between those two series, we did see real monsters in three of the first four DTV films which revived the franchise, which is an interesting phenomenon I will return to later. Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated presented a fascinating balance of real versus fake monsters, as the monster-of-the-week was always a person in a mask, but the overarching plot included supernatural entities. Be Cool and Guess Who included only fake monsters. The DTVs have been inconsistent when it comes to including real monsters, but the vast majority of them were fake.
If someone were to ask me to choose between real or fake monsters, I would honestly choose a third option: good writing. While this perhaps seems like a cop-out answer, I don't think real or fake monsters has to be a binary concept like many fans have made it. There are a number of factors that play into this.
At its core, Scooby-Doo is about mystery-solving. I think we are all in agreement that if they permanently removed the mystery aspect from the show, it would not feel as much like Scooby-Doo. Even as someone who moderately likes Get A Clue, that's a main reason why the show didn't work for so many people: they changed too much. Going off and fighting criminal masterminds and spies doesn't have that core element of the franchise that people loved. Even the two episodes that did have monsters fell a bit flat, because there was no mystery solving aspect. That being said, I think there are a number of examples of real monsters working because of that mystery-solving element still being present.
In Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, although all the monsters are real, the majority of the movie's plot is still focused on the gang trying to figure out if Simone and Lena's house is haunted. When Morgan Moonscar's ghost carves "get out" into the wall, the gang realizes through looking at the footage that the ghost only shows up on camera. This leads to further investigation throughout the movie, until the eventual realization at the end that the monsters are real when Simone and Lena reveal their true intentions. The same goes for Witch's Ghost: most of the film is dedicated to the gang investigating Oakhaven with Ben Ravencroft, until the huge twist happens at the end when we find out Sarah is a witch. Mystery-solving is still a core aspect throughout those entire films, even though there is a reveal at the end that the monsters were real.
Another interesting exhibit for this argument is Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. Each episode featured a monster that was a person in a mask, but the overarching plot featured a real supernatural entity from ancient times. What made this work so well is that besides the individual mysteries in each episode, the entire plot of the series was a mystery in itself, as the gang put together the pieces of the planispheric disc and discovered the truth behind the old Mystery Incorporated.
In contrast, let's look at some examples where it wasn't done well. It's common knowledge that The Richie Rich / Scooby-Doo Show and The Scooby & Scrappy-Doo Puppy Hour aren't exactly the most well-liked shows in the franchise. My opinion used to be that the seven-minute runtime was too short to develop the plot, but my thoughts on that have shifted over the years. Honestly, I don't think I'd want those episodes to be any longer than they were, as most of them would be drudgery to get through for many fans. The plots to all of those episodes consists of Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy bumping into a real monster, running around, and somehow escaping at the end. There simply wasn't much of a cohesive plot there, and the mystery-solving aspect completely disappeared. Extending the episodes so there could have been 22 minutes of running around aimlessly would not have improved anything, because the plot simply wasn't there. In The Scooby & Scrappy-Doo Puppy Hour, there were some episodes that had Shaggy and the dogs solving cases assigned to them by Shaggy's Uncle Fearless, although the mysteries were poorly developed, and consisted mostly of antics rather than actual investigation. The majority of the cases also had the gang fighting super criminals and gangsters, which did not stay consistent with the format of the franchise.
Interestingly, the episodes of The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show and The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries that had real monsters were excellent. The biggest difference for me was that both of these episodes had an actual mystery to them. "Scoobygeist" had the mystery of the gang trying to figure out if the house was haunted or not. Moreover, while some of the "A Halloween Hassle at Dracula's Castle" plot revolved around the real monsters, the episode was still mainly centered around the mystery of Van Helsing's ghost before the shocking reveal at the end.
Those of you who know me are aware how much I love Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King. It's a top 10 Scooby film for me, which makes it difficult to say this, but I don't think that film was a good example of how to work real monsters into the plot. The mystery element that makes Scooby what it is wasn't there, which is what makes it feel so different as a film. The whole film has a very fantastical, magical vibe to it, which is what makes it work for me as it puts me in the Halloween mood. If you asked me if I wanted a whole series or more films like it, I honestly think it would be challenging to make that work. Most of what makes it work for me is the Halloween vibe of it, but I don't think I would want to see the franchise go in that direction. It's sort of the same thing as Get a Clue to me; I like the premise fine enough by itself, but it doesn't fit with the format of the rest of the franchise. The same goes for 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo: it works fine as a standalone, but the series feels like it's missing the mystery-solving aspect. The fact that the mystery was never wrapped up in the original series hurt it a bit as well. I think these types of series and films can work fine every now and then, but personally, I think the mystery element is more important than whether the monsters or real or fake.
Of course, I can't write an article about this without a mention of Curse of the 13th Ghost and Return to Zombie Island, as these two films sparked a lot of discussion of the use of real and fake monsters in the franchise. Ultimately, my issue with these two is that the tone of the original is just not there at all. If they would have made a compelling mystery that expanded upon the original plot, I think I would have enjoyed the films more than I did. However, in Return to Zombie Island, the corny-looking zombies and most of the plot revolving around making a zombie movie on the island is what really made this not enjoyable for me. Between the tone and the lack of expansion on the original, a sequel felt very unnecessary. While some people may have been bothered by the lack of real monsters, I would have been totally open to the monsters being fake if the tone was consistent with the original film. The same goes for Curse of the 13th Ghost. I think both of these films would have been fine as normal DTVs, but the franchise has grown and changed a lot since 13 Ghosts and Zombie Island were made. Making the two sequels in the tone of the current DTVs simply didn't work, and made both films feel completely different from the original material in a jarring way. With Curse of the 13th Ghost, I will say that I really like Tim Sheridan's intentions behind making the film open-ended, where it's possible that the 13th ghost was real, and also possible that it was fake. I like films that really make you think about what might have happened without directly telling you. It's one of the things I love about Boo Brothers. Even after you're done watching the film, you still don't know whether the ghosts were fake or not, even though there was an unmasking. I would love to see another Scooby film do something like that again. The problem with Curse of the 13th Ghost is that Velma's perspective that the ghosts are fake is shoved in the viewer's face so much that we don't really get to hear a compelling argument for what the rest of the gang believes. It was a great way to get around the studio mandate at the time of "no real monsters" for either of those two films (which is a bit silly), but ultimately, Velma's in-your-face perspective is what made Tim Sheridan's otherwise good idea not work in my opinion.
All of this said, I respect anyone who may have different beliefs on the matter. Maybe you are someone who feels the monsters need to always be fake to stick with the classic "person in a mask" format, or prefer a more adventure-focused format for the series. That's a perfectly valid opinion to have, and it's understandable why people might feel that way. However, for me, having a compelling mystery that we as viewers can follow along with has always been a plot device I find more important in the franchise than whether or not the monster is real. As I've outlined, there are a number of examples of plots with real monsters being executed poorly. In my opinion, there are just as many plots with fake monsters that have been executed poorly. Many people found some episodes of Guess Who to be flat due to an over-focus on the guest star and not enough mystery, and I agree with that opinion. The best episodes of Guess Who were always the ones that had a compelling mystery and a good balance with the guest star's presence, at least in my opinion. It all just goes to show the question of inclusion of the supernatural doesn't have to be as simple as picking between whether you prefer real or fake monsters. A throughly developed mystery and well-written plot can be just as important, if not more, than abidance to the "person in a mask" tradition within the franchise.
The TBS Disaster Area website listed in 1996 that Daphne got the Mystery Machine from her father. The trivia page of this website was ultimately how this came into continuity, two years before it was officially mentioned in a piece of media in 1998 (in the Behind the Scenes: How They Got Started short).
Credit to Arkmabat from the ScoobyAddicts forum for finding an archived version of this cool site!
Looks like we had an extremely close race for last week's poll results, with the winner barely making it by a single vote!
Which Scooby and Scrappy-Doo series had the best villains?
The Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Show (1979) - 24
The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo - 23
The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries - 5
The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show - 3
The Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Puppy Hour - 2
The Richie Rich / Scooby-Doo Show Season One - 2
The Richie Rich / Scooby-Doo Show Season Two - 0
Extremely exciting news for Scooby-Doo fans today, as WB has announced they are finally making collectors' wishes come true by releasing every single Scooby-Doo episode on DVD! On April 1, 2023, Warner Brothers is releasing all the Scooby episodes, specials and films in order, remastered in digital HD, on the 67-disc Scooby-Doo: The 100% Undeniably, Irrefutably Complete Collection DVD. However, "Wednesday Is Missing" and the remaining four unreleased The Scooby-Doo Show episodes will not be on this set. When asked for comment on why these episodes aren't on this set, the manufacturer simply responded with a shrug. There are also three bonus discs exclusively dedicated to a special feature of "Hassle in the Castle," which were put on these three discs over and over for your repeated viewing enjoyment. Due to 28 copies of this episode being spread across these three discs, this nearly doubles the record for the Scooby-Doo episode released on DVD the most. I am so excited for this DVD set and cannot believe they are finally releasing nearly every episode on DVD! I wish we could have gotten the remaining five episodes, but you know the old proverb, "when life gives you 591 digitally remastered episodes, specials and films on a complete 67-disc set, sometimes you just have to leave five behind."
Credit goes to ThisWorldTheseDays.com for the information. Pre-orders for this limited edition set are now available at the following link (you may have to accept cookies to view the site).