Fun Fact of the Week #403
A second Scooby-Doo and Dick Van Dyke crossover almost happened. In the 1990s, an idea was pitched by William Rabkin for Scooby-Doo to appear an episode of Diagnosis Murder, a drama series featuring Dick Van Dyke as Dr. Mark Sloan. The entire plot for this episode was written: Mark Sloan would put into a coma after a vicious criminal attack. This coma would cause him to have delusions of solving the mystery with Scooby-Doo. The idea was easier than expected for Rabkin to pitch, given the executive producer of this show was Fred Silverman, the man who was responsible for originally greenlighting Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? on CBS.
What stopped it from happening, you might ask? Surprisingly, it was the Scooby-Doo live action movie from 2002.
Because the process of making the film took an arduous six years, William was told "someone would get back to him" on his idea, but no one ever did, due to everyone interested in Scooby being so focused on getting the live-action movie out. Since the process of writing the movie started in 1996 during such a dead period in the franchise, it's possible they even thought that the live-action film was going to revive the franchise, since Zombie Island hadn't yet been released. Thus, the idea was dropped and the writers moved onto other ideas. The idea was ultimately never used despite the fact that it was very close to happening.
Weekly Poll #131
At long last, we finally have a winner for favorite sports episode! "A Terrifying Round with a Menacing Metallic Clown" wins with 43 votes, while WrestleMania Mystery takes second place with 31 votes. I have to admit, I wasn't expecting either of those to come out on top, but "A Terrifying Round with a Menacing Metallic Clown" is the one I would have preferred to win over WrestleMania Mystery. I hope you enjoyed these sports polls, and I can't wait to do it again on June 26 with the villains by season poll! Speaking of which, this week's poll brings us a step closer to that by asking which Be Cool season had the best villains overall! I've got another plan for a short series of "Winner's Circle" polls based on a few recent polls that I thought it would be fun to do it for, but we'll vote on the final show, Guess Who, in two weeks!
August 2022 Comic Solicitations
Courtesy of GamesRadar+, here are the official solicitations for the comics coming out in August (there's only one this month!):
SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU? #117
Written by IVAN COHEN
Art by VALERIO CHIOLA
Cover by VALERIO CHIOLA
$2.99 US | 32 pages
ON SALE 8/16/22
A ravenous sasquatch is on the loose and keeps eating all the ingredients for an up-and-coming TV chef's new show! Can Mystery Inc. capture the monster in time to save the food and save the show?
After the Alpha test of MultiVersus last Thursday, a roster of leaked characters was revealed, including Scooby-Doo himself. In addition, MultiVersus has revealed some images of the Scooby-Doo level, including Velma's animation. One of her character tropes in the game is that the whole screen will go blurry if Velma is unable to find her glasses.
An image of the Scooby-Doo level has also been revealed by MultiVersus, which can be seen below.
Other leaked characters that have been revealed from the Alpha test include Gandalf, Rick and Morty, LeBron James, Raven, Marvin, Craig, The Joker, Gizmo, Black Adam, Poison Ivy, Static Shock, Wicked Witch of the West, Betelguese, Daenerys, Legolas, Eleven, Emmet and Godzilla. There will also be two original characters, Ninja and Brute.
Fun Fact of the Week #402
Keeping with the Daphne & Velma theme this week after my interview with director Suzi Yoonessi yesterday, RoboThespian was not just made up for that film. RoboThespian is a real robot made by a UK company called Engineered Arts. Due to advanced technology used to build the robot, RoboThespian took over 15 years to be built. The robot is controlled with an online touchscreen interface with tons of pre-recorded content. It can be programmed to do any movement, say anything, and sing any song you program it to perform. According to the official website, one of the promotional slogans used for the robot is "Make robot-human conversation as natural as a chat between friends!" which could be either exciting or terrifying depending on your interpretation of it haha.
Update 5/26: Roger Eschbacher, who wrote for Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, has just announced he will write for this series!
Almost right after the news about a more mature Scooby-Doo series last week, Warner Brothers has just announced what the next Scooby-Doo series after Velma will be. Interestingly, it will be the polar opposite of Velma: the first Scooby-Doo series aimed at preschoolers. The new CGI-animated series will feature Shaggy and Scooby-Doo as camp counselors for three puppies called "The Mystery Pups." Mark Palmer will be both the showrunner and executive producer, and Erik Knutson will be the supervising director for the show. The series will air on Cartoon Network's Cartoonito block, and will also be available to stream on HBO Max.
Here's the official description provided by WB:
As counselors in a lakeside sleepaway camp, Scooby and Shaggy don’t know much about canoes and archery, but they do know how to solve a mystery! In a summer filled with nature hikes, rafting trips and fireside ghost stories, the goofy, good-hearted and can-do duo will share their love for chasing clues with three young camper pups destined to become their own preschool version of Mystery Incorporated. Featuring mysteries that will be more kooky than spooky, Scooby Doo! And the Mystery Pups teaches preschoolers about curiosity and the joy of discovery. The show will encourage the audience to solve clues alongside the collaborative trio of pups, exemplifying how much can be accomplished with friends by your side. These curiosity and teamwork skillsets align with Cartoonito’s Humancentric Learning Framework—a philosophy that helps children develop their unique potential—by inspiring preschoolers to greet every mystery they encounter with wonder, confidence, and cooperation. Scooby-Doo veteran voices Frank Welker and Matthew Lillard will lead the cast, playing Scooby and Shaggy respectively.
A statement about the show was released by Amy Friedman: “This show combines everything we love about Scooby—his humor, his loyal friendship with Shaggy, his mystery-loving spirit—all in an innovative and accessible format for preschoolers. Cartoonito parents and caregivers will get to introduce kids to their beloved childhood hero in a totally new way.”
Sam Register also shared: "We are thrilled to finally give preschoolers a version of Scooby to call their own. With plenty of laughs, fun, and clues to chase, this show promises to entertain the youngest of mystery solvers."
The description seems to hint that this may be our first series in 15 years that does not include Velma, Fred and Daphne at all. It seems that the camper puppies are their replacements, both given the way the description is worded ("destined to become their own preschool version of Mystery Incorporated"). In addition, the designs on the show poster seems to imply that the glasses-wearing puppy is supposed to be like Velma, and the puppy with the bow in their hair is the equivalent of Daphne. It also sort of feels like this is a full-length series version of "Camp Comeoniwannascareya."
I'm also sort of wondering if this isn't an attempt to revitalize Scooby-Doo in the eyes of very young kids. They've leaned more heavily into the nostalgia factor lately, between Guess Who, and all with the crossovers with older properties like Courage the Cowardly Dog, so this makes me wonder if they aren't trying to target Scooby at a new, younger audience who might not have been as likely to consume Scooby-Doo content. I think Paw Patrol is a popular show among preschoolers right now, so given it's puppies, I'm kind of wondering if it's not their attempt at that? That and obviously potentially trying to offset the backlash of Velma. If this series is coming out in 2024, it's probably safe to assume Velma will be coming out in 2023.
Also, since Mondays are all about fun facts on this site, here's a little random tidbit: this show was announced the exact same day Guess Who was 4 years ago, May 23, 2018.
Weekly Poll #130
So...we have a tie. Shockingly, it's two of the choices I would have least expected to win, especially based on the comments in last week's poll thread. "A Terrifying Round with a Menacing Metallic Clown" and Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery, both tied for the win with 13 votes each. Close behind in second place is "The Mystery of Haunted Island" with 11 votes. Our other basketball episode, "The Loch Ness Mess," takes third with 9 votes, while "The Spooky Case of the Grand Prix Race," "Scooby Pinch Hits" and "The Ghost that Sacked the Quarterback" all tie for fourth place with 6 votes each. Hockey comes in last with 4 votes going to "Diamonds Are a Ghoul's Best Friend." Two people say that "All of these episodes are awful, all sports are awful, everything's just awful!"
I had originally planned to do the Be Cool villain poll today, but given the surprising final result, I think we need to do a tiebreaker poll to determine the actual favorite of these two! I didn't include the typical "everything's just awful" option, since I think that would be a bit of a letdown if that's the option that won after months of doing these polls lol.
An Interview with Suzi Yoonessi
Four years ago today, Daphne & Velma was released for the very first time on DVD and Blu-Ray. I'm so excited to share with you all that I got the amazing opportunity of interviewing the director of Daphne & Velma, Suzi Yoonessi. Suzi started her career working for Surface Magazine as a journalist while also playing for a Riot Grrrl band, but she quickly developed an interest in filmmaking and attended an Art Institute to study film and photography. Suzi has been nominated for an Emmy in Outstanding Directing for her film Relationship Status, and her film Unloveable won a Special Jury Prize at the SXSW Film Festival in 2018. I'm such a huge fan of Daphne & Velma, so it was so much fun getting to talk to Suzi and learn some new things about the film! Below is my interview with her:
ScoobySnax.com: How did you first become interested in directing?
Suzi: My love of storytelling started at a young age, when I'd eagerly stay up at night, relishing my Grandma Nimtaj's Persian Fairy Tales. In high school, I found myself most comfortable behind a 35mm or hi8 camera or creating music with my punk band, so my interest in filmmaking was clear by the time I entered the San Francisco Art Institute to study photography and film. What I love about film is that it incorporates multiple artistic mediums to tell a story, so I am able to continue to dabble in music, story and cinematography as it helps tell the film story.
ScoobySnax.com: How was the concept for Daphne & Velma first developed?
Suzi: I was approached with Daphne and Velma as a fleshed out treatment, conceived by Blue Ribbon Entertainment who developed the story with writers Kyle Mack and Caitlin Meares.
ScoobySnax.com: If you had any role in the casting, what drew you to cast Sarah Jeffery and Sarah Gilman in the roles of Daphne and Velma?
Suzi: Sarah Jeffery and Sarah Gilman embody the yin and yang that makes Daphne and Velma an everlasting friendship, and the Sarahs platonic spark on set was dynamic and powerful to watch. Sarah Jeffery is such a nuanced and powerful actor. She captures the brightness and whimsy of Daphne, while filling out her depth of character and thought. I love how she navigated Daphne's investigative smarts and determination, while keeping her light bright. Sarah Gilman is masterful with her comedic timing and she channeled the effortless cool and outsider vibes of Velma. She is an actor who elevates the material with her improv skills, and both are able to explore the darker side of each character with light.
ScoobySnax.com: The tone of this film is very lighthearted and quirky. How did you and the rest of the crew decide on this type of tone for the film?
Suzi: I love the tone that we achieved, and was lucky to be working with a script by Kyle Mack and Caitlin Meares, who have such sharp dialogue, and a creative and production team that really understood embracing the lens of Daphne and Velma as teenage girls. My intention was to translate the stony humor of Scooby Doo into live action form and bring some of the iconic animation blocking to life in live action form. Sarah Jeffery and Sarah Gilman both have such a smart sense of humor and magnetic energy that helped land the tone of the film.
ScoobySnax.com: Sarah Gilman mentioned in an interview that the filming was done in just a little over two weeks. How did the short filming window impact the final product (either positively or negatively)?
Suzi: The short shooting window was challenging, but I love embracing the limitations of a budget because it really pushes you as a filmmaker and filmmaking team. I was fortunate to have creative collaborators I had worked with in the past, and we'd put our heads together to think creatively about actualizing a school with cutting edge technology on a dime. Some of my favorite set pieces and props were a result of banding together with my production designer Rodrigo Cabral and prop master Cassie Miggins who are two super talents with the Riot Grrrl DIY spirit.
ScoobySnax.com:The film is largely centered around this idea of sisterhood and empowering women. How did the sisterhood theme help shape how you approached directing this film?
Suzi: I tried to infuse the film set with love and kindness, even when we were faced with unprecedented challenges. It was a visual and emotional delight staying focused on the characters using their ingenuity and celebrating their differences, to capture them truly being the writers of their destinies. I also loved working with music supervisor Dan Wilcox to build a soundtrack with a female-driven psychedelic, pop-punk vibe that captures Daphne and Velma's rebellious and enduring spirit.
ScoobySnax.com: How did this project compare and contrast to previous projects you’ve done?
Suzi: One thing I will always treasure on Daphne and Velma is the ability to pull from the Scooby Doo series and visual tropes. I also loved digging into building out two iconic female characters who were part of my DNA growing up - Daphne and Velma truly taught me that you can step out of the shadows and be part of the action, regardless of gender.
ScoobySnax.com: What was your favorite memory, and what was the biggest challenge of creating this film?
Suzi: I loved filming the scene with the conflict couch, which is such a great turn in Daphne and Velma's relationship arc in the story. The set was low fi, with analog light up cubes, but rich in physical comedy and performance. The whole production and creative team banded together to bring the scene to life - someone was flipping the light from blue to red off-screen, while SFX held invisible wires to make it move the cubes, and Sarah G and Sarah J really leaned into the physical comedy. It really captured the feeling of the girls navigating a couch in beta testing mode, with the camera beautifully drifting between them.
ScoobySnax.com: Were there ever any plans for a sequel to Daphne & Velma?
Suzi: The door will always be open to sequels with the Scooby Doo franchise and Daphne and Velma's friendship.
ScoobySnax.com: In 2020, a trilogy of Daphne & Velma books was released. While they aren’t directly connected to the film, they still center around the idea of a sisterhood-like bond and use animated versions of Gilman and Jeffery’s portrayals on the covers. Do you know if the film inspired the book series, and if so, how?
Suzi: I have no idea, but I'd love to connect with the writer of the series!!!!
ScoobySnax.com: What memorable responses or feedback have you received about the film?
Suzi: Vanessa Marano perfectly delivers the line, "and I wouldn't have gotten away with it too if it weren't for you meddling kids." This line wasn't originally in the script, and it was something I picked up with Vanessa doing improv, since I am a fan of the series and felt it was a must to have in the edit room. One of the execs was on the fence about including the line. After it played at Comic Con, the audience went wild after Vanessa delivered the line, and the exec turned to me and said, "I really thought we shouldn't include it." While acknowledging it was the right choice, seeing how the fans reacted. It made me feel like I was the right director on the project and that my fandom paid off in the end.
ScoobySnax.com: What unique contribution do you feel this film brings to the Scooby franchise?
Suzi: I think Daphne and Velma is an unapologetically female perspective and shines a light on the women of the series who truly deserved their own film after several decades of solving mysteries while seeing the stories through the male gaze.
ScoobySnax.com: What do you most hope audiences will take away from this film after watching it?
Suzi: The film is truly inclusive storytelling, and I hope audiences are empowered by Daphne and Velma's kindness and heart, and how they complement and respect each other's strengths and differences to find solutions.
Thank you so much to Suzi for taking time out of her busy schedule to this interview! Daphne & Velma remains one of my favorite entire films in the franchise, so it was amazing getting to talk to her. I hope you enjoyed reading this interview!
You can find Suzi on Twitter and Instagram @SuziYoonessi, as well as her personal website, www.suziyoonessi.com.
After the first look at Velma yesterday was revealed, including a nude woman and someone with their head cracked open, series creator Mindy Kaling took to Twitter to clarify some backlash the series was receiving about being too edgy. Mindy explained that the plots revolve around "legit scary mystery stories where [Velma]'s the protagonist" to ensure the audience that Velma would not be put in overly inappropriate situations just for the sake of doing it. Mindy also assured everyone that the story is intended to be authentic to high school life and that she is a real teen, presumably responding to criticisms that Velma would only be a one-dimensional racial stereotype rather than a real three-dimensional person. Mindy additionally shared that "her past isn't troubled, it's sPooOoKy!" A screenshot of her tweets have been posted above.
WARNING: The image at the top of this post may be NSFW due to violence and implied nudity.
According to Deadline, at the Warner Brothers Discovery Upfront today, our first look at Velma was revealed in the image above. The image shows the design for Velma, and demonstrates that the series may be a bit graphic. The concept of the series has received considerable backlash online due to how much it differs from the previous library of Scooby-Doo media. However, Mindy Kaling, the series creator and executive producer, was upfront those criticizing the show at the upfront today.
“Hopefully you noticed my Velma is South Asian. If people freak out about that, I don’t care.” Mindy says.
Mindy had also previously addressed those criticizing the show in her appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers.
"When it was announced that I was going to do the voice of Velma, people were very supportive and happy on Twitter. And so I felt great,” Mindy informed. “Then it was announced a month ago that the Velma character would be reimagined as South Asian. And people were not happy. There was a lot of, like, ‘So not Velma!’ Those kind of tweets. ‘Not the classic Velma that I’m always thinking about.'”
This encouraged Mindy to be careful when taking on the role of the classic character she will be voicing, and ensure she was not portraying Velma with any stereotypes of how people of Asian descent are supposed to be "nerdy." but she also was critical of people challenging Velma's race when they know little about the show. She argues that if a talking dog can solve mysteries, then Velma can be brown.
There's still no date announced for this origin story for Velma, but the fact that it was shown at the Warner Brothers Discovery Upfront potentially hints it may be coming within the next year or so.
~ WildwindVampire ~