A Ranking of the Scooby-Doo Specials
At long last, after ranking the movies and series, I've ranked all the Scooby specials! I don't feel any of them are super strong and the rankings were pretty easy to do unlike the series and movies, but nonetheless, I hope you enjoy my rankings.
11. Ghastly Goals
This one earns its spot as dead last for not only a boring storyline, but also bad animation. As I mentioned in my recent post about my top 10 least favorite Scooby-Doo episodes, the plot felt very underdeveloped and it felt like they were really stretching the mystery. The animation also felt a bit lazy to me, as many of the crowd shots were just a blur of color, and the backgrounds were sometimes sloppily drawn during close-ups.
10. LEGO Scooby-Doo: Knight Time Terror
This one was very middle-of-the-road for me. It's definitely a quality increase from Ghastly Goals, but the plot itself felt a bit underdeveloped and rushed. I liked Haunted Hollywood much better. There's honestly nothing more I really have to say about this one because it's just that mediocre haha.
9. Mecha Mutt Menace
There was a bit of a noticeable quality drop from some of the earlier 2012 DTV specials and these 2013 ones, but this one isn't bad like Ghastly Goals by any means. I thought the Mecha Mutt was a decent villain and the plot of the gang being at the Space Station was neat. I did not care for Daphne being jealous of Fred, however, as that plot had just been in Scooby-Doo! Stage Fright, and as a result, it felt like overkill here. I liked the special overall though.
8. Spooky Scarecrow
I liked this special well enough, but it's probably my least favorite Halloween episode of the selection we have so far. The plot about the witch casting a spell on a scarecrow to make it come to life was cool, but I kind of wish we would have gotten the witch as a villain as well of the scarecrow. This episode felt like it needed a little something extra, because I feel like this same plot has been done much better in "The Frickert Fracas," "A Scooby-Doo Halloween" and "Eating Crow."
7. Beach Beastie
I know that some people feel this is the best of the DTV specials, and while I do agree it's quite good, I would say I like Spooky Games and Haunted Holidays a bit better. I really like how unique Aquazilla is as a villain, and I thought his shapeshifting abilities were used in a very cool way here. I liked the plot of the gang going to Fred's uncle's resort, and the fact that his uncle was voiced by Adam West! The plot of Scooby having a crush on a little dog was also cute. I also thought it was neat how they carried over plot points from Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, like Fred's house and trap obsession.
6. Behind the Scenes Shorts
I've always thought these were really cute. This was a neat idea on Cartoon Network's part to make these goofy little interviews. I've always been amused at the part in the sixth interview about Fred singing showboat to calm the gang lol.
5. Night of the Living Doo
I've always found this one to be a bit weird, but in a good way. This was a cool parody of The New Scooby-Doo Movies, even though the culprit and monsters were very strange. It felt sort of like The Scooby-Doo Project in terms of its rough reused animation, but I think it worked very well for what it was.
4. Scooby-Doo! Spooky Games
I really enjoyed this special! I liked the plot of the gang being invited to an Olympics-like game and having to solve the mystery of the giant statue Fortius coming to life. This was definitely among the more interesting and better quality DTV specials in my opinion.
3. Scooby-Doo! Haunted Holidays
I still watch this special every Christmas, and I think it's my favorite of the DTV specials. This special also feels a bit darker than the others with the gang being locked in the creepy toy factory during the snowstorm. The Sinister Snowman was a super creepy villain, and it was neat how he could shapeshift. I also like how it's hinted the Santa Claus that showed up at the end may have been the real Santa. That was really cute.
2. Scooby-Doo, Where Are You Now?
I did a full-length review of this here, but I thought the humor in the special was really good. Even though the animation was a bit strange mixed with live-action and I don't typically like that sort of thing, it worked well here. Even if there wasn't really any new information for a Scooby super fan like myself, the interviews with the writers and producers were really fun. The only thing I didn't really like about this special was the unnecessary Scrappy bashing, which felt out of place and very mean-spirited.
1. The Scooby-Doo Project
I think there are one or two people on here that have had this in their top 10 Scooby episodes ever. While I won't go quite that far, I did really like this special and think it's the best the franchise has to offer. It was super clever of them to make a parody of The Blair Witch Project, and I thought making it kind of a satire of the franchise worked really well. The humor was super clever here. Like Where Are You Now, even though the animation was a bit weird mixed with live-action elements, I thought it worked really well. It was quite intense that the special ended with the gang missing.
That about does it for my special rankings! I'll be posting my ranking of every Scooby-Doo movies next month, but in the meantime, but if you happen to feel inspired to share yours in the comments, I'd love to see them!
Fun Fact of the Week #429
The New Scooby-Doo Movies episode "Sandy Duncan's Jekyll and Hydes" has a reference to Charlotte's Web in it. In Charlotte's Web, Charlotte the spider weaves the words "some pig" into a spiderweb to prevent her pig friend Wilbur from being killed. The newspaper in which Mr. Hyde cut the letters out of for Sandy's ransom note has a picture of a pig with the words "some pig" as the headline. While this could be shrugged off as simple coincidence, Hanna-Barbera produced and released the first-ever Charlotte's Web film on February 22, 1973, just a few months after "Sandy Duncan's Jekyll and Hydes" aired. This undoubtedly confirms that this was intended as a reference to Charlotte's Web.
It's also worth noting that the paper the ransom note is cut out of, The Daily Bugle, is a reference to the newspaper in Spider-Man.
Weekly Poll #154
Here are the results for last week's poll:
What is your favorite Scooby-Doo episode/film featuring Frankenstein's monster as the villain?
A Gaggle of Galloping Ghosts - 23
Scooby-Doo! FrankenCreepy - 20
A Halloween Hassle at Dracula's Castle - 7
Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf - 5
Chickenstein Lives! - 5
That's Monstertainment - 3
Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School - 3
The Feast of Dr. Frankenfooder! - 3
Who's Minding the Monster? - 2
Scooby's Peep Hole Pandemonium - 0
Super Scary Movie Night - 0
Two listings have popped up on Amazon UK for new Scooby-Doo films. The first listing is for Scooby-Doo and Krypto Too!, which Amazon UK says will be released in the UK on September 25, 2023. The second listing is for a completely new Scooby-Doo film that has not yet been announced. The film is titled Scooby-Doo and the Haunted High Rise, and Amazon UK lists a date of October 1, 2023, only a week after Krypto Too's release. It's likely one of those dates will probably be changed, since I don't think they would release the films one week apart, but it seems like we may be getting two Scooby DTVs again next year. A big thank you to Thomas for finding these links and sharing them with me!
Fun Fact of the Week #428
The Scooby-Doo, Where Are You Now! special showed some very early designs for Scooby, which shows him as a much smaller dog.
In Iwao Takamoto's autobiography, My Life with a Thousand Characters, he disagrees with Fred Silverman's story that Scooby-Doo's name come from the song "Strangers in the Night" by Frank Sinatra. His reason for disagreeing is that there were designs for a dog Scooby long before "Strangers in the Night" ever came out. Given Takamoto's book came out in 2009 - 12 years before the general public knew about these designs from Scooby-Doo, Where Are You Now! - it is possible that these are the designs Takamoto was referring to. This would mean Silverman's story about Scooby's name is incorrect.
As most fans likely know, one draft of the original Scooby-Doo series was a knockoff of The Archies. Given the Archies had a song released in 1969 called "Feelin' So Good (S.K.O.O.B.Y. Doo)," this further complicates things a bit. This may be further proof that there was a previous version of Scooby before Fred Silverman's "Strangers in the Night" story could have happened.
A big thanks to Lance for suggesting and helping research this week's fun fact!
Weekly Poll #153
Thank you to Shadowscooby for coming up with this week's poll question!
I expected Zombie Island to blow everything else out of the water, and I was correct haha. I'm a little surprised about Monsters Unleashed making it nearly as high as "Which Which is Which?" and "The No-Faced Zombie Chase Case." Here are the final results:
What is your favorite Scooby-Doo episode featuring a zombie?
Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island - 44
Which Witch is Which? - 7
The No-Faced Zombie Chase Case - 6
Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed - 4
Dance of the Undead - 3
The 7th Inning Scare! - 3
Mystery Mask Mix-Up - 2
Night of the Living Doo - 2
Mamba Wamba and the Voodoo Hoodoo - 1
The Ozark Witch Switch - 1
The Babysitter from Beyond - 1
Pompeii and Circumstance - 1
The Song of Mystery - 1
0 votes: Scooby-Doo and a Cyclops, Too!, Ghosts of the Ancient Astronauts, Horror Scope Scoob, Mummy Scares Best, Scooby-Doo! Return to Zombie Island
February 2023 Comic Solicitations
Courtesy of GamesRadar+, here are the Scooby-Doo comic solicitations for February 2023. Note that the Where Are You comic is releasing on the first week of the month, rather than the end of the month as per usual.
SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU? #120
Written by DEREK FRIDOLFS
Art by VALERIO CHIOLA
Cover by DEREK FRIDOLFS
$2.99 US | 32 pages
ON SALE 2/7/23
When Velma inherits a vase from a deceased relative, Mystery Inc. knows just the place to get it appraised—a televised auction house! But after they arrive, an old lamp up for sale creates a smoke cloud that releases a djinn bent on destroying the valuable antiques on display! And it might take more than just wishes to get the djinn back in the lamp…
THE BATMAN & SCOOBY-DOO MYSTERIES #5
Written by SHOLLY FISCH
Art and cover by DARIO BRIZUELA
$2.99 US | 32 pages
ON SALE 2/14/23
Pro tennis player Bette Kane asked Batman for help, and Mystery Inc. is coming to Gotham to join the search for a priceless collection. She has snacks, so Shaggy and Scooby are on board…at least until they hear that they're chasing a pack of motorcycle-thieving rat people!
The website Vulture.com made a post earlier today about upcoming TV shows on HBO Max. Within this post, Velma is mentioned as having a January 2023 release date. There is no information about a specific date, but this seems to be our first clue to the month that the show will be released. However, it should be noted that no other sites have listed this release date; but Vulture tends to usually be pretty reliable, and at least for me, that pushes this beyond just being a rumor. I still wouldn't interpret this as being set in stone, though.
I'm still working on my special rankings since I'm trying to rewatch all of them before I rank them, but my goal is to have them finished in December. In the meantime, I thought I’d do a little bonus post about the crossovers Scooby-Doo has had with other series that are not official parts of the franchise. I’m only including the major crossovers, and not every single episode or film Scooby’s ever made a cameo in. I don't have a lot to say for the first few, because they're very short and kind of forgettable, but nonetheless, I hope you enjoy my rankings!
9. Cartoon Feud
This is fine, and it was a cute idea to have Scooby be on a Family Feud type game show against another cartoon. However, there’s nothing really special about this and I don’t really care for Teen Titans Go, so I can’t really ever see myself watching this again.
8. Monster Party
Let me just say that I am absolutely amazed that the girl ghouls appeared in a piece of media 30 years after Ghoul School aired. I never thought that would happen in a million years, so I was shocked when this came out. It was even more surprising that there was no real announcement of this. To my recollection, this just came out of nowhere and the announcement of it was the release itself. Content-wise, this is again cute, but nothing I’d return to.
7. The Wizard of Ooze
I enjoy this enough for what it is, but the plot of this felt lacking as a crossover. I didn’t really feel they did a good job crossing the two shows over with one another, it just felt like a Dynomutt episode that Scooby happened to make a cameo in. Swamp Rat and Mudmouth weren’t that great of villains in my opinion. As someone who has also seen all 20 episodes of the Dynomutt series, I also feel this is one of the weaker episodes of the show.
6. What Now, Lowbrow?
Same issue as the last one, and the only thing really bringing it above “The Wizard of Ooze” is the fact that I like the villains and plot a bit better.
5. Everybody Hyde!
This is my favorite of the Dynomutt crossovers. In my opinion, this is the only of the three crossovers that actually felt like a true crossover between the two shows, as the other two felt like the gang was an afterthought. It was neat that the gang was also trailing Mr. Hyde and thought he was a ghost, and that the mystery brought the two groups together. Mr. Hyde was also a very creepy antagonist, and he’s one of my favorite Dynomutt villains of that show.
4. Shaggy Busted
This Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law episode is so goofy and ridiculous that I can't help but love it. Shaggy being arrested by a policeman for disorderly conduct was really funny. The Grass Monster was also a hilarious villain choice lol.
3. Bravo Dooby Doo
I thought this was a really cute crossover between Johnny Bravo and Scooby. To be honest, it felt like more of Scooby episode than a Johnny Bravo episode, which was fun. This episode perfectly combined the witty humor of Johnny Bravo and the mystery solving tone of Scooby-Doo. The Ghostly Gardener was a great villain, and the goofiness with the culprit wearing multiple masks was really fun. I also like how Speed Buggy appeared at the end.
2. Bat-Mite Presents: Batman’s Strangest Cases
There’s a theme with my top 3 crossovers, and it’s that they all captured the essence of Scooby-Doo. In my opinion, that’s what a crossover should be: capturing the essence of the other property, rather than just randomly having someone from the other franchise make a cameo like some of the ones lower on my list felt like. I love how this episode almost exactly matched the tone of the two classic Batman and Scooby-Doo crossovers from The New Scooby-Doo Movies. The Joker and the Penguin were great villains once again. Even the Footlight Phantom felt like it had a classic New Scooby-Doo Movies like vibe to him. I tend to feel humor in shorter episodes isn’t quite as funny because the plot is being rushed along, but this episode also had some great humor, particularly Batman’s random safety tips that happened mid-episode lol.
There was pretty much no competition for this one, given this pretty much blows the other seven out of the water. I really liked how they took such a classic Scooby-Doo episode and gave it a darker Supernatural twist. I know some fans were bothered by the fact that it was far more adult than the average Scooby episode, and I can absolutely understand that criticism, but I personally didn’t mind it since it was just a one-off that did not affect the rest of the franchise. The gang was absolutely adorable and this episode genuinely made me feel sad that they were traumatized like that with real horror elements.
I'm sure my rankings aren't too surprising, since in my opinion, the crossovers with other shows are pretty hit or miss quality-wise. If you have a different opinion, though, I'd love to see your rankings in the comments!
Fun Fact of the Week #427
It's common knowledge among the fandom that Supernatural crossed over with Scooby-Doo for the one-hour special Scoobynatural. However, it's lesser known that there are actually tons of Scooby-Doo references throughout the fifteen seasons of Supernatural. In two episodes, "Regarding Dean" and "The Rising Son," the characters are seen watching "Hassle in the Castle" and "That's Snow Ghost," respectively.
There are also a ton of Scooby-Doo references related to Dean, as he's a Scooby-Doo fan in the series. In the season 2 episode "Playthings," Dean mentions "Might even run into Fred and Daphne while we're inside. Mhm, Daphne. Love her." when they go into a haunted house. One character says "This ain't Scooby-Doo" in the season 3 opener "The Magnificent Seven." In season 6's "All Dogs Go to Heaven," Dean asks "where's this little Scooby gang of yours?" In the season 8 episode "The Great Escapist," Dean comments that the hotel manager looks like a Scooby-Doo villain. In "Dog Dean Afternoon" from season 9, Dean exclaims "Ruh-roh!" In "#thinman" from season 9, Dean threatens the villains by saying "You two clowns are gonna get into that Mystery Machine outside, and you're gonna leave town." Season 11's "Form and Void" has Dean commenting "Listen Velma, this isn't the Scooby gang, okay. So either shut up or get out," to which Crowley comments he's "more of a Daphne." Lastly, in the final season, Dean mentions in "Golden Time" that he pulled an all-nighter just to watch Scooby, and in "Last Holiday," Dean is shown to own Scooby-Doo underwear.
~ WildwindVampire ~