2019 Year In Review
2019 has been a big year for Scooby! With it being the 50th anniversary of the franchise, we got tons of new Scooby-Doo content, from a couple of new revival films to a brand new series. In this post, I'm going to break down the 10 biggest things (in my opinion) to happen this year in the Scooby-Doo franchise. If it's your first time reading one of these posts (I do one every year!), I only count pieces of media which were actually released, not announcements for media (for example, I wouldn't count the Scoob! trailer as something for this year, since the film isn't released until next May). Without further ado, let's reveal the 10 biggest things of the year!
10. Scooby-Doo! 50 Cartoon Collection
While I'm usually pretty optimistic about things, this set really disappointed me and I thought it was a huge missed opportunity on the part of WB. Given WB's track record for mixing old already-released episodes with new content, I was sure we would be getting some old episodes on this set. I was thinking maybe they could do a mix of fan-selected favorites and new episodes, with around 25 old fan favorites and 25 never-before-released episodes. Instead, we ended up getting very random episodes without really any explanation for why they were on there. Nearly 60% of the set was made up of episodes from Where Are You, What's New, and SDMI. Moreover, we only got 3 new episodes on the set, two of which were Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get A Clue! episodes. Those who know me know I don't mind Get A Clue, but in this case, I feel like it was a bad decision to release 2 new Get A Clue episodes on that set. The majority of Scooby fans dislike that show, so it doesn't make sense to just dump them on a set and leave many fans with just one new episode that they'll like, "The Chiller Diller Movie Thriller." If they're going to release Get A Clue, I feel like it should be on a separate set with just Get A Clue episodes instead of burning them off and forcing people to buy expensive DVDs with 47 repeats on it. They also released the set without any episode list, so people have no idea of which episodes are on what disc.
I am placing this one at #10 just because we did get "The Chiller Diller Movie Thriller," "Chefs of Steel," and "Almost Ghosts." However, I feel like the decisions made with this set were all around perplexing, and it was a very big wasted opportunity on WB's part for what could have been a really cool DVD set.
9. 6 New Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? Issues
I can't really judge this one based on content, as I haven't been keeping up with the Where Are You issues lately due to the overuse of stock art poses. However, it's interestingly become the only comic left now this year, after the cancellations of Scooby Apocalypse in April and Scooby-Doo! Team Up in September (more on this later). Six new issues were released this year (#97-102) and we also finally got the 100th milestone issue of the comic. Notably, with these cancellations, this November was the first month ever since 1995 that a new Scooby-Doo comic was not released.
8. Scooby-Doo! Curse of the 13th Ghost
For the 50th anniversary, we got a brand new film which finally finished The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo series, which ended on a cliffhanger in 1985. However, many fans were left very unsatisfied by this film, due to numerous blatant continuity errors all throughout the film among the semi-false advertising that the mystery would finally be solved, which it really wasn't. I won't ruin the film since I know there are still people out there who haven't seen it, but the blatant continuity errors and poor ending wrecked the film for me.
This was explained by Tim Sheridan, the writer of the film, that they wanted to make the film a part of a "rebooted Where Are You exclusive universe." I've really bounced back and forth on whether I like this, but as I've thought about it more, I can't say I'm really on board with it. I totally understand that people love the original, but at the same time, the franchise has changed a lot since then. Not everything they've done has been good, but I feel like it discounts all the progress the franchise has made to just look at everything through a Where Are You lens. This is purely my opinion, and I'm genuinely happy for you if you enjoyed the film. Personally, I just don't feel looking at every single Scooby production every made through a Where Are You lens is an appropriate way to handle the franchise.
7. Scooby-Doo! Return to Zombie Island
I found this movie to be a bit more enjoyable than 13th Ghost, but it still was nowhere near the tone of the original Zombie Island film. There were still a few continuity errors from the original film, but much less than in Curse of the 13th Ghost. I also found Velma's skepticism to be very annoying and borderline in denial, which was frustrating because I felt they made her character too extreme in this film and the last. However, what made this one better than the previous film for me was that I felt it would have been pretty good as just a normal DTV, if one wasn't comparing it to the tone of Zombie Island. It's nowhere near perfect and still a bit disappointing the writers chose to view it from that Where Are You lens, but it was at least not painful to watch like the previous one was.
6. Funko Pops
We got a lot of cool merchandise for the 50th anniversary, but I have to say my opinion is that the Funko Pops are the coolest! We've gotten the gang in previous years, but this year we've gotten many of the villains as well including the Witch Doctor, Captain Cutler, Ghost Clown, Space Kook and Green Ghost! We've also gotten a Scrappy-Doo Funko, which completely sold out within the day on the Funko website!
5. Cartoon Feud
Quite possibly my most controversial placing on this list, but I enjoyed the Teen Titans Go! crossover for what it was. What an interesting turn of events that this would end up being placed higher than the 13th Ghost and Return to Zombie Island films. I felt this stayed more true to the original than either of them did, and there was some very clever meta-humor in this episode about how Teen Titans Go! was constantly on the air, taking up the space of classic cartoons, as well as the joke about Fred not wanting to be voiced by a guy named Frank. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I'm going to go binge the whole Teen Titans Go! series or anything, or even watch another episode, but it was an enjoyable 10 minutes of entertainment.
4. Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?
We also got a new series this year! Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? is a sort of reboot of The New Scooby-Doo Movies, where the gang teams up with various celebrities to solve mysteries. I found the episodes to be sort of hit-or-miss. I loved the Sherlock Holmes, Wonder Woman, Penn and Teller, Urkel, Weird Al, and Batman ones, but others like The Funky Phantom, Jim Gaffigan and Kenan Thompson were not very enjoyable. Overall, I feel like they were trying too hard to make it seem exactly like the original show, which isn't a bit thing, but they tried so hard that many other elements of the show were not done as well as they should have been, and in some cases, it felt forced. We got 13 episodes this year, and the show was ordered for 52 episodes, so I imagine we'll be seeing some of those next year!
3. Scooby Apocalypse
Scooby Apocalypse was one of the best Scooby comics of recent years in my opinion, and we got four new issues this year before it was cancelled in April. I really enjoyed the maturity of this series, and the writing was superb all the way through. I was a bit sad when they chose to cancel it after only 36 issues, but the four issues we did get this year were excellent, which is why this one is #3 on my list!
2. Scooby-Doo! Team Up #50
Similar to Scooby Apocalypse, Scooby-Doo! Team Up was also cancelled after releasing 6 issues this year, #45-50. Honestly, I felt that issue 50 was the type of thing we should have gotten for the 50th anniversary, which is why this is charting higher than Guess Who? and the two reboot films. In this issue, we get to see all the versions of the gang from every incarnation in the past 50 years interact with each other, which was a lot of fun! The only reason why this isn't #1 is because I didn't feel the plot went deep enough in terms of the gangs interacting with each other. Many of the lines were things like just all the versions of Shaggy saying "Zoinks!" together, which didn't go as deep as I feel it should have. It would have been cool for the differences between the versions of the gang to be explored (i.e. What's New Fred acting dimwitted, and the BCSD/Where Are You Fred being irritated by that version of himself). Nonetheless, I also thought it was cool how they brought other recurring characters back and the explanation for the mystery (I won't ruin it by giving spoilers, but those who read it know what I mean!)
1. The New Scooby-Doo Movies Almost Complete Collection DVD and Blu-Ray Set
Having been 14 years since the first "Best of the New Scooby-Doo Movies" set was released, most fans had discounted the 9 missing episodes from that set would ever be released, due to the copyright issues with some guest stars. However, for the 50th anniversary, WB was able to get permission from 8 of the 9 celebrities to release the remainder of the episodes in two different sets, one which had all 23 episodes and another that just had the missing 8, which were Phyllis Diller, Sandy Duncan, Sonny and Cher, Davy Jones, Jerry Reed, Josie and the Pussycats, Jeannie and Babu, and Tim Conway. I thought it was really cool that WB released them in 2 different sets to save the fans who already had the original set money. With so much rereleasing of old episodes along with new episodes on the same set, it was heartwarming to see them think of collectors for once. We still don't have the Addams Family episode released, presumably due to ongoing copyright issues with the creators of the Addams Family. However, they were able to release the 70s Addams Family series from Hanna-Barbera on DVD, but not the 90s series. The 90s series featured John Astin as Gomez, but the 70s series did not. Since the missing episode, "Wednesday is Missing," also featured Astin, I'm believing that he is for some reason preventing the episode from being released for some reason. I'm hoping someday they will be finally able to release that episode, but for now, I was really satisfied and surprised in a good way with this DVD set.
Notably missing from this list is the Complete Where Are You Blu-Ray set, which didn't do anything for me personally not having a Blu-Ray player, and the fact that they've already released the complete series of Where Are You about a zillion different times now. I must say, the design is cool though!
Well, that's my list, folks, but I'd love to see other people's lists as well! Does anybody feel something should have been included that wasn't? Let me know in the comments. In addition, I hope you all have a wonderful start to 2020!
I'm happy to announce that through my hard work over the weekend, I've actually gotten the site's comic page that I had promised for 2020 finished today. Of course, this page is a work in progress and more info will be likely added eventually, the basic foundation for the page is here. The comics guide includes information about each Scooby-Doo comic series, plus each title and release date. I did not include images of all the cover art or villain pictures, as many of those comics are so old and rare now that it would be difficult to find information on all of them.
Nonetheless, be sure to check out the new page here!
Fun Fact of the Week #275
The Hemogoblin, Haniver and Tzitzmitl from Be Cool, Scooby-Doo's "Mysteries on the Disorient Express" all appear on movie posters seven episodes later in "Silver Scream." "Monaco," an Archie Barnes film also appears on a movie poster, which is a reference to Jake Monaco who was the composer for the music in Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!.
As a bonus fun tidbit from "Mysteries in the Disorient Express," the gang lists all 8 monsters from the episode towards the end, but misses Tarasque.
Thanks to Samuel Kirkwood for sharing this fun fact!
Upcoming Updates in 2020
In just one short week, we'll be moving into an entirely new decade. To celebrate the new decade, I'm planning on doing a few new things on the blog as well as making some other miscellaneous updates.
Weekly Polls - People seemed to really enjoy the weekly polls that I did during the 50th anniversary month, so I've decided to bring them back in 2020. Beginning January 5, there will be a new poll question to vote on every Sunday. The results for each week's poll will be posted along with the next week's question. Admittedly, part of the reason I had stopped is because there were some people who were attempting to rig the polls, voting multiple times from the same IP address. There was one case where over 20 votes came from the same IP address in a week. Though Weebly's system does detect these and ask me if I want to delete duplicate votes, it became a bit tiresome to have to continue to delete people's duplicate votes constantly. Now, I've found a way to set it up so Weebly just automatically deletes all multiple votes from the same IP, including the original vote. I'm hoping this will deter people from trying to rig the polls, as now even the first vote will be deleted if you try to vote more than once. It's unfortunate that I have to do that, but nonetheless I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's opinions on some Scooby related questions!
Comics Page - For years now, I've been promising to make a page for Scooby comics. In 2020, I'm finally going to make the comics page, which will list every Scooby-Doo comic from all the different comic series.
Editorial Articles - By popular demand, I'm also going to try to really get on writing some more opinion pieces about the Scooby franchise. These will include editorial pieces, reviews of episodes and films, and also some original research content. As a little teaser of what's to come, the first of these articles will be an original research piece which will talk about how The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries is related to the Cold War and threats of foreign invasion. Sounds pretty strange, but I think it will be pretty cool once I finish writing it! I don't want to specify a frequency of how often I'll post these articles, though as a broad estimate, I would say at least monthly. I think it would be much more enjoyable for you readers if I had the time to write something thought-provoking and decent, rather than cranking out a new single article every week or whatever that's just sub-par.
Other than that, of course the fun facts will continue every week, with a special 300th one being posted (on estimation, as there have been two weeks where two fun facts have been posted) on June 15, 2020. I've also got a long list of other projects planned, in terms of content I want to write, but I think I'm going to keep those a surprise for now.
For the rest of this year, be sure to look for an article discussing the past decade of Scooby media, plus a special year-end countdown of the top 10 things that happened this year for Scooby's 50th anniversary. The final fun fact of the year will also be posted next Monday as usual.
Until then, I hope everyone enjoys their last few days of the year!
Tons of things have happened this year in the Scooby-Doo franchise. We've gotten three new series, 20 new films, 7 new specials, plus three new comics and much, much more! In this post, I wanted to highlight my top 5 best and top 5 worst things that happened in this decade.
Let's start with the good stuff!
5. Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra Doo
To many fans, these films had a dark feel that was reminiscent of the likes of Zombie Island, Witch's Ghost, and Alien Invaders. I wholeheartedly agree with this assessment, and moreover, I think that this film just had a great plot in general with some well-developed characters and a solid grasp on a genuinely spooky tone. I loved the two villains as well, the gryphon is such a unique choice that has never been used in the franchise. The banshee also had some super cool lore behind her, and her design (both of them) was immaculate! I really enjoyed how she could change from a beautiful woman into a shrieking nightmare. This is the type of DTV I'd like to see from Scooby, and in my opinion, it feels like the quality hasn't been quite as high as this film was in some of the recent DTVs. I'd like to give Camp Scare and Shaggy's Showdown honorable mentions, however, as those two were really enjoyable films for me.
4. Daphne & Velma
I know this will be a very controversial placing, but I really loved this film. The casting for this film was perfect, and everyone portrayed their characters in a very believable and interesting way without anything feel stilted. The tone of it is fun and silly, but in my opinion, sometimes you just need films like that. This is the type of film, IMO, that you might watch on a particularly stressful day and just turn your brain off to. The message in it is a very positive and empowering one, and the feminist undertones are in no way overpowering to the plot. I'm really hoping they make a Daphne & Velma 2, because this was truly a wonderful film and in my opinion, the fourth best thing the decade had to offer for Scooby.
Scoobynatural adapted a fan favorite episode, "A Night of Fright is No Delight," and made into a more adult version. I thought they did a great job referencing the old episode, while having more of a mature twist to it. Even not having watched Supernatural before seeing the episode for the first time, I still felt very at home with the characters and I wasn't confused in any way, which I thought was super cool. I also liked how pure they made the gang, it was so cute! They did an amazing job getting down the dark tone, and I thought it still stayed true to the franchise overall very well.
2. Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!
It still makes me a little sad sometimes, even though I do understand, that people completely boycott this series because of the designs alone. Jon Colton Barry, who has become a dear friend of mine over this past decade, did an ingenious job of getting all the character personalities down, and the absurdist humor of the series is right up my alley. Even if this didn't have an overarching plot like SDMI did, there was still the general plot in the background of the gang's friendship. The gang felt very three-dimensional as characters, and none felt stiff at all. The comedic angle the series took really allowed the gang to shine, and I think purely because of the amazing writing and comedy, everybody should see this series.
1. Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated
It was really hard to pick between BCSD and this one, because they were both amazing in very different ways, but SDMI edged this one out just slightly. SDMI felt like a fanfiction come to life, and really fleshed the characters out as well as brought us a more mature take on the gang. While I absolutely hated the romance plots, which felt forced and poorly done, the overarching plot of the series and dark undertones grounded in ancient lore was so cool. The gang felt very three-dimensional, and the stakes felt genuinely high in the series. The villains were super creepy, and I loved the way the plot pieced together in that classic mystery format through the episode-to-episode mysteries. This is truly the best the decade has to offer.
Now that we've covered the best, let's get to the worst:
5. Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire
For a Scooby-Doo DTV, this one was pretty bad. While a musical could have maybe worked, I felt the musical numbers were forced in and didn't fit with the plot whatsoever. The plot was pretty thin in general, and would have worked better as a 22-minute special in my opinion.
4. Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? comics
When I've heard Scooby fans talk about comics, I've never once heard someone say that the Where Are You comics were their favorites. While not atrocious, the plots in general have been declining throughout the decade, and worst of all, WB has chosen to reuse the same stock art over and over instead of just hiring an artist for the comics. Stories are also republished pretty often, which gets quite old and irritating. I've stopped reading Where Are You comics because of this, and this earns them their spot at #4 on the worst list.
3. Scooby-Doo! Return to Zombie Island
While this could have worked as a standalone DTV, the sequel to Zombie Island did not live up to the original even slightly. The tone felt very Where Are You-ish, which simply does not work with the tone of the original Zombie Island. I would have been fine if this were a standalone DTV, but making this a sequel to the original Zombie Island was a very poor move, especially for the 50th anniversary. Numerous continuity errors were made, and Velma was made so off character that she became irritating and genuinely difficult to watch.
2. Scooby-Doo and the Curse of the 13th Ghost
This one has pretty much the same gripes as last time, except adding on the fact that there were far more continuity errors in this one, and making the 13th ghost fake and essentially saying the whole 13 Ghosts series never happened felt insulting. Velma was even more irritating in this one, and almost seemed in denial.
1. LEGO Scooby-Doo: Blowout Beach Bash
I wouldn't recommend this film to my worst enemy. The "Blowout Beach Bingo Bash" song at the beginning was painful to listen to, especially since it was just those four words repeated over and over for five full minutes. The plot felt incredibly thin and was just poorly written in general. The writers seemed like they totally just phoned in the plot five minutes before it was released, because it felt like it had no substance whatsoever and was just a complete waste of time to watch. I enjoyed Haunted Hollywood, but this one was very difficult to sit through and felt like a quick cash grab with little to no effort put in.
Well folks, that's the list! I would love to hear other people's lists as well, if you want to share in the comments!
Fun Fact of the Week #274
In both seasons of Be Cool Scooby-Doo, the nineteenth episode of the season featured something to do with snow and ice, the villains were both snow/ice based, and additionally corny snow jokes were made at the beginning of both episodes ("Be Cold, Scooby-Doo!" and "Naughty or Ice").
Happy Holidays everyone! Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and holiday season!
Fun Fact of the Week #273
Heard of Christmas in July? Well, it's Halloween in December!
In the Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! episode "Halloween," at 5:05 in the episode when Fred is unmasking the innocent kid dressed as Abraham Lincoln, Shaggy can be seen for a brief second dressed as the ghost of Mr. Hyde from "Nowhere to Hyde" (in Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?)
Thank you to Samuel Kirkwood for pointing this out!
TurnerClassicMovies.com has announced two brand new Scooby-Doo films coming in 2020 and 2021. In addition to the King Arthur DTV and Scoob! film coming in the first half of 2020, we will also be getting another Halloween film towards the end of the year, likely in September or October. The film is currently untitled, but a listing can be found on TCM.com.
We've also got a Scooby-Doo and Courage the Cowardly Dog crossover coming in 2021, right now simply titled "Scooby-Doo! and Courage the Cowardly Dog." The title will likely change before it's released in 2021. Here's the listing for that one on TCM.
Also, TCM lists that there will be two films in 2022. It does not list the titles for these films, or a second film for 2021 as of now, though this is of course subject to change.
What are your thoughts on these two films?
Note 12/19: The last TCM link is currently broken.
2020 is nearly upon us, which means a new decade is beginning in just a couple of weeks! With the show's 50th anniversary having been this year, I've been thinking lately about a couple of things I would like to see for Scooby in the upcoming decade and wanted to write a short article about it.
1. More Detailed Comics
I think everyone can agree that since Team Up and Scooby Apocalypse were cancelled this past year, just having the Where Are You? comics remaining is a bit lackluster. The comics from that series are also almost entirely just stock art poses, which grows a bit old after a while. One of my hopes for the next decade is that we'll have some comics, either Where Are You or another spin-off series, that has more detail put into it rather than it all just being stock art.
2. More Missing Episodes Released
Admittedly, I've definitely said this one in previous posts, but we still have 144 unreleased episodes remaining in the franchise, some of them shockingly being from The Scooby-Doo Show still. I would love to see WB really crack down on getting those missing episodes released, and ideally not just slapping one on a set of 20 already released episodes just to burn them off. It would be nice to have them potentially on a themed set, or in connection with my next one...
3. Season Sets
It's a bit disappointing, but we've barely seen any season sets at all in this past decade. I believe we've only gotten 13 Ghosts, The Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Show Season 1 and The Almost Complete Collection of the New Scooby-Doo Movies. While three isn't bad, we were getting tons of them back in the 2000s decade, and with so many unreleased episodes remaining, you would think it would be pretty profitable for them to release some more season sets as collector's items. I'm hoping to see an increase of the season sets again for the remaining missing episodes in the coming years!
4. Moving Away from Crossovers
This isn't so much a tangible thing like the rest of the items so far, but I'm hoping they will move away from crossovers. Between all the DTVs, and the new Guess Who series, in my opinion it's getting to be a bit much. Which leads me into my final point...
5. Playing It Less Safe
I feel like the current Scooby-Doo media is trying to play it super safe and make everything exactly like how it was in Where Are You. Obviously, this has repercussions, because it discounts how the franchise has evolved in those 50 years. I feel like I would be more engaged in the franchise if they explored different aspects of it. Playing it safe can be a good thing sometimes, but I think at some point, WB needs to get out of their comfort zone and realize that there are adult fans out there as well, not just kids, and the same old formula can get boring if it's used too much. I'm not suggesting they should completely change the show, but I think experimenting with different aspects of the show is a good way to keep viewers of all ages engaged.
If you feel like I missed anything on my list, or feel like I shouldn't have included something let me know in the comments! What do you all want to see in the next decade in the future of the franchise? I would be interested to see everybody's ideas!
Fun Fact of the Week #272
When you watched "What a Night, for a Dark Knight!" from Guess Who, did you think it was really stupid how they had Alfred Pennyworth be Daphne's uncle? So did I, at first, but this was actually an incredibly clever reference on the writers' part.
In the 1970 version of the Batman DC Comics, Alfred actually did have a niece named Daphne. As you can see, the panel in which this occurs in the 1970s comics is pictured above.
~ WildwindVampire ~