After ranking the Where Are You theme songs last week, I thought it might be fun to also do a quick post ranking the What's New, Scooby-Doo? theme song versions, since it's the only other Scooby-Doo theme song that has had multiple covers done of it at the time of posting this.
Unlike the Where Are You theme songs, I don't dislike any of these; I just like the other two a bit better. This cover from Mystery Begins is a pretty solid adaptation of the theme song, but personally I prefer "You & I" from them. I find it amusing that WB keeps reusing this cover so much on all the DVD menus. Like I think I mentioned in a recent post, my head canon is that one of the WB executives jams to this in their bedroom every night, and is like "we have to use this in everything!" haha.
2. The Hex Girls
The Hex Girls cover of this from "The Vampire Strikes Back" is great; nearly as good as the original Simple Plan version in my opinion. The cover sounds very consistent with the rest of The Hex Girls discography, and works very well in their style.
1. Simple Plan
'Nuff said lol.
Although I like both the covers, the original will always be my favorite. This is such a classic and Simple Plan does an amazing job with it. The pop-rock feel of this feels so reminiscent of the early 2000s to me. This remains my favorite Scooby-Doo theme song of all-time.
This post was much shorter than the Where Are You one, but I hope you enjoyed it nonetheless! I think I mentioned it briefly in a comment section, but coming later this week, I'm planning to post my reviews of the first two episodes of Velma when they come out on Thursday. Regardless of how bad or good it is, I plan to review all 10 episodes within a day or two of when the episodes come out. I can't believe we're only days away from a new series!
There have been quite a few different adaptations of the iconic Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? theme song over the years. By request, I'm going to rank them all for you here! I don't necessarily have a ton to say since I'm basically ranking the same song over a dozen times haha, but if for some reason I glossed over any aspect of the song you'd like to know my opinion about, you're welcome to ask in the comments1
Like with the other music post from Tuesday, I tried to find official versions of each of theme songs, but there weren't any official uploads for many of these, so I unfortunately will have to link some unofficial YouTube uploads here.
13. Guess Who Theme Song
This is basically the Where Are You theme song, so I'm including it here. This is likely a hot take, but I am not a fan of this version. Someone left a comment a few months ago that said the theme song sounds like a "playground taunt against the guy who sang the original," and honestly, I kind of agree with that lol. Something about the guy's voice is sounds almost mocking and unpleasant to listen to.
12. Best Coast
I want to start by saying even for these I've ranked lower, there's no version of the Where Are You theme song from here forward that I actively dislike. For this one, it's just kind of mediocre. Best Coast's vocals sound kind of generic, and the production isn't really anything special.
11. Legend of the Vampire Opening
This is the last version I'm not a big fan of. The rock-inspired cover here sounds kind of generic and there isn't really anything special about it, especially compared to the others.
10. Legend of the Vampire - Velma's Cover
Another version from Legend of the Vampire, but I like this one much better. I think Crystal Harris, the voice actress who was Velma's singing voice in this movie, who sounds great here.
Fun fact if you didn't know, the 2002 live action Scooby-Doo film originally had a completely different opening that provides a backstory to why the gang started chasing the Luna Ghost. This opening includes a cover of the Where Are You theme song by the rapper Shaggy (not to be confused with the character of the same name haha). I think Shaggy's version sounds quite good here, and Shaggy's additional rap verses work well for what they are.
Surprisingly, I had actually never heard this before writing this post. I thought I had, but when I relistened to all these, I had no memory of this. In contrast to the generic sounding Legend of the Vampire rock cover, I think this sounds really good! It reminds me a bit of Simple Plan's What's New, Scooby-Doo? theme song, as it's in that same 2000s punk rock vein. I think their take on the song sounds really good! Besides the version I linked, there's also apparently the "10 hour extreme extended version" of this song lol.
I genuinely did not realize this version was the B-52s until now, but that's really cool! You may recognize the B-52s for their famous hit, "Love Shack." I quite like how they got famous singers to perform the Where Are You theme song for these four Zombie Island era movies. That's a concept that easily could have been cringey, but I think in all four cases, they fit in really well. I think their version sounds really good, and I like the production here.
6. Jennifer Love Hewitt
Jennifer's cover of this sounds great! The electronic production works really well here, and gives it a kind of out-of-this-world feel, which fits well with Alien Invaders for obvious reasons haha.
5. Third Eye Blind
I really like Third Eye Blind's version of the cover. I like the echoey sound of their voices, and it feels very reminiscent of the new wave music that was becoming popular in the 90s.
4. Scooby-Doo, I'm So Blue
This version of the theme song in Trick or Treat, Scooby-Doo when the gang has no monsters to catch is absolutely hilarious! It was so funny watching the gang doing odd jobs around town haha.
3. Billy Ray Cyrus
The original two will always be my favorites, but this is easily my favorite cover. I think Billy's voice sounds great here combined with the groovy retro instrumental. The production feels very 60s to me, and the twang in Billy's voice sounds really good combined with it.
2. Season 2 Version
The higher-pitched vocals are a cool spin on the original, and I think George A. Robertson sounds really good. However, the classic season 1 version will always be my favorite out of pure nostalgia. I'm not going to rank the unused instrumental version, since it basically just became the score music for the title card, and it was used a couple times as background music in the series.
Which leaves us with my #1 choice...
1. Season 1 Version
I hope you enjoyed this article! It was fun going through all the different versions of the theme song, and as always, if you want to share your own rankings, I'd love to see them in the comments!
We've been doing a lot of rankings on here lately, but I love doing editorial articles as well (I would say the Analysis of Technology's Evolution in Scooby-Doo article and the Another Perspective on Fake vs. Real Monsters are among my favorite pieces I've written on here). For this post, I wanted to do something completely different and random that's kind of a mix of rankings and an editorial article.
For those that don't know this about me...and you probably don't, because I think I've only mentioned it once in a comment section lol...besides Scooby, I'm also really into music. There are so many amazing songs in the Scooby-Doo franchise - The Hex Girls and the Where Are You chase songs being among my favorites - but I don't necessarily listen to those outside of watching the episodes they're in. There are several songs from Scooby-Doo that I will sometimes listen to outside of their respective episodes and films when I am listening to music. I thought it would be fun to outline those 12 songs here. I'll talk about them by ordering them from least favorite to favorite.
11. The Worst Day Ever by Simple Plan
From: "Simple Plan and the Invisible Madman" - What's New, Scooby-Doo?
This is one of three Simple Plan songs that I listen to outside of the respective episodes. Unlike some of the forthcoming artists, What's New, Scooby-Doo? introduced me to the band. Although many people call the pop-punk era cringey, I actually kind of like some stuff from that genre...Paramore, Bowling for Soup, Avril Lavigne, Good Charlotte and Green Day come to mind. This is not one I listen to super frequently, but it's a nice track from Simple Plan and always makes me think of the episode whenever I listen to it.
10. Yikes by Jack Harlow
From: SCOOB! soundtrack
It's really neat to me how Jack Harlow appeared on a Scooby-Doo movie soundtrack right before he became famous. The song was released back in 2020 when he was outside freely (bonus points if you get that reference lol) before he released "What's Poppin" and "First Class," which are his most famous songs. I don't have much to say about this one other than the production is nice and quite spooky, and Jack sounds good here. It's not one I return to super often, but it is a good song and one I find myself listening to occasionally. It's also notable for being one of the only Scooby songs to have a bit of a risqué lyric, that being the random lyric about him driving the Mystery Machine while intoxicated lol.
9. I Fly by Galantis & Faouzia
From: SCOOB! soundtrack
This is the song that Blue Falcon plays right at the end of SCOOB! during the dance party. I'd never heard of Faouzia prior to this song, and my only exposure to Galantis was his collaboration with Sofia Carson. This is a really cute song, and while it's not necessarily one I'll listen to a lot, it's such a feel-good song that I'll listen to it on occasion. The upbeat production is great and Faouzia has a very powerful voice.
8. Thank You by Big Brovaz
From: Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed Soundtrack
This is among the more obscure picks on this list, but I've found myself listening to this occasionally. This is the song played during the end credits in Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. Scooby-Doo soundtracks seem to have a knack for being full of great, feel-good songs, and this definitely falls in that category. It's a very smooth R&B sounding jam, and I think all of the members of Big Brovaz do a great job with making their vocals flow smoothly with the production. Also, fun fact, this is actually a cover of a Sly and the Family Stone song from 1969, the year Scooby came out.
7. A Donde Vas by Carolina Lao
From: Scooby-Doo and the Monster of Mexico
I did a fun fact on this back in 2017, but if you don't remember it or weren't on the site back then, you may be surprised to find this out. You know that chase song in Spanish played during the pyramid chase in Monster of Mexico? It's actually a real song not made specifically for the film. It's on the debut album of Carolina Lao, an up-and-coming Spanish singer at the time. I believe this song was placed in the film to promote her album like they did with Lindsay Pagano and Simple Plan, and it would line up with that 2002-2003 time period where WB was doing that. I've been listening to this one often on lately, and I absolutely love her voice. The upbeat production and cheerful energy throughout the song make this one really enjoyable to listen to. This is definitely an underrated standout of Scooby-Doo chase songs, IMO.
6. You Don't Mean Anything by Simple Plan
From: "Simple Plan and the Invisible Madman" - What's New, Scooby-Doo?
Next up, we've got another Simple Plan track which is the chase song from "Simple Plan and the Invisible Madman." This is another song that always reminds me of the chase scene from that episode whenever I listen to it. The first time I listened to this, I was surprised to discover that the version we hear in the episode is actually not the full song! There is bridge and another chorus that's cut off in the episode, but it made it on their album. I find it really neat how WB struck a deal with several up-and-coming artists (i.e. Simple Plan, Lindsay Pagano) during that early 2000s period to include them in an episode. It always felt very natural, and never felt forced in.
5. I'd Do Anything by Simple Plan
From: "It's Mean, It's Green, It's the Mystery Machine" - What's New, Scooby-Doo?
This is the last of the Simple Plan songs that made my list, and it's my favorite of them. To me, this is quintessentially that early 2000s rock sound, and I absolutely love it. This reminds me so much of the chase scene in the episode whenever I hear it, and it remains a favorite of mine that I listen to semi-frequently. I also think it's really cool that this is the only Scooby-Doo chase song to be charting on the Billboard Hot 100 around the time when it was used in the episode.
4. Shining Star by Ruben Studdard
From: Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed Soundtrack
I tried to find the official videos to link for all of these, but this one did not appear to have one, as you can probably tell by the image of the cartoon fish in the top left corner rather than a picture of Ruben lol. This is another smooth R&B jam that I love for how funky the production it is. I quite like Ruben's voice as well. Like the other Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed song that made my list, this is a cover of an Earth, Wind and Fire song of the same name from 1975.
I've also got a bit of a fun anecdote to share with this one. Back when I was in college, my math professor would always play music for a few minutes before class while everyone was coming in. I've never heard any of these other songs out in public, but oddly, my math professor would play this song at least once every couple weeks before class. I have no idea why, or if he was a Scooby-Doo fan or not, but it was really surprising to hear this haha.
3. On Me by Thomas Rhett & Kane Brown featuring Ava Max
From: SCOOB! Soundtrack
This is another one from the SCOOB! soundtrack played during the end credits. While I consider myself pretty open in terms of music genre, I am generally not a fan of country. I enjoy "Be Like That" from Kane Brown and "Memory" to an extent, but I have not liked anything I've previously heard from Thomas Rhett. I have heard quite a few songs from Ava and have liked them. Surprisingly, Kane, Ava and Thomas have great chemistry together in the song. I will say it is a bit hard for me to tell Thomas and Kane's vocals apart due to the autotune haha, but overall I think their vocals sound great, and Ava's make a nice addition. The lyrics are once again very cute and feel good, and this is one I listen to more often than any of the previous ones. Also, fun fact if you didn't know, it appears there are two slightly different versions of this song. I was listening to the songs as I wrote my reviews up, and the music video version appears to make Ava's vocals at the end of chorus much quieter, whereas her vocals are the same volume throughout the whole chorus on the non music video version.
2. Summer Feelings - Lennon Stella & Charlie Puth
From: SCOOB! Soundtrack
This is the final song off the SCOOB! soundtrack that makes my list. It's the only song here I believe that didn't actually appear in a film or episode to any extent, but it was on the soundtrack. I'd previously only heard Lennon Stella on "Takeaway" (her collaboration with The Chainsmokers and Illenium), but I've heard a lot of Charlie Puth's music and like him as an artist. I think they sound great together, particularly in the final chorus. The production is very bubbly and atmospheric, and it works really well with their soft vocals. This is a standout in terms of Scooby-Doo soundtrack material IMO.
1. You & I by Anarbor
From: Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed Soundtrack
I've talked about how I like that pop-punk sound previously in this post with the Simple Plan songs, so it seems only fitting that the #1 song here is "You & I" by Anarbor. It's another obscure one that was played briefly during Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins when Scooby and Shaggy first meet each other (and it's also played during the end credits). This is the only song of the bunch where I have any comments about the music video, but this music video is so cute. You can tell the band really had a lot of fun dressing up as monsters and playing in an old spooky barn. To me, the best music videos are always the ones that either tell a story, or where you can really tell the artist/band is having fun. I'm honestly not much of a fan of music videos where the artist is just posing or mindlessly dancing around. It's the ones where you can really tell the artist was passionate about making it that are the most enjoyable for me, and this one certainly fit the bill. The tone of the song is so carefree and lighthearted that you can't help but love it. I really love Anarbor's vocals here...and clearly I'm not the only one, since WB has put their cover of What's New, Scooby-Doo? on pretty much every DVD menu since lol. My personal head canon is that one of the WB executives is up in their room full on head-banging to Anarbor's What's New, Scooby-Doo? cover every night lol.
This was definitely an unorthodox post, but I hope you enjoyed reading it! I do have three more rankings posts written up that have been pre-written since October now (and I'll post them in the coming months), but I also don't want to get caught in the rut of having the monthly articles be rankings every single time. I plan to start doing some more editorial articles here at some point mixed in with rankings, just so there's a bit more of a balance than there has been lately. I really enjoyed writing this up and doing something different, so I'm excited to continue experimenting with different types of posts like this! :)
It's that time of year once again where I love to snuggle up with a good winter Scooby-Doo episode as the weather's getting a bit colder. Since we did the Christmas specials last week, so I won't be including those episodes again, but I will include a list at the end combining my rankings of the winter and Christmas episodes. It's worth mentioning that I did previously review these back in 2016, but a few episodes have come out since then, and I didn't specifically rank the episodes in my original post. Given there are 25 episodes here, this is going to be a very long list, so here we go!
25. Scooby's Swiss Miss
You may remember this one from being on my worst of the franchise list. This is the only winter episode I outright dislike. Even if they are weird, the other ones at least have some level of charm, whereas this one doesn't really have anything going for it. Not only are the antics are very Tom and Jerry like, but the poodle's relationship with the bulldog kinda creeps me out. I won't go into the whole explanation again since I just mentioned it in the Worst Scooby Content post, but the poodle saying "at least he can't run away!" to the bulldog as she's attempting to marry him while he's in crutches leaves me feeling very uncomfortable. I'm sure the writers thought it was funny, but ultimately it comes off as emotionally abusive and for that reason, I don't enjoy this episode.
24. Snow Job Too Small
I love inheritance plotlines and this one works well, but this one has soured on me a bit since my last review of it. The Abominable Snowman has a super cool design, but his voice/roar...is not so cool haha. It sounds as if he's in some sort of pain lol. I felt while the episode had an excellent plot, there wasn't enough time to execute it. It's a bit rushed and I think it would have been a lot better had there been time to develop some of the elements of the mystery. The kid that they are helping with the inheritance, Wilbur, is also very annoying with how entitled he is.
23. Alaskan King Coward
This is about the same level as the last short with me, since it's just them running away from some sort of prehistoric-looking ice monster for the whole episode. However, nostalgia elevates this one a little bit for me, because I have fond memories of watching it as a kid on my Nutcracker Scoob VHS tape. Actually, fun fact, this is the first Scrappy short I ever watched.
22. South Pole Vault
I like this episode for how bizarre it is. The villain is an insane sea lion out for revenge, and some of the antics with the sea lions are truly hilarious. Dr. Carlin with his constant repetition of "millions and billions" is interesting to say the least haha. I really love the reveal as well, where the culprit says "let me out of here!" in a goofy voice while still wearing the sea lion costume. Despite that it's not winter-themed, I also will sometimes watch "Night of the Living Toys" with this one, since it deals with an elf and toys, so it feels somewhat related to Christmas.
21. Scooby-Doo and the Sky Town Cool School!
This was a pretty average episode. Billy Dee's "Cool School" was a cute idea, but the villain was just alright. I felt the pterodactyl was much better done in "Scary Christmas" and "Hang in There, Scooby-Doo." The culprit was also extremely easy to figure out.
20. Caveman on the Half Pipe!
I would say this episode is pretty middle of the road for Guess Who and I like the Where Are You episode that this reimagines ("Scooby's Night with a Frozen Fright"). I like the episode well enough and Chloe was a good guest star, but I like the caveman in Where Are You a bit better. This episode was pretty average for Guess Who, and I didn't find it particularly memorable in any way.
19. Rocky Mountain Yiiiii!
I enjoy this episode, although I would say "The Ghost of Bigfoot" does this concept a bit better. I thought the Ghost of Jeremiah Pratt was a decent villain, and I liked the setting of the ski lodge. This is one of the more middling winter episodes for me, but it's good for what it is and I still find myself watching it every year.
18. Scooby on Ice!
I liked Tara quite a bit as a guest star. It was interesting that Simone appeared again for the fifth time, but I was surprised that this was her last appearance. I was a bit surprised that they chose to redesign two Where Are You villains for the two Guess Who winter episodes in a row. The old woman's Snow Devil legend seemed like a reimagining of Fu Lan Chi's legend, and I thought they did it well. I was surprised that they referenced Flim-Flam and the 13th ghosts in this episode. My only real complaint about this episode is that the trap scene went on for too long. It started near the 14 minute mark of the episode and went on for nearly five minutes before concluding.
17. Doom Service
I really enjoyed this episode, although it doesn't particularly stick out as a winter episode to me. The Ghost of Ebenezer Overview was an interesting villain, in the sense that he just looked like a regular human. The setting of the hotel gave the episode a very creepy vibe. I enjoy how weird and quirky this episode is, especially with the lady walking her invisible dog.
16. More Fondue for Scooby-Doo
This is an enjoyable Get a Clue episode. I enjoyed the plot of Shaggy and Scooby having to stop Phibes from attacking a global warming conference, while they have to flee from trained assassins. Misty's attack dog, Carla, is adorable lol. I don't really have a lot to say about this episode since it's pretty simplistic, but it's a lot of fun for what it is and I enjoy watching it every year.
15. The Nightmare Ghost of Psychic U!
This is my favorite of the Guess Who Winter episodes. Whoopi is such a great guest star and seems really into her role. The creepy atmosphere of the gang being in an isolated mansion surrounded by a snowstorm really creates a spooky vibe here. The Nightmare Ghost is also one of my favorite villains of the series. He reminds me a lot of Slenderman, and even with that aside, his super long legs and arms still make him look terrifying. There were a lot of cute moments in this episode, and overall I find it to be very heartwarming.
14. A Scary Night with a Snow Beast Fright
Of the ones I consider to be classic Scooby-Doo winter episodes, I would say this is my least favorite one. The plot is a bit less exciting than a lot of other Scooby-Doo Show episodes, although the scene in the caves and the dark atmosphere of the village is good. The Snow Beast's design is quite interesting and creative.
13. Be Cold, Scooby-Doo!
I really enjoyed this episode. While I can't say I liked it quite as much as the Headless Snowman, Mr. Roundy was still a very cool villain. The repeated slapstick humor of the gang falling on the ice got a little old after a while, but otherwise, I thought the humor here was good as usual. Being a Boy Meets World fan, it was cool to see Will Friedle voice two characters, Dr. Mason and Eric. I thought it was really fun they named his character at the beginning Eric, given Eric is the name of the character he plays on Boy Meets World.
12. Chill Out, Scooby-Doo!
Like I mentioned in my recent movie rankings, I've got a soft spot for this film. It was fun seeing Shaggy and Scooby have an adventure on their own here. Of Abominable Snowmen we've gotten, this is by far my favorite. The reference of Shaggy doing his "DJ voice" always makes me smile as well, given this was one of the final times Casey would voice Shaggy.
11. Naughty or Ice
Some might not consider this episode to be winter-themed, but I count this as a winter episode since it takes place in an Ice Hotel. On the other hand, I do not count "Scooby's Night with a Frozen Fright" as a winter episode, since the lakes are shown to be open lol. In my original review, I said I didn't really like Daphne's quirk of the week, but it's definitely grown on me, as has the whole episode. I really like this caveman, just as much as I like the caveman in "Scooby's Night with a Frozen Fright." The scene where Shaggy and Scooby teach him how to speak English and he excitedly exclaims "My name is Ice Man!" is so cute haha. It makes me genuinely feel a little bad for him when it's revealed to all be a trick lol.
10. Uncle Scooby and Antarctica
This episode has continued to grown on me over the years. The fish fiend is such a cool looking villain, and the idea of the gang being trapped in Antarctica is so cool. This is perhaps a hot take, but I would argue this is one of the darkest episodes of What's New, Scooby-Doo? Scooby helping out Little Pete the penguin was so cute, and I think Little Pete is one of my favorite animals that has followed Scooby around (since there's been a lot of them, between the frog from "Mamba Wamba and the Voodoo Hoodoo," the chick from "Jeepers, It's the Creeper," etc. lol). The idea of Dr. Zola freezing himself so he could see the future was also an interesting plot point.
9. Watt a Shocking Ghost!
My favorite part of this episode was the 10,000 Volt Ghost himself, of course! He's arguably one of the coolest and most creative Scooby villains out there, and definitely deserves all the love he gets. I also really enjoy the darker atmosphere of this episode. This is another episode that has really grown on me in recent years.
8. Snow Place Like Home
This episode is just good, silly fun and feels like a great representation of what A Pup Named Scooby-Doo is as a series. The gang staying at a haunted lodge was a fun plot, and I wish they would have spent a little more time in the lodge rather than half of the episode in the mines, but this episode is still a lot of fun for what it is. I also love the Ice Demon as a villain.
7. That's Snow Ghost
I'm sure many of you are thinking that this is super low, and I agree lol. I wish I could have put this higher, because it's such a classic, but I like the other five a little bit better. It's interesting how so many of these winter episodes revolve around ski lodges, but I guess it's the most logical winter destination for teenagers haha. The Snow Ghost remains a classic among classics in terms of villains, and for very good reason. I would also argue that this is the first episode that sees the gang in life-threatening danger, as Velma nearly is sawed in half by the Snow Ghost when he ties her to a piece of wood that is heading towards a gigantic saw.
6. Doo Not Disturb
This is an amazing episode! I love how this episode still had the trademark Be Cool humor, yet was able to create such a creepy, dark atmosphere. The Ghost of Mother is one of my favorite villains of the franchise for what a creepy idea it is. The setting of the gang being trapped in haunted hotel during a snowstorm only made it creepier. This episode is easily interchangeable with "Some Fred Time" as my favorite from Be Cool, Scooby-Doo depending on the day.
5. Night Terrors
This is likely not one most people consider a winter episode, but there's snow here and I really like this episode, so I always make a point to watch this every year around Christmas. I've never seen The Shining, which this parodies, but I absolutely love this episode. I'll admit it took a little while to grow on me, as I found the episode extremely weird upon first watch, but after watching it a few times, I warmed up to it and I feel like the fantastical elements of the plot make it even better. The wolf (credited as "Fiend" in the end sequence) is such a creepy-looking villain, and I love the banshee's design as well. The whole idea of the gang being trapped in a creepy library with supernatural creatures is an immaculate Scooby plot. It makes me wish we had more episodes in creepy libraries lol.
4. Diamonds Are a Ghoul's Best Friend
This remains one of my favorite winter episodes, mainly because I love the twist of Fred having the idea to set a trap immediately rather than waste time looking for clues. It's such an ingenious idea, because it actually kinda makes sense to just capture the person right away, rather than looking for clues and allowing them time to cause more trouble lol. Besides that, this is one of my favorite sports episodes, because it has an amazing villain and I feel the setting of the hockey arena is really well utilized.
3. There's No Creature Like Snow Creature
This is an extremely hot take, but this sticks out to me more as a winter episode than "That's Snow Ghost" does. Despite being the season premiere, this episode perfectly captures the essence of What's New, Scooby-Doo? imo and starts the series off with an amazing plot and villain. It was a neat plot twist to have Fred unable to solve the mystery, which requires the others to step up and take initiative without their leader. Moreover, the Snow Creature is an amazing villain and arguably has the coolest design of any winter villains.
2. Simple Plan and the Invisible Madman
I already loved this episode, but in recent years, this has grown on me even more and has become my favorite episode of the show. Simple Plan flawlessly fits into the gang and I really like how the plot is centered around them exploring this creepy, nearly-abandoned town. It's amazing to think that an Invisible Man had never been a villain before in Scooby, with the exception of the brief appearance of one in "A Halloween Hassle at Dracula's Castle," although he only appears for a few brief scenes that are less than 30 seconds. A truly flawless episode is that is a must-add to any winter episode list.
1. The Ghost of Bigfoot
Although "Simple Plan and the Invisible Madman" is flawless, I've got to go with a stone cold classic here from my favorite series, The New Scooby-Doo Movies. Ever since I was a kid, the first half of this episode with the gang running around in the middle of the night to escape Bigfoot is one of the most memorable scenes of this entire series for me. It's just such a fun, creepy plot to have the gang trying to escape a monster in an abandoned hotel in the middle of the night. Laurel and Hardy make great guest stars as well, and the fact that half of Fred's dialogue in this episode is reminding the gang to go skiing is really amusing to me lol. The only thing I dislike about this episode is Fred telling the girls that it's "too dangerous" for them to solve the mystery and abandoning them in the snow outside the mill.
As promised, here's my combined list of the Christmas and winter episodes. You'll probably notice I like a lot of the Christmas episodes better than the winter episodes.
30. Scooby's Swiss Miss
29. Snow Job Too Small
28. Alaskan King Coward
27. South Pole Vault
26. Scooby-Doo and the Sky Town Cool School!
25. Caveman on the Half-Pipe!
24. Rocky Mountain Yiiiii!
23. Scooby on Ice!
22. Doom Service
21. Scooby-Doo! Haunted Holidays
20. More Fondue for Scooby-Doo
19. The Nightmare Ghost of Psychic U!
18. A Scary Night with a Snow Beast Fright
17. Be Cold, Scooby-Doo!
16. Chill Out, Scooby-Doo!
15. Scary Christmas
14. Naughty or Ice
13. Uncle Scooby and Antarctica
12. Watt a Shocking Ghost
11. Snow Place Like Home
10. That's Snow Ghost
9. Scroogey Doo
8. Doo Not Disturb
7. Night Terrors
6. Diamonds Are a Ghoul's Best Friend
5. A Scooby-Doo Christmas
4. There's No Creature Like Snow Creature
3. Simple Plan and the Invisible Madman
2. The Ghost of Bigfoot
1. The Nutcracker Scoob
I hope you enjoyed this list, and if you want to share your personal rankings, I'd love to see them!
Back in 2016, I wrote up a post giving my reviews of all the Christmas and winter Scooby-Doo episodes. However, I never specifically ranked them from least favorite to favorite, so I thought it might be fun to revisit those reviews and rank each of the episodes! I'm just going to stick with the Christmas episodes for this ranking, and I'll save the winter ones for next week! :)
5. Scooby-Doo! Haunted Holidays
I honestly love all of these episodes so much that it's hard to choose one. When I think of Christmas episodes, this one is the least memorable of the five here, but it's by all means still very good. I thought the Sinister Snowman was a really cool villain, especially his ability to shapeshift! The ending with Santa is also very heartwarming.
4. Scary Christmas
The comedy in this episode is top notch. Fred continually bringing the gang back to the "Big Sad Eyes Orphanage" was really random and hilarious. It was interesting how this episode's Daphneism allowed us to get to know her on a little more personal level too, since we discover her insecurities with having her birthday overshadowed by Christmas. Fred's fixation on not wanting to solve the pterodactyl mystery because it isn't Christmas related is also hilarious. Definitely a must-add to any holiday special marathon!
3. Scroogey Doo
Before this episode came out, I'd wanted a Scooby-Doo episode that parodies A Christmas Carol for years. The story just fits so well with the Scooby-Doo formula. On top of that, A Flintstone Christmas Carol is one of my favorite Christmas specials of all time, so I always wanted a Scooby-Doo version of the story. I know we kind of got that with The Nutcracker Scoob, but I was really happy when Jon Colton Barry announced that he'd be doing a Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! adaptation of the Dickens tale. I really like how JCB and Tom Konkle wrote this story, where in addition to Scrooge being visited by the three ghosts, there is sort of a mystery around why Scrooge is the way he is, and why these ghosts are really visiting him. I thought they incorporated the style and absurdist nature of Be Cool very well into this classic story. Fred's grudge against raccoons and Scrooge worrying what would happen if he got menopause were my personal favorite jokes of the episode haha.
2. A Scooby-Doo Christmas
This is such a classic episode and it was very close to being my favorite Christmas special. The Headless Snowman is a very creative villain. The ending is also super cute with Shaggy and Scooby giving each other presents.
1. The Nutcracker Scoob
Since I was a kid, this was always my favorite Scooby-Doo Christmas special. When I was younger, I remember when Cartoon Network used to play this every Christmas and I would always enjoy sitting down to watch it. Even though it's not a full-on adaption of A Christmas Carol, I love how this episode is kind of an amalgamation of that and The Nutcracker. That scene of Scooby, Shaggy and Scrappy dressing up as elves is absolutely adorable. However, I think the most adorable scene of the episode is Snowball dancing at the end of the episode lol. I really liked the villain as well; they were very cool-looking!
I hope you enjoyed reading these rankings. If you want to share your rankings for the Scooby-Doo Christmas episodes in the comments, I would love to see them!
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!
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!
For the 53rd anniversary, I wrote up a post re-ranking each of the Scooby series from my original rankings in 2019. A few people mentioned that they would like to see a post of my movie and special rankings. I decided to split up the movies and specials, so my plan is to do the specials next month, but in the meantime, here is my rankings of every Scooby-Doo movies! Since there are 48 of them, this post took forever to write, so I hope you enjoy my rankings!
48. LEGO Scooby-Doo: Blowout Beach Bash
I'll be honest, I was never a fan of this and as I posted recently, it's one of my least favorite pieces of Scooby-Doo media of all time. I enjoyed the first LEGO movie (Haunted Hollywood) quite a bit, but the mystery for this one felt really thin. While I didn't love Music of the Vampire's music, it was at least passable, whereas the songs here were actually annoying. In particular, the "Blowout Beach Bingo Bash" song at the beginning was the worst offender.
47. Scooby-Doo! Curse of the 13th Ghost
Blowout Beach Bash was the only film that I dislike to the point of there being pretty much nothing I enjoyed about it. With this film, I want to start by giving the possibly unpopular opinion that this would have been decent if it were just a normal DTV. Ironically, that's also kind of the problem. Given Scooby fans waited 34 years to get the conclusion of The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, this was a pretty big letdown. I don't blame Tim Sheridan at all for this. After listening to his interview with A Podcast Named Scooby-Doo, it's clear he did the best he could with what he had. It was the Warner Brothers mandates of "no real ghosts" and "no Scrappy-Doo" that were the issues. These are both core elements of the series, so essentially, WB set the film up so it could never stay true to the original series. I really respect that Tim Sheridan kind of made the film open ended so people could come to their own conclusions, and I think that was the only way he could have gotten around the mandates to make the film at least somewhat true to the original. However, the issue is that Velma is so in-your-face about it all being fake that it really clouds the ending so that the rest of the gang's perspective doesn't really show.
I think this would have been a decent film if it were just a normal DTV, but it feels disrespectful to the original material to have this as the ending to 13 Ghosts. The tone was nothing like the original series, there were several huge continuity errors, and many of the core characters of the series (Scrappy, Weerd and Bogel) do not show up.
46. Scooby-Doo! Return to Zombie Island
This film has pretty much the same explanation as the last one. I do feel it's a little better because none of the original Zombie Island characters were actually excluded, but it still pales in comparison to the original Zombie Island, and the same problem with Velma being intense and in-your-face about the zombies all being fake remains.
45. Arabian Nights
It's probably an unpopular opinion to place this film as high as I did, even though it's near the bottom already. To be honest, I appreciate this film for what it was. The only real issue with it is that it's marketed a Scooby film when Scooby-Doo appears in only 20% of the film. Honestly though, given the title card does not say 'Scooby-Doo,' I think it's possible they just marketed the DVD as Scooby-Doo for more sales, when it was not made with the intention of being a Scooby movie. Otherwise, both the Yogi and Magilla stories are interesting and enjoyable. I suppose it really depends on if you like the original Yogi Bear and Magilla Gorilla cartoons, but I do feel that a lot of people's opinion of these films is unfortunately clouded by the lack of Scooby. At least in my opinion, it's not a badly written film if you give it the chance.
44. Scooby-Doo and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery
I'm gonna be honest with you all, I did not rewatch all of these films for these rankings. I rewatched certain ones, but my schedule has been increasingly busy lately, so rewatching nearly 50 full-length films wasn't an option without making you all wait until next year for these rankings haha. That being said, there are a few films (like this one) that I've only seen a couple times that I don't remember quite as well, so I may forget some details.
This film was one that I somewhat enjoyed at first, but it is very weird haha. I personally enjoyed "A Scooby-Doo Halloween" with KISS much more. I like the bizarre, fantastical plot of Goblin King much more, but this one didn't do much for me. That isn't to say it's bad though, I just liked most of the other films better and it's not one I'd want to return to often, hence it's ranking.
43. Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire
I liked the plot of this, but the musical didn't quite work into the plot as well as it could have, in my opinion. I personally liked "The High School Wolfman's Musical Lament!" from Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? much more, because it fit better with Christian Slater being a guest star. The gang randomly breaking out into song in this film didn't feel quite as natural.
42. Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster
While you'll soon see that I found Mystery Begins to be an excellent prequel, this one didn't work as well for me. I liked all of the actors and actresses as much as I did in Mystery Begins, but I didn't enjoy all the romantic stuff. They borrowed the Shaggy/Velma romance element from Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, and it didn't work well here either. At the very least, their relationship wasn't toxic like it was in SDMI, but it felt like it completely overtook the mystery which was not particularly enjoyable. I also first watched this film when Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated was first airing, and since this movie premiered right in the middle of the Velma/Shaggy/Scooby drama in SDMI, it felt like way too much romantic stuff.
This is one that I'm a bit conflicted on. I like the self-parody element of some aspects in the film, but other elements were really annoying and/or bad. As I mentioned this June when I did the voice talent rankings, Fred is characterized as a narcissist here. I think there is a way they could have made it funny, but to me, it felt like he was actually an unlikeable jerk. I would also say that Scrappy being the villain soured me on this film, mainly because it led to 20 years and counting of "Scrappy sucks!" jokes. In terms of the other actors/actresses they picked, while I did like all of them, Matthew Lillard was the only one that really stood out as screaming "this is Shaggy." Daphne and Velma were decent, but neither of them felt like a perfect fit for the roles, even if I did think they did a good job. On the other hand, the plot of the gang breaking up and finding each other again to solve a mystery on an island with demon rituals being performed was interesting.
40. Scooby-Doo Adventures: The Mystery Map
Although it is low on my rankings, I will say that I think this movie gets more hate than it deserves. The most typical complaint I've heard from people is that puppets freak them out. I've never been frightened by puppets, so maybe that's factoring into it, but I like how they tried to reboot A Pup Named Scooby-Doo here. The plot itself is very simple and a bit boring, but I didn't dislike it. Its biggest crime, IMO, is being forgettable.
39. Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed
I really liked the element of having the gang's old foes come back to haunt them. It was very neat to see the monsters in live-action form. My criticism about Fred from the first movie still stands, Velma and Daphne's actresses feel decent but not perfect fits, and the parody aspect of this is hit or miss for me depending on the scene. This isn't a least favorite, but I wouldn't say I love it either.
38. Big Top, Scooby-Doo!
This is another one of those more forgettable films, IMO. Tbh, I don't know if I've even seen this film since it first came out. I liked the werewolves as villains and the gang becoming part of the circus was fun. I honestly don't remember much else about this film, which I guess further accentuates how forgettable this was to me. I would have been interested in seeing the original DTV for this, which was a combo of Music of the Vampire and this film titled Circus of Vampires.
37. Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Speed Demon
In 2012, I remember being shocked when they announced WWE was teaming up with Scooby-Doo for a crossover. It seemed like such an odd choice, especially since we'd never had a crossover movie at that point unless you count Arabian Nights (which isn't really a crossover, I'd argue, since each show was separate). I liked WrestleMania Mystery far more than I thought I would, and I enjoyed this one too, but the first one was a bit better to me. The idea of wrestlers racing each other was certainly a creative idea, I'll give them that haha.
36. LEGO Scooby-Doo! Haunted Hollywood
This LEGO crossover is much better than Blowout Beach Bash and represents how to do a differently animated film properly. It was neat to see classic villains like the Mummy, the Headless Horseman and the Zombie in LEGO animation. They worked these classic villains into the plot very well as being roles of a classic horror actor. I also liked the tongue-in-cheek inclusion of the gang being LEGOs, where they could detach their legs and arms and such. That was a clever way to promote the Scooby LEGO sets that didn't feel intrusive or like the LEGO executives were shouting "hey, buy our product!" at you haha.
35. Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword
I feel bad putting this so low since it was Casey Kasem's last time ever voicing Shaggy. However, in an otherwise super solid era of DTVs, this one was a bit more forgettable. The Black Samurai was definitely a cool villain and without ruining anything, I liked the twist at the end. However, the film being so focused on Shaggy and Scooby at the end brought it down a bit, because Goblin King and Chill Out had already just done that, so it would have been nice to have the focus be more on the whole gang.
34. Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
I enjoyed this movie and the villain being a parody of the movie Alien was super neat. We had some good side characters in this one, particularly U-Boat. I didn’t necessarily feel that this was that memorable of a movie, and it’s not one I’ve returned to after the first watch, hence its placement here.
33. Scooby-Doo! Legend of the Phantosaur
I thought this was a really cute movie. The velociraptors and Phantosaur were great villains. Velma’s crush on Windser was an example of romance done well in Scooby, in my opinion. It was a side plot that didn’t take over the mystery, and tbh, it felt like a breath of fresh air as compared to Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated where Velma’s relationship with Shaggy was in-your-face. There are so many good Scooby movies that it’s a little hard to rank them, because I don’t want to put any too low, but I like other movies better than this one. This one wasn’t super memorable in any way, I guess except for it creating that Shaggy meme lol.
32. Scooby-Doo! The Sword and the Scoob
I liked this film quite a bit. After Velma began obnoxiously declaring everything was fake in the 2019 sequels, I was admittedly worried about what would happen with this film since there was time travel involved. However, I thought they handled it really well. I liked the little twist at the end regarding Merlin too, although my one complaint is that I thought they made Merlin a little too ridiculous, particularly how he wore jewelry that said “posh king.” I thought the villain was excellent and it was cool to dive a little more into Shaggy’s ancestry.
31. Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery
I was pretty surprised when they first announced Scooby would be crossing over with the WWE in 2012 (keep in mind, we’d had no crossover films at that point). I have to say, I liked this much better than I thought I would. The wrestlers all fit decently well with the mystery and it didn’t feel forced like I thought it would. The villain was neat as well, and made sense with the plot. I liked this moreso than the second one, although I like the celebrity chef, Bill Nye, Batman and Courage crossovers better than this one.
30. Scooby-Doo! FrankenCreepy
We’re getting into the top 30, and since there are so many great Scooby movies, it’s getting harder and harder to pick which film should go out next. I quite liked FrankenCreepy, but it’s not one I’ve returned to as often, so that’s going to be my choice for the #30 spot. It was really interesting to explore Velma’s ancestry, and I liked how they incorporated four of the gang’s most classic foes into the mystery. I thought this was an example of referencing classic villains in a way that’s done well, and not just forced in for the sake of having them there like some of the later DTVs would go on to do. The one thing I didn’t like about this film were the transitions. They were over-the-top from the start, and began to wear on me as they continued to be done throughout the film. They didn’t significantly impact the quality of the film, but I would have preferred more subtle transitions instead of ones that were like someone practically screaming “alright, onto the next scene everybody!” in your face lol.
29. Scooby-Doo and the Gourmet Ghost
I thought this was one of the better crossovers that we got in the era of constant crossover films, that *fingers crossed* is hopefully over for now at this point lol. I enjoyed the celebrity chefs and thought they fit really well into this plot, unlike KISS and the second WWE movie. The villain was also super cool. It was odd they made Fred's uncle Bobby Flay, but I thought Bobby and Giada made good guest stars. I will say though that I have never watched their cooking shows, and I've heard from other people that they were off-model from that. I don't feel anything else about this movie was particularly super memorable, but I do remember walking away from watching this film feeling like they executed this crossover quite well.
28. Scooby-Doo! Stage Fright
I want to start out by saying I think the twist in this film was amazingly executed, and I really liked the setting of the theater. The Phantom was also a very cool villain. However, what brought this movie down a bit for me was the Fred and Daphne romance stuff. I don't tend to mind some level of romantic stuff if it's executed well, like Velma and Windser in Legend of the Phantosaur, Fred and Daphne in SDMI, or Velma and Coco in Trick or Treat. I think this had the potential to be executed well. However, creatively speaking, I think it was a very odd choice to frame it as if Daphne came to the sudden realization that she was in love with Fred. Fred and Daphne being a couple has been done so many times throughout the franchise, so it was very weird to have the writers make it seem like it was this revolutionary concept that had never been explored in the history of the franchise. Particularly coming off of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, I feel like it would have been better to just have had Daphne and Fred already be a couple, rather than making fans go through Daphne's hopeless pining for Fred that had already been explored so many times. Don't get me wrong, I don't think this made the film bad in any way. However, I feel the romantic subplot here was focused on too much and detracted from the main plot a bit, which is why this is a little lower than it could have been.
27. Scooby-Doo & Batman: The Brave and the Bold
I had the disadvantage of not watching the Batman: The Brave and the Bold series when going into this movie, but I imagine it was amazing for fans of this series to have what was essentially a reboot of the series with this crossover. The fact that this movie explored Batman's one unsolved case was a really neat plot. The Crimson Cloak was such a creepy villain. They did a great job of picking a villain that fit well with both franchises. I also thought it was really neat how so many of the old Batman villains showed up in the movie. Overall, I would say this is one of the more memorable crossovers, but it's just slightly beat out by Courage and Bill Nye for me.
26. Chill Out, Scooby-Doo!
I could see people being a little surprised that I have this ranked so high, but I have a bit of soft spot for this film. While I do wish Fred, Daphne and Velma would have had more of a role in this film, I really liked seeing Shaggy and Scooby venture of on their own. I liked the Abominable Snowman as a villain, and the setting of the Himalayas had an excellent atmosphere. It was cool Del showed up again, too!
25. Scooby-Doo! Pirates Ahoy
We're at the top 25 of my favorite Scooby-Doo films, and I feel like we're really getting into the good stuff now. It was so cool they brought Tim Conway back in this film to voice Fred's father. I really enjoyed meeting Fred's parents. The gang solving all the mysteries on that mystery cruise so quickly was hilarious haha. The pirates were really amazing villains, and the fact that there were so many of them significantly rose the stakes. A classic for sure!
24. Scooby-Doo! Mask of the Blue Falcon
Althoguh I wouldn't really consider this a crossover film since Blue Falcon and Dynomutt were basically just characters in a movie, I do really like this movie. It was neat how they explored Dynomutt lore and incorporated Mr. Hyde from the first Scooby/Dynomutt crossover into this. The plot of the gang being at a Comic Con was very engaging, and I really enjoyed this film overall.
23. Happy Halloween, Scooby-Doo!
Although I know this film didn't work for a lot of people because of the car chase being nearly the entire movie, I actually really liked this one. It captured the Halloween vibe well, and the Jackal-Lanterns genuinely felt super creepy. Although it was a bit random, I thought Bill Nye fit very well with the plot here. I didn't like his Guess Who episode very much because I felt his performance was a bit flat, but I really enjoyed his performance here.
22. Straight Outta Nowhere: Scooby-Doo and Courage the Cowardly Dog
This is my favorite Scooby-Doo crossover film. After a bit of a sketchy history the preceding few years about incorporating real monsters, this film did a great job striking a good balance between real and fake. They really combined the best of both worlds with this film, and as somebody who hadn't watched the show as a kid, they did a good job providing background information on Courage without feeling like it was too much. I liked the dark, creepy tone of the film and the mystery was great. The clown randomly showing up throughout the movie was also funny lol. The only thing about the movie I didn't like was the fart joke, and that was so brief it didn't really bother me at all. The cicadas were amazing villains, even as somebody who isn't a fan of bug/animal villains usually. What my favorite part of the film was, though, was the exploration of what it meant to be courageous. That theme fit so well with both of the franchises, and they did a great job incorporating it into the plot without making it seem like some cringey lesson for kids. I was super impressed with this crossover, and it's my favorite of any of the crossover films. I know this was originally going to be one of the Guess Who episodes, but I'm so glad that they made this into a movie.
21. Scooby-Doo! Shaggy's Showdown
Besides the 2010 films, this is my favorite of the animated 2010s era DTVs. I really like films that explore the gang's ancestry, and I thought this film did a really good job with that concept. I thought the Ghost of Dapper Jack had a super creepy design, especially due to his skeletal features. The ending (which I won't ruin) reminds me quite a bit of the ending of Boo Brothers, which is neat. I found all of the minor characters in this film to be well-developed, which made for an engaging plot.
20. Scooby-Doo and the Loch Ness Monster
This is easily my favorite version of the Loch Ness Monster. As I just mentioned, I like plots where we get to know more about the gang through meeting their family (and I hadn't really thought about how heavily explored that type of plot is in these DTVs until writing up these reviews haha). It was really interesting that they explored that Daphne's danger-prone tendency is because it runs in the family. The atmosphere of being in Daphne's ancestral castle is amazing and really makes this movie for me. The film had a very cinematic feel to me, which greatly contributed to my enjoyment of this.
19. Aloha, Scooby-Doo!
I really love this film, and like the last one, a big part of that is because of the setting. The Hawaii setting is so atmospheric and the whole movie gives off a summery vibe, which is when I often watch this film. The Wiki Tiki was a super creepy and menacing villain, and the plot around the surfing contest is a lot of fun!
18. Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare
A ranking of #18 seems too low for this, but I guess it just goes to show how many stone cold classics are left! Tony Cervone and Spike Brandt did an incredible job with this film, and it really captures that same dark tone that I love so much from Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. The Woodsman in particular is a terrifying villain that looks like he came out of a horror movie, but the Spectre of Shadow Canyon and the Fishmen were also amazing. The setting of the camp felt very spooky, even during the daytime scenes. The twist at the end with one of the campers was also quite shocking.
17. Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins
Besides Daphne & Velma, this is my favorite of the Scooby live action films. I don't necessarily feel all the actors and actresses did a perfect job with playing the roles of the gang, but they had nice chemistry with one another throughout the film. The plot of the gang meeting at school and bonding over a mystery worked really well, and it was fun to see them become closer throughout the course of the movie. Even if it's not perfect, I thought this was a really nice origin story for Scooby. I still watch this pretty much every year on the anniversary.
16. Scooby-Doo and the Monster of Mexico
This is such a classic when it comes to Scooby movies. I love that they got the original cast back, and while I wouldn't say that this felt like a Where Are You episode, they certainly did a good job capturing the classic tone. It was fun seeing the gang go to Mexico to meet up with Fred's pen pal. Alejo and Luis fit super well with the gang and I enjoyed the large chunk of the movie that was spent exploring the city and nearby area.
15. Scooby-Doo in Where's My Mummy?
Similar to Loch Ness Monster, this film has a very cinematic feel to it. I absolutely love the twist at the end regarding the culprit. The hordes of mummies marauding in the tomb gave this film a dark tone, although even the scenes where the gang is outside the tomb are fun little adventures. I thought Cleopatra's ghost was an amazing villain. While I wouldn't usually like this type of character, I even thought Amelia and the other tomb raiders were good characters and that was an interesting plot point to explore. This movie kind of stands out as notable in the sense that Velma wasn't in most of it, and I found it interesting to see the gang's dynamic when it was just Shaggy, Scooby, Daphne and Fred.
14. Trick or Treat, Scooby-Doo!
There are going to be a few moments coming soon where a good chunk of readers probably are going to exclaim "how did this get so high?", and this is one of them lol. It may just be recency bias, but Trick or Treat really worked for me as a DTV. While I wouldn't want Coco creating all the monster costumes the gang has ever faced to become canon, this worked very well for me as a one-off. I've seen some people complain about the last 20 minutes of this divulging into randomness, but that was my favorite part lol. That's right up my alley in terms of humor, so that was great to see and I'd honestly love if it happened again in future films. I just wrote up a whole review on it about a month ago where you can read my full thoughts, but yeah, this one really clicked for me more than I thought I would. This is my favorite regular DTV in the last 12 years.
13. Scooby Goes Hollywood
This might be another surprise for people, as I don't think a lot of people would put this so high. A theme you'll notice as we get higher up here is that I love Scooby movies that take creative risks like this. I guess there was no creative risk yet since this was the first ever Scooby film, but I really liked how meta this special was. Watching Shaggy and Scooby's adventures chasing stardom was really entertaining, and this remains a classic for me even though it's completely unlike any of the other films. I really liked the musical numbers and in my opinion, this is a good example of how you do a Scooby-Doo musical film right, unlike Music of the Vampire which I found to be just okay.
And we have yet another example where many of you are probably saying "how is this so high in your rankings?" haha. I know this is kind of a polarizing film where people seem to either love it or hate it, but I really liked this film. The most frequent criticism I see about this film is that it's more of an adventure than a mystery, but I've honestly never really been one of those fans who is hardcore "Scooby must be mysteries and mysteries alone." This was a really fun adventure film and I liked the attempt at creating a Hanna-Barbera Cinematic Universe, even though it seems like that concept has been completely scrapped after this film. I don't really have any amazing case to make for why this is such a top tier Scooby movie; I guess I just found this to be a really fun, feel-good adventure and that's why this is so high for me.
11. Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra Doo
I'm going to fully admit, this probably wouldn't be as high as it is if not for my high level of focus on this movie for my current fanfic. The atmosphere of Whirlen's castle is amazing, and I really liked Madelyn's character. I know many people didn't like her having a crush on Shaggy, but it honestly didn't really bother me and felt like background. I loved what unique villains this movie had. The gryphon was a super cool choice of villain that fit really well with the magic school, and I loved how the banshee was able to switch between looking like a beautiful woman and a hideous crone.
10. Scooby-Doo and the Legend of the Vampire
So we've arrived at my top 10, and we're kicking it off with Legend of the Vampire. Having the gang solve a mystery at the music festival was a really cool setting, but the stars of this film for me were the villains. The Yowie Yahoo was a more menacing, freaky vampire than we'd ever seen before in Scooby, even with Gramps the Vamp being a tough act to follow. As for the Wildwind vampires...well, it's my username, so you can imagine my opinion on them isn't exactly negative lol. I loved seeing the Hex Girls again too! The only thing I think could have been improved is that I wish the Hex Girls were more prominent in the film. As compared to Witch's Ghost, they almost feel like background characters here, which is a shame since they were so well-loved in Witch's Ghost.
9. Daphne & Velma
I guarantee you that 99% of the Scooby fandom does not share my opinion here. This movie gets way more hate than it deserves in my opinion, and it saddens me a little bit that most people don't even bother watching this film. I can totally understand that it's not for everyone and that most people aren't going to think of highly of it as I do, but I wish people would give it a chance before bashing it. This film felt honestly like what we'd get if Disney announced they were making an original movie around Scooby-Doo. I know that genre isn't for everyone, but I felt like it really worked here. Even without a monster, this was a really fun, feel-good mystery plot and it was cool to see a different take on the origin story of how Daphne and Velma met.
8. Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King
Unless you're counting the 80s movies (all of which are in the top 7), I believe this is the last controversial opinion of the bunch. Most people seem to think this movie is absolutely bonkers, and I completely agree with them...except I think it's weird in a good way. This movie is probably the wackiest Scooby film out there, but it's executed so well. What I enjoy most about the film is how it incorporates Halloween into almost every aspect of the film, while staying super lighthearted and fun. When I first saw the film, my reaction was "what the heck did I just watch?", but on subsequent watches, I really warmed up to this. This is easily the best Scooby-Doo Halloween film, and I still watch this every single year close to Halloween.
7. Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf
All of the 1980s films are absolutely top tier for me, but this one is just slightly below the other two. I love the concept of Shaggy being dragged back to Dracula's monster realm to be put in a race. The atmosphere of the castle is top notch and the racing antics are so much fun. I thought Googie fit really naturally into the film. The only thing I will say against the film is that the racing segment is just a tad bit long.
6. Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase
While it's my least favorite of the "Revival Era" DTVs, that certainly should not be taken as a diminishment of how incredible this film is. It's such a cool plot idea to have the gang be sucked into a video game based on their own mystery-solving adventures. The Phantom Virus was a very creepy and menacing villain, and the film got even better when the gang's old foes appeared in the video game. It was super amazing how the gang got to meet the past versions of themselves through the video game and solve the mystery with them.
5. Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders
I absolutely adore this movie. Shaggy and Scooby's relationship with Crystal and Amber was so sweet, which makes the ending even more heartbreaking. In my opinion, this is the best done romantic plot in the entirety of the franchise. Besides the Space Kook (because there's just no way to live up to him lol), these are also easily my favorite aliens in the entire franchise. Everything about the plot and atmosphere of this movie is amazing.
4. Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost
Besides the fact that this movie (and Zombie Island) has the best writing in the entire franchise IMO, the setting is also what makes this film so incredible. Oakhaven's small-town setting feels so quiet and peaceful, and I love how the movie progresses slowly at the beginning to allow us to get to know each of the side characters. The twist at the end is also hands-down the best twist in the entire Scooby franchise (although it does have some fierce competition from "Wrath of the Krampus). This movie also gave us the Hex Girls, who are my favorite recurring characters in the entire franchise.
3. Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island
If we got another film in this tone someday, I think I would be over the moon. I love the maturity of this film, both tone-wise and in terms of the characters' personalities. The Ghost of Morgan Moonscar and all the zombies are incredible villains
2. Scooby-Doo and the Boo Brothers
Some people say the Scrappy-Doo era didn't do mysteries very well, but I find the mystery in this film to be absolute perfection. I love scavenger hunts and haunted houses, and the omnipresence of all the different ghosts was amazing. I loved that element in The New Scooby-Doo Movies, so it was really cool to see it brought back here in a more developed way. The Boo Brothers being parodies of the Three Stooges never personally bothered me like it does some others. Some of the ghost designs here were incredible, particularly the ghost of Shaggy's uncle. He's such a creepy villain and remains one of my favorite ghosts in the Scooby franchise to date. Although this isn't exactly like a Scooby-Doo mystery, I'm in love with the plot of this film and how it provides a little bit of a twist on the classic Scooby-Doo formula.
1. Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School
This comes as no surprise if you've been following this blog for awhile lol. This is such a creative concept for a Scooby film and I have so much nostalgia over this film. The girl ghouls are absolutely adorable and I like the plot of Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy having to save them from an evil witch and her minions. The puns are also top notch haha. This is such a unique contribution to Scooby's filmography and I really appreciate how different this film was.
Wow, this ended up being a gigantic post lol. If anyone else is up to the daunting task of ranking every single Scooby film, I'd love to see your rankings! Since we're getting new DTVs every year, I'm also thinking about keeping a running list of my rankings at the end of my reviews for all future DTVs, similar to what I did with Guess Who.
I tried to keep my reviews decently condensed so this post was a manageable length (not to mention that writing 48 paragraphs certainly took a good chunk of the day to type up lol), but if you're curious about my opinions related to anything I didn't mention, you're always welcome to ask in the comments!
A lot of people have been sharing in the comments that they're doing Scoobtober marathons to celebrate Halloween. In addition to my yearly rewatch of all of The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episodes, I have a decent-sized Scooby-Doo marathon that I watch every Halloween. Many of them are Halloween themed, but others are just random episodes that I really like or I feel are highlights of the franchise. Because my schedule has been somewhat busy, and I also try to watch a Treehouse of Horror every day as well, I typically watch one episode or film a day throughout the entire month of October (I usually save the films for the weekends). Sometimes I dedicate time to sit down and devote all my attention to an episode, but there are other times where I just have it on in the background if I need to get something else done. Everyone sharing their lists gave me the idea to share my own list for those that are interested!
(Note that I don't necessarily watch it in this exact order every year, but I always tend to watch the same episodes and this is my schedule for this year)
October 1 - Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School
I always love starting the marathon with my favorite Scooby-Doo movie. Despite not being completely Halloween themed, there is a brief Halloween scene with the parents, so I always try to incorporate into my marathon.
October 2 - Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers
This is one I always try to watch every single year. Even though it's not specifically Halloween related, the spooky soundtrack of this one never fails to get me into the Halloween spirit.
October 3 - Guess Who's Knott Coming to Dinner
This is one of the most classic Scooby-Doo haunted house episodes I can think of! This is one I always try to incorporate into my marathon.
October 4 - Trick or Treat, Scooby-Doo! / Scooby-Doo and the Spooky Scarecrow
I wanted to make sure I had time scheduled to watch the movie on the day it came out! :) Also, I wanted to include Spooky Scarecrow as a Halloween special, even though I think it's kinda mid quality-wise.
October 5 - The Headless Horseman of Halloween
Our first Halloween episode of the bunch! This is one of the most classic Halloween episodes.
October 6 - That's Monstertainment
Given this is parodies one of the most famous horror movies of all time, not to mention that Zomba is one of the creepiest Scooby villains out there, this is a must watch for the Halloween season!
October 7 - To Switch a Witch
Another Halloween classic!
October 8 - Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf
Our third Superstars 10 movie to finish out the bunch. I always watch all three of the 1980s films every October.
October 9 - Happy Halloween, Scooby-Doo!
This is a newer addition to my marathon, and I didn't watch it last year, so this will only be the second year I've watched it. As I've said in the comments for this week's poll, I know some people don't enjoy this due to the extended car chase
October 10 - The Mystery of Haunted Island
This is not an episode I always watch every year, but I did this year. In addition to the regulars, I always include a few extra episodes I want to see or haven't watched in a while.
October 11 - Vampire Bats and Scaredy Cats
While this isn't a Halloween episode, it feels like something out of a horror movie! I always like watching these darker episodes around Halloween time.
October 12 - The Vampire Strikes Back
I try to mix it up and include episodes from different series. This is another one that I don't watch every year, but I chose to watch it this year because I was in the mood for some Hex Girls content.
October 13 - A Scooby-Doo Halloween
One of my favorite Scooby Halloween episodes, and Halloween specials in general.
October 14 - Mystery of the Missing Mystery Solvers
I decided to throw in a really random one this year just for fun. It'd been a long time since I'd seen this episode!
October 15 - Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King
This never fails to get me in the Halloween mood every year. This is my favorite of the Scooby-Doo Halloween movies.
October 16 - Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island
It would be a major oversight not to watch this one! This is the darkest Scooby-Doo content out there IMO.
October 17 - The Loch Ness Mess
If you know me at all, it should be no surprise that this episode is here given it's my favorite haha.
October 18 - Haunted House Hang-Up
I tend to be drawn towards watching haunted house episodes during this time.
October 19 - Ghost Who's Coming to Dinner?
Another Halloween classic. This is a really fun one.
October 20 - A Night of Fright Is No Delight
As I mentioned, I tend to be drawn towards haunted house episodes during this time, and this is one of the most classic ones I can think of.
October 21 - Night on Haunted Mountain
Another random one I don't do every year, but it'd been a while since I'd seen it so I decided to watch this. I really enjoyed it!
October 22 - Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra Doo
I've been really enjoying this one lately with my fanfic!
October 23 - SCOOB!
I really enjoyed SCOOB! and although I don't anticipate it becoming a normal part of my marathon, it was fun to give this a rewatch.
October 24 - Halloween
This is such a great episode of Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! In my opinion, this episode did the Baba Yaga concept just as well as SDMI.
October 25 - The Secret of Shark Island
This is one of my favorite New Scooby-Doo Movies episodes. I love the creepy atmosphere of the gang being trapped on the island in the abandoned hotel!
October 26 - Night Terrors
This Shining inspired episode felt perfect to watch around Halloween!
October 27 - Doo Not Disturb
Had to make some time for one of my favorite Be Cool episodes!
October 28 - Scoobygeist
I've always appreciated this New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show short. It was really well written and the house was genuinely creepy! This is another episode I don't watch every year.
October 29 - Wednesday Is Missing
A very rare episode, but a classic that I always enjoy watching every Halloween.
October 30 - Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost
While not a specifically Halloween related movie, this film feels like it perfectly captures the essence of fall.
October 31: A Halloween Hassle at Dracula's Castle
I tend to watch this one every single year on Halloween. It's not only one of my favorite Halloween episodes, it's one of my favorite episodes of the entire franchise, as you recently saw in my favorite episodes/movies list.
I hope you enjoyed reading my marathon schedule! If you do a Scoobtober marathon every Halloween, I would love to see your list in the comments and compare notes! :)
I was thinking about posting this later since I typically do one article a month, but there's enough negativity surrounding the franchise lately that I thought it might be good to focus on something more positive! :) Last week, I did an article highlighting my top 10 least favorite episodes/films in the franchise. I thought it would be a fun idea to do the opposite in this post: highlighting my top 10 favorite Scooby episodes/films in the franchise. Those that know me probably already know many of my top episodes, but I don't know if I've ever laid them all out before like this on the blog. Note that this list does include a few culprit spoilers, so if you haven't seen these episodes, you may want to watch them before reading this list.
Honorable mention: Doo Not Disturb
This episode excellently combines excellent comedy with a very sinister tone. It feels like this has a perfect balance of silliness and darkness. The plot of the gang being stuck in a hotel in the middle of a snowstorm feels quite creepy, yet the series still keeps its same goofy tone while also maintaining that darker vibe. The Ghost of Mother is an absolutely terrifying villain, and for that reason, she's one of my favorite villains of the entire franchise. I really appreciate this episode for having such a dark tone while retaining the comedy that I love so much about Be Cool.
10. Wrath of the Krampus
To be honest, I don't think this would be as high as it is without that ending. The fact that the ending reveals everything that happened in this episode is all just an elaborate plan to trick the old Mystery Incorporated is genius. The shocked look on the Old Mystery Incorporated's face at the end is so satisfying haha. This episode also gets major props from me for including such a unique villain that had never been used yet in the franchise, since we're getting to a point where it's hard to come up with a completely different villain type when we've got over 600 episodes and films. I really like everything about the episode, but yeah, that ending is what puts it on that list because it's so shockingly genius.
9. Some Fred Time
I absolutely love this Be Cool episode. I tend to gravitate towards content that has very random, authentically strange comedy, so Be Cool's absurdist humor definitely resonated with me quite a bit. That's why this episode is one of my favorites. It's such a perfect combination of great comedy (especially at the beginning of the episode) and an excellent mystery. I also really liked how we get to know Daphne a bit better through staying at her beach house. In addition to the comedy, the plot of the gang trying to conceal a mystery from Fred made it really interesting.
8. Vampire Bats and Scaredy Cats
I would argue besides Zombie Island, this may be one of the darkest things in the Scooby franchise. If there was one thing season 2 did really well, it was creating plots that had a super dark tone. Certain scenes in this episode are aesthetically just so creepy, notably the vampire calling Lisa from a dark room, Shaggy, Scooby and Scooby-Dum crawling through the ventilation system, and especially Lisa turning into a vampire when Shaggy, Scooby and Dum had barricaded the room. The fact that the vampire is Lisa's uncle also makes this episode dark in a sadistic way, because this man was Lisa's guardian, and he completely betrayed her and tried to scare her just so he'd get all the hotel profits. It's a truly despicable thing to do, and I would argue this is one of the darkest episodes for that reason as well as the overall tone.
7. Guess Who's Knott Coming to Dinner?
To me, this feels like the most classic haunted house episode in the franchise, at least in terms of how well it captures the essence of Scooby. "A Night of Fright Is No Delight" is certainly in that range as well, and it would ranks somewhere in the early teens of my list of favorites. The length really does this episode justice in the sense that it allows for us to really explore the haunted house in depth. Don Knotts is an excellent guest star, and I love that he didn't just play himself. The fact that Don has made up this entire cast of characters that he's impersonating makes this episode so interesting and really elevates the stakes of the episode, because there's so much going on that you have no idea what kind of madness is going to happen next haha. I also really like the Ghosts of Captain Moody as villains. I have heard the complaint that them not having faces brings them down a bit for some reason, but personally I think it makes them even scarier. Again, I would argue the setting is the real star of this episode, and it may be one of my favorite Scooby settings ever. The depth in which the house is explored from top to bottom, as well as the idea that the gang is truly trapped in this house for the night with no way out makes for an incredible plot for me.
6. Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost
Although I do like Zombie Island slightly better, this film is super close quality-wise. The setting of Oakhaven is so beautifully animated and really draws you into the film. Even though the film takes a little while to get going, I feel like the longer exposition than normal was time well spent. The film does a great job building the characterization so you can really get to know each of the side characters on a deep level, rather than just having them be a random character that we meet for a second and never see again. Like with Zombie Island, the writers did a great job creating a more mature tone for this film. I loved the twist at the end where the first witch is just a publicity stunt, but then Ben Ravencroft unleashes the real ghost of his ancestor Sarah. It was definitely unexpected the first time I saw the movie as a kid! And of course, this film gets major points for introducing the best recurring characters in franchise history: The Hex Girls!
5. Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island
What more do I need to say haha. Zombie Island is one of the most iconic films in franchise history for good reason. The villains are absolutely terrifying, and the more serious tone of this film allows us to see a more mature side of the gang, which is really cool. The plot is so well-written that it keeps you on the edge of the seat all throughout the film. Not only that, but the backgrounds and animation are absolutely immaculate. I would be overjoyed if we got anything that even moderately matched the tone and detail of this film. You can tell that so much love and care was put into making this film, and I think it will remain a true classic forever for that reason.
4. Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers
This is another film that feels quintessentially Scooby to me. Although there is some uncertainty about whether the ghosts and monsters are real or not, the whole movie being centered around the guys going on a scavenger hunt while dodging ghosts and ghouls feels like it perfectly captures the essence of the franchise. The score of this film in particular feels so Scooby-ish to me. It sounds both spooky yet kind of lighthearted, which captures the franchise in a nutshell. I loved all The New Scooby-Doo Movies episodes that utilized multiple monsters in the same mystery (i.e. "The Spooky Fog," "The Mystery of Haunted Island," "The Exterminator," and "The Haunted Carnival"), so naturally, I loved the use of multiple monsters here as well. All of the villains had amazing designs, and the additional runtime really helped all of the villains to get their moment. I also have always appreciated how this movie is so open-ended, where you could interpret it as all the ghosts being fake, but there's that little hint that Shaggy's uncle's ghost might have been real at the very end. That brief little bit of Uncle Beauregard appearing at the end makes you question if some of the other ghosts were real as well, because there were quite a few inconsistencies with some of the villains. For example, in the Skull Ghost's first appearance, he has glowing red eyes, his bones are clanking, and he wears a cape. However, in all future appearances, he's clearly just wearing a cheesy skeleton suit. It's unknown if the animators intended this or if it was just sloppy animation. If you think about it, throughout the movie, Uncle Beauregard also seems to have conflicting purposes. In some appearances, he seems to want to just warn Shaggy away, while in other appearances, he is actively trying to kill them. All of these little inconsistencies makes the viewer wonder when the ghosts were real, and when they were fake. I love movies that have endings that make you think even after the movie is over, and this film certainly fits the bill.
3. A Halloween Hassle at Dracula's Castle
This episode is my favorite episode of the Scrappy era. The autumn wind blowing at the beginning of the episode pulls you into the setting immediately and gives the episode a Halloween feel from the start. The thing I like most about this episode is how it's a twist on the classic Scooby formula. Instead of the gang trying to solve a mystery involving a ghoul or ghost, the ghouls are the one asking the gang to capture the ghost. It's a really fun idea for the writers to have explored, and I have to say it's pulled off excellently. The Halloween party in the first part of the episode really sets the Halloween mood, and I love that they included Fred and Velma in this episode. The one element I would say could have been done better is that the writers did not really do a good job with characterization. Some of the monsters, like the sea monster and mummy, are really flat as characters and don't have any personality. The sea monster, mummy and invisible man are just dropped completely by the end of the episode, where they disappear and then never show up again without explanation. I love the episode so much that it's something I'm easily able to look past, but it could have been executed better. I've heard some people say that if the franchise would have had more of a creative vision, this episode would have been a good first introduction to real monsters for the gang. I totally agree with this, and I think it would have been cool if they would have explored the gang's disbelief to monsters being real.
2. Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School
As far as I'm concerned, the three Superstar 10 movies are some of the best Scooby films to date. Ghoul School has always been my favorite Scooby-Doo film since I was a kid, because of how unique the plot is. Despite the very different plot of Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy working as teachers, this deviation from the typical Scooby storyline feels like a natural direction for the franchise to explore. Throughout the movie, we see Shaggy and Scooby develop as characters a bit as they have to overcome their fear of monsters to teach the girl ghouls. The antics at the beginning of the movie with the girl ghouls are so heartwarming, and despite that it takes a while for the plot to really get going, it sort of feels like you as an audience member get to warm up to the girl ghouls with Shaggy and Scooby, which is a neat plot element. As a lover of puns, I also have to say I greatly appreciate all the bad puns in this film haha. The second half is just as good, but in a different way. The guys having to battle Revolta causes the movie to take a darker tone, but there's so much going on as the guys navigate her castle that it leaves you on the edge of your seat the entire time. I love how this movie tried something so different in a way that felt very natural and fitting to the characters. You'll probably notice a theme between my #2 and #3, that theme being that I really appreciate episodes that experiment with different elements of the classic formula in a way that still stays true to the core of the franchise. Both Ghoul School and Halloween Hassle did this excellently, in my opinion.
1. The Loch Ness Mess
For those that know me, this comes as no surprise. This episode has everything I could want in a Scooby episode, honestly. The New England setting is absolutely immaculate and the animation is gorgeous. The episode captures the essence of the Scooby franchise so well, with a creepy haunted house plot, three excellent ghosts, and a fun side plot of the sea serpent in the lake. That covered bridge scene and the part with the Lantern Ghost vanishing are two of the most iconic scenes of this series IMO. One of my favorite things about this episode is that it is so atmospheric. The countryside setting, as well as Uncle Nat's house and the lake, just feel so iconicly Scooby to me and really pulls you into the mystery. The Globetrotters also make such great guest stars that they feel like a part of the gang, particularly Meadowlark and Curly.
I hope you enjoyed reading through these rankings of my favorite episodes! If you feel inspired, feel free to do a ranking of your favorite episodes in the comments, and I'm looking forward to seeing them!
~ WildwindVampire ~