I'll admit, I never would have expected to review a non Scooby-Doo movie on this blog. I was inspired to watch a Don Knotts movie to review on here from a comment on here by Lance Rutt, although he suggested How to Frame a Figg which I unfortunately couldn't find anywhere. I've had a bunch of people recommend The Ghost and Mr. Chicken to me over the years, saying that it was exactly like Scooby. After watching it, this film totally had the same vibe as a Scooby-Doo episode. Given the Scooby undertones present throughout the film, and the fact that this is Knott an Ordinary Week on ScoobySnax.com, I wanted to write an article reviewing this film. I would highly recommend to any Scooby fan, because between the mystery aspect and the film being a bit comedic, this came pretty close to feeling like it could have been a Scooby episode! Besides, how can you go wrong with Don Knotts haha?
I'll begin with an explanation of the film for those not familiar with it. The film begins with a man who is so out of it that he's saying random nonsense. When the man falls to the ground near a haunted house, the town's local reporter Luther Heggs (played by Don Knotts) believes this man has been murdered. After Luther reports the murder to the police, he is ridiculed when it's discovered the "murder" was simply the town drunk who was knocked unconscious. Word soon spreads of Luther's foolish mistake, and he is ridiculed and mocked by the townspeople.
To show people that he isn't just a laughing stock, Luther attempts to write an ambitious article about the same house where Luther believed he witnessed the so-called "murder", which is rumored to be haunted by the ghost of Mr. Simmons who murdered his wife, right before he himself died too. a. According to legend, the ghost of Mr. Simmons plays a creepy old organ in the house every single night. On the 20th anniversary of the house's owner dying, Luther vows to stay one night in the house to prove he's not a chicken. While Don Knotts plays quite a comedic character, who's constantly getting scared about everything (including bumping into a tree, a record player, and even a cat), the film did a really good job incorporating this comedy with some suspense surrounding the mystery of the house, just like Scooby-Doo often does. Don's exaggerated facial expressions were also quite amusing lol.
When Luther goes in the house, he is quickly frightened away by the organ playing by itself, and when he finds pruning shears stabbed into a painting of Mrs. Simmons hanging on the wall. Luther tells everyone the story, and word eventually gets back to Nicholas Simmons - the nephew of the house's owners - who wants to tear the mansion down. Unexpectedly, Nicholas sues Luther for holding up the estate's arrangements, claiming he was making libelous statements in the article he wrote about his relatives' home. Luther is taken to court, where his grade school teacher Miss Tremaine is used as a witness, and reveals that Luther was a troublemaker when he was younger. This causes Luther's credibility to be questioned by the court, and he is accused of making up the whole story of the house being haunted so he would make himself look good as a reporter.
I won't go any more into the story as not to ruin the ending for those who want to watch it. The film did a really good job with making us feel for Luther. Though he is a goofball who does a lot of silly and foolish things, one part in particular really made me feel for him as a character - when he asks a woman he has a crush on "Do you think I'm crazy?". I never thought I'd feel a little sad from watching a Don Knotts movie, but that scene really hit me because it was so pitiful! While the viewer gets to enjoy Luther's comedic moments throughout the film, you also begin to feel for him as the film goes on, because he's constantly put in situations where his peers ridicule him despite it not really being his fault.
All the acting was on-point. Nothing felt stilted or out of place at all, it was a really genuine, funny, feel-good story. Given I was a fan of the show Bewitched when I was younger, I was super excited there was a mini Bewitched reunion in this film, with Dick Sargent and Sandra Gould both having roles in this. While I wasn't as big of a fan of The Waltons, it was fun to see Ellen Corby in a different role as Luther's teacher!
Don Knotts was truly the star of this film though. His goofy acting, his wacky karate moves (which were absolutely hilarious), and his overexaggerated reactions and facial expressions to things, were so much fun to see and I found myself laughing throughout the film. It's all very ridiculous, quirky humor that's super entertaining. I will admit, even though my political leanings aren't necessarily in line with this joke, hearing Don Knotts say "Who paid for this, a Democrat?" was really savage for the 60s lol (even if he was saying it just to get people to like him). And I pretty much never use slang except satirically, but Don Knotts is special enough to get the rare honor of me using slang to refer to his jokes haha. Wait, the youth of today still say "savage," right? There was that one Megan Thee Stallion song last year titled that, so I think I'm safe lol. Also, I should probably specify that I'm still young enough that I could probably be considered "the youth of today," given I don't want people to assume I'm super old given I just was talking about liking a 60s sitcom a paragraph above. It's a joke, y'all haha.
Overall, I would absolutely give this movie 5 stars. It's a movie you can Knott miss haha. The haunted house and the mystery aspect of this film were top-notch (or rather top-Knottch? haha), and the comedy mixed in make this film so much like a Scooby episode, and it's one I would recommend to all Scooby fans, regardless how into Scooby you are. Besides, again, it's Don freaking Knotts, how can you not like that? haha
To conclude, I just want to say thank you so, so much everyone for making our little Don Knotts Week so much fun. It's been so much fun doing a week centered around the one and only Don Knotts, and it's awesome to see people getting into it so much all the comments, and most people switching their names to Don Knotts puns in the comment section haha.
That's it for Knott an Ordinary Week, folks, and hopefully I made this a week that you all will Knott forget haha.
Today, Don Knotts would have been 97 years old!
To celebrate this, and since I know people seem to enjoy reviews, I wanted to give my review of the two episodes that Don Knotts guest starred in from The New Scooby-Doo Movies, "Guess Who's Knott Coming to Dinner" and "The Spooky Fog."
"Guess Who's Knott Coming to Dinner" remains one of my favorite Scooby episodes to date, likely in part due to childhood nostalgia given it was one of the first episodes I watched as a child. The episode starts off in the most typical Scooby-Doo fashion I can imagine: the gang getting lost and looking for directions, but they end up having to stop at a haunted mansion. At one point, Scooby sees Don Knotts and tells the gang, but he disappears before Scooby is able to show him to everyone. I always found this to be one of the most fascinating scenes in the episode, as it's literally the only time Don Knotts is mentioned despite him being the guest star. After this, Don is referred to as Homer Pipsqueak, a Sherlock Holmes-esque detective. The episode leaves it completely open to viewer interpretation as if Homer is just another of Don's disguises, or if Homer Pipsqueak is a real person that just looks like Don Knotts.
Speaking of disguises though, all of Don's disguises throughout the episode are amazing! They really make the episode a lot more mysterious, particularly the first mate disguise in which the gang is debating whether he poisoned the food or not. That part always had a very creepy vibe to me, despite that part of the episode being a little more comical as well with Don's goofy disguises. The fact that all of Don's other personas continually mistake the gang for Captain Moody's nieces and nephews also adds another layer to the mystery and gives the episode a spooky vibe, because you literally have no idea what's going on in this house until Don - no, make that Homer Pipsqueak - explains it all at the end.
I also really liked the scene where the gang is trying to escape from the house by going through all the secret passages and such. It has a very Scooby-Doo haunted house-ish vibe to me, despite it not really being a traditional Scooby haunted house given we don't actually see any ghosts until near the end of the episode. The setting of this entire episode just screams "Scooby-Doo" to me, in the sense that this type of setting is exactly what I would want when it comes to Scooby. The gigantic house with all the different creepy rooms really enhanced this episode atmospherically.
I enjoyed the ghosts quite a bit, though my one minor complaint about this episode is that I really wish we could have seen more of them. It felt like the ghosts kinda barely were a part of the first 3/4 of the episode, and were just crammed in at the end. However, I loved the scene where Don dresses up as the ghost of Captain Moody, even if we never really do get to find out how he switches back and forth between the captain and a more ghostly form. The only logical explanation is that Don is immortal! lol
Overall, I feel like the setting and Don's presence are really the stars of this episode. The atmosphere of Moody Manor is exactly what I want from a Scooby-Doo episode, and Don's antics dressing up as all the different characters was so much fun. The only thing I would change is that I wish the ghosts were more of a part of this episode. They spent a little too much time with all of Don's disguises, and it felt like the ghosts (who had really cool designs) barely appeared before a sort of rushed ending where they got caught. In this case, I would say that this episode could have benefited from a slightly longer runtime, maybe even DTV-length?
Moving on to "The Spooky Fog," another one of my favorites from the series. While I like "Guess Who's Knott Coming to Dinner" a little better, this was still a very solid episode. I think I probably would have benefited from watching an episode or two of The Andy Griffith Show before seeing this episode, given the beginning of this episode is basically just a parody of that show, even down to the town's name (the town was called Mayberry in the show, whereas this town is named Juneberry) and the sheriff's name (Sheriff Dandy Griffith is a parody of Sheriff Andy Taylor, played by Andy Griffith in the show). One minor detail that's always amused me is that one of the restaurants is named El Taco, which just seems like a very silly, lazy name for a taco restaurant, given El Taco literally just means "The Taco" in Spanish lol. (You can read more about a real restaurant named this in Fun Fact #215 from November 2018).
While the beginning of the episode was quite enjoyable and entertaining (especially the ghostly giggling part in the jail at night, which was super creepy), I felt like the episode really picked up when the gang got to the cemetery. I'm a huge fan of episodes that have lots of different villains, which is one of the reasons why The New Scooby-Doo Movies is so high on my list of favorite series. In this particular case, I thought some of the villains were so good that they should have gotten their own episodes, including: the lady ghost (though I guess we got a redesigned version of her in "Mystery of Haunted Island" very briefly, the three-eyed ghost, and that skull carriage driver.
While the scene where Shaggy and Scooby are trapped in the cave dragged on a bit, there were still bits I enjoyed, and the dragging on wasn't as pronounced as it was in some other episodes of the show, such as "The Ghost of the Red Baron." It felt like the two of them were in some pretty real danger of being trapped down there forever, so all the different ways of them trying to get out, all of which ended up failing, amped up the suspense level for me.
As a brief aside, as a kid, I always found Velma giving the difference of "stalactites" and "stalagmites" to be super helpful. I still remember the difference because of Velma's explanation in that episode to this day haha.
Overall, "The Spooky Fog" was another really enjoyable episode, and despite being a little slow to start off, the action-packed bits in the cemetery were very entertaining and creepy. Because of how long the beginning drags on, I wouldn't say it was one of my favorite episodes, but the second-half really brings this episode's rating up by a lot for me.
Don will always be one of the most memorable Scooby-Doo guest stars to me, because he fit in so well with the gang that it felt like he could have been a temporary sixth member. I really hope you enjoyed the reviews! Even though Don is gone, he will Knott be forgotten haha.
Every Scooby series is different: even if most of them revolve around a talking dog and four teens solving mysteries together, each show has different elements that makes it unique from the other shows. That's why I thought it would be interesting to rank each of the series premieres and finales up against each other, to compare and contrast how strongly each of the shows started and ended.
16. Maltese Mackerel
Beginning with the series premieres, "Maltese Mackerel" is the first to go. I know there are like a million different orders for the Scrappy shorts, but I'm going with the Amazon and iTunes order for this series, and the DVD set order for the Richie Rich Hour, since those would be the authorities on what the episode order would be. "Maltese Mackerel" was a very lackluster, screw-around type episode where nothing was really introduced. It's just Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy trying to deliver a golden fish, which is no different than any other episode of the series, and the plot wasn't developed very well.
15. Scooby Ghosts West
Pretty much the same criticism here. The guys meeting invisible ghosts in a hotel was cool I suppose, but it wasn't really anything special or unique to introduce the series.
14. The Swiss Alps and Tokyo, Japan
There's only a slight gap between this one and the previous episode. While I enjoy Laff-a-Lympics probably more than most do, I felt this first episode could have introduced the competition a little more. Maybe there could have been a minute or two long segment explaining how this competition started or the history behind it? Granted, I realize that it's a hard thing to do in a competition, action-style show like this, and it might bore kids to hear a two-minute history lesson about how the competition was started by Sir Laff A. Lympic in 1933 or whatever lol, but I didn't want to rank this any higher given so many other Scooby shows have done it so much better.
13. Hound of the Scoobyvilles
While this is another one of the same scenarios where it doesn't feel like it kicks off the series, it was a little more special than just the guys running around like we saw in the previous two Scrappy series. Inspiration is taken from the famous book "The Hound of the Baskervilles" for the plot of this episode, which I suppose is kind of special, but nothing great compared to what we get in some future series.
12. Revenge of the Swamp Monster!
While I don't hate Guess Who, I've always found this episode to be a particularly weak premiere. It didn't feel any different from most of the other episodes, and while it did give us a sense of what the format for the series was going to look like. The writing was also definitely a little weak and it felt like they were trying to copy Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? exactly, in a way that felt a little forced. While they improved with that tremendously as the series went on, I felt this episode was one of the weaker ones, and not a great one to start off with. The police finding the missing people five seconds after the culprit was apprehended demonstrates the cringey writing perfectly lol.
11. Ghastly Ghost Town
I love this series and I'd put this super high if this were an article being driven by pure nostalgia, but alas, it's not. This is a great episode and I love all the different plot threads going on, but it doesn't feel like series premiere material to me. To me, a good series premiere gives the audience some of the best content that the series has to offer, to get them hooked so they'll continue watching the series. While the content here is good, I wouldn't say it's anything incredible in comparison to the rest of the series. The mystery is definitely a little confusing, since we don't even really know who the villain is until five minutes before the episode ends. All the different plot threads and antics are fun, but I think other Scooby shows started off better than this one did.
10. Shags to Riches
We're finally getting into the episodes I would consider good premieres! The placement of this one is more because I didn't feel the content of the series was amazing (though I don't hate it like most people do), but as a premiere, I thought it was an excellent way to introduce the series. Shaggy finding out he was rich, exploring his uncle's mansion and looking a bit into the disappearance, and then getting kidnapped by Dr. Phibes' agents, very much outlined what the series ahead was going to look like, and introduced us to the basic plot structure. It was a very well-written premiere and I have no issues with it, though I'd place a good portion of the Scooby premieres above it just because I didn't find it as enjoyable as a series.
9. The Scarab Lives!
"The Scarab Lives" is a fun episode that I found to be one of the best of the show, and features a high-stakes plot of a comic book character coming to life and haunting the writer. That's a very unique plot for a Scooby-Doo episode and has always felt "special" in a way to me. My main criticism of this episode is that I wish they would have introduced Scrappy in a little more detail than just the intro. Given they added a brand new character after the show after 10 years of the same format, I feel like at least a minute or two explanation of how Scrappy came to be with the gang would have been nice, instead of just acting like he was a normal part of the gang without really acknowledging the sudden appearance of his character much at all.
8. There's No Creature Like Snow Creature
What's New, Scooby-Doo? will always have a special place in my heart, and the premiere is no different. I thought this was an excellent episode to kick the series off with. The writers cleverly showcased all the new tropes that made this series different from the others, from the technological aspect, to the updated Mystery Machine with a GPS, and even including a celebrity (Chris Klug), which would become a common trope for this series, all within the first few minutes of the episode. All the "updated" elements of this show felt like very natural additions to the progression of the series, and didn't seem cringey or forced in at all. I thought the Snow Creature villain was super creepy-looking as well, and the B-plot of Fred breaking his leg created a very entertaining dynamic between the remaining four members of the gang throughout the episode.
7. High Rise Hair Raiser
While this could be shrugged off as a "normal" episode of Scooby and not premiere-worthy, I think writers did an excellent job here picking a very creepy episode to showcase. The whole episode taking place at night in a construction site started The Scooby-Doo Show off by demonstrating this would be a series that was a bit darker than the series before. The whole scene at Netty Crabbe's house was also the creepiest Scooby-Doo setting to date, in my opinion, which made this episode top-notch for me. We didn't necessarily get super creepy vibes with all the season 1 episodes, so I think this episode was a really good one to kick the series off with. I also want to make note of the whole B-plot of the gang needing jobs. That's a super interesting plotline that makes this episode kind of unique, because we don't really see anything like that in other episodes (until it's done in a silly way in the Richie Rich Hour, but that doesn't really compare IMO).
6. Mystery 101
Jon Colton Barry, the head writer of Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! has talked quite a bit about how he intended this show to be a reboot of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?. Personally, the fact that this episode reimagines "What the Hex is Going On?" from Where Are You, even using the same villain, is a genius writing move. It created a bridge between Be Cool and Where Are You from the very start, and prompted the audience to compare and contrast this show to the classic series we all know and love. Granted, that didn't necessarily result in all positive feelings, as we know from the amount of hate the show has received, but I think it was a very smart move for the writers to reimagine such a classic episode of Where Are You with their own twist. Doing this "compare and contrast" type premiere episode allowed the audience to see how this series was more comedy-focused and character-driven than previous Scooby series had been, while also showing us how it was the same basic Scooby-Doo formula we all know and love. I honestly wish more series would do something like this, because I think it was a great way to kick off the show and help the audience understand the tone of the series right from the beginning.
5. To All The Ghouls I've Loved Before
It's really tough to try to give the audience for a series that's both dark and humorous at the same time, but The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo pulls it off well with their series premiere. 13 Ghosts picks up from where The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries left off, showing Daphne, Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy all flying in a plane to Hawaii together. After an emergency landing occurs, they meet Flim Flam, a con-artist kid who would later become a huge part of the show. This is a significant improvement on how they just threw Scrappy in the show without introducing him, other than the intro which provides little explanation as to why Scrappy was in a box on a train. The same goes for Vincent Van Ghoul, who they meet in town. Afterwards, the gang find their plane was dragged into a creepy-looking temple, where they are eventually tricked into opening the Chest of Demons, which kicks off the show.
4. A Bicycle Built for Boo!
"A Bicycle Built for Boo!" is another one that's always stood out to me as a series premiere. While in a lot of ways, it's just a normal episode, it also gives us some backstory behind the gang's detective agency in a clever way. Given Shaggy had to hire the detective agency for help finding his bike which was stolen by a ghost, that makes me think of this episode as an origin story of sorts. The rest of the gang had all sorts of problems throughout the series, yet it's the only episode where the gang forces one of their own members to pay for their detective services. This makes me think that Shaggy and Scooby were perhaps just acquaintances of Fred, Velma and Daphne, who already had their own established detective agency. Through Shaggy and Scooby's help in solving the mystery of the green ghost, Fred, Daphne and Velma got to know Shaggy and Scooby better, eventually resulting in them joining the detective agency and becoming friends. Anyway, that's my head canon for this episode; I'm not sure if others see it that way.
3. What a Night for a Knight
Even though this is pretty high, I'm sure some people are pretty surprised it's not even higher. I love how this episode casually introduces the general format behind the series in a very smooth, natural way, but this episode didn't do anything crazy special to kick off the series. It will always have a special place in my heart as the episode that started it all, but since this article is ranking episodes purely in terms of how good of premieres or finales each episode was, the remaining two did it a little better.
2. Happy Birthday, Scooby-Doo!
I absolutely adore this episode. A special surprise birthday celebration for Scooby was such a cool way to kick off the series, while also commemorating the franchise's 15 year anniversary. Another big reason this episode is up there so much is because the Red Skull Case has always fascinated me, because all throughout the episode, they reference the case as if it's such a famous, classic Scooby-Doo case that we should all be aware...except we're not, because they've never shown it before. It's oddly intriguing and makes me want to get some sort of movie someday that gives us that backstory lol. Either way, this is a stellar premiere and I wish we'd get more series that kicked off this strong.
1. Beware the Beast from Below
Of all the series premieres in the Scooby franchise, I think is the best one out there. Not only does this episode introduce us to all the core aspects of the series, like the gang's high school, the recurring characters (i.e. the gang's parents, the sheriff, the mayor, etc.), and the tone, but it also kicks off the overarching mystery by giving us just enough of a tidbit (a mysterious person calling the gang and the locket) to keep the viewers hooked. Honestly, this is how I'd like to see all Scooby shows start off, because Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated had me absolutely head-over-heels in love with the series from the very first episode.
Now that we've ranked all the premieres, let's move on to the finales!
16. Horror-Scope Scoob
"Horror Scope Scoob" from The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo gets dead last purely because it was an overarching series and should have wrapped at least something up, but it wraps nothing up. In fact, not only that, but it actually creates a few continuity errors. In the series premiere, it's said that ghosts can't open the chest. That's the whole premise of why Shaggy and Scooby open the chest: because Weerd and Bogel can't, so they have to trick a mortal into doing it. However, in this episode, the demon Zimbulu is able to flawlessly open the chest on his own without any mortal assistance, and there's no explanation for why. This happens a little in a couple other episodes: Zomba tries to open the chest in her episode, as does Time Slime, but I felt "Horror-Scope Scoob" was the most egregious example of them just disregarding everything the first episode set up, because the entire main plot point of the episode was Zimbulu trying to find the chest so he could open it, which he shouldn't be able to do according to the first episode. Oddly, when the demons are released from the chest, it's also just some cheesy looking demons the animators quickly drew and not the actual demons we saw captured throughout the series. Just in general too, "Horror-Scope Scoob" is one of the weaker episodes of the show IMO.
15. Bride and Gloom
This was a Yabba-Doo episode, and it was actually so bad that I'm just going to make this explanation one (really long) sentence: it didn't wrap anything up, and the plot of a misogynistic guy wanting a wife was rushed and not really that interesting; alright, that was a really long sentence, which shall end right now.
14. The Ransom of Scooby Chief
This one's a contender for one of the worst episodes of Scooby-Doo ever, IMO. What saves it a little in this ranking is that they at least tried to sort of create a backdoor pilot for what was to come: a series of Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy antics without Fred, Daphne and Velma. I respect that a little, but I hated the plot itself and it felt like pointless screwing around, which...guess what...is mostly what we get for the next three years! Huzzah!
While this one is another episode that was too rushed to have much of a plot, Scooby running into Bigfoot while camping and no one believing him was somewhat entertaining, unlike the previous two which I didn't find to be entertaining in the slightest. It didn't wrap anything up really, so not a great finale in my book.
12. The Wrath of Waitro
I felt like this was one of the weaker A Pup Named Scooby-Doo episodes, and it definitely wasn't a good one to end on. It was at least a little entertaining, but for me personally, the plot felt a bit rushed and the whole "it was all a dream" ending is a bit of a cop-out.
11. Siam and the Moon
While this is another very typical Laff-a-Lympics competition, I really like that they ended it with a three-way tie. The teams competing on the moon also felt special and "finale-ish," even though other Scooby series obviously did it better.
10. The Movieland Monsters!
It was actually kind of tough to pick which finales I like best from this point on, because I think they were all pretty close together in quality from here. If I had to pick one to eliminate of the remaining ten though, it would be "The Movieland Monsters!" It was a cute episode and I loved the monster, but personally, I didn't recognize a lot of the movies so it wasn't as special to me as it could have been. As I've said before, I also think that the voice actor episode would have made such a better finale and would have ranked a ton higher. However, I did like their inclusion of Carol's "closing song" here and the fact that this episode was a homage to classic films, given Guess Who is composed of a lot of famous stars from films.
9. The Beast is Awake in Bottomless Lake
While this episode didn't really feel like "finale material" any more than any other episode they would have picked from the show (pretty much any season 3 episode would have made as good of a finale as this), I really did enjoy this episode and how dark of a tone it had. This was one of the darker episodes of season 3, given it all takes place at night at a creepy lake, and the monster looked super spooky and grotesque-looking!
8. Wedding Bell Boos
It's getting a bit hard to choose some between these episodes, because they're all so good haha. "Wedding Bell Boos" was a wonderful finale, because it finally allowed us to meet Shaggy and Scooby's entire family. Not only this, but the entire mystery was centered around a deceased member of Shaggy's family trying to stop the wedding of Shaggy's sister. This was my favorite episode of the series and absolutely meets that criteria of "the best the series has to offer" which is what I'd expect from a finale. This episode also set the stage for several other appearances of Scooby's family throughout the 1980s, and the fact that this episode introduces us to the family members we'd come to get to know better in later series almost feels like this show's finale was providing us with a glimpse into some characters we'd get to know even more later, which I find to be pretty cool and unlike any other Scooby finale.
7. Uncle Albert Alert
I know people hate this series and will be surprised I placed it so high on the list. However, I felt like this episode was an excellent finale and wrapped everything up pretty nicely. The overarching plot of the series was that Shaggy's Uncle Albert had gone missing, and not only did Shaggy and Scooby finally attempt to find him in this episode, but they were essentially forced to because Dr. Phibes suspected a mole in his lair. The comedy was pretty spot-on in this last episode as well, compared to some of the other episodes. The only thing I didn't like is that there was no resolution brought to the Dr. Phibes plot. He just escapes and says "he'll be back," and then we have no idea what happens afterwards (or if all the agents Shaggy and Scooby rescued rejoined Phibes's army). Besides that somewhat minor issue, I thought this episode did a great job wrapping up the show.
6. Don't Fool with a Phantom
It certainly isn't getting any easier to pick the order for these last few finales, and I feel bad about ranking this one a bit low, but compared to the other remaining finales, this was just an average Scooby episode, even if it was one of the better ones of season 2. This definitely felt like it abided was one of the best episodes the season had to offer, and I loved the creepy setting of the Wax Museum and the Wax Phantom himself (I wish they'd have the Wax Phantom appear again sometime instead of just reusing the same couple of Where Are You villains over and over again!). There was nothing wrong with this episode at all, but I would argue the remaining five just wrapped things up and felt more special than this one did.
5. The Haunted Carnival
You could definitely argue this is a very typical episode of The New Scooby-Doo Movies, and in a lot of ways, it is. However, the ending for me of the gang working at Dick's carnival has always felt very finale-ish to me, which places it just a teensy bit about "Don't Fool with a Phantom." I loved the plot of Dick's carnival being haunted by so many different ghosts, and Dick was an excellent guest star that you could tell was really into his character.
4. The Nutcracker Scoob
This episode is my favorite Scooby-Doo holiday episode of all-time, and always manages to put me in a Christmasy mood whenever I watch it. It's pretty unique to end a series with a holiday episode, and quite frankly, I really liked that they did that. Holiday episodes always feel a little more special to me than the average episode, as should finales, so it makes total sense that they'd make the holiday episode the finale. Until recently with "Scroogey Doo," this episode was the closest thing we had to Scooby parody of A Christmas Carol, and I've always appreciated this episode a little more because of that. I love A Christmas Carol and given the plot revolves around three ghosts, I think it fits super well with Scooby. I was also very impressed by how they combined two classic Christmas films (The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol) to make up the plot of this episode. For these reasons, this remains one of my favorite Scrappy episodes to date, and one of my favorite finales to date.
This episode explored a lot of new territory that a Scooby episode had never tried before: the whole mystery being solved in a virtual reality simulation, even though Velma doesn't know that. The gang being captured one by one felt super crazy and during my first time watching this, I had absolutely no idea what was going to happen, which is unusual for a Scooby episode because they can be pretty formulaic. All the different crazy twists and turns with the gang members slowly being captured, and the weird occurrences like the zombies that didn't make any sense within the plot, made this episode feel like a truly epic finale that was more entertaining than many other What's New, Scooby-Doo? episode. This episode exemplifies what I want to see in a finale, because it felt like the best the series had to offer.
2. Professor Huh? Part 6 ¾
Given Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! was, for the most part, an episodic show that didn't have an overarching plot, the fact that we got such an epic finale was incredible. The villain being Fred's father was amazing enough on his own, but Professor Huh? was so silly yet creepy at the same time, which is super hard to pull off, but this episode did that stupendously. The added plot point of the gang having to be on the run from the police and become fugitives from the law, after Fred's childhood friend frames him, made this episode even more amazing, as we've never had such a high-stakes, action-packed plot in a Scooby episode of any series (other than maybe the #1 finale, which I'll get to in a moment). Like with the WNSD episode (but amped-up), there were so many crazy things going on throughout the episode that I had no idea what would happen next, which is exactly what I want from a Scooby finale. Fred even drives over a bridge at one point to fake the gang's deaths! That's miles above what any other Scooby finale has done. I also found the ending of the series to be super sad, where Fred's dad says he has to turn himself in, but Fred locks him in the Mystery Machine so he can escape. The next morning, the Mystery Machine is back in Fred's garage with a llama, who is holding a note saying "I love you son. This note will self destruct in 3, 2, 1." Series over. That's such a sad ending, and I didn't ever think a Scooby-Doo series would end in a such depressing way! The writing of this finale was so incredible that I feel bad not placing it at #1, but that's because the spot goes to:
1. Come Undone
While I hated putting the Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! finale at #2 given how incredible it was, this finale literally features the apocalypse, which I felt was just a little more high-stakes lol. The gang having to confront the end of the world was an unfathomable plot even at the beginning of season 2, so the fact that the finale was taken in this direction was amazing. The old Mystery Incorporated being devoured by the Evil Entity, and the gang having to desperately cling onto life while the Entity's minions are chasing them had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. It was really sweet that the Heart of the Jaguar was the gang's friendship for each other, and the fact that it reset the entire timeline was shocking. While Be Cool's finale was epic, the fact that the fabric of the universe was literally altered in this finale makes me place this one first. Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated's use of an overarching plot is one of my favorite things that the Scooby franchise has ever done, and the conclusion of this plot didn't disappoint.
Well folks, that about does it for my rankings! I realize this was an incredibly long article, so thanks sticking around and reading this, and I hope you enjoyed it! I'd be interested to hear people's thoughts on my rankings, and I'd love to see others' rankings of the premieres and finales as well if anyone is interested in sharing theirs!
Now that the Internet is abuzz with the official confirmation of the Scooby-Doo and Courage crossover, I thought it might be interesting and informative to put together a timeline on both the film and all the previous times Courage and Scooby have crossed over.
Though there have never been any major crossovers between Scooby and Courage before, in 2000, there was a Courage and Scooby-Doo "Scare-a-Thon" on Cartoon Network which included several promotional shorts where the two dogs teamed up. The first one includes the gang with Courage, Muriel and Eustace telling ghost stories, while the second has Shaggy, Scooby and Courage get frightened by a werewolf. Here are two of these shorts:
To my knowledge, in addition to the above two, there were a total of six more shorts, one of them in Spanish. I've included them below if you feel comfortable downloading them. The first one focused around Shaggy and Scooby dressing up as aliens to scare Courage; the second features the gang telling ghost stories again; the third is simply a bumper that's a few seconds long; the fourth is the gang's van breaking down on the way to Nowhere, fifth is promos for a sweepstakes that Cartoon Network was putting on at the time where one lucky person would win a trip to Roswell, NM (to celebrate Alien Invaders' release); and the last short is a reimagining of Shaggy and Scooby running away from the Space Kook to include Courage. The final short is in Spanish, and I'm not sure if it ever aired in English.
Besides this Scare-a-Thon in 2000, the two franchises never again crossed over until now. This crossover was first announced on December 15, 2019, when I stumbled across a listing on the Turner Classic Movies site which listed a crossover between Courage and Scooby. The listing was unfortunately deleted a few days after the news spread across the Internet.
We didn't hear much else about it until May 18, 2020, when the creator of Courage, John Dilworth confirmed that he had no involvement in the crossover at all. On October 4, 2020, it was confirmed on Instagram by Tracy Mark Lee that Courage was originally going to be an episode of Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?, but it was later developed into a film.
We didn't hear anything else about the film until near when the trailer came out in June, when a plethora of news began coming out about the film. On June 8, 2021, some international release sites posted listings listing the title as 'Straight Outta Nowhere'. A few days later on June 11, 2021, some background paintings from the film were shared. The cover of the DVD was also unofficially posted online a couple of days before we got the trailer.
This all culminated in us finally getting the trailer for Straight Outta Nowhere: Scooby-Doo Meets Courage the Cowardly Dog on June 22, 2021. The crossover will be released on DVD and digital on September 14, 2021.
It's been quite a long road for us to see this crossover play out, but to recap, here the entire timeline in date form of all the times Scooby and Courage have teamed up.
October 2000: Eight Scare-a-Thon promos
December 15, 2019: First unofficial announcement of this Courage/Scooby crossover via a TCM listing
May 18, 2020: John Dilworth confirms he has no involvement with the crossover
October 4, 2020: The crossover was discovered to have originally been a Guess Who episode that was expanded into a film
June 8, 2021: International release sites list title
June 11, 2021: Background paintings from the crossover were shared
June 20, 2021: DVD cover unofficially posted online
June 22, 2021: Trailer drops; release date announced
September 14, 2021: Crossover releases
In Scooby-Doo & Guess Who? , two episodes were written as direct sequels to the original episodes in The New Scooby-Doo Movies. Previously, in the eyes of many fans, WB's track record at creating sequels had been very poor. Scooby-Doo! Return to Zombie Island and Scooby-Doo and the Curse of the 13th Ghost created numerous continuity errors, and made all the supernatural elements of each series fake, despite that they were real in both of the original shows. Moreover, Velma even went as far as to argue everything that happened in the original films was fake, which many fans found to be unnecessary.
This caused me to be very skeptical about the Sandy Duncan and Cher episodes when we first heard about them, because I was worried that it was just going to be another repeat of the mistakes of Return to Zombie Island and Curse of the 13th Ghost. However, I was very pleasantly surprised. I felt both films were perfect sequels to their respective original episodes, and it honestly made me wish that the two 2019 sequel films were written in a similar way.
So, what was it about these two episodes that nailed the "sequel" aspect so well? I would argue that its the following two components:
1. Staying true to the source material: Both the Sandy Duncan and Cher episodes directly referenced the source material all throughout the episode, without creating any unnecessary continuity errors. While Curse of the 13th Ghost and Return to Zombie Island took aspects from The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo and Zombie Island, respectively, both films picked and chose what they wanted to follow and discounted the rest. While the basic premise of both films was sort of used, a lot of creative liberties were taken, such as Curse of the 13th Ghost saying that Daphne, Shaggy and Scooby's adventure was "over a summer." Scrappy was also completely ignored, and even made into a joke ("What's a Scrappy?"). For a good sequel, I would argue that you cannot simply pick and choose what you want, while pretending the rest didn't happen. "The Dreaded Remake of Jekyll and Hyde!" used the gang's previous adventures with Sandy in "Sandy Duncan's Jekyll and Hydes" as a foundation for the episode, as did "Cher, Scooby and the Sargasso Sea!" to an extent. Nothing was discounted, ignored, or altered for the episode; rather, they drew upon all the elements of the episodes to make the sequels stay true to the original. I suppose you could argue Sonny not being mentioned in the Cher episode is an omission on the writers' part; however, I think it would have been kind of sad for them to have to acknowledge Sonny's tragic passing (for those who don't know, he died in a horrific skiing accident at the age of 62, in 1998), so I understand why they didn't. The difference between not acknowledging Sonny in "Cher, Scooby and the Sargasso Sea!" and not acknowledging Scrappy in Curse of the 13th Ghost is that Sonny actually had a good reason not to be mentioned, whereas Scrappy's lack of acknowledgement was clearly meant as a punitive joke, which there was no good reason to make.
2. Sticking to the tone Perhaps my biggest problem with Curse of the 13th Ghost and Return to Zombie Island was the drastic difference in tone. The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo had a dark, creepy atmosphere to it, even if it did get a little silly sometimes, and Zombie Island is beloved throughout the Scooby fandom due to its dark and mature tone. It seems the writers acknowledged none of that for the sequels, however, and just made both sequels like it was just another DTV from the current era. To make a truly good sequel, I would argue that the tone of the original needs to be taken into account, which it didn't feel like they did at all for the two 2019 sequels. It would be like a writer coming along and saying "you know how amazing people think Star Wars is? Well, screw the tone of the original, let's make it a soap opera!" In the case of Return to Zombie Island, Moonscar Island looked completely different from what the original was. With Curse of the 13th Ghost, Vincent's home was randomly declared to just be a "Air Boo and Boo" that he happened to be staying at. To use the Star Wars metaphor again, that would be like saying the Millennium Falcon was just some random spaceship they rented from a guy or something. Vincent's castle was a pretty core part of The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo and appeared in a lot of episodes, so for them to just ignore it completelIt feels like the writers wanted to advertise the films with the flair of a sequel, without actually putting much work to make sure that the elements of the original were there. Especially with Return to Zombie Island, pretty much nothing is kept the same with the exception of there being zombies and cat creatures on the island, though there's not much lore as to why they're there. With the two Guess Who sequels, it felt like they really dove deep into the original episodes to ensure that the tone and the setting was the same. The Sandy Duncan sequel felt very true to what the writers of the original episode would have done if they would have made a sequel themselves, which is how I would argue a Scooby-Doo sequel should be made. The episode took place on the original set the gang was on, incorporated the element of there being numerous monsters on the set, and even framed the film they were making as being a "remake" of the original. I also really enjoyed how they made the sequel's Mr. Hyde be a combination between the one from the original episode and another classic Hyde from the Scooby-Doo universe (the one from "Nowhere to Hyde"). The Cher sequel did the same. It took place on a boat, included shark men as the villains, and took care in trying to match the tone of "The Secret of Shark Island." This is why I feel the Guess Who sequel episodes were miles better than the two sequel films of 2019. Both of them attempted to match the tone of the original episode, and incorporated various elements that were used by the original episode's writers throughout the episode, rather than just having a vague resemblance of the source material like the two sequel films did.
I know many Scooby fans are a bit skeptical about sequels to anything now after Curse of the 13th Ghost and Return to Zombie Island, I would honestly be open to more sequels if they were done as well as "The Dreaded Remake of Jekyll and Hyde!" and "Cher, Scooby and the Sargasso Sea!". I thought both of those were incredibly well-written and felt super true to the original episodes. I hope if more sequels are made someday, either a movie or as part of a series, that the writers take inspiration from the what the Guess Who writers did with the Sandy Duncan and Cher episodes.
We've had quite a number of Dynomutt and Scooby-Doo crossovers in the past few years, reviving the series from an almost 40 year lull without any content. Most recently, Dynomutt and Blue Falcon teamed up with the gang in the Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? episode, "Scooby-Doo, Dog Wonder!" As a fan of the original Dynomutt, Dog Wonder series, when I first heard we were getting the episode way back in 2019, I was pretty excited. My excitement grew even more when we got the description for the episode, which mentioned Radley Crown and his art collection. Radley Crown is Blue Falcon's true identity, but was only used sparingly in the beginnings of the first few episodes of Dynomutt, Dog Wonder before they stopped referencing it at all. This is why I was so thrilled they were using that in this episode, as it wasn't a major trope in the series and made me believe that they would be trying to stay extra true to the original series, which is something that neither of the other two crossovers did.
It turns out, I wasn't disappointed. I thought Dynomutt's quirky antics throughout the episode, as well as the mystery being centered around Radley Crown's art collection, made for a very entertaining plot that felt pretty close to what a classic Dynomutt, Dog Wonder episode was like. The only thing I didn't like from the episode was Blue Falcon, who was given a new voice actor, David Kaye. I didn't feel like Kaye did a good job at all, and he was very unconvincing at voicing Blue Falcon. Many of his lines, such as "let's go fight some crime!" and "click it or ticket!" felt super cringey and like it was written by a writer who had never seen what Blue Falcon was like in the original show. Granted, Blue Falcon was kidnapped for most of the episode, so it didn't bother me all that much. I won't go too much into it, as I've already written a detailed review about that episode (which you can read here). However, in this article, I want to rank the other six Scooby-Doo and Dynomutt crossovers, wrapping it all up by using the most recent Guess Who episode as a point of analysis.
Beginning in descending order, just looking at it from a standpoint of how true each crossover stayed to classic Dynomutt, I'd have to put Scooby-Doo! Mask of the Blue Falcon last. I loved the movie itself, but specifically examining it as a crossover, the fact that Dynomutt was just a superhero movie strayed pretty far from the original series. I liked how the main villain was Mr. Hyde, who was the villain in the first ever Scooby-Doo and Dynomutt crossover, but Dynomutt wasn't even really in the movie, and Blue Falcon was just an actor who made brief appearances throughout. The inclusion of the Hideous Hyde Hound and the bats were kinda cool I guess, but the fact that Dynomutt and Blue Falcon weren't really in it at all puts it at the bottom of this particular list. The movie is actually one of my favorites from the past decade, but as a crossover, the other five were far better.
I actually totally forgot about this crossover until I started writing the paragraph below it haha. I would rank "Heart of Evil" from Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated next. I thought they did a good job with the crossover, but Blue Falcon being so intense was a bit of a letdown for me. I know they were going for a Batman-type character, but for me, it just didn't work to have Blue Falcon act like he was about to stab someone any minute. He's very much the gentlemanly, polite crusader of justice and isn't super violent like they portrayed him in this episode. I did enjoy the backstory for how Dynomutt was a real dog who was injured and had to be made into a robot. For me, I think the episode would have ranked a little higher had I ever seen Jonny Quest, because a lot of that show was in this crossover too, even including the villain. Having no knowledge of Jonny Quest made it a little less fun, just because I didn't understand all the references with Dr. Zin, so he felt like a bit of lackluster villain to me. It is genuinely hard to rank these crossovers though, because all of them are good in their own way. They did a great job working Blue Falcon and Dynomutt into the overarching plot of this show, but not knowing Jonny Quest and Blue Falcon being so over-the-top edgy places this one at 5/6.
I know people didn't like Dynomutt and Blue Falcon reversing personalities in SCOOB!, but I actually enjoyed Blue Falcon's son's silliness and Dynomutt being the serious one. It's definitely not true to anything in the original show, but it worked. I really enjoyed what a prominent role they had with helping Shaggy and Scooby with the overarching plot of stopping Dick Dastardly. Blue Falcon's intro song being DJ Khaled was...a little cringey....but amusingly so. I can absolutely understand why fans of the original show would hate this, because it did deviate pretty far from what the original Dynomutt series was going for. I think the fact that they said it was Blue Falcon's son Brian, rather than the actual Blue Falcon, is what made it work for me. If they would have had the actual Blue Falcon dancing to DJ Khaled with his typical personality, it wouldn't have worked. The fact that they made it a different character made me enjoy it more, and Dynomutt reacting to Brian's more goofy personality by becoming serious was a fun change-up.
Now we get down to the three crossovers that were actually a part of the original Dynomutt, Dog Wonder series! It's pretty incredible that Scooby had a major role in three episodes of the show, given there were only twenty in all. As a side note, I'm still hoping we get a DVD release of season 2 someday, though those episodes are for some reason super rare and there were only four of them, so I imagine it's a similar situation as with The Scooby-Doo Show season 2. I imagine there's also not much of a market for Dynomutt DVDs given he hasn't had his own show in over 40 years. I really liked all three of them, but the first to go has to be "The Wizard of Ooze." I found a lot of the Dynomutt villains to be super cool, but Swamp Rat and Mudmouth have to be my least favorite. They're basically just hillbillies in a swamp, one of which who looks like a rat. I did enjoy the atmosphere of both the swamp and the town/mall, and the gang accidentally bumping into Dynomutt and Blue Falcon (and recognizing them!) while looking for a ghost was fun, but I really never cared for these villains. As a kid, I always wished Scooby would have appeared in the Iron Face episode (that's right, Dynomutt had a villain named Iron Face too!), because that one felt far more mystery-focused than Dynomutt and the gang chasing after some hillbillies, which is what we got in this episode. I did really enjoy the character interactions and setting in this episode, and would rank it 3/6.
Next is "What Now, Lowbrow?", which features a caveman and his two henchmen attempting to steal a super computer from a university to become super smart. I always found Lowbrow to be a very fascinating villain, because he's the only one of the series (other than I guess Swamp Rat and Mudmouth) who's just a normal person. The difference between Lowbrow and the other two for me, though, was that we got to see Lowbrow's evolution of becoming a super villain through his quest to become smart and steal the super computer. I feel like we rarely see get to see the backstory behind the evolution of villains in these types of cartoons, so that aspect of the episode has always been unique to me. Lowbrow's super strength due to being a caveman also made him one of the more dangerous Dynomutt villains, which I found to be pretty cool. In terms of the gang, it kinda felt like they didn't really need to be here...of the three Dynomutt crossovers, this is the one they're in the least and are kinda just sent on random errands, rather than contributing to the overall plot. That's the only thing that brings this one down below the top spot, but this was still a really fantastic crossover and it was fun to see the gang help out, even if it was just a little.
Taking the #1 spot is the classic Scooby-Doo and Dynomutt crossover that I feel everyone remembers, "Everybody Hyde!" It's also the very first episode of Dynomutt, Dog Wonder, which is worth noting because it's kind of unique that the first two episodes of the show were both crossovers with Scooby-Doo ("What Now, Lowbrow?" was the second episode). It's almost as if the show needed a little lift from Scooby to truly take off and grow into its own thing, which I've always found to be pretty special. It reminds me a little of how Goober and the Ghost Chasers included The Partridge Family as guest stars in six of their first seven episodes, the only one not including them being because Wilt Chamberlain was guest starring. If I may give a brief aside, Goober and the Ghost Chasers has always been a bit of an oddity to me as a series, due to their incredibly heavy use of The Partridge Family as guest stars, even though it was not advertised or intended to be a guest star focused show. Eight of the sixteen episodes included The Partridge Family as guest stars, and there were two other episodes that included other guest stars, basketball player Wilt Chamberlain, and Michael Gray. Only six episodes of the series had the Goober and the Ghost Chasers by themselves, and episode 10 was the first one not to feature a guest star. I almost feel like the writers didn't trust that Goober would have enough of an appeal without guest stars, which I mention because of the two Scooby crossovers kicking off the Dynomutt series.
Anyway, with "Everybody Hyde!", we get to see another fun evolution of a villain, though this time it's Willie the Weasel, who has transformed into Mr. Hyde (and has also transformed his dog into a monster). Soon after, while Dynomutt and Blue Falcon are on the trail of Mr. Hyde, the gang appears and think Mr. Hyde is a ghost, which I always thought was kind of a fun little throwback to the ghost of Hyde from Where Are You. What really made this episode so enjoyable to me was how much of a role the gang had in it compared to the two others. The gang finds clues that help the two superheroes, attempt to help them stop Mr. Hyde, and even set one of their famous traps that ultimately ends up capturing the villain. This episode was a perfect catalyst for kicking off the Dynomutt series by including some of the classic Scooby formula, to help the audience warm up to these new superheroes. Because of that, this is my favorite Dynomutt crossover and will always have a special place in my heart.
Tying it back to the Guess Who episode, the original Dynomutt crossovers were a bit more "supervillain-y" than "Scooby-Doo, Dog Wonder!" was, but at the same time, I thought it was fun that there was finally a crossover between the two shows that felt like more of a mystery. We got three crossovers that were a little more Dynomutt-focused, and now we got a finally crossover between the two that was more Scooby-focused. It almost brought things a little full circle for me and reminded me of watching Dynomutt as a kid, so despite the flaws with Blue Falcon's characterization, the most recent Guess Who crossover with Dynomutt and Blue Falcon was a blast from the past and really captured the tone and feel of the original series.
After almost exactly two years and 52 episodes, Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? has finally come to a close! The series premiered on June 27, 2019, and the final episodes have aired in most countries at this point. However, there's still no word on when we'll get the final 11 episodes in the US, very similarly to what happened with Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!. Now that the series is over, I wanted to do a retrospective on my feelings on the series, including a breakdown of my top 10 episodes and my three least favorites.
Overall, while this series was decent, it also felt a bit bland at times compared to the dark tone of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, and the comedic nature of Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!. One of the biggest flaws of this series is that liking it was sometimes contingent on whether the guest star was good in their role. The guest star would often be the main focus of the episode, sometimes to the point of sidelining Fred, Velma and Daphne. In some cases, this worked okay, such as in the Morgan Freeman episode because Morgan had such a dynamic personality, but in others, like the Ricky Gervais episode, Ricky's personality was so over-the-top that it overshadowed the rest of the gang in a negative way.
In terms of choosing guest stars, I thought for the most part, they did a good job. There were a few that weren't great choices, like Ricky Gervais, Jim Gaffigan, and Neil deGrasse Tyson, but this was more because their performance in the episode was either too domineering (Ricky), seemed stilted (Jim Gaffigan), or seemed bored/uninterested in the role (Neil deGrasse Tyson, Kacey Musgraves), rather than the person themselves being not a good fit for Scooby-Doo. For example, I really like Kacey Musgraves herself as a singer (her song "High Horse" is amazing and you all should listen to it haha), but her personality in the episode seemed a bit flat and one-dimensional. Contrastly, there were other episodes that I thought the guest stars completely knocked it out of the park, such as Morgan Freeman, the voice actors, and Reverend Run. I would say that's my biggest complaint with the series, that liking the episodes was often contingent on whether you liked the guest star, which was a problem because the guest stars' performances sometimes varied in quality.
My only other problem with the series is at times, it played it a little too "safe" to the point where some of the nostalgia felt forced. The first few episodes in particular felt like the writers were trying to hit us over the head with the nostalgia with constant references and tropes from the original show. Now, that wouldn't be a bad thing, but it felt like it stifled the series' creative direction because they were focusing so much on making it exactly like Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? that other aspects of the earlier episodes suffered, such as them developing a complex, engaging mystery and focusing on character dynamics. This got a lot better though after the first 9 or so episodes, and it felt like the series had hit its stride about midway through the first season, continuing all through the second season.
I did enjoy this series as a whole though, and I thought for the most part they did a great job matching the guest stars with the mystery and setting. This series also had a lot of classic vibes to it, which was enjoyable to take a trip back to that Where Are You feel (with the exception of the times towards the beginning when it felt forced). The mysteries were for the most part very engaging, though the culprits were often very easy to figure out.
This definitely isn't a series I hated despite my criticisms of it, but I guess personally, I enjoy series that experiment with new, previous unexplored elements in Scooby, such as the technology in What's New, Scooby-Doo?, the dark tone and overarching plot of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, and the character-driven plots and comedic take of Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!. Guess Who felt like a very safe show that didn't really do anything new, and copied Where Are You and The New Scooby-Doo Movies almost exactly. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I prefer the Scooby series that grow an element of the franchise in some different, unique way.
Of the entire show, I disliked these three the most:
3. Ollie Ollie In-come Free!
This episode is a perfect example of a guest star that dominated the episode. Most of the episode was just him making jokes which I didn't find funny at all. Fred, Daphne and Velma didn't really have many lines at all. Ricky completely took over the episode, and as a result, the mystery wasn't developed very well either. I think this episode demonstrates that there needs to be a good balance between the guest star having some kind of a presence and completely taking over the episode to the point where it's difficult to develop the plot. The Cat-Mummy mystery really suffered because Ricky was so obnoxiously in our faces, so there was no time for us to them to create a deep, engaging mystery.
2. The Fastest Food Fiend!
This was another subpar episode due to the guest star. I had actually known of Jim Gaffigan and seen several of his comedy specials prior to watching this episode, and he's a really funny guy. However, you wouldn't know that from this episode. He felt very watered down and like his jokes were likely written by Guess Who writers who had never heard of him. On top of that, the characters were also incredibly bland in this episode. Fred, Daphne and Velma's dialogue felt like it could have been interchangeable, which IMO is a sign of not-so-great writing. The monster design was pretty unique, but his presence wasn't great either. Overall, it was just a very dull, lackluster episode.
1. A Mystery Solving Gang Divided
This episode is probably my least favorite Scooby-Doo episode of any series. I remember really wanting to like this episode as a fan of The Funky Phantom series, but the Funky Phantom gang's characterization was so off that it was horrible. All of them were arrogant jerks, especially Skip and April, and the constant bickering between the two gangs became such a huge part of the plot that it became unpleasant to watch. Some of Abraham Lincoln's ghost's dialogue was also cringey and felt thrown in without much thought, particularly "You must take responsibility for tomorrow!" It seemed like a lot of corners were cut in this episode and they majorly overfocused on the gang bickering, to the point where it felt repetitive and irritating to watch. There really wasn't much good about this episode, other than the villain was pretty cool and the setting was decent.
Now that we've got the bad stuff out of the way, let's get to my favorites of the show!
10. One Minute Mysteries!
This was one that I know a lot of people didn't like, but I really enjoyed it! This episode is so much different than any other episode in the series. Shaggy and Shaggy's relationship with Barry/The Flash was adorable. The Flash interfering with the gang's mysteries with classic villains was a fun little nostalgia trip, and arguably I think shows a way to insert nostalgia into the show without it feeling forced like some of the early episodes did. Having a giant teddy bear as the "overarching" villain of the episode was a lot of fun too!
9. The Sword, The Fox and the Scooby-Doo!
Mark Hamill was such a good guest star! He gave this episode some major The New Scooby-Doo Movies vibes, specifically reminiscent of Tim Conway's episode. If I had to pinpoint an exact spot where the nostalgia stopped feeling forced, I'd say this episode was it. This episode demonstrated that there could be nostalgia and "classic vibes" without saying "here's a reference, here's another reference a minute later, this is exactly how the gang walked in Where Are You!" I feel like this episode is where they figured out that they could work the nostalgia into the tone and feel of the plot, rather than just shoving reference after reference down our throats. The Star Wars references throughout the episode, and Mark's chemistry with Shaggy and Scooby were so amazing and made this episode one of my favorites.
8. Dark Diner of Route 66!
This is another great example of classic vibes being worked into the tone of the plot. The entire setting of the episode felt like it could have just been another episode of The New Scooby-Doo Movies, and Axl Rose was a great guest star. The setting, however, was the real star of the episode. The diner and the cave at night felt super creepy. This one managed to nail that classic feel perfectly without forcing it.
7. The Dreaded Remake of Jekyll and Hyde!
While the Cher "sequel" didn't quite make the top 10 for me, I found the Sandy Duncan one to be incredible for a number of reasons. I was worried about how the episode was going to be because of how untrue Curse of the 13th Ghost and Return to Zombie Island were to the source material. However, when I watched the episode, it was so incredible that it made me wish the two "sequel films" from 2019 would have been done in the style of this episode. All the different references to the original episode, "Sandy Duncan Jekyll and Hydes," were so well worked-in here that it honestly felt like the gang just picked up right where they left off with Sandy. The Scooby-Doo writers seem to have a knack for conveniently "forgetting" that the gang has met guest stars previously, so it was nice that Sandy knew the gang in this episode. Sandy easily did as good in this episode as she did nearly 50 years ago, which is pretty incredibly given what a big gap of time there was between the two episodes. It was also a lot of fun how they played upon the classic The New Scooby-Doo Movies trope of including multiple villains per episode here. That was one of my favorite tropes of the original series, so I was super happy they included it here too.
6. The Last Inmate!
I suppose you could argue that this episode had a guest that dominated it, but it didn't really bug me at all in this episode, because, well, it's Morgan freakin' Freeman haha. His narration throughout the episode was so much fun, and given Morgan is famous for making documentaries, the entire episode being structured like a documentary made it perfect. Moreover, Morgan's narration almost served as a meta-analysis of the gang from a outsider perspective which made this episode really stand out to me. Nothing more needs even needs to be said, because Morgan made every aspect of this episode perfect.
5. The Horrible Haunted Hospital of Dr. Phineas Phrag!
This episode is another case of the guest star making it amazing. Kristen Schaal completely shined in her role and felt so natural all throughout the episode, despite me not knowing much about her prior to watching the episode. Her quirky personality added so much to the episode, and I honestly wouldn't have minded if she would have replaced a member of the gang for a few episodes as she was joking haha. The twist at the end where she steals the van was pretty hilarious too! Tone-wise, it also felt like there was a lot of extra effort put into this episode to give it a creepy vibe, which of course I always enjoy.
4. Total Jeopardy!
It's so sad that Alex Trebek passed away before he was able to see his episode come out, but I thought it was really sweet for Boomerang to release it early in his honor. While I've watched Jeopardy and know how the game works, I haven't seen that many episodes. Despite this, I absolutely adored the structure of this episode mirroring that of a Jeopardy game. It was kind of unique to have a villain who wasn't necessarily a villain all the time, but just an opposing player who was quick to anger. I don't know if this episode could have possibly been a better tribute to Alex, because it seemed like so much love and effort was put into making this episode.
3. A Haunt of a Thousand Voices!
It was truly a Scooby fan's dream come true to see the gang get to interact with their own voice actors. The meta-ness of this episode and the voice actors' engagement with playing themselves was so much fun to watch. I wish we would have gotten different villains than the same four they seem to love reusing over and over, which brought this episode down for me a tiny bit. The culprits were also overly easy to guess, but like the Morgan Freeman episode, the guest stars were so amazing in their roles that I didn't mind at all. The creepy haunted house vibe of Frank's home made it even more amazing, and I loved how the episode felt like a tribute to Frank. I know some people have felt this meant that Frank is going to retire any minute, but I took it more as the writers appreciating Frank's 50+ years in the franchise while he's still around, because he is getting up there in age and may not be able to voice Fred forever, no matter how much he wants to. This was such an amazing episode that I wish it were the series finale, though I understand why they chose Carol's instead.
2. The Legend of the Gold Microphone!
This one was a very unexpected favorite for me. Even though I had guessed it was going to have darker vibes, I never would have imagined that it would have been my second favorite episode of the entire series. Everything about this episode was great - from the creepy abandoned youth center setting, the darker tone of the episode, the two super creepy villains, and Reverend Run's personality. I felt in particular with this episode that they balanced Reverend Run's presence in the episode really well without sacrificing the depth of the mystery. A lot of times in this series, it felt like the culprit was very easy to figure out or the mystery wasn't fleshed out super well because they were focusing so much on the guest star, but this episode felt like it had the perfect balance where Reverend Run had a strong presence without dominating the episode entirely. Even the cringey rapping bits with Shaggy and Scooby were so bad that they were kinda funny. Honestly, this isn't even a criticism because I don't think there was anything wrong with this episode, but I wish they would have had Tabb Tatter's face turn into a skull more than just the one time. That was so creepy! If the entire series would have been like this episode, I think I would have loved it. As one of the regular commenters on this blog, Matt, suggested in the comment section for that episode's review, I think it would be really cool if we got an entire series that had a darker, creepier tone like The Scooby-Doo Show Season 2, without an overarching mystery. Perhaps each individual mystery in the series could just be dark in a different way. Anyway, this was one of my favorites because I felt it really nailed all the elements that makes a good Scooby episode.
1. I Put A Hex On You!
The Hex Girls are my favorite side characters in the entire franchise, so as you can imagine, I was thrilled when we got an episode guest starring the Hex Girls. Whereas the Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated episodes kind of sidelined the girls and didn't give them a lot of character development, this episode placed gave us a front and center view of what their a day in their lives is like, which was so cool. Even though they made Thorn super angry in this episode, to the point where she had her own tranquilizer gun in case she got too excited, I thought it was an interesting personality quirk and I didn't really mind. Thorn and Luna being under the "girly" spell was super cute too! I loved how creepy Ester Moonkiller was as the villain. I would say she's another candidate for the creepiest villain of the series, tied with the ghost of Tabb Tatters and the Skeleton of Bones McCann (along with maybe the Silver Screen Spectre and the Nightmare Ghost). Even though the Hex Girls were the main focus, the gang still got a lot of sweet moments too and I don't think the girls overshadowed them at all, like was an issue with some of the other guest stars. I've always wanted an episode where we got to see more of the Hex Girls' normal lives, and that's exactly what this episode gave us, which made this one the top episode of the series for me.
Overall, Guess Who was a decent Scooby-Doo series. There were some flaws to it, such as liking an episode being dependent on liking a guest star's presence, the forced nostalgia at times, and the mysteries not being as complex or developed as they could be. However, this series also brought us a lot of great episodes that gave many of us classic vibes that we hadn't seen in a Scooby series in a long time. We already know the next series is going to be Velma, but for the next kids' series, I think I'd like to see a series that plays it a little less safe than Guess Who did. Scooby-Doo would probably not have survived as a franchise if we just got 49 seasons of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?, because it would have been the same basic plot over and over, and wouldn't have given the franchise an opportunity to grow. Shows like Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated and Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! focus on different aspects of the franchise, and try to develop them in a different way than any other Scooby series has in the past. While I'm sure part of the reason for the "safeness" of Guess Who had to do with people's negative reactions to Be Cool's different art style, I hope WB continues to explore new aspects of the franchise in future series, in order to continue developing the characters we've known and love for over 50 years now.
In this article, I wanted to do something a little different and analyze Scoobynatural from the aspect of how it lines up with "A Night of Fright is No Delight." While you can read my review here, I'm going to analyze how well crossover syncs up with the original episode.
Surprisingly, upon my rewatch of the two side by side, Scoobynatural definitely takes a lot more creative liberties than I remember! Until about the 10 minute mark, pretty much nothing that happens was utilized in the original episode. In fact, the episode utilized a lot of more of the various Scooby tropes that did not occur in "A Night of Fright is No Delight," such as the door scene and the gang being at the malt shop. While the malt shop appeared in almost every episode of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?, ironically the malt shop did not appear in "A Night of Fright is No Delight."
After Sam and Dean race the gang in the Mystery Machine, this is when actual content from the original episode began to be utilized. The reading of the will scene was copied verbatim from "A Night of Fright is No Delight" (except Sam and Dean's lines, of course). The atmosphere was a bit redesigned, but it felt more like an updated version of the original setting. Following the will reading, the scene in the bedroom with Fred, Shaggy and Scooby is copied, but slightly abridged. The scene with Scooby trying to feed the fish was not present. When the gang hears Cousin Slicker cry out for help and attempts to go to his rescue, everything changed. No other scene is copied or reused, and everything is rewritten, which is honestly pretty great symbolism for how the events of the episode is altered by the presence of a real ghost. Various other scenes from the episode are reimagined with different outcomes, such as Shaggy and Scooby going in the wine cellar, Shaggy hanging on the drain pipe (Scooby was also on the drain pipe in the original episode, but not in Scoobynatural), and the trap with the washing machine was used. While Sam, Dean and Castiel eventually did convince the gang that Cosgoode Creeps was the villain (even though it was a trick), Mr. Crawls never makes an appearance in the episode.
Honestly, when I was rewatching this episode to write this article, I expected there to be a plethora of scenes from the original episode reused or perhaps slightly abridged, but I was surprised to discover upon my second watch that there was a huge difference from the scenes in the original episode to what we see in the crossover. I, and I'm sure a lot of other people, kind of had the perception that the episode was just an updated version of the original episode, but intentionally looking for all the similarities and differences demonstrated that there was a lot of creative freedom throughout the episode. The writers completely reimagined this episode and created something new from it, which I think is super cool and very symbolic, given pretty much every aspect of the original mystery was changed when the gang discovers that Cousin Slicker was actually murdered rather than kidnapped. Oh, except Dean exclaiming "Son of a bitch!" when all the gang said their catchphrases. That was totally part of the original episode haha. :P
As I mentioned in my review a few years ago, I really appreciated how well they integrated the two shows here. Even if they didn't use a lot of elements from "A Night of Fright is No Delight," the fact that the two separate writing teams of Scoobynatural and Scooby-Doo could completely integrate themselves to create a flawless representation of both shows is incredibly unique and not something that a lot of shows could do. This crossover truly felt like it was "A Night of Fright is No Delight" with the tone of Zombie Island, and I hope we see more like it someday!
I hope you enjoyed reading this article, even if it was a little different and shorter than I originally thought it would be when I originally decided to write about this idea. I'd love to hear others' thoughts on this subject, or just your reviews of Scoobynatural in general!
Also, apologies if anyone has been having trouble with getting the site to load recently. From what I've heard, Weebly (the domain that hosts this site) has been attempting to upgrade all of the sites they host recently, which may be causing some loading errors. Hopefully it will be taken care of soon, and sorry for any issues people may have in the meantime.
There are a lot of excellent Scooby-Doo seasons out there, but the one I feel is the most forgotten yet deserves the most praise is the second season of The Scooby-Doo Show. Compared to the rest of the series, the eight episodes in season 2 had a consistently noticeable darker tone to it which I feel was so well executed. There were genuinely some of the creepiest plots in the franchise in this season, which makes it all the more unfortunate that four of these episodes haven’t even made it to DVD yet. In this post, I want to give my review of the season episode-by-episode.
“The Curse of the Viking Lake,” while not the darkest episode of the season, definitely had some pretty creepy moments in it. The episode focuses on the premise of Velma’s uncle being kidnapped by Viking ghosts. As a kid, I always found the idea of Viking ghosts and their ghost ship pretty unique, and still do to this day. The mystery begins quickly in the episode, with one of the most frightening scenes happening right away…Daphne having no mouth! Haha, just kidding…though there was a very odd animation error in which the animators somehow forgot to draw Daphne’s mouth for part of a scene. The actual scene I was going to refer to was Scooby being watched by the Viking in Velma’s uncle’s cabin, but disappearing any time Scooby looked. It’s pretty creepy that the Vikings were still hanging around Velma’s uncle’s house despite the fact that they’d already kidnapped him! It’s even more creepy that the Viking is literally somehow able to open the window from the inside despite his full body being outside at the time…like how is that even possible? lol This episode also did a great job with having the entire atmosphere be very creepy despite the gang going to multiple places: Velma’s uncle’s cabin, the museum, the ghost ship, and finally the Viking cave. I always found the cave to be especially creepy, and also demonstrated how elaborate the villains’ plan was given they hung a picture of the Viking God Odin and prayed to it, despite not actually being real Vikings. There are no weak episodes in this season, which is rare, but if I had to rank them, this one would probably be on the lower end of the season rankings compared to the others.
Vampire Bats and Scaredy Cats is one of the darkest episodes of the franchise, no competition. Even the settings seemed like they were drawn in a much darker, edgier way than other episodes, given the whole episode took place at night. This episode’s plot focuses on the gang visiting their friend Lisa, who is about to inherit a hotel from her uncle. However, she learns a shocking secret after a vampire appears, which is that her grandfather is the vampire and wants to kill Lisa. The vampire sneaking into Daphne and Velma’s room while they’re sleeping, and standing over Daphne hissing is perhaps one of the most terrifying moments of the episode. Notice I didn’t say most terrifying though, that scene is reserved for the vampire sitting in the creepy abandoned room calling Lisa on the phone, yet he doesn’t say anything, there’s just the sound of the bell. Something about the vampire’s pose in that scene and the fact that he says nothing is almost more terrifying than if he would have said anything! In addition, the scene where Lisa is actually turned into a vampire is pretty spooky as well. Despite that Scooby-Dum was a goofier character, I thought he fit incredibly well into this episode despite the very dark tone. This one remains one of my favorite Scooby episodes of all time just because of how creepy and dark it is.
Moving on to “Hang in There, Scooby-Doo,” we get a little reprieve from the dark tone, but not much. I think much of the episode taking place during the day made a difference here, but nonetheless, some of the settings were still pretty creepy. The episode centers around the gang entering a hang-gliding competition, but Scooby is captured by a ghostly pterodactyl and they have to search through a spooky cave to find him. Though the cave was spooky, I found the hotel scenes even creepier, particularly the part where the pterodactyl ghost is watching them from the window as well as the scene with Mr. Morguely burning the papers outside. The latter scene had a particularly spooky tone because at one point, the background music completely stops and just has the gang looking for clues in silence. There’s not really a lot to say about this episode, other than the setting of the cave (and the hotel) really made this episode for me. Otherwise, this one would kind of stand out from the rest of season 2 given the mystery itself didn’t have a very dark tone like the others.
“The Creepy Heap from the Deep” again has one of the most terrifying premises in the Scooby franchise. The gang’s beach party is interrupted by a sea monster, and they have to run up to safety at a creepy old house on a cliff. They discover a captain lives there and he tells them the sea monster they saw is a legendary creature named the Creepy Heap from the Deep, who steals souls. That in itself is an incredibly frightening plot for a series technically targeted at children. However, it gets much creepier when the gang leaves the captain alone for a moment, but return to find out the monster has stolen his spirit. As a kid, the utterly blank and ghostly look on Captain Clemens’s face when his soul is stolen freaked me out so much, in addition to the fact that he scrawled a message on the desk that at first look appears to be in his own blood. However, when it’s shown from a different angle, it looks more like it was written in the dust on the table, but still, it’s pretty creepy. Later, when Shaggy and Scooby are alone watching the captain in the house, the spiritless captain gets up and says that now that his spirit is stolen, he has to steal others’ spirits. A brief chase ensues, until Shaggy and Scooby become trapped in a room with the soulless captain trying to break down the door yelling “I must have your spirits!” I was honestly scared of the captain when I was younger because of this scene. Despite me holding this episode in high regard, I feel like the quality dips a little after the “room” Shaggy and Scooby are in is revealed to be an elevator which allows them to escape. I really wish they would have just stayed in the creepy house on the cliff the entire episode, because that was one of the spookiest haunted houses there is in Scooby-Doo IMO. The rest of the episode takes place on a submarine, but the captain somehow gets much less creepy to me. If I may make a comparison to in Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated here, I found the captain’s digression to be really similar to The Freak’s. In “Pawn of Shadows,” The Freak holds a giant knife and recites creepy, threatening rhymes. However, in the next episode, “All Fear the Freak,” he speaks broken English and can barely put a sentence together, as well as no longer holding a knife. This always bothered me so much, because they his characterization perfect in “Pawn of Shadows” so I don’t know why they made him so much less scary in “All Fear the Freak.” Anyway, I feel very similar about the captain in the second half of this episode. The captain just kind of makes vague threats (“You will never leave!”) and at one point, a recycled sound effect from the zombie in “Mamba Wamba and the Voodoo Hoodoo” is used in place of his voice. That just always bummed me out because like The Freak, they had the captain’s characterization perfect in the first half of the episode, so I don’t know why they watered it down so much later. Despite my criticism here, I still hold that episode in high esteem because of how terrifying the first half of the episode is.
The very next episode, “The Chiller Diller Movie Thriller” is another one of my favorites. In the episode, Scooby-Doo goes to meet his cousins Scooby-Dum and Scooby-Dee, the latter of which is a big film star working on her latest project, a remake of the Phantom of Milo Booth. Despite the episode being on a train, I found the setting and premise to be pretty dark and creepy. The only dislike I have of this episode is the weird energy going on between Doo and Dum with Scooby-Dee. Them hitting on their own cousin might be creepier than anything in this episode lol. Otherwise, this episode was great for its level of darkness and the spooky settings like the rest of the season. This episode was very versatile in general with the settings going from the train to the cemetery, to Boothville, and then to the Boothville Carnival at the end. The Phantom of Milo Booth was as scary as some other villains in this season, but I still very much liked him as a villain.
“The Spooky Case of the Grand Prix Race” is arguably the most famous Scooby-Doo episode that hasn’t yet made it to DVD. The episode focuses around the gang investigating the Grand Prix Race of 1977 after some drivers disappear. A phantom racecar driver then appears and kidnaps Shaggy, and the gang has to get him back. I really liked how experimental this episode felt. Despite that a race isn’t typically thought of as a dark place for an episode to take place, the entirety of the episode takes place at night (except the very end) which makes it kind of eerie. I also loved how they had Shaggy be the one kidnapped instead of Daphne. At this point, it was almost a given that if anyone was going to be kidnapped in the episode, it was going to be Daphne, so it was nice to see that trope switched up. I thought the Phantom Racer was a very creepy-looking villain as well, and arguably, was the most dangerous foe the gang had fought yet. Most of the villains simply tied people up, but the Phantom Racer attempted to seal Shaggy up in a brick wall forever, which is pretty dark for a Scooby episode! Though I loved the creepy atmosphere of the episode taking place at night in general, the old abandoned house the Phantom Racer brought Shaggy into was super terrifying! They never did end up explaining where that phantom bone at the end came from though haha.
“The Ozark Switch Witch” is another creepy one just because it takes place at an isolated cabin in the woods, and everyone knows that by law, isolated cabins in the woods have to be creepy haha. I loved Witch McCoy as a villain and it was a very elaborate plan on her part to replace all the Hatfields with frogs so quickly. Her lair in the woods was so spooky looking! The zombie was…meh. I don’t want to complain about him because he wasn’t bad, he just wasn’t in the episode enough. He was in one scene before they trapped him, so he felt kind of tacked on, which is unfortunate because I think he could have had a lot of potential as a villain if he were used more.
“Creepy Cruise” is the final episode in the season, and while the plot was very unorthodox, it still has its appeal just due to its dark tone, strange monster, and super elaborate plan. You have to be super dedicated to literally build a time machine (even if it didn’t work) just to swindle people out of their money lol. The creepy bug monster from 6984 was a really interesting villain! And yes, he was from 6984 even if they didn’t say it in the episode. I’ve seen so many sites that say he’s from 6977, but the professor does indeed say “five thousand and seven” (years in the future) right before the monster came out, which would make it 6984 given the episode was released in 1977. Anyways, the ship was a pretty spooky setting, however, that one scene where Shaggy and Scooby dress up to trick the monster at the costume ball is really dumb IMO and does not fit the tone of the rest of the episode at all. It’s the only scene in season 2 I don’t like. There’s just no reason for it to be in there and it feels like time filler. Fun fact though, when I watched this episode on the USA network as a kid (on some VHS tapes my parents recorded), they actually had this scene completely cut (presumably for extra commercials)! I did not know this scene existed until it was rerun on Boomerang when I was a teenager. Normally I would hate the idea of a network cutting a scene out just for extra commercial time, but in this case, I like their edited version better lol.
Despite having some of the most amazing monsters in the franchise, like the vampire, the Creepy Heap and the captain, I think it’s safe to say in analyzing the season as a whole that the dark atmosphere and creepy settings are really what make this season as good as it is. It’s really unfortunate these episodes have not been released on DVD (or across scattered DVDs for a few), because this is one of the most memorable and best Scooby seasons in the franchise IMO. The day we get a season set for these episodes will be a very happy day for myself and I’m sure many other Scooby fans!
Over the years, many Scooby fans have become frustrated with the fact that there are still so many unreleased episodes. As of writing this article, if you include each short individually and some of the more off-brand specials (i.e. Night of the Living Doo, The Scooby-Doo Project, etc.) there are 167 unreleased episodes in the franchise. For such a popular franchise such as Scooby, that's pretty shocking.
To briefly go over what exactly it is we're still missing, we are missing the Addams Family episode from The New Scooby-Doo Movies. This one makes a lot of sense, because there are some suspected rights issues with Charles Addams or some aspect of The Addams Family show. Moving into the "how has this not been released?" territory, we're still missing four episodes of The Scooby-Doo Show from season 2: "The Curse of the Viking Lake," "The Creepy Heap from the Deep, "The Spooky Case of the Grand Prix Race" (I can't believe this one hasn't been released yet, given there's even an action figure of the Phantom Racer), and "Creepy Cruise." We're also missing the entirety of Laff-a-Lympics season 2 (which is 8 episodes), 46 seven-minute Scrappy-Doo shorts and 24 11-minute Scrappy and Daphne shorts (this is going by US DVD releases). 3 seven-minute Scrappy shorts and 2 Scrappy and Daphne episodes have been released only on rare VHS tapes, but never on DVD. 14 Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get A Clue! episodes remain unreleased. The entirety of Be Cool Season 2 has not been released, with the exception of "Halloween" (to make up 26 missing episodes from that series, including the two shorts as their own episodes). No episodes from season 2 of Guess Who have been released (currently, 15 have aired in English). We're also missing ten specials (7 have been released on VHS) and 18 LEGO and Playmobil shorts.
My opinion of why these episodes have not been released is because Warner Brothers very much focuses all their efforts on releasing episodes from a marketing standpoint rather than a collector-focused standpoint. They want to sell as many DVDs as possible, while arguably also making as much profit off of already-released content they can. Arguably, I think the other aspect of this is that WB Marketing knows that they can release anything with Scooby's name on it, and there will be a group of more casual fans who will likely buy it. WB could make "Scooby-Doo Makes Some Stew!" and you'd totally have people buying it simply because Scooby's name is on it. I absolutely do not mean for this to come off as a scathing diss of Warner Brothers' marketing strategies, and honestly, I think it's a very good thing that Warner Brothers can do this, because it means Scooby-Doo is so popular that it's become a household name. You can casually reference Scooby-Doo in conversation to someone on the street, and they would almost positively at least have some knowledge of what you're talking about. Nearly everyone knows about Scooby, and that's created some brand loyalty where WB feels that they can keep releasing new DTV films and compilation sets for us fans.
The bummer side of this, though, is that this means much of their marketing strategies are very conservative in terms of releasing new content. Besides The Scooby-Doo Show season 2, which I have no idea why those four episodes haven't been released, all of the remaining episodes are from sort of controversial series. Many people, from a general audience perspective (meaning both Scooby fans and people and/or children who casually watch Scooby), did not like Get A Clue or the Scrappy-Doo shorts, so WB is afraid to release them out of fear it won't be a great seller. The same with Be Cool. Unfortunately, as most of us know, the animation got a lot of hate, so much so that apparently according to head writer Jon Colton Barry, he was getting death threats (yes, actual death threats, some apparently very elaborate and oddly specific) mailed to his house from angry people saying that he "ruined their childhood." While WB is probably less worried about getting death threats, it goes to show how hated the animation was and that they don't want to take too much of a risk releasing a bunch of Be Cool sets beyond the first season. I think Laff-a-Lympics is just odd and un-Scooby-ish enough that WB doesn't seem to want to take that extra step of releasing the second season.
While it's very cool that WB is able to come up with all these compilation sets that they feel would appeal to the target audience (which is most prominently children), in turn, it means that they don't think of releasing stuff from a collector lens. Personally, I desperately want them to release more season and series sets so we can have all the episodes. I miss those late 2000s-ish days where we were getting a new series set every year (sometimes multiple). We have seen inklings of WB taking a collector approach, like releasing some of the off Scrappy-Doo episodes on those 13 Spooky Tales sets from 2012-2015, or including those two unreleased Get A Clue episodes on the 50 Cartoon Collection set from 2019, but for the most part they really have avoided structuring their releases in a way that would allow collectors to get all the episodes. I really go back and forth on if I like the 13 Spooky Tales method, and I'll absolutely take that if that's what WB is willing to give us, but at the same time, I think a lot of us can agree that we don't want to have to purchase a huge set just to get one or two Scrappy shorts. It's unnecessary costly and it can waste shelf space. If you're like me, I have all my Scooby DVDs in order of series on a shelf, and it feels kind of sloppy sticking a billion 13 Spooky Tales or compilation DVDs in between series sets (which I realize likely sounds super nerdy lol). I will say I feel like it is kind of a waste for them not to release unreleased episodes whenever they can though, especially on the DTV releases. Like, with The Sword and the Scoob, did they really need to release "Hassle in the Castle" for the zillionth time? They missed a gigantic opportunity with "Wizards and Warlocks" or "Renn Scare" here. DTV sets are a great way to burn off some of these missing episodes if they're not willing to do season sets, because collectors will be buying these movies anyway.
Now one option that some obscure Hanna-Barbera series have done is to release these "unwanted" episodes through Warner Archive, which is a manufacture-on-demand DVD service that is available only online and are generally only purchased by collectors. My theory though on why this hasn't happened is that WB wants to have their cake and eat it too. I think they're generally conflicted on what to do with these remaining missing episodes. Manufacture-on-demand sets generally aren't very expensive, which means the manufacturers don't get much profit from it either (at least not as much as a DVD you'd buy from the store). I don't think WB wants to give these episodes up quite yet, in case they ever decide the time is right to release them. Scooby is a quite profitable franchise for them, so they don't want to just throw away the episodes completely, but at the same time, they're a bit skittish to release it out of fear of it not selling well.
I really hope someday they do release these episodes, preferably in season set form, but I guess all we can do is wait and see. I hope this article didn't come off as a cold diss of WB or that I'm saying Warner Brothers is screwing us all. Generally speaking, WB is doing an excellent job of keeping the franchise alive. Sometimes, not all their decisions make sense (i.e. recent lack of promotion for Scooby series, lengthy gaps with lack of marketing between new episodes, etc.), but in the end they're doing decent IMO. I really do wish they'd take a collector-oriented lens or challenge themselves to find creative ways to please the adult Scooby fans as well as kids. I'm definitely critical of WB's method of re-releasing the same episodes over and over again, but that's just because I love Scooby so much and always want the best for the franchise. Recent years haven't been the best for releasing missing episodes, but hey, we got Guess Who season 1 earlier this year, so fingers crossed we'll get some other fun new content this year. :)