Hi everyone! For this month’s article, I wanted to discuss a more historical aspect of the series: an overview of the indigenous populations that appear within various Scooby-Doo series. Many of us who grew up with these episodes may have learned a thing or two about the history behind some of the staples of indigenous culture, such as cliff dwellings. While all aspects of this culture weren’t necessarily always portrayed in a correct fashion (as Native witch doctors didn’t exactly go around shouting nonsensical gibberish at random people), there are definitely some historical elements of the culture that are taught to us through various Scooby-Doo episodes over the years.
Here to help me co-write this article is my best Internet friend (or Internet bestie, whichever term suits your fancy haha), Bradford N. Smith! Bradford is a professional screenwriter who hopes to someday write for Scooby, so if anyone at WB happens to be reading this, you need to hire Bradford already!
Now that I’ve got the shameless plug out of the way, Bradford is going to start us off with the historical aspects of cliff dwellings that he learned about in “Decoy for a Dognapper.” Parts of the article that Bradford has written will be colored in blue, while my contributions to the article will be colored in pink, so you can tell who has written what. So, with that being said, take us away, B!
Besides a brief encounter (which I’ll allow my cool friend to address later) in Mine Your Own Business, the first time the gang comes across any indigenous cultures is in the early Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! episode, Decoy For A Dognapper. Unfortunately, it is far from the best or most accurate representation in the franchise. Although the first act appears set in the suburbs, beach and downtown of a metropolitan city, once Scooby finds himself dognapped, the setting shifts to Indian Gap and an ancient village carved into the side of a cliff that is said to be abandoned. As a child, it was this depiction of cliff dwellings which was my first introduction to a culture and history outside of my own and, luckily, it is here that this episode seems to get a few things correct. While these sorts of structures are not found in California where the series is rumored to be set, the dwellings in the episode do bear some resemblance to those found in Arizona, specifically the Betatakin ruins and the improperly named Montezuma Castle National Monument, and, much like Shaggy quickly remarks later in the episode, cliff dwellings are said to have been used by ancestors of the Pueblo peoples.
Sadly, outside of this, the episode relies primarily on stereotypes. Shaggy comments a couple times on his fear of being scalped, a practice long associated with the stereotypical “hostile Indian,” the Witch Doctor refers to the gang as “pale face intruders,” a phrase originating in dime novels though later attributed to Native peoples, and several times feather headdresses, tomahawks and a screaming wail are used as a means of identifying the Ghost of Geronimo (a secondary villain later explained away as a projection). On top of these insensitive errors there are a few other infractions, like the presence of a totem pole, an artifact associated with Northwestern Coastal tribes and not those of the Southwest, and Shaggy thinking the only food they may discover there are “Indian corn” (flint corn) and beef jerky. Ultimately though, the biggest problem with the episode may come from the simple fact that the true mastermind behind it all is a white man appropriating this indigenous culture for his own nefarious deeds.
Two episodes of The New Scooby-Doo Movies also include people posing as indigenous people. The first of which is in the initial Three Stooges episode, Ghastly Ghost Town where one of the culprits is dressed up as Geronimo, though all he says is “oops!” in a dumb voice, telling you he’s probably just some random racist dude pretending to be a Native person from the start (which, admittedly, was very common in that series for the culprit to be revealed overly early on, for no reason, to the audience, but not the gang). The second was in The Haunted Showboat, and was another random guy, whom we never learn the name of, posing as the ghost of Injun Joe, a native person from the Tom Sawyer books. He resembles Injun Joe in appearance only, and acts simply like a white man would in costume. He does not have any indigenous qualities to him while in costume.
A few years after Decoy For A Dognapper, the gang stumbles across another mystery revolving around cliff dwellings and an eerily similar looking villain, in The Scooby-Doo Show episode A Bum Steer For Scooby. This time around, the episode makes an improvement by identifying their setting as Texas (Daphne’s uncle’s ranch), which does contain some cliff dwellings, though not many, and they again best resemble ones which can be found in Arizona and Colorado. The other major similarity - the episode’s main villain - remains a stereotypical display of Native people. This time addressed by Velma and Shaggy as a “medicine man” (a less offensive term than “witch doctor” for the traditional healers of indigenous peoples), the character is given far less freedom when it comes to dialogue. While his counterpart managed to speak fluent English, this “medicine man ghost” is never allowed to say more than what is essentially a parody of Native chants: “Mooka-wanka.” And yes, this is still accompanied by a dance and the shaking of a maraca, as the “witch doctor” before him had also done.
Although the previous iteration had a ghostly Geronimo chase the kids, this version contains a ghostly bull known as Tamuka (a name of African origin, meaning “to have awoken” or “to rise”) who is said to have been a spirit animal tasked with guarding the “ancient Indian burial grounds” of Hidden Valley. While these sorts of legends are not necessarily uncommon for certain indigenous cultures, the episode does take some liberties with the idea. Beyond this however, I would say that the episode demonstrates an attempt at better understanding the culture. While Shaggy seems to believe the “rich cliff dwellers” must have lived in what he calls the “penthouse” of the dwellings and relays to Scooby the common myth that totem poles were meant to “keep evil spirits away” (they were instead primarily for various types of storytelling), he seems to be displaying more of an innocent misunderstanding than outright acting offensive. In the end though, it is, as it was before, a group of white men uncovered as the perpetrators, using the legend and lore of the indigenous culture to aid in their mischief.
Watch Out! The Williwaw! features a spirit owl of indigenous legend who captures anyone it calls the name of. I think, for the times, this is one of the best representations we get of the Native population. Though indigenous folk aren’t really discussed too much, the culprit is Grey Fox, who captured Velma’s uncle Dave from his home in order to smuggle treasure and cover it up. We do see some tribal justice, however, when another member of a tribe, Red Herron, brings Grey Fox into custody. This provides a somewhat good representation of indigenous populations for kids, that tribes aren’t some “crazy, incomprehensible culture” like some of the previous representations would imply.
A Scary Night with a Snow Beast Fright features an Eskimo village in the North Pole. Our one Eskimo character we see, Chief Manook, is a pretty watered-down character and does not really do much with the gang before he is kidnapped himself. However, we do see an indigenous village with gigantic totem poles, which we later discover to be oil rigs.
The explanation for the Snow Beast, however, is a bit confusing. The Snow Beast is said to dislike that the Eskimo village is built upon sacred lands, but I would assume the Eskimo village is the sacred land...unless they rebuilt something over the lands, but it was still the same people. It’s unknown why a mythical beast would care about that, but nonetheless, it’s another representation we get of indigenous people.
In the entirety of the franchise, it’s hard to deny that one of the worst portrayals of indigenous people comes in the form of The Scooby-Doo Show episode Jeepers, It’s The Jaguaro. On their way to Rio de Janeiro, for the annual Carnival celebrations, the gang falls victim to “plane troubles” and finds themselves somewhat stranded in the middle of the Brazilian jungle and terrorized by the living embodiment of the Jaguaro, a part-gorilla, part-jaguar, part-saber-toothed cat worshipped by a tribe in the region. The moment we’re introduced to these Native peoples, the show’s already off to a rocky start as they’re adorned in the stereotypical masks and grass skirts prevalent with many portrayals in pop culture (attire Shaggy and Scooby will later wear as they mimic a tribal dance). We then hear as Shaggy’s concerns that this is a tribe of cannibals is put at ease by a pilot who explains they’re actually “headhunters,” leading Shaggy (and at times Scooby) to spend the remainder of the episode joking about his desire to keep his head, in a tone similar to his scalping concerns in the original series. And unfortunately, it only gets worse from there for this tribe that the episode makes look more “savage” than it does a pair of gorillas.
Although by no means an excuse, it is implied by Barney - a supposed documentarian - that this may be a tribe of what researchers call “uncontacted peoples,” groups that really do exist in areas of South America, which may provide some explanation for their intense reactions to the gang. And while they seem to use this as permission for “savage Native” tropes - tribal drumming, a “witch doctor,” Shaggy and Scooby ending up on a spit to be cooked, amongst others - there is one moment not entirely worth criticizing. Near the episode’s third act, upon arriving at their plane to find a small feathered object, the show has Fred identify it as a “fetish,” a term used for objects in some indigenous cultures believed to be endowed with supernatural abilities, which I found surprisingly informative (he also teaches us the unrelated word “sluice” in this episode), although such items are more attributed to cultures found in West Africa and Northern America. But in the end, things stay true to the Scooby formula as this tribe, whose lines are restricted to “chamba chambala” and “wongala,” turn out to be victims of another white man using a sacred creature as a means to frighten people away from his illegal operation.
The Hairy Scare of the Devil Bear does not feature any indigenous populations themselves, but we do get to see a devil bear (or “demon bear,” as one archaeologist calls it in the first few lines of the episode) that is supposedly a spirit that is haunting some ancient caves. A major clue in the episode is that many of the carvings supposedly telling of the bear spirit are simply just claw marks, which you’d think archaeologists would be able to tell, but maybe these weren’t among the brightest of archaeologists haha. We also see some ancient native relics when they discover the treasure at the end of the episode.
In one of the few instances of indigenous people during the “Scrappy years” of the franchise, The Quagmire Quake Caper, from The New Scooby & Scrappy-Doo Show, takes us to Sulphur Springs State Park and a nearby village. Although it’s not specified in the episode, the desert landscape suggests this could be the real world Sulphur Springs Valley (Arizona), the city of Sulphur Springs (Texas) or possibly a reference to the former Choctaw Nation community in Oklahoma named Sulphur Springs. Invited to investigate by a visiting seismologist, the group soon meets the unnamed village chief and Quanto, who share differing opinions on whether or not their community should remain in the area. Unlike many previous iterations, the indigenous people here are presented in somewhat more modern attire, though it does remain fairly stereotypical in the patterns, ponchos and simplified feather headdresses. The chief is also given the standard “Native elder” voice - deep, a little slower and saying things like “our people have lived here for centuries, guarded by the great spirit.”
A major piece of evidence in the case is a “traditional Indian medicine staff” which features a golden eagle head and feather, that is discovered to have ties to an “ancient tribal spirit chamber.” When Daphne, Shaggy and the Doos eventually discover this chamber, it’s revealed to be full of totem poles (again, not something which would be true for the area), a buffalo hide (and head) for some reason and a giant pot full of “Indian gold.” It’s this gold that is revealed to have been the motivation for the mud monster terrorizing the area, who, to this episode’s credit, actually turns out to be the indigenous villager Quanto and not a white man. However, almost as soon as this reveal happens, the chief and several other villagers arrive to the tune of tribal drumming and, as the episode continues, all the good it achieved in representation is quickly undone. We see all four members of the gang wearing feather headdresses, Scooby loading the Mystery Machine with a plethora of patterned quilts he’s taking as souvenirs, and the chief giving them the medicine staff as a memento from “my people.” Then Scooby, now with a yellow mask around his eyes in addition to his headdress, takes the staff and begins dancing/chanting to which Shaggy warns him he could be dealing with some “powerful medicine,” followed immediately by a small rain cloud appearing over Scooby's head, to which he excitedly remarks “it really works!”
Wedding Bell Boos!, another episode of The New Scooby & Scrappy-Doo Show, again features a sought after “Indian treasure,” however includes no representation by indigenous people. Visiting Shaggy’s and Scooby’s families in Plymouth, Massachusetts for Shaggy’s sister’s wedding, the group soon learns this event is haunted by Shaggy’s pilgrim ancestor, McBaggy Rogers, who arrived on the Mayflower. While “Part One” of the episode mostly revolves around the ghost’s introduction, “Part Two” introduces McBaggy’s diary and a passage about a “priceless Indian treasure” buried on the property. That soon leads into the Doos disguising themselves as indigenous people, and the Rogers (plus Daphne) dressing up as pilgrims, to trick the ghost with a maneuver that includes “Chief Scooby” wanting to “make peace” with a peace pipe - the name commonly given to the ceremonial pipes used in various Native cultures for sacred ceremonies. It’s clearly a watered down, stereotypical use of the object, but luckily this is pretty much where the episode’s take on indigenous cultures ends. When the treasure is discovered, it is revealed, much to the villain’s dismay, not to be gold or diamonds stolen from the indigenous people, but ears of corn. Although it’s not flint corn, it is referred to by that species’ nickname (“Indian corn”) and is said to have been viewed as treasure, not by the Native people (as one might have expected), but by the pilgrims, as it would grow into large crops so they’d “never go hungry again.”
The Story Stick from A Pup Named Scooby-Doo is an interesting episode that actually seems to do its research on the indigenous population, instead of making random stuff up based off of stereotypes or other such inaccuracies. The episode starts us off with Shaggy and Scooby whooping and hollering, and doing all the negative stereotypes that are not at all consistent with Native culture. Daphne’s Native friend, Warren, then comes out and simply says “hi!” and begins speaking in perfect English. This prompts Daphne to tell Shaggy and Scooby to “get serious, guys!” and that indigenous people are “just like you and me.”
While not necessarily true, because they are different in some ways and that’s totally okay, this seems like they are trying to inform kids that indigenous people are not these frightening crazy people, sort of in the vein of the moral message about teaching kids to not do drugs two episodes prior in “Scooby Dude.”
Warren does mention his “crazy” grandfather, however. Looking at this from an adult lens, I sort of understand this more as the grandfather not actually being a crazy man, but rather, a lack of understanding between an assimilated youth and his grandfather. This is a very common generational issue that can occur, especially when the youngest generation begins assimilating into the mainstream culture and the older generation feels left behind and unable to fully assimilate, because it is not something they grew up with. It’s interesting that Scooby brought some representation to that issue, albeit in a simplistic way, and I wish I would have caught that as a kid!
The monster in the episode is the Totem Monster, which is a three-level living totem with three faces. I always thought this choice of villain was pretty fitting given the use of totems in Native culture, however, I do wish that the creature had more lore behind him. The creature also speaks English for most of the episode, but when he’s telling his story, suddenly he speaks gibberish and no one can understand him, which I thought was an unfortunate inconsistency.
While I do not intend to get overly political here, one major metaphor I noticed in this episode was that the culprit was a white person, Mr. Ryan, who was trying to steal land away from Warren and his grandfather. Historically, this is a huge metaphor about how white people took the Natives’ land away from them, which in itself is an interesting historical parallel.
New Mexico, Old Monster has the gang in New Mexico, visiting Shaggy’s childhood friend Jimmy Proudwolf, who is an indigenous man that he used to go to daycare with. Jimmy also interestingly has a dog named Shooby, which is sort of an interesting parallel to my above comments about how “The Story Stick” frames it as a “Indigenous people being different isn’t a bad thing, they’re just like us” narrative. Jimmy having the same type of dog as Shaggy does, and even naming them with only one letter difference, sort of reproduces this narrative of similarity and shared meaning between indigenous and non-indigenous people, despite their unique differences. This is certainly the message I took away from the episode when first watching it when I was much younger than I am now, and I feel this is a very beneficial and important message for kids to see and hear in the media.
We get a very interesting villain as well in this episode, a gigantic bird of Native legend, the Wakumi Bird! The culprit is a United States Army colonel, who said that he fabricated the entire legend (which doesn’t totally make sense, unless he just meant fabricated it to the gang...as the native people were alive hundreds of years prior to the colonel’s existence) in order to scare people away from the cliff dwellings. The Colonel, Henry Thornwald also disguises himself as a native shaman to trick the gang into believing the legend of the Wakumi. There’s a bit of a plothole here, as it seems others besides the gang know about the Wakumi, which surely the native people would know did not come from their own legend as this shaman they’d never seen before told them. Who knows though, maybe this colonel was in it for the long con and started this as a kid haha.
We also see the gang in some cliff dwellings….sort of? It’s more a mountain than a cliff, but they are treated as cliff dwellings. We don’t exactly see much of indigenous culture in the cliff dwellings...but, Shaggy’s friend Jimmy does make dream catchers on his reservation (under the very Shaggy-like name “Like, Jimmy’s Dreamcatchers!”), and sells them among other Native art. This is why this episode is one of the best representations of indigenous culture. It shows that Native peoples aren’t these crazy folks cut off from the world, but are real people who have a place in the world and have made their way in it, and somewhat assimilated (for better or for worse) with mainstream culture.
Although a relatively recent series, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated is not without its own problematic elements when it comes to indigenous peoples, specifically in Attack of the Headless Horror. While there are brief moments of ignorance by some characters, it’s Rick Spartan, whom this episode mostly centers on, that truly displays some significantly cringe-worthy prejudice. Although it appears to have been done for the sake of humor, Rick’s views on Native cultures are seriously flawed and not the type of material which should be laughed off. Almost immediately we are introduced to a major red flag in the form of Rick’s “sidekick,” his British assistant and former Oxford classmate, Charles Wheetlesby, whom Rick refers to as “Cachinga” and speaks to in a degrading manner. And while telling him things like, “bring here quickie quickie” and “why not come when monster make bad bad?” may sound funny, it becomes serious when we learn that Rick is paying Charles to play the part of a “savage native,” implying this method of speech is derived from the stereotypes of the “uneducated native.” Additionally, Charles at one point brings up Rick’s desire for him to dress in a bearskin and antlers, in addition to carrying his spear, which Rick argues is “what savages wear,” and it is implied that Charles lives in a tribal yurt in the front yard of Rick’s suburban home. Charles would retain this “native” role in a later appearance, in the episode The Devouring.
And while hiring a white man for the role of a stereotypical indigenous person is a major problem (as is Charles accepting it), it’s also Rick’s entire claim to fame that should be put on trial as well. Following in the footsteps of Indiana Jones, Rick is another in a long line of “treasure-hunting adventurers,” whose fame is built upon the looting of artifacts from Native cultures (or in Rick’s own words, the “plundering” of tombs). In fact, it is his stealing of a “super creepy” shrunken head from an Aztec-like temple in the Amazon that results in the curse around which this episode revolves. And while this curse and all related to it are fictional, that doesn’t keep the episode from treating it like past series have treated indigenous cultures, including a whistling “tribal” score accompanying the monster’s appearances; a monster which wears a grass skirt, tooth necklace and some tribal tattoos, and turns out to be a white woman. Unfortunately, these negative aspects are not restricted to Rick and his company alone, with Fred telling Sheriff Stone to “arrest that Native” (Charles) and the entire gang performing a ritual that included Scooby waving a medicine stick over a hole as he and the others chanted.
For one of the franchise’s more comedy-driven series, Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! appears to take a more respectable approach to indigenous cultures with the episode Game of Chicken, though is not completely without its flaws. In what may be one of the best decisions from any of the mentioned episodes, the Native culture is described by name, separating them from any real world comparisons, as the completely fictional Zatari tribe (named, according to Jon Colton Barry, after video game company Atari, but with an additional “z”). That said, there can certainly be some arguments made that this parody is still inconsiderate of real world cultures and their beliefs. The notion, for example, of a culture worshipping chickens - without fully understanding the animal - can be seen as the type of joke walking that fine line between an insulting and comedic observation of the idols of some tribes. Additionally, the “last of the Zatari” being a strange, white man with an impossible to pronounce name (Rick), may also fall into that category, considering many indigenous people were not white, were viewed by other cultures as strange and frequently had their names butchered by those who saw them as unpronounceable (Sitting Bull’s name was actually an abbreviation of his Lakota name, Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake, which fully translated to Buffalo Bull Who Sits Down). Looking at the rest of the episode, we find many other common stereotypes… an Easter Island stone head made to look like a chicken, a warrior spirit adorned in a mask and fur who carries a spear and doesn’t speak (portrayed by a white man who is earlier seen desecrating the tribe’s sacred caverns with graffiti and littering glow sticks throughout), and an ancient treasure that’s revealed to be something not seen as valuable by most cultures (a chicken). So although many of this episode’s elements are played for humor and revolve around a group of entirely fictional indigenous people, there are certainly elements which do not play well when considering what they represent.
Outside of the Americas, as the gang explores Australia in Scooby-Doo! and the Legend of the Vampire, we get some, albeit minor, references to this country’s aboriginal people. Primarily, it is the character of Malcolm Illiwara (referred to only as “Grandfather” by concert organizer, Daniel) who is our window into the culture, by way of one scene. He does, of course, look “the part,” having been given a walking stick, jewelry, headband and open vest, and espousing the notion that the mystery can be explained away as part of a legend. However, beyond this, everything that is a direct reflection of his culture is presented in a considerate way. As the gang arrives at his home, he is found sending smoke signals (though Daniel does jokingly suggest he use the phone) which they are all intrigued by before helping to transport him, via canoe, to a “tribal council meeting,” which we unfortunately do not get the opportunity to see. And to their credit, none of these elements are really played for laughs, with Shaggy legitimately inquiring if he can be taught to send smoke signals in case he gets into trouble. Malcolm returns again later, having guided the Hex Girls through the Outback, back to the venue, and in the end seems to have come around to the idea of his grandson’s event. Overall, it does a nice job, with the only majorly concerning aspect of the entire production coming from a single, throw away line from Fred, prior to breaking and entering a music manager’s trailer. While looking for a way to cause a distraction, Fred for some reason suggests that Daphne disguise herself as an “aboriginal medicine woman.” Luckily, this never occurs.
The direct-to-video Scooby-Doo! and the Monster of Mexico features, as the title suggests, a heavy focus on Mexican culture, including the obligatory shoehorning in of the Day of the Dead celebrations, but also puts significant focus on the indigenous Aztec people. Set in a village located in the real state of Veracruz, Mexico, the gang spends a lot time traversing temples as they investigate the mystery of a vengeful chupacabra, many of which appear similar to the step-pyramids actually built by many Mesoamerican cultures. And, truthfully, there is a lot of excellent representation in this film; Velma mentions the Olmec people “built Mesoamerica’s first great civilization,” we’re introduced to the deity Quetzalcoatl and, while the gang at first calls him a “medicine man,” an old man is able to identify himself as a curandero (which he admits is sort of similar, as is a shaman). Now, the “wise old Native” stereotype is first a little heavy in the way the curandero refers to visiting Americans as “people from the North” and “the strangers,” as well as warning the gang they’re “in grave danger,” but it’s quickly turned on its head as the gang departs and he presents Fred with a business card for his website, AncientMexicanWisdom.com, a great tongue-in-cheek way of acknowledging the stereotype and showing that the culture is not oblivious to modern technology. When it comes to issues of representation, the real concern lies in the presentation given to the gang at Mexico City’s National Museum (or Museum of Anthropology) which correctly identifies 1325 as a year in which the Aztecs existed, but leans heavily into presenting the culture as a tribe of “savage Natives” with the museum guide telling them, “War-like Aztecs had many barbarous rituals. For example, warriors sacrificed thousands of captives on the altars atop the pyramids, often ripping out their still beating hearts to offer to the gods.” However, the moment that is perhaps the most uncomfortable comes during the gang’s altercation with a group of tourists at the pyramids. It is during this that they duck into a temple’s “ancient tombs” and, at Velma’s suggestion, rob “traditional clothing of the Native Indian skeletons” for disguises. Cultural appropriation aside, that’s a disturbing level of grave desecration.
We also get some minor mentions potentially worth mentioning, in the form of a “Cigar Store Indian” making a very brief appearance in Mine Your Own Business, as well as a somewhat horrifying scene in Nowhere to Hyde of Shaggy and Scooby reenacting the whites taking away all the Native people’s stuff in real life. It was a bit of an unfortunate inclusion in the episode, as it really wasn’t needed and the history that they were joking about most certainly is not a joke. It’s a pretty dark piece of history and certainly nothing to laugh at.
Throughout the franchise, a couple other appearances, not yet mentioned, by indigenous people pop up in relatively minor circumstances that are worth noting. The first, from The New Scooby-Doo Movies episode Weird Winds of Winona, is hardly anything concrete, as no mention is made within the episode itself, but it has long been rumored that Mark (the Fred-like member of the Speed Buggy gang) is altered from being a Caucasian man to being one of indigenous ancestry. And while a simple glimpse of an old Speed Buggy cartoon certainly makes it clear that this episode darkened his skin, his actual ancestry is left up to interpretation (and was likely simply the result of a decision to better differentiate him from Fred). The other minor mention worth exploring comes from the direct-to-video adventure, Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders. Again, no direct mention of ancestry is made, but many have seen the mechanic, Buck, as somebody from an indigenous culture. Should that be true, his use of short, slow sentences comes off a little stereotypical and his exclusion from the final credits is a bit upsetting (although that’s true regardless of his race), but would overall be a good modern portrayal of a man with Native ancestry.
In addition, there’s also the Native village that appears in A Tiki Scare is No Fair. Contrary to popular stereotypes, Hawaiian people are not necessarily Native. In fact, only about 10% of Hawaiian people are native to the island, the rest being a mix of White, Black, Asian, etc. Because of this, we did not want to presume that Mano Tiki Tia (or other Hawaiian episodes or films) were intended to be related to indigenous populations, so we have chosen to not cover them in this overview. This also extends to the variety of “ancient curses” and “ancient spirits” the gang have come across, which may not necessarily have roots in an indigenous culture.
It should be worth noting that while these paragraphs have indulged in some significant criticism of the Scooby-Doo franchise, we are, as many of you are, fans of the show and well aware that it is an animated series produced for children and families. This post wasn’t intended to shame anyone, nor was it meant to be a politically correct attack on a beloved Hanna-Barbera classic, but simply wanted to explore the portrayal of indigenous people within the Scooby-Doo franchise over time. We are also not making the accusation that any of this was done intentionally to cause harm or to disrespect cultures, but was likely just overlooked. It’s not unusual for material produced by people of one culture not to be aware of how their representation of other cultures may be viewed. That’s an impossible responsibility to put on anyone, but it is a good example of how representation behind the scenes matters. Perhaps some of these issues could have been cleaned up along the way by writers, producers, directors, storyboard artists or other industry professionals with Native ancestry and enhanced to give children of these cultures better representations of themselves and their families. As a comedic series, there is obviously an obligation to make people laugh, but there is also a moral obligation, as a program which many are viewing during an impressionable time in their lives, to create humor in a manner that is not mocking or mischaracterizing cultures.
Because of the times in which some of these episodes were written and aired, not all of the representation of indigenous people in the franchise are positive (especially in the early part of it), hopefully this article was still an interesting and informative piece on the representation of indigenous people in the Scooby-Doo franchise.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article on the more historical aspect of Scooby, which is admittedly in a very different style than I typically write on the site. And I’d also like to thank Bradford once again for helping me write the first co-written editorial article ever in the history of the site! Thanks, B, for your great contributions and for being an amazing friend!
If you want to follow Bradford on social media, you can follow him @hireBRADFORD on both Twitter and Instagram, and be sure to check out all his amazing Scooby-Doo fan scripts at bradfordwritesscooby.com.
There are a lot of Scooby-Doo villains that have appeared throughout various intros over the years. While many of them are taken directly from episodes of the respective series, you'd be surprised how many of really cool villains appear in the Scooby-Doo intros that never actually appear in the series. In this post, I want to give those "lost" Scooby-Doo villains the spotlight and also analyze if I think they would be decent villains that should have had their own episodes.
All villains from the original series, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?, were properly utilized in the show, so let's begin with The New Scooby-Doo Movies intro.
Perhaps an odd villain to start with, but we never do see this ape in an episode, who is chasing the gang with an adorable smile on his face. Just purely due to the smile, I would have loved to see him appear in an episode. There are rumors out there that supposedly, some of The New Scooby-Doo Movies episodes have short scenes cut from a few of the episodes in syndication, due to things which the gang mention that happen in-episode that we never see. While I am more inclined to believe that these things simply happened off-screen, it is possible that this ape is King Kong, who Shaggy mentions attacked him and Scooby on Sandy Duncan's movie set in "Sandy Duncan's Jekyll and Hydes" despite us never seeing it.
While not a villain, it's worth mentioning the Globetrotters' dog appears in the original intro, despite him not appearing in any of the three episodes they guest starred in.
And now let's get to the mummies! The most common villain to appear in a Scooby-Doo intro that doesn't appear in the actual show are mummies! These include a mummy chasing Laurel and Hardy in The New Scooby-Doo Movies, a mummy in The Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show intro, a mummy in the What's New Scooby-Doo? intro (different from the one that actually appears in the show) and a mummy in the Be Cool, Scooby-Doo intro! I'm always down for a good spooky mummy, none of these seem particularly special (and the mummy from What's New Scooby-Doo? seems to be similar to the Mummy of Ankha from Scooby-Doo! Where Are You?
The Scooby-Doo Show includes one particularly cool villain that was never used. I'm uncertain if this is supposed to be a close-up of an early character design of Merlin, but Merlin also appears in an earlier shot in the intro a few seconds earlier, and this one looks different to me! This is probably my favorite of the unused villains in any intro, and I'd love to see this cool looking ghost wizard get his episode!
And speaking of redesigns, an early design of Mamba Wamba makes an appearance at the very end of the intro!
Lastly, we get a very generic ghost, which I'm glad they didn't put in an episode. The Scooby-Doo Show had some really cool villains and I'm glad that they didn't go with something so basic.
Speaking of basic, thus begins the tri-series era where the animators just included random, basic villains in the intro rather than ones that actually appear in episodes. All of these are so basic that I really have nothing to say about them, and wouldn't want them to appear in their own episodes. All of these villains were done better in other series, in my opinion. Let's start with The Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show.
Here are the unused villains from The Richie Rich / Scooby-Doo Show.
We also get one villain in The Scooby & Scrappy-Doo / Puppy Hour intro, which is just a mad scientist (sorry for the horrible picture quality, this is the best I could get since the intro isn't on DVD).
The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show includes some recolored Where Are You villains as seen above, though two other villains are featured. It's not something I'd want to see get their own episode, as clearly the animators were going the "ooh, scary thing!" route rather than creating actual decent villains for the intro.
We do get one decent villain in that intro, however. This vampire is pretty creepy looking and I'd definitely be down for him getting his own episode!
Ah, the catchy New Scooby-Doo Mysteries intro remains one of my favorites of any Scooby intro, because of the super catchy song, why else! In addition, we also get some actually decent villains in this! The first of which is a somewhat generic ghost, but it's so gigantic that it's actually menacing, and the odd design of its head is enough to intrigue me and want it to get its own episode, especially if it had a decent enough back story!
We also get another creepy looking old man ghost on a showboat. Makes me sort of wonder if this was the intended villain for "Showboat Scooby" in an early draft! This ghost should totally get his own episode someday!
The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo ending before the overarching plot was concluded made us have to wonder what the 13th ghost (or 12th, depending on your opinion on Captain Ferguson) looked like, before Curse of the 13th Ghost anyway. Besides Maldor and Zomba being in the intro, we get a couple of extra ghosts that appear in the intro that do not appear in the series. The first batch of three look like they could be part of Morbidia's monsters or SAPS, but I will acknowledge they all look pretty cool!
You know who I think should really be the 13th ghost? This guy! He looks so creepy with multiple eyes and a giant mouth. I think they really could have created an interesting storyline around this monster as the 13th ghost.
We now go from a terrifying, nightmarish creature to the more silly A Pup Named Scooby-Doo intro. Like this creature that appears in Scooby's dog bowl...he's pretty neat and could have made a good villain in Pup, I think!
Ah, gotta love that Simple Plan-sung What's New, Scooby-Doo? intro! There was some really good pop-punk bands in that day and age, and Simple Plan was certainly one of them...but that's not what we're talking about! What's New, Scooby-Doo? goes back to the Scrappy age of all random villains appearing in the intro, but these are actually pretty decent! We start off with a headless waiter that is so cool and totally should have been in his own episode!
Next is this cave-dwelling creature that looks sort of dinosaurish...he's colored the same as the Gigantosaurus. The notion of a cave-dwelling creature is definitely intriguing and draws upon the "mysterious, unknown" angle of horror, and I would have loved to have an episode centered around a creature like that.
Robots are always cool, and this one is definitely no exception. I think this would have been a cool villain for the "Space Ape at the Cape" episode in place of the Space Ape, or for some other space-centered episode.
And this guy is just a nightmare and a half! I'm always down for a really creepy, horror-focused episode so I'd definitely be interested in seeing what the series could have done with him.
No new villains in the Get A Clue or Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated intros, so let's move on to Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! where we get a giant spider! I like how its eyes are glowing, and the two small circles at the top and multiple big circles at the bottom almost makes it look like a creepy smile! I bet Jon Colton Barry would have made this into a neat episode.
Thanks for reading everyone, and I hope you enjoyed this article! :) I'd be interested to know if anyone else would have wanted some of these "lost" villains to get their own episodes!
Universal Studios classic villains from the original monster movies got everyone interested in the genre of horror way back in the 1930s. It seems only natural then that a series focused around solving mysteries of spooky monsters, even if they are usually people in masks, would include the Universal monsters that inspired the genre. Frequently throughout the Scooby-Doo universe, we have seen classic Universal Monsters utilized as villains in large groups, including the popular Where Are You episode "A Gaggle of Galloping Ghosts," and the Halloween special "A Halloween Hassle at Dracula's Castle."
At the beginning of the year, I did a poll on the site about what people's favorite episodes using groups of classic Universal Monsters were. Given what a prominently used trope this is in the Scooby-Doo franchise, I'd like to dive a bit deeper into it and explore my opinions on how this can be done well. Keep in mind that I am solely reviewing these episodes based on the Universal monsters aspect of them. All of these are wonderful episodes, but some have a ways to go in staying consistent with the horror elements of the original...
Let's start off on how this could be done not so well. Super Scary Movie Night is an episode of Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get A Clue that features the abominable Dr. Phibes (anyone get the reference here?) creating monsters to terrorize Shaggy and Scooby on CD. The ghost that delivers the CD to Shaggy and Scooby, even though it's one of the agents, provides an amazing atmosphere especially with the lightning in the background at night. But the rest of the episode...has a ways to go in the horror department. Having a flatulent pig in the episode was obviously the first mistake, and the rest of the episode's atmosphere is very corny and silly rather than staying true to the original horror elements that popularized the use of Universal monsters. Take the "Money Mummy" for example, whose only frightening deed in the episode is pickpocketing people's wallets.
Needless to say, I do love this episode and it's one of my favorite of Get A Clue, but analyzing it up against the other episodes that used this element, it doesn't do it particularly well.
Who's Minding the Monster? is the question one New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo episode poses, when Daphne, Scooby, Shaggy and Scrappy help out Dracula and his wife babysit after Frankenstein disappears. Sound all over the place? Well...it is. This episode is so wacky that it, like the Get A Clue episode, suffers a bit. Everything feels very rushed in the episode and many things are left unexplored. One interesting dilemma that the episode brought up was the classic Munsters dilemma, of how two vampires (well, Herman was Frankenstein's monster in the series, but same idea) can make a werewolf baby. Dracula also refers to his wife as "poopsie," which is a serious mood killer for horror tropes lol. In the aforementioned poll, it's also worth noting that not a single person chose this episode as the best.
Let's get to The Ghoul, The Bat and the Ugly (from The Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show) next. Though we aren't in a castle, I think the idea of having the monster movie award show be the setting for Universal monsters showing up is an excellent idea, however, it was executed in a way where the monsters were just crammed in in favor of focusing on the Shadow Creature plot. Don't get me wrong, this is my favorite episode of the show and The Shadow Creature is one of my favorite villains. I just would have preferred if they separated the villains into different episodes, like maybe save the Shadow Creature for a different episode and just focus on the Universal monsters. It's a bit too much to focus on otherwise, and the monsters have to get pushed to the back burner. The atmosphere and horror tropes in this episodes are truly excellent, however, just that one element doesn't quite do it for me.
A Gaggle of Galloping Ghosts from Where Are You remains many people's favorite episode. Atmospherically, I love anything to do with castles, and think it's a must when including anything on the Universal Monsters (with the exception of "The Ghoul, The Bat and the Ugly," which had such a revolutionary setting idea that it was still great). I love the monsters' designs as well, and the whole setup of why the gang goes there is super creepy. However, my quip with this particular episode is the monsters don't really have any reason to be there. It's not said if it's their castle, or why they're haunting it, and it's also not explained why they're in a group. As close as this episode comes to being perfect, I feel this one element could have been explained better.
Before I move forward into the episodes I think are perfect, and what makes them perfect, I want to clarify that I hope this post isn't reading like "this episode is crap, and this episode is crap, and THIS episode is crap..." All of these episodes are so amazing that any criticisms I have are incredibly small and nitpicky. The point of this post was more to show how one could strike a perfect balance, and how I think this trope is done best.. And with that, these are the episodes that show us how:
I'll admit I'm a huge optimist which makes me always imagine how things could be done better or differently in a positive way... and Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School definitely exemplifies this! I'm not going to definitively say it's my favorite because I am a bit of a purist when it comes to this trope (because of how much I love it!), but this movie does really well exploring a way to use the Universal monsters trope through a different lens. This will probably shock those who know me, given Ghoul School is my favorite Scooby movie of all time. I feel it's done a little better in one episode, but the idea of making the Universal monsters good guys, as well as their daughters, framed through the lens of a school is a super interesting idea!
And we have a tie! Equally as perfect for this trope as Ghoul School is Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf. It's a bit more silly with the monsters racing, but the use of real monsters and Dracula actively attempting to kill Shaggy and his friends amps up the stakes for me (no pun intended, but actually pun intended). The whole bit where Dracula is "king of all the monsters" and all the monsters report to him, whilst in his castle is a really cool idea. The whole vibe that the castle gives off is genuinely spooky, and the structural format of the monsters reporting to Dracula provided some great lore...which is a must for an episode using the Universal monsters trope.
What could this episode have done better?
Well, nothing, really. This one episode just had extra aspects that made it even better...
A Halloween Hassle at Dracula's Castle truly exemplifies this trope in Scooby-Doo. Centering around the gang going to a Halloween party with the real Universal monsters is a genius idea, and as with Reluctant Werwolf, it's a structural masterpiece. The fact that it's centered around a classic holiday that inspires horror really cements it in for me, as well as the fact that we not only get that same monster grouping that works so well, but we also get two other villains! The lore behind Dr. Van Helsing being Dracula's age-old enemy, and now him being the only ghost that can scare the monsters is plot development perfection.
This is a trope that needs to stay alive in Scooby-Doo, and this episode is the perfect model for doing so, in my opinion.
I'm sorry to those of you who aren't Harry Potter fans, because this month's editorial piece is all about the Hogwarts Houses!
I was inspired by a tweet I saw the other night on Twitter, in which a person suggested Velma could be a Hufflepuff. I know a lot of Scooby fans (and people in general) are also into Harry Potter, which gave me the idea: what Hogwarts Houses would the gang fit in? I'll admit my answers have changed since first seeing that post, but here are my thoughts:
Velma - Ravenclaw
Ravenclaws are known for their sharpness of mind and great intellect, and who better to be in that house than our Velma? Ravenclaws also have very creative minds, and offer great wisdom to their friendships. Being the brains of the group, Velma fits in perfectly with Ravenclaw.
Fred - Gryffindor
Our favorite trappin' boy is the leader of the gang, a quality that comes natural to Gryffindors. Gryffindors are also said in the books and films to display great courage, bravery, and chivalry, all of which applies to Fred.
Daphne - Slytherin
This is probably the one that's going to get the most disagreement, but I think Daphne fits best into Slytherin. Slytherins are incredibly resourceful, which makes me think of Daphne immediately. How many times in the franchise has she opened a door with a hairpin or found some creative way out of a danger-prone situation? Another Slytherin quality, self-preservation, is sort of present in Daphne at times if you mess with her...especially if you get her hair wet!
At first, my thought was that Daphne might be more of a Hufflepuff, but after I noticed another person's categorization (credit for sparking the thought to Amelia Wellman, who you may know from the Scooby Dos or Scooby Don'ts podcast), it dawned on me that Daphne actually does share more characteristics with Slytherin than any other house.
Shaggy - Hufflepuff
Where does Shaggy fit in all this? For his nerdiness, loyalty, kindness towards animals and tolerance of spooky ghosts while hanging out with the gang, I think he's right at home in Hufflepuff. I'll admit, Hufflepuffs are suppose to have moderation (which he definitely doesn't have with food), but I think all the other common characteristics fit him well!
Scooby-Doo - Hufflepuff
Like his lifelong companion Shaggy, Scooby-Doo is also a Hufflepuff for the same reasons, I believe. Scooby is fiercely loyal and dedicated to his friends, even if he is a bit of a scaredy cat. This kind dog who tolerates ghosts and monsters galore for his four human companions is undeniably a Hufflepuff.
And before y'all joke about it, I would say that yes, Scrappy is also a Slytherin for his "lemme at 'em" attitude towards ghosts and monsters, self-preservation ("I'm just a puppy!" was Scrappy's catchphrase in his first year and determination to fight.
I hope you enjoyed this article, and if you are a Harry Potter fan, I'd love to hear whether you agree with my assessments or not! And you all are welcome to tell me what house you think you'd be in as well, I'm a Hufflepuff for life! haha
"Hi Guys, Don Knotts Again": The Five Most Bizarre Joke Comments Posted on the Site (Happy April Fools Day!)
Happy April Fools Day!
For many of us right now, I'm sure we're feeling a deficit of good given the current circumstances. Since it's April Fools Day, I wanted to just do a fun, mindlessly silly post purely for comedy reasons that should hopefully bring a smile to some people's faces.
There have admittedly been a lot of ridiculous joke comments on the site over the years, likely from bored kids with nothing else to do. While most of them are not very funny, there have been a few that have given me a chuckle. Typically, I never respond to any joke comments, but now, I'm going to highlight my five favorite joke comments that have been posted on the site.
Since I'd never usually give attention to spammers, I'd like to explain my thoughts on doing this. Most of these are incredibly old (the most recent one being last September, but some dating back to 2014), and I'm assuming that these were just bored kids passing by. It is very unlikely that any of the five people who wrote these comments are still around to read this post, so I don't think it's going to encourage their behavior.
I'm also not trying to publicize spam, or say that I think all attempts of spamming is funny. 99% of the spam comments I've seen on here (or anywhere else on the Internet) are just annoying, unnecessary and rude. But, every once in a while, I'll read an amusing one that's so mindlessly random or silly that it's actually funny. I'm not trying to encourage or glamorize any sort of spamming, and if you do spam on this site, you will be banned and your IP address will be blocked. Trust me, I've received plenty of stupid ones like "da mafia comin' to arrest ya!" or "y'all are idiots for hangin' out on this dumb site" (actual comments I received a long time ago) that are simply a waste of the commenter's time, and none of those are included. These were just five silly ones that I wanted to share in a time where many people could use some comedy.
Without further ado, here are the top 5:
What? She's not?
The first joke comment I ever received, and while it may not be the funniest, it amuses me thinking that this person genuinely thought that the idea of someone's mother not helping them would scare people lol.
I have no idea what was going through that person's head at the time, but whatever it was sounds quite lively haha.
I blanked out this name as it was somewhat distasteful and could offend some people. The comment, however, is hilarious! I love how the very gangsta-ish language and then the random use of the word "establishment" lol. I checked out "myhomies.com" out of curiousity to what it was, and apparently it's a rehab center's official website? Clearly the person posting it didn't actually look at what the link they were posting was, and just wanted to be cool haha.
I actually don't think I deleted these comments as they were so amusing. It's obviously not Don Knotts and probably was just some bored kid, but imagining Don Knotts waiting in his house for 47 years to find out what people really thought of his performance in Scooby-Doo just amused me. I love that he followed up three days later too. That's some serious dedication haha!
I think I've mentioned this one before as it's so out of left field, but I don't think I've ever shared the full version. This isn't a comment, but rather an interesting email that I couldn't help but open immediately after I saw who it was from lol. I received an email in 2015 from someone claiming to be famous rapper P. Diddy, asking me to join him on an insurance venture. Five years after receiving it, here's the full email (note: some minor explicit content):
And before you ask, I did not respond before "da end of da week," so presumably, Snoop Dogg did indeed receive that call lol.
I hope you all enjoyed this post, and hopefully it made you smile at least a little bit! Happy April Fools Day to you all!
In this essay, I'm going to argue that Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy are homeless. In numerous episodes throughout The Richie Rich / Scooby-Doo Show, Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy are hinted to be living out of the Mystery Machine, doing daily rituals that would normally be done in one's house. Going through all 60 shorts in the series, I will discuss the numerous times in which the gang is hinted to live out of the Mystery Machine, and ultimately, demonstrate that they are intended to be homeless, or traveling from place to place, in this series. This essay is not an attempt to disparage or make fun of anyone who is homeless, rather, it is simply an editorial essay pointing out a relevant factor that's present through the entire show.
Let's begin with "Scooby in Wonderland." Scooby, Shaggy and Scrappy are shown to be sleeping in their van, not in sleeping bags, but in what appears to be full-size beds. While it may have been possible these could be beds somewhere else, as they look like beds you'd have in a house, the first seen actually pans into the Mystery Machine, which shows that they are sleeping in their van. Scrappy and Scooby have one bed, while Shaggy sleeps in the other.
Our next short that has some evidence of this is "Scooby's Trip to Ahz," which has the gang watching "The Wizard of Oz" on TV...out of their parked van. It seems a bit odd that they would just randomly park their van to go watch television. This could maybe be explained, if it weren't for the numerous other episodes that have evidence of them living out of the van.
In "Scooby's Luck of the Irish," Scooby, Scrappy and Shaggy are eating Irish stew in the woods. The stew was clearly shown to be made with an old pot, heated by fire, telling me that they don't have an oven or any other means of cooking it. It seems quite odd to be eating stew out in the woods, especially when it's dark, even though no evidence was shown of them living out of the van in this episode.
In quite possibly the most pitiful example, "Scooby and the Beanstalk" begins with the gang eating baked beans in an empty field. It begins to rain, however, and the beans are ruined. Shaggy claims there is nothing else to eat because that was all they had. Afterwards, they go and sleep in the van, hungry. If anything, this seems like a very clear example of them being homeless.
While these four are all the evidence we have of them living out of the van, it seems to happen often enough for it to be a possibility. What makes this a further possibility is how many jobs they have in this series. Spoilers: it's a ton. Nine out of the sixty episodes in the series has the guys getting jobs. These jobs include the following. In "The Chinese Food Factory," they get jobs as night watchmen at a Chinese food factory. In "Stuntman Scooby," they get jobs as stuntmen on the set of a film. "Scooby's Three Ding-A-Ling Circus" has the gang working as carnival workers selling food. "Surprised Spies" has them hired by the FBI to be professional spies. The guys get jobs as a magician's assistants in "Backstage Scooby." The gang is working on cleaning space shuttles in "Scooby Saves the World." Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy get jobs as foremen building the Vampire State Building in "Hardhat Scooby." The very next episode, "Canine to Five" has them working for a scientist who turns into a werewolf. They start their very own gardening service, the Triple S Gardening Service in "Hothouse Scooby." Finally, "Scooby Doo 2000" has the guys cleaning Big Ben in England.
So why are the gang homeless? We don't exactly know for sure obviously, but my thoughts are that they are traveling the world out of their van. They seem to bring their van to quite odd places such as an Arabian temple (which would require cross-ocean travel). The gang travels to locations in this series, including the old west, England, Arabia, Egypt, the Himalayas, Mexico, Scotland, the Amazon jungle, an unnamed prehistoric island, the Swiss Alps, Italy, Hawaii, Alaska, Carlsbad (Bad Carl's) Caverns, Paris, India, somewhere in the South, The Great Wall of China, and England for a second time.
While maybe not the most solid, undeniable argument I've ever made, I think the evidence for the gang traveling the world living out of their van in The Richie Rich / Scooby-Doo Show is pretty decent, and is definitely my head canon for the series. I think it's an interesting twist that the writers chose to write them this way, and I'm admittedly not sure why, other than maybe they wanted to keep that element of the Mystery Machine from the original format as a home base for the guys in their travels. Keep in mind, we never do see the gang's homes in the 1969-1979 series either, though they are not shown to be living out of the van through context clues as they seem to be in this series. If going hungry because your baked beans cooked in a bucket got soggy doesn't mean you're living in a van, I don't know what does.
After rewatching a bunch of The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries episodes lately for my prior article, as well as The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show, I can definitely understand people's argument that "11 minutes is just too short to come up with a valid plotline." However, people seem to forget that there were a few standout episodes among the more rushed plotlines (IMO), so much so that I would argue that, if they were to be done in the right tone (don't think Curse of the 13th Ghost or Zombie Island), I wouldn't mind seeing them as direct-to-video films. I can already hear people scoffing behind their screen, "What? How could a horrible 11 minute episode being drawn out even further make it any better?" With the episodes I'm about the break down, I offer the opposite argument: 11 minutes didn't do the episodes justice. The episodes were a bit rushed, but I feel only because of the time constraint placed on them. Here are the four episodes that stand out to me that would be greatly benefitted by a longer runtime:
This episode starts off with Daphne, Shaggy, and the dogs going to a haunted house. Daphne is determined that the hauntings are just rumors, and wants to debunk them once for all for a story she's doing as a journalist. Upon entering the house, Daphne begins reading a journal kept by whoever previously lived there, and reads terrifying tales of poltergeist hauntings. While Daphne and Scrappy never see any of these spooks, Shaggy and Scooby encounter spook after spook, eerily right as Daphne reads them. When Shaggy and Scooby sit down by the fire, they meet "The Fireplace Fiend," a terrifying face that comes out of the fireplace in the living room when you least expect. After going to bed, Shaggy and Scooby encounter four ghosts (pictured above), who perform various mischievous acts with their bed in order to scare them away. Shaggy and Scooby then flee downstairs, where they see some terrifying animal heads that fly off the wall, and Shaggy runs into a living skeleton and fall through a secret passage to the basement. In the basement, they find coffins full the same types of journal that Daphne reads, which is pretty terrifying if you think about it. Pretty quickly, they run into a stone statue that comes to life and chases them out of the basement, so they go back upstairs. Shaggy and Scooby see also immediately see another ghost playing the piano, and try to take a picture of it so Daphne will have to believe them. Despite getting a picture with the ghost, somehow the photo flips around and takes a picture of Shaggy and Scooby, despite the camera clearly not pointing in their direction at all. Last but not least, a painting of a ghost ship comes to life and floods the house. Daphne, unsure what happened, gets caught in the flood with Shaggy and the dogs, and is swept outside, as the house descends into the Earth.
You could certainly view this as a meaningless 11-minute romp where they run into ghost after ghost, which I know some people don't like. Personally, I thought this episode was really spooky, and just sort of gave us a glimpse into this house that was plagued with all sorts of spirits. It seemed like the episode was setting us up to believe that we couldn't begin to imagine all the horrors in that house, which is a pretty disturbing premise. All those journals in the coffins in the basement also back my interpretation up, as presumably, they were filled with writing about more frightening things that happen in this haunted house. Atmospherically, this episode is top notch and one of the biggest reasons I think this would be a great DTV.
I think the episode's only issue was the constant scares happening one after another, which sadly took away a little from the suspense. I think, if the plot were spaced out a little more for further plot development, this is a real hidden gem that could be developed into a great DTV film.
Happy Birthday, Scooby-Doo
"Happy Birthday, Scooby-Doo," albeit a 22-minute episode, I think could have benefitted from a longer story as well. The episode revolves around Scooby being tricked by the gang to go to a TV station to investigate a "howling ghoul." It turns out, they were actually trying to get Scooby to the TV station to be featured "This Is Your Life" birthday program. The beginning of the episode delves into Scooby's most frightening case ever, The Red Skull Curse Case. Remember that case? Of course you don't...because we never see it. They just made up a case that didn't actually occur.
After we hear the story, The Red Skull returns by literally jumping out of a television screen (pretty freaky!) and tries to harm Scooby. Problem is, we're already 11 minutes into the 22 minute episode when The Red Skull first appears, which makes the rest of the episode incredibly rushed. I think this is a lot of people's favorites of The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries, but the rushed plot in the second half of the episode does it a real disservice in my opinion. I think an extended version of this (not the exact same thing, but something similar) could have been a great 50th anniversary film, or just a great film in general. The beginning of the film could show the gang actually solving the case of The Red Skull, then maybe 20 or so minutes in, we could flash forward a few years and then get to the Red Skull returning, fleshing his character out more, so it would create more of a sense of surprise and suspense. The element of surprise they were going for was really ruined by us never meeting the villain before. The Red Skull is a super cool villain and I think just cramming him into the last 10 minutes didn't really work as well as it could have. Having this be a 70 minute movie would also allow The Red Skull to do more once he'd returned, and you could even develop the plot about Fred being framed more in-depth.
The Nutcracker Scoob
I've heard from a lot of fans that they've always wanted a full-length Christmas film, and I think if you were hypothetically going to extend any Christmas episode so far to make a DTV, this would be the one to do it. This episode has a lot going for it, but again, the execution of them trying to parody The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol at the same time comes across really rushed. It feels like at times they're so focused on the plot with Mr. Nickelby that we don't see much of the ghost, or get much of a development of what he wants until the very end. I think a clever plot device could have been the gang thinking Nickelby and the ghost were the same person for most of the film, maybe even do some false foreshadowing, then only realizing at the end that he wasn't at all related to the ghost, as a twist ending. This is easily my favorite Scooby Christmas special, but it comes off as rushed with trying to parody so much at once, and I think it could be better developed in a film-length adaption.
A Halloween Hassle at Dracula's Castle
When the Scooby Halloween film was announced for 2020, this is immediately the episode I thought of in terms of what I would want to see. I truly hope we do get a movie adaption of this someday. This episode starts off with a very spooky feeling fall wind, and has the gang going to a costume shop, where are invited to a Halloween Party by the owner. It turns out, the attendees of the Halloween party are not people in costume, but rather real monsters who need the gang's help. It turns out, their castle is being haunted by the Ghost of Dr. Van Helsing, Dracula's age-old enemy. I love the lore behind the villain they chose, as this was actually Dracula's enemy in the original lore and books, not just some random person they picked. We also get a seemingly side-plot of Chandra searching for the Moonstone Medallion, which turns out to be the main plot when she captures most of the gang and then uses the medallion for dark magic purposes.
Did my summary sound a little rushed? Well, that's because it was.
All this was crammed into a 22 minute episode, and we don't even get to the stuff with Van Helsing's ghost or Chandra until the last 10 minutes of the episode, which doesn't do the episode any favors. Honestly, I love the classic Halloween feel of this episode, and all the cool lore and dark magic behind it, and I think this would be better as a film, where it could be properly fleshed out and we could actually have time to truly understand everything that's going on. I'm also a huge fan of the classic Universal monsters, haunted castles, and Halloween, so this is just a huge win for me. Side note as well, the background score of this episode is just exemplary IMO, one of the best of any Scooby episode. This episode may seem a little odd to some, but I feel everything it has going for it fits perfectly with the Scooby-Doo formula.
I hope you enjoyed this article. If you have any thoughts on these, or any other episodes from either of these series, I'd love to hear people's thoughts in the comments!
Mission Un-Doo-Able: How the US's Worries About Foreign Invasion Influenced the Writing of The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries
The year is 1984, and tensions from Cold War are rising by the day. From watching television news, reading the newspaper, and watching spy movies, Americans feared the Soviet Union taking over the country with their communist ideals. After the invention of the Atomic Bomb, the Soviet Union and the United States both struggled for scientific dominance over one another, but also feared that the other side might have unimaginably strong weapons that would completely wipe out the country. Because of this, many of these ideals reflected into popular television and films in the United States. After all, it was what was on Americans' minds, and the idea of psychological warfare both fascinated and terrified them.
Of its twenty episodes, ten episodes of The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries featured plots relating to spies or the creation of scientific technology with intent of destruction. In this article, I am analyzing each of these episodes from a socio-historical point of view, discussing how the plots of each of these episodes reflected Americans' fear at the time of political takeover from another country. Please note, this post does include spoilers from the ten episodes, sometimes revealing the culprit for the sake of analysis.
The Hand of Horror
While the third episode of The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries didn't have any spies, it did feature the creation of intelligent technology that the villain was attempting to use for a criminal purpose. In the episode, two twin brothers from the Von Gizmo family invent a technology that involves robotic hands to be remote controlled from an incredibly long distance. However, their lab assistant, Ratfield, suddenly turns on them and wants to use these hands to commit crimes. Ratfield even captures one of the twin brothers, ties him up, then proceeds to impersonate him. The other brother believes that Ratfield is his brother, and does not realize anything is wrong. In the guise of his twin brother, Ratfield attempts to take control of this technology and use it for his own nefarious purposes.
Thinking about the social-historical context at the time this episode aired, this episode truly encapsulates the general public's fear of the government creating such a powerful technology that it destroys us all. While obviously, a Scooby-Doo episode isn't going to show people being nuked, the implications are still obviously there. This episode reflects the central fear at the time of a powerful technology being created for good, but then used against us for evil purposes by outsiders. The episode paints the lab assistant, Ratfield, as this outsider, who is coming in to use the brothers' own technology against them. Moreover, while the episode never uses the word 'spy' to describe Ratfield, this episode also reflects the fear of communism. At the time, the United States was terrified that communists may be hiding among us. Symbolically, this episode has the Von Gizmo twins representing the United States, building a technology used for good, but then has Ratfield, who could symbolically represent the Soviet Union, come in and try to steal this technology to use for evil. Ratfield also represents the trope of a foreign invader being hidden among us, without anyone realizing who he truly is until he has already gained control of the technology.
The Stoney Glare Stare
This episode represents our first episode that actually has instances of spies. While this episode takes us in a much more magical direction, even working in some ancient Greek mythology, this narrative of international takeover is still embedded in the episode.
The episode starts off with the gang in Greece, trying to stop an international criminal named Thaddeus Blimp from using the Mask of Medusa. This fabled mask has the power to turn anyone who looks at it into stone. Though a Scooby-Doo episode would never use the word "terrorist," arguably, Thaddeus Blimp does display such qualities in the episode. He expresses the desire to take over the world with this mask, which represents the struggle between the US and the Soviets. The Soviet Union and the US were both gigantic world superpowers at the time, and the main fear of the Cold War is that one superpower would overtake everything and "take over the world," either with democracy or with communism (depending on what side you were on). Thaddeus Blimp is the representation of such a terrorist figure who seeks to take over the world with nefarious technology. Whilst the Mask of Medusa is obviously not a real thing that has ever been used, you could argue that this magical device is a technology that could be used for warfare. By turning your opponents to stone, this shows that central fear of being completely helpless to a villainous entity that the Cold War was based upon.
This episode is arguably the one episode where these tropes are most prominent. The Mission Impossible movies were based upon international espionage and villains committing acts of treason against one's country, and this episode parodied those films.
The episode has the gang as actual spies, trying to stop a villain named Mastermind from taking over the world with his operative spies. Aptly, the episode takes place in the Statue of Liberty. The gang takes a tour of the Statue of Liberty in an attempt to find this villain, but the tour guide, Cecil, tells them that the top of the Statue is off-limits to them. In turns out, Cecil is the Mastermind in disguise, and has turned the Statue of Liberty into a weapon of mass destruction, which he calls the Transponder Beam. The Statue of Liberty is considered a national treasure and a representation of our country. This fear of having our own technology used against us is ingeniously reflected in the Statue of Liberty being used to destroy the very country it represents.
The Bee Team
Albeit an odder parody, even an episode about giant bees relates to the psychological fear that the Cold War brought upon millions of Americans. "The Bee Team" is a parody of The A-Team, which is a show about mercenaries who stop acts of political terrorism against the United States. The beginning of the episode has Scooby watching a parody of this, called the Z-Team, featuring a humorous parody of Mr. T (one of the characters), who is named Mr. BLT. However, the episode's focus quickly shifts into the gang becoming like The A-Team, when they are hired by a man named Nathan Stinger to stop some gigantic bees who are stealing honey from his farm. Along the way, they run into a cop who says that she uses the farm's honey as fuel for her motorcycle, because it tasted funny. They also stop at a gas station called Harley's, where they run into a happy-go-lucky man named Harley, who quite literally laughs by saying "har-har-har!" Because of this character trope, he seems like an amicable old man whom the gang would never suspect would be tied up in any criminal activity. It turns out, Harley is a foreign spy who dresses up as a giant bee, along with other spies from his country. The honey also turns out to be rocket fuel, which the spies were trying to steal.
This episode once again plays on the trope of foreign spies stealing materials, in this case rocket fuel, which they were likely going to use to power some sort of weapon to use against America. In addition, this episode plays on that fear that the communists are among us. Many of the minor characters in this episode are somewhat grumpy, but Harley seems very gentle and has a goofy laugh, causing you to not suspect him while suspecting everyone else. This episode's plot capitalizes on the underlying fear at the time that someone that you would never suspect of doing anything wrong is actually a communist wanting to take over the United States.
A Code in the Nose
This episode is another spy vs. spy type plot, which has the gang looking for a government decoding device after being chosen by the United States to look for it. However, a spy named Codefinger is also looking for this device because it has top-secret military information on it. The gang searches all around a grocery store for this item, because it is disguised as some sort of household item. Eventually, they find it, and reveal that Codefinger is actually Major Burch, the head of US Army Security.
This episode has several tropes that reflect fear of foreign takeover. Once again, the episode utilizes the "it's who you least suspect" trope, but takes it a step further to make it someone internal to the United States who attempts to betray his own country. Moreover, the culprit being not just some person in the Army, but the Head of Security, amplifies this fear of governmental overthrow even more, because it plays on the idea that even a Head of Security, who is supposed to keep everyone safe, is actually a foreign agent who will betray the country's deepest governmental secrets. The idea that the governmental decoder device is disguised as a household item also represents the common fear at the time that anything could be weaponized and used against the country.
Doom Service is an interesting one because it sort of lazily uses the spy trope at the end, but doesn't work it into the story very much. The episode focuses on a hotel that is haunted by its old owner, Ebeneezer Overview, who turns out to be an eccentric lady named Ms. Van Loon. Van Loon wanted to steal government secrets from an Army Air Base next door to the hotel, and wanted to scare everybody away after she discovered a secret passage from the hotel to the Army Base. Again, this episode utilizes that same idea of "it's who you least expect" (one wouldn't likely suspect an old lady of being a terrorist). Presumably, though it's not said, she probably wasn't stealing the government secrets to get some good reading material before bed. It's implied that she was going to use these secrets against her own government, and betray us to a foreign power that could overthrow the country's leaders.
A Night Louse at the White House
This episode is a perfect example of the Spy Threat narrative. In this episode, Velma is at a presidential event in the White House and brings the gang because she's working with NASA's space program. The dinner is quickly interrupted by the Ghost of George Washington, who says he wants to reclaim his home. They realize the ghost is trying to steal a brass eagle from a bedknob for some reason, and soon, the ghosts of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Ulysses S. Grant all appear and begin haunting the place. Suspecting one of the representatives from other countries that are there for the event, the gang begins going in all of their rooms to search for the eagle. Later in the episode, the brass eagle is revealed to open a secret passage with all the secrets to NASA's new space program, and the ghosts want to steal it. The ghosts turn out to be a visiting ambassador and his wife from Klopstokia, who want to steal NASA's secrets.
The fact that an eagle, the symbol of the United States of America, was trying to be stolen to access the secrets, is a clearly metaphor for foreign terrorists stealing "what's great about the US" and using it against our will for their own country. The ambassador and his wife dressed up as former beloved US presidents, which symbolically represents invaders taking what's great about the US and twisting it to benefit their country.
The 'Dooby Dooby Doo' Ado
We get to meet Scooby's cousin Dooby Dooby Doo in this episode, who is a famous singer in Hollywood. Dooby brags about his new collar, which was a gift from an adoring fan in New York. It turns out, this fan was actually a spy who hid a laser band in Dooby's collar, and wanted him to transport it across the country for her and her gang of thieves. It's also mentioned by an undercover cop that the crooks attended to sell it to foreign agents, once again creating this narrative about betrayal and loss of control of its citizens. The United States being worried about losing that control they had as a worldwide superpower was arguably the root of the Cold War.
Sherlock Doo takes us to jolly old England, in which the gang competes in a mystery solvers contest. Along the way, they meet the ghost of Sherlock Holmes, who seems to be helping them solve the mystery. However, it's revealed that Sherlock Holmes wanted to steal the Crown Jewels of England, and the gang is blamed for the theft. This narrative demonstrates a central fear of the United States at the time: betrayal of country, and the spread of communism from communists to other innocent bystanders. Sherlock Holmes, who turns out to be the person running the mystery solvers contest, wanted to commit crimes and steal the crown jewels, a symbol of his country. Essentially, the faux Sherlock was committing treason against country. The United States genuinely feared having its citizens be turned to "the dark side" (or communism) during this time, and treason against country was considered the ultimate betrayal.
Additionally, while no communist ideals were directly mentioned in this episode, it could be argued that Sherlock persuading the gang to follow him is actually a symbolic representation of betrayal of one's own country. The gang of course didn't do anything wrong, but the symbolism is still there. This episode's plot was inspired by this pervasive fear at the time, and made it hit even closer to home by framing the gang as criminals, who we had grown to love and trust over the past 15 years.
The final example of this features a gigantic mouse in an experiment gone wrong. The gang goes to EIEIO Farm, which stands for "Experimental Institute for Evolutionary Improvement of Organisms," where the farmers do genetic experiments with animals. When an experiment with a food enlargement formula goes horribly wrong, a 30-foot tall field mouse is created, who is destroying the farm. The gang later finds out that the mouse is being controlled by someone on the farm.
While it's unlikely the Soviets were going to send an army of giant field mice to kill us all, this gigantic mouse is another example of a technology invention gone wrong and used for purposes of evil. The gang figures out the mouse is being controlled by a human presence in order to take over the farm. This "farm takeover" is more symbolism for high-tech warfare (in this case, metaphorically represented by a large field mouse) being used to overtake our country, possibly even by communists who are hiding inside the US. The culprit was one of the farmhands, who decided to abuse the technology, and use it in such a way that caused mass destruction. This narrative of technology being used against an institution and betrayal of trust to one's higher loyalties is very clear in this episode.
Now, I'm not attempting to imply that the writers at HB said "okay, I shall work my fears of the Cold War into each of these ten episodes so carefully that no child shall notice! Hooray for nationalism!" What I am arguing, however, is that socio-political undertones of the Cold War influenced the media during this time, by popularizing thrilling plots of espionage with international spies, and powerful technology falling into the wrong hands to create chaos. As a result, because this was the common narrative in the media at the time, the writing of The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries was greatly influenced by Americans' pervasive fears of a communist takeover or a nuclear super-war with the Soviet Union. The media relies on these socio-political and cultural narratives to excite and thrill viewers in the comfort of their own homes, while playing on the underlying excitement and fear of current issues facing our society that is on viewers' minds. Because of increasing tensions from the Cold War at the time, these narratives worked significantly into the writing of this show.
2020 is nearly upon us, which means a new decade is beginning in just a couple of weeks! With the show's 50th anniversary having been this year, I've been thinking lately about a couple of things I would like to see for Scooby in the upcoming decade and wanted to write a short article about it.
1. More Detailed Comics
I think everyone can agree that since Team Up and Scooby Apocalypse were cancelled this past year, just having the Where Are You? comics remaining is a bit lackluster. The comics from that series are also almost entirely just stock art poses, which grows a bit old after a while. One of my hopes for the next decade is that we'll have some comics, either Where Are You or another spin-off series, that has more detail put into it rather than it all just being stock art.
2. More Missing Episodes Released
Admittedly, I've definitely said this one in previous posts, but we still have 144 unreleased episodes remaining in the franchise, some of them shockingly being from The Scooby-Doo Show still. I would love to see WB really crack down on getting those missing episodes released, and ideally not just slapping one on a set of 20 already released episodes just to burn them off. It would be nice to have them potentially on a themed set, or in connection with my next one...
3. Season Sets
It's a bit disappointing, but we've barely seen any season sets at all in this past decade. I believe we've only gotten 13 Ghosts, The Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Show Season 1 and The Almost Complete Collection of the New Scooby-Doo Movies. While three isn't bad, we were getting tons of them back in the 2000s decade, and with so many unreleased episodes remaining, you would think it would be pretty profitable for them to release some more season sets as collector's items. I'm hoping to see an increase of the season sets again for the remaining missing episodes in the coming years!
4. Moving Away from Crossovers
This isn't so much a tangible thing like the rest of the items so far, but I'm hoping they will move away from crossovers. Between all the DTVs, and the new Guess Who series, in my opinion it's getting to be a bit much. Which leads me into my final point...
5. Playing It Less Safe
I feel like the current Scooby-Doo media is trying to play it super safe and make everything exactly like how it was in Where Are You. Obviously, this has repercussions, because it discounts how the franchise has evolved in those 50 years. I feel like I would be more engaged in the franchise if they explored different aspects of it. Playing it safe can be a good thing sometimes, but I think at some point, WB needs to get out of their comfort zone and realize that there are adult fans out there as well, not just kids, and the same old formula can get boring if it's used too much. I'm not suggesting they should completely change the show, but I think experimenting with different aspects of the show is a good way to keep viewers of all ages engaged.
If you feel like I missed anything on my list, or feel like I shouldn't have included something let me know in the comments! What do you all want to see in the next decade in the future of the franchise? I would be interested to see everybody's ideas!
A while ago, I mentioned on the blog that Jordan Farrell was in the process of making a Scooby-Doo fan film entitled "Scooby-Doo! The Backstage Rage." That film has now been released, and can be watched here! The film is sort of like a Scooby fanfiction story, which is based on the original "The Backstage Rage" episode from Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? (with many scenes paralleling the original episode), except in stop-motion animation form. The stop-motion animation element of this film reminds me a lot of those old Rankin-Bass Christmas specials, for those that remember them. The rest of this post is an essentially spoiler-free review of this fan film.
Firstly, it should be said that the film does a great job with the horror aspect! The film is rated PG-13, and definitely earns that rating by having almost a sinister vibe at times. The Puppet Master is truly an evil villain who has the intent of turning his victims into puppets. The music that's played whenever he comes out of the shadows is super creepy, and I'll admit surprised me a couple of times when it was played after a dead silence! The Puppet Master has a very larger than life presence throughout the entire film, which really made it feel like a horror film.
The comedy was also really good! The film's humor was definitely more quirky in places, and I really liked that! The random sound effects at points particularly made me laugh, such as the "KO!" sound effect played when Shaggy knocks Fred out with the trash can, and my favorite, the part where Velma gets hit by the sandbag and a voice saying "That was intense bruh!" is played lol. And speaking of "bruh," I quite enjoyed Officer John saying "man" and "bruh" all the time, just as it's so uncharacteristic of a police officer.
I think my favorite piece of comedy though was with Shaggy's dad at getting caught by the cops at his weed booth at the Peace and Love Convention, and saying "Zoinks, it's the fuzz!" and getting thrown in jail. I would have liked to see more of that storyline, that was really funny! Though Flim Flam giving Shaggy a Customer Suspension Card ("for being a complete douche") was a close second haha. Also, one question the film posed was is Lotsa Luck Joy Juice supposed to be some kind of drug? There's one scene where the cops stare Flim Flam down at his booth, and he just stares nervously which made me wonder.
Oh, and I have to mention my one other favorite joke, the culprit (I won't ruin it by saying the name) exclaiming "I'm free!" and then the cop saying "And now you're under arrest!" Perfect irony there lol.
Character-wise, I thought all the characters were really good! In particular, Shaggy's voice actor really did an amazing job in the role. One criticism I had with the characters though is the dialogue. At times, the dialogue seemed a bit stilted. One example that happens a couple times is that a character will speak, and then there will be a delay before the next character says something, which makes it seem off. Also, I felt a few of the lines were delivered a bit awkwardly sometimes, which makes them a bit comedic where I don't think they were supposed to be. Three of my favorite examples (with all respect to Jordan and the creators, I just found the awkwardness a bit amusing): "You've gotta be crappin' me, man!", "So...how's our date going for you tonight? We've been together two years now after all." and "Oh, by the way, do you want to marry me?
I liked the addition of the Hex Girls quite a bit, and it was fun to have Thorn be a main part of the storyline (in multiple ways). I really liked her voice actor! Thorn and Shaggy being a couple was cute, I definitely ship it! Thorn hitting on Shaggy sort of reminded me of Sally and Linus from Peanuts. Speaking of which, I thought the characters' faces being colored red with embarrassment looked pretty similar to how it is in the Peanuts specials, which is cool! The characters' faces when angry also reminded me of Peanuts a bit. The cougar sound effect whenever someone got angry was very quirky, but cool! I really dug it haha.
I also thought the animation was really good considering it was all hand-drawn (I'm presuming). I know a common argument against the series Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! is that the designs are bad, and I unfortunately could see people saying that about this film too. However, if you let yourself get past the fact that it doesn't look anything like normal animation, I think you'll find it's a pretty fun watch. And also, kudos to whoever did the drawing for this film, as nearly 3 hours is a lot of animating to do!
Lastly, what I thought the film did a really good job of is references to old Scooby material. There are references galore in this film, so many in fact that a couple of the characters mentioned in the credits were ones I didn't even notice. You can definitely tell the effort put in to make some cool references. And speaking of references, I thought the writing of the film plot-wise was really brilliant in how it used aspects of the original "The Backstage Rage" episode to shape this plot. The doorman being a puppet being turned into the Puppet Master turning people into puppets was a really cool reimagining of this.
Overall, I think this was a really fun watch and would definitely recommend giving it a try. Don't be turned off by the stop motion animation being different than what you're used to, because there is a lot of cool content here and a really good plot. Kudos to Jordan Farrell and everyone involved in making this film! And thanks so much to him for putting the site's name in the credits, twice! That was super sweet and I really appreciate it.
~ WildwindVampire ~