So it's been a while since I've mentioned or talked about this on here, but seeing as I just posted another chapter, I figured now was as good of time as any.
A little bit of background for those who don't know, I'm currently in the process of writing a fanfic about Daphne's television show from the film Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island. It's set after the events of Zombie Island, but in an "alternate universe" of sorts, where the gang is still separated and Daphne is still working on her show with Fred, Velma is still at the mystery book shop, and Shaggy and Scooby are still bouncing from job to job. The fanfic is from Daphne's point-of-view (hence the name), but the gang do make appearances regularly through the story. Daphne continues to film the "Haunted America" segment of her show, where she goes out in search of real ghosts and monsters. Occasionally, she receives help from her crew member friends at the television station, Nick and Isabel.
I'm super busy so I unfortunately don't get a lot of time to write, so this has been a working progress since June 2014! I've now just posted chapter 13, however, since I last posted about this on here a few years ago, I've begun posting the fanfic exclusively on Fanfiction.net.
This latest chapter follows on from chapter 11 and 12, and is a reimagining of "The Exterminator" from The New Scooby-Doo Movies. In the chapter, Daphne and her new friend Isabel (who I mentioned above works at the television station), visit the home of horror filmmaker Lorde Sumley (a parody of Lorne Chumley), but they quickly find out that the creatures in Lorde's paintings are all too real.
I always love throwing a few references to other Scooby episodes and films in these chapters as well, so if you read closely, you may find some nods to Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf and the recent film Daphne & Velma!
If you haven't read the fanfic, I would strongly recommend you begin on chapter 1, as the chapters build off of each other and it likely won't make sense if you read chapter 13 without reading the others.
Just a brief note as well, this story is rated T, though there's nothing innapropriate beyond some minor mature language.
You can check out the full fanfic on Fanfiction.net. And hey, if you enjoy it, feel free to drop me a review on Fanfiction.net or in the comments here. I always love hearing what I'm doing well with and what I could improve upon for future chapters, so constructive feedback and comments are always nice! :)
Today, the very talented Tom Konkle has taken time out of his busy schedule to do an interview with ScoobySnax.com. Konkle wrote several Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! episodes along with Jon Colton Barry, which include "Area 51 Adjacent" from the first season, as well as "Mysteries on the Disorient Express," "Scroogey Doo" and "Doo Not Disturb" from season 2. I personally thought all of these episodes, particularly "Doo Not Disturb" (which is my favorite of the show), were brilliantly written and Tom did a terrific job with all the episodes he wrote.
In addition to being a writer, Tom also was a voice actor for one episode of the series, in "Giant Problems." He voiced both the Leprechaun and the Irish Guy in that episode.
Throughout the interview, I ask Tom about his experience writing for Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! and how he became the talented writer and director he is today.
ScoobySnax.com: How did you get into writing?
Tom Konkle: I always enjoyed writing even as a kid. Sometimes I had such an elaborate imagination, the teacher would admonish me saying “Hey, remember your audience...” and lower the grade. This meaning remember you’re trying to write for fifth graders and it’s going over their head but I think she meant it was going over HER head. LOL
I did a lot of scriptwriting starting in college because I wanted to learn to create the blueprint for some of the short films and sketch comedy I wanted to do then. I enjoyed getting someone else’s script and learning what made their writing work. Seeing successful and unsuccessful writing is the best teacher in that you learn first hand what is done to make the characters work, dialogue, formatting the script and story structure.
I started getting paid to write in the early 90s and I think sometimes I wrote a lot to protect things I knew I’d be performing too. I would write material that I would perform particularly when I was doing sketch comedy much like John Cleese is said to do. I found out later I was doing that like the Pythons. I would write my own material and perform it to protect how it got executed. In that way I had a vision writing it I could execute. Also, like many film directors who also write like Christopher Nolan, I think in a very cinematic style as I am creating a script. I respect the written word and the structure as this is the blueprint for the work. I really applied this provider in my film noir feature Trouble Is My Business.
ScoobySnax.com: Before you began writing Be Cool Scooby-Doo!, were you a fan of Scooby-Doo?
Tom Konkle: I remember watching some of the episodes as a kid. It must’ve been towards the tail end of the original series into whatever ‘70s interaction was running and I enjoyed a lot of them.
ScoobySnax.com: How did you get involved with writing Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!?
Tom Konkle: My dear friend Jon Colton Barry was a fan of both my writing and performing particularly my sketch work, but he knew I also valued story structure and I knew what it was like to do voice acting for cartoons. Animation is dialogue driven with “anything you can draw” visuals so he invited me to start collaborating on season one and season two of Be Cool Scooby Doo. We really wanted to create a writers room together where we could cross pollinate ideas and make each other laugh and be inspired.
ScoobySnax.com: What is your process for writing an episode of Be Cool Scooby-Doo!?
Tom Konkle: First, I start with a bunch of big ideas for the overall arc of the episode story. We would talk about how the characters needed to act to be consistent, and what character development was needing to happen. There was always “breaking the story," which is basically being able to pitch it clearly enough that you get the go ahead to write a draft of it.
So coming up with the story beats and then secondary “B” stories underneath it and character development was first. I really work with dialogue and basically play all the characters in my head, or out loud if I get giggling and smiling, or liking where it’s going, and getting excited to perform the script out loud to see how it flows, so I can see it in my head. I was always about writing from one big, hopefully intriguing or fun, idea and working backwards from that.
ScoobySnax.com: You've written several episodes of Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!, including "Area 51 Adjacent," "Mysteries on the Disorient Express," "Scroogey Doo" and "Doo Not Disturb." Which one of those was your favorite episode to write, and why?
Tom Konkle: I think it’s a tie between Area 51, Adjacent and Mysteries On The Disorient Express, for very different reasons. I think they’re both interesting high concepts, but I had the most fun coming up with character stuff in Area 51, Adjacent and I think I had the most fun coming up with topping ideas conceptually in Murder on the Disorient Express. I also like the execution of them both.
ScoobySnax.com: From a writing perspective, do you have a favorite character to write for?
Tom Konkle: Definitely, Fred was a favorite because he was often the fool for the absurd. But Daphne had the widest arc of character possibility and had agency in the plots of the episodes. I also loved writing the villains.
ScoobySnax.com: Was it challenging to write for such an iconic show like Scooby-Doo, that's been loved by many generations of fans?
Tom Konkle: It was a challenge to honor it as it need be, while pushing it to be different but...just different enough that we don’t aggravate original fans of the series, by doing something so out of canon that it takes them out of the episode. We wanted to reinvent and respect. That was the real challenge in that we made the show we wanted to see, with a lot of people looking over our shoulders.
ScoobySnax.com: If you could work on any show or movie in the world, what would it be?
Tom Konkle: Current shows? Archer.
Movies? I have a lot of ideas for science fiction, adventure and film noir movies. I just wrote and directed a movie out now that is a 1940s film noir called Trouble Is My Business.
ScoobySnax.com: You were both a writer and a voice actor in Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!. Did you enjoy writing or voice acting more, and why?
Tom Konkle: It’s different parts of the brain. I love writing. I do act out my scripts as I’m writing to get dialogue right, but writing is solitary and not about performance. I love voice acting. I’ve been a voice actor for 25 years. I love executing characters, creating voices and the idea of entertaining an audience with my voice work too.
ScoobySnax.com: What was the most rewarding part of writing for Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!?
Tom Konkle: Laughing in the room with Jon, then seeing the episode come together and enjoying all the parts from animation, music, performance and the director working to get us back to what we loved in the script, and improve upon it as well.
ScoobySnax.com: Now that Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! has ended, what project(s) are you working on now?
Tom Konkle: I just released a feature film I star in and directed called Trouble Is My Business, which is available on Blu-ray, DVD and streaming worldwide. http://www.troubleismy.biz
ScoobySnax.com: Thanks so much again for taking the time to do this!
Tom Konkle: Thank you!
You can follow along with Tom's writing adventures on Twitter. You can also check out Tom's movie production company, Lumen Actus, at http://www.lumenactus.com!
Briefly put, Daphne & Velma was a very odd and silly movie, but in a way that really worked well. Or as Velma says, "It tastes like gerbil...but in a good way!" I would highly recommend that those who are worried about watching this film give it a fair chance. The biggest worry for most people seemed to be the feminist undertones, but honestly, they were barely noticeable in the film. This was a really fun little movie and I'm so glad I gave it a chance.
Before I get more into the review, I want to strongly recommend that those who have not seen the movie yet do not read this review, because there are spoilers ahead!
The movie begins with Daphne discussing the possibility of aliens on her web show. Her online friend, Velma, is a supportive yet critical fan of Daphne's and challenges her findings, because "there's always a rational explanation." Daphne then tells Velma that her mom (who travels around the world) has been transferred to Ridge Valley High, and Daphne will be going to school with her online bestie.
This scene is the one I had the most criticisms about. I would have liked to have seen Daphne and Velma becoming online friends, or at least interacting with each other a little more, before they immediately jumped to meeting each other in real life. When you think about it, it's pretty extraordinary to have an online friendship so strong that you actually meet each other "IRL" (as Daphne says)! I've actually never met an online friend in person, and very few people online even know my real first name. It would have been nice to have some buildup to this, so the audience could be excited along with Daphne and Velma. Instead, the film rushes this scene and takes away from what could have been a really sweet and friendship-building event.
Anyways, Velma seems a bit apprehensive about Daphne coming to her school, but Daphne doesn't seem to notice. She turns on her "pump up playlist" and goes down to eat her french toast breakfast, on her first day of high school.
Daphne goes to school and sees Velma, but Velma doesn't even acknowledge her. Meanwhile, Daphne meets her senior advisor Carol, and is nearly hit in the face with an energy-ball of some sort. Carol shows Daphne around the school, and explains the "Bloom Bracket" to her. The Bloom Bracket gives all of the student rankings, taking into account academics, extracurricular involvement and even social media posts. As Spencer says, "it's like a GPA on steroids!" Daphne meets Spencer and Mikayla, two intellectually bright students, and Spencer discusses an odd invention he wants to create, which would allow your phone to make a pie.
Carol and Daphne run into Velma, who is still acting strangely and is not speaking to Daphne at all. Daphne goes after Velma to talk to her, telling Carol she is Velma's friend, much to Carol's surprise because she does not believe Velma has any friends. Later that day, Velma runs into Daphne again, when the lights begin flickering and a ghastly noise is heard throughout the hallway. Velma lies to Daphne and says she is "going to the sports match...in the sports classroom" and pretends not to notice the odd occurrence. Daphne and Velma see Spencer walking through a secret passage in the lockers, appearing to be in a zombified trance. Velma tries to leave again and repeats that she needs to get to that "sports classroom." (fantastic joke btw, and a very Velma-ish thing to say haha).
All of a sudden, something runs into the two girls. Daphne sees it is her dad. Back at home, Daphne's dad confesses to her that he has been following her around everywhere all her life, and tries to make everything perfect for her. It is revealed that Nedley actually controls every detail of Daphne's life including making her french toast (even though he had made her eggs previously), throwing a button on the floor so Daphne wouldn't be hit by the energy-ball, being Daphne's "playlist controller" and playing her pump-up playlist, and even going so far as to dress up as a female lunch lady to serve her caviar in the lunch line.
In honesty, I genuinely felt sad for Daphne! It's crazy that her dad controlled her that much and did basically everything for her. However, it was very amusing watching him dance to Daphne's pump-up playlist lol. I really liked the callback to Daphne's parents names (Nedley and Elizabeth) from The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show and A Pup Named Scooby-Doo. They could have easily just made up names, so I thought it was cool they stayed consistent with the rest of the franchise. It was wonderful that they made Daphne's parents an interracial couple. Not that it's a big deal or anything, but IMO, it's good to see increasing representation in the media that there are other types of families besides the nuclear, same-race family that we seem to glorify in the US.
The next morning, Daphne has a bad start to her first day on her own, realizing "the violin serenade every morning must have been my dad" when her alarm clock goes off...well, just like any other alarm clock does. Daphne goes to school in an all-purple outfit, because her dad was apparently also her clothes closet (I'm confused though as to how, like was it a machine that he ran or was he actually picking out clothes for her every day?). Carol helps Daphne pick out a new more color-coordinated outfit when she gets to school, which is purple with aliens on it.
Daphne confronts Velma again, but she wants nothing to do with Daphne. After a cool reference to "The Curse of Crystal Cove" (it was nicely worked in too, it didn't feel forced at all), Velma tries to walk away. She accidentally runs into the school janitor, Three-Mop Maggie and wrecks her mop. The students quickly make a viral video of the incident, which was cheesy other than the "Dat mop life" caption (I think that's what it said, it flashed by within a second and was backwards on Daphne's phone). The janitor then storms away angry, because she's tired of dealing with "dat mop life."
Later, in science, Daphne tries to be partners with Velma, and she refuses until Daphne guilts her into doing so. Daphne notices Spencer acting very strangely, yet somehow no one other than her notices, despite that he is literally eating a paper towel. Velma then intentionally sabotages their experiment and splatters purple goo all over the two girls' clothes.
The girls are taken to the office of the school principal, who just happens to be Velma's aunt. They are asked to sit on "the best couch for conflict resolution" while the principal's "Timothy Bot" (basically like Alexa or Siri) goes haywire and begins calling "My Bad Boy." Daphne and Velma argue it out, and Velma reveals she just pretended to hate Daphne because she knew about what was going on with Spencer, and it's been happening for years. The girls eventually agree to solve the mystery together, after the couch nearly crushes them together. The principal comes back in and sees the girls have become friends again. Daphne tells the couch that "Velma totally sucks" so it will push her closer to Velma for a hug, which was sooo adorable! The Timothy Bot then uploads all of Principal Piper's bikini pictures to Facebook, much to her horror.
The next day, the two girls sneak out of an assembly where Tobias Bloom is presenting his latest invention, much to Daphne's frustration that she won't get pizza. Velma reveals to Daphne that she destroyed her robot child (who she unfortunately programmed to have human emotions - that was so sad lol) so she could create a formula to melt the locker where Spencer went through the secret passage. They melt the locker, but there is no secret passage, and they are caught by Three - no, make that Two Mop Mollie and sent to the principal's office again.
The principal, who apparently has no more disciplinary skills to offer, gives the girls "shame stickers" and asks them to tell her how shamed they feel. They also have cafeteria duty for a day, and run into Griffin Griffiths, the second hottest guy in school, and his dimwitted friends. I absolutely loved the dumb jocks in this film, they were so hilarious! Daphne mocks Griffin's "hot" status in school, but another kid accidentally hears it and believes they are talking about him in a flattering way. Velma's response is priceless here, particularly when he asks if they want to go out with him. "No, you should go away now." Rejected! haha
That brings us to the next scene, which is quite possibly one of my favorite scenes in the entire film. Daphne sees a lunch cart they could hide in and spy on Griffin, because she believes he may be behind Spencer's zombified state. She points for Velma to look, but Velma instead looks at the gym coach, who is about to eat a slice of pizza out of the garbage can. "No, Coach Williams, don't do it!" she yells. But it was no use, and he eats the pizza out of the trash and amusingly looks very pleased with himself for doing so. Even better was when Daphne redirects Velma's attention, and Velma looks again only to say "Oh no, he's doing it AGAIN!" lol.
Velma and Daphne enlist Carol's assistance to get on the lunch cart to spy on Griffin and his friends. Griffin and his friends discuss fatherhood, and Ryder says he wants to be a good dad. In a very amusing twist, Mike then announces that sometimes he wishes Ryder was HIS dad, because that's not awkward at all lol. My amusement with the dumb jocks continued as Mike suddenly becomes very paranoid and says "I'm being crazy again, aren't I?", and then jumps up as if he heard a wild animal when one of the girls accidentally bumps the cart. Griffin then says he has to leave because he forgot his phone in his locker, which has something very important on it. Daphne and Velma believe this is something to do with the mystery, so they follow him.
It's revealed that Griffin actually secretly likes to watch cat videos alone in the hallway. The girls see him watching one called "Cat Me If You Can" (It's actually listed in the end credits!), until suddenly, Griffin goes into a trance and goes through the secret passage like Spencer previously had. The girls are caught again by Principal Piper, who punishes them with the "Shame Drones." Sadly, the Shame Drones did not live up to their name and were pretty lame. The girls realize that whoever is on the top of the Bloom Bracket is being targeted, so Velma decides to put herself on top of the Bloom Bracket by sabotaging the other students.
There's a really sweet moment here, where Daphne assures Velma that "things are hard now, but they always get better." This film did a great job in making one of its main messages about optimism. In such a seemingly-scary, insecure world that we live in now, it's so important to remain optimistic and see the good in everything. It's a value I try to follow in life, especially with all the political drama and violence that's been plaguing the United States as of lately, and optimism honestly is what keeps me the happy person that I am and to believe in people, and life. I'm really glad the film touched on this message, as it's very important in this current cultural climate, especially for the children and teens growing up.
Velma makes it to the very top of the Bloom Bracket, only being held back by Mikayla, who we see earlier in the film with Spencer. The girls sabotage her art exhibit by turning the lights off, and inadvertently knocking over one of her pieces of artwork. Daphne sees a cloaked ghost, and accidentally discovers the secret passage which Griffin and Spencer went through. The girls run away from the ghost, in their classic running poses, and there's a fun little reference to Velma losing her glasses. Once in the secret passage, they find Mikayla, who has apparently been captured in the short time that it took to navigate the secret passage. The girls release her from the tube she is trapped in, and devise a plan to trap the ghost. They manage to trip the ghost, who is not actually a ghost, but really Daphne's dad in a bathrobe following her again.
Daphne is astonished her dad is still following her, and feels like he doesn't believe in her. Her dad then realizes that he is following Daphne because he is scared for her, rather than because she isn't smart or capable enough to live her life in the way she wants to. There's a sweet bonding moment, and Velma points out that Tobias Bloom would be the only one who knew how to invent such technology. Daphne's dad points out that there's a sticker which says "Tobias Bloom" on the machine that Mikayla was trapped in. Velma then scolds Daphne's dad and says not to ruin the girls' moment.
Honestly, this is really one of the few "feminist" scenes I can pinpoint in the film, and that's not even really much. The feminist thing was more of an undertone, and wasn't obtrusive at all to the plot. It's a great message to be putting out there to girls and women, young and old alike, that they can do anything they put their mind to and shouldn't ever feel second-best to men. The opposite is also true, though this message is important because it more often occurs with women than men.
The girls come up with a plan to expose Tobias Bloom and save their mother, who they video chatted with and were cut off after her mom encountered Bloom. The girls break into the building and bop the guard over the head with a small rock. It's difficult to hear, but Daphne's dad's commentary in the background is hilarious! (Did you just break into that building? You're grounded young lady...That's assault!) The girls go alone into the building and go into an elevator, where the lights are turned off and the classic "spooky eyes" scene is incorporated. The elevator is programmed to bring out the girls' greatest insecurities about themselves.
This scene had a really cool message too. Like it or not, we live in a society which tries to make us someone we're not and fit in with the latest trends. So many people are insecure about themselves, whether mentally with characteristics about their personalities, or physically with how your body looks. This movie sends a great message about being comfortable with who you are, whoever you are and facing up to your insecurities. This is such an important message which all viewers, young and old can relate to.
The elevator brings out Daphne and Velma's biggest insecurities, and to escape the elevator, they have to admit their flaws and think optimistically about themselves instead. They also had to fight off a pack of wolves...well, at least they would have, if Tobias Bloom would have remembered to put the wolves in the elevator. I found Daphne's huge insecurity about never having a female president interesting. It was a good, non-obtrusive way to work feminism into to the movie, but it also seemed odd that Daphne's "biggest insecurity" in life (which is said right before the president comment) was not having a female president. Though then again, if her dad has sheltered her so much, maybe it actually is her biggest insecurity!
The girls overcome their insecurities and admit to themselves they only human, so they are not perfect. They escape the elevator and run into Tobias Bloom, who reveals he has captured the brightest minds at Ridge Valley High and uses a machine to suck all of the intelligence and ideas out of them, so he can use them to make inventions for his own company. After they set Daphne's mom free and destroy all of Bloom's robotic spiders, they realize Tobias Bloom actually isn't human, but rather, a hologram being controlled by someone else.
The girls run into Carol, who reveals that she is the one controlling Tobias Bloom. She ran the entire company by herself, and had been kidnapping kids for years and placing them in tubes like the one they saw Mikayla in earlier. Daphne and Velma figure out that Carol is not actually a senior, but is actually 26. I found this whole dialogue hilarious, especially "well, you look great for 26!" Being in my mid-20's myself, I find it pretty amusing that kids and teenagers think I'm "old." However, I felt more explanation regarding Carol's plan would have been helpful. It's hard to imagine that Carol could have run the whole company (which is apparently world-famous, given Daphne's mom left a job in Tokyo to work for Tobias Bloom) for years by herself, without anyone knowing what she was doing or that Tobias Bloom was just a hologram. I think they could have made a really cool, intricate explanation to go along with it, but the "reveal" scene seemed very rushed to me and didn't make a lot of sense in hindsight.
I found it interesting that there were no ghosts or monsters in this movie at all. Even though it's uncharacteristic of a Scooby-Doo film, I felt they did a great job with the mystery overall. It does, however, make it a bit challenging in terms of the site's movie guide. I've been debating whether I should put "Tobias Bloom and Carol" as the villains, as the majority of people reading the movie guide are there because they want to read the summary before watching the movie, and I don't want to put a big glaring spoiler in the guide for those who haven't seen it. I think what I'm going to do is put the villain as "Hologram" along with a picture of Tobias Bloom while he's glitching, and thus distorted enough where you can't tell it's him, alleviating the spoiler issue while still accurately documenting who the villain is. I also wouldn't need to list Carol, as technically (at least how I saw it) she was the equivalent of the "unmasked" villain. If anyone has any other suggestions though, I'd be more than happy to hear them!
Anyways, Carol is arrested and the Bloom Bracket is taken down. The jocks are initially frustrated about it, but quickly come to the realization that the Bracket is literally a representation of societal peer pressure and how competitive our culture is. While this is a good message and a great reinforcer of the earlier "be your unique self" message, I still found the jocks' realization of this to be quite amusing, considering how dimwitted they acted throughout the rest of the film. Velma makes up with Three-Mop Maggie by giving her the mop she wrecked, Daphne makes up with her dad, Principal Piper continues dancing with her yogurt cup, and there's a sweet moment with the girls hugging Mikayla at her exhibit.
Overall, I thought this movie was terrific and one of my favorite Scooby films from more recent years. Between the great humor, interesting mystery and fantastic messages about self-confidence and being yourself, this film definitely accomplished what it set out to do and made for a very entertaining, silly movie. My only minor complaints were that the beginning scene, with Daphne and Velma becoming friends, felt a bit rushed, as well as Carol's explanation for her master plan lacking some clarity. Regardless, the movie was still great, and I would love to see a sequel! Given the sort-of cliffhanger ending, I think they could definitely make another movie without being repetitive or unoriginal. I've actually already watched this film twice since it came out!
Though the trailer worried me a bit, the acting was actually very good. I thought Sarah Jeffery's version of Daphne was very relatable, in fact I would say I'm a bit like Jeffery's Daphne in real-life, in the sense that I'm very optimistic and always have a lot of hope even when life isn't going great. Sarah Gilman's Velma stayed very true to the character, even down to her witty lines and dry humor from Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. As I mentioned, I liked the dumb jocks a lot as well as Principal Piper. I also thought Vanessa Marano did a great job as Carol, and her friendly-yet-sarcastic personality really threw me off the trail that she was the culprit. I really liked Brian Stepanek as Daphne's father as well. He did a wonderful job playing a protective character that was a bit goofy. Spencer's actor also did a good job, for the little bit of the movie he was in where he wasn't "zombified." Besides Jeffery and Gilman, I would say my favorite actor in the film was Courtney Dietz, who played Mikayla. She seemed really into her role, and gave Mikayla a great personality whereas some of the other characters (i.e. Three-Mop Maggie, Griffin Griffiths, etc.) could be a bit dry and the acting felt forced at times.
I absolutely loved this film, and I really hope they make a sequel someday! I'm really interested to hear what you all thought of the movie, so if you've seen it, let me know what you thought in the comments!
Last year around this time (ironically), I wrote a post entitled "Ah, the Memories," which discussed several classic Scooby-Doo VHS tapes that are rare and hard to find. This past weekend, I got to take another trip down memory lane when updating the List of Scooby-Doo Compilation Releases page.
In a world where everything's at the touch of our fingertips, I'm sure the younger readers can't even imagine having to put a clunky tape into a VHS player to watch movies, but that's how we watched things when I was a kid! DVDs were just becoming a thing when I was in my early teens, and CD's were just beginning to replace cassette tapes. Now, even CDs are going out of style (or as my younger cousin so frankly puts it, "Everyone listens to music on their phones now. CDs are for old people!") and you rarely ever see a VHS tape anymore.
I can assure you I'm not in my 80's, even if it sounds like it (I'm actually only in my 20's!), but I still find a lot of nostalgia in looking at some of these old VHS tapes. So without further ado, here are some of the rarest Scooby VHS tapes in the world!
Now this one brings me back! I remember seeing this VHS tape in a rummage sale and begging my parents to buy it. At the time, I hadn't seen any of The Richie Rich / Scooby-Doo Show other than a few episodes, so I really wanted this in my collection! Unfortunately, my parents didn't buy it and I still don't have it. I have thought about collecting Scooby-Doo VHS tapes just for the fun of it, though I'm a terrible collector in the sense that I don't want anything that's not practical. In other words, if I already have the episodes on another release, I wouldn't want to buy the VHS as it wouldn't be practical to do so (even if it would be cool to own a rare piece of Scooby merchandise). However, if I'm ever going to get another rare Scooby VHS, this would be the one to buy! This VHS actually has "Scooby at the Center of the World" on it, which has never been released on any other set to this date!
I do find the cover art interesting however, as the swamp witch looks nothing like the one in the featured episode, or any Scooby episode for that matter. This VHS tape from 1990 includes the episodes "Swamp Witch," "Scooby's Desert Dilemma," "Mummy's the Word" and "Scooby at the Center of the World." These episodes are all from The Richie Rich / Scooby-Doo Show.
This 1990 VHS is a compilation set and includes episodes from Scooby-Doo, Snagglepuss and Snooper & Blabber. The only Scooby episode this one includes, however, is "Soggy Bog Scooby," a seven-minute Richie Rich/Scooby-Doo Show short, which I thought was an odd choice. Surely there are dozens of other Scooby episodes that would have been more fitting for the DVD than that, especially as the villain in that particular episode is a sea monster, not a ghost.
This one is another compilation set, this time featuring episodes of Scooby-Doo, Snagglepuss, and Augie Doggie & Doggie Daddy. The only Scooby episode featured on this set is "The Diabolical Disc Demon" from The Scooby-Doo Show. The cover seems a bit poorly designed IMO, as Doggie Daddy looks a bit awkward with his eyes completely closed. This VHS was released in 1991.
In part 1, I mentioned I couldn't find the cover art for Volume 2 of the Scooby and Scrappy-Doo VHS compilations. I did a lot of digging this weekend, and found a picture of it! This set includes the first three episodes that Scrappy was in, "The Scarab Lives," "The Night Ghoul of Wonderworld" and "Strange Encounters of a Scooby Kind," all from The Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show. I couldn't find the year this was released, however.
I had previously mentioned that I also couldn't find any information on volume 3 of Scooby and Scrappy-Doo. Along with volume 2, I also found a site that had the cover art for volume 3! However, I couldn't find any info about the episodes included or the release date. Based on the cover, I would guess one of the episodes is probably "Scooby's Three Ding-A-Ling Circus" from The Richie Rich / Scooby-Doo Show. What I find interesting, however, is that those guys in the bottom left corner are actually villains from Richie Rich, not Scooby-Doo. It's been a loooooong time since I've watched any of those, but on a guess, I think they're from the episode "Robotnappers."(?)
We already talked about volume 4 in the original post, so I won't reiterate that information here. However, there's this lovely little VHS still to talk about. I'll be frank with you, this compilation set confuses me immensely. While the other sets are labeled with numbers, this set has no number. The scene in the cover art also never happened, and the villain on the cover was not a real villain in any episode. There also is no information regarding this VHS anywhere, other than a picture on Google Images. For sanity's sake, I referred to this as Volume 5 when adding it to the Compilation Sets page. One possible explanation for the lack of number is that it's volume 1, as the volume 1 in the original post was made by Kids Klassics, while all the other volumes were produced by Worldvision Enterprises. I honestly don't really know though, and that still doesn't explain the other oddities this particular set has. Tell me that's not the most confusing thing you've ever seen, lol.
"The Fiesta Host is an Aztec Ghost" included the titular episode from The Scooby-Doo Show. This set was released as part of the Hanna-Barbera Superstars collection in 1989. I find it interesting that Shaggy is wearing his red shirt from The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo on the cover, even though he doesn't wear it in the episode.
It's the oldest Scooby-Doo VHS ever to be released! "Scooby-Doo" was the first of many Scooby VHS tapes to come, and featured "The No-Face Zombie Chase Case" from The Scooby-Doo Show. This set was released in 1986, and while initially titled just "Scooby-Doo," would later become known as Volume 1 as more volumes were released. Thanks to TriggeredWeegee, who sent me his picture of this VHS set to use on the site!
This golden oldie was also released in 1986, and was the second volume in the Scooby-Doo VHS compilation series. "High Rise Hair Raiser," the first episode of The Scooby-Doo Show is the only episode on the VHS tape.
The third (and I believe final) volume of the classic Scooby-Doo VHS compilation includes "The Headless Horseman of Halloween" from The Scooby-Doo Show. This tape was also released in 1986.
Well, I'm afraid that brings us to the end of our little rare VHS showcase post. I hope you enjoyed the walk down memory lane as much as I did! Who knows if there will be a part three, it all depends on if I'm able to find any more rare Scooby VHS tapes out there in the technology abyss! Unfortunately, I have none of these VHS tapes in my collection. In high school, I went through a phase where I thought it wasn't "cool" enough to like Scooby. Sadly, during this time, I told my parents that they were welcome to sell many of my Scooby VHS tapes. Though the episodes on the respective VHS tapes have all since been released on DVD, I still have a bit of regret that I didn't keep more of the old tapes. I still have Wedding Bell Boos, A Halloween Hassle in Dracula's Castle and Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Volume 1 in my collection today, and definitely never plan to sell them!
GenerationOn has partnered with Scooby-Doo to help kids and families "doo good" in our world today. As the website boldly states, "Scooby-Doo & the Mystery Inc. Gang may not look like it at first, but at their core, they are heroes. Altruistic adventures on an endless road trip of saving farms, businesses, haunted shipyards and the occasional amusement park. Never asking for anything in return, they do it because it’s the right thing to do. They are motivated by morality and justice and in some cases, a Scooby snack. We are channeling that spirit in the Scooby-Doo #DooGood campaign."
This Doo Good campaign provides downloads, print-outs, and helpful tips for how kids and families can give back to their environment and their world. Some of the tips include recycling, reducing energy consumption, reduce waste, biking/walking and building a bird feeder. There are also various projects that kids can do on the site, including making plastic bottle gardens, plant flags, t-shirt bags and forming a Scooby-Doo clean up crew.
In addition to these projects, you can submit your own story of how you're "doo-ing good" in the world. You can visit the website at doogood.scoobydoo.com.
Admittedly I'm already in love with this site! This is such an important message to be educating kids about, so it's great that they've tied it into Scooby-Doo and are sharing stories of people making a difference in the world. I think we can all agree what a great thing it is to "doo good!" :)
This past week, I just got a chance to watch the "Scoobynatural" crossover episode. Without exaggeration, I think I can safely say it was the best Scooby crossover to date!
Personally, I've always loved the more adult horror take that Zombie Island had on the series' classic formula. That's part of the reason I loved this crossover so much. It provided more of an adult look at Scooby than we've ever seen before, and in fact went a bit further than Zombie Island in that regard.
The reimagining of "A Night of Fright is No Delight" was ingenious and fit so well with the darker tone of the episode. I absolutely adored all the references to the old episode, from the obvious bits such as the will reading or the cousins' death to the subtler nods like the drainpipe or the washing machine being used as a trap. The ghost's design was extra creepy, especially with the ability to use his chains as a weapon and the ghostly shriek it had!
Never having watched Supernatural before, I still felt very at home with the series and characters and really enjoyed Sam, Dean and Castiel, especially Dean's amusing rivalry with Fred. The only thing I found a tiny bit annoying about this episode was Dean's constant pursuit of Daphne, though I was happy they didn't go too overboard with it like they did with her and Starchild in the KISS movie.
Also, can we take a moment to appreciate how adorable it was that Dean wanted to maintain the gang's purity? I found that little storyline very cute, and honestly I even began agreeing with Dean when the gang had their little freak-out towards the end. I was like, aww, I want them to keep their innocence too lol!
I'll admit, before I watched this crossover myself, I was surprised by the several comments I saw from fans wanting a whole series like this crossover. I initially figured that it was probably simply the typical fanboying/fangirling that you see with crossovers, but having seen it now myself, I would totally be interested in seeing a full Scooby series like this someday. I loved the level of darkness and maturity this crossover had, and if their goal was to make me want to see more, they definitely succeeded! I've even considered watching the rest of the Supernatural series now after this crossover.
I hope someday that we'll see another crossover as good as this, because quite frankly, this was perfect! I was even genuinely creeped out by a few parts, especially the decapitated Cosgoode Creeps!
After hearing my thoughts on this crossover, I'd be interested to hear what all of your thoughts were!
Hi everyone and welcome to the final day of Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! Week! To celebrate the end of the series airing this past Sunday, the show's head writer, Jon Colton Barry, is joining us to answer all the questions you submitted throughout the week. All of your questions have been really interesting to read and it's great that so many people submitted questions. Additionally, the first few of these questions are actually mine, which you probably will recognize from the first interview I did with JCB back on the day the show first began. Jon decided to answer some of these original questions again, just as a comparison of sorts to see how his answers have developed and changed since the show began. I'll turn it over to JCB so you can read his answers to all of your questions! Hopefully JCB won't mind me using his quote from one of our messages as a transition here, but it's so awesome I couldn't not use it! So, without further ado, "we might as well say a nice, big 'goodbye' to the series Scooby Snax/Addicts style!"
Do you have a favorite episode, from a writing perspective?
Having completed the series now, I have a few favorites for different reasons. I really like “Party Like It’s 1899” as it was the second episode I wrote and having already done the work of establishing the new take on the characters and tone, I was able to stretch out and explore the characters even more. I loved the idea of the gang having to solve a pretend mystery and deal with the costumed roles they were forced to play. It was just a lot of fun and by the end of writing it; I really felt I knew who these people were.
I also love “The People vs. Fred Jones.” I had wanted to do an episode like that for a while, but we kept getting push back from WB because they were concerned it would just be people talking in a courtroom. I knew that I would just be using the courtroom as a framing device and that the basic structure of the episode would be like any other in actual practice, which it was. That said, the courtroom stuff turned out to be my favorite because I feel like we found some fresh, funny courtroom jokes I’d never seen before (that were still rooted in character), which was rewarding.
“Some Fred Time” is another favorite. Again, any episode that allowed me to explore the characters in new, unusual ways were always fun. The BCSD gang was built to be more dimensional and interact in interesting ways – so episodes that took advantage of that were always fun to write.
Some other favorites are “El Bandito,” “How To Train Your Coward,” and “Ghost In The Mystery Machine.”
Do you have a favorite character in Be Cool, Scooby-Doo?
I remember my answer was Daphne to this originally, and I always loved writing her, but as the series progressed, I really started to enjoy writing Fred more. I mean, it’s amazing that the two characters that had the least personality for most of Scooby history turned out to be the most interesting and funny in BCSD (to me, at least). Fred just evolved in a really organic, fun way and I found myself centering him in stories more and more as we went along. He was full of contradictions and had a lot going on inside his head. He also had the most extremes to his personality, where he could be really full of silly, child-like wonder in “Fright of Hand” to emotionally torn to pieces in “Ghost In the Mystery Machine.” There was always so much to do with Fred and so many sides to explore.
If you could work on any show in the world, what would it be? (You answered "Mystery Science Theater" originally, though I'm curious if that's changed since your experience with BCSD!)
MST3K would still be great fun to write, but since then I’ve been developing some live action, more dramatic television shows with elements of science fiction and fantasy – which is just another huge love of mine having been part of the generation that grew up with “Star Wars” and Indiana Jones (as well as being a huge John Carpenter and Joss Whedon fan). It’s a great age for TV right now and I would love to write for a show like “Sherlock” or “Dr. Who.” The possibility to really get into character and story and strange ideas is very appealing. Then, afterwards, I’d immediately make fun of my own shows by writing MST3K episodes mocking them.
What has been your favorite part of working on BCSD?
It really remains creating and then working with this version of the gang. They became like family to me. Also, of course, working with Zac Moncrief is always pure pleasure, as well as others on the crew, like the original line producer, Wade Wisinski, who I became dear friends with. I learned so much making that show and it’s really helped me on all the new projects on which I’m currently working.
On that note, I’d like to make special mention of our supervising producer, Michael Jelenic. I understand that the show, “Teen Titans Go,” he created with Aaron Horvath, is as divisive as it is successful (and, honestly, they relish the show’s polarizing effect and often impishly antagonize the naysayers by leaning into the very things for which the show is most criticized). Many of those who don’t care for TTG didn’t give BCSD a chance because, based on the new designs and Michael’s name being attached, assumed BCSD shared a similar tone and attitude with TTG – which it doesn’t. The truth is, while I’ve expressed frustration with the way WB handled BCSD, Michael Jelenic is an amazingly smart, versatile and talented writer, story editor and producer with a seemingly endless understanding of the entire creative process involved in making a show. While he and I did not always see eye to eye on everything, he truly understood and appreciated what Zac and I were attempting to do with the series and used his position to fight for our vision with what power and influence he had. Michael had my back more times than I can count and I learned so much about the nuts and bolts of being in charge of a show from him. I will always be a very different writer and story editor than Michael Jelenic, but I will never be a better one. Thanks, Michael.
Do you have a favorite villain of the series?
Professor Huh? was conceived VERY early in the development of the show. I knew he was Fred’s father before I even wrote the first episode. I loved the idea of a bad guy who committed inexplicable crimes. Also, although it’s just a gag, I loved the idea of “The Headless Minotaur.” It just makes me laugh.
Did you have any ideas for an episode that you would have liked to have done, if the series had continued? (Pretending WB had actually been humane and let you do what you want lol)
Haha. WB actually let me get away with murder. They got and supported the character changes and comic tone of the show and I really appreciated that. We did some STRANGE things and rarely got pushback for being more sophisticated or writing gags that were clearly not aimed at 6 year olds. We started to stretch out and experiment more in second season and I would have liked to have done more episodes like “Scroogey Doo” where we insert the BCSD gang into classic horror/mystery literature and then destroy it. “Dracula,” “Frankenstein,” Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” etc. – making those monsters turn out to be guys in masks and ruining these classic books seemed like a lot of fun.
I also felt Velma became under-serviced as a character and I would have loved to had a chance to find more stories that would have allowed us to explore her. Working with Kate Micucci was ALWAYS a pleasure and she did an amazing job stepping into the role and making it her own.
If you could pick one joke from the entire series as the best one, what would you pick?
Hmmm. I mentioned “The Headless Minotaur,” which just amuses me. That’s a tough one. BCSD was a very gag-heavy show and there were so many moments and lines I was pleased with. For a character stuck with only four words per line, I think Scooby had a lot of great dialogue moments. I also liked Daphne recounting how she wasn’t allowed to be a girl scout because, due to her mother’s influence, she grew up believing, “Nature is just a giant bathroom that wants to eat you.”
You've mentioned before that a lot of the characters are somewhat like your own personality. Can you elaborate on this a bit? Did you write the characters with that in mind?
Well, yeah, I guess I just mentioned Daphne’s line about “nature,” That’s pretty much how I view it, myself, so I relate. Daphne, more than any other character, really voiced my own point of view about the world, including the horrible, cruel manipulation of bribing your friends to endanger themselves with Scooby Snacks. Throughout the series, all the characters voice certain opinions and make commentary about what’s going on that are very much my own opinions on things. I hope the characters were created and evolved in such a way that everyone can relate to certain aspects of all of them and how they view the world or specific situations – though it was all filtered through my sensibility.
On a more fundamental level, though, when it comes to my work, I’m a control freak, like Fred. When it comes to my personal life, basic nature and inner life, I’m more silly, eccentric and creative like Daphne. When it comes to social situations, I’m more misanthropic and socially awkward, like Velma (I can also be a bit cerebral). When it comes to goals or desire, I’m often very Id-driven and focused, like Shaggy. When it comes to interactions with friends, I probably poke fun, make one-liners and sardonic comments like Scooby. I also walk around naked on all fours wearing a collar.
Did you want to continue the series for a third season, if you could have?
Yes and no. The show, itself, was really fun to write and, as I’ve mentioned many times, I loved those characters so much and would have really enjoyed the opportunity to explore them more and push the boundaries of the series. Season one was about “finding” the show. Season two was about stretching out and experimenting once we’d found it. I really think we were just hitting our stride and starting to discover new possibilities when the plug was pulled, so I’m confident if there had been a season three, it would have been highly entertaining, interesting and strange – that is, if Zac and I still had control over the execution of the show.
Which brings me to the “no” part. The politics behind the scenes became an absolute drag and playing politics was never my forte. I just wanted to do my job and make the best show I knew how to make. That became increasingly difficult until it finally got to the place where I was no longer able to make sure the episodes were being executed as envisioned. At that point, the fun of writing the show became overshadowed by the frustration and disappointment of seeing things get changed or misinterpreted without consultation - and by the end of season two, even episodes that most everyone seems to enjoy could/would/should have been enjoyed so much more if they’d actually been executed as intended. The “11 minute” experiment was a huge red flag that the battle had been lost, so it’s unlikely that, if there HAD been a season three, I would have enjoyed the experience at all. Or that I would have even been around to not enjoy it.
Are there any classic Scooby monsters you wanted to re-imagine or any new villains you were planning to bring on stage?
A lot of people seem to focus on the “monster reimagining” aspect, and I can understand why, although it was actually a very minor element of the series, which we played with sparingly. Zac and I always envisioned BCSD as a new approach to the same premise on which the original, classic “SDWAY” series was based. In many ways, BCSD was one of the more conservative and traditional reboots of the franchise, going back to a focus on the five main Scooby gang characters driving around in the Mystery Machine solving mysteries in various locations. In that respect, the entire series was a “reimagining” of the 1969 series.
The use of classic monsters was a device to contextually connect and orientate the audience to that approach as much as it was an attempt to add some foundational and familiar grounding to a series that we were well aware was doing a LOT of very radical, new things. We wanted to make sure our use of any classic monsters from the original series was never just a gimmick or cheap nostalgia shot. We always tried to make sure we were creating a new, interesting contexts for the classic monsters, like Elias Kingston or Space Kook, or, at the very least, like in “Where There’s a Will, There’s a Wraith,” using them to play with how OUR version of the gang would behave in a classic situation with our specific comedic tone.
After almost 50 years of Scooby Doo shows, movies, comic books and other media, we quickly discovered that trying to find a brand new kind of monster was a fools errand, so we eventually gave up researching what had or had not been done before and, as a result, many monsters that people assumed were reimagined, were simply us just telling the character-based stories that interested us and finding the monsters or settings that best helped us do that. If we could push the design, here and there, a bit to lean into a classic monster feel, we’d sometimes to do that for fun to keep the spirit of the original series alive.
As I mentioned earlier, apart from wanting to play more with placing the BCSD gang into classic horror and mystery literature and using (ruining) those specific monsters and villains, there weren’t any new monsters I can think of that we had planned on using – or wanted to use - but didn’t. BCSD was about the characters and their relationship to one another, so our focus was always, first, on exploring them and, then, on coming up with the right settings and monsters to do so.
If you could live any one of the character lives, which one would you pick and why?
I suppose if I had to choose only one, I would choose Daphne because she is creative, eccentric, funny, intelligent and doesn’t care what anyone thinks about her. She’s only 18 years old in the series and (although the audience never got a chance to see this next part) she goes on to have a great, very long, fun, successful and fulfilling life that she truly enjoyed.
I was wondering if Velma's allergies in Eating Crow, the everybody jumps on Velma joke in Where There's Will, There's a Wraith and Fred's urge to save the orphanage in Scary Christmas are conscious references to the instances in A Tiki Scare is No Fair, That's Snow Ghost and A Nutcracker Scoob respectively. Are there any other hidden references to past incarnations?
The “everybody jump on Velma” thing was something that I remember happening in the original series from when I was a child watching it in reruns (although I seem to recall it happening more than in just one episode). Even then, it struck me as so odd and surreal. I believe it was in “Tiki” that she carries everybody to safety into the jungle and then she actually APOLOGIZES to them for getting them lost! No one says, “Oh, please, Velma, what are YOU apologizing for? My God, we all piled on top of you like a football defensive line and you physically carried all of us to safety. Thank you, Velma!” It was just taken for granted. I thought it would be fun to origin that strange trope and “hang a lantern on it,” as they say in the writer’s room. Once we established it, we did it a couple more times and I’m sure I would have returned to it and explored it even more in the third season if I had the chance.
As for Velma’s allergies or Fred and the orphans, they were not specific references to past episodes at all. Honestly, the allergies thing seemed fine in the script stage, but I thought it became a little overly gross in execution. I’m not a huge fan of bodily function humor. Fred and the orphans, on the other hand, I loved, and the execution of the sad, poor little orphan boy staring out hopefully at them was fantastic.
I've had this question for sooo long!! In the episode "There-Wolf" is the Shaggy and Scooby costume gag a reference to the original Where are You werewolf episode? (Because in both of them they mess with the werewolves' fur)
I’ve had this answer for a very short time: No. Again, there are actually much fewer specific references than people think. Most of the time it’s a function of what I said above – after 50 years, it’s really hard not to coincidentally bump into an idea that’s already been used. We were aware of this and just assumed the characters and tone of BCSD was so different that it really didn’t matter all that much.
If Be Cool Scooby-Doo was someone's coma dream, who would the dreamer be? (Weird question, but curious on answer!)
It may seem like a weird question, but the answer is actually surprisingly simple (you’re gonna kick yourself because it’s obvious in hindsight) – BCSD would have been the coma dream of late Egyptian president Anwar Sadat.
What was the brief you had from WB/CN, and how far removed was that from what they actually wanted? Did they even know what they wanted? (Russm)
WB was coming off SDMI, which they said was “75% scary/25% funny” and so they wanted to go in the other direction this time and do “”75% funny/25% scary.” They also said they wanted something “smart and funny like Phineas & Ferb,” which is why, I assume, Zac and I were there. Honestly, I really think they wanted “73% funny/27% scary,” but were in too much of a hurry to realize it at the time.
Apart from that and a few loose ideas they were throwing around, Zac and I were actually given a blank slate and were really allowed to develop an approach to the show on our own – which they then approved at each stage. I don’t think it was really a case of them not knowing what they wanted as much as them sincerely being interested in seeing what we came up with and then making adjustments from there.
As we went along, we’d bump into things that, more or less, became “rules” (at least to start with) based on their reactions to whatever new ideas we were bringing to them. For instance, we wanted to do monsters that were more interesting or funny (being that it was a comedy). We felt that the Stay-Puffed Marshmallow Man from “Ghostbusters” was a good example of a funny monster, conceptually, that was still frightening – and as long as the audience believed that the gang was scared of the monster, whatever monster we chose to do would work. That idea got nixed and a mandate came down that they wanted sort of big, classic Scooby-type monsters that spoke very little and growled or roared more. They loosened up on that as we went along, though.
Who was ultimately calling the shots, WB or CN? (Russm)
In matters of creating and producing the show, WB was in charge and we got very little notes from CN, who really seemed to like what we were doing quite a lot. Then they aired it once on a Thursday night at 2 AM.
When working up to write the show how much did you engage with the loose assortment of bits that is the Scooby 'cannon'? Was it a help or a hindrance? (Russm)
We watched the original series, but found it to be of little help, apart from really showing us how little personality and point of view as characters Fred, Daphne, and to a lesser degree, Velma, had. Our goal was to create a comedic ensemble and give the whole gang really clear and dimensional personalities built to play off one another and make the series very character-driven to the point where solving (or not solving) the mysteries had a direct impact on their lives. We were also pushing and heightening the humor, so the tone was going to be very specific and nothing like any previous Scooby series – so really, everything Scooby-related that came before was merely there for us to plunder for ideas if we chose to. But since our new versions of the characters were now driving the series, we felt pretty outside traditional Scooby canon and, apart from playing with some of the tropes, we mostly ignored it and just did our own thing.
In hindsight would you have done anything different from a creative standpoint? We know of the studio meddling, this is more of a initial approach/concept question. (Russm)
I really don’t think I would have done anything different, creatively, on our end. I think we got it right. Everything that was or went “wrong,” as far as I’m concerned, is rooted in the decisions WB made, some large, some small, some early on, some later on – but all, cumulatively, creating a snowball of issues that we were always running from like Indiana Jones – until it eventually flattened us.
What was your snack/beverage of choice while writing? (Russm)
I usually like to have both a large, cold, carbonated drink and a cup of coffee near me at all times.
Honestly, I tend not to want to eat while I’m actually writing for a fairly silly reason that I still, personally, believe, regardless. I think human beings evolved and developed these large brains to adapt to changing environments. We became creative and toolmakers as a means of survival. I prefer to work in dark, cold rooms, slightly hungry to sorta tap into that primal “fight or flight” survival mechanism, which actually makes me feel more of a creative edge. Pretty much every fellow writer to whom I’ve told this theory has said something to the effect of, “You know that’s idiotic, right?”
I also do most of my writing in my head, pacing around the room, twirling a wooden presentation pointer stick. Then I go over to the computer and hammer it all out - then get up and pace around some more. I discovered I have a health app on my phone and now know I average 3 miles a day just walking around in circles in a room waving a stick around like a crazy person. Every person I work with seems to accept this or, at least, eventually gets used to it.
How much of the earlier shows did you mine for ideas? (Scoobnick)
I think you can glean from earlier answers that we only really took inspiration from “SDWAY” and then looked at the remaining huge pile of 50 years of SD sitting there and said, “Screw it, let’s just do our own thing and hope for the best.”
Were there any characters you wanted to bring in, but the studio refused permission? (Scoobnick)
Not really. We got a lot of requests for the Hex Girls and, while WB never said we couldn’t use them, we weren’t really feeling great enthusiasm about it from them. I think, if we had kept going, we would have eventually found the right story idea and used them, though, because I like doing music in shows.
How long did it take for a normal episode to come to fruition? (Scoobnick)
The analogy for an animated show episode is usually a pregnancy. It normally takes about nine months from conception to having the final episode ready to air (also the early part is really fun and it’s often painful to see the final results, so the pregnancy analogy is fairly solid).
Why did you decide to change Daphne's personality?
We didn’t. We decided to actually GIVE Daphne a personality for the first time.
Was "Ghost in the Mystery Machine" supposed to be the episode before "Professor Huh?" because it was the only episode to have a cliffhanger?
Well, it was supposed to air, sequentially, at some point before “Professor Huh?” (as it does) because it sets up Rose, but it was never meant to literally be the episode that aired directly, right before the finale. I actually wanted and planned to have a few episodes in between to kinda leave that hanging out there for a little bit.
Why was the scene with Daphne with earplugs in her nose cut from "Mystery on the Disorient Express"?
It was because someone decided it was imitable behavior and that children all over the world would immediately begin shoving things into their nostrils, which, of course, was our plan all along, so that was very disappointing.
Was the Sea Monster in "All Paws on Deck" a reference to the Beast of Bottomless Lake from The Scooby-Doo Show? Also, was the Ape Man a re-imagining of the Ape Man from Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?
I believe the design for the sea monster WAS slightly inspired from “Beast,” or, at least, nudged in that direction because the director liked the design. The Ape from “Upsetting Shorts” was actually just supposed to be a real ape in the story and it was a reference to and reimagining of an ape from “nature.”
No question. Just a huge thank you. I’ve been a fan of Scooby-Doo since my childhood in the 70s. Done my best to hook my kids on the show & BCSD was a fun iteration. Mystery, Inc was a little too scary for them. This was a perfect mix of fun & mystery. My daughter really got a kick out of Daphne’s wacky bits. Thanks also for your work on Phineas & Ferb and please keep mentioning the “tri-state area” so that we know it’s you doing the writing! (Alicia)
Thank you so much, Alicia. That’s very kind of you to say. I’m so glad you and your kids could share in the fun of the show. We really did want to make a series, like “Phineas,” that the whole family could enjoy equally.
It’s also so wonderful to hear your daughter got a kick out of Daphne. It was important to me that we finally get Daphne away from being merely “the pretty one” or defined solely by her crush on Fred – or, on the other end of the spectrum, to be any sort of clichéd attempt at being “empowered” by physically fighting well (yet with no personality) or being some kind of “intrepid reporter.” I’ve never heard anyone walk around being proud of their “intrepidness.”
BCSD’s Daphne is a creative, smart, funny, empathetic, curious, open-minded person who dances to her own drummer and doesn’t give a hoot what anyone thinks of her. In fact, I was just interested in creating a funny, interesting character and if one were to describe what defines our version of Daphne, I think it’s kind of nice that all the adjectives or phrases that one would probably come up with actually have nothing at all to do with her gender. She could have easily been a male character and done and said the exact same things. Again, I was in no way trying to create a role model, but I guess you could do a whole lot worse in terms of aspirational characters – for girls OR boys, than Daphne in BCSD.
Either way, I appreciate the generous comments and, just to make life a little easier and free me up word-wise, if you see my name credited as writer, it’s probably me doing the writing.
Now that there's been some time since the series stopped airing, it would be nice to get a reflective overview. How do the earlier episodes of season 1 compare to the later ones of season 2 and such? Did the setup pay off as intended? I for one enjoyed the intra series callbacks that we gradually got more of. I'm aware of the studio interference but besides that, are there any improvements from a writer's POV that could have been made?
Jeepers, I’ve written virtual essays to answer questions like “Did you base so-and-so on the episode such-and-such?” I’m not even sure how to approach this one.
Broadly speaking, I would say we got better as we went along. I think we started strong with “Mystery 101” and “Party Like It’s 1899” was actually the second episode I wrote, although they aired it, like 8th, or something. It’s VERY difficult to discuss this without getting into the behind the scenes political issues because they play a large part, if not the entire part, of what went wrong with every single thing that went wrong with the writing process.
Let me just say that the natural, organic evolution of the show for the first half of season one got stunted by some problems and we got bottle-necked pretty badly. I think a lot of those episodes suffered as a result. I look at season one and, for me, maybe one out of every three episodes are very disappointing compared to what they COULD have been. By the time we got our flow back and could breathe, we were heading into the last third of season one and things started to shape up again. I think there are some really great episodes in the first half of season one, but the organic evolution of the characters and series just isn’t there. We had certainly begun that process. You’ll notice Daphne was still “danger prone” in the first episode, but I soon found she was so much fun and had so much going on that we didn’t need it and it just fell away – I mean, pretty much IN the same episode.
We also had some ideas for Velma that we wanted to weave in but the “issues” we were having prevented us from playing with them and figuring out how to make them work. I think Velma got under serviced as a character because of it. We had planned more for her – but then never replaced those things with other things. Kate Micucci was the key to Velma and she brought a great vulnerability and social awkwardness that blended in nicely with her other attributes. We just needed more Velma-centered stories to explore her character and there was always pressure for more Shaggy and Scooby, while Daphne and Fred were quietly becoming everyone’s favorite characters in the show. I feel bad that Velma kind of got lost in the shuffle.
That said, the saving grace of BCSD was really the first few weeks where Zac and I sat down and hammered out the characters and the tone. It was really solid and I felt the characters just worked. The “algebra” of them worked. I could just begin with a blank page and start them talking and they just took over. It was like taking dictation. I never knew what any of them would say next until they said it. They often surprised me. That’s what got us through season one.
Of course, the early episodes up through the first half of season one where we were supposed to be figuring more stuff out, really “finding” the show and fine tuning the characters got totally messed up and we were just rushing to make deadlines. Thankfully, the characters were strong as they were originally conceived and could carry us through the mess until it finally cleared up and we could get back to focusing on where they were going – or could go - again.
“El Bandito” was when Zac and I both felt, like, “Ahhh, yes, that’s our show again and we can start planning ahead now.” The last few episodes of season one were where we began to really hit our stride and “The People vs. Fred Jones” was when I really felt like I had regained control of the ship and had the freedom to stretch out and start having fun.
I stayed on through the hiatus between seasons to get a head start on the writing and episodes like “Some Fred Time,” “There Wolf,” “How To Train Your Coward” and “Mysteries On The Disorient Express” are me just having a blast working with great writers and pushing the boundaries of what we could do with the series. Having a little more control and time allowed me to start planting seeds to grow and find things to call back. Once all that was up and running, I think everything worked extremely well as intended. The only problems were where things were executed NOT as intended.
Which leads us to the last third of season two where we lost control of the ship again and politics took over. I’m happy with the original scripts for the last 6-7 episodes of the series, but since it was decided that since the scripts were finished it was a grand idea to let the only writer and voice of the show go, I was not around for when something in the script was misunderstood or misinterpreted or if it was executed differently as intended or someone decided that something just doesn’t work for some reason. In cases like that, you need a writer to explain what was intended or rework something that wasn’t working on the screen or explain how a certain line needed to be read in order to make sense, etc. Imagine a company letting a writer with no training in art draw and storyboard a scene. It’s unthinkable. Yet storyboard artists and directors with no training in the craft of writing structured, character-driven scripts were rewriting scenes and whole character arcs on a whim and so, for me, the last 6-7 episodes of season 2 goes back to me feeling very disappointed with 2/3’s of them. So many of the seeds and planning and momentum we built up from the end of season one up through about “Ghost in the Mystery Machine” (which I love), didn’t all pay off or paid off incorrectly or got changed or misunderstood or whatever. It was a drag.
A lot of people really like episodes I, personally, don’t care for and I love certain episodes I’ve never heard anyone mention. My point of view is totally warped, though. I know what was supposed to happen and how it should have happened in certain episodes, so seeing something else there that I don’t think works as well or changes what was intended just leaps out at me. That stuff is all part of a massive continuity of character arcs and personalities and running gags – a series is like one really long story about a group of characters and is all connected and evolves organically – and only I had that whole big picture in my head. Seeing something that doesn’t fit or contradicts something or that a character wouldn’t do or say or that I know informs something a character does 3 episodes from now or is being informed by something a character said 16 episodes ago is like mentally hitting a speed bump at 100 MPH for me. It’s just so clearly wrong – but usually only to me. I’m 100% positive that if everyone could watch the same episodes executed exactly as I had intended, they would go, “Ohhhh, I see, yeah, that whole thing did NOT work before and THIS feels so much better and right.” Trust me. You’re lucky you don’t know what you don’t know, though I’m sincerely thrilled people like ANY of the episodes – even ones I don’t like. It’s all subjective, anyway. Except, of course, if you like “Pizza O’ Possum.” Then you’re just wrong.
Outside of Be Cool, which Scooby-Doo episodes and movies are your favorites?
I like “SDWAY” the best, but the “New Scooby Doo Movies” were also a lot of fun and established so many of the Scooby tropes people love. My guilty pleasure is that puppet Scooby Doo thing they made several years back. I just thought it was so cute looking. I would have loved to write the BCSD personalities grafted on to those puppets.
Hey Jon. A lifetime goal of mine is to someday be a writer for the Scooby Doo franchise. My question is, what is your advice in making that dream become a reality someday? I'm in college for communications and journalism, and my goal is to make it a Scooby movie/series!
First, I would learn the craft of writing. A great book about character and scenes and structure is Laos Egri’s “The Art of Dramatic Writing.” It’s an older book that mostly uses plays as examples because movies weren’t even considered “serious” writing when it was written, but, I mean, even Aristotle has many useful things to say about writing. I would recommend reading them all – Syd Fields’ “Screenplay,” “Save The Cat,” “Making a Good Script Great,” and also read other books – lots of them. Words are your friends and your tools and your job. Read. Also write. Write what you want to write, find your own voice and your own style. I highly recommend writing for the stage and theater. The script is respected in theater – no executive notes, no marketing notes, just pure YOU up there and immediate audience reactions night after night. That’s where I found my voice and style as a writer – and also my confidence. I watched audience after audience laugh at certain things – and not other things. I’d make adjustments and then watch the reaction. Eventually you get to the point where you can trust your gut. You KNOW that if YOU like it, an audience will like it, because you’ve had that proven to you over and over again (hopefully for years).
There are a million ways to break into the business and it’s a golden age for television. So many great shows on so many different networks and cable stations and streaming sites. It should stay that way for a while. The classic method is to write some spec scripts for a couple series that are in the style of the show you’d like to write for and try to get an agent with them. In animation, things are a bit looser and I know many writers and artist without agents, but it’s better to have representation and be professional. The studio will just respect you more and there’s less of a chance anyone will take advantage of you.
Once you get a foothold in the industry anywhere, you build on it and always try to move closer to your goal. It’s hard to aim for writing for a specific series. I mean, I’d like to write for “Sherlock,” but it ain’t happening (this week, at least). If you work hard enough and have your own voice as a writer, then people will want YOU. People will hire you because they want specifically what YOU do, which will always make your life easier since you just have to trust your gut and write what you think is good (because you honed that skillset in theater). I guess if you have an agent, you can ask them to check to see if the current Scooby show is hiring – and keep checking, or get your work seen by someone at WB and try to get a job there (and don’t mention my name) and once you’re writing for them, tell them you’re interested in working on Scooby. Ideally, it would be best to get to a place where you’re creating and pitching your own shows and you can go to WB and pitch them your own ideas for a Scooby series. If you DO have your own voice and style, though, demand a writer’s room instead of freelancing 56 episodes a season. You’ll have to then teach dozens of writers how to write in YOUR style, which will not work. Trust me. But for now, read and write. A lot. Break a leg!
Please settle an argument between me & my kids. In Ghost in the Mystery Machine, Daphne laughs nervously after decapitating a statue. Was that because she thought she may have killed someone?
Hmmm. Gotta re-watch that to see what you’re talking about. Hang on….
Okay, got it. You mean when she cuts the helmet off the Japanese suit of armor in the lab.
While Daphne’s expressions and gestures in that moment were not scripted and the work of the director and storyboard artists, I take them to mean something to the effect of: “Wow, I know decapitating him with a sword is pretty violent and dramatic, but it was just kinda reflex – I had to try something and, well, at least it worked, right?” It’s rooted in Daphne’s big-hearted, loving nature and how she surprised HERSELF with her choice.
Who won, you or your kids? Or neither?
Thank you to Scooby Snax and to all the people who took the time to write in questions. I hope I answered them to your satisfaction. I truly appreciate the fans of BCSD. They’re a diverse, intelligent, individualistic bunch of very cool people. It’s been an absolute pleasure and honor to interact and get to know many of you. Thank you for letting me know that what I do brings a smile to someone’s face. It makes it all worth it.
Thank you so much to Jon Colton Barry for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer all these questions. Additionally, I'd like to thank JCB one more time for answering all of our questions on the ScoobyAddicts forum. It's been great getting to know him over the years on there, and I'm honored to be able to call him a friend. And I want to send out one more thank you to all of you, the fans, for making our little Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! Week so successful and fun! Hopefully, some day this witty little show will be discovered by a wider variety of fans, and be appreciated for the fantastic show it truly is.
Whether you like the designs or not, you have to admit the writing was amazing in this series. While it only had a modest overaching premise, the idea of the series being about the gang's friendship with one another is one that the franchise has never fully explored, at least not to this extent. Though simplistic to a degree, the reasoning behind why the gang gravitated towards each other and became friends is an extraordinarily important narrative.
That's why I think this series is worth your time, in addition to a few other variables. As I've mentioned throughout the various other articles I've posted for "Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! Week", the three dimensionality and relatability of the characters really adds to the entertainment value of this series as well. One thing I felt this series did really well, however, was the comedy aspect. I for one love that sort of off-color and absurd humor, so naturally I enjoyed most of the jokes in this show. I also really appreciate how the humor worked into the tone of the series. In many cases, a lot of the jokes could not have been pulled off in any of the other previous series without a change in tone or writing. After all, in what other series have you seen Daphne have a feud with all sea creatures because she owed them $15 lol?
Additionally, the humor was just off-color enough to be funny, but not too off-color as to go over the audience's head or be unfunny. There were certainly some jokes (like the ice jokes in "Naughty or Ice" or the crystal jokes in "Be Quiet, Scooby-Doo," for example) that I didn't enjoy as much, but there's something to be said for the fact that you're not always going to like every joke. I actually don't mind the addition of those unfunny jokes, because it shows that the series is trying to appeal to all types of humor. Most likely, the majority of people aren't going to find all the jokes funny, because we all have different senses of humor. That just goes to show that the series is really targeting all humor styles and audiences.
Off of that point about targeting all audiences, that was another thing I thought this series did very well. Many of the jokes clearly weren't written for young children, but children could still find them funny as well as the adult fans. As an adult, I hate when it feels like shows are talking "down" to kids. Especially in this day and age, kids are a lot smarter than people give them credit for. It's always nice to see when the writers clearly have a wide audience range in mind when crafting the series, as it shows they're trying to appeal to all audiences and not just take the easy "This is a kids' show, so let's appeal to 4-10 year olds!" route.
Obviously, this series is a departure from other incarnations due to both animation style and humor. However, the series does extraordinary well despite this. I'll disgracefully admit that I was initially one of the "WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO POOR SCOOBY?" people when the concept art was first released. As the series got closer, I decided it deserved a proper chance and I'm so glad that I gave it that. This series truly proves that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. Even though I still disliked the animation when I first began watching the show, I became more and more acquainted with it as the show went on. Eventually, I began to not notice it as much, and towards the end of the series, even enjoyed the unique animation style. I think there's something to be said about the background settings as well. Even though the gang is designed a bit oddly upon first glance, all of the background art is done beautifully and with great attention to detail.
Another thing I appreciated about this show is that even though it served as a more comedic incarnation of the franchise, it didn't let that comedy necessarily define it. Episodes like "In Space" and "Doo Not Disturb" really showcase how the series can go a bit darker in plot and tone, while still remaining comedic and silly. The series also took it upon itself to reimagine old episodes like "What the Hex is Going On?" and "Haunted House Hang Up," among others, and it was really interesting to see an updated version of those episodes in the mind of another writer.
Overall, Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! is a fun, silly show that deserves so much more credit than it gets. For those reading this post that haven't given the series a chance, I would highly recommend you watch at least a few episodes before officially saying you dislike it. Because the series is such a different adaptation from the series we've seen recently, it takes a bit to get used to. Obviously not everyone will like every single series out there, but I would bet that at least some people that haven't given the show a chance would really enjoy it if they allowed themselves to.
That's it for this week's Be Cool, Scooby-Doo articles to celebrate the end of the show. I really hope you all enjoyed reading them as much as I did writing them! Just because the articles are over though, that doesn't mean the festivities stop! To conclude Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! Week, the show's head writer, Jon Colton Barry will be answering all of your questions about the show. Check back sometime later tomorrow to see his answers! In the meantime, if you have a question you would like to ask JCB that you haven't submitted yet, be sure to do so in the anonymous form in this post.
There were a lot of fantastic episodes in this series, but in this article, I'm going to highlight only the top 10 best episodes of the series. I'll admit, it was very challenging to pick favorites, but upon a lot of thought, these are the 10 I've picked.
10. I Scooby Dooby Do
"I Scooby Dooby Do" takes the number 10 spot in this list. On its own, admittedly, this was a very average episode of Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! However, when you brought all the elements going on in this episode together, it made for a fantastic watch. The jokes were very spot-on and witty in this one. I particularly found myself amused with Fred's ascot joke, which honestly was perfect even without words. Shaggy's fear of giving his Best Man speech was a great addition to the plot, and Daphne's "views" on marriage are priceless! Speaking of Daphne, I loved the side-plot of the wedding dresses. It made her little freak-out moment with the Cliff Bride so much more hilarious (even though I must say she still looked super adorable in her wedding outfit!) My favorite part of the episode, though, was the bedroom scene, and the parents teaming up at the end so they could sabotage their kids' wedding together lol.
9. Mystery 101
Maybe this is too obvious of a choice, but the first episode still remains one of my favorites due to the humor in it, as well as the "reimagining" of the original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? episode with Elias Kingston. The puppets are definitely one of the classic gags in this series, and Fred's unorthodox fear of widths was very humorous. I'd say my absolute favorite line of the episode, just since it was so unexpected (particularly not being familiar with the series' humor style yet), was Velma's quote "Relax, the odds of all of us being attacked and/or further educated are negligible!"
I was reading my original review to this when I first watched it, and I found my comment here a bit interesting "Kate's voice really reminds me of Linda Cardellini playing Velma in the live action movies. I'm not sure that's what they were going for but I'm really liking it. It's funny, because I don't feel that way at all now having watched the full series. On a little side note, it's been really fun going back and re-reading all my reviews from the episodes on ScoobyAddicts these past few days!
8. Vote Velma
"Vote Velma" is the cutting edge of political satire, hands down. Just the fact that the voters just want to hear random stuff and not actually relevant information, is both amusing because of the implied joke and because it's actually so true in real life! All of the interactions between the gang were very snappy and flowed really well, particular when they were talking to the other mayoral candidates. Velma's "one great truth" that she likes pancakes nearly had me on the floor laughing! It was amusing as well that Violet looked near identical to Velma, yet no one actually mentioned it. And finally, Velma's final comment in the episode was perfect! "Well, I would have liked to declare martial law!" is the best way to end an episode lol.
7. In Space
Having watched the movie this episode was based off of (Ridley Scott's "Alien"), this really allowed me to enjoy this episode to its full potential. Turning the Space Kook into an alien virus where the infected become skull-headed aliens is such an amazing idea for a plot. Fred's "In Space" jokes were funny at first, but I'll admit this was the one part of the episode which became a bit old after a while. The addition of him saying it in Spanish ("En espacio!") at the end, however, did redeem the joke at least a little bit. This episode mainly stood out to me, however, because it got pretty dark compared to the other episodes. While I love the humor of this series, it was fun to have the series go a bit darker and explore the humor through the lens of a darker mystery. I won't ruin anything in case people haven't seen the episode, but I love how complex the mystery's solution was, especially compared to some of the other episodes in the series, which were a bit easier to solve. The little time warp gag where Shaggy and Scooby ran into the previously-caught monsters was a nice touch as well!
6. Party Like It's 1899
This one stood out to me because it placed the gang in different roles than we're used to seeing them in. I talk quite a bit about this episode in a different post, so I'll try not to repeat myself and just say that I enjoyed seeing the gang portray the unique and interesting characters at the murder mystery party. The addition of the Headless Count was also a cool one, especially when you consider how little-remembered the original Headless Spectre from Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? was!
5. Night of the Upsetting Shorts
Now that we're down to the top five, admittedly it got very tough to decide between my top 5 choices. All of these could easily be my favorite episodes for different reasons, and just because they each have such well-written plots! Though it was immensely challenging, I finally came up with an order.
"Night of the Upsetting Shorts" comes in fifth on my list. The humor was so witty in this one! In fact I found myself laughing throughout the entire episode. Fred's "upsetting shorts" were hilarious, and it makes me want to see what JCB actually had in mind for the original shorts design. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, JCB mentioned on ScoobyAddicts that the design for Fred's shorts was supposed to be "even more upsetting," but WB changed the design at the last minute.
Velma dressing like a grandma was hilarious, and the fact that she didn't really intend to definitely enhanced the comedy level. Shaggy pretending Daphne was his girlfriend, and that he was the leader of the gang for his grandma was quite amusing as well. But none of that compares to my favorite part of the episode, which was Fred's America swimsuit at the end of the episode lol.
4. Some Fred Time
This was such a tough decision to put at #4! I want it to be #1, though the other three episodes beat it out just slightly. This episode made me laugh harder than any other episode in the series, and I'd go so far to say that it's one of the funniest episodes of the entire franchise. I wish I could list all the jokes I laughed really hard at, but it would probably take me several pages of typing to do so haha. The best jokes were the rich woman with her blinding diamond, Fred unmasking the "Vampire Werewolf Zombie Mummy Ghost from Outer Space" (pictured above) and especially him tackling the guy on the bike to unmask him! Fred pulling Velma's glasses off thinking they were a mask and his surprised look when saying "Velma Dinkley?!?" was definitely my biggest laugh-out-loud moment of the episode. The "no pictures" guy (can't remember his name at the moment) was also a memorable joke.
Jokes aside, I loved how much the gang's bonding was shown in this episode. Without Fred, you could really see what the series was going for, in terms of focusing on the gang's friendship and how they each contribute something to the group. This episode also allowed for the gang's personalities to really shine, and was the first episode I could really strongly see what JCB was talking about with the "three-dimensional characters" overarching idea of the series.
3. World of Witchcraft
This will probably sound silly, but this episode has such important message that really resonates with how I feel about the world. The only super memorable joke in this one (I feel kinda bad saying that, as there probably are some really good ones that I'm just not remembering at the moment) was Scooby's comment "logical, yet sociopathic!" which is probably my favorite line of Scooby's in the entire series.
The sub-plot about Daphne standing up for witches, and more importantly, being herself despite the townspeople's suspiciousness is such an important message. Being myself and not caring about what other people think of me has always been something that is really important to me personally. It is SO important to just be you, even if people are critical, and I loved that this episode tackled such a cool and mature topic - or actually topics, as it tackled both prejudice and being yourself. That is such an important message in my opinion, especially in the day and age of social media where people are worried about being "cool" to others. Those two underlying messages are what made me place this episode as high as I did, though I did enjoy Lewis Black (who voiced Mr. E) as the mayor and the cool and unorthodox choice of villain.
2. Professor Huh? Parts 1 and 6 3/4
I just reviewed this one earlier this week, so I'll try to keep this bit short and not be repetitive. The reason these two episodes are placed way they are, is because I felt all the parallels and references to the past episodes were such a great way to wrap up the series.
1. Doo Not Disturb
Taking the #1 spot in this list is "Doo Not Disturb!" This was definitely not a particularly funny episode, but just the fact of how creepy and dark it got made me fall in love with it immediately. In fact, JCB even said this episode was originally supposed to be much darker, but WB asked him to tone it down because it would be too scary for kids. To which my reaction was "I want darker anyway!" lol. The Ghost of Mother was sooo creepy, especially the little 15-second "ticking" warning before she appeared. As I mentioned in my top 10 villains post, I was practically yelling at my screen for Daphne to open the door in the scene where Mother is approaching Shaggy and Scooby haha. The dark plot of this episode definitely made this one my absolute favorite of the series.
Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! Week Day 4: How the Series Recreated Our Classic Favorite Episodes with a Fun, New Spin
Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! recreated a lot of classic memories for us fans, from recreating the gang with more three-dimensional, relatable personalities to giving us the origin of Scooby Snacks. But one of the things this show did best in my opinion is recreating old episodes in a fun, interesting way, without making them seem like we were simply watching a repeat. In today's article, I'd like to highlight some of the ways that the show recreated classic Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? mysteries with a new twist.
Though the episode was stylistically a bit different in setting, the premiere episode of Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! does bare a striking resemblance to the original series episode, "What the Hex Going On?" Firstly, the episode redesigned a lesser-known classic villain, The Ghost of Elias Kingston (the difference is contrasted in the two pictures above). Additionally, several references were made throughout the episode to the original episode and setting. For example, when the university dean is explaining how the institution was built, he mentions that the founder, Elias Kingston, built it over his mansion. This is clearly a direct reference to the Kingston Mansion/Manor, which is where the gang stayed with their friend Sharon in the original episode.
I always thought it was cool that they decided to pick such a lesser-known/remembered episode, though I would presume it was probably due to this being Jon Colton Barry (the head writer)'s favorite episode of the show. He elaborates on this a bit in the interview I did with him on October 5, 2015, the day the show first premiered on television.
I grew up watching reruns of the classic, original series the most. I've always kinda liked the first season episode "What the Hex Going On?" with the Ghost of Elias Kingston. It's a strange episode. Watching the original series as we were developing the new series made me see the odd choices the gang would make sometimes in the past. Sharon's Uncle Stuart has been suddenly turned into a decrepit, elderly man by a ghost and they decide to "watch" him overnight instead of rushing the poor guy to a hospital? Who knows how much damage is done to someone when they're magically aged 40 years? And exactly where did this guy learn such remarkable make-up skills that he could fool them even up close? I've never even seen a big Hollywood movie where "old age" make-up looks very convincing. Haha.
I'm a huge fan of references and nostalgia myself, but what I like most about this series is that while it takes time to be nostalgic, and throws in those little nods to various series, it also knows when to add in a new spin on an old classic. The setting and situation is changed just enough where it doesn't feel repetitive or old and tired.
Party Like It's 1899
"Party Like It's 1899" is definitely one of my favorites of the first season. While it's great seeing the gang in their original personalities, it was also fun to explore this "new" version of the gang a bit more and see how they would act in such a "murder mystery" type of situation.
Besides this, it also reimagines one of my absolute favorite episodes, "Haunted House Hang-Up" in a really fun way. Throughout the years, I don't think we've ever actually seen the gang in a "murder mystery weekend" type setting before, even though that fits so well with the series (same argument I've had with how "A Christmas Carol" should have been parodied as it fits well with the tone of the show - which it finally was with "Scroogey Doo!" - but that's another topic). If I had to pick one villain from the original series that's underappreciated, it would definitely be the Headless Spectre. It's such a cool and spooky idea to have a ghost without a head (definitely spookier than the dreaded "sheet ghost" - quite literally just a guy with a sheet over his head, you can even see his legs! - which appears later on in the episode lol), so I'm glad this series gave him some love.
The setting, again, was quite similar to the original haunted house setting, and we even see a few subtle nods to the original episode. One of my favorite things about this episode though is Daphne and Fred's characters - the "bumbling gloves" line had me chuckling for quite a while. Daphne's line "Yep, that's me, set for stun. Pew pew!" was admittedly a perfect line as well, especially upon rewatch after you get to know the character more.
Where There's a Will, There's a Wraith
While the previous two villains were a bit more unconventional choices, these two villains are ones probably every Scooby fan knows. In "Where There's a Will, There's a Wraith," the same basic plot from the original episode, "A Night of Fright is No Delight," follows. The gang is forced to spend the night in a supposedly haunted mansion after Scooby is written into a deceased colonel's will. However, a ghost quickly appears and the gang has to solve the mystery. One striking similarity from the original episode is that "Where There's a Will" has the surprise twist of there actually being two identical ghosts as well. Though I love the original of course, I actually find myself liking the new design slightly more. The skeleton hands and tattered sheets add a bit more spookiness to the ghosts' designs, in my opinion. Additionally, the borrowed idea of using the relatives like in the original episode makes "Where There's a Will" much more nostalgic, especially as a fan who's been watching Scooby since childhood. The twist of the suspect's name being Casper Cosgoode is a really fun callback to Cosgoode Creeps as well! While having the house burn down is a much more extreme ending, it was also a cool new way to wrap up the episode that referenced the money being worthless in the original episode.
This episode definitely deviated the most from its original episode, but in my opinion, it's also one of the best episodes of the series. This episode, entitled "In Space" (after the recurring gag of Fred using this phrase after every sentence her says), reimagines the classic "Spooky Space Kook" episode of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? The plot is as follows: "After mistakenly parking on a spaceship's loading dock, Fred and the gang are sent in space where a virus turning people into skull aliens is rapidly spreading. The gang has to figure a way to solve the mystery and avoid becoming contaminated with the alien virus."
Pretty cool twist, considering the original episode just had the gang running around an abandoned airfield. This is one of things I love about Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! It can take something as simple as four teens and a dog running around an airfield and turn it into a creepy plot involving viruses that turn people into skull-headed aliens. According to a post made by JCB on the ScoobyAddicts forum, this episode was a request episode made by James Krenzke, who hoped to do an episode which referenced Ridley Scott's Alien film. Having seen that film, I must say that Krenzke and JCB did beautifully on this episode. The only thing I can honestly say I disliked was the constant repetition of Fred's "In Space" jokes. I found it funny the first few times, but it got a bit old after the first few times.
Naughty or Ice
This was another pretty good episode which called back to the classic "Scooby's Night with a Frozen Fright." The same basic plot is kept intact: a caveman is found frozen in ice, but is thawed out and comes back to life. The twist with this one, though, is that in the Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! adaption of the episode, the caveman is an exhibit in the Blakes' Ice Hotel.
I'd be lying, unfortunately, if I were to say that I loved this episode entirely. There were parts, like the bad ice puns and the Daphneism of the week, that I did not enjoy. From my perspective, Daphne blowing the vault didn't really make much sense, given it was her parents' hotel in the first place. Couldn't she have just asked them nicely to get her necklace back, rather than coming up with an elaborate plan and committing multiple illegal acts in the process, which ultimately got the gang thrown in jail?
There were parts, however, that I absolutely loved. Shaggy and Scooby teaching the Ice Man to talk was definitely my favorite part of the whole episode. I was practically on the floor laughing when the Ice Man triumphantly announced "My name is Ice Man! My name is Ice Man!" Although I must admit it (though still amusing) it was kinda sad when Shaggy and Scooby tricked the monster and ran away! He worked so hard lol!
Well, that about wraps up this article. Note that I didn't include some of the villains with simply had similarities to other previous villains, such as the Sea Monsters or the Ape Man. I believe JCB has said some of the villain references weren't intentional, though they went ahead and used them anyway despite the similarities. I hope you enjoyed reading this, and be sure to check back tomorrow for another new article!