When it comes to Scooby, there's a lot of great scores (otherwise known as background music for those not familiar with the term) within the various series and films over the years. To me, there have always been five that have stand out and I'd like to break them down in this article.
The score for Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated is top notch, in my opinion. It creates such a creepy vibe for the episodes, and supplements the mysteries by setting the mood. I personally love the reveal music when the gang is breaking down the villains' plans each episode. Clearly, WB liked it too, as they continued using it in several DTVs to explain the villain's plan, even as recently as 2017's LEGO Scooby-Doo: Blowout Beach Bash, four years after the finale of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated.
Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island's score has always stood out to me as very cinematic. It feels super mature and like it could be included in a regular non-Scooby live-action film, and really sets that creepy mood. Though Zombie Island stands out as the best of the four films of that era to me, there's no denying that Witch's Ghost, Alien Invaders and Cyber Chase also have amazing scores and would have been next on the list if it would have continued beyond the top 5.
For me, a good score is always able to set the mood by supplementing whatever's going on in the scene. You may be saying to yourself, "well duh, when doesn't that happen?" In discussing my third favorite Scooby score, I'll share an example of where I feel a good score just didn't work.
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?'s score is such a classic that I can't imagine anyone not liking it. It sets a creepy, yet sometimes upbeat mood that fits perfectly with the tone of the episode and adds to it. While all the different background music in Where Are You seems very tailored to fit the scene, I feel like The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo's use of the Where Are You score highlights just how well the score fit in the original series. 13 Ghosts did have its own score, but they also incorporated some of the Where Are You score within some of the episodes. This may be an unpopular opinion, but I feel like the Where Are You score just didn't fit in 13 Ghosts and shouldn't have been included. 13 Ghosts should have stayed with the darker score, because the more whimsical upbeatness of some of the Where Are You background music doesn't fit with Scooby trying to escape Maldor the Malevolent's castle or the gang running away from Zomba. I feel like this demonstrates how much Where Are You's score was created to match the scenes in the show, because it being repurposed in a different show has always felt off to me.
In comparison, I do like the updated version of the Where Are You music worked in the two 2003 DTVs (Legend of the Vampire and Monster of Mexico) where the old cast returned to voice their characters. It was updated in a way that was tasteful and consistent with the original, but it also felt like was updated enough where it didn't feel like they were trying to force the Where Are You tone on those films.
Ghoul School has a wonderful score that is super fitting for the atmosphere of Grimwood's. It's always been one of my favorites because of it being spooky, but kind of a playful spooky, which works so well with the plot point of Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy discovering that despite that the students are all ghouls, they're still friendly and not a threat that needs running away from.
My favorite Scooby-Doo score is hands down Boo Brothers, no competition. It creates such a fun spooky environment for the film to take place in, but also isn't afraid to get really dark when something frightening happens. This type of fluid score is exactly what I want in Scooby-Doo background music, and is arguably part of what makes this film so amazing (in my opinion). I wish they'd publicly release the full scores for this one (and maybe Ghoul School) on a CD or digitally, because it's so amazing that I'd honestly listen to it on its own!
I wrote about this article topic for a reason. I've got a little surprise for you all...I've been working these past few weeks on a "Music of Scooby-Doo" page that provides a listing of all the soundtracks, as well as a reference list of all the songs that have appeared in Scooby episodes and films. I thought this reference list would be helpful for if people are watching Scooby episodes/films and want to know the name of a certain song that appears. There were quite a few songs not credited, however (especially the chase songs for Pup and Be Cool), and I didn't want to guess on the names and get it wrong, so those are not included in the list. You can check out the new page here.