scoobyinc480 scoobyinc480

The BEST “Scooby Doo” Ever?

I never thought I’d be posting about Scooby Doo ever again, much less be enthusiastic about it – but I happened to catch a few episodes of Warner Animation’s new Scooby Doo, Mystery Incorporated on my flight back from a quick trip to New York last month and became fascinated with them. My mind was saying “hate this”, “turn the channel”… but my eyes and ears were sorta digging it. I’d totally ignored this show for over a year – and now I found myself liking it. A lot.

I’d always been partial to A Pup Named Scooby Doo, but there’s something odd – and cool – about this latest take on the series. First off, there’s now a story arc for the entire show, Scooby apparently has more “dialogue”, Jonny Quest and Yogi Bear make cameos, Harlan Ellison (!!) plays himself (see clip below), Shaggy gets a crewcut (and it takes several episodes to grow back!), the characters poke fun at their personalities, yet stay true to the original series — and dammit, it’s fun! Heck, it even looks a hell of a lot better than any of the previous “takes”. So I contacted producer Tony Cervone and asked him to give me the scoob… err, scoop on this show. Here’s what Tony had to say (edited for space):

“We started with the premise that they really are “meddling kids”; teenagers going to high school, doing things they shouldn’t be doing. The show is a reboot universe, but we borrowed things from the entire history of Scooby-Doo. The characters elude to things in the past, from Scooby-Doo Where Are You?, they meet characters they met in the direct-to-DVDs, references to things in the live action movies, Vincent Van Ghoul from The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo is in it. We pick and choose what to include.

“There is a 52-episode story arc, and in Season 2 (currently airing) every episode counts to tell the larger story. The characters are now more like normal teenagers – they hook up on occasion and break apart. We started the series with Shaggy and Velma paired off, but then Scooby found out and there was a weird romantic triangle. Yeah, Shaggy broke it off with Velma because he didn’t want to upset his best friend too much.

“We learn who the original “Mystery Incorporated” were. They were a high school club from decades past. They come back as adults (voiced by Lewis Black, Vivica A. Fox, Tia Carrera, Udo Kier and Tim Matheson) and they’re not what the gang thought they were. It’s deep and it’s dense and it only gets deeper, denser and stranger from here on in. Dan Krall art directed the first season and set the style for the show, Steve Nicodemus has followed up on the second 26 episodes. It’s so great – I don’t even know how why they let us make it.”

The show airs every weekday at 2pm EST/11am PST on Cartoon Network, right after the classic Looney Tunes, and it’s worth a look. Cervone tells me that next Thursday’s episode (Heart of Evil) contains a new, “Dark Knight” take on Dynomutt and The Blue Falcon. Those who hate Scooby-Doo will never watch this (and I totally understand) – but I’d love to hear from anyone who’s been following it. What’s your take? C’mon Scoobie fans, back me up on this.

NOTE: The black-light publicity image at the top (above) – drawn by Derrick Wyatt, painted by Peter Girardi and Dan Krall – was never printed as intended (it was supposed to be in day-glo inks on those giant bags they give away at Comic Con). Click it to see the full rich colors that were never used.

  • Crystal

    I like this version of Scooby Doo better than nearly all versions, although I still have problems with this show as well. I don’t think it quite has the maturity of some other cartoons (Sym-Bionic Titan, Thundercats 2011, several superhero cartoons, a whole bunch of anime). It has some problems carried over from previous versions (why DO all the criminals think of disguising themselves in costumes? Do they really all think alike?) and some original to this show (the love triangle to the point where Velma becomes unlikable and is known for this more than for being the most intelligent/competent of the group). I guess in terms of “adapting a ‘spooky’ children’s cartoon from decades ago and making it dark”, I think Hakaba Kitaro did it better (for Gegege no Kitaro).

    I actually thought the first season finale was its strongest, since it actually had a really good twist and implied that for once, the TITLE character would actually run how things are going (although felt it was resolved a little too quickly in the 2nd season premiere). I do really like the detail in this story and some of the Shoutouts/references are good too. The characters are better fleshed out and I still watched every episode of the first season (and will watch the 2nd when I get a chance). I guess I keep wanting it to be MORE though.

    My personal favorite they’ve ever done with Scooby Doo was “Night of the Living Doo” which adult swim reran for a bit because I liked how it made fun of itself (and found it very funny). My friend says he thinks Zombie Island is the best they’ve ever done, but he’s 19–does anyone who didn’t grow up with it/watched it recently think that’s better or this is?

    Despite all that, I’m actually glad Jerry checked this out and seems to dig it!

    • Sarah J

      I always imagined that Scooby-Doo took place in some weird alternate universe where dressing up as monsters to scare people was just a common crime.

  • Th.

    First I’ve heard of this show and suddenly I have a reason to get cable. Are these available anywhere else yet?

    • Justin Delbert

      Yes they are. There are a few DVD releases. Just search for it on Amazon.

  • tonk82

    A scoob fan here.

    The new series is great (even if some die hard fans can’t accept the new characterization). Probably the best thing related to the scooby doo franchise since… Pup (yeah i like that too) or some of the first movies.

    And is a great thing because the previous one, Shaggy and Scooby-doo get a clue!, was a total disaster.

  • Scooch

    I’ve been following it for a while. Initially I wasn’t sure, I thought the romance between Velma and Shaggy was weird, but then I started watching it and realized it’s damn good writing! I love all the sci-fi/horror movie references (H.P. Lovecraft and Invasion of the Body Snatchers to name a few), as well as the callbacks to the old shows…especially the ultimate fate of Scrappy. The overarching mystery is also very cool, and weaved in quite well throughout the normal monster-of-the-week plots. Prety much my favorite cartoon being made right now.

    • Inkan1969

      I seriously wonder if there’s a horde of Velma-Daphne shippers out there that threw a fit at the premise of Velma and Shaggy as a couple. Or Velma with any male for the matter. ;-) Not to mention Velma getting considerably slimmed down.

  • TheyCallMeShine

    Wait! When the hell did season 2 start! Must set cable box. I’ve been saying this since episode one! Fantastic show. The kid s really feel like they are in danger, something the originals never did. It’s not such a happy go lucky world this time! They stop someone from murdering another, nuts! Be sure to check out SSN 1 Ep 2 The Creeping Creatures for some fun DARK stuff and SSN 1 Ep 10 Howl of the Fright Hound or as I call it Scooby-Don’t! and SSN 1 Ep 14 Mystery Solvers Club State Finals it has Captain Caveman and Jabba Jaw and Speed Buggy and the Phunky Phantom and dangit just watch’em all! So worth it! Also, while i’m geekin, check out the Camp Scare movie… I’ve watched that one a dozen times. It’s just FUN!!

  • D

    Scooby Doo has always been hit or miss for me. The original was a staple of my childhood so I like it a lot, not so much for its animation (my god it has not aged well) but for the characters and nostalgia. Every other incarnation has felt rather contrived and boring that is except for Scooby Doo, Mystery Incorporated. I am really liking this too. The animation is nicely stylized, I like the sharp character designs and the bold outlines but what does it for me is the continuity and the characters. The fact that this incarnation references past series and characters allows it to capitalize on that nostalgic sensibility really well and the gang this time around feels similar to their originals but with a lot less camp, they feel more relatable. One of the best cartoon reboots I’ve seen in quite some time.

  • Kev

    I have watched Scooby Doo since I was born, staying familiar and watching most of some of the dvd releases. Without a doubt, Mystery Inc is the best Scooby series ever. It really should have been part of the original vision for these characters. Mystery Inc has beautiful artwork, giving a colorful and textured look to the background designs. What stands out the most is the deep story, so now the characters have meaning behind the way that they act. It sets up conflict and a continuous story arc that runs through the series. Before, it was just a self contained story in one episode. This really helps it compete with the story arcs that we see in Clone Wars, Thundercats, and other toons along those lines. And it manages to stay close to the cheesy humor and wacky chase scenes that the original series is known for.

    I went into Mystery Inc expecting the worst, just the same-old same-old from What’s New all the way back to A Pup named Scooby Doo. I was pleasantly surprised. I watched one episode of Mystery Inc, and was hooked ever since. If you are on the fence, just watch a couple episodes for yourself and you will see what I mean

  • I loved “A Pup Named Scooby Doo”. It is the best of the series outside of the original run.

    This new version should be popular as Scooby Doo is like 40 years old and still has fans. Not too many cartoons can claim that level of fame and add two live action feature films at that.

    You just can’t put that great dane down.

  • I was hesitant at first since most of the new Scooby stuff has been underwhelming. Once I started watching, I was hooked. I very much love the cherry picking of what works from previous shows and the HB cameos.

  • Marc Baker

    I’ll admit, that I grew up with Scooby most of my life, and i’ve pretty much had a ‘love/hate’ relationship with the franchise as a whole. The majority of Scooby related shows, and movies are pretty hit, and miss, yet his continued popularity over much better characters still baffles me at time, but i gotta say that ‘Mystery Incorporated’ is surprisingly not that bad. It combines all the great elements of the original ‘Scooby-Doo Where Are You’ series, along with the first four direct to video movies, (‘Zombie Island’, ‘Witches Ghost’, ect.) and sprinkles in some fun little easter eggs from all other Scooby entries, (Mama Cass, and Don Knotts) Along with some random Hanna-Barbera easter eggs. (Yogi Bear as Hannibal Lecture, and current descendants of Pebbles, & Bamm Bamm. ) The ‘story arc’ approach give the franchise something fresh. I especially liked seeing Scooby team up with Jabberjaw, Speed Buggy, Captain Caveman, and Funky Phantom to solve one mystery, and they used Vincent Van Ghoul very well here. (They even take a small little crack at ‘Twilight’ in one episode.) While i’ve never been too keen on the live action movies, I actually liked Mathew Lillard’s voice work for Shaggy, and even Casey Kasem voices his dad here. Frank Welker, as always, still sound great as Fred, and Scooby. Not a bad take on the Scooby-Doo franchise, and that’s quite an accomplishment.

  • Scarabim

    Well, it’s not as stupid as the other incarnations. The design is sharper. And Sccooby himself isn’t quite as dumb and useless this time around, although he was a real S.O.B. (heh) over the Shaggy/Velma affair. Speaking of the affair, I liked it, although it wasn’t written very well; it was a gutsy thing to do. In fact, since it ended, I’ve pretty much lost interest in the show, since that seemed to indicate that everything was going to go back to the status quo. I haven’t watched the show at all this season.

  • Jeff B.

    I didn’t know the new season had started either. After checking, apparently…instead of airing one episode per week, they are airing the whole season in one fell swoop between 7/30 and 8/17…for some reason!!!???

    Cartoon Network does a piss poor job of advertising their programming. I had the same problem trying to keep up with new episodes of Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

    • Inkan1969

      I think CN considers “Mystery Incorporated” a flop. And so they’re burning off the second season with a quick debut.

  • There’s an obvious and very good reason as to why Scooby has remained popular all these years. The gang are a set of very distinct but easily understandable and very likely personalities. Nobody cares what the story is they just want to see these characters, and that’s what keeps Scooby going. I like the new show but I also liked What’s New Scooby Doo. Why? Because I like the Characters regardless of the plot or not.

  • ben

    I didn’t even know Scooby Doo was back, but I’ll be taking a look at it. I enjoyed the original cartoon, and I’ll admit, I have a soft spot for the live action film. A Pup Named Scooby Doo is my favorite incarnation though, hands down.

    I do have to say though, if I’m going to keep up with a show about kids fighting ghosts and ghouls, that show will be Gravity Falls.

  • Inkan1969

    I did not like the first season of “Mystery Incorporated”. The show focused on meta-humor during that season, with a LOT of winking to the audience. “It’s funny because we’re so self aware” never is actually funny.

    They valiantly tried to build a character for Fred around his trap role. But that just made him a one joke character last season. He’s better in the second season, though. The female characters really got screwed over in the first season. Literally the entire airtime of both Daphne AND Velma was angst over their boyfriends. They spent the whole season fuming over how Fred and Shaggy paid them no attention, and nothing else. “Sexist” is a very strong word, but I’m this close to actually saying that for the first season. As for Scooby, did they order the show to drop his lisp? I hope it wasn’t for PC reasons. And it’s a big mistake to give Scooby a ton of dialogue, even without the lisp.

    The show does have a story arc that’s played straight, though. That’s the one good part of the series. I think they should just quit trying to be funny since the show is terrible at humor, and just do straight suspense and drama. I’m still interested in seeing how the major story arc turns out.

    For the real best “scooby doo” out there (actually, for me, the only “scooby doo” anything that I’d call, “good”), I would pick “Scooby Doo on Zombie Island”. That film actually was scary, with impressive EC style character designs for the zombies.

    • Derek Queen

      I personally don’t think the whole first season was the girls “fuming” about the guys not paying attention to them. I think what the conflicts were really for were to develop the characters more, show the different relationships that each member of the group have with one another. It also kind of shows what each of their sole priorities are. Fred and is traps, Shaggy with his loyalty to his best friend. The drama actually kind of brought Daphne and Velma closer, they had their “girl talks” if that’s what you’d call it.

  • Richard

    Elude =/= allude, but I mostly want to say that this sounds and looks terrific.

  • I misspoke when I said “It’s so great – I don’t even know how they let us make it.” I should have said “why”. Peter Roth, The UK Cartoon Network Executives and most of all Sam Register encouraged us to take risks and be daring every step of the way.

  • Matt Sullivan

    Not digging the harsh color. Don’t they teach color theory in school anymore? Then again, I shouldn’t talk. It’s certainly interesting…I should like to give it a watch ASAP. It’s really too bad they can’t take a darker approach to Scooby-Doo. Y’know, make it a bit like Evil Dead type humor.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      I suppose we’re simply NOT the people this show is aimed at!

  • Jeremy Rutz

    I love this show and have been watching since it premiered way back in 2010 – it was the bag I wanted at Comic-Con but never did get to trade with anyone. :(

    I got sucked in originally because I loved the art and animation of this series, especially in HD (I own both in HD on iTunes/Amazon VOD). But it hooked me with its updates on familiar characters, great writing, excellent voice cast (just look at the stellar lineup of regulars and guests) and that fact that it was one of the kids shows that wasn’t afraid to take chances and be a little scary. The overarching mystery plot was great too, and really added something to the classic monster-of-the-week episodes.

    The Buffy characters used to refer to themselves as the “Scoobs”, and Mystery Incorporated is as close to the unaired Buffy cartoon as we’re going to get. It’s funny how we’ve gone full-circle.

    One of the commenters stated that it felt Cartoon Network buried this show. Indeed, as it’s been a full year between seasons and they’re blazing through S2 during the mid-day. I guess it’s all about ratings and licensing. I don’t know about the former but when this premiered there was very little Scooby toys on shelves, just some imports from the UK.

    On behalf of me and my family, thank you Tony, and Spike, and the rest of the crew for giving us these two awesome seasons (and thanks for Tom & Jerry movies, too, they are wonderful).

  • I’ve never liked SCOOBY-DOO. I mentally equate it with the downfall of Hanna-Barbera, although that happened about seven or eight years earlier. I’ve worked on numerous SCOOBY-DOO projects, but never enjoyed those experiences either, apart from the talented folks I worked with on ’em. But even I will admit that SCOOBY-DOO: MYSTERY INCORPORATED is genuinely adorable. Wit, suspense, atmosphere, interesting characters…it took ’em over 40 years but they finally figured out how to make the formula actually WORK. Bravo.

  • Brendan Spillane

    I’ve been hooked on this show since the “Mystery Solvers State Finals Club” episode! The mixture of a darker story arc, allusions to various “Scooby” shows & nifty cameos from Hanna-Barbera characters make “Mystery, Inc.” a weekly must-see!
    Plus, the whole gang have displayed a SURPRISING amount of depth in such a short time- going WAY past the antics of a beatnik & his Great Dane!

  • Yet another Scooby Doo show? Can’t they bring back some other HB cartoon for a change? Like The Flintstones or Yogi?

    Anyhow, I did give this one a try, but it appears to still have the tired old formula from the first show. Some monster pops up and chases people around until it is finally revealed to be just a criminal in a Halloween costume. Couldn’t they have learned from the wonderful Zombie Island movie and thrown in some real monsters here and there for variation?

    But on the positive side, the new cartoon does have better animation and a more interesting artstyle than the previous SD cartoons. Some of the jokes and references to old horror movies are a bit clever to.

  • Luke Coleman

    I have long been saying this is the most underrated cartoon on tv, almost slipping under the radar. I think the writing is sharp and witty, the design is fresh and moody. It is the best version of scooby doo in a very long time.

  • Glowworm

    My boyfriend got really into it from the moment it started. However I tried to watch the first episode and really didn’t get into it. The truth is, no matter how you update it–such as the original Mystery Incorporated or a Shaggy and Velma attempt at romance, the monster is still almost always a criminal or mad man or woman wearing a costume.

    I’d really like a Scooby Doo series like that of Scooby Doo on Zombie Island or Scooby Doo and the Witch’s Ghost where there’s still an actual mystery to solve, yet the monsters are actually real. That would be really awesome–especially if it were in the same vein as those two movies which were actually quite dark and scary at times.

  • Jerry Beck suggested a supposedly better show than My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. I officially declare the brony fad to fade away!

    • Scarabim

      No way in hell.

    • Matt Sullivan

      I declare that Scooby-Doo fans aren’t making fan animation that are equally as good as the actual show, ( Pony fans ARE ) and that you underestimate their enthusiasm.

  • Charlie

    Bash me all you want, but I love the original Scooby-Doo, I don’t know why, but Scooby was one of those shows I always watched when I was a kid. So, maybe it’s for pure nostalgia and whatnot. I haven’t seen enough of the new series mainly because it’s right after the hour worth’s of Looney Tunes and I don’t want to stay and keep watching TV. It’s interesting, but one thing I hate is listening to Scooby speaking in full sentences with his dog voice. But I definetely want to watch more and start from the beginning.

  • FilmBuffRich

    Even as a kid in the 70s I never really liked SCOOBY DOO all that much. But based on the description here and an embedded clip that features favorite authors Ellison and Lovecraft the g/f and I checked out on an episode on On Demand and after seeing a cameo by Mama Cass and Don Knotts and a reference to Peter Jackson’s DEAD ALIVE I threw the entire first season DVDs onto my netflix queue.

  • Sarah J

    While I enjoyed the original Scooby-Doo as a kid, now I acknowledge that it wasn’t particularly good. Because of that, I never bothered to check out the reboot. But maybe I should check it out. After all, the previous My Little Pony shows were pretty bad, but the new one is really good. In competent hands, a reboot of a crap show can be turn out well. Maybe I’ll check out a few episodes.

  • Everything about Scooby has been cynically-conceived, repulsive hackwork, until this show. This show is good. It’s smart and creative. It fixed Scooby. It’s so good I’ve been grabbing torrents of the international showings long before they’re broadcast in the US. I R Criminal.

  • This show is pretty awesome!! It even makes reference to Flim-Flam from 13 Ghosts of SD, and also had an episode where it referenced all of the Scooby Doo clone shows such as JabberJaw and Speed Buggy. It’s certainly been a blast to watch, and I recommend watching the 1st season if you haven’t seen them already.. ;^)

  • Yep, “Scooby-Doo, Mystery Incorporated” is probably the best Scooby-Doo show I’ve ever seen. It’s not perfect, and there are certainly a LOT of cartoons out there I’d rank higher… but it’s a watchable, fairly entertaining, rather well-written series – and somehow, in this incarnation, the characters seem to have a reason to exist. I CARE about them every now and then while watching this series! That’s an amazing step forward for the Scooby franchise.

  • Jim Garcia

    I was wondering when you were gonna mention this great new take on a classic.

    I was sick at home when I caught the 1st season AND was sincerely entertained. The Character design, the Background Art, the Writing: I dig it all. It’s so good, only weirdos can find any fault in it.

    Like most Cartoon lovers, I only liked “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” & “A Pup Named Scooby-Doo”: So if you liked those two – You’ll love “Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated”

  • Paul M

    You had me at “Harlan”

  • “Pup” was perfection. Gently skewered the original series, the songs were a delight, and it successfully added to the canon.

    And it was created by the folks who would then go on to create Tiny Toons, which REALLY kicked the new generation of animation into high-gear.

    We loved it so much, our daughter is named (well, nicknamed) “Shugie” after Norville’s little sister.

  • Michel Van

    i saw the new “Scooby-Doo, Mystery Incorporated” series
    i was surprise, is very good and goes complete fresh new way

    like love interest of Daphne to Fred who is “trap” minded ;-)
    until he discover the truth about his family
    or the Love “Bermuda” triangle between Velma, Shaggy and Scooby-Do
    they had to start this years ago!

    Also the in deep look in the familys Jones, Rogers, Blake, Dingley are delightful.

    Or those Cameo appearance:
    Vincent Van Ghoul
    the homage to H.P. Lovecraft, with Harald Ellison as himself!
    or this wonderful Crossover episode with all the Scooby-Doo clones.
    or Yogi Bear who is rolled like Hannibal Lector true the Pet asylum
    as i saw this i fell laughing from my seat.

    “Scooby-Doo, Mystery Incorporated” is delightful entertainment
    i hope they can finish and resolve the dark main-plot about Professor Pericles”treasure”
    and Fred and first Mystery Incorporated find there salvation.

  • Mel

    Mr. Shaw! is correct in stating that Hanna-Barbera lost it years before the advent of the original Scooby Doo. Everything WB has done from the second it acquired the H-B name in 1997 has amounted to some form of corporate brand rehab. This series is far better than everything previously done starring Scooby but it cannot transcend the basic boilerplate cliches completely, part of the problem with breathing life into rotting cartoon corpses. WB has been most interested in milking the H-B retarded character franchises over its own intelligent characters with marked speech impediments. These corporate geniuses realize that stupidity should be monetized and Scooby provides them a respectable cash flow that keeps them well supplied in caviar and back bacon, or whatever it may be that captains of Wall Street darlings like to spread on toast.

  • I hadn’t had much exposure to Scooby-Doo before, but while flicking channels and battling “procrastination fever”, I saw the first episode of this show back in 2010 and have been hooked ever since!

  • Brad Constantine

    as long as Daphne’s still hot, I’m on board.

    • Nicholas S.

      I’m with you! Actually, her voice is even hotter than the character as pictured! (Grey DeLisle doing her usual outstanding work – she’s also voiced Black Canary in Batman Brave & The Bold, among a ton of voice work). And judging by her IMDB photos, the actress is pretty easy on the eyes herself!

      • Scarabim

        Black Canary *pant*

  • Fangarius

    The interesting thing about this version is, it was rumored this was the vision Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera wanted because in “Mystery Inc.,” Scooby & the gang aren’t praised for solving mysteries. Especially in a place where apparently their economy depends on those mysteries.

    Basically because when you think about it, when Mystery Inc. used to solve mysteries (in their earlier incarnates), no one ever questioned why they committed breaking and entering, yet, they always arrested the villain.

    Go fig, huh?

    • “…it was rumored this was the vision Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera wanted…”

      Really?? Elaborate please! :) Have you got any sources, quotes or links backing this up?

  • Norco

    If there remains any mystery as to what Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera really “wanted” then Cartoon Brew can easily consult Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, who created and wrote the original ‘Scooby Doo, Where Are You?’ series under the direct supervision of Joe Barbera, to get clarification. Both Ruby and Spears are still with us and are certainly able to recall every detail of the birth of that seminal Hanna-Barbera studio franchise. Such walking databases should be consulted while such an opportunity exists. If not, in a decade we’ll be reading emotional thread comments that some future questionable take on these characters is what Joe Ruby and Ken Spears actually had in mind all along and we’ll never really know.

    • KB

      Apparently the producers of “Mystery Incorporated” did get to show Ruby and Spears there development work for the show – while all of it isn’t what they would have come up with (especially not in 1969), they apparently liked what they saw. They did intend to do what SD:MI did with parents, school, etc. but didn’t have the chance to.

  • Jamie

    I agree. Best Scooby Doo ever. Great series. I hope it keeps going.

  • Kevin

    I was the same way when I first heard about the show and saw what it looked like but after watching a couple episodes I was hooked. I now love the animation style and the new take on the characters and new love interest between the gang. I hope kids love it to so it won’t get cancelled.

  • When this first came around it sounded like another Scooby Doo series which in itself isn’t a bad thing. Kids still love Scooby but I was really impressed with the art direction and stories. Taking what makes Scooby Doo great and leaving out what has held him back.

  • Fangarius

    Apologies, when I made the comment I was tired and guess I made it a bit too concise and cryptic. So I’ll elaborate:

    From the consensus of these comments you can agree, after the original Scooby-Doo, there has never been a really exceptional incarnate of our Great Dane and his sleuths. In fact, ABC temporarily ruined the show by having H-B add “Scrappy-Doo” to the mix (in fact, the character was so disliked, Lenny Wennrib, the original voice for Scrappy, left the series, whereas Don Messick took over, and he wasn’t too keen on the character either.).

    This was also why people liked “A Pup Named Scooby-Doo,” since it was the first “Scrappy-less” Scooby series to come out from the studios.

    But I digress, let’s go back in time when Hanna-Barbera discovered the 70s were definitely NOT kind to animators.
    Mainly because whenever Bill & Joe had an idea to pitch to the networks, the idea would get skewered and we’d get something bizarre.

    One example would be how an idea for an ‘updated’ Jetsons with a teen Elroy and adult Judy wound up becoming ‘The Partridge Family in 2200 AD’ instead.

    Back to Scoob, I recall watching some documentary recently called, “The Making of Mystery Inc.” Where the producers claimed Jayne Barbera (Joe’s daughter) once admitted Bill and Joe didn’t like they way Fred Silverman wanted them to do Scooby-Doo.

    Not for the characters, mind you, but the way they were touted as mystery-solvers. According to them, Joe used to be an avid fan of such teen-mystery series like “The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew”, but there was one thing which bugged him.

    As you know, the Hardy Boys would usually resort to things like “breaking & entering” and “trespassing” when investigating a mystery. And when it was solved, the authorities never questioned on “how” they did it, they were just glad the culprit was caught. I mean, think about it, if you had teen investigators today, they’d spend more time in jail than solving mysteries.

    So when Bill & Joe pitched their idea for Scooby-Doo, it was said, they wanted it where the group lived in a town where they weren’t praised for mystery-solving, because apparently the town thrived economically on said mysteries. Not to mention the fact, they’d get in trouble for meddling. Sort of like having the gang go to Scotland and debunk the Loch Ness Monster, huh?

    But Fred Silverman felt the classic formula worked instead and we got ‘Scooby-Doo, Where are you?’ than the one which would later become ‘Mystery Incorporated.’

    Which is also why, ‘Mystery, Inc.’ also pokes fun at the failed Scooby incarnates as well. Still like the one where Daphne sees Scrappy’s statue and goes “Oh, Fred..”
    And Fred goes, “Shh, we promised we’d NEVER speak of it again.”

    Overall, even if this is only speculation, it’s not totally unheard of, since we know H-B tended to lock horns with the networks over creative differences. And why their 70s thru the 90s series made us wonder ‘Gah! What were you thinking, guys?’

  • No.

    I’ve loved Scooby-Doo all of my life and watched every iteration; and I think Scooby Doo, Mystery Incorporated is the absolute WORST version ever (and so does the most Scooby-loving person I know aside from myself). I thought it had great potential until I watched the first few episodes… and felt betrayed and insulted. There were so many things that rubbed me the wrong way – the failed humor, Scooby’s voice, the atrocious character ‘development’ – but by far the worst is making Shaggy and Velma a couple, and subsequently making Velma a starry-eyed, moody romantic – just disgraceful! I don’t see how any true lover of the other versions could not be appalled by this decision alone. I guess it’s not surprising that dumbing down the brains of the gang worked its magic on many, but it won’t work on me.

    It’s just like when I tried watching The Looney Tunes Show… I’ll proudly stick with the originals.

    • Scarabim

      Okay, this show doesn’t mean that much to me, but really. The Shaggy/Velma hookup at least showed that the two actually have hormones, like real teenagers. And it gave Shaggy something else to do besides endlessly stuffing his face. (And Velma something to do besides saying “Jinkies!”) And how does this incarnation dumb down the brains of the gang, exactly? To me, this cartoon was the first interpretation that expressed the idea that the gang seems to actually *have* brains – and hearts and courage and a sense of humor and the aforementioned hormones…

  • Arthur F.

    I was intrigued enough to check the episode list, and can’t help but wonder, is “The Night the Clown Cried” in any way possibly a reference to the Jerry Lewis film (completed. shelved now infamous) project? If so, this is definitely another league of Scooby Doo. I’m going to look to find that one.

    I would have to add, it makes no sense to actually pair off anyone in the group, the first point being, there was a great game going on with the expectations of a gang already when that cartoon first came out (I was watching it then). Scooby was the show. Daphne and Fred were no couple, but just had to be there as “straight” chaperone-types, the Archie and Veronica to the new (for that time) characters of Velma and Shaggy with the +1 of Scooby.

    Sure it’s been decades, but actually Velma and Shaggy are the only human characters that aged well: in this day and age, Velma can be slotted comfortably in both the grrrls programs and the tv nerdosphere of Big Bang Theory and such; Shaggy has been fitting in through post-hippie, onto grunge and slacker, and further even low-flying hipster. Meanwhile, Daphne is at best two-poses, the Posh Spice of the group, and Fred … well, it should be clear. So the point was, the group was NOTHING like the cartoons around it, because something was turned around from the start, it was not Archie with an added “Hot Dog” character, it was the dog with his four companions.

    Daphne and Fred offer nothing except allowing the other two to be side-kicks by default, and so more funny. Daphne and Fred push the straight, semi-action “adult” guide plot, and Shaggy with his +1 Scooby introduce anarchy. Velma relates to Daphne (at least both are woman) as her opposite (nerd vs whatever Daphne is) has intelligence that puts her equal to Fred, but also “jinxie” enough to “get” what Shaggy and Scoob are up to. She is able to bridge between those two and add corrective insights when necessary.

    It’s a perfect “Mystery” machine because part of the mystery is in that group dynamic itself, kids and teens could project onto them (Velma was gay one of the clear examples). The best example of close-to-the-truth parody was the Venture Bros deranged take on them. Add a bit of psychotic danger to the group, and things get REALLY interesting. Easily could have been a multi-part arc.

  • I took a cursory youtube glance on Jerry’s recommendation, but the show looks super-90’s in all the worse ways:
    Dialogue driven, angular characters that don’t work in turnaround, cardboard layouts and staging, cultural obscurism as humour. And ‘clever’ post-modern takes on Scooby Doo have been the official mode of Scooby Doo since A Pup Named’ through the live movie and onto ‘Zombie Island. Plus there’s such a thing as Buffy to make it doubly redundant.

    Not for me I guess.

  • 90s baby

    I liked scooby doo back in the day but loved the flintstones. Which was why I always wondered why the flintstones never get reincarnated like scooby doo has so many times?

    But I actually find myself waiting to tune in everyday to watch it now. It really is good. There are a few things I didn’t like, for example: what happened this past week with Cassidy Williams. I hope she’s still alive otherwise imma be pissed butaside from that, it is the best scooby doo I’ve seen in the 30 yrs I’ve lived. I’m now a fan.

  • James EB

    I adore Mystery INC. There have been a couple of stinker episodes,yes I’m talking about you HEX girls. But overall this show is great. I just watched the Andy Warhol episode and Lou Reed (his facsimile)complains that he just wanted to be an accordion playing Polka band member!! That is just awesome. I dig that everyone dresses like it’s 1976 but have cell phones and desktop PCs. Great show; thank you Tony Cervone and everyone else that brought this show to life for us.

  • Gray64

    I was a fan of the first couple of Scooby-Doo series, though I’ll admit it may be because I saw them at a very young age. I could never stand “A Pup Named Scooby Doo,” personally. I do really enjoy “Mystery Inc;” the only things I dislike about it are some of the characterizations; Velma’s a bit of a controlling shrew, and Fred’s entirely too much of a parody of himself.

  • PW13

    While it of course doesn’t hold a candle to the original “Where Are You?!” series (probably my #1 favorite TV show of all time), it’s still an interesting take on the franchise, and holds my interest. It’s a lot better than the movies being made now, that’s for sure (though Camp Scare was decent). The art style kinda bugs me though, and the characters aren’t nearly as likable or memorable. But I do like that it tries to stay original. It’s not nearly as good as “Zombie Island” though, which I think is the most successful “fresh” take on the franchise, and tells probably the best, and most interesting story in the franchise.

    As for the Shelma (Shaggy X Velma), we already have Fraphne (Fred X Daphne), why does the group of characters need to be consist of two couples? Plus, I’ve never seen Velma as a romantic type, certainly not the kind expressed in this show. Though to be fair, her personality has gone through many changes over the franchise’s 43 year run.

    I don’t think we’re supposed to be thinking about a Scooby-Doo too hard, or take it too seriously.

  • Albert

    This Scooby Doo I realize is just a more serious version of the originals. I thought it was more scary and the monster behaved more violently towards them but when you actually sit and think about it the ‘monsters’ in the old versions used to do things like strap them to logs going through buzzsaws, lock them in icy cold storage, attempt to cover them in hot wax, drop them down into pits and crush them under heavy objects. It’s only watching Mystery Inc.I realized how violent and destructive the ‘monsters’ in the older version were too.

    That being said I still think the new ‘monsters’ are psychotic and added to the fact that Mr. E and the original gang are constantly conspiring against them and actually threatening their lives plus the mystery that destroyed Crystal Coves with madness and curses really ramps up the creepiness of it. I have to give this version kudos for actually being disturbing and creepy. The episode with the mother who actually made a robot version of Scooby to attack them in retaliation for them bothering her son just showed the lengths these people would go to hurt them even over the most petty things.

    The only other version I would put in the same catorgory as this one is ‘Scooby Doo, Where are you?’. That one was a truly scary and creepy series. Everything else used to joke around so much that it was hard to be frightened or concerned for Scooby and the gang.I remember the one with the sea monsters and Captian Piscado chasing them around an empty ship as they followed wet footprints as the ship creaked and groaned to be especially frightening

  • Derek Queen

    I’m only a teenager, but I will say that my childhood was watching Scooby-Doo. I collected the movies and series boxes. I’ve seen a majority of the franchise.

    “A Pup Named Scooby-Doo” was an entertaining series, and “What’s New Scooby-Doo” was okay. “Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get a Clue”, that’s a different story. My love for the show kept me watching that series, but it wasn’t true to the original Scooby-Doo plot.

    “Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated” didn’t give me much to go on when I waited for its premier. I didn’t know what to expect, but when I watched the first episode when it was sneak-peeked in April 2010, I was hooked. I could tell from the first episode that there was going to be conflict. It was going to be dramatic. It gives the characters actual families and backgrounds. It also introduces other teenagers they go to school with. With this series, I could tell they were teenagers. The art took some adjusting, but I do like how they partially stayed true to their original outfits. The colors literally make me think “groovy”.

    The over-arcing storyline really gets me. When they revealed the kids who went missing in the Crystal Cove Caves were a group called Mystery Incorporated, I was like, “Whoa…”. As the story progressed and it introduced Professor Pericles and revealed Mr. E’s identity, along with Angel’s, I couldn’t stop watching.

    Season One ended phenominally. Season Two didn’t begin the way I expected/wanted. They made up too quickly. And I think it should’ve taken them a little more effort to find these puzzle pieces.

    I’ve always loved classics by Hanna-Barbera, and it’s always fun to see them pop up in this show. It probably entertains adults to see these characters more than the children who have no idea what they’re watching, but I enjoy it. This series is quite the addition to the franchise, and I can only wonder what they can even come out with after this.

  • The character designs take a bit of getting used to with the flesh-colored eyeballs, but other than that it’s recently caught my interest. The introduction of continuity in a Scooby-Doo cartoon sounds fun.

    So the kids are more than just platonic friends now, huh? Reminds me when I first saw Shaggy’s one-off girlfriend character Googie in Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf–my first thought was “What would Velma say?”

  • MazziiDoodle

    I must admit, I was sad when Shaggy and Velma broke up. I was even sadder when she turned him down again after. I love those two as a couple, and if I’m honest I’m more interested in their relationship then I am in Fred and Daphne’s. The funny thing is though, before seeing Mystery Incorporated, I had never thought of Shaggy and Velma being a couple. Didn’t even think it was physically possible in any known universe, and now I’m hooked on them o-o
    I can’t wait until next month when more episodes come. I found a seriously awesome background picture that’s gonna be used in one of the future episodes and I’m geeking out over it :D

  • Macy

    I love the character designs of Mystery inc.! No they aren’t as realistic as past illustrations of the gang were, but all in all its creepier and darker. I grew up with Scooby Doo, being 16 and having watched the original, A pup named Scooby Doo, What’s New Scooby Doo (my fav) and now this version. Though I like the design of the characters and the dark element they added to the show I’m still not entirely pleased with it. I get they wanted to make it more mature but did they really have to pair everyone together? I can see Fred and Daphne together but personally I think Velma’s to mature and intellectual for Shaggy. There personality’s though bug me the most! Fred isn’t the stereotypical jock, pretty boy that takes charge anymore. Honestly he act’s crazy and pathetic. Daphne is to stereotypical and is a vain rich girl that is obsessed with Fred. Shaggy hasn’t changed to much from what I’ve seen which I enjoy but Scooby has changed completely… Instead of being the goofy, food obsessed dog that rolled his R’s they’ve turned him into a snobby, over intelligent, slightly normal speaking dog that doesn’t even connect to Shaggy like he used to! Velma… Oh Velma, she was my favorite all through my childhood, yes she was the smart nerdy girl but that was just her! Not every character is meant to have 30 different characteristics! it’s just her main characteristic, she was brave, cunning and from past series what’s new scooby doo, also looking for love just like Daphne and any other girl but had flaws and was looking for someone that liked her personality and she could share her intelligent with! Also the characters looks. Yes I said I liked the character design but not the outfits or hair they gave them espeically the Hex girls from the one episode. Complete bull! They butchered the Hex girls characters with the shows new clothes and look in general. That’s why personally What’s new scooby doo was my favorite. It showed them once they grew up and were in there 20’s or so which no one else did. It showed them with real world issues other than relationships and school. Though I like the dark plot and twist of the new Mystery inc. What’s new Scooby Doo will always be the best to me. Especially Zombie Island! The Louisiana feel and creepiness plus it was the very first time the monsters weren’t men in mask which was huge back then and really creeped us kids out.

  • Krista

    Finally! I am 35 and totally obsessed with this new Scooby Doo! I found it by accident when I bought the season 1 vol 1 DVD for my then 3 year old. We watch this religiously and my 1 year old daughter loves it too. I watched Scooby Doo when I was a kid in the eighties but it wasn’t near and dear to my heart like other shows were (JEM)!!! I love all the references to shows from my era. I think it is witty and MOST importantly actually spooky!!!! Can’t wait to see the next 5 new episodes this March and I wish it would never end!!! Advertise or something. It seems no one knows what I am talking about when I mention it! Thanks for bring it back! It’s funny to hear my kids running around the house screaming “Zoinks” & “You have been judged!!”

  • Cory

    I have been telling every person I know about this show! Incredible!

  • bonedaddy62

    The best Scooby-Doo ever (and I was sitting there in front of the giant 25 inch TV on Saturday mornings, 1969, eating cereal and watching the original). Would love to see them make another season.

  • KB

    Revisiting this thread to mention that the three-part series finale (ran April 4 & two episodes on April 5) was great, borderline mind-blowing. Spike Brandt & Tony Cervone took “Scooby-Doo” as far as I think is possible with this series; too bad the show wasn’t promoted in the same way a “Teen Titans” or a “Justice League” was – it’s about as good as those programs were and with the same level of appeal.

    Also – I’m pretty sure this is the first Scooby-Doo series to feature deaths in the “good-guy” cast. That’s all the spoilers I’ll give.

  • Scooby-doo mystery inc. fans

    It’s awesome, I need season 3

  • ok

    original Scooby Doo cartoons are way better than the new Scooby Doo.Even though they didn’t have the computer animation they seemed scarier and the music was better than the new stuff now.The way the new characters faces look all weird and they even changed the way they act.

  • HunnZee

    I have a Q about the new Scooby Doo Mystery Inc. series. Has there ever been a mention of where they are from in the older shows? Or do we only start learning of Crystal Cove in the Mystery Inc. tv show?

    I understand that “Scooby Doo Mystery Inc” is suppose to be a PREQUEL and tells us what the gang has been doing when they were still in high school in their hometown and such but… I am just curious.

  • Tito James

    By far the best interpretation of Scooby Doo. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who loooooooooooooooveeeees this series!

    The the creators are my idols and I hope I can meet them someday!