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I have been a Scooby-Doo fan for 30 years and get to still enjoy it
with my sons. This new cartoon has outstanding animation that is much
more moody with a spooky atmosphere than any attempt at the franchise
since the early days. The stories are great and I'm glad to see Matt
Lillard voicing Shaggy. Casey Casum will always be the best but his
voice has changed too much. The camera angles are chosen with care and
are interesting to watch. I also like that they live in the town of
Crystal Cove rather than Coolsville and that the kids are kids in high
school rather than adults. Scooby-Doo has serious longevity and it is
my sincere hope that this new series is long lived.
For old fans and people new to the show, this is sure to delight!
First off, I NEVER give anything a perfect score -- there is always
room for improvement. I grew up watching Scooby Doo in reruns, because
I'm not old enough to have seen it firsthand, and I'm a huge fan.
This incarnation is a reboot -- something which many viewers/reviewers don't seem to understand (especially the above reviewer, ctyankee1) -- and often goes into a darker, more serious storyline. It's not the same one from the 60s or 70s & it's not trying to be. I love it because of its "neo-retro" (modern & oldschool at the same time) look. Everything is connected, from one episode to the next & I think they did a fantastic job paying homage to the original series (from canon flashbacks to past villains).
After reading some negative reviews, I can tell that most of the reviewers don't really watch the show or have only watched an episode or two -- which is sad. With the overarching story lines, you have to watch it from the beginning of the series, or you really lose so much. Give it the chance it deserves before brushing it off as garbage.
Finally, character development for the Scooby-Doo Gang. Despite the fact that Fred and Daphne are back in their old late 60's outfits, new life has been breathed into Scooby's supporting cast. Norville "Shaggy" Rogers and his pet Great Dane, Scooby-Doo, have always been the most developed of the five characters and display their usual hijinks and slapstick, with one exception...Shaggy has a secret involving one of the members of the gang. Freddy Jones, the son of the town's Mayor in this story line, no longer has the Mr. Perfect persona, but is a precocious and eager yet likable teen who loves the thrill of mystery solving to the point that he gets carried away. Daphne Blake's personality is very sweet and endearing. Her character is more reminiscent of the original Daphne from the sixties only this Daphne is a cheerful optimist when it comes to her friends but is easily dishearten when it comes to Fred's cluelessness of her affections. The real surprise is Velma Dinkley! Her appearance seems to be modeled after the live-action version as her features looks more feminine. Although she's still extremely short in stature, Velma has more of a slender build making her noticeably busty. And though Velma still wears the usual outfit, her turtle neck sweater plunges slightly lower, revealing her neck. She now sports a fluffier hairstyle with small hair ribbons. As for her personality, she is sarcastic, opinionated, slightly quick-tempered, and (surprisingly) flirtatious. This new change in her character is well suited for the flow of the show and rounds out the cast quite nicely. Even with all the changes, "Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated" takes you back to the original Scooby-Doo roots, with enough of it's own originality to bring it up to date. However, with more attention directed towards the lives of the characters rather than the mystery, it leaves the story of how the mystery was executed half explained. Still, the writers seem to know what their doing and if they keep to this format, this show has the potential to be almost as popular as the classic "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?".
I am surprised by some of the negative reviews on here. This is the best incarnation yet of the original show. The Scooby Doo Mystery ones with the special guests were pretty horrible, the Scooby/Scrappy show was a disaster, and the most recent "What's New Scooby Doo's" were decent but a little too trendy and trying to be hip to the 2000s. Therein lies the beauty of this show. It is a new show, with new stories, new relationship drama, and new villains and mysteries. However, it keeps the old look & feel too. The show is darker now than it's been since the original series (when almost every episode happened in the creepy night time) and you feel that darkness when you watch it. It's spookier than the hackneyed villains of "What's New" and certainly far less goofy than the ones with the special guests. I cringe when I see those awful episodes with The Globetrotter and Phyllis Diller. Sure, the relationship stuff is more "adult" than the past but for those of you pointing out that the costumes are 70s again ... that's cool! So is Fred playing an 8-track on a record player ... that was funny, and meant to be! You've got to get the joke. Look, no one likes change all that much. I'm a marketing exec and I know this more than anything but change, when presented with elements that make us still feel comfortable, is great. Kudos to the writers for this fresh take on a great show that still makes me feel at home. (Oh, and I love the "Mr. E" stuff. It's a nice creepy sub-plot that now has me tivo'ing the show for myself, not just my kid!)
The Scooby Gang is back, and boy are they better than ever. Please
excuse my clichéd statement, but there's no other way around it. The
Scooby Gang is back, new and improved.
The original series, made in the 70s, had a very simple formula. The Scooby Gang, comprised of character archetypes, would ride around in their mystery machine, go to a scary place, and have to convince Shaggy and Scooby to aide with the mystery solving with the help of the promise of Scooby Snacks. The gang would spilt up, Velma would find clues, Daphne would always open the wrong door, or get kidnapped, and Fred would come up with a plan to catch the supernatural culprit, Shaggy and Scooby would be funny.
Over the years, the formula had been retooled, or abandoned all together. Sometimes only Scooby and Shaggy have made an appearance with the occasional inclusion of Scrappy Doo. I actually like Scrappy Doo.
Recently there was the hit live action movie, it's sequel and the prequel (which included a brunette Fred and an Asian-American Velma) along with the newest animated incarnations, What's New Scooby Doo and Shaggy and Scooby Doo Get a Clue.
I thought the live action movies were funny and well written, and Miss Sarah Michelle Gellar played Daphne in two of them so I kinda' had to watch them. What's New Scooby Doo was also cute, but I felt more could've been done with the Scooby Doo formula, especially when the re-tooled animated series came out afterward.
Now we've got Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated. A new series airing on Cartoon Network. The new series focuses more on our beloved Scooby Gang as people rather than caricatures. What used to be hinted at in the original series when it came to character relationships, is now push to the forefront. Daphne makes it really obvious about her affections for Fred; Shaggy and Velma have a few surprises of their own.
The voice work in this show is excellent, as is most productions from Hanna Barbara. Fact's of Life's Mindy Cohn, who played Velma in What's New Scooby Doo, reprises her role here as our favorite girl geek. The legendary Frank Welker does his double duty as Scooby Doo and Fred Jones. Fan favorite Grey DeLisle voices Daphne flawlessly. I almost thought she was the original voice actor Heather North. I was most impresses with Mathew Lillard's Shaggy. Being cast as Shaggy in two of the live action movies, he was a highlight in that he really just let himself get absorbed into the part. This man IS Shaggy. Aside from original voice actor Casey Kasem of course, who's voice also makes it into this series as Shaggy's father. Also includes celebrity voices Vivica A. Fox and Patrick Warburton.
I've only seen the first episode, but I am already excited for the rest of this new series. Aside from the drama our classic characters are having with each other, they're going to have to solve a huge mystery that is too big for just one episode. The show now has some continuity in it that was missing in previous incarnations.
This is definitely a show I will be watching weekly along with my regular viewings of Glee and Desperate Housewives.
Check out my movie review site: http://neonboy619.blogspot.com
I happen to quite like this series (thus far) as does my family and yet
I can see why some people have a problem with it. First a bit of
background: both my wife and I grew up with Scooby-Doo and our kids
independently decided they liked the various instances of the show as
well so, for good or bad, I've seen probably 99% of the Scooby oeuvre.
Certainly it should first be noted that this series is a "reboot" and not inherently placed in temporal or any other relationship to previous series. On the other hand, it is also often parodies what has come before. This has been done to some extent in the live action movies and the direct to video animated movies but in the present case, the basic world that the characters inhabit is more of an alternate reality. In the original series the chief fantastical element was that Scooby could talk; the present series supposes a town where monsters are big business and the kids get in trouble for SOLVING mysteries, for example. Structurally the show is more about action and character arcs with the mystery element largely on the second tier. In could be argued that the mysteries in Pup Named Scooby-Doo were a bit less obvious than some in S-D:MI (but the obviousness is also part of the parody, e.g., the gator episode).
As to the characters, Fred, Daphne and Velma all are pretty different from previous incarnations, as is Scooby who evidences far more social insight and complex dialog. Shaggy has never really varied much series to series and nothing much changes here (One has to go back to his very earliest existence to find him more adept and only mildly fearful). In general, these are not realistic or even particularly functional characters; great role models, they are not. If you are looking for that, the direct to video movies will be more your cup of tea. But if you are open to a different mythology with a more oddball yet somewhat more adult approach, you might find it a cool take.
I personally like the animation style and think the direction is on par with the upper echelon of current animated action shows. There's a bit of an irony in that the original Scooby-Doo was created in response to parental pressure against violence in animated shows of the 60's (e.g., Space Ghost, Jonny Quest) while this show is probably the most dark and violent Scooby yet. I guess things have come full circle.
In summary, I'd say give it a chance for a few episodes but if it isn't to your liking and you want something more classic/less dark/more realistic, I believe they are on a schedule of at least one new direct to video movie each year. Further, it appears we can probably count on new series productions for another 40+ years so you can always wait for the next one...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What a great reboot. Like "Battlestar Galactica" and "Batman Begins",
Scooby Doo gets re-imagined in a way that just really freaking works.
The writing is a great mix of serious, funny, scary, silly, spooky, and
even with some amours shenanigans thrown in. It's also like watching
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer", "Farscape", or a John Carpenter movie,
basically a great blend of dark, serious adventure with some funny and
touching moments. The art and production design would make Iwao
Takamoto proud, and with a style like some great cinematographer shot
it through a 1970's lens.
But as much as I've referenced others, there's also some great originality to the writing and art as well. Every character personality gets quality time, and there are some nice quirks thrown in (Velma's sarcasm is the best). And the overall look of the show is amazing.
I love that the largest influence out of all of the previous incarnations seems to be "Scooby Doo, Where Are You?". And there are just enough great references to previous incarnations as well. Daphne trying to get into the storage closet, Don Knotts standing in the crowd, the museum with mostly the classic monsters but also that phantom from the first live action movie in the background, the Vincent VanGhoul movie, and probably a dozen others I have to go back and watch for. It'll be cool if they keep that up (just as long as Scrappy doesn't get too much reference time).
So glad someone decided to take Scooby Doo seriously. Looking forward to more.
The villains are frightening. The characters are fleshed-out. the plot
is dynamic. The art style is unique, and its universe has depth. Put
simply, this is Scooby-Doo living up to its fullest potential.
I know my Scooby. I grew up with all the incarnations of the show, and while it's generally held a place in my mind as being fun, I probably would never have considered myself a true fan. I didn't doodle Scooby on my class notes.
But some genius came along and changed the rules. This show is true expansion, not a retelling of the original story. Not a remake. It's not trying to be hip, or modern. It's trying to be iconic; it's trying to be bold. They flashback to scenes straight out of the original series, and build their universe brick by brick, staying true to the core elements of Scooby (including the ridiculous slapstick), while introducing intrigue, fear, tension, development - and humor, like you've never seen in Scooby before.
I think the moment I realized that I might be watching something incredible came along when Velma was giving a tour of her family's Spook Museum, and casually resting in the background was the opening monster from the Scooby-Doo live action film. It never came up; it was just *there*.
That was a tell-tale sign of a groups of creators that loved their material - both good and bad. It takes guts to recognize the embarrassments of a franchise, and then continue onward, using elements of that embarrassment to produce something wonderful. Passion is oozing from the seams in this show.
OK, so maybe it was just a product of its time, but I have some
problems with the original show. It was corny, Freddy and Daphne had no
personality, Scooby and Shaggy were just there to be comedic relief and
Velma was kind of a Mary Sue that could solve anything and didn't even
need the rest of the gang.
Though there were concepts I liked. Especially how it was pretty much the only show to ever try and teach skepticism to our younger. Some might argue against it, but in my view imagination and wonder is good, but you better know how to evaluate everything you hear and see.
But this show, it gets it right. I like how they kept the skeptical theme. When Zombie Island finally did real monsters (outside of a crossover) it was actually quite surprising and nice, it caught people off-guard, and it was done competently as well. Then every Scooby-Doo incarnation since had to have supernatural and science fiction (the less said about the hippie aliens, the better). And worse, they became progressively dumber... then somewhat decent.
And then this. Now I finally actually like Fred. He is a man of very specific interests... that is, a geek. He always had this jock build so it was weird he and Daphne seemed to be put in the same category of the gang as weirdos, but now this is justified. He likes mysteries, tactics and, above all, traps. He really, really likes traps. And those interests just overflow so well to everything he does as a character, it finally is an actual character trait instead of just a generic leader archetype. His obliviousness also makes a very endearing flaw.
Velma is not the magic clue-solving machine that has no other purpose or much of a personality trait over "she does't like to lose her glasses". She is this sarcastic and vulnerable teen, who is not only intelligent but clever as well. She still solves the mystery most of the time, but now it finally looks like the rest of the gang is helping in the process of mystery-solving instead of just being glorified clue-finders (or rather clue-stumblers).
Daphne is probably the most shallow, being this doe-eyed girl who is mostly following the gang so she can be with Fred, who she shares a somewhat Platonic Love for thanks to his utter obliviousness (Shaggy is more perceptive to Velma's much more subtle advances). Still, she manages to actually put some effort into it instead of just being the damsel in distress every other episode. She grows on the gang and on the spectator.
Shaggy and Scooby, while only being the comic relief, were the most developed of the original cast. What in this case only means they actually had stablished personalities, even if just of hopelessly but easily coerced (or bribed) cowards with a penchant for food and a bit short of straws in the head-box. But now they actually interact with the gang and we they react to their goofness. Pretty much everything I've ever asked the show to do.
So, overall, this show is great with superbly stablished characters. Good to know some people actually know that if you're going to resurrect an old franchise instead of creating something new, the least you can do is actually improve on it instead of just doing the same thing over or just pointlessly changing it to the point it is unclear why not just creating something new in the first place. 9 of 10.
I say this as a big fan of Scooby Doo. I watched Scooby Doo! Mystery
Incorporated not expecting much, and I was shocked at how surprisingly
good it. To me while not as good as the classic Scooby Doo! Where Are
You?, Mystery Incorporated is one of the better Scooby Doo
incarnations, and much better than Shaggy Doo: Get a Clue!(the worst of
anything to do with Scooby Doo)
If there is one thing that I wasn't crazy about, I did find at first that Velma's personality here took a while to get used to. However, I loved the animation, the colours and backgrounds are very colourful and stylistic while having a glossy sheen to them. In general Mystery Inc look similar in design to the other incarnations, except for Fred and to a lesser extent Velma, and they are convincing. Plus I found the villains funky in look.
The music is great as well, the main theme is memorable and the background music sometimes has a cinematic feel to it. The writing is funny and moody and in one episode poignant too(when Fred finds out about his father), while the stories are set up quite nicely with the darkest atmosphere of any Scooby show since the original, something refreshingly new in idea to mixing some elements of what made the original work so well and trying something different and one of the least predictable and hackneyed of any show to do with the iconic character.
The characters are great. Velma as I have said takes some getting used to, but I loved the development to Fred, I liked how they made Daphne stronger and more resourceful here and Shaggy and Scooby still make me smile and laugh. In terms of villains, most are great, but some are disappointing, especially the Creepers/Gators who were very predictable and obvious. The voice acting is fine too, the new voice actor for Shaggy does a very worthy job in particular and Frank Welker is still going strong.
Overall, I wasn't expecting to like Mystery Incorporated, but I actually love it. It made the most of a good idea and got/is getting stronger. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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