Alright gang, we have a mystery to solve, uh, I mean, we have a cartoon to review. After being teased for months, Cartoon Network has unveiled the newest Scooby Doo reboot: “Scooby Doo Mystery Inc.” and I’m here to give my thoughts on it.
Scooby Doo Mystery Inc is reboot number 10,000 for the Scooby Doo franchise, and this one puts the gang back as teenagers in a slightly darker yet slightly more humorous world. Unlike previous incarnations of Scooby Doo where only Fred and Velma seems overly thrilled about mystery hunting, in SDMI the entire gang is completely ga-ga over solving mysteries. This is something that their entire home town of Crystal Cove is not thrilled about. That’s understandable, of course, since Crystal Cove is trying to bring in tourism through their dark history of monsters… too bad the gang showed that many of those monsters are actually greedy people in disguise.
As I said before the entire story is slightly darker in tone and in art style yet it never loses it’s sense of humor either. A good example of this is Fred going to ask the chief of police if he could examine some cocooned bodies they discovered in an underground cave only to end up yelling at the gang “START THE VAN!!!” since he decided to just steal a body and run instead. Trust me, this comes off funnier than it reads.
Actually Fred is a highlight of this remaining since he’s now as crazy as he’s ever been, including his appearance in A Pup Named Scooby Doo. Fred is now completely trap building obsessed and it seems like every other thing that comes out of his mouth is comedy gold. “I entered my latest trap design to the science fair… …but it got rejected since they said it had nothing to do with science.” Then while in a hotel room Fred muses to Shaggy, “Hey Shaggy, when we finish High School and all 5 of us live together we could have a room just like this. How do you feel about bunk beds?”
The writers of the show decided to throw in some romance storylines as well, as Daphne is constantly trying to get the attention of Fred, who is too obsessed with building traps to notice her advances. Now, you expect me to make a joke here questioning Fred’s sexuality, but no. I will question his sanity, since he comes off wonderfully crazy in this incarnation, but if anyone has his sexuality questioned in this version is Shaggy.
Another running romance storyline is Velma and Shaggy are now a couple. This is something that I’d have no problem with except that Velma is completely head over heels for Shaggy, but Shaggy feels it has to be kept a secret. Why? Oh no, not because of Fred or Daphne. No, he needs to keep it secret as to not upset Scooby Doo.
Shaggy is turning down the advances of his girlfriend because he doesn’t want his dog to know about it. Am I the only one who is creeped out by this? Is Shaggy shagging Scooby? Because I don’t mind a darker Scooby Doo, but I think that’s crossing a line that man was never meant to cross.
Another interesting new point is that while the show is primarily episodic there seems to be an overarching storyline involving a mysterious “Mr. E” who is guiding them towards new mysteries. Since each episode is titled as chapters it seems like we might see the storyline tied up by the end of the season. I like the idea of an overarching storyline by the way. When it’s done right it really can add something extra to a show like this. (See Teen Titans)
Now for some negatives points. First of all, Shaggy sounds terrible. This is me being biased, I know, but to me Casey Kasem is the voice of Shaggy. And why shouldn’t I think that way? He’s been the voice of the character for the past 40 years! Instead, Matthew Lillard now is doing the voice for Shaggy. It’s a good choice I suppose since he was the voice in the movies, but I miss the old voice. Call it a nitpick if you will but I do miss the classic Shaggy voice.
Some might not like the art style, its darker and more simplistically drawn, but by the second episode I found myself enjoying it, so I suppose everyone’s tastes will vary. Another small nitpick is that some of the mysteries are fairly obvious. Now Scooby Doo was never Sherlock Holmes levels of intelligent… heck they aren’t even Encyclopedia Brown levels, but I thought these two were even lower than the classic ones. I mean, half the time the villains might as well be twirling their mustache and laugh manically while kicking puppies into orphans. Again, only a minor nitpick.
So, to sum up, let’s ask the question. “Should I toon in?” I’d say yes, this is one you should check out. If you’re a die hard Scooby Doo fan I suggest you go in with an open mind since this is different than the Scooby your used to. If you can get past that I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. We’re about 10 episodes into the season and I’m interested enough to continue watching the rest of the series when it comes out. While slightly different, it’s by far not the WORST adaptation of Scooby Doo ever, the movies and “13 Ghosts” take that honor, and hey, no Scrappy Doo in sight, so that’s like 7 thumbs up right there!
I hope you enjoyed my little review of this new cartoon, and if you did I’ll try and review other newish cartoons you should check out as they come up. As always, please feel free to email me for comments, suggestions, or to lavish thy praise upon me at SuperfriendEd@Gmail.com Thank you for reading!
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