And Fear & Superstition Would Have Gotten Away With It, If It Wasn't For Those Meddling Kids . . . And Their Dog!
November 28, 2011 5:50 PM   Subscribe

An innocuous question in Comics Alliance's weekly Ask Chris column about whether Chris Sims (previously) prefers the monsters in Scooby Doo to be real or people in costumes results in a stunning defense of secular humanism and the importance of the search for truth in order to expose lies perpetuated by Authority through the use of fear & superstition.
posted by KingEdRa (82 comments total) 86 users marked this as a favorite

 
I just wanted to say that I adore the thin line between absolute delight and total befuddlement that I read in this sentence: "Somewhere along the line, I woke up one morning with some very strong opinions about Scooby-Doo." Man, I know that feeling.
posted by .kobayashi. at 5:53 PM on November 28, 2011 [19 favorites]


What I don't get is why they run away for the first 25 minutes but suddenly stand their ground in the last five. That's when shit gets real. What I'm sayin is that they knew how to maximize billable hours.
posted by yesster at 6:03 PM on November 28, 2011 [15 favorites]


Now that is a damn fine bit of media criticism right there.
posted by crush-onastick at 6:04 PM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Most enjoyable... Thanks!
posted by Ron Thanagar at 6:11 PM on November 28, 2011


"The very first rule of Scooby-Doo, the single premise that sits at the heart of their adventures, is that the world is full of grown-ups who lie to kids, and that it's up to those kids to figure out what those lies are and call them on it, even if there are other adults who believe those lies with every fiber of their being."

We should send them to Washington, DC.
posted by Daddy-O at 6:12 PM on November 28, 2011 [15 favorites]


The bad guys in every episode aren't monsters, they're liars.

That one sentence turned 40 years of Scooby-Doo on its head for me.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:13 PM on November 28, 2011 [36 favorites]


On the one hand, that was a really interesting article, and I agree with him on most of it.

On the other, I really enjoyed The 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo as a kid. There's no way it's as good as I remember it, but the part(s) that I saw were good scary mystery fun.
posted by graventy at 6:18 PM on November 28, 2011


Might be the first time I read the words 'to paraphrase G.K. Chesterton' in reference to Scooby-Doo.

That was great.
posted by box at 6:25 PM on November 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


You know how you choke up sometimes when you read a revealed truth about something you once considered just trivial entertainment?

That happen'd.
posted by grabbingsand at 6:31 PM on November 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Tim Minchin covered this too, a few years ago, in the comedic poem performance of "Storm" about skepticism, particularly when he said:|

"If you’re going to watch tele, you should watch Scooby Doo.
That show was so cool
because every time there’s a church with a ghoul
Or a ghost in a school
They looked beneath the mask and what was inside?
The fucking janitor or the dude who runs the waterslide.
Throughout history
Every mystery
Ever solved has turned out to be
Not Magic."
posted by ShawnStruck at 6:36 PM on November 28, 2011 [20 favorites]


Velme/Daphne subtext

I'll be in my room. Don't look for my laptop, and don't open the door.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 6:40 PM on November 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


oh yeah well if there's no supernatural jinkies going on then how can scooby TALK??? i just blew your mind

That'd be an easy question to answer if he only talked to Shaggy, seeing as Shaggy is a poorly concealed stoner stereotype. Probably became Dude Lebowski after Mystery Inc. got bought out.
posted by LogicalDash at 6:42 PM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Our kids got into the old Scooby Doo, to the point that we dressed as the gang for Halloween. The 4 year old even slept in her Scooby costume for about 2 weeks prior.

Then we started the newer animated ones, which were all well and good until we saw Scooby Doo and the Witch's Ghost and I kept waiting for the reveal as they dug themselves further and further into the supernatural with giant turkeys and animate pumpkins and then it turned out to be the actual ghost of a witch who could only be banished by a Wiccan who happened to be in a band and that WAS NOT OK.

And now I understand why.
posted by true at 6:45 PM on November 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


oh yeah well if there's no supernatural jinkies going on then how can scooby TALK???
This was my gut reaction as well, but after thinking for a moment I have come to the conclusion that he doesn't. Rather, Shaggy is totally tripping.
posted by Flunkie at 6:49 PM on November 28, 2011


oh yeah well if there's no supernatural jinkies going on then how can scooby TALK??? i just blew your mind


Robot Dog from the Future. Duh.
posted by Gygesringtone at 6:51 PM on November 28, 2011


I'm glad to see someone else feels like all the newer Scooby Doo adventures where the ghosts are real are a ripoff and a betrayal to the true nature of what the series was all about when it was first created.

Anyway, Scooby doesn't talk any more than Nononono Cat or the I Love You Dog. He's intelligent, and he finds ways to communicate which aren't quite language. I'm okay with that. My cats tell me things every day without really speaking, and I know every other pet owner on the planet has the same experience.

"What's that, Lassie? Timmy fell down a well???"
posted by hippybear at 6:56 PM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


This might also be a good place to link to The Scooby Doo Project. One of the better mashups, and it's ancient!
posted by hippybear at 7:14 PM on November 28, 2011


"Raggy? Ruh roh raggy!"

That's not talking. That's like when your dog makes random noises and you think its saying "I love you."

It's why Scrappy Doo was crap.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:15 PM on November 28, 2011 [12 favorites]


When was the first episode where the monster or supernatural events weren't fake? If it was around 1984, I'd say you can blame it on Ghostbusters, and trying to cash in on it.
posted by ShooBoo at 7:27 PM on November 28, 2011


Yup. "New Scoobie" is reactionary whitewashing, and yes, I'm serious.

Two problems with the new Scoobie, as expounded at length to poor friends and family:

1) The Mystery Machine is a mid-60s Chevy Corvair panel van, and not a '90s Ford Econoline - you could fit three up front with the Corvair. Not so with any other van, save the VW, and the proportions are all wrong for a Microbus or Type IV.

2) The original show promoted critical thinking and problem solving, and showed kids that people were out to cheat you, and use your irrational fears against you. The new ones are just scrappy-do shit without scrappy-do... yes, it's actually scary ghosts! Don't look under the mask! Scary ghosts! Run away, or trust in magic to save the day!
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:33 PM on November 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wikipedia suggests that it was the 1985 series "The 13 Ghosts Of Scooby Doo" which had the first real supernatural monsters and use of magic against them.
posted by hippybear at 7:36 PM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


oh yeah well if there's no supernatural jinkies going on then how can scooby TALK???

Like every other mystery in the Scooby Doo universe, it turns out that he's just a creepy guy in a costume. You spent your childhood watching a show about a furry who spends all of his time hanging out with teenagers and begging for dog treats.

You'll never be clean.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 7:54 PM on November 28, 2011 [26 favorites]


MetaFilter: You'll never be clean.
posted by hippybear at 7:58 PM on November 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


MetaFilter: a furry who spends all of his time hanging out with teenagers and begging for dog treats.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:58 PM on November 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Damnit!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:59 PM on November 28, 2011


I suspect yours is closer to the truth, HZSF.
posted by hippybear at 8:01 PM on November 28, 2011


Metafilter: That's not talking. That's like when your dog makes random noises and you think its saying "I love you."
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:04 PM on November 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


Scooby Doo has long been something of a fallen hero among the skeptical community. The original series was praised for demonstrating that "monsters aren't real" and highlighting the skeptical routes of inquiry the gang took. Unfortunately, the newer episodes began introducing "real" monsters into the story lines, and the skeptical community was most disappointed. (1998 Skeptical Inquirer article about the switch)
posted by ShutterBun at 8:04 PM on November 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


On the other, I really enjoyed The 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo as a kid. There's no way it's as good as I remember it, but the part(s) that I saw were good scary mystery fun.

13 Ghosts is somewhat better in some ways, but it rejects Chris Sims' premise and that weakens it. Also, it contains both Scrappy and Flam-Flam. shaking fist FLIM-FLAM!!!

Here are the ages of Scooby-Doo. This is all from memory and I'm not actually a Scooby scholar, so I may have some of my ordering mixed up:

Age 1: The original show was Scooby-Doo Where Are You? It set the iconic premise, and are still pretty good stories relatively speaking. The danger of Scooby-Doo story-writing is taking the three "normal" characters, Fred, Daphnie and Velma, and making them bland analogues for each other. Even the original show had trouble with that, but it at least tried: Daphnie was a klutz sometimes, and Velma was useless without her glasses.

Age 2: The New Scooby Movies. Hour-long episodes, every one of them with a guest star or stars. Generally they held close to the premise of the original show, just with extra characters. Among them: Jonathan Winters, Don Knotts, Tim Conway, The Three Stooges, The Harlem Globetrotters (twice), Batman & Robin (twice) (with Joker and Penguin, I think it was). There were others too. Interestingly, The Addams Family were in one episode, but their version of the supernatural was the good kind.

Age 3: New Saturday morning episodes of Scooby-Doo Where Are You. This involved the introduction of Scrappy-Doo and some other one-off characters, like Scooby-Dum.

Age 4: Shaggy and Scooby and Scrappy-only stories. These featured prominently on TV when I was a kid. They're pretty much the worst the show ever got.

Age 5: One-off movies and other weird uses like Scooby-Doo and the Boo Brothers, and Laff-a-Lynpics. These are terrible.

Age 6: 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo. Adds actual continuity to Scooby-Doo! And brings back a redesigned Daphnie, has Vincent Price, and sometimes some fairly good writing! But also has Scrappy, Flim-Flam, two "comic relief" ghosts and all the problems Chris Sims noted as far as wrecking the premise goes.

Age 7: A Pup Named Scooby-Doo. Better than Scrappy episodes, but I'm really bleah on this. I seem to remember it having better ideas than it had writing. It made all the characters kids, but it was part of that age in TV cartoons where Tiny Toons had just come out and so everything was falling over itself to be more cartoony. It did at least give a personality to Fred, which I think is the first time that had ever been done. Especially for notable for containing a recurring minor villain actually named Red Herring, and for outright asking the kids at home who they thought the villain was at the end, turning the episode into an overt game played with the audience, rather than an implicit one as with most "Whodunnit" style mysteries.

Age 8: Cartoon Network Movies and direct-to-DVD animation. These are notable in that they mostly DO feature the supernatural, but are still well-written and well animated. But they reject the essential premise that Chris Sims laid out.

Age 9: Scooby-Doo Feature Films. AVOID.

Age 10: What's New Scooby Doo? Cartoon Network reboot. I never got to watch this, but I heard it was more self-aware than previous versions and pretty good.

Age 11: Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated. I've only heard of this one too, but from all reports it's excellent, and remains true to the roots of the show.

Overall, until fairly recently Scooby-Doo has never really had good animation or writing. All it's really had, in fact, to separate them from other, similar Hanna-Barbera productions of the time like Jabberjaw, Josis and the Pussycats, Clue Club, Funky Phantom, Buford and the like is that premise. If you take that aware from it, the show becomes a lot more forgettable -- which might explain why more people don't seem to remember 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo these days.
posted by JHarris at 8:28 PM on November 28, 2011 [10 favorites]


I should go into a little more detail about Age 4, the Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy stories. None of these are mysteries: they're all straight supernatural tales, usually with the main characters constantly running from some monster. When you only have three protagonists instead of six, the suck that occurs when one of them is Scrappy-Doo is intensified. My mom actually liked Scrappy-Doo, she thought he was "cute." I can only imagine that H-B's focus groups reported the same thing.
posted by JHarris at 8:32 PM on November 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


(Look at all the typos I made above. God.)
posted by JHarris at 8:33 PM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Scooby was always my favorite cartoon as a kid, I liked Scrappy just fine. I wasn't even aware of the Jar-Jar like backlash until the movie came out and made him a villain for some reason,
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:37 PM on November 28, 2011


Ah Jabberjaw. They all live underwater, there's a talking shark, they solve mysteries--and they're in a band. It's like Speed Buggy meets Scooby-Doo meets Sealab 2020.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:42 PM on November 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorparated: OMG. I had no idea this existed.
posted by Weeping_angel at 9:03 PM on November 28, 2011


When my friend's 5-year-old daughter told me about a Scooby-Doo movie that had real vampires I was actually kind of angry (at the creators of the movie, not the kid, obviously). I don't think I really understood why, until reading this.

At first, I thought that the kid just hadn't been paying attention to movie or something (she's young, after all) but, no, there were real vampires. And apparently this has been going on since the late '80s?
posted by asnider at 9:04 PM on November 28, 2011


Sorry, I mean late '90s.

That's still longer than I thought, though.
posted by asnider at 9:13 PM on November 28, 2011


The way I figure, pre- "13 Ghost of Scooby Doo," the show was a documentary. Then Hollywood discovered the gang and started making a bunch of spooky movies with them. Basically, they sold out during the Reagan 80's like the rest of the hippies.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:49 PM on November 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


(By the way, I'm not really a big comics guy, but I'm totally in the middle of reading through all the Ask Chris columns. Great stuff (Pony Pokemon Survivor Series, what the?) Thank you for this post, KingEdRa.)
posted by box at 10:01 PM on November 28, 2011


When my friend's 5-year-old daughter told me about a Scooby-Doo movie that had real vampires I was actually kind of angry (at the creators of the movie, not the kid, obviously). I don't think I really understood why, until reading this.

And they would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn't for you meddling skepkids!
posted by chavenet at 10:49 PM on November 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


I once (when I used to be a fierce insomniac) watched all of a 48-hour Scooby Doo marathon on Cartoon Network. Thus I'm pretty sure I've seen every Scooby Doo episode pre-, like, 2000 or something, which gives me the best grounding in scepticism I could possibly hope for. Also I don't have any memories from before that weekend.
posted by emmtee at 11:07 PM on November 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


This episode of Story Collider briefly talks about how the same topic, and how the importance of Scooby Doo was finally brought to the attention of Carl Sagan.
posted by Mchelly at 11:27 PM on November 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Chris Sims. Chris Sims. Chris. Sims. OK.

Whenever I read his stuff I confuse him with Dave Sim, and I think "wow, he's a lot more reasonable than people say."
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:52 PM on November 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


It's definitely better for someone to have spent a few hundred words laying this out than not, but most of the ideas ("Because that's the thing about Scooby-Doo: The bad guys in every episode aren't monsters, they're liars", and the implications of that) seem pretty obvious to me. "A stunning defense of secular humanism and the importance of the search for truth in order to expose lies perpetuated by Authority through the use of fear & superstition" wayyyy oversells this IMO.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 11:55 PM on November 28, 2011


I'm having the devil of a time trying to find a pointer to the Ask Chris feature from the main page of ComicsAlliance. Now that I know it exists, I can search for and find it. But how would one stumble on it?
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 1:16 AM on November 29, 2011


Chris, thanks for turning my opinion of Scooby-Doo around.
MetaFilter, thanks for same.
posted by hat_eater at 1:41 AM on November 29, 2011


Whenever I read his stuff I confuse him with Dave Sim, and I think "wow, he's a lot more reasonable than people say."

Dave Sim's defense of secular humanism would be a thing to see.
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:22 AM on November 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just noticed the "zoinks" and "jinkies" tags. Nicely done.

I was five when they added Scrappy Doo, and I knew even then that he sucked rocks. He was the Cousin Oliver of Scooby-Doo.
posted by tzikeh at 2:51 AM on November 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


ShutterBun: the skeptical community was most disappointed. (1998 Skeptical Inquirer article about the switch)

Thanks for that! I was trying to remember where I had read a similar article to Sims'.

Personally I always took a different lesson from the show (I guess this is the morning I wake up with some very strong opinions about Scooby-Doo). What impressed itself into my brain wasn't the repeated exposure of "lies perpetuated by Authority." In fact I think this theory looks past the fact that usually the liars were people who were on the margins of society or crushed by the strictures of power (and those meddling kids). The villains tended to be people who didn't have money and wanted some. In the original series the villains included poor farmers, common crooks, out of work performers and luddites. These are hardly capital-A authority and I never saw them as such when I watched Scooby Doo as a kid.

The lesson I took away from Scooby Doo is that those we consider to be inhuman monsters are, at the last, human beings, with recognizable, if twisted, wants and desires. I'm not saying Velma Dinkley is a Hannah Arendt analogue (I'm also not saying she isn't) but I think it's important to note that the reasons for the evil which terrify Scooby and the gang are usually quite banal. The significant lesson isn't that the supernatural isn't real but that the monsters we fear are human beings, just like you and me. That's the horrifying yet hopeful message that I took from watching Scooby Doo as a kid. That and an attraction to girls who wear glasses.
posted by Kattullus at 4:00 AM on November 29, 2011 [12 favorites]


I'm just now realizing how much I identified with Shaggy as a child. He was the guy who just wanted to fuck around, make jokes, eat lots of pizza. Never did he want to get involved in any of the mysteries. Scooby snacks and horseplay were enough for him. The seriousness of life was an uncomfortable intrusion into his otherwise silly and leisure-centered world. I recall consciously adopting his speech affectations, and during the peak (low point?) of my heavy pot smoking stay-at-home-watch-lots-of-TV-and-withdraw-from-the-world days my friends and I actually referred to Doritos and Domino's pizza as Scooby Snacks. Tune in, turn on, drop out.

Of course, the problem with this is that Shaggy *is* a coward, and left to his own devices, he is a man who will never amount to anything, a person who seems to see through the bullshit of Serious Adults and their relentless pursuit of material possessions but is powerless to do anything about it. Persons of substance use reason to expose the hypocrisy and materialism of real estate developers who want to drive children away from amusement parks so they can turn a profit. The Shaggys of the world need the Freds or nothing would ever get done, just as the Freds need the Shaggys to remind them that having fun is more important than overcoming challenges and getting ahead. This is the real lasting lesson of the counter culture.

I'm sorry if this seems really obvious; I'm only just now as I write this drawing this connection between my world view as an adult and the childhood influence of Scooby Doo.

*MIND BLOWN*
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 4:41 AM on November 29, 2011 [10 favorites]


I have really good memories of watching Scoob and the gang so I downloaded a bunch of eps for my kids to watch. We all watched the first one, slack-jawed in wonder at how monumentally terrible it was. Then I deleted the entire thing.

That said, I agree with Sims breakdown. I don't know if it was formative of my skeptical tendencies or if I liked it because I was already secretly-even-to-myself an atheist, though.
posted by DU at 6:14 AM on November 29, 2011


SCOOBY DOOBIE DOOOOO

I used to find Scooby Doo too formulaic for my taste when I was little even though I caught a couple of episodes a couple of years ago and found them more interesting than I remembered. I don't know if they were reruns or new episodes (they involved unmasking villains though).
posted by ersatz at 6:49 AM on November 29, 2011


I was surprised at how interesting this was. Well played, Sims.

Another nice thing about Scooby Doo: Velma was one of the first pop culture geek goddesses.

I wonder if the Chesterton quote Sims is paraphrasing was the one about the child being born knowing who the dragon is, but having to be taught who St. George is. Always liked that quote.

This article reminds me of a remark by James Gunn, who wrote the Scooby Doo movies, as well as much better movies (Tromeo & Juliet, The Specials, Dawn of the Dead remake, Slither, Super). Gunn said that he always loved the character of Scooby, because there was something completely relatable about his abject cowardice. You almost never saw any other major character with that kind of character trait.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:54 AM on November 29, 2011


...something completely relatable about his abject cowardice. You almost never saw any other major character with that kind of character trait.

I dunno how relatable that is really. Reading old Pratchett books I find the worst aspect is Rincewind's unceasing and complete cowardice. Such a one-note character.
posted by DU at 7:13 AM on November 29, 2011


I'm having the devil of a time trying to find a pointer to the Ask Chris feature from the main page of ComicsAlliance. Now that I know it exists, I can search for and find it. But how would one stumble on it?

At the bottom of each article, there's a list of tags not unlike you'd find on Metafilter. Go to the linked column, click the "Ask Chris" tag, and boom.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:18 AM on November 29, 2011


My kid loves the old Scooby shows, but not the newer iterations (we haven't seen any yet that had real supernatural villains). I never really liked Scooby Doo as a kid, it was just always on. But my kid would watch it 24/7 if I let him. Which has made me an unwilling Scooby scholar.

Which allows me to point out that no one has mentioned Shaggy and Scooby Doo Get a Clue, which gives Shaggy the backstory of being the nephew of a famous scientist in hiding who has left him a mansion full of science gadgets, a wacky robot butler, and all the money he'll ever need. But he has to go out periodically in his newly transformable Mystery Machine (which I always thought was Fred's, but whatever) and fight a German-accented bad guy with a robot hand.
posted by emjaybee at 7:31 AM on November 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


And to be honest, it falls short of that mark an awful lot, to the point where I'll be the first to admit that more often than not, I'm a bigger fan of the franchise in concept than in execution.

This sums up the way I feel about a lot of the things I own t-shirts for.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:40 AM on November 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't know if its the philosophical conversation about pop culture or the use of pop culture for subversion of authority or that I used to watch Scooby-Doo with my 10-year-younger sister but I love this.
posted by Gregamell at 7:44 AM on November 29, 2011


When I was a kid, I found the unmasking of the bad guys to be a letdown. I wanted there to be monsters, because I wanted "Monsters aren't real" to be the lie. I desperately wanted monsters to be real when I was little. I wanted to live in a world with magic and monsters, but no religion. I'm not sure how that would have worked, but that was what I wanted.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 8:48 AM on November 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's rare when I have a realization before the internet. (If you have a revelation and you don't put it on the internet, does it make a sound?)

Great post, thanks.
posted by hot_monster at 9:04 AM on November 29, 2011


I actually thought 'The 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo' went out of its way to impart important values, namely responsibility -

Vincent Price: Only you can return the demons to the chest.
Shaggy: Why us?
Vincent Price: BECAUSE YOU LET THEM OUT.

posted by stinkycheese at 9:34 AM on November 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is that the virtue of responsibility for one's actions, or the virtue of never, ever pissing off Vincent Price? I mean, not that they aren't both important.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:08 AM on November 29, 2011


At the bottom of each article, there's a list of tags not unlike you'd find on Metafilter. Go to the linked column, click the "Ask Chris" tag, and boom.

I think that not_that_epiphanius was asking how one would discover the "Ask Chris" columns if they weren't already linked to one and able to find the archives from there.
posted by asnider at 11:30 AM on November 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


You'd have to read the site on a Friday, or find it in the list of most popular or most-commented-on articles. CA doesn't maintain standing links to their regular features on the main page.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:36 AM on November 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


>CA doesn't maintain standing links to their regular features on the main page.

Thanks for the clarification (asnider) and confimation (HZSF). This is a little odd, no?
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 11:44 AM on November 29, 2011


I wanted to live in a world with magic and monsters, but no religion. I'm not sure how that would have worked, but that was what I wanted.

Have you heard the Good News about H. P. Lovecraft?
posted by JHarris at 11:55 AM on November 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Which allows me to point out that no one has mentioned Shaggy and Scooby Doo Get a Clue,

That's certainly missing from my Ages of Scooby post.
posted by JHarris at 11:57 AM on November 29, 2011


Ages of Scooby

Ha! Dyslexia led me to read that as "Agnes of Scooby," which I imagine is some sort of version of Agnes of God featuring Velma, Daphne and Scooby in drag as the three characters.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:41 PM on November 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ha! Dyslexia led me to read that as "Agnes of Scooby," which I imagine is some sort of version of Agnes of God featuring Velma, Daphne and Scooby in drag as the three characters.

So THAT's what happened to Scrappy Doo . . .
posted by KingEdRa at 1:09 PM on November 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


This puts into words one of the reasons I think I liked the old show.

Also, it makes me think of the episode of Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law where Scooby and Shaggy got busted.
posted by rmd1023 at 1:50 PM on November 29, 2011


If they were always just masks, then why did the masks surpass even the most expensive of special effects in their realism, down to things like total elasticity, relatively accurate response to underlying bone structure? I mean, if a special effects artist's masks could do what the masks in Scooby Doo do (doo doo doo) they would cream their shorts.

Also, these monster's heads, at the end, would always be made of extremely pliable rubber, such that one could simply yank them off the bad guy's head as if one were removing a plastic bag. Have you seen how complicated it is to remove special effects makeup from someone?
posted by Deathalicious at 4:57 PM on November 29, 2011


Deathalicious, maybe they were just ahead of their time?
check out SPFXMasks

Using one of those masks a Chinese youth almost sneaked into Canada using an old mans passport. He only got caught because he took if off because he was getting too hot.

It probably would'nt be good for those masks, but I bet you could pull one off someone scooby-doo style.
posted by Iax at 5:46 PM on November 29, 2011


I admit I could be wrong here, but I'm pretty sure even the original series had a handful of non-mask-wearing genuine monsters.

Also, Tim Curry does a lot of voice work on the newer Scooby Doo feature-length cartoons and they're actually not that bad. Aside from over-relying on horrible Blink 182-style music, that is.
posted by stinkycheese at 5:52 PM on November 29, 2011


Of course there's a wiki for it Scooby-Doo...

From a somewhat cursory glance, it seems that the first real monster was a genie in the hour long Scooby-Doo episode Mystery in Persia, which was shown in September 1973.* It was a part of the series The New Scooby-Doo Movies, which was the second incarnation of the franchise. The original series, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, had all fake monsters.


* I feel I should mention that in earlier episodes of The New Scooby-Doo Movies, a couple of monsters turn out to be Batman villians The Joker and The Penguin in disguise, but Batman villains are larger-than-life, but not exactly supernatural. Also, as mentioned above, The Addams Family makes an appearance in an even earlier episode of The New Scooby-Doo Movies, but as the good guys, not the monsters. The monsters in that episode are very much in disguise.
posted by Kattullus at 6:20 PM on November 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Reading that wiki, it would seem that indeed, "the evil Jinn is the 1st villain from another world" (there's a couple of robots in the first incarnation of the show).

Huh. I guess I must have confused monster masks with real estate schemes.

posted by stinkycheese at 7:14 PM on November 29, 2011


Ugh. Forgot to close tag, sorry.
posted by stinkycheese at 7:14 PM on November 29, 2011


The Jinn might be related to the I Dream of Jeanie episode of New Scooby Movies. No it's not based on the sitcom, it's based on the cartoon Hanna-Barbera made based on the sitcom. The good guys have genies on their side there.
posted by JHarris at 8:48 PM on November 29, 2011


Reading old Pratchett books I find the worst aspect is Rincewind's unceasing and complete cowardice. Such a one-note character.

You're no longer allowed to read Pratchett novels. Hand in any you may have to the nearest fire station or city watchman. Your Discworld privileges have been revoked, and you are henceforth confined to "Wheel of Time" and "Eragon" novels until you get it.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:01 AM on November 30, 2011


Read stinkycheese's link just now, I was correct. God, Babu sucked.

Weird fact: Mark Hamill had a voice role in that episode, four years before Star Wars!
posted by JHarris at 7:35 AM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also: list of the New Scooby Movies, from that Scooby Doo Wiki linked above. Seems the Globetrotters had three episodes.

It also presents a more authoritative list of Scooby series.
posted by JHarris at 7:43 AM on November 30, 2011


On Iax's masks link, the "Handsome Guy" mask looks like the mask from Drive.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 8:53 PM on December 1, 2011


The "Handsome Guy" mask looks like someone I'd leave a bar to avoid.
posted by jrochest at 8:05 PM on December 2, 2011


If yer gonna bash "improbable Scooby Doo villain technology," it's usually best to start with "movie projectors that can create floating holographic images in mid-air."
posted by ShutterBun at 10:41 PM on December 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


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