It’s pretty surprising that Scooby Doo and Courage the Cowardly Dog have never met in the animated medium before. Courage is something of a neo-Scooby Doo for the contemporary Hanna Barbera slate of animated series, and has its devotees. It’s a much more bizarre, spookier, and edgier series that’s even been embraced by the horror community. While it doesn’t make too much sense for them to meet, it also does make a ton of sense which adds to the oddity that’s “Straight Outta Nowhere.”
I guess because it’s written in blood in a contract with some demonic force that every single year, Scooby Doo has to have a new movie released on or around the Halloween season. Truth be told, the movies sell well and Scooby Do around Halloween just makes sense. The long running series from Hanna Barbera has been one of the most influential franchises of all time, even bringing with is a wave of goofy, silly, god awful copy cats. They tried everything to duplicate the success of Scooby from talking mopeds, goofy ghosts, and even miniature detectives.
These are five of the worst Scooby Doo Knock Offs, and Four of the Best.
BOOTLEG FILES 754: “The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries – Wednesday is Missing” (1972 episode of the animated television series).
LAST SEEN: On DailyMotion.com.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: A rights clearance issue is preventing its release.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Unlikely at this time.
In September 1969, Hanna-Barbera premiered its animated series “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” on CBS. The show placed four teenagers and a talking oversized dog in wacky mysteries that involved a supposedly supernatural element. The series was immediately popular and attracted a large following among the Saturday morning cartoon-absorbing kiddie audience.
2006’s “Pirates Ahoy!” is one of the more clever animated sequels to come from the aughts when the “Scooby Doo” movie series was pretty much stale. By this time they’d given up fighting real monsters, and reverted back to criminals and goons with fancy costumes and illusions. It’s surprising how much talent these direct to DVD movies always attract, and the cast compliments what is a pretty nifty mystery, altogether.
Who better to celebrate Halloween than the Scooby Gang? “Happy Halloween, Scooby Doo!” is the thirty first animated movie in the long running franchise. It’s a long running franchise that, to its credit, doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. This installment is firmly a Halloween oriented movie, revolving around the idea of fear, and Velma trying to ignore her emotional response to fear in favor of rationality. What she ultimately comes to realize is that fear can be a good thing; it can even help us survive in perilous situations.
I’d be lying if I said that I’m the biggest Scooby Doo fan around. Hell, I’m still stunned that Hanna Barbera has placed so much stock in the franchise for so many decades, but I digress. I had high hopes going in to “Scoob!” as every generation is introduced to Scooby Doo once again in some new form, and “Scoob!” seemed like the right avenue. Not only does it give us a new vision of Scooby Doo, but it makes tweaks to the mythos that I liked, while also establishing a shared Hanna Barbera universe. And yet, at the end of it all, I’d still rather have seen “Scooby Doo on Zombie Island” or “Scooby Doo and the Witch’s Ghost,” again.
No matter how classic or profitable a series or franchise is, studios are always in the market of appealing to a younger audience with a new version of the property. With the success of shows like Muppet Babies and The Flintstone Kids, Hanna-Barbera decided to revisit the formula in 1988 for Scooby-Doo. It was their attempt to win over a new generation of fans while dusting the cobwebs off of the franchise that’d begun to show its age thanks to misguided spin offs and introductions of grating additions like Scrappy Doo and Flim Flam.
Not since “The Witch’s Ghost” has there been a “Scooby Doo” adventure so deeply rooted in Halloween that it qualifies as automatic viewing for the holiday. While it is a change in pace for the Mystery Inc. crew, it’s a fun adventure in to the magic and supernatural element, along with some pretty stellar animation, and a pretty awesome surprise ending that I admittedly didn’t see coming.