Western Animation / Scooby-Doo Direct-to-Video Film Series

Scooby-Doo has been around since 1969. It has obviously had lots of TV series, movies, and even some video games. This sub-page focuses on the single largest chunk of it (at least by number of titles): the Direct-to-Video film series.

By 1998, the venerable franchise had become moribund, although multiple incarnations of the TV series were airing in syndication (as they had for decades), nothing new had been made since Arabian Nights. Hanna-Barbera output at the time had been highly reduced under Turner, and most of the funding was going to the shows Cartoon Network Studios was making within the larger company. Similarly to what was created with Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures, the time was right to tap into a new era for the studio's best-selling property. The first fruit of this was Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (though that project had its' genesis as an unmade episode of SWAT Kats). This movie kick-started a complete revival of the franchise over the next several years three animated TV series, two live-action theatrical films, two live-action TV-movies, and at least one new Direct-to-Video cartoon per year each year since 1998 (it averages out to about one every nine months).

Cartoon Network is owed some gratitude for helping air a lot of these upon their first arrival, especially with the first few installments of this series.note 

As of 2016, there have been twenty-five entries in this series, spread across four style development eras.
Here are all the Direct-to-Video films:

The films overall commonly provide examples of the following tropes:

  • Animated Credits Opening: The newer films seem to be going on this direction. While all the films are animated, the opening credits usually include cases the gang is working prior to the events of the movie, and consist of much cheaper and trippy animation with musical accompaniment.
  • Art Evolution: The animation has changed three times (four eras in total), recently it has been at its most stylized.
  • The Cameo: Dynomutt and the Blue Falcon, Frankenstein Jr., Space Ghost, the Herculoids, and Claude Pertwee (from H-B's 1970 show Where's Huddles?) all make appearances in the 2013 movie Scooby Doo: Mask Of The Blue Falcon.
  • Character Name and the Noun Phrase: Already known for this prior to the DTV series, where almost every entry follows the formula.
  • Cowardly Lion: Scooby and Shaggy, in comparison to being more one-dimensional cowards in the original series, are more competent and well developed in this series.
  • Darker and Edgier: Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island is definitely the darkest Scooby Doo movie so far. The three movies that followed also stepped into this territory, and it wasn't till 2010 when Camp Scare brought it back.
  • Fanservice: Ever since Abracadabra-Doo and beyond, they've done this more and more with Daphne and, to a lesser degree, Velma. Plus, one movie characters. Best examples in Camp Scare where Daphne and Velma have a scene in bikini and swimsuit and feature Jessica, a really curvy girl and Fred note her.
  • Hero of Another Story: KISS is this to Mystery Inc. in their team up. The reason why the Scooby Gang hasn't met up with them before is because their mysteries are more "cosmic" in nature.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The earliest two films had some:
    • The first had Simone, Lena and Jacques in Zombie Island. They are the first villains in the Scooby Doo franchise to be outright figuratively and literally monstrous, having committed murder countless times before and tried to kill Mystery Inc. (and nearly killed Scooby and Shaggy to a point Shaggy "was going to feel like a raisin") and an undercover police officer to preserve their immortality as well as suffering Family Unfriendly Deaths when the harvest moon became no longer in alignment.
  • The second has Ben Ravencroft and Sarah Ravencroft in The Witch's Ghost. Ben is a devious and dangerous warlock. However, the threat posed by him is eclipsed by that of his more genocidal ancestor after she is released from her prison.
  • Long Runner: The series of Direct-to-Video films alone have been going on for over ten years.
  • Mythology Gag: The seires while having many different adventures has been pulling much deeper out of the well as of late than ever before. Some movies even become throwbacks to a specific older series like The New Scooby-Doo Movies or gags of Hanna-Barbera like characters being a fictional tv show in one episode only to crossover for real later.
  • Reconstruction: The most recent films, especially when compared to Mystery Inc.'s totally reworked and self-defying approach - the plots mix played straight Scooby mysteries(though they also play with them in some of their fipms) with witty writing, lots of lampshades (even as they unashamedly use the tropes in question) and crazy occurrences that sometimes derail but always loop back into the plot. They come off as Scooby mysteries re-imagined with a sometimes more modern comic and sometimes darker and edger approach and willing to do a lot more with the characters, and help modernized the franchise and pull of the job a bit better than What's New did.
  • Romantic False Lead: There have been a few: Ben to Velma in The Witch's Ghost, Jessica to Fred in Camp Scare, Winsor to Velma in Legend of the Phantosaur and Bram to Daphne in Music of the Vampire

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