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

Scooby-Doo has been around since 1969. Being a famous and extremely popular franchise, 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 Knights. Hanna-Barbera output at the time had been highly reduced under Turner and most of funding going to the shows Cartoon Network Studios was making as a part 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 will be forever remembered as Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island. This movie was received well enough to kick-start 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).

Most of them have been well accepted by fans, particularly the Darker and Edgier ones. Cartoon Network is owed some gratitute for helping air a lot of these upon their first arrival, especially with the first few installments of this series.

As of 2016, there have been twenty-four entries in this series, spread across four style development eras.See the Shout Outs Page here.
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.
  • Big Damn Movie: Quite a few qualify, especially Zombie Island and Witch's Ghost.
  • Biker Babe: Recent incarnations have depicted Daphne as this.
  • 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.
  • Food as Bribe: Shaggy and Scooby, as usual.
  • Frank Welker: Welker returns to play Fred. He has been the only person to ever voice Fred going all the way back to the original series in 1969. Since 2002, he's also assumed the role of Scooby-Doo.
  • Garnishing the Story: With:
  • 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.
    • The second has Ben Ravencroft and Sarah Ravencroft.
  • Long Runner: The series of Direct-to-Video films alone have been going on for over ten years.
  • Mythology Gag
  • 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.
  • Scooby-Doo Hoax: For obvious reasons.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Scooby-Doo! in Where's My Mummy? is a notable example of screwing up the usual Scooby-Doo Hoax, where Velma is the one staging the thing to scare away treasure thieves from the tomb. Scooby and Shaggy also assume this role in movies such as Scooby-Doo! and the Goblin King, Scooby-Doo! and the Samurai Sword, and Big Top Scooby-Doo!. However, the most notable example is from Scooby-Doo! Legend of the Phantosaur, where Shaggy performs the most impossibly amazing feats that nobody would ever think possible of him.
    • Let's Get Dangerous: As mentioned above, Scooby and Shaggy do get several moments to themselves when put into real danger.
  • Turn of the Millennium: The earlier films took place in this time period, and interestingly this seems to be the time when the Scooby-Doo franchise seemed most dormant.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Given Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island and Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost are Darker and Edgier in contrast to the usual light-heartedly comedic nature of the overall franchise, this is expected due to the villains being Ax-Crazy and real supernatural threats in contrast to the previous Malevolent Masked Men with petty and non-homicidal criminal motives. Zombie Island has Simone, Lena and Jacques, while Witch's Ghost has Ben and Sarah Ravencroft, the latter of witch is much more vile than the former.
    • Scooby Doo Frankencreepy took this even farther when old villains from the past return with revenge murder on their agenda.