has been around since 1969
. Being a famous and extremely popular children's 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
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 A Pup Named Scooby-Doo
's cancellation seven years earlier. Hanna-Barbera
had recently been shut down and subsumed into Time Warner's
media empire (which owns Cartoon Network
, long a repository for H-B shows). Warner Bros. wanted to bring back the franchise, but was unwilling to commit to a full series. Thus they tested the waters with 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).
The quality of these films is variable, but quite a few of them have been accepted by fans, particularly the Darker and Edgier
ones. A thanks should definitely go to Cartoon Network
, which frequently airs the movies at about the time they come out, and shows a few every Mother's Day.
As of 2013, there have been twenty
entries in this series, spread across three or four different continuities, but for more on that, see the Scooby-Doo Analysis page
See the Shout Outs Page here
Here are all the Direct-to-Video films:
- Untitled Scooby Doo/WWE Project (2014): Co-produced by WWE Studios, this is a Crossover that will involve the Mystery Inc. gang solving a mystery at WrestleMania, with cameo appearances by WWE Superstars and Divas such as John Cena, Triple H, Kane, The Miz, Brodus Clay, Santino Marella, Sin Cara and AJ Lee, as well as Vince McMahon, lending their voices. It is WWE Studios' first animated film.
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 or four times, 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.
- Darker and Edgier: Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island is definitely the darkest piece of Scooby-Doo canon so far. The three movies that followed also stepped into this territory, and it wasn't till 2010 when Camp Scare brought it back.
- 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:
- Genre Shift: About half of the films consist of the classic Scooby-Doo Hoax, while the other half actually include supernatural elements, and Zombie Island crosses straight into the Horror category.
- 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 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 classic Scooby mysteries re-imagined with a more modern comic approach and willing to do a lot more with the characters, 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.