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Western Animation / The Scooby-Doo Project

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"Maybe, this time, we shouldn't have meddled."

In October 1999, four teenaged sleuths and their Great Dane got lost in the woods while in search of a mystery.

This is their story.

Scooby-Doo and the gang decide to record one of their mysteries. This time, they're going out into the woods to investigate a haunting there. The ghost is going to be a bad guy in a mask, right?

Wrong. So. Very. Wrong.

The Scooby-Doo Project was a series of bumpers parodying The Blair Witch Project, which was serialized during a Scooby-Doo marathon on Cartoon Network in October and November of 1999. The second run of the marathon culminated in the premiere of Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost, and the Project aired in a short-film format at the end of both airings of the marathon. However, after that, this short vanished, never to be aired again or released to DVD. It is, however, available on YouTube, through reuploads by fellow Scooby fans.

Several fans have compiled many of the available bumpers into a singular video, such as these.

In Halloween 2022, for its 30th birthday, Cartoon Network finally uploaded the video officially on their youtube channel.

This series was shot during the Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island era, and featured the new voice cast from that era. The only one of the voice cast member from The New Scooby-Doo Movies to reprise his role was Frank Welker returning to his role as Fred. Scott Innes reprises his role as Shaggy and Scooby-Doo from the films, as well as playing Scrappy. B. J. Ward reprises her role as Velma, while Mary Kay Bergman plays Daphne Blake in her last credited role; she committed suicide only one month after the special was released.

The Scooby-Doo Project provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Affectionate Parody: Of Found Footage horror movies and the Scooby-Doo franchise in general.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The real monster is implied to have killed the gang and the hapless disguised homeowner in the ending, remaining uncaught as the only trace left of the gang was the Mystery Machine that they left by the road. However, the Halftime Show of Cartoon Network's Big Game 2000 has Fred discuss the events, and he says that they escaped and caught the culprit.
  • Character Catchphrase: One short has the gang make fun of each other for this.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Shaggy's rarely used real name (Norville) is brought up and mocked by the rest of the gang.
    • An interviewee speculates that the monster is the ghost of a civil war soldier.
    • Scooby yet again complains about his hatred of cats... and yet again, his speech impediment makes the others think he’s talking about rats.
  • Darker and Edgier: Being a parody of The Blair Witch Project, it's much darker than the usual cartoons. The monster that the gang is after is a real monster and the gang also argue a lot in the short. The woods they are camping in are also pretty creepy. It's also implied that the monster killed the gang in the ending.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Everyone gets a little snarkier in this, especially Shaggy.
  • Death by Adaptation: It's heavily implied that the monster killed the gang after getting the jump on them at the house, as the only trace left of them after they were reported missing by the news is the abandoned Mystery Machine. Ultimately subverted by the Halftime Show of Cartoon Network's Big Game 2000, which shows Fred talking about the events.
  • Deconstructive Parody: The special delights in lampshading and mocking the franchise’s tropes and conventions, such as having Velma loudly complain about how annoying the Scooby-Dooby Doors bit is for her.
  • Downer Ending: The special ends with the gang apparently getting killed by the monster. However, the Halftime Show of Cartoon Network's Big Game 2000 has Fred discuss the events with Moltar—the gang managed to escape and the culprit was arrested, but whenever they tried to show their video to anyone, people accused it of being a rip-off of The Blair Witch Project. (see here)
  • Embarrassing First Name: Acknowledged. Velma introduces Shaggy by his actual first name (Norville) to which he objects. Fred and Daphne have a field day with this. Even Scooby joins in on the mocking despite the fact that he has an equally embarrassing first name (Scoobert).
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Played for Laughs when Shaggy says exactly this in response to Scooby making fun of his name.
  • Extreme Omnivore: While lost in the woods, Shaggy and Scooby ate the gang's map with some habanero sauce.
  • Faux Horrific:
    • The gang treat Scrappy-Doo as being almost as frightening as the monster itself.
    • Fred has a total meltdown over losing his ascot.
    • Likewise, Shaggy has a meltdown over eating stale Scooby Snacks that have been left on the ground outside the gang's tent at night.
  • Fool's Map: The gang's "map" turns out to just be a picture of the Mystery Machine with a dotted line leading to a tree, making it useless for navigation and getting the gang hopelessly lost.
  • Found Footage Films: A parody of them, particularly the most famous example. The central premise of the genre is mocked when Fred angrily tells Velma off for continuing to film while they're trying to build their tent.
  • The Friend No One Likes: Velma comes across as this to the rest of the gang due to their attitudes toward her even before things start going From Bad to Worse.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Parodied when Daphne and Velma treat Scrappy doing his iconic trumpet noise as this.
  • Ignoring by Singing: Done by Scooby and Shaggy (who else?) when Velma starts talking about the legend of the cemetery.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Shaggy and Scooby eating the map was uncalled for, but as Shaggy points out, the map itself was pretty much useless to begin with, so it's not like any real harm was done.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: After hearing a sound outside the tent, they split up to find the source.
  • Mood Whiplash: This, after Scooby has gone missing:
    Shaggy: Scooby-Doo! WHERE ARE YOU?!?!
    Scooby: Over here!
    (camera pans to reveal Scooby is right behind them, unharmed)
    Shaggy: Oh.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: The locals that the gang interview all give a different backstory for the monster, citing everything from aliens to the ghost of a Civil War soldier. This is lampshaded by Velma immediately afterwards.
  • Narrating the Obvious: Velma’s a pretty bad documentarian and does a ton of this, much to Fred’s annoyance.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: The monster turns out to be a normal dude who was dressed up for Halloween and objects to kids intruding on his property every year. Then subverted when the real monster shows up and attacks.
  • Nostril Shot: A promo parodies the famous shot with Shaggy, who mutters, "I'm so hungry!"
  • Real After All: After the gang discovers that the "monster" is just a guy in a costume celebrating Halloween, they ask why he scared them at the cemetery the previous night. He didn't. There's a shriek, and the camera turns to reveal the real monster climbing through the window...
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: The animated Scooby gang is interacting with live-action backgrounds and people.
    Shaggy: Things just look more... realistic!
  • Scooby-Dooby Doors: Obligatory, and lampshaded by Velma. "I hate this part with the doors!"
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: Subverted in an extended version, after the monster confronts the gang in the house they go into, they manage to hold him down off-screen, and it is revealed to be just some random guy doing it because it was Halloween. However, when they question him about scaring them in a cemetery, he legitimately doesn't know what they're talking about, and then the real monster shows up.
  • Skewed Priorities: Daphne keeps complaining about not having a change of clothes and breaking a nail while the gang is lost in the woods.
  • Speech-Impaired Animal: Parodied with the one of the women telling the gang about a giant radioactive cat that feeds off stray dogs.
    Scooby: Rye don't rike riant rats!
    Daphne: She said giant cat, not rats, Scooby.
    Scooby: Rats rat I said! Rat!note 
  • Wham Line: "I didn't go to any cemetery."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: It's unknown what happened to the Mystery Gang in the ending, but it's implied that the monster killed them.
    • It's also not mentioned what happened to Scrappy and the grumpy woodsman, since neither is mentioned as being lost, like the Gang.
    • Straightened up in Big Game 2000, which revealed that it was just another case.
  • You Meddling Kids: Played with. In an extended version, after they pull the mask off the "monster", he instead calls them "intrusive" kids.
    Shaggy: Like, he didn't say "meddling"! Doesn't he know the drill?
    • Another moment that pays parody to this trope: in a spoof of the famous "I'm so scared" line, the camera, in a close up on Velma's face, while she says, "Maybe this time, we shouldn't have meddled... we shouldn't have meddled..."