For two seasons anyway.
The problem with the early Scrappy years wasn’t the appearance of Scrappy or even the rest of the gang besides Scooby-Doo and Shaggy. I mean, nobody would do a Scooby-Doo story without Scooby. That would just be silly. The problem was the absence of a mystery that the viewers could solve along with the characters. Shaggy did go to work for his uncle’s detective agency with Scooby and Scrappy in tow but it still wasn’t the mysteries we fans wanted.
So ABC finally returned to the mystery format…although they would still be doing shorts instead of a full episode mystery the majority of the time. And while they didn’t reunite the entire gang Daphne returned to join Shaggy and the dogs in the globetrotting mysteries. SO WHY IS NOBODY SUGGESTED SHAGGY AND DAPHNE WERE A COUPLE? What, Shaggy was allowed to keep Fred’s supposedly beloved Mystery Machine (as shown by more recent writers he’s as obsessed with that van as he is traps, which also wasn’t classic Fred) but he adhered to the “bro code” when it came to the hot redhead? Food only goes so far, folks.
The next two series, The New Scooby-Doo And Scrappy-Doo Show and The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries, would see at least part of the team back together. We’ll discuss this as we get into the intros.
I admit I haven’t seen a lot of this version in years. Cartoon Network and Boomerang really wanted to bury the Scrappy stuff as much as they good. The fact that this has the Boomerang watermark frankly surprises me. So I need Scoobypedia to remind me that now Daphne was a reporter, as she would be in Scooby-Doo On Zombie Island, only Fred isn’t her loyal cameraman. She apparently works for a magazine as the excuse to get into trouble rather than stumbling around and bumping into every masked villain pretending to be dead. I even remember an episode somewhere between the two shows where the truncated gang managed to help one of Scooby’s relatives send two ghosts to rest. It was a mix of elements from both the mystery and wacky adventures of the previous shows. It was a step in the right direction I guess.
Not that you can tell that from the intro very well. Daphne’s back but all we see are Shaggy and Scooby running from monsters while grabbing Scrappy who wants to fight them. That wasn’t very different from the previous season and nothing here says they’re back to the mysteries, just that Daphne is here now, too. All you can really tell is that it’s another season of Scooby TV, and still using the ABC theme variants. Strange how the CBS theme seems to be the one everyone remembers when by this point it’s been used in only two shows we’ve looked at, three intros in total if you don’t count the home video variant of The New Scooby-Doo Movies. So did The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries fix the errors of this one?
That would be a no then. They have “Mysteries” in the title so 1 point for this show I guess. Still, not only do you not see the mysteries…okay, let me stop you there if you haven’t gone to yell at me. Yes, most of the previous intros were just the gang and monsters but that was when the show was starting. They didn’t come after three seasons of the monsters being real. By the way in this show the monsters were real. Yeah, the dancing monsters? There’s an episode where the gang have to help them against a ghost witch. (So much for Zombie Island being the first time the monsters were real.) Maybe if they had an intro-exclusive monster that gets revealed or a monster in jail you’d better highlight that you’re back on the classic mystery trail (though there were still episodes where they went up against normal villains or that time they had to tell every appliance in a department store they loved them so they could stop a spy from stealing a secret government invention…totally serious here even if they weren’t) but this just feels like more of the same.
At least Daphne gets a bit more focus in this one compared to the last one. Missing are moments alluding to the cameos that Fred and Velma would make during this season. This is where we learned Fred was a mystery writer now and Velma was working for NASA, neither of which would ever pop up again. Velma would end up managing a bookstore in Zombie Island and that was it. There were a few more full-length episode mysteries but the sillier short mysteries/adventures would still pop up. It’s like ABC wanted the best of both formats and they just don’t mesh well together. The only mysteries from this period I even really remember are the spy one I mentioned, the Christmas episode, the episode where Scooby gets his birthday on TV that features someone he and Fred managed to stop going for revenge–sadly this did not involve an ACTUAL villain from a previous episode–the one with the monster clients, and one involving mutant bees for some reason. The tone was still too light and in the end this just wasn’t as good as we would have hoped.
Also, apparently this happened.
I didn’t even remember this until I saw it on Scoobypedia while researching for this series…and I still don’t remember it. That was the ABC voice so this must be legit. Scary Scooby Funnies and Scooby’s Mystery Funhouse (which I could find an intro for on YouTube) were just packages of shorts from the Scooby cartoons previously on ABC. I’m not sure it was worth remembering, but I found this intro so I mentioned it.
Next time we complete the classic period of Scooby-Doo with something with even less mysteries. It’s the 13 demons of the demon chest…but we can’t use “demon” in the title of a kids show apparently.