There have been so many iterations of Scooby-Doo that we’ve grown up over the years, right? However, Cartoon Network and its off-chute Boomerang have had this rad newer take called Be Cool, Scooby-Doo that I just found. Let me tell you, guys — it’s rad!
Now, this isn’t the art style any of you are used to with Scooby-Doo but I think that’s what grabbed my curiosity to start! I’ve got a Boomerang subscription and it’s not like I have kids at home, I’m just a huge fan of the old school cartoons, right? So, I saw this sitting there with a different take on Scooby-Doo and I kind of had to give it a try. The fact I could scroll through Boomerang and find almost every Scooby-Doo that ever existed, well, that’s great — but something I hadn’t seen was totally different. So, I put on Be Cool, Scooby-Doo and found there were two full seasons there and from a couple years back, so it surprised me I was just happening upon it.
I’m so glad I did, because Scooby-Doo and the whole Scooby Gang needed a revamp when it came to the personalities of their characters in order to connect with kids in this current age – and they nailed it here. Taking the same dynamics but essentially switching them all around and heightening the more awkward beats of every person made them so relatable. This means that kids don’t have to look up to the Scooby Gang, because the Scooby Gang are still what we know and love but also far more human and attainable. It was a genius move and I have to think it’s thanks in part to the team who worked on it.
This is where you’re going to see me nerd out a teensy-tiny bit. I’m obsessed with people who direct and write animation of most every genre and era, so looking into who wrote and directed Be Cool, Scooby-Doo is a veritable “Of COURSE!” almost across the board when you hear who worked on it. From all across cartoons be it Disney, Marvel, DC Animation and so forth have all taken part in the think-tank of Be Cool, Scooby-Doo which is pretty rad. Folks like Jon Colton Barry who were instrumental in the show Phineas and Ferb were shown as super obvious in the style of the show and writers whose credits count Teen Titans and Spider-Man as some pretty big titles they’ve worked on in the animated series scope. It’s pretty incredible when you can pull up an IMDB page and go “Oh, I totally see this..” and the frivolity yet relatable moments in the show speak to their past projects really well.
This little scene shows Fred attempting to re-paint the Mystery Machine in order to be less conspicuous as they try to clear their name. What proceeds is a high-speed chase that is pretty wild for Scooby-Doo series, you know? It’s silly as they wear disguises but it shows all of them off in a great way. Kate Micucci voices Velma as a highly-analytical minded person with quite a few introverted quirks that show such a charming side to her. Daphne, more than anyone else, can come off as the absolute wild-card in her quest to be seen as not the ‘cute one‘ but the fun one instead. Fred is all about the action movies and trying to show his more technical sides rather than coming off as the leader. This brings us to Matthew Lillard who is the live-action Shaggy but playing him in a way that’s far more low-key but still apprehensive. In a series that would lean on Shaggy and Scooby-Doo being the comedic leads, they shared a bit of everything with the whole Gang here and I loved it.
In this episode, which is one of my favorites, Fred is having a stress-related panic attack and the Gang is trying to get him to rest up and relax. This is hard for Fred who is an overachiever and sees mystery in quite literally everything going on around him. While this is happening, Daphne has them staying at the family home and is juggling doing something good for her friend with her panic of upsetting her parents and family by messing up the house with mystery shenanigans. Pretty great, right? The tropes are all at play here but they flip them on the head by sending the Gang through all sorts of suspects that you’d typically see, yet it’s not them. This makes watching this series we know so well but updated — so enjoyable! It’s never who you think and to write something like that and still make it funny and fresh after all this time is a huge feat.
So, there you go. Like I said, I can kind of nerd out about these animated shows, series and even the history of animation — but the TL;DR here is that Be Cool, Scooby-Doo is a great series that I’m shocked to see isn’t being made anymore after two seasons. Then again, I didn’t know a ton about it and now that I do, I want all my friends to know about it! Sit the kids down or just chill by yourself and have a good time that reminds you of some of the best current animation that’s a smart and fun take on a classic.