In 2019, we will get the twelfth version (or fourteenth, depending on how you classify some of them) of a Scooby-Doo television program. The Boomerang streaming service is developing Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? The premise will be similar to The New Scooby-Doo Movies, which you may remember seeing in syndication. They were the ones which gave us classic team-ups like Scooby-Doo and the Harlem Globetrotters or Scooby and Don Knotts (personal favorites 1A and 1B). Much like the 70s classic, Boomerang has teased both celebrity cameos, like Bill Nye the Science Guy and Chris Paul, as well as fictional guest stars, such as Bill Conroy voicing Batman or Jaleel White reviving Steve Urkel. There is the potential for excitement, which led me to think about the thirteen previous Scooby TV shows.
We aren’t talking live action movies (nor should you f***king want me to), nor are we ranking the direct-to-video animated movies (of which the best was the first, Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island … though we also might have accepted Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare).
11. Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!
Yo, bruh, what’s good, dog? This rad entry from the CW’s Kids’ WB was totally dope. NOT!! Yeah … it was f**king stupid. First and foremost, don’t split the team up. We don’t want to watch just Shaggy and Scooby. We want the whole Mysteries, Inc., team or don’t even bother. And secondly, calm down. Okay? Let’s all calm down. This is exactly the kind of bravado that made you think you could do some bullsh*t like Da Boom Crew, Kids WB.
10. Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo/The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo
We all good? Can we move on?
9. Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!
The most recent addition also came from Boomerang (and gives me concerns). While I can appreciate what they were trying to do with the humorous approach, the animation was weird, the stories were weird, and the humor felt forced. The only things saving it from being lower on the list were some nice nods to the characters’ histories and getting the right voice actors for the parts (Matthew Lillard IS the new Shaggy … just accept it).
8. The Scooby-Doo Show & The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour
A very early installment of Scooby, which doesn’t show up in syndication all that often. So, if you haven’t seen it, you’re forgiven. And you aren’t missing much. What started as a third, normal Scooby mystery show turned into a launch vehicle for Dynomutt. The shows were broken into Scooby and the gang solving fairly normal mysteries and Dynomutt, which is about as stupid as it sounds. Nothing about it is awful, but nothing about it stands out, either.
7. A Pup Named Scooby-Doo
This might be the only one on this list I didn’t watch much. But it was fine, I guess. Just not my cup of tea. Although I can remember enjoying the Red Herring jokes, other than that, it just isn’t very memorable.
6. Scooby’s All-Star Laff-A-Lympics
A bit of a stretch as an actual Scooby show, but it was fun. A total mashup of all your cartoon favorites, competing against one another. This is the sort of classic cartoon I remember from my childhood, but doesn’t hold up well enough to climb the list anymore than this.
5. What’s New, Scooby-Doo?
Before the Kids’ WB got all too cool for school, they gave us a very solid and normal Scooby offering. Middle of the list is exactly where this one belongs. It has the feel of a lot of those direct-to-video movies which were hit or miss. Very typical storylines, but modernized in both content and presentation.
4. The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo
If I’m being honest, this show probably doesn’t deserve to be this high. But it gave us a very historic development in the Scooby mythology. Prior to 13 Ghosts (and I don’t mean Thir13en Ghosts, the Tony Shalhoub movie … but that did also star Matthew Lillard), Scooby-Doo shows were famous for the unmasking scenes, revealing the apparent supernatural to be nothing more than a person in a mask. But this show brought Scooby into the world of the paranormal. While we could debate whether or not Scooby belongs in that world, I will remind you that he is a talking dog … so …
3. The New Scooby-Doo Movies
Were they a little cheesy? Of course. But, for many of us, part of our memories of Scooby and the gang are those glorious team-ups (which bodes well for the new show). Think back, and, if you’re a fan, I would imagine this list will spark some nostalgia: The Three Stooges, Batman and Robin, The Addams Family, Jonathan Winters, Don Knotts, Phyliss Diller, Sandy Duncan, Sonny and Cher, Laurel and Hardy, The Harlem Globetrotters, Davy Jones, and Jerry Reed. And that’s just the first mother f**king season.
2. Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!
The original. And I know there are those of you who were prepared to riot if it wasn’t number one. Look, I respect you. You and I? We share a culture. And I support your right to be very, very wrong about this. The original is wonderful, and it gave us Creeper and Miner 49er and Ape Man and Charlie the Funland Robot and Space Kook and Snow Ghost and Wax Phantom. Classics. Every. Single. One. I could even keep going. And nothing else is possible without the original. Because of this, I will watch it whenever I catch it coming on. But it just isn’t number one. It was. Until 2010.
1. Scooby-Doo! Mysteries Incorporated
If you missed this Cartoon Network show because you felt like you were too old to watch a Scooby-Doo cartoon, I apologize for all the ways our world has hurt you and robbed you of joy. And I hope my silly little article isn’t distracting you from doing taxes or developing a PowerPoint about knitting or whatever the f**k else it is you do with your time.
This show was amazing. It’s up there with Foster’s Home, Fillmore!, and Batman: The Animated Series in my list of cartoons. The premise returns the gang to their hometown of Crystal Cove and their 60s garb. But it does a couple of intriguing things. First, it incorporates actual supernatural elements (uncommon for the Scooby franchise). And, second, it uses a 52-episode story arc. There are one-off monsters and mysteries, but there is a single story arc which runs throughout. Those elements, coupled with some sharp wit (Fred has a hilariously creepy love triangle between Daphne and traps, for example) and countless movie/TV references (Twin Peaks, The Shining, Nightmare on Elm Street, and on and on) make this the clear winner of the Scooby universe.