By Carolyn Cocca and Anna Cocca Goodman
From the time Anna was born, I’ve wanted to share my pop culture loves with her, but many of the comics I read or tv shows I watch just aren’t appropriate for her. Currently, she loves to read My Little Pony, Ms. Marvel, Lumberjanes, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Josie and the Pussycats, and various Star Wars book series for young readers. She reads and watches other stuff besides these: here are her reviews of Princeless, Pet Avengers, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, Bandette, and March.
Right now, it’s all about Scooby Doo in our house. Scooby Doo, Where Are You? (1969-71) was the original Scooby Doo animated series. It was followed by: The New Scooby Doo Movies (1972-73), The New Scooby and Scrappy Doo Show (1983-85), What’s New Scooby Doo? (2002-06), Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated (2010-13), and Be Cool, Scooby Doo (2015-present).
We have watched all of these (yes, all of the episodes, more than once), and also have read Scooby Doo Team Up volumes 1 and 2 (2014-present) by Sholly Fisch and Dario Brizuela. This comic series follows from The New Scooby Doo Movies, in which the Scooby gang teams up with various characters and celebrities of the 1970s.
Here, verbatim, is a conversation we had about these series.
Carolyn: What do you like about Scooby Doo?
Anna: I like that it’s kind of written from a teenager’s perspective.
Carolyn: What do you mean?
Anna: It’s not like it focuses on one of the kids, but, it’s kind of like you see all four of their points of view. Whoever did the show did a good job of thinking what children would want the characters to do. And they are diverse.
Carolyn: What do you mean by diverse?
Anna: They’re each really different. Shaggy’s tall, skinny, and always thinking about food. Velma is short and smart and crime-solving. Daphne is danger-prone, tall, and redheaded. Fred is tall, blonde, and also crime-solving. He and Velma are the ones that usually do most of it. Last but not least, Scooby is a Great Dane. He’s also always thinking about food and is on Shaggy’s side of things.
Carolyn: Who is your favorite character?
Anna: My favorite character is Daphne because she is supporting solving the mystery, unlike Shaggy and Scooby. Also, in a lot of them she is scared, but she keeps going. She’s more the star in The New Scooby and Scrappy Doo Show, that Fred and Velma aren’t in. She’s shown as danger prone in the old show, but in newer ones, she is much cooler, like by picking locks with all kind of different stuff in What’s New Scooby Doo. And in Be Cool, Scooby Doo she’s funnier, much less serious, and some of the things she does are really neat, like flying an airplane, and doing odd things in every episode that seem weird but help catch the crook in the end.
Carolyn: What are the differences between the shows?
Anna: Well, other than Daphne, one of the main differences is that in Be Cool, Scooby Doo they make fun of previous Scooby Doo episodes and the mystery genre. Like, when there’s chase scene music, you see a person playing the music. Or when Shaggy and Scooby are escaping from a gremlin in a gigantic airplane, but they’re trying to quickly gulp down food before the elevator closes, and it’s all in slow mo and they have serious and strong and heroic music. I didn’t like Mystery, Inc. It was way too serious and scary. The plot twists were very good, but there weren’t enough funny things in it. It also showed more feelings between the characters, like Fred and Daphne, and Shaggy choosing between Velma and Scooby Doo. [Parental note: Mystery, Inc. had one overarching mystery throughout that younger kids might miss. Anna did like unraveling that big mystery, but she did not like the way it was darker than the other shows.] Also, in the old shows it was mostly men who committed the crimes and there were few female suspects. And those shows had stereotypes of Native Americans and other people.
Carolyn: Do you like the music [in the second season of Scooby Doo Where Are You, and in What’s New Scooby Doo and Be Cool, Scooby Doo], or do you prefer the shows without it?
Anna: Either is fine, but I like the music. All the songs are really good.
Carolyn: Which Scooby-Doo comic team up is your favorite?
Anna: The one with Wonder Woman. It’s mostly the girls doing the adventuring. As I said in the Princeless review, I like it when girls are main characters so I can compare myself to them.
Carolyn: Who else did they team up with that you liked?
Anna: I like the shows where they team up with the Harlem Globetrotters, because all the Globetrotters are funny, especially Meadowlark and Curly. They also team up with Josie and the Pussycats and Batman and Robin and other people on the show, and the Super Friends, Superman, Batman and Ace, the Teen Titans, and others in the comics.
Carolyn: Which of the shows is your favorite and why?
Anna: My three favorites are the New Scooby Doo Movies, with the team ups. What’s New Scooby Doo, where Daphne is so much cooler and solves more of the mystery. And the newest one, Be Cool Scooby Doo. So, to sum up, Scooby Dooby Doo and Shaggy and Velma and Fred and Daphne too!