Editors' note: we didn't name this
by Rachel Poe
Features and Lists Co-Editor
Guys, I had the best time writing this article, I swear. Scooby-Doo is my shit. I’ve loved this franchise since I was a kid. There’s pictures of me at three years old sitting in a little arm chair, wearing my Scooby-Doo robe watching re-runs of the old cartoon. It was a bonding thing for me and my dad, there were always tapes of the movies and the shows at his house. Yeah, I’ve been watching Scooby-Doo for so fucking long that I used to watch it on VHS. Hell, I even know that the original “Jeepers, It’s the Creeper” premiered on my birthday in 1970. Yeah. So in the spirit of Halloween (heh, like that pun?) I’ve decided to pay tribute to my favorite spOOKy series by doing a nostalgia review of some of my favorite Scooby-Doo movies. I’m excluding the live-action ones with Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. because we all already know how fucking fantastic those are.
1. Scooby-Doo! and the Witch’s Ghost: Oh man, this one is definitely my all time favorite. Part of the series of the Scooby-Doo movies that were released around the turn of the 21st century, Witch’s Ghost encompasses everything you love about Scooby-Doo and more. Cheesy jokes, Scooby and Shaggy eating twice their weight in food, epic chase scenes, a man in a mask, you name it. Scooby and the gang are whisked off to this cutesy New England town by a famous horror writer that Velma def has a crush on called Ben Ravencroft (with a name like that, it’s no surprise he’s the villain #spoiler). The story is centered around the town, Oakhaven, ripping off a legend about Ben’s ancestor, Sarah Ravencroft, who had been persecuted as a witch before being executed by the town’s people. Now her ghost is supposedly haunting the town; the mayor and other townspeople even created a touristy festival around it and everything.
What ensues is a couple chase scenes with a creepy ghost witch, a run in with an eco-Goth girl group called the Hex Girls that look like they’re trying to be sexy, but not too sexy, vampires for Halloween, ending with a whodunit that reveals that the whole town dunit. And that’s really only the first part of the movie. Things get real when the actual Witch’s Ghost gets released by Ben, when he finds her spellbook hidden at the base of a tree. The Witch had been entrapped inside the book by Wiccans because she was just too nasty. I personally love it when Scooby-Doo actually has real monsters like this. I mean, I know that there’s the whole social commentary about how the things that scare us aren’t really as scary underneath, but real monsters are just way cooler, okay? Witch’s Ghost is Scooby-Doo at it’s finest for our generation. 10/10 would recommend.
2. Scooby-Doo! and the Cyber Chase: So basically Scooby and the gang get zapped into a videogame inspired by their adventures with a lowkey homicidal blue lightning personified thing called the Phantom Virus. To get out of the game, they have to find the box of Scooby Snacks on each level. They go to the moon, Ancient Rome, undersea, the dinosaur age-basically a bunch of other stereotypical videogame locations in a montage with an original song playing in the background, because it isn’t a Scooby-Doo movie unless there’s an original chase scene song.
In the final level, the gang runs into their virtual counterparts and it’s meta as hell. Together, they team up to fight off monsters from their past which is also super trippy when you think about it. It’s not that surprising though, since Shaggy and Scooby are basically stoners. In the end, it’s the Scooby and Cyber-Scooby that save the day because duh, and the whodunit doesn’t nearly have the same twist as the one in Witch’s Ghost. It’s kinda disappointing actually. Besides the fact that it reminds me of my childhood, it doesn’t stand up nearly as well fifteen years later, but whatever I’m still going to watch it whenever I remember it exists. 7/10 because the villain is lame.
3 Scooby-Doo! and the Ghoul School: I loved this one as a kid. Well, I loved them all but this one has a special place in my heart. I remember it the best because I think as a kid, I really related to all the little girl monsters (see, representation in media does matter). In this movie, Scooby, Shaggy, and Scrappy, Scooby’s little nephew, become gym teachers at an all-girls finishing school because that’s a logical career choice for them. But here's the twist, Miss Grimwood’s is actually a finishing school for the daughters of famous monsters (Dracula, The Phantom, a werewolf, The Mummy, and Frankenstein’s monster to be exact) and hilarity ensues. Basically, it’s a lot of puns, physical comedy, an angry little dragon that just mumbles nonsense while lowkey setting everyone on fire, a rival military boys school that resembles what I imagine ROTC is like, and a message that people aren’t always what they appear…I guess? It’s too deep for me, guys.
Maybe what I love about this movie is that it plays around with the stereotypical Scooby-Doo plot format. It has all the things that makes you love Scooby-Doo while also being its own thing. Like there’s a volleyball match between a finishing school for ghouls and a snooty military school on a net woven by a cute spider creature, and then there’s a creepy-ass witch lady with four arms and a sketchy mind control potion not even twenty minutes later. I don’t think it gets anymore Scooby-Doo than that! 13/10- y’all go watch it.
So why did I do this? I’m not entirely sure but I had a fucking blast while doing it. I highly recommend that everyone else go back and re-watch a couple Scooby-Doo movies, or hell, any movie from your childhood that you loved. Grab a couple friends because I guarantee that someone will definitely be down to watch it with you. Scooby-Doo is iconic and fills me with this ridiculous childlike wonder bullshit and I don’t care because I love it.