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I’ve finally seen the newest Scooby-Doo series, “Be Cool Scooby-Doo.” The show’s a return to a more comedic take on the Scooby-Doo gang, coming after their dramatic versions in the previous series, “Mystery, Incorporated.” Along with this comes new, “modernized” re-designs for the whole gang, similar to the “modernized” designs for Bugs and company in “Wabbit.”
What I did like
Velma is still snarky, as she’s been portrayed in recent spin-offs and direct-to-video movies, dating back to “What’s New, Scooby-Doo?” As usual, she’s still the smartest character on the show.
Shaggy and Scooby are their usual selves: food-obsessed, cowardly, and engaged in wacky antics. In the episodes I saw, Scooby falls for a movie-star poodle and tries (badly) to impress her, after being cajoled by Shaggy. Another episode has Shaggy wanting to save his favorite minor-league baseball team. Velma’s uninterested in baseball until hearing about its emphasis on statistics.
What I didn’t like
The new character designs. I have no problem with new designs for the Scooby-Doo gang, like “A Pup Named Scooby-Doo” (cartoonish), “What’s New Scooby-Doo?” (modernized clothes), and “Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get a Clue” (flatter animation style). But so far, the designs on this show don’t do much for me, unfortunately.
I also wasn’t wild on seeing Daphne become the “eccentric one”—she now has an obsession with wearing or doing something weird in each episode, such as a mascot costume, a hand puppet, etc. While continuity isn’t Scooby-Doo’s strong point, Daphne always seems like the one most concerned about her self-image. Interestingly, Daphne’s change in personality also comes with Fred now back to mostly being the “generic leader” type (and playing the straight man to Daphne), after years of him being the increasingly “goofy” one (since “Pup”).
I’ll note I did enjoy the wackier spinoffs like “Pup” and “Get a Clue.” I seem to be one of the few people who actually liked the last one, even if it had a lousy theme song.
Speaking of theme songs, “Be Cool” does have one, albeit short like the other new Cartoon Network shows. The closing credits are longer than the opening credits:
The Mystery Machine’s been decked out by Fred(?) with gadgets, similar to “What’s New, Scooby-Doo?” Also present in this show is a song number during the chase scenes.
No sign of any other Hanna-Barbera references so far, unlike “Mystery, Incorporated.” But I suppose we have “Scooby-Doo Team-Up” for those sort of references.
Overall, “Be Cool” is mostly amusing, though I like “Pup” better as a “wacky” Scooby series.
What do you make of this new Scooby-Doo series?