Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Curtain Call for "Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated"

Whether you have been following “Mystery Incorporated” during its run on Cartoon Network, which is the most recent incarnation of the classic cartoon character Scooby Doo,  or just happen to have grown up watching this wacky dog and his meddling friends who cruise around in their sweet mystery machine on Saturday mornings as a kid, this week is the time to tune in to view some retro themed animation goodness on tv.  Starting March 25, Cartoon Network is wrapping up “Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated” with its last 11 episodes before the series ends.  These brand new episodes will air at 5pm on week days.

Mystery Incorporated is the 11th animated series to follow the adventures of Hanna-Barbera’s Scooby-Doo character.  The original series, “Scooby Doo: Where are you?” created in 1969 was a fixture of Saturday morning cartoon lineups for two decades.  It aired on CBS from 1969 through 1976 and moved to ABC in 1977 running until 1986.  As a kid, I probably watched Scooby-Doo EVERY Saturday morning from the mid-70s til it was cancelled.  I have to admit that I haven’t watched any of the series that followed the original until Mystery Incorporated.

Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated is a prequel to the original tv show.  It shows Scooby along with his gang of friends Freddy Jones, Daphne Blake, Velma Dinkley, and Norville “Shaggy” Rogers while they are in their teen years living in the town of Crystal Cove.  Oh by the way, Crystal Cove is the “Most Haunted Place on Earth” which is what steers the group into their future exploits of getting involved in spooky situations.  What is nice about this newest Scooby Doo series is that it has a lot of retro nods to the original one that Generation Xers like myself grew up with.  Hey the show has  Casey Kasim, the original voice of Shaggy, voicing the character of Shaggy’s dad in it. Another example is the kids wear their original outfits from when they were created back in 1969.  Also story arcs end with the villain being caught and declaring a “meddling kids” quote like was done in the original show.  A little different with this version though is that instead of stories being self-contained in one episode this series has had multi-episode story arcs.  Also while Scooby Doo: Where are you? was very tongue & cheek and campy in tone there are some very dark storylines that are treated with quite a bit of seriousness.  Examples of this include parodies of horror movies like Nightmare on Elm Street and Saw that are included in "Mystery Incorporated". 

“This adaptation of Scooby-Doo allows viewers to delve deeper into the personalities and lives of the series’ five central characters. The overall look and feel of the show is richer and more sophisticated than ever, with gorgeous animation and multifaceted storylines that are sure to draw in both kids and adults,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, Vice President Family & Animation and Partner Brands Marketing in a press release promoting Scooby-Doo!Mystery Incorporated Season 2.

Another element I really like about Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated are the guest appearances by other cartoon personalities from the 1970s & 80s.  Captain Caveman, JabberJaw, the Blue Falcon & Dynomutt have made appearances so far in the show’s two seasons.  In the last 11 episodes we’ll also see the return of the Blue Falcon & Dynomutt in a story line that will also feature characters from Johnny Quest.  Guess what you may find out the back story of how Dynomutt: the Dog Wonder was created!

Tune in for the curtain call for Mystery Incorporated and don’t forget your Scooby Snacks! My kids love Scooby Snacks … we get  ours at Meijer.  
If you can't catch these last few episode on air they will also be available on DVD this summer.  Warner Brothers Home Entertainment will be compiling the last 13 episodes onto a DVD presentation titled Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated Season 2 Part 2: Spooky Stampede. It will be available for $19.97 (suggested retail price) starting June 18, 2013. You can also preorder on Amazon. For more information about Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated visit They also have a nice video game based on the show at their website.

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