Warner Brothers is getting the gang back together with another animated Scooby-Doo movie slated to come to the big screen in 2018 — and it's going to be animated, again. Talk about a throwback-reboot. Deadline reported on Monday that the new Doo will be brought to big screens by Charles Roven and Richard Suckle, who worked together on American Hustle and also on the live-action Scooby-Doo films from 2002 and 2004. It might seem like just another reboot in a world of endless reboots, but don't roll your eyes at this one — Scooby-Doo is timeless! Even in 2015, Scooby has a certain swag that you can't deny, and those meddling kids still stay relevant.
The original Hanna-Barbera cartoon premiered in 1969 with the series Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, and has since been remade more times than Velma says "jinkies." Daphne, Fred, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby get into the same hi-jinx in just about every episode: due to their Mystery Machine breaking down, they're forced to stop over at a spooky location (hotel/island/museum/amusement park), and discover nefarious villains (ghosts/zombies/mummies/werewolves) that must be stopped, through several chase scenes. Scooby and his gang have hit a magic formula, and, whatever it is, it works.
Here are six reasons that Scooby-Doo is still relevant, and this reboot should be welcomed as eagerly as Scooby welcomes snacks.
1. They're Teenagers
The gang from Mystery Inc., mature though they might seem, are, in fact, a bunch of teens. And that seemed especially prescient of the original series, which debuted on CBS in 1969, to show kids watching the Saturday morning cartoons that teens can do anything. This reboot is timely in the digital age, then, when teens are kicking more proverbial ass than ever.
2. Daphne & Velma Are Strong, Badass Women
Let's face it: Velma is the glue that holds this gang together, and she's usually the one that solves the mystery (though they all play their specific roles). She's a genius and not apologetic about it, and she doesn't try to downplay her intelligence. She's a science whiz, and, especially at the time that Scooby-Doo premiered, it was crucial for kids to see women interested in and involved in the sciences — even if it was an animated character.
Then there's Daphne — though early on in the series, Daphne was portrayed as a damsel in distress, she later somewhat sheds that trope. Daphne's always getting into trouble — her nickname is "Danger-Prone Daphne" because she always ends up being the one kidnapped by the villain — but she also always gets out of it and soldiers on. She's also beautiful, rich, and vain, and isn't sorry about it. Without Velma and Daphne, Mystery Inc. would never solve a mystery at all.
3. All That Mary Jane
Whether they like it or not, one of the most lasting elements of the Scooby-Doo franchise is all the marijuana references. Of course, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo are suspected of being stoners — you know, always starving and looking for a sandwich or some Scooby Snacks, easily distracted, and have some trouble focusing. But really, the depiction of Shag and Scoobs as potheads is one of the more progressive out there — they're good-hearted and don't get into any real trouble, loved by their friends even though they have a vice, and are vital members of the gang. In my fantasy world, there's a B or C plot in this new animated Scooby Doo feature that has to do with medical marijuana.
4. The Villains Are Just Regular People
And isn't that the scariest kind of villain of all? In each formulaic episode, the gang would encounter a ghoul or a ghost or zombie that would chase them and haunt them for about seventeen minutes, and then would be unmasked at the end of the episodes by those pesky kids to be revealed as just some guy, usually a man, that used the literal masks of fear and terror to cover up scheming, stealing and bamboozling.
In the very first episode of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, titled "What A Night For A Knight," the gang catches a villain disguised as a suit of armor come to life that ends up being just an old man part of a painting smuggling ring. And they always utter that golden phrase: "And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling kids." Spoiler alert: the real enemy is CAPITALISM, or at least a hegemony that needs to be constantly dismantled by those that inherit it (am I reading too much into this?).
5. It's Modern And Nostalgic At The Same Time
The age of nostalgia is upon us — reboots of just about every film and television show from two decades ago (about) are being brought back to life. There's Fuller House, Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air, Xena: Warrior Princess, The X-Files, Twin Peaks... and those are just the ones I can name off the top of my head. But Scooby-Doo as a franchise is so well-versed in the reboot that it stands in a class of its own. Everyone has a different favorite of the Scooby-Doo series, and the reboots don't feel rehashed. One of the best versions: Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, which didn't premiere until 2013.
6. It Stars A Dog
Honestly, maybe what makes Scooby-Doo so universal and timeless is that it stars a dog. If you don't love dogs, what's wrong with you? Scooby is a Great Dane that can talk, and feel, and think, and don't we all wish that our pups were sentient friends that could talk back to us and tell us out loud how much they really love us? And what if they could also solve mysteries?
Keep meddling, kids. Scooby-Doo is slated for a 2018 release date.
Images: Giphy (6)