Scooby-Doo: Throughout the Decades


“Scooby Doo Mystery Machine” by luckylynda74 is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Renee Cargill, Section Editor

Earlier this year, Mindy Kaling’s Velma was released on HBOMax, becoming the newest addition to the Scooby-Doo catalog. While facing lots of internet backlash, Velma, is a mature horror take on the beloved mystery gang. Clearly, Velma wasn’t a favorite among several Scooby-Doo fans, but luckil,y there are multiple adaptations of the mystery solvers for fans’ enjoyment. 

It all started with Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!. Aired from September 13, 1969, to October 31, 1970. This cartoon laid the Scooby-Doo foundation with the four meddling teenagers and their dog in the Mystery Machine. The classic characters are: the brainy Velma, fashionista Daphne, heroic Fred, hippie Shaggy, and talking Great Dane Scooby. 

Throughout the rest of the 70s, the mystery solvers get the help of new friends such as Dynomutt, and guest stars such as Batman and Robin. 

In the 80s, the spotlight shifted to a new character that started gaining more and more popularity with the younger fans, Scooby’s nephew Scrappy-Doo. However, Fred, Daphne, and Velma were set aside during this time. 

Luckily, the gang was back together again in A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, being middle schoolers and having a comedic style inspired by Looney-Tunes.

Starting in 1998, Scooby-Doo direct-to-video movies are released every year. Featuring the gang teaming up with guest stars and going on fun adventures. Some special gems but not limited to Scooby-Doo Cyber Chase, Scooby-Doo Witch’s Ghost, Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders, and much more. 

In 2002, the franchise had its first live-action film, Scooby-Doo. While not loved by all, the film did stray from the typical Scooby-Doo formula as the paranormal activity was real as well as parodied some of the cartoonish elements. 

In 2010, the series introduced the more modern and edgier Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. This show not only added an overarching mystery for the fans to theorize about but also character depth that fans didn’t usually see in the previous light heart cartoons. 

Today, the newest addition to the collection is Velma. Similar to Mystery Incorporated, Velma is even edgier and darker but is a complete 180 from the original series and format that fans are used to.

Maybe change isn’t bad….

Scooby-Doo was first released in 1969, almost 54 years ago and so much has changed since then. Velma demonstrates this change, especially in technology, clothing, and diverse representation. 

The mystery doesn’t end with Velma and will continue to evolve in the future.