Fred. Daphne. Velma. Shaggy. Scooby. Now, though, it’s time to add a sixth member to the Mystery Gang – Yes, I, Blog’s Pop Culture Guru, will be embarking on a mystery of my own today.
For thousands of years, people have wondered what the ten best animated Scooby-Doo movies of all-time are. Now, I attempt to uncover the answer to that elusive question. Enjoy:
10) Scooby-Doo and the Monster of Mexico (2003)
This movie is a depressing tale of love and loss blanketed by a fun story about the Mystery Gang’s attempt to rescue a Mexican town from El Chupacabra. A local hotel-owner helping the gang solve the mystery is engaged to an American woman named Charlene. For her part, Charlene was working with her real true love — some random guy named Smiley. She then tells her fiancée, “I never loved you, you pee brain!” That’s pretty goddamn dark. To make matters worse, Smiley turns out to be a colonialist who wishes “everyone could learn English.” Basically the whole movie is problematic.
Cringy Quote: “I love these Loco customs! ‘Loco’ – that’s crazy in Mexican. I mean Spanish”. – Charlene
9) Scooby-Doo! Pirates Ahoy! (2006)
Scooby-Doo often finds success when it devolves into complete chaos. In this one, a half-baked plan from a hypnotist named Mr. Mysterio and an eccentric billionaire named Biff Wellington achieves just that. Essentially, there were some Ghost Pirates led by Captain Skunkbeard who wanted to find this giant orb called the “Heavenly Light,” because it could turn back time or something. God knows why they wanted to “unlock the depths of time,” but I’ll accept it. Some genuinely exciting action sequences, though, coupled with an appearance from Fred’s overbearing parents, makes this a serviceable Scooby-Doo experience.
Best Exchange: “Will you assist me in a journey to the depths and edges of your unconscious mind?” – Mr. Mysterio
“No thank you.” – Scooby
8) Scooby-Doo and the Loch Ness Monster (2004)
Bear with me here. According to the always reliable internet, the Mystery Machine weighs approximately 2.6 tons. When Fred accidentally drives it off a cliff and into the ocean (*sigh*), though, he, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby are somehow able to push it all the way back up with their sheer physical strength. Let’s do some math here. Fred, who often boasts that he can bench-press 220, probably clocks in at around 200 pounds or so (all muscle); Velma is likely no more than 100 pounds; Shaggy eats far too much, but has a wicked fast metabolism, so let’s call him 140; male Great Danes like Scooby top out at around 160 pounds. At most, then, these four individuals weigh a combined 600 pounds. I could do some calculus here, but I think it’s pretty obvious that there is no way in hell the Mystery Machine could have been pushed back up the cliff, and it really should have rolled back over and severely injured all of them. This oversight by the filmmakers angered me. Otherwise, this is a really enjoyable movie, and it was pretty amusing to find out that Daphne’s family owns a castle that was once home to her alleged Scottish ancestors.
Out of Context Quote: “Oh, no! I just got this baby hot-waxed!” – Fred
7) Aloha, Scooby-Doo! (2005)
This is a fun move with a really well-conceived villain, but that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to discuss the film’s perception of hang-gliding. So, Fred, a man who has never hang-glided in his life, rents himself a hang-glider, and sneaks away to a giant cliff without any instructor present. He claims he never got to the part in the instruction manual about learning how to land, yet somehow escapes without injury. From this point on, Fred seems to be able to freely rent out the hang-gliding equipment whenever the hell he wants — an experience that, in Hawaii, costs $325 an hour. He spends the rest of the movie randomly hang-gliding without any regard for what the group actually needs. Other than that nonsense, the awesome surfing scenes and Auntie Mahini’s hilarious lack of hospitality gives this movie a solid ranking.
Most Brutal Call-Out: “Danger is my middle name.” – Fred
“I thought it was Herman.” – Velma
6) Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School (1988)
This one includes only two members of the Mystery Gang (plus Scrappy-Doo), as Shaggy and Scooby are hired to work as gym teachers for an all-girls’ school. Details remain hazy on how they got this gig. Their main objective is to help the daughters of famous monsters beat their foes at Calloway Military Academy in volleyball. This match is played out in excruciating detail, as nearly every single shot in the match to 21 is shown on our screens. But in the more exciting portion of the movie, the motley crew of Revolta, the Grim Creeper, and the Well-Dweller kidnap the girls in an attempt to “Revoltize” them, which, in layman’s terms, means to turn them evil forever. Overall “Fang-tastic!”
Cringy Quote: “Like I’m ready to get to this fancy girl’s school and try some of their fancy cooking.” – Shaggy
5) Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost (1999)
This one begins when Ben Ravencroft, horror novelist and the best supporting character in Scooby Doo history (just barely beating out Paco the Talking Eagle), invites the Mystery Gang up to his old hometown to help him find a way to clear his ancestor’s name. Little do they know, though, that Ravencroft is actually an evil mastermind seeking an ancient journal that will allow him — if my calculations are correct — to control both nature and the world. This movie also gives us not one, but two performances from the legendary Hex Girls — future staples of the Scooby-Doo world. Their song, “Earth, Wind, Fire, and Air”, is a bit odd I will admit, but damn, you can tell the band is having a lot of fun up there on stage.
Quote That’s Now in Multiple Commercials, But Apparently Originated with This Movie: “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” – Velma
4) Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders (2000)
It’s always striking when you remember that the Mystery Gang members are all supposedly teenagers. My moment of remembrance while creating this list came when a creepy old man named Lester somehow coerces the gang to stay at his place for the night. Sure, he’s hospitable, but everything about it seemed very illegal. This movie stands out, though, because of the romantic subplot between Shaggy and Crystal — someone who is somehow turned on by the fact that Shaggy eats dog food. Crystal of course turns out to be an alien, but it was nice to see Shaggy in love for a bit. I especially enjoyed his original song and subsequent music video called “Groovy”.
Sketchy Quote: “Did they experiment on ya? *wink*” – Lester
3) Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998)
This one begins with the Mystery Gang split up; Daphne and Fred are busy producing a hit ghost-hunting series, Velma works at a bookstore, and Shaggy and Scooby somehow got jobs as TSA Agents. This pointless estrangement is quickly rectified in a swift four minutes of screen time, and the real movie kicks into gear. Taking place in the depths of Louisiana, the Mystery Gang is invited to visit a real haunted house. Here, they encounter zombies, large cat-people, and a detective who, for reasons still unknown to me, is working undercover as a gardener. This is by far the scariest installment on the list, earning it a spot in the top 3.
Classic Arrogant Fred Quote: “Yeah, yeah, I don’t buy it. We’ve been levitated before, and there’s always a magnet or wire somewhere.” – Fred
2) Scooby-Doo and the Legend of the Vampire (2003)
As this movie was winding down, I was mentally preparing myself to give this one a comfortable ranking somewhere around the 4-5 range. Then, everything changed. The Mystery Gang got to perform as the closing act at a music festival, and this was —I kid you not — one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. I need to do some more research into who did the vocal work for Velma, but all I know for sure is that my jaw was completely dropped the entire time she was singing. Wow. Past that, we get a reunion with the illustrious Hex Girls, some hilarious plans by Fred, and an appearance from the iconic band Two Skinny Dudes. With a larger than life monster and a couple incredible chase sequences, this one is truly incredible.
Dumbest Hex Girls Song Lyric: “We do voodoo. Who do voodoo? We do.” – Hex Girls
1) Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase (2001)
There are so many little moments in Cyber Chase that ask for a suspension of disbelief: the specificities of the virus, the slow-moving lava, and the fact that a college campus security guard has the power to arrest people. But hey, I am willing to look past these aspects, and simply enjoy the best Scooby-Doo movie ever made. The highlights: the gladiator scene, Scooby and Shaggy’s sensual French fry eating, and, of course, Professor Kaufman and his crazy hair. Most importantly, though, if you did not cry when the Mystery Gang has to say goodbye to the past versions of themselves, you have no heart.