9 Scooby-Doo movies and TV shows you should watch instead of ‘Velma’

Image Via HBO

Velma has officially arrived on HBO Max, and as many suspected, the show is a typical example of the “adult” cartoon genre. Taking inspiration from the likes of Big Mouth and Rick and Morty, or at least hoping to see the same sort of success, the show works in some dark humor and violence. Couple that with one of the most well-known cartoons in pop culture and you’d expect a hit.

However, fans are not happy with the latest iteration of Mystery Incorporated. For starters, Scooby-Doo isn’t even in the show. This is a prequel and, as the name suggests, Velma is the focus of the story. However, that’s not all that’s wrong with the pre-Scooby team. The show lacks anything from the original Hanna-Barbera cartoon that really made it unique. Instead the focus is on jokes that don’t land and visceral gore (at least more visceral in the context of it being a Scooby-Doo prequel series.) And that seems to be the issue, in a sea of Big Mouths and Paradise PDs, Velma just feels like another one to add to the ever growing pile of sort-of-funny adult cartoons.

So we’ve decided to compile a list of the best Scooby-Doo movies and shoes to remind you of the good old days when not every cartoon had to be an edgy parody of itself.

Scoob (2020)

Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

This 2020 movie delves into the backstory of the titular character, focusing on Shaggy and Scooby more than the other members of Mystery Inc. The film features appearances from other Hanna-Barbera cartoons such as Dick Dastardly and Dynomutt, which makes it extra nostalgic for anyone who grew up watching those shows. The animation style is great and captures elements of the 2D cartoon within the 3D realm. However, aside from this, the newest big-screen Scooby isn’t all that memorable.

Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? (2019)

Image via Warner Bros. Animation

The most recent adaptation of Scooby Doo, before Velma, and possibly the most faithful to the original ’60s cartoon. The show follows a similar formula to the original, however, we get to see the Mystery Gang travel around the world. Traveling to famous countries the gang meet historical figures and other celebrities (such as Ricky Gervais) while solving mysteries. It’s a great modern adaptation that doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel, instead sticking to what makes Scooby-Doo as a whole great.

The Scooby-Doo Show (1978)

Image via Hanna-Barbera Productions

The third iteration of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon, The Scooby-Doo Show differs a lot from the format of the original. However, the new format works, with the show split into segments and other Hanna-Barbera characters such as Dynomutt making appearances. This cartoon is just as memorable as the one that started it all.

Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated (2010)

Image via Warner Bros. Animation

Perhaps the most mature adaptation, Mystery Incorporated gives an overarching story rather than single plot episodes. The show has a more serious tone than other Scooby Doo adaptations but it works as it gives us a more fleshed-out world  and characters for the mystery gang to explore and interact with. However, it’s not wildly different to the point that it doesn’t feel like Scooby Doo. The show even gives us romantic subplots and we even see Shaggy end up in military school in one episode.

Scooby-Doo (2002)

Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

The first ever live action adaptation sees the gang brought to a mysterious island inventively called: Spooky Island. The movie stands out for its stellar cast; everyone can agree that actor choices for the characters haven’t been topped since this movie and probably never will. Matthew Lillard as Shaggy stands out, but then again, he’s great in every movie he’s in. And let’s not forget the Shaggy’s power memes that this movie was responsible for.

Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004)

Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

The direct sequel to the ’02 live action, this sequel has all the things that made the first film great, but it does have more to offer. The monsters, every monster in this movie is a call back to the classic ’60s animated show. It’s great to see monsters like The Ghost of Captain Cutler and the Tar Monster in all their live-action glory. It’s a fun, lighthearted adventure film but with a screenplay from Guardian of the Galaxy’s James Gunn we wouldn’t expect anything less.

What’s New, Scooby-Doo? (2002)

Image via Warner Bros. Animation

What’s New Scooby-Doo? is the Scooby-Doo many Gen Zs and younger millennials know best, and it has a theme tune that could compete with the OG theme. This show gives us up-to-date version of the characters and format while staying true to the feel of the original. The original voice of Shaggy returned after leaving the role seven years prior as he wanted the character to be vegan. What’s New, Scooby-Doo? is undoubtedly one of the best Scooby shows you can watch.

Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998)

Image via Warner Home Video

Hands down the best of the animated Scooby-Doo movies. Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island was the first in a line of new straight-to-video animated movie. The later movies were good, but Zombie Island captures the spirit of the Scooby-Doo franchise while keeping it fresh and exciting. It’s notable for being the first Scooby-Doo adventure to feature real monsters as the antagonists and not people in costumes.

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? (1969)

Image via Hanna-Barbera Productions

Some may say this is a cop out, but sometimes there’s just no school like the old school. The original Scooby-Doo cartoon is iconic and still as watchable today as it was back in the ’60s. Not to mention the theme tune, which most know without even having seen the original show itself. This show laid all the groundwork, having a great format for episodic adventures and all of the character traits which have managed to remain prevalent in every adaptation up until Velma.

So much more Scooby-Doo

While it’s disappointing that Velma wasn’t able to live up to the greatness of adaptations before it, there’s still plenty of Scooby-Doo content to consume. With 15 animated shows, 42 animated films and 5 live action films, there’s still plenty of choices. In fact, there’s already an animated show centring on Scooby himself slated for release next year. The moral of the story is, for every bad Scooby-Doo show or movie there’s just as many good ones, and there’ll be even more in the future.