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Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated Is a Perfect Horror Introduction for Kids


Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated is an ideal entry point for kids who are taking their first steps into the horror genre.

Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated
Photo: Warner Bros. Animation

Four meddling teenagers and a dog. From that simplest of premises, Joe Ruby and Ken Spears created an idea that has carried television series, live-action big-budget films, numerous animated movies, and countless parodies. So successful was Scooby-Doo that Hannah-Barbera launched several spin-offs, including Jabberjaw (teens and a talking whale) and Speed-Buggy (teens and a talking dune buggy). But there was something special about the alchemy Ruby and Spears derived for Scooby-Doo that made it stand the test of time. With its monster plots, Scooby-Doo became the ultimate introduction to horror for even the most timid kid.

Scooby-Doo and the Gang We Know 

No series better understands the unique nature of the Scooby gang like Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. The 52-episode show ran for two seasons on Cartoon Network from 2010 to 2013, and its first few episodes play like a modern update of the cartoon series. The gang is still in high school, and it’s implied that all of their old adventures happened, but the dynamics are slightly different.

Voiced by veteran performer Frank Welker, Fred is even more obsessed with traps than before, a passion that drives him to lead his friends in ghost-hunting adventures. Grey DeLisle plays Daphne as a privileged rich kid who tries to be kind despite her enormous wealth. Matthew Lillard reprises his role from the two live-action films as Shaggy, while former Facts of Life star Mindy Cohn plays Velma. At the beginning of the series, Shaggy and Velma are dating, although the former tries to keep that a secret, for fear of upsetting his best pal Scoob (voiced, as always, by Welker). 

From that basic setup, Mystery Incorporated spins an epic story about not just the supernatural happenings in the gang’s hometown of Crystal Cove, but the nature of horror stories. What begins as a series of standalone adventures slowly reveals itself to be orchestrated by a shadowy figure called Mr. E (Lewis Black), who himself is being manipulated by the menacing parrot Professor Pericles (Udo Kier). Pericles drives the gang to recover pieces of a Planispheric Disk, which becomes a map to what they believe is a hidden treasure in Crystal Cove. But instead of treasure, the map leads to a sarcophagus that holds the Evil Entity, a Lovecraftian monster who has the power to bring about a doomsday event called Nibiru.

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