A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this updated take on the classic mystery cartoon has some obvious changes that make it more relevant to today's tween audiences (as well as all the faux ghosts and monsters you'd expect from a Scooby series). The teen gumshoes now have parents, they go to school (although they do skip out when a mystery is looming), and they wrestle with “normal” troubles like disagreements among friends. What’s more, developing love interests are forefront to the storyline, with Daphne and Velma taking the lead in their attempts to woo Fred and Shaggy. Bottom line? The Scooby Gang's sleuthing is still fun for kids, but the show’s modern feel makes it more targeted at tweens.
What's the story?
SCOOBY-DOO! MYSTERY INCORPORATED follows the famous gang of teen gumshoes and their not-so-fearless canine companion on mysterious new adventures. Fred (voiced by Frank Welker), Daphne (Grey DeLisle), Velma (Mindy Cohn), Shaggy (Matthew Lillard), and, of course, Scooby (Welker again) live in Crystal Cove, a quaint little town renowned for its history of spooky happenings. The town’s reputation makes it a tourist trap for curious travelers, and the Crystal Cove folks get mighty upset when the talented young sleuths cut into tourism profits by revealing the very ordinary explanations for the town's unusual goings-on.
Is it any good?
It’s tough to tweak a beloved classic without annoying longtime fans, and Mystery Incorporated has enough alterations that adults who cut their teeth on the original Scooby adventures may find it tough to love. The teens have parents now, they stay within their town’s limits (no more long drives on damp, dark nights), and the pieces are falling into place for their romantic relationships -- all of which eats away at the intrigue of the “free spirit” existence that surrounded them in the franchise's early days. Now with school, family drama, and relationship woes, the gang comes across as less edgy and (dare we say it?) a little dull.
But it’s obvious that this new series isn’t out to win over middle-aged Scooby fans, and the good news is that the same changes that might grate on grown-ups will appeal to modern tweens. The existence of parents and school scenarios makes the characters more relevant to today’s kids, and they'll relate to the gang’s issues with relationships and other struggles. The show’s focus is still on fun, but the modern content does tout some feel-good messages about teamwork, communication, and friendship.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about solving problems. Who do you turn to when you need help? How do you face your problems? Did the characters’ actions give you any ideas you can use in your own life?
Tweens: What fears do you have a hard time facing? Have you ever overcome an intense fear? How does it feel? How do our fears change as we get older?
How does this series compare to the original show? What changes did you notice in the characters? Why do you think those changes were made?
Themes & Topics
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