Netflix on Wii is just unbelievable. Seriously. There’s no other word for it. It’s like we’re living in the future and don’t even know it. Right now, I’m finishing up Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, and after this, who knows? The world is at my fingertips, and it’s just something we take for granted.
By the by, Batman Beyond; Return of the Joker is a definitive Batman story as far as I’m concerned. I think I prefer the edited version. Not because of the blood in the darker version, which is slight and tasteful. But because of the way the Joker dies. I much prefer the accidental and stupid death by his own hand. It just fits the character to a T. A clueless, bumbler with delusions of grandeur, killed by his own carelessness. The perfect end to a chronic failure who strived to embody a concept of chaos.
But let’s put these thoughts aside for now and talk about something really important:
Are you ready to get your mind blown? Good. Because I am about to reveal unto you secrets that mere mortals were never meant to know. FYI: The following secrets disregard pretty much 90 percent of Scooby Doo animated archives. While The Thirteen Ghosts of Scooby Doo is a great cartoon, it really isn’t canon as far as yours truly is concerned. No, for this post, we’ll be focusing on the traditional Scooby Doo mythos. And, yes, I am aware I just used the term “mythos” for Scooby Doo. I’m a novelologist. I can get away with it.
Have you ever watched Scooby Doo? I mean, really watched it? If you have, then you’ve probably been as confused as I have been.
Usually a standard Scooby Doo episode starts with the gang driving somewhere. And a monster appears, though not usually where anyone can see it. Instead, it lurks in the shadows, growling and hissing and generally acting monster-iffic.
And this is the first stumbling block we have to logic in the Scooby Doo universe. Why exactly would anyone do this? Oh, sure, if they actually were monsters, it would make sense. But these aren’t monsters. These are people in monster costumes. Yet here they are, prowling around in the dark, acting like monsters when there’s no one around to see them. Certainly, it’s possible that one or two are method actors and really into their role, but that just can’t be true for all of them.
And speaking of staying in character, the monsters (or rather, people in monster costumes) rarely, if ever, break character. The mystery gang never stumbles upon the monster acting remotely like the person underneath the mask. And even when Scooby Doo and Shaggy pull their “Let’s pretend we’re barbers” schtick, the monster goes along with the act for at least a little while before realizing, “Hey, I’m supposed to be a monster!” But, even when the monster is being tricked, he doesn’t act like a human, which he is.
But perhaps the biggest mystery to Scooby Doo is Scooby Doo himself. Why does this dog talk? Nobody remarks on this in the show, but clearly, talking dogs are a rarity. In fact, as far as I can tell, the only talking dogs in the Scooby mythos are the Scooby clan themselves. One can’t help but wonder why? Well, okay, maybe one can help but wonder, but not me.
Finally, why do the mystery gang keep running across monsters in the first place? Surely, this can’t be mere coincidence. It’s as if fate itself is drawing our intrepid gang of teens into these strange adventures. And indeed it is, as we shall soon see.
The secrets of Scooby Doo begin long before the show starts, perhaps long before the Scooby clan was even born. My theory is that, at some point in the past, a person performed a spell that brought dark magic to the earth. This magic manifested in the form of cursed monster costumes.
That’s right. Cursed monster costumes.
Really, it’s the only sensible explanation. How else can you explain costumes that are so realistic that they can simulate anything ranging from an evil bug from the future, a 10,000 volt ghost, or a tar monster? Think about this for a moment. How can anyone take a wetsuit and a car battery and make themselves into an electric monster? Or a tar beast? I don’t care how creative you are, that crap just don’t fly. Not without some magic on your side.
These costumes were spread around the earth by sinister forces. And every so often, a person of questionable moral fiber discovers them. The costumes use their powers to coerce these vulnerable souls. And, if the soul is vulnerable enough, the idea of running around in a monster costume to frighten people makes perfect sense, even though you’d have to be pretty dumb to think that acting like a monster would scare people away. Hasn’t worked for Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster yet, has it?
So compelled by dark forces, the person puts on the costume and actually becomes a monster. This is why they never break character, why they enjoy lurking in darkened woods, and why they can manifest surprising powers such as super strength. It’s also why something as ridiculous as a projection on a fog bank could fool anyone. It’s magic that makes it work.
Over time the costume becomes more controlling. Its eventual goal is to transform the person from a costume into a genuine monster. Often, by the time Scooby and the gang are involved, this is dangerously close to happening. This is why, even when caught, the “monsters” will rarely admit defeat. It’s only after their mask has been removed and their humanity exposed that the spell is broken and they become human once again.
But, here’s the real twist. What does any of this have to do with Scooby Doo, you might ask. Well, you’ve come this far, so I assume you’re interested.
The entire Doo family is cursed. I don’t know why. I don’t know if they had anything to do with the magic that unleashed the costumes or if they just happened to make some powerful enemies. Either way, they were cursed into dogs until all the costumes are recovered. On the bright side, they do become more human as the costumes are found. This is evident with the sliding scale of humanity exhibited by the Doo family.
Scooby Dum is less bright than Scooby Doo. This can only mean that he’s perhaps a bit older than Scooby Doo, and so, he has more dog in his nature. While both Scooby Dum and Scooby Doo can stand upright in a pinch, both prefer all fours and have obvious speech impediments. Meanwhile, Scrappy Doo is always bipedal and speaks perfectly. One can assume that if the gang continues to gather more costumes that within a few more generations, the Doo clan will once again be completely human.
(And, yes, I’m aware that many people don’t like Scrappy, but for purposes of this discussion, his contribution to the Lore of Doo is essential to our understanding. So deal with it.)
This is why Scooby and the gang are constantly running into monsters, by the way. They are drawn to these suits by the very forces of good and evil. It’s an epic struggle indeed.
As for Shaggy, Velma, Fred, and Daphne, I haven’t quite figured out their place in the battle. Perhaps they are merely along for the ride, thrill seekers. Or maybe they’re genuinely good people out to stop the forces of darkness. Or perhaps there is a more sinister purpose at work, a truly terrifying secret that we dare not explore at this stage.
I’m looking at your Fred and Daphne.
But that’s for another time.
Fighting the good fight, Writing the good write,