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The canonical universe of Scooby Doo

Art by Anabella Caudillo

The Scooby Doo canonical universe admittedly sounds ridiculous. Scooby Doo is, at its core, a children’s show, so the idea that there is a complex narrative behind the whole thing is pretty silly. However, I’d like to throw my dignity to the side for a moment, and fully embrace what I view as the Golden Rule of the Scooby Doo universe.

Watch more than one episode of any common piece of Scooby media and you will quickly be able to identify a pretty stand-out theme. This theme is what I call “Scooby’s Golden Rule”. Simply put, the monster is always just a bad guy in a mask. Being, as my dad puts it, a “Scooby Doo Puritan”, I normally would never, in good conscience, promote a piece of Scooby media that destroys the narrative/cannon of the universe (this is why I won’t touch “Scoob” with a fifty-foot pole). However, for many years now I have been aware of two pieces from the Doo Universe that do just that. I think it’s quite the feat to create anything and I look back on these examples with warm memories, but unfortunately not without cruel eyes.

Warning: spoilers for Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated and Scooby Doo on Monster Island ahead

Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated

Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated began airing in April of 2010. The show was a two-season modern adaptation of the classic series. It followed the teenage gang living in the “deeply haunted” town of Crystal Cove. Crystal Cove is a tourist town touting its many brushes with the supernatural. The main attraction is Velma’s mom’s museum and tours. Velma, despite her mother's enthusiasm, doesn’t buy into the whole ghosts and goblins deal. Fred is portrayed in his typical himbo way, with a special interest in the construction and operation of traps. His dad is the mayor and really wants him to branch out beyond mystery solving. Daphne is a hopeless romantic, pining after Fred. Despite her parent’s disapproval, she never seeks validation from them. Shaggy is struggling with juggling his romantic and platonic friendships with his new relationship with Velma. Scooby, well he’s Scooby.

Most of the show is the standard mystery of the week type of stuff. The show really ramps up this concept to be almost over the top. It seems that the hardened criminals of Crystal Cove really aren’t in need of the funds they’re trying to embezzle or whatever if these are the stunts they can pull off.

Where the show really shines is its serialized element. This is really kicked off more memorably with the Planispheric Disk. This disk sets off a whole chain of events that are about to unfold…

After finding the Planispheric Disk, the gang discovers that it is not just any artifact but the first clue to a massive, multidimensional, mystery. It turns out that the gang we know and love were not the first. Before them there were many more groups of mystery solvers who all play into this history of the “Curse of Crystal Cove”. Each group has left behind some kind of trace of a clue or an artifact that is essential to solving the mystery.

They find that the left fully surviving group before them, coincidentally named, Mystery Incorporated. This group is made up of the enigmatic “Mr. E'' (a man who has been sending the gang clues since earlier in the show about the disk), Brad and Judy Chiles (Fred’s biological parents, what, crazy), Angel Dynamite (radio show host that the gang knows), and their talking mascot, a German parrot known as Professor Periclies. While excited to be reunited at first, the gang later realized that the OG Mystery Inc. (minus Angel) have mal intent.

This group figured out that the disk is a map to a “treasure”. Many have searched for it and all have come up empty handed. It’s explained that since the beginning of time, creatures known as the Annunaki have been visiting Earth to help its inhabitants for centuries. However, while most are helpful, some have rebelled and only seek destruction of mankind and all they have built. The Annunaki usually take a physical form, this has been through ancient gods, a collection of black pearls in a crystal sarcophagus (we’ll come back to that), and Scooby Doo himself. It turns out all the talking animals are actually the Annunaki.

The mal intent that the gang of Christmas past is basically that they want to find the Annunaki that is trapped beneath Crystal Cove. You see, when the Annuanaki rebelled, one of the mystery solving teams created a safe holding cell for the most evil one. Behind doorways across dimensions, guarded with keys and puzzles, lies a crystal sarcophagus containing the physical manifestation of the ultimate evil. The original gang seizes power over the town, kidnapping its residents by threat of armed robots. All the parents of the gang, to whom they relied on when the going got tough, are trapped in the mines under the town.

The gang knows that they have to rescue the parents so they armor up the van, get Scooby and Shaggy to disguise themselves as the robots and infiltrate the mines. Unfortunately they find themselves playing right into the leader of this evil operation’s hand, Professor Peraclice. Peraclies explains to the gang that he needs all their clues to the puzzles to make his way to the sarcophagus and free his ancestor. The gang is armed with the clues including the silk cloth, flintlock pistol, conquistador's helmet, the Tercero Llave, and the heart of the Jaguar (a spear forged by the Aztec warriors who solved mysteries) which would have been used to defeat the evil Annunaki if it weren’t for the Conquistadors who moved the sarcophagus from its resting place.

They travel through areas of time and space until they reach the final resting place. Peraclies releases the entity and allows it to tak