Mystery Incorporated remakes Scooby-Doo properly

Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

Audrey Tartaglia

   In the past month, Scooby-Doo has been brought into relevance with arguably the worst remake of its kind on HBO Velma. However, its release on Youtube in April 2022, Mystery Incorporated proves that not all remakes are bad.

   Created by Dade Elza and Jessica Chancellor the remake turns the classically animated cartoon into a darker live-action with all the original mystery twisted with more melodramatic themes. The first episode has reached 3.4 million views and the official Youtube @Mystery Incorporated has hit 225,000 subscribers.

   The show delves deeper into the individual members’ backstories with personal struggles clearly prevalent in each of them. The series begins in the four members’ hometown, Coolsville, with the death of Fred Jones’s (played by Dade Elza) parents by a mysterious killer. The plot highlights the high reputation standards of Daphne (played by Jessica Chancellor). Then, Norville Rogers, otherwise known as Shaggy, (played by Chris Villain) an outsider whose only friend is the retired police dog Scooby. Finally, Velma Dinkley, whose father mysteriously died, according to her mother, by the same monster that killed Fred’s parents. The storyline follows Fred as he enlists Velma’s help to find the creature that murdered his parents and her father while in constant combat with the evils they accidentally unleash along the way– with the occasional encounters with Norville and Daphne.

   “Our characters aren’t a group yet. They’re not out-solving mysteries yet. They’re not out piled in a van, touring the country and trying to solve ghostly kinds of things. They actually attend the same high school but they’re not really in the same social groups and that’s kind of an interesting thing to see: what’s going to be the events that bring them together and what are going to be those moments that spawn that relationship,” Director Dante Yore said.

   The series’ depth is only more impressive since it was a fan-made crowd-funded production. Funded using the website Indiegogo, the team asks for $100,000 for the release of its second episode and hopes to film the rest of its 12-episode season with a one-million-dollar budget. As context, some of the more popular similar live-action TV shows budgets easily reach one million dollars per episode.

   According to Variety, “The estimates on the cost of content that emerged from these interviews [with network and studio executives] peg the typical range of the production budget for high-end cable and streaming dramas at $5 million-$7 million an hour, while single-camera half hours on broadcast and cable run from $1.5 million to more than $3 million.”

   Variety reported this figure in 2017. The prices have only risen since. Yore’s first episode had great production value despite its low budget. The special effects were well done and the acting was highlighted with simple but effective camera work.

   “Mystery Incorporated is a really unique idea and take on the property of Scooby-Doo Where Are You? in the 70s where I grew up really really enjoying those… I wanted to take that and bring that to a new generation. So we kind of just created this world in which Scooby-Doo exists in almost the filter-up Supernatural and Riverdale squashed together. Where the monsters are real, the danger is real, and the relationships are just as complicated and crazy as you would see in any of those worlds,” Elza said.

   The Mystery Incorporated Team has already announced its active production on episode two on their official Youtube. While the first episode showed the group before they were friends, the rest of the season hopefully will continue to utilize its well-paced plot and bring the rest of the gang together naturally.