Celebrating Halloween with What’s New, Scooby-Doo?

After all, what's Halloween without a dash of childhood nostalgia?

Joseph Caddick
26th October 2021
'What's New, Scooby Doo?' (2002) - Credit: IMDB
In my eyes, you can’t have Halloween without Scooby-Doo. And, as someone who grew up right as What’s New, Scooby-Doo? came out, it’s the series that I have the most nostalgia for. It takes the classic formula and modernises it, keeping all the masked monsters and spooky settings.

I like to rewatch it every now and then, it’s very much a comfort watch for me, specifically around Halloween time - it’s one of those shows that invokes Halloween magic whenever you watch it. In particular, there is the Halloween special A Scooby-Doo Halloween, which is full of the more stereotypical Halloween tropes and vibes that we’ve grown to expect. If I don’t have enough time to rewatch the whole series, I’ll come back to this episode.

In terms of plot, it’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect of a Scooby-Doo mystery, only with a very distinctly Halloween setting. A monster’s terrorising the town, and it’s up to the gang to find the person (or people) responsible. Even with a bunch of red herrings to throw you off the scent, the mystery is never too difficult, because kids have to be able to guess the monster’s real identity (or identities).

Credit: IMDb

Much like the rest of What’s New, Scooby-Doo?, this episode happily makes references to older incarnations of the series, as well as various other Hanna-Barbera cartoons like Hong Kong Phooey. Easter eggs like this are basically par for the course now, though back in 2003 they were much more uncommon. There’s a fun call back to Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf, and in What’s New? as a whole, the Hex Girls make their return, which is great because they’re everyone’s favourite eco goths.

What’s New, Scooby-Doo? Has one of the best theme songs of any animated show. That song alone makes a yearly rewatch all the more tempting.

What surprises me about this Halloween special is the amount of jokes that land. Most of them are pretty good, and some are surprisingly adult and would certainly have flown over my head when I was a kid. One of the aforementioned callbacks can weaken some jokes though, and that’s the presence of a laugh track. Laugh tracks are always the worst, though the one here is pretty quiet most of the time, I always think it’s my TV acting up when I first start the episode. It’s not present in the rest of the series either, making its inclusion all the more peculiar.

The major downside about watching just the Halloween special is that, like the other specials, it lacks the amazing theme song. Like seriously, What’s New, Scooby-Doo? Has one of the best theme songs of any animated show. That song alone makes a yearly rewatch all the more tempting.

As a Scooby-Doo fan, revisiting the series is one of my favourite Halloween traditions, and it's one I wish more people took part in. What's New, Scooby-Doo? and its Halloween special are perfect comfort watches for anyone who enjoys everything the holiday has to offer, except for the more gruesome side of things.

What's New, Scooby Doo? Intro (2002)

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