The big talk from last week about Trick or Treat Scooby-Doo is that Velma is a lesbian. The fuss is crazy! Most long-time fans saw the clues a mile away, and they’ve been laid down more than a decade ago. But the fact that this reveal is finally confirmed because of the action (nothing explicit) has the media abuzz.
Even when the 2002 live-action movies were in production, James Gunn knew the backstory. But the studio heads feared backlash over a cartoon that was developed from the 60s/70s. And each character represented a particular ethos.
What’s missing in all the coverage is in how well this latest entry honours the original toon that started it all. The supernatural encounters met in the past all connect. The gang discovers the miscreants bought their costume at the same place. And in Coolsville, the fact there’s a ring-leader suggests there’s much more afoot than what a trail of Scooby Snacks can lead to.
Not only do we see clips from Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? But also you will have to pause the movie in order to count them all! To name a few, I found The Creeper, Astronaut Ghost and Miner Forty-Miner. There’s plenty more to find, and the best moment is when the gang dons the costumes of their past foes. I’m not sure why they’d want to do that, but It’s Halloween! To have all these easter eggs laid everywhere is a long-time fan’s wet dream come true.
To see the Scooby-Doo gang finally wondering why this is happening is a cause for concern. Although they’ve sent their foe, Coco Diablo, to bars, things have quieted down. Even though Velma fell head over heels in love with her, she does nothing try and get a date. It’s an unusual non-story element when considering all the talk that’s been going on. During the opening act, she crushes hard on this shapely vixen, but can’t get the words to express her feelings.
In Trick or Treat Scooby-Doo, she even gets all goofy like it was her first crush. Technically, she’s had some relationships. But not every past series connects. This movie is a first for another reason: it’s a continuation of the first series.
And as for whether this film will focus on her attempts to vex the alleged villain, it takes a back seat. Instead, it’s about wondering why these fake ghosts are still appearing, and needing this ring leader to help solve the mystery.
Velma must be conflicted, since they have to partner with Diablo when the hauntings get really crazy. I won’t spoil who these spirits resemble, but it got my invested. To see that Coco is as wily as a James Bond style criminal is a bonus. Unlike other antagonists of the past, she has staying power. Unlike past foes, she’s one of a few who is very likely to return in the next movie! I’d rather see a continuation in a serialized front, and we’ll get that with two series. Warner Bros Animation confirmed during NYCC a series designed to look at Velma’s early life in 2023, and further puppy power adventures in 2024.
This 53-year-old franchise is showing no signs of slowing down and, like Pokémon, the gang will never age. It’s not meant to be designed to be like Mystery Incorporated, where we see these teenagers face generational problems and have to figure out what the greater threat is. Their parents defined the kids legacy, and to see what’s to happen next had me sad when news revealed this particular series has ended. There has not been a proper adult themed follow-up since, DC comics’s adaptation notwithstanding.
And when there’s a release that’s set during Halloween, I’ll go watch it. Interestingly, there aren’t that many standalone films when compared to the episodic releases and I’ve made a list of what to watch back in 2020. When I’m in the mood for a feature length work, perhaps all I can do is make a wish like Fred did in Trick or Treat Scooby-Doo. In my case, my wish is to see the Hex Girls return!