Cartoon Network just unveiled the latest incarnation of the original Scooby gang who are solving mysteries in their own backyard - the town of "Crystal Cove". From the CN press release:
Crystal Cove is a sleepy coastal village that boasts a long history of ghostly sightings, werewolves and glowing deep sea divers. Because of all the mystery, Crystal Cove has become a tourist hotspot, taking in major profits and the townspeople don’t appreciate the meddling of the renowned sleuthing team.
In Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, the curious gang investigates every circumstance with a questioning mindset. Ghosts and monsters may exist, but extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof and the gang will stop at nothing to learn the truth of Crystal Cove. Plus, the drama won’t be limited to paranormal activities � the gang will be portrayed as real teens with real problems, dealing with situations that arise in their families and personal relationships within the group.
The pilot, "Beware The Beast from Below" gave us a look at things we hadn't seen much of before; the characters have been redesigned once again (to mixed reviews), we get more of a glimpse of the kids' home lives and their surroundings. From the pilot ep description:
Despite being jailed for solving another mystery and resistance from parents, the Mystery Inc. gang rush to solve a mystery involving a monster whose lurking underneath the town and cocooning the local townspeople. Velma tries to get Shaggy to be more intimate in their relationship, however he feels it should be kept a secret as he doesn’t want to hurt Scooby’s feelings. Daphne keeps hinting her romantic feelings towards Fred who is oblivious to almost everything apart from solving mysteries.
Also new is an ongoing story arc with clues left for the gang in each episode leading to an ultimate mystery to solve.
I've seen the pilot and today's ep, "The Creeping Creatures" and overall I'm torn. I think the art work is great and the colors almost seem retro in their appearance (which goes with the quasi retro world the gang inhabits). I'm not 100% sold on the character redesigns but I do like the atmosphere and there's quite a few spoofy aspects; however I feel like an opportunity is being squandered. With all the work that went into such a spooky landscape and a heightened sense of danger never seen before, I think the creative team behind this show should have gone in a more serious direction. the monsters so far are still fake but they are so realistic and scary looking you want them to be real! You want "Zombie Island" again (with comic undertones of course).
The gang also gets to have a bit more characterization than before and even romantic entanglements. Velma's become snarky and I rather like it. Shaggy's not too much changed though he's less a coward than before and his realtionship with Velma can be sweet at times. Scooby is pretty much as he was in "Zombie Island- except while he cops to being a dog, he's adament that he is not a pet! Daphne isn't the danger prone gal we knew and loved nor is she the butt kicking phenom we've had in the live action films. She's crushing so hard on Fred she'll end up with bruises! What I don't like is how Fred is dumbed down yet again and is suddenly obsessed with building traps (the sort that Rube Goldberg would be proud of). He deserves better after all these years. The gang also seem to act a bit more like teens compared to past incarnations rather than teenaged adults.
Edited by magicdog, Jul 20, 2010 @ 5:43 PM.