While Scooby-Doo and the gang have faced some spooky adventures over the years, it's the background artwork that truly adds a creepy vibe to the show. The franchise began back in 1969 with Hanna Barbera's Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? The premise of the show found a group of teenagers driving around solving supernatural mysteries - which typically had an all too human explanation. Scooby-Doo himself is a Great Dane who helps out, though he's also something of a coward when actually confronted with danger.
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? laid the groundwork for a beloved franchise that runs to this day, which has encompassed other shows, live-action and animated movies, video games, and much more. The gang made their live-action debut with 2002's Scooby-Doo, which was written by James Gunn (Guardians Of The Galaxy), who also penned the sequel Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. Gunn was originally set to make his feature film directing debut with a third movie, which was eventually cancelled.
The gang is set to return to the big screen in 2020 with Scoob, which has an all-star voice cast consisting of Zac Efron, Amanda Seyfried, Will Forte, and Mark Wahlberg. While the franchise is obviously intended as family-friendly entertainment, occasionally Mystery Inc. actually runs into real monsters on their adventures, such as the zombies found in 1998's Scooby-Doo On Zombie Island. Another element that adds to the creepiness of the series is the background art, which can go overlooked due to the fast pace of any given episode.
Taken on their own as works of art, the Scooby-Doo backgrounds are often gorgeous. This also adds texture and hidden details to a given episode, which can only really be made out once the backgrounds are examined outside of the show. Little touches such as skeletons chained in dungeons - or skulls just randomly hanging out in the background - or the ever-changing face of Mystery Inc's favorite hang out spot the Malt Shop shows the level of thought and care the artists behind the series put into their work.
The Scooby-Doo backgrounds also add to the rich, gothic atmosphere of the series; even when the plot is silly, the artwork can be quite foreboding. Fans of the franchise have taken in recent years to shining a light on the work of the background artists, such as the Secret Fun Blog which collected 50 of the best background images from Scooby-Doo Where Are You? More recent shows in the franchise have kept up this tradition of eye-catching artwork too.
- Scooby (2020) release date: May 15, 2020