This article is about the film. For other uses, see Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins (disambiguation).

Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins is a 2009 reboot to the theatrical films Scooby-Doo: The Movie and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. The TV film is an origin story for Scooby and the Mystery Inc. gang, revealing one take on how they met and the events of their first case. It was released on DVD and Blu-ray on September 22.

The success of the film led to a sequel the following year, with Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster.


Four teenagers, and a talking Great Dane, with different backgrounds, find common ground when they have to clear their good names from accusations of staging spooky practical jokes at Coolsville High, which leads to their suspensions and even expulsions.


On the bus going to Coolsville High, goofy, alienated teenager Shaggy encounters Fred after his bullying friend trips him down the aisle. He is then introduced to Velma and finally Daphne. The bus arrives at school, without any further interaction between the four. Shaggy later has a talk with Principal Deedle about his lack of friends, and Deedle gives Shaggy a book on stamp collecting called philately (which the principal is obsessed with).

Meanwhile, after not being adopted at a pet adoption fair, the Great Dane Scoobert Doo accidentally falls out of a truck and wanders into a graveyard. Two ghosts scare him away and he bursts into Shaggy's bedroom window. Shaggy nicknames the dog "Scooby" and says he can stay at his house. Scooby agrees.

The next day, Shaggy tries to sneak the (clothed) Scooby onto the bus with him. Their cover is blown, however, when Scooby bites the ankle of the bully who constantly trips Shaggy. A fight breaks out on the bus, and as a result of the distraction, the driver crashes the bus into a flagpole, which falls on Vice Principal Grimes' car, smashing its windshield. Because of the fight on the bus and the damage to the car, Shaggy, Velma, Daphne and Fred are all sentenced to detention, while Scooby remains tethered outside.

While an argument breaks out among them during detention, the lights begin to surge and flash, books begin to fly off the shelves, and computer screens explode. Two ghosts come and scare the kids into the pep rally where a third ghost appears telling everyone to leave. After the trio of ghosts disappears, Vice Principal Grimes accuses the gang of pulling a prank, and suspends them.

The gang then follows Scooby to the graveyard, where he saw the ghosts, to clear their names. At the graveyard, two suspicious graves (Prudence Prufrock and Ezekial Gallows) are found and Velma makes a rubbing of them.

The next day, the kids meet up in Shaggy's basement. Velma tells them about how the two graves were the founding faculty of the old school, which was wiped out in the Coolsville flood just before 1900. They decide to go search for clues at the school that night.

Once they arrive, Velma finds a sticky fluid beneath where the third ghost appeared. The ghosts of Ezekial and Prudence then posses two football mannequins and attack the group, who split up and are chased by the ghosts. Fred discovers another clue, the gymnastics harness, which would allow the specter to 'fly'. During the chase, Shaggy and Scooby are locked in the school's freezer, but the rest of the gang escapes.

The next day, Velma, Freddy, and Daphne return when they realize Scooby and Shaggy are gone. Grimes discovers the two in the freezer, along with a lot of damage caused to the school by the ghosts. Grimes is infuriated and expels the gang and threatens to press trespassing charges. Although the gang is expelled, Velma reveals the liquid they found can be used to make a smokescreen like the third ghost had used. Shaggy would later tell them about two possible suspects, Otis and the librarian.

The gang comes back later in the school day wearing disguises to spy on the suspects. While on school property, they notice Grimes coming, causing Daphne to kiss Fred on the lips to create a distraction, and Velma, Shaggy and Scooby to hide. Luckily they get away. Fred and Daphne find out that Otis just wants to be a dance star, while Velma not only finds out that the librarian got a transfer, but that Vice Principal Grimes checked out a book on raising the dead. The gang decides to go to Grimes' house, but they do not have a car or licenses to drive all the way to Coolsville Mountain where he lives. They take Daphne's gardener's old van, after Shaggy reveals he was held back and has his license (albeit he proves to be a still poor driver).

Searching at night at Grimes' house, they find information about a time capsule in the book on raising the dead. The ghosts further attack, and the teens are knocked out by the Specter. They awake back at the school, where the Specter has blown a hole in the floor of the gym that leads directly into the old school (which was buried in the flood).

The Specter, keeping Scooby and Grimes as prisoners, forces the gang to search underground for the time capsule. The gang goes down into the old school, but trick the Specter into coming down to carry the capsule out of the hole. Unfortunately, their plan backfires when they try to lock him up in a flooded room. The Specter steals back the capsule, but unleashes Ezekial and Prudence on them.

As he looks for a spell to get rid of the ghosts, Shaggy accidentally releases more ghosts onto the town. Meanwhile, Scooby breaks free of his bonds.

Shaggy eventually manages to banish the ghosts (who were not in control of their actions), and Scooby arrives just in time to tie up the Specter. But when the gang unmasks the Specter, he turns out to be... Principal Deedle. He had wanted a rare misprinted stamp buried in the time capsule. After the exposed Deedle is dismissed and arrested for his actions, the gang is publicly congratulated by Grimes, who has re-enrolled them into Coolsville High. Grimes also apologizes to the gang for accusing them. Just as the gang begins digging to bury the Coolsville Academy time capsule, Shaggy accidentally throws his shovel onto Grimes’ car, once again smashing its windshield. Instead of giving him another detention, Grimes forgives Shaggy.

With the mystery over, there is nothing to bind the friends together anymore and they start to go their separate ways. Just then, Velma comes back and informs them of some "strange goings-on at the museum." They now set off to solve another mystery along with Scooby-Doo!


Main characters:

Supporting characters:


Other characters:





Suspect Motive/reason
Otis He hates his job and would rather be a dancer than a janitor.
Librarian Her budget was slashed.
Vice Principal Grimes He was thought to have checked out a book on raising the dead.


Culprit Motive/reason
Principal Deedle as the Specter He wanted to find a rare stamp misprint buried underneath Coolsville High.


Frank Welker (voice) Scooby-Doo
Nick Palatas Shaggy Rogers
Kate Melton Daphne Blake
Robbie Amell Fred Jones
Hayley Kiyoko Velma Dinkley
Shawn Macdonald Principal Deedle
Daniel Riordan (voice) Specter
Garry Chalk Vice Principal Grimes
Leah James Prudence Prufrock
Brian Sutton
Al Rodrigo (voice)
Ezekial Gallows
Dee Jay Jackson Bus driver
C. Ernst Harth Otis
Lorena Gale Librarian
Devon Thomas Beefy jock
Dave Hurtubise Mr. Pupperman
Kurt Evans Dad
Cassandra Sawtell Little girl
Benita Ha Mom
Kira Clavell Reporter
Christopher Attadia Teen male in car
Jordana Largy Teen female in car
Tony Der, Jr. Son
Kristina Barr Panicked stroller woman
Mark Gash Panicked stroller man
Wendy Morrow Donaldson Microwave lady


Song Credits Performed by
"Football Funky" Credits Edmund (Ed) Hartman
"Fiesta" Credits Mariachi la Estrella
"What's New, Scooby-Doo?"
"You and I"
"American Jig" Credits David Buttolph


Filming locations

Production took place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada from August 4, 2008. Cartoon Network's content advisor Rob Sorcher had said, “This contemporary take on Scooby-Doo will be an exciting movie event on Cartoon Network. This project is also an anchor component of our new push into movies, our great partnership with Warner Premiere and the overall expectation of Cartoon Network programming efforts.”[1]

Templeton Secondary School stood in for Coolsville High School. Templeton Secondary School was also the high school where Clark Kent attended for the first four seasons in the television series, Smallville.


  • On Shaggy's driver's license, his zip code is stated as being 43317 which, in real life, is the zip code for Chesterville, Ohio.
  • The trailer for The Mystery Begins was first seen on the DVD of Scooby-Doo! and the Samurai Sword.
  • Its release on September 13, 2009, marked the 40th anniversary of the premiere date of the original TV series, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!
    • As stated on the side of the school buses, Coolsville High is in district #1969.
  • When she first sees the broken down van at Daphne's house, Velma exclaims: "It's a mystery this machine is still running." This is a reference to the eventual name of the van as the Mystery Machine.
  • The What's New, Scooby-Doo? theme song played at the end was originally performed by Simple Plan. It was re-recorded by Anarbor especially for the film.
  • This is the first time Scooby is being shown tickled on a live-action film.
  • The role of Otis is played by C. Ernst Harth; C. Ernst Harth also portrayed Miner 49er in Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.
  • David Newman had previously scored the theatrical films.
  • This is the first live-action film to have Frank Welker voice Scooby-Doo. Neil Fanning voiced Scooby in the first two films.
  • When Scooby and Shaggy first meet, they toss Shaggy's blanket onto each other thinking they're in the presence of a ghost. They did the same thing in the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! episode Spooky Space Kook.
  • When Grimes asks the kids who's working the ghosts, he mentions Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolfman, the three monsters that Big Bob Oakley dressed up like in the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! episode A Gaggle of Galloping Ghosts.
  • Fred is interpreted as having black hair instead of his normal blond. This could be a reference to the deleted scene from Scooby-Doo: The Movie in which Fred reveals he dyes his hair.
  • Other known titles are Scooby-Doo 3 and Scooby-Doo: In the Beginning.[2]
  • Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins discards the continuity established in A Pup Named Scooby-Doo (with Scooby and his friends already knowing each other when they were little) for its own origin story; the film establishes the group being formed in their teens.
  • Before the closing credits, a montage including several scenes from the opening themes of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, The Scooby-Doo Show and What's New, Scooby-Doo? are depicted by the live-action characters. These include:
    • Numerous bats flying out of a house, like in the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! theme.
    • Scooby being scared by two giant eyeballs in the The Scooby-Doo Show theme.
    • A close-up of the skull Scooby and Shaggy encountered in the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! episode Hassle in the Castle.
    • Freddy falling backwards into a book case like in the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! episode Never Ape an Ape Man.
    • Daphne almost being grabbed a hand like in the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! episode, Hassle in the Castle.
    • The Mystery Machine driving down the road in the What's New, Scooby-Doo? theme.
    • Scooby jumping into Shaggy's arms in the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! theme.
    • Captain Cutler's Ghost from the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! episode A Clue for Scooby Doo.
    • The three colored rows with the running silhouettes of Scooby and the gang in the What's New, Scooby-Doo? theme.
    • The team looking at Velma's computer in the What's New, Scooby-Doo? theme.
    • A close-up of Scooby in the What's New, Scooby-Doo? theme.
  • This movie was included in Cartoon Network's Scooby-Doo! Back to School Marathon (August 10–11, 2013).


Cultural references

  • Shaggy reads a comic with DC Comics' Riddler and Penguin in it, while waiting to see Velma's makeover. Shaggy also owns a copy of DC Super Friends #6, seen by Velma's laptop when it shows the location of Grimes's home on top of Coolsville Mountain.
  • The pre-Mystery Machine has a Huckleberry Hound bobblehead on top of the dashboard.
  • The movie theater is showing the original House of Wax horror film.
  • The scene where Velma drops her glasses in the cave, below the school, followed by Shaggy stepping on and breaking them is similar to what happens in the 1985 movie The Goonies (starring Jeff Cohen).

Animation (CGI) mistakes and/or technical glitches

  • None known.

Inconsistencies/continuity errors and/or goofs/oddities

  • Despite only being referred to as the "Specter", the credits list him as "Dark Specter".
  • In the scene when the Gang is getting suspended, Nick Palatas (Shaggy)'s microphone is visible in his back pocket.
  • Shaggy doesn't get rope burn.

Home media


Principal Deedle: Locker problems again, Mr. Rogers?
Shaggy: Huh. Yeah, I uh- I seem to get the squirrelly one every year. Heh.

Daphne: Now introducing the new and improved Velma Dinkley.
Fred: Jinkies.
Scooby: Rubba, rubba.
Shaggy: You can say that again, Scoob.
Scooby: Rubba, rubba.

Prudence Prufrock: First, a grammar lesson! You never start a sentence with the word, "Like!"
Shaggy: (gulps) Like, sorry!

(The car alarm goes off after Shaggy's shovel smashes into the windshield)
Shaggy: Zoinks! (Turns towards Grimes) Like, sorry.
(Grimes calmly raises his hand)
Vice Principal Grimes: Accidents happen.





  1. This name is not given until the next film.


  1. Staff (August 2, 2008). "Live-Action Scooby-Doo Prequel in the Works". Major Spoilers. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
  2. Andreeva, Nellie (August 3, 2008)."New gang lined up for Scooby-Doo TV movie". Reuters. Retrieved June 1, 2020.

External links

  • Buy from Amazon Video (US)