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The Scooby-Doo Project is a Halloween special that aired during Cartoon Network's Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! marathon on October 31, 1999. It was broadcast in small segments during commercial breaks and, at the end of the marathon, aired in full, with an extended ending.

Unlike most Scooby-Doo projects, the setting and most characters in this special are live-action, while Mystery Inc. remains animated.

Premise

Found footage reveals the events surrounding the disappearance of Mystery Inc. in the woods.

Synopsis

Standing outside the Mystery Machine, Velma introduces each member of Mystery Inc. and explains that she is documenting one of their mysteries. Shaggy is introduced as Norville (his birth name), which leads Daphne, Fred and Scooby to tease him, to which he firmly reminds them that he goes by Shaggy.

The footage cuts to the gang's interviews with locals of Casper County, each describing the monster reported to be haunting the woods. None seem to match up, with one saying it's the ghost of a Civil War soldier, another saying it's a giant radioactive cat, and so on. Reviewing the information, Velma points out how all the stories are different and thus don't add up. Scooby mentions that he doesn't like giant cats, leading Daphne to squabble with him over his speech pattern, as she interprets his statement as being about rats. The final interview presented is with an elderly woman who warns them not to go near the woods. Back in the van, Shaggy criticizes the woman's dental hygiene, much to Daphne's shock.

Arriving at the Casper County Woods, Shaggy tells Velma that the woods look more "realistic" and different from their regular woods (a tongue-in-cheek reference to the live-action elements of the special), making him uneasy. Scooby echoes this sentiment, although Fred calms them down, insisting they'll have fun and that it's his turn to unmask the villain. Entering the woods, the gang bids farewell to the Mystery Machine, with Shaggy pointing out that they always solve mysteries at night. When they arrive at the cemetery inside of the woods, the place where the County's curse began, Shaggy is horrified to learn that they'll be sleeping nearby. Velma proceeds to explain the curse ("One spooky night, in 1773, some local people from the town are... sent... ghost..."), but is drowned out by Shaggy and Scooby.

Cutting to the next day, it's revealed that the gang has had an offscreen encounter with the monster in the woods. Velma remarks they've been walking forever to find whoever, or whatever, was trying to scare them. Daphne voices her belief that it's a farmer, possibly even the one they'd interviewed earlier. She then accuses Velma of irritating him with her camera, to which Velma defends herself, saying she just wanted to make a visual record of their adventure. Daphne points out that all they've done is gotten lost, lived off of the land, and used Scooby for a blanket. Shaggy claims he doesn't want to sleep outside again, as sleeping against a gravestone hurt his back, to which Scooby agrees.

An irritated Velma asks Fred if he has any ideas, to which he suggests she turn off the camera so they can put up a tent. The footage cuts to later that night, as Velma struggles to put up the tent while filming, not wanting to miss anything. Fred remarks that it'd be easier to do it without filming, and the rest of the gang loudly tell her to turn it off. Once the gang has crammed themselves into the single tent, tensions begin to rise. Fred and Daphne pull out sleeping bags, to which Shaggy replies he only has a rock for a pillow. Daphne asks who left snack crumbs in her sleeping bag and accuses Scooby, who in turn accuses Shaggy. Shaggy points the finger at Fred, who is implied to be the culprit, as he then blames Daphne herself, who asks why she would complain if she herself was the culprit. Shaggy accidentally hits Velma with his feet, to which she replies to watch it, and Daphne tells him to take off his shoes, quickly changing her mind once she smells his feet.

The footage cuts to Shaggy telling Scooby about all of the food he would take on a trip to the moon, though Scooby falls asleep. It then cuts to Velma telling a ghost story, though Shaggy interrupts and tells her they were all there, as she's retelling one of their old cases. She then sheepishly turns off her flashlight.

Scrappy Doo Scooby Doo Project

Scrappy-Doo cameo.

Velma wakes up in the middle of the night to find the tent wide open and goes outside to investigate. She's horrified to find their backpacks have been broken into and all of their food is missing... Until she finds Scooby eating it nearby. She scolds him, to which he replies with his catchphrase, “Scooby-Dooby-Doo“. Velma wakes up again later to a sound outside the tent which also wakes Daphne. She shouts for Fred, who wakes up from a dream about her. Velma asks if it's Scooby again, only to hear Scrappy-Doo yell "Puppy power!" as a response. This sends the entire gang scrambling out of the tent, and into the woods.

After catching their breath, Daphne reprimands Scooby after her stockings get torn, as she doesn't have another pair. Fred tells them he hears it again, and Scrappy begins asking for his "Uncle Scooby". Fred has the gang turn their flashlights off and Velma questions what Scrappy is doing there. Shaggy asks if Scooby invited him, which Scooby denies. Velma remarks that he's probably there to solve the mystery for them, as he loves doing that, only to be shushed by Fred. They turn the flashlights back on after hearing footsteps, only to find themselves face-to-face with Scrappy. They scream, and the footage cuts again.

Back in their tent, the gang hears more noises and Fred suggests splitting up to search. Shaggy vehemently refuses and Daphne begs anyone to go outside for a Scooby Snacks. As the monster begins shaking the tent, Fred asks Shaggy and Scooby to dress up like surgeons and tie the monster to an operating table, though Shaggy says he can't because they're in the woods.

Once convinced to look for the monster, Shaggy and Scooby head to the cemetery where they discuss Hawaiian Pizza. Scooby grips onto Shaggy's leg after hearing the monster, and upon letting go, they actually see the monster run across the headstones. The gang desperately and frantically call for Scooby, though he's discovered only a short distance behind them.

The next morning, Velma finds weird piles of Scooby Snacks outside of the tent, and Shaggy claims even he wouldn't touch them as they must be haunted. It's heavily implied however, that Scooby is the one who piled them up just to scare Shaggy, after receiving access to the snacks.

Scooby Doo Project Map

Velma's map.

Velma tries to interpret the map, but Daphne calls her out for failing to do so for the past two hours. Fred claims their destination should be nearby and Daphne complains about her feet hurting, to which Velma calls her out for wearing heels in the forest. Daphne snaps back that at least she tries to look feminine, which stuns Velma into silence. Once again trying to interpret the map later, Velma has it taken away by Fred, while Shaggy and Scooby exclaim that they want to go home. Shaggy calls out Velma for following a map that was a simple dotted line.

Fred gets excited when he discovers a trail of footprints in the cemetery, exclaiming the monster must have ten legs, though Velma anguishes over the fact that they're the gang's footprints, making Shaggy and Scooby freak out at the fact that they've gone around in a large circle. Fred and Velma begin arguing over who had the map, with both saying the other had it last, but Shaggy and Scooby reveal they ate the map with Tabasco sauce due to it being useless to them. Trying to retrace their steps by studying their footprints, Fred tells everyone to remain calm. Velma points out she's calmer than him, and it's revealed Fred is in the middle of a mental breakdown.

The footage cuts to night, where Fred reveals they've been trapped in the forest for a week, and haven't unmasked a villain. He further expresses concern over how this case isn’t like every other night they’ve found a mystery and usually wrapped it up in twenty to twenty two minutes. Later, Shaggy and Velma get into an argument over their catchphrases as she asks him what "Zoinks" even means, to which he replies "I'm sorry, what do you want me to say? ‘Jinkies’?".

In the next segment, Fred denies Velma’s suggestion that he’s scared, replying that there's got to be a perfectly logical explanation for all that's occurred. They soon find more piles of Scooby Snacks and, despite Daphne insisting against it, Shaggy and Scooby taste them. Shaggy screams in terror, only for it to be revealed that it’s due to the Scooby Snacks being stale.

A while later, Velma loses her glasses, to which Fred loses his patience, yelling at her to get a glasses strap. When she requests assistance in finding her glasses, Fred goes on a rant about her wanting them to find her glasses instead of finding them herself, while pointing the camera at her glasses. Shaggy comes to Velma's defense, stating she's blind as a bat, to which Fred fires back that it’s night, meaning visibility is reduced for all of them. By this point it's revealed that Velma's wandered off and Daphne's gone to look for her.

Daphne breaks down in front of Velma, telling her they have no food, no clean clothes and she hasn't painted her nails in two days. Velma shushes her a they hear the monster shrieking in the forest. After another encounter with Scrappy, Velma chases after Daphne, who has gone running blindly into the forest. Even when Velma explains to Daphne that it's just Scrappy however, Daphne doesn’t stop and implies he's the reason she's running. Daphne and Fred both begin to unravel once Daphne rips both her dress and her other stocking, as well as breaking a nail, while Fred discovers he’s lost his favorite ascot.

The gang tracks the monster's noises to a haunted-looking house in the middle of the forest, and go inside to ask for help. Finding a radio, Velma decides to see if they're on the news and switches it on, only for "Seven Days a Week" to start playing. Shaggy exclaims in horror that they always get chased when music is playing, at which point the zombie appears and chases them upstairs. Reaching a hallway, Velma says she hates the part with the doors and stands to the side, filming as the monster chases the others back and forth, from door to door. The monster then pops up directly in front of Velma, chasing her down into the basement, where Shaggy is standing in a corner, facing the wall out of fright. Suddenly, the monster charges at Velma and the screen cuts to black.

Extended ending

The gang has trapped the monster, who is tied to a chair. Fred unmasks him, revealing a random, live-action man. He calls them intrusive kids, which Shaggy points out should be “meddling”. Velma questions the man’s motive, to which he replies that it's Halloween. Fred asks why, if that was the case, he had scared them the previous night in the cemetery, to which the man responds that he did not do so. Daphne wonders who it was that scared them then, and the real monster appears, screaming at them through an open window. They drop the camera and run, leaving the man tied to the chair. A struggle and running is heard as the camera cuts out.

It is revealed that the Mystery Machine was eventually discovered abandoned and search parties found hundreds of Scooby Snacks over several days, as well as the camera, though there was no sign of the gang themselves. A “Missing Persons” poster appears showing the entirety of Mystery Inc., suggesting that they disappeared following the monster’s attack.

Characters

Main characters:

Supporting characters:

  • None

Villains:

  • Casper County Monster (single appearance)(disguise of unnamed man)
  • Unnamed man (single appearance)(redeemed)
  • Casper County Monster (single appearance)

Other characters:

  • Man in backwards hat (single appearance)
  • Long-haired man (single appearance)
  • Man with goatee (single appearance)
  • White-haired man (single appearance)
  • Woman at mailbox (single appearance)
  • Old woman (single appearance)
  • Casper County Sheriff (single appearance)
  • Casper County Deputy (single appearance)
  • Scrappy-Doo (cameo)

Locations

  • One of the gang's home
  • Casper County
    • Woods
    • Residential areas
    • Cemetery
    • Abandoned house

Objects

Vehicles

Suspects

Suspect Motive/reason
Farmer Daphne believes he’s annoyed they’re on his land.

Culprits

Culprit Motive/reason
Unnamed man It’s Halloween.

Cast

Scott Innes Scooby-Doo
Shaggy Rogers
Frank Welker Fred Jones
Mary Kay Bergman Daphne Blake
B.J. Ward Velma Dinkley

Notes/trivia

  • Several promos for this special aired leading up to the marathon, some featuring additional content which didn’t make it into the special itself.
    • One reuses a clip of Daphne running through the woods from, what is revealed to be, Scrappy-Doo.
    • Another features the gang coming across an abandoned drive-in in the woods. Shaggy and Scooby immediately look for a snack bar and begin eating the abandoned candy, which Velma exclaims is likely thirty years old.
    • Several others featured the Casper County Sheriff holding a press conference and detailing the discovery of the Mystery Machine and twenty four hours worth of taped ‘’Scooby-Doo’’ material.
  • During the halftime segment of Cartoon Network’s ‘’Road Runner vs. Coyote: The Big Game XXVIII’’’, Fred reveals to Moltar that this case was a parody which was not enjoyed by most critics.
  • This special has never been run following its original release, nor has it received an official release on home video.

Cultural references

  • The special is a parody of the then recent "found footage" horror film, The Blair Witch Project, while also poking fun at the Scooby-Doo franchise in the process.
  • Casper County is named after the co-writer and co-director Casper Kelly.

Quotes


References

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