Scooby-Doo returns in the new animated film SCOOB, and based on the first-look images, Fred has gotten a makeover. The animated film marks the famed Hanna-Barbera gang’s first return to the big screen since 2004’s live-action Scooby-Doo sequel, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.
Kicking off in 1969, the concept behind CBS’s Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! animated series was a simple one: four teenagers travel around in a van with their snack-loving dog, solving supernatural mysteries as they go. In addition to human characters Fred, Shaggy, Daphne and Velma, there is also Scooby-Doo, a bumbling, yet clever-in-his-own-way Great Dane who has much in common with the constantly frightened (and hungry) Shaggy. The animated series was an immediate hit and went on to spawn numerous spin-offs, straight to video releases, and two live-action theatrical adaptations in the early 2000s. Yet despite its lengthy history and continuous pop culture success, the Scooby-Doo franchise hasn’t had a widely-released feature-length animated film. That’s about to change with the upcoming SCOOB, which is set to arrive in May 2020.
To date, information on the new Scooby-Doo film has been pretty limited. Perhaps one of the biggest reveals, however, is that SCOOB is an origin story, detailing the truth behind how the gang got together and created Mystery Incorporated. Aside from that, fans haven’t had the chance to catch a glimpse at the animation style. So far, not even a teaser trailer has reared its head (though one is set to drop on Monday, November 11). Now, thanks to Fandango, fans have their very first look at the SCOOB team. Everyone here looks pretty much exactly as fans will remember them, with the exception of Fred Jones, who could be mistaken for a completely different character. You can check out all the images below:
It’s not that Fred looks terrible by any means, but exactly why the decision was made to alter his appearance so substantially is a mystery. The character is dressed the same as his more familiar past counterpart (though he’s traded in the traditional ascot for a more modern sweater), but his face is the biggest change. Whereas the Fred of the past had fuller facial features with a square jaw, this iteration appears to be much rounder and fleshier. It’s possible that the Fred in these images could be a younger version of the character, but at the moment there’s no way to confirm that theory. Aside from the big changes to Fred, there is also an image of a very young Shaggy and Scooby together, highlighting the fact that SCOOB’s origin story will travel quite far back into the lives of the Mystery Incorporated gang.
Some fans might be put off by the changes to Fred, but given the fact that this is the first feature-length animated film of its kind in the franchise’s history, everything appears to be very true to the original look of the characters. Yes, Fred’s appearance is different, but perhaps because the animation style has a softer, more rounded feel to it, a traditional looking Fred simply wouldn’t have fit into the 3D animation. At any rate, these initial images appear to promise something interesting indeed, suggesting that SCOOB may have a few more unexpected changes up its sleeve.