The Scooby-Doo Project

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The Scooby-Doo Project

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While devoted fans of the genre and casual moviegoers are tired of overplayed “found footage” horror films, there was a time where these films ruled the box office. Before Paranormal Activity beat the subgenre to death, The Blair Witch Project crept into theaters and shocked audiences everywhere. Despite the film’s meager budget, its unique cinematography and hyper-realistic advertising campaign brought it to the forefront of the late 90’s pop culture stream. Now 20 years on this film has spawned several sequels, a video game and, oddly enough, a Scooby-Doo spinoff special.

Airing a single time during a 24-hour marathon of every single episode of the original Scooby-Doo cartoon, The Scooby-Doo Project is a near shot-for-shot remake of the original Blair Witch film. Yeah, you read that right. One of the best cartoons in the world had a parody of an R-rated film. Not just an animated parody, a special that spliced animation cells into real footage. The result was a strangely spooky episode that struck fear in the hearts of kids hoping to enjoy a day of classic cartoons. There is a reason it only ever aired the one time.

That exclusivity almost relegated this strange special to an urban legend, but various YouTubers have preserved this oddity through uploaded VHS recordings. The quality of these uploads is not perfect, but I still recommend giving this special a watch. Overall it is not even remotely scary, but the novelty of the idea combined with the self-aware humor both make it a worthwhile watch. The special manages to maintain a lot of the original movie’s scenes, but still adds classic Scooby bits that left me chuckling. Do not enter expecting a seriously terrifying experience. If you lean into the cheesiness of the episode, you will not be disappointed.

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