Life is Looking a Little Two-Dimensional
When it comes to Supernatural, fans expect the series to push boundaries and deliver episodes that are mind-bending. In fact, some of the best episodes are when Sam and Dean Winchester go outside their comfort zone. The show has done this once again, crossing over with the beloved cartoon Scooby-Doo. Sam and Dean step outside the box in “The French Mistake” and “Changing Channels.” However, this new episode features the brothers in full animated glory. How did the two worlds collide? Why is there a talking dog? Ruh-roh!
Supernatural’s “Scoobynatural” Joyride
From the opening scene, I knew we’d be in for an interesting and hysterical episode. I am disappointed the show’s premise doesn’t have to do with a certain higher power. I’m sure many fans are. The writing overall does blend the two worlds well. This Supernatural tale is centered on one of the episodes of Scooby-Doo. Ripped from the screen, it involves a one-night stay at a haunted mansion for an inheritance.
This doesn’t feel forced and feels on par with a classic episode of the animated series mixed with ingredients from the paranormal series. Without spoiling anything, it was a bit of a stretch to transport Sam and Dean to the animated world. Once they get there though, the rest of the episode is a great joyride. The Winchesters are at the top of their game now after 13 years of hunting monsters. It was a clever writing decision to have the boys act as Mr. Miyagi figures to the Scooby Gang. At the core, both shows deal with monster mysteries. They are, however, vastly different and target separate age groups.
Fear not, though, because the writing team understands this is a cartoon and there are things you cannot do in an animated show. For example, curse words aren’t used at first. The writers occasionally face limits in the animated world. For instance, don’t say the C-word—”cartoon”—in this world. Furthermore, writers Jeremy Adams and James Krieg did not pull punches, as this is also Supernatural. Characters die, blood is shed and a few curse words are eventually dropped along the way. In fact, it may be a bit jarring for fans of the Scooby universe to see the gang wielding shotguns. It’s wonderful to see the Scooby Gang come to realize everything they think about monsters may not be all true. As an aside, hearing the classic Scooby-Doo theme in the middle of the episode is awesome.
“Is That the Mystery Machine?”
“I’m a cartoon!” “You’re a cartoon!” When Sam and Dean enter the Scooby universe, a huge grin crept on my face. Seeing Dean’s Impala “Baby” animated is going to be a memorable moment long after the series sadly ends. While Dean relishes his time with the Scooby Gang, Sam understandably wants to get out of the mess. My biggest concern with the idea of merging the two worlds when I heard about this concept is how the creative team are going to make the two shows work.
Both Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki know their Supernatural characters as if they are them at this point, so seeing them lend their voices to their animated counterparts did not feel out of place. Where this episode shines is the interactions between Sam, Dean, and the Scooby Gang. From a street race between the Mystery Machine and the Impala to Velma swooning for Sam, there are so many hilarious scenes in this episode. Ackles acts his character as he surely would, like the aforementioned kid in a candy store. Padalecki is more reserved with Sam in this episode. He just wants to get out of here, but his brother would rather stay and pal around with his new friends.
“You’re Not a Talking Dog”
Some of the best moments include Dean’s mouth stretching wide when he is eating skyscraper-high sandwiches with Scooby and Shaggy, and his being after Daphne despite her relationship with Fred. Each member of the Scooby Gang feels authentic to this new crossover. Frank Welker returns and Scooby and Shaggy are still the lovable scaredy-cats in this episode. Fred, ever the macho man, takes charge and tries to concoct a plan to foil the villain. While the voice actors for Daphne and Velma are different than the original, you can’t really tell. Velma and the gang learning monsters are real and not just powerful men in masks causes them to freak out, understandably, because they are in over their heads in this situation.
“I Would Have Gotten Away With It Too”
Overall, this episode shows the writers behind Supernatural are still cranking out fresh ideas 13 seasons into the series. In a season that feels like it’s stretching itself too thin with little build-up and a ho-hum plot, it’s a refreshing breath of air to see an episode near the end of the season’s run that still delivers. This episode pays great homage to the animated series we all grew up with in some capacity, and the resolution shows both worlds have more in common than we might think at surface level. Seeing the Winchester boys take the episode’s antagonist down in Scooby fashion is a great nod to Hanna-Barbera’s iconic cartoon. Generations of Scooby fans can sit down and watch this episode and get nostalgia pangs seeing their favorite childhood heroes team up with the Winchesters.
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