Scooby-Doo lets girls down

Scooby-Doo, what the heck’s the matter with you?

For crying out loud, there should be no problem with kids watching a video of a mystery-solving dog and his crew. Oh, the Scooby-Doo jokes can be corny, but the long-running feature has been tame otherwise.

After all, Scooby-Doo and Mystery Inc. had its start in the late 1960s, when parent groups demanded the violent cartoons of the day be replaced by safer fare. So, all along, from its incarnation as a cartoon through full-length movies with actors and now direct-to video animated films, Scooby-Doo’s been pretty innocuous.

Until now.

In Scooby-Doo’s latest direct-to-video feature, “Franken Creepy” — oh, it’s creepy all right — the Great Dane and pals do a take on Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.” Moving into an inherited castle, the team falls under a curse and an ominous figure in the mirror explains, “Each of you will lose what you hold most dear.” For the always snacking Scooby-Doo and sidekick Shaggy, that means a loss ofappetite. Fred’s beloved van is blown up.

For Mystery Inc.’s stylish Daphne Blake? Oh, it’s bad. Not only does her long red hair frizz, Daphne goes from a size 2 to a size 8!!

Scooby-Doo, I am so disappointed in you.

Oh, I know many would say it’s just a cartoon. And it’s not like Daphne has been some uplifting female role model to date. (She’s a bit superficial and self-absorbed, but then so is the feature’s pretty boy, Fred. No gender bias on vapid personalities here.)

But it’s because it is a cartoon that this is troubling.

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