Jinkies! Sam, Dean, and Castiel find themselves teaming up with the Scooby-Doo gang in this week’s animated episode of Supernatural!
This week Supernatural literally gets animated in the long anticipated crossover with Scooby-Doo. After fighting, setting on fire, and ultimately causing a giant plush, cursed dinosaur to explode, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) accept a TV as a form of payment for helping out the store’s owner. Naturally, Dean sets it up in what he proudly calls the Dean Cave (or Fortress of Deanitude) in the Bunker. But since this is Supernatural, not everything goes according to plan.
When Dean turns on the TV, the brothers get sucked into it and find themselves trapped in an episode of Scooby-Doo. From there, the brothers team up with the Scooby gang to solve a real haunting and preserve the fictional gang’s innocence. While the brothers are trapped in the episode of Scooby-Doo, Castiel (Misha Collins) returns from Syria with fruit from the Tree of Life (and possibly newly married to a djinn) and also finds himself trapped in the episode with the Winchesters.
Historically, Supernatural has been known to have a lot of fun with its premise by injecting dark humor, over-the-top concepts, and getting really creative with its storytelling. A porn loving, alcoholic, suicidal Teddy bear, getting trapped in TV shows, cartoon physics in the real world, and a rabbit’s foot that gives exceptionally bad luck are only a handful of examples of the types of out of the box concepts the show has included over the years. “Scoobynatural” is the latest example and takes place almost entirely in the animated world of Scooby-Doo.
A crossover with Scooby-Doo may not be the most logical crossover for Supernatural to do on the surface, but in practice, it makes a lot of sense and works quite well. The episode carefully blends Supernatural’s dark humor and subject matter with Scooby-Doo’s light-hearted innocence. “Scoobynatural” is goofy, surprisingly graphic at times, and full of cartoon fun. The entire episode is a giant love letter to Scooby-Doo and the Supernatural characters.
Zoinks! Where do we even begin to discuss “Scoobynatural?” Dean’s cartoon-sized mouth when eating an impossibly large sandwich? Castiel being uncomfortable with being paired with the “scruffy philistine” and “talking dog?” Velma falling for Sam’s large shoulders? Let’s meet our roundtable guests and get into “Scoobynatural!”
Cat Bow (@Pathryn34) – Wife and mother who tries to be loving and kind, but traffic…
Lena (@lenastiel) – Hopeful optimist and lover of peanut butter who is passionate about Supernatural and its amazing cast members.
Ashly (@Proud_Mother85) – My kids are my priority, Supernatural and cast fanatic, music and animal lover
Lindsay (@lindieface) – Beleaguered grad student, unrepentant fangirl, whiskey aficionado
Tricia (@tricia_16_) – Wayward wife and mother of two who found my people, my passion, and myself through Supernatural and its fandom
1. Jeepers! This episode was loaded with references to Scooby-Doo. What was your favorite Scooby-Doo reference or moment? If you aren’t familiar with Scooby-Doo, what was your favorite moment?
Cat Bow (@Pathryn34): I loved the chase scene through the doors. I love the different pairings and especially the appearance of Scrappy-Doo! I also loved when Dean ate the huge sandwich. Especially since the writers did that as an intentional ode to “Changing Channels.” And then there was the ending, with the classic meddling kids line. However, Dean saying the Scooby’s classic ending with the closing circle and everything was my absolute favorite.
Lena (@lenastiel): Okay, let me just say I am SO HAPPY with these old-school references to Scooby-Doo. It feels so nostalgic watching the episode as Scooby-Doo used to be a staple in my childhood, and now, it has merged with my favorite show and characters! I love the chase sequence, complete with the Scooby-Doo musical theme. I couldn’t stop laughing watching that scene and it was like, this is simply one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen! Oh yeah, I also saw little Scrappy-Doo making a cameo there. Just…perfection. I also love the way the Supernatural cast (shout-out to Mr. Misha Collins, our worst offender) keep using Jeepers! Jinkies! Zoinks! Ruh-roh! It’s all so… surreal!
Ashly (@Proud_Mother85): My favorite Scooby reference was that they used the Scooby episode, A Night of Fright is No Delight. It is one of my favorite Scooby-Doo episodes. And I love how Dean knew what episode they were in just by the house! His love for Scooby-Doo showed very clearly and I loved that!
Lindsay (@lindieface): Oh man, there were so many excellent ones to choose from. But I think one of my favorite moments was Dean joining Shaggy and Scooby in a road snack. Dean finally has a big enough mouth for that sandwich, after so many years have passed since “Changing Channels.” His muffled aside while trying to eat was priceless.
Tricia (@tricia_16_): I have actually never watched an episode of Scooby-Doo, so for me, my favorite cartoon moment was when Dean got to eat that giant sandwich. “Sam! Sam! Look how big my mouth is!” had me laughing out loud because it was such a Dean thing to do!
2. Out of all of the pairings between the Supernatural characters and Scooby-Doo characters, which one was your favorite? Is there a pairing you would have liked to see more of?
Cat Bow: Sam and Velma, by far. This was a ship of mine before I knew that Supernatural was going to do Scooby-Doo. They are both so intelligent and the researchers of the group. And when Velma dipped Sam to kiss him at the end, I cheered. And her little dance, she represents all the fangirls if they got to kiss Sam.
Lena: I absolutely love and adore Castiel, Shaggy, and Scooby paired together. They’re so hilarious and epic. Here we have an Angel of the Lord being so adorably confused over a talking dog (Dean: THE talking dog) at the beginning and being all sort of reluctant having to team up with Shaggy and Scooby, but then they formed such a heartwarming friendship. Shaggy ended up saving Cas by pulling him away from the ghost, and Cas returned the favor by saving Shaggy and Scooby from a certain death by falling. “Thank you,” Cas said at the end, “You’ve shown me the great strength of laughter in the face of danger.” It was a really nice touch to have Cas discreetly heal Shaggy’s broken arm.
Ashly: I could totally ship Sam and Velma! They’re both intelligent and that was a smooth move at the end by Velma. I think if Sam, Dean and Cas has stayed longer, we’d find more things that Sam and Velma have in common. Like sometimes bribing Dean with food as Velma does Scooby with Scooby snacks. She also isn’t afraid to take on a bad guy now and then.
Lindsay: They were all great. Something about Cas, Shaggy, and Scooby together made me grin, though. The dynamic between them and Cas’s very put-upon line about working with a “scruffy philistine and a talking dog” cracked me up. That said, I loved Sam and Velma’s scenes, too! They make an excellent pair.
Tricia: I would have liked to see more of Castiel with Scooby-Doo. He went from thinking it was insulting to be paired with a dog and Shaggy to being all soft and caring with them. I’m definitely here for soft!Cas.
3. “Scoobynatural” injected a lot more violence and blood than the various Scooby-Doo cartoons. How do you think the mix of the usual darkness of Supernatural worked with the lighter tone of Scooby-Doo?
Cat Bow: I loved how they blended it. I loved how at first the Scooby gang was rather unaffected. Then, when they found out it was real, their break down. I loved Dean’s speech and how at they end, they restored the innocence to the Scooby gang.
Lena: Admittedly, I was shocked at first when they showed the graphic details of those dead bodies, but hey, what’s Supernatural without the horror? I think it’s a quite delicate balance but overall, it works because it retains the spirit of innocence present in Scooby-Doo mixed with the real-world horrors of the Supernatural universe.
Ashly: I think it was a perfect mixture, it is a mixture of two different shows after all and it wouldn’t be “Scoobynatural” without a little gore. You still had the Scooby-Doo vibe with Supernatural thrown in. I was just glad that I’m the end, Sam, Dean and Cas set things right with the Scooby gang, back where monsters and ghosts aren’t real, just bad guys in masks.
Lindsay: I thought it struck a great balance between the dark and light of the two shows. And it made for some very funny moments, like when the Scooby gang walked away from the dismembered body and Sam said something along the lines of “do they frequently just walk away from bodies?” Can’t remember the exact line, but we all laughed at it.
Tricia: Again, I’ve never seen Scooby-Doo, but I thought the blood/horror part of Supernatural seemed genuine in this episode – not too over-done and not too under-done. I actually watched half of the episode again this morning with my five and six year old and they weren’t at ease, but they weren’t scared. They did a great job.
4. When back in the real world, Dean began wearing an ascot. Do you think that’s a good look for him? Or should he stick to wearing one only when trapped in a cartoon?
Cat Bow: I thought he looked great! When does he not? He can definitely wear it upon occasion. However, it would be unsafe during fights. So he should only wear it sparingly.
Lena: That’s a good look on Dean! Hahahaha! How do I join the petition requesting Dean to wear that ascot as a part of his hunter getup now? I certainly would love another cartoon-episode for Supernatural. But seriously, I think I love seeing this innocent and playful side of Dean in this episode. It helps us to prepare for whatever pain and darkness coming next.
Ashly: I think if we would have to see him wearing it more to really make a for sure call but it’s not the worst thing he could wear. I think after getting used to it, it could be a good look for him.
Lindsay: I mean, let’s be honest. The man would look good in a flour sack, so I don’t think an ascot cramped his style too much. That said, even though he obviously was enjoying it, I think ascots are a look best kept in the past.
Tricia: I never thought I’d see the day where I said something didn’t look good on Dean, but no. I mean, he could pull it off better than most people probably could, but still a pass for me. I think he pulled off the nightgown better than the ascot. hahaha
5. It’s impossible to talk about an animated episode of Supernatural without talking about the animation! What do you think of the animation style of “Scoobynatural?” Did the animators do the characters justice?
Cat Bow: I loved the animation. Baby and Baby’s trunk were incredibly done. Sam b*tchface was captured really well. And Cas was amazingly done. However, I don’t think the animators were able to accurately capture Dean though. From the very basic, to the multiple expressions that typically cross his face, they did a good job. But they just didn’t quite get it right. But still, overall, I loved it.
Lena: So much kudos for the animators! They exceeded my highest expectation! Sam, Dean and Castiel were drawn so wonderfully and so in-character. I mean, you can clearly see Sam’s characteristic “bitch-face” when he’s simply done with his brother’s sh*t, and Dean’s very expressive expression aided with his lips, as well as Castiel whose trench coat and brows were animated so delightfully. They look so beautiful as cartoons and I still can’t believe my eyes. Yes, they did our Supernatural characters justice.
Ashly: I think the animation was spot on! The animators did each and every character justice quite well, I wouldn’t mind another animated Supernatural episode in the future. *hint hint*
Lindsay: On the whole, I think they did. I thought Sam was particularly fantastic. However, did anyone else notice that Dean wasn’t bow-legged? That threw me! I also wish they would’ve had Cas’s new/old coat and tie rather than the striped one. But overall, I liked the animation.
Tricia: I thought they did a great job! Sam, Dean, and Castiel looked like they belonged in the Scooby-Doo world, and I think that’s all you can really ask for. I think Sam looked the most like Sam, but near the end when Dean had a little sideways smile on his face I thought the animation people captured that PERFECTLY. It was still a very charming smile even on a cartoon!
6. Given the animated nature of the episode, cartoon physics and logic play a large role in “Scoobynatural.” How do you feel about the way the episode adapted the usual Supernatural lore to a cartoon? What about the behaviors of the characters?
Cat Bow: I thought they did a great job! I loved how the cold and flickering lights were done. The way Cas’ coat was able to be able to help save the day in a cartoon-y believable way. But, my favorite was then glowing salt ring and showing the ghost proof forcefield it creates.
Lena: I think they incorporated the Supernatural lore of trapping an actual ghost pretty nicely – without breaking the innocence of the Scooby-Doo characters, which I really like. I love the moment when Dean and Sam were flabbergasted to see the Scooby gang walking away cheerfully from an actual dead body, as well as the moments when the cartoon logic was pointed out humorously in a breaking-the-fourth-wall manner, i.e. Sam’s newspaper having no actual words on it, Dean being able to swallow that ridiculously-tall sandwich, the over-the-top maniacal laughter of the bad guy. Also, cartoon physics made Cas’s rescue of Scooby and Shaggy work. Awesome!
Ashly: At first I was a little confused by the plush dinosaur at the beginning but by the end of the episode I understood. We already know that anything can become a cursed object once a ghost takes hold of it, even if they’ve already possessed an object and that object is put in another object. The episode did good at adapting Supernatural’s lore. And the behavior of the characters was what you would expect, especially Dean living out a childhood fantasy and the Scooby crew learning that monsters are real.
Lindsay: I think they did a great job of making Supernatural feel like a cartoon, while maintaining the feeling of an Supernatural episode. Speaking of cartoon physics, I especially liked the bit when Sam got smacked and the handprint stayed on his face for a few beats. And Cas rescuing Scooby and Shaggy by jumping out the window was a BAMF move.
Tricia: My favorite part about this episode is that it still felt like I was watching Supernatural. Being able to see the breath in the air and feeling cold from the ghost was integrated into the story so well I had to ask my husband if those things were usually in the episode. I also thought the writers had the characters down perfectly – especially Sam and Cas.
7. What do you think of “Scoobynatural” overall? What worked? What didn’t work? Does it stand up among other classic episodes of the series?
Cat Bow: I loved it!!! I thought everything worked, with the slight exception of Dean’s animation. Even that was still amazing. I laughed, I hurt, I worried. Honestly, this may be my favorite funny episode. Ever.
Lena: I think it will go down as one of the legendary episodes of Supernatural. As I’m still at “Scoobynatural” high right now, I can’t decide which one doesn’t work – perhaps, the way they kind of sexualized Dean and Daphne as well as Sam and Velma, despite the age gap, doesn’t sit too well with me. But overall, the humor, the storyline, the animation, the voice acting, the pace, and the respect this episode has given to the source material completely outweigh the bad. I think “Scoobynatural” is among my favorite episodes of these recent seasons. It’s up there with the season 13’s hits like “Tombstone” and “Lost and Found,” as well as season 12’s “Stuck in the Middle (with You).”
Ashly: I loved it! And I’ll for sure be watching it again and again and again and again. It was a great crossover episode! I think everything worked, the writers did a fantastic job as did the animators and the actors. I think this episode jumped up to being my new favorite!
Lindsay: I loved it, personally. That was the most fun I’ve had watching an episode in quite a while! I don’t think I stopped smiling during the episode, and Jensen, Jared, and Misha were obviously having a blast with it. It’s definitely one I plan on watching again, very soon. I did feel like the writers missed a tiny bit of the nuances of our beloved Team Free Will, but they did a fine job given that they don’t write the guys all the time. Overall, great episode!
Tricia: I thought it was a great episode! I think it deserved all the hype it got, and all the actors involved in the making of it were obviously very, very pleased with how it turned out. I think it will have a high place as one of the best episodes of the entire series for a lot of fans.
Final Verdict: “Scoobynatural” is a nostalgic and highly entertaining animated outing that’s bound to become an instant classic episode of Supernatural
“Scoobynatural” is potentially one of the most memorable and unique episodes of the show’s entire run. While it does have some live-action scenes, the majority of the episode takes place in a Scooby-Doo cartoon along with the entire Scooby gang. Even Scrappy-Doo makes a brief cameo appearance. The animation quality throughout is exceptional and the use of cartoon logic and physics is incredibly fun.
Finding a balance between the darkness of Supernatural and the light-hearted fun of Scooby-Doo is no small feat yet “Scoobynatural” manages to nail that perfectly. There’s a constant upbeat tone and innocence throughout the episode. At the same time, the darker, more violent Supernatural tone begins to find its way into the story as the threat of the phantom continues to grow. Writers James Krieg and Jeremy Adams do an amazing job injecting the twisted sense of humor that often accompanies Supernatural into the Scooby-Doo world.
Since no one ever dies in an episode of Scooby-Doo, things become especially twisted when the Scooby gang casually walks away from decapitated corpses or find a knife in a man’s back and blood everywhere. When the Scooby gang discovers that ghosts and monsters are real, they all begin to panic and question everything they’ve ever believed. In the end, Sam, Dean, and Castiel manage to help maintain the Scooby gang’s innocence and convince them that monsters actually aren’t real at all.
In an episode so full of great references and moments, it’s difficult to find faults. While the animators did an amazing job overall with adapting the Supernatural characters to the world of Scooby-Doo, not everyone will necessarily agree that they completely captured their likenesses. Dean, in particular, isn’t as spot on as Sam and Castiel.
Season thirteen of Supernatural has had a lot of memorable episodes, but “Scoobynatural” is arguably the first truly classic episode of the season. With Castiel back from Syria with fruit from the Tree of Life, we can expect the Winchesters to return to their search for the components for the spell to rescue their mother and Jack. But in the meantime, we’re just going to keep enjoying their animated adventure with Shaggy, Scooby-Doo, Velma, Daphne, and Fred.