I’ve always considered Scooby-Doo to be a horror-primer for kids, a way to introduced supernatural and otherworldly concepts to children without traumatizing them! And, by the time a youngster is old enough to start crushing on Daphne and/or Velma (and suspecting that Shaggy and Scooby are pot heads) he’s old enough to graduate to PG-13 rated horror movies!
But what if Scooby-Doo isn’t the light-hearted adventure series it claims to be? What if the cartoon is loaded with biting political subtext? That’s exactly what Reddit user themightyheptagon actually thinks! Check out the entire theory below.
The show’s premise seems fairly innocent, unless you see it as taking place in the real world of America in 1969 (the year it debuted), and you start to wonder how four mismatched kids wound up living in their van while on an endless cross-country road trip with no clear destination. After all, the show never really bothered to tell us where they were driving all that time, right?
The answer? It’s 1969, the Vietnam War is at its height, and millions of directionless young people are desperate to avoid being drafted into military service. Hence, they’re on the road to Canada to dodge the draft.
Consider all four kids in turn:
- Shaggy is the classic hippy, a longhaired jive-talker with an eternal case of the munchies who only goes by his nickname. You don’t question his decision to go off the grid and live in a van with his dog, because it seems completely natural for a kid like that in 1969. He named his van “The Mystery Machine” because he dreamed of pulling a Jack Kerouac and finding the answers to life’s mysteries on the open road, and he took his beloved Great Dane with him.
- Fred is the comically clean-cut suburban kid who seemingly has no reason to leave home and hit the highway. While you don’t question Shaggy’s decision to go nomad, you really have to wonder about him. But of course there’s a reason: his draft number just came up, and he’s decided to leave home for a new life in Canada.
- Daphne is Fred’s beloved fiancée who’s opted to follow him North. Fred didn’t want to go to Vietnam because he couldn’t bear to leave her, so she joined him in his roundabout travels.
- Velma is the rebellious young antiwar activist, devoted to standing up for her ideals at any coast. With the short hair, black glasses and baggy sweater, she looks like a caricature of a Vietnam protestor from 1969…because that’s exactly what she is. She joined Fred’s group to flee her old college campus when a protest turned violent, and she feels a protective instinct towards Fred because he’s a draftee in danger of being sent to his death in a war that she opposes.
All of the mysteries that we see in the course of the show are just diversions that the kids encounter on the road to freedom in Canada. At heart, the show is a journey into the American heartland from the perspective of four disillusioned children of the 1960s.
TL;DR: The show takes place in 1969, the year that it first came out. Fred’s a draft-dodger on the run, Daphne’s his fiancée, Shaggy’s a nomadic hippy, and Velma’s a campus activist.
What do you think Horror Freaks? Is Scooby-Doo actually a statement against the Vietnam War? Sound off in the Comments section!