Explained: Why is Scooby-Doo not in Mindy Kaling's Velma?

A still from Velma (Image via HBO)
A still from Velma (Image via HBO)

The adult animated mystery comedy television series Velma is scheduled to release this week and fans are questioning the absence of Scooby Doo on the show.

Scooby Doo is an adult great Dane on whom the entire franchise is based. He has brown fur, has a couple of black sports, is blue-collar, and is Shaggy's best friend and lifelong companion. He always plays a key role in every case the team comes across and his catchphrase is:

"Scooby-Dooby-Doo!"

Of course, the absence of the series' namesake naturally sparked some questions, but the Velma cast recently explained why and it makes sense.


Mindy Kaling and the cast of Velma address Scooby Doo's absence in the show

Mindy Kaling and the cast of Velma attended day one of New York Comic Con to uncover details about HBO Max's upcoming adult animated show and unveil the first episode exclusively for fans.

Kaling, who voiced Velma and is also the show's executive producer, was joined by showrunner Charlie Grandy and Constance Wu, who voiced Daphne. Kaling explained that she was a fan of the original Scooby-Doo series and its character and appreciated Grandy for paying tribute to Vendy with the show.

The objective of the show, according to Charlie Grandy, was to make it an adult show; yet, the introduction of the lovely puppy would have once more taken the show in a family-friendly direction.

He said:

"When we were going into the show and thinking about adapting it, we wanted to be respectful."

He continued:

"We didn’t want to just kind of take these beloved characters and put them in outrageous or gross situations and say, ‘Isn’t it crazy you did that to Velma?'”

Grandy revealed that the show's creative team did attempt to fit the dog in the show, but they weren't able to find any balance and sync the character perfectly with the setting of the adult comedy. He even revealed that Scooby will not show his face since the show is set in a different timeline, hinting to fans that the dog isn't even born.

He said:

"We couldn’t get a take on it that was like, ‘How do we kind of do this in a fun, modern way?' That felt like what made it a kid show was, Scooby-Doo. I think it’s nice to kind of allude to dogs in the world, It’s fun and let’s just kinda leave it that."

Mindy Kaling then expressed her excitement to play Vendy by saying:

"Growing up, I've always identified with Velma," she said. "She was so cute, but not like traditionally hot — super smart, super thick glasses, questionable haircut. I just love the series and I feel so honored to do the voice."

Moderator Damian Holbrook then asked her if she was prepared for the backlash of Velma Dinkley being South Asian, the "Office" actress said that she's constantly surprised by reactions to everything on social media.

"I think of the characters in this as so iconic, but in no way is the gang defined by their whiteness, except for Fred. So, I was a little bit surprised and I think most Indian-American girls when they see this skeptical, hardworking, kind of underappreciated character, can identify with her."

She praised projects like Spider-Verse, where beloved characters belonged to various races and weren't just Caucasian.


HBO Max's new animated series, Velma, will drop on the streaming platform on Thursday, January 12, 2023.

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Edited by Himanshu Tagore
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