Neil Fanning on playing Scooby-Doo in the live-action films from the 2000s
Neil Fanning, the voice actor behind Scooby-Doo in the early 2000s live-action films, spoke with Dexerto about what it was like taking on the role, why he thinks Scooby-Doo is so iconic and if he has a favorite scene he filmed while working on the two movies.
Scooby-Doo is one of the most iconic cartoons of all time. First created back int he 1960s, Mystery Incorporated has become a household name. All the characters now popular Halloween costumes as well as iconic roles for great actors to step up to voice and play.
At the recent Supanova Melbourne convention, Dexerto sat down with Neil Fanning, the voice behind Scooby-Doo in the James Gunn live-action films. During our chat, we spoke with Fanning about his experience on the movies, what makes Scooby so iconic and how it feels to still be known as the character all these years later.
Neil Fanning on why Scooby-Doo is a timeless character and series
Fanning began by explaining why he thinks Scooby-Doo is so timeless and relates to so many people. “It was one of those iconic projects in the 60s that came out and was ahead of its time because it had elements of scary…the horror genre wasn’t really a thing yet so they had this fine line between making it scary but not too scary because the audience back then was quite young.”
He then discussed the important of Scooby-Doo and Shaggy in the cartoon and the characters finding that balance between scary and funny.
“So they used Scooby and Shaggy as the comedy relief. So you’ll notice moments when it go spooky or scary, Scooby and Shaggy would do something funny and then the character of Scooby was either really scared or really hungry.”
When talking about Scooby and Shaggy as the comic relief characters, he also teased how the two offer up some entertainment to adult viewers as well. “The undertone of other elements in the van that might have made them hungry I don’t know what people are talking about, it is a mystery. As an undertone for the adults to grab onto and have a laugh. It is multi-generational and still is and that is the amazing thing about it.”
Scooby-Doo mature content and cameo in second movie
Of course, since the early 2000s live-action films, the Scooby-Doo franchise has gone on to create more projects and adaptations. When asked about the HBO Velma series and other more mature versions of Scooby-Doo, Fanning was candid about how he believes that, while adult content is a good change up, it does need to maintain the essence of Scooby-Doo.
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“Well I don’t have a reaction to the Velma thing. That speaks for itself in that it’s not going forward in any way shape or form as I understand it. So many it wasn’t the right combination of elements. But I’m always open to anything involving more Scooby but I do think it has to be respectful to the character.”
When reflecting back on his time working on the two live-action Scooby-Doo movies, Fanning revealed that he did have a little cameo in the second movie. “That Disco scene was the only scene in both movies where there was a costume character and so that was interesting at the time. They got a dancer to do that role. And so in that they asked me to do a cameo so I have a cameo in Scooby-Doo 2.”
Neil Fanning’s favorite scene from the live-action Scooby-Doo movies
On that note, we wrapped up our conversation with Fanning by asking him what his favorite scene to work on was across the two movies. Naturally, he picked getting to work with the great Rowan Atkinson in the first film.
“My favorite scene would be with Rowan Atkinson in the office. Working with Rowman Atkinson obviously a legend so highlight of my career at that time.”
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