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“LEGO Scooby-Doo!: Haunted Hollywood” Interviews: James Arnold Taylor, Rick Morales, & Jim Krieg

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LEGO Scooby-Doo Haunted Hollywood

At WonderCon 2016, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment premiered LEGO Scooby-Doo!:Haunted Hollywood. Prior to the screening, Toonzone News was able to sit down with director Rick Morales, writer Jim Krieg, and actor James Arnold Taylor for interviews.


JAMES ARNOLD TAYLOR

James Arnold Taylor
James Arnold Taylor

JAMES ARNOLD TAYLOR: In this I’m Chet. Chet Braxton.

TOONZONE NEWS: This isn’t your first foray into the universe of Scooby-Doo.

JAMES ARNOLD TAYLOR: No, not at all. I’ve been a voice actor for 20-some odd years, I’ve done many many episodes of Scooby-Doo in all the various incarnations. I think that I’ve always been excited, but this one I was especially excited because it was LEGO. I was really curious how they were going to do that. I’ve done tons of different LEGO things, like I’m the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi for the Star Wars things. I do a lot of the DC Stuff. I’m the Flash. I’m Spider-Man for LEGO. But how do you do Scooby-Doo in LEGO? I didn’t get to see it until a couple months ago, we were just talking about it. I went in for ADR. So for folks that don’t know, ADR is the automatic dialogue replacement. We go in after it’s all been animated, and I get to actually see it. That’s always the funnest part, to see they pulled it off. It looks great, it’s beautiful looking, it’s just fun and funny. I thought, why had they not thought of this sooner?

TOONZONE NEWS: Did you ever play with LEGOs as a kid?

JAMES ARNOLD TAYLOR: I did, yeah. It was big. When I was a kid, LEGO was no where near what it is now. You pretty much just had your blue, yellow, red, white, maybe a couple of black ones, if you’re lucky. The four, the two, the different sized ones, and you just made whatever you made. Now it’s a whole world, it’s fascinating.

TOONZONE NEWS: You’ve got more branded sets.

JAMES ARNOLD TAYLOR: Whatever comes out they have a version of LEGO for it, so it’s been really kind of neat to see that. I have a daughter that’s 11, so she has grown up with it all being that way. I tried to explain to her, “No no, when I was a kid…” But it’s great.

TOONZONE NEWS: How is voicing a LEGO or movie character different from your past roles? You’ve done a lot of video games too.

JAMES ARNOLD TAYLOR: Yeah, video games, we have Ratchet & Clank, which was here the other day talking about that. We did a screening because we have a movie out now. That was a game. Final Fantasy X, I was Tidus.

TOONZONE NEWS: Tie-dus?

JAMES ARNOLD TAYLOR: Tee-dus, Tie-dus, however you want to say it. There’s a whole story to that, in fact. I just put that out on my vlog. The promo, the original promo for it, the announcer said “Tee-dus” and so then they went “It’s got to stick”. All the fans say “Tie-dus”.

TOONZONE NEWS: That’s the thing in the video game, you can change his name, so it’s never said.

JAMES ARNOLD TAYLOR: Exactly right. So this is a fully different thing. The great thing when we do these shows as opposed to a video game is we’re all together. So when we tracked this, I was with most of the cast but not everybody, because this was a big cast. Matthew doing a great Shaggy, “Zoinks, Scoob!” and Grey Delisle Griffin and Frank Welker, who is just a legend in voice over, let alone within the world of Scooby-Doo. So much fun in the studio. Maurice LaMarche was in there, I think, for a day. We just had a great time. We always do, but when you’re in there and you’re goofing off with everybody and you’re getting to play Scooby-Doo, it doesn’t get better than that.

LEGO Scooby-Doo Haunted HollywoodTOONZONE NEWS: Do you have a favorite Scooby-Doo episode or movie?

JAMES ARNOLD TAYLOR: It’s tough. I have favorite ones from when I was a kid watching Scooby-Doo. I loved Scooby-Doo and the Harlem Globetrotters. Or The Three Stooges. I loved those, those ones always got me. But now being a voice actor, being in them…I loved Mystery Inc, which was a little bit darker. I tried showing it to my daughter when she was like 8 or 9 and it was too scary for her. But I did a lot in that. I was this character Rung Ladderton, and I’ve been the bad guy in various episodes of Scooby-Doo, where I got to say “I would’ve gotten away with it if it wasn’t for you meddling kids,” but in that one I got to say “And I would’ve gotten away with it if it wasn’t for you meddling peers” because they were all my age. So I think that made it one of the funner ones. But one of the first ones, I don’t know if it was my very first, one of the first episodes I did for an old Scooby-Doo version, What’s New Scooby-Doo? I think, I was ::Romanian accent:: Owen DeCassle and Steve Fortescu. And so I played two Romanians and one was a vampire and one was the guy that owned the castle, but he was this old Romanian fellow. I remember walking in and Billy West, who’s a dear friend now, one of my heroes, was in there playing my twin brother. So I love them for different reasons now as a voice actor as opposed to when I was a kid watching them and loved those. But yeah, the Harlem Globetrotters with Scooby-Doo. It doesn’t get better than that.

TOONZONE NEWS: I liked Scooby-Doo with Batman and Robin.

JAMES ARNOLD TAYLOR: Yeah, classic. Really good stuff. And you know, Casey Kasem, who I got to work with many times, had been on Scooby-Doo, who was the voice of Shaggy was the voice of Robin in the original. That’s great to think he was part of all that history there too. Really fun.

TOONZONE NEWS: Who are some of your voice actor influences?

JAMES ARNOLD TAYLOR: Well, you know, so many guys grew up saying “I want to be an actor, I want to be on camera,” I grew up going “I want to be a voice actor.” I loved it. Mel Blanc, of course. You can’t be a voice actor and not recognize the brilliance of Mel Blanc. The fact that every voice was him in those old Warner Bros. cartoons, and if I ever really want to laugh, I can always put on a Bugs Bunny and Daffy cartoon and just wholeheartedly laugh. But Don Messick, he was the original voice of Scooby-Doo. He was Papa Smurf, Boo-Boo Bear, Mr. Ranger, Race Bannon, all these fantastic characters. I got to work with Don when I was a young man in radio. I was like 18, 19 years old, and he lived in my home town in Santa Barbara and he had a studio there and we went and recorded in his home studio, and I was just beside myself. And I remember calling him up, a few weeks later, getting the nerve. He was in the phone book, and I called him up and asked him if he would have lunch with me. We actually went to breakfast, and he bought and told me stories of being Droopy Dog to Scooby-Doo and Papa Smurf, and I was so influenced by him and his voice. I loved the fact that he was not a tall, big guy, and I am not. I’m 5’4″, 120 pounds if I’m lucky, and the fact that he was making his living doing this and he was everything from Boo-Boo Bear to big voices, I thought, “This is brilliant.” So I loved him. Daws Butler, Paul Frees. Paul Frees had such a great voice, but Don was really the one for me that actually inspired my life firsthand.

TOONZONE NEWS: You mentioned doing accents.

JAMES ARNOLD TAYLOR: Yeah.

TOONZONE NEWS: Was that something you made sure to include in your wheelhouse or was that something you learned as you went on?

JAMES ARNOLD TAYLOR: It was one of those things that I think just naturally evolved for me when I was a kid. I just loved watching old stuff, listening to old radio plays, and in the old radio plays everybody had ::old timey accent:: that affected kind of New England-y kind of sound. Let me tell you everything’s jake here, Charlie. ::back to normal voice:: And so it kind of went from there, and I found that I would fall into a British accent, and so when I did Obi-Wan Kenobi, it was natural to do so. It’s a little of both. You learn it as you go and then you walk into a studio and you learn very fast when they go “Today you’re going to be a Cockney guy, and then we want you to do an Australian one” and then you go “Okay, I got to figure this out” and half the times they are bad impressions and other times they are solid stuff, but I just love it. I love being able to be other people and be able to throw in accents and change it up. It’s great to throw in an accent and have that in your wheelhouse.

TOONZONE NEWS: If it’s a comedy, you can make it a funny accent.

JAMES ARNOLD TAYLOR: Like Chet in this. He’s kind of ::puts on voice:: this old Hollywood kind of guy and he has this gravely voice and there’s a little New York in there. You figure he’s in Hollywood and he’s hey baby, I’ve had a life, so you get to have fun.

Batman the Brave and the Bold Mayhem of the Music MeisterTOONZONE NEWS: You’ve done some singing in your career. Like on Batman the Brave and the Bold.

JAMES ARNOLD TAYLOR: We do a panel where we do some karaoke of it. I’m going to reprise my role as Green Arrow and sing today. So yeah, it’s a lot of fun.

TOONZONE NEWS: Future projects we should look out for?

JAMES ARNOLD TAYLOR: Ratchet & Clank is coming out. Guardians of the Galaxy is going strong. There are some new shows that I can’t talk about yet but I play some wonderful characters in and people are always asking about Star Wars. It’s always a part of my life and hopefully we’ll see Obi-Wan again someday.


RICK MORALES

TOONZONE NEWS: What’s it like directing a LEGO movie?

RICK MORALES: It’s fun. I’ve done the LEGO DC superhero films, but LEGO Scooby is a different animal, if you will. I think the differences is all the unique things that just bring the LEGO element into it provide the limitations and the freedoms. So film making-wise, we’re not shooting it necessarily any different than we would a normal thing, but stylistically, I like to shoot these things sometimes a little bit wider than we normally would just because I like that scale of the figures to come across on screen. But other than that, it’s pretty straight forward stuff.

Lego Scooby-Doo Haunted HollywoodTOONZONE NEWS: Did you use LEGO models in preparation?

RICK MORALES: Yeah, we reference everything. In fact, the cool thing about this one was how it was different than the LEGO DC stuff. For the DC movies, they would present us most of the time with toy sets that they had in the works or that were finished and ready to go, and we’d be like, “Okay, we’ll take that, this is cool, that’s cool, what can we use from here, oh Brainiac’s ship,” whatever. For this one when we started, they were very, very early in the design phase of these things. In fact, the only thing that we saw were prototype sculpts of the mini-figs themselves. The great thing about that was we got an opportunity to design the characters, and I think LEGO actually wanted our input, being Warner Bros. and familiar with the Scooby characters. So we did a design pass. Well, first, we asked if they had finished designs that they wanted to use or whatever and they said do your thing. We sent it to them to take a look at it and they were like, “Oh yeah, tweak this,” and this and boom, that’s the movie and that’s the toy. Which is pretty cool. The big change that we had to make was to Scooby himself for animation purposes. The biggest challenge, I think, with him and especially my biggest fear going into this thing, was how are we going to do Scooby in LEGO form? It’s a hallmark of Shaggy and Scooby that they eat all the time, but LEGO characters can’t eat. They’ve got flat faces and planes that can’t be penetrated. So with Scooby I knew immediately we’re going to have to model him with a mouth that could open and close and detach his limbs Because if you look at the Scooby figure, it’s all one molded piece of plastic that, in animation, would’ve been really tough to do. So we made our tweaks, and I think we were able to retain the LEGO look to it, so I was pretty proud of that.

TOONZONE NEWS: Did you ever play with LEGOS as a kid?

RICK MORALES: I wasn’t a huge LEGO guy as a child, to be completely honest. I had my Star Wars action figures, and my Batman ’89 figures. The little 3 and 3 quarter inch scale, and I had my He-Man and I still have a box of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in my house.

TOONZONE NEWS: Mine are all gone at this point.

RICK MORALES: My He-Man are gone. My grandma gave those away for some reason when I was a kid. I don’t think I’ve ever got over it or forgiven her, but for some reason I still have my Turtles. In fact, the strangest thing, I went through the box, and I pulled out April O’Neil and I don’t know what this says about me, but I look at the figure and she’s missing all her limbs. She’s written on.

TOONZONE NEWS: Her figure was really fragile.

RICK MORALES: It did and it just came apart. So that wasn’t me.

TOONZONE NEWS: Mine was missing an arm.

RICK MORALES: Okay, I was thinking I was a demented little kid. I just think it’s funny that out of all those things, I still have those. They’ve all got writing on them, but whatever.

TOONZONE NEWS: Did playing with action figures cause the director’s bug to bite you?

RICK MORALES: You know what, I don’t know if it was that. I don’t think I ever foresaw myself at a young age being a director doing that kind of thing or even necessarily being in animation, but I just knew that I liked superheroes and action and cartoons and comic books and that I wanted to tell stories or work in the medium in some form and obviously playing with those action figures and stuff like that, it does open up your mind to that.

Lego Scooby-Doo Haunted HollywoodTOONZONE NEWS: Were the LEGO Justice League movies more action-heavy than Scooby-Doo?

RICK MORALES: It is more action heavy in a way, but it’s not like Scooby is devoid of action. Obviously there’s not going to be fist-fights or whatever, but there are romps. There are extended chase sequences and running and jumping into each other’s arms, and all that stuff can be as extensive to plan as a good action sequence. They all have their challenges. Everything that you do. When I walked into the LEGO DC stuff I thought, stupidly, that this was going to be a little bit lighter than the normal stuff that I work on. But it wasn’t. And the same thing with this. I knew going into this it was going to have its challenges, and it did, but I think it’s rewarding when you can hopefully pull off something here people haven’t seen before in Scooby. Scooby’s been around so long and I think with the LEGO element added onto it, it becomes new again. Unique. But what I wanted to do with this, I went back and I watched all the original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? and I really wanted to as much as I could keep it in that frame of reference. Just a real classic take on the Scooby characters because I felt like the LEGO stuff is the new element to it and once we marry that to it it’s going to have this freshness. Even with the music I tried to keep it a little late 60’s/early 70’s vibe.

TOONZONE NEWS: Classic Hanna-Barbera stuff?

RICK MORALES: Yeah and we have some of the Hanna-Barbera sound effects mixed in with the LEGO clatter, so we tried to where we could get the iconic stuff in there. LEGO lends itself to being a little bit sillier, so I think that married with it well.

TOONZONE NEWS: Do you have a definitive version of Scooby-Doo?

RICK MORALES: The definitive take on the character? I think it’s the original show.

TOONZONE NEWS: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?

RICK MORALES: Yeah, I think it’s Scooby-Doo Where Are You? To me that’s what I go back to. Honestly in our first pitches for this thing before LEGO let us know what their toy line was, I was pulling out all the old villains. I really wanted to get the Creeper in. We didn’t manage to get him in, but he was a guy I was really shooting for. For a time, as it went through rewrites and stuff, he got excised, unfortunately. But I think the first draft of the script it had Space Kook in it, which I was really excited about doing. So yeah, I wanted to pull from that show. I felt like if LEGO was going to do these Scooby-Doo things, the obvious thing would be to take the iconic versions of the villains from the original show and turn those into little LEGOs, could we do that and have some fun with it? We did that a little bit. Headless Horseman is from the series. The zombie is based on that.

TOONZONE NEWS: Sounds like you fit a lot into this movie.

RICK MORALES: There is a lot in this movie, actually. Now that I think about it. How many villains do we have in here? We have like half a dozen different monsters. That’s cool. I hope people like it. We did our best.

TOONZONE NEWS: What was the toughest challenge overall making the film?

RICK MORALES: I think the toughest challenge with these things is you’ve got all these great artists working on this show, and they’ve all got their visions on what something should be, and trying to wrangle that into one thing is always a challenge. From the film-making side of it. But rewarding. I don’t mean to say that it’s difficult working with these artists, it’s a great honor and blessing to work with them and they do great work, but you get strong opinions in rooms and it should be this, it should be that. So I think that’s generally usually the toughest part of a production. Getting everybody on the same page and working towards the same goals and understand what it is that you are making.

Lego Scooby-Doo Haunted HollywoodTOONZONE NEWS: What do you hope fans will get from this?

RICK MORALES: I hope that it’s enjoyable. I hope that they can watch it for the 72-minute run time and maybe it takes them back to being a kid and their love of Scooby-Doo to begin with. I really hope that. I know that there are diehard Scooby fans out there, and I didn’t want to do them an injustice by making it too silly, so hopefully they can see the respect that we have for the classic Scooby stuff and hopefully for 72 minutes they can sit down and reconnect with that a little bit and enjoy the whole LEGO spin as well.

TOONZONE NEWS: It’s great that Scooby-Doo is all ages, you put in things for long-time adult fans and things for kids who are watching their first Scooby-Doo.

RICK MORALES: It is, and there comes a point when it’s difficult to try to think about that and service every aspect there. So what you do is try to make a quality thing that first appeals to you and the people that you’re working with, the writer and hopefully that translates into the broader audience accepting it and liking it as well. To sit there and say, “We’re going to hit this mark and this mark and this mark,” you just go crazy trying to do that and I don’t know that that’s the best way to approach art. But you keep it in mind and you know who it’s aimed for. There is some silly stuff in this that I hope kids will react to and there’s some tongue in cheek stuff that Jim threw in that I think adults will get. I think it will be a worthwhile thing for kids and adults to sit down and enjoy together. At least that’s my hope. I can’t say that that’s what it is, that’s for the audience to say.

TOONZONE NEWS: What is it about Scooby-Doo that makes it timeless and lets you introduce it to a new generation?

RICK MORALES: Scooby has been such an enduring, iconic character for so many years. I remember when I first started in animation I had worked on the superhero stuff. Batman and Justice League and stuff like that. Then I worked on Scooby, but in between shows, I remember being in my early 20’s and going “Oh God, I’ve got to go work on Scooby” I was telling somebody when they asked, “What are you working on?” and I go “I work on Batman and Superman” and they’re like “Ah.” “And Scooby-Doo” and they go “Oooh, Scooby!” I was like, wait a minute, that’s right, this is something. It is enduring. I’ve got a little sister, and even into adulthood she loves Scooby-Doo. I think he’s just a good-natured kind character. He’s a cute dog, you can’t go wrong. Everyone would take Scooby as a pet. I think that’s kind of it. They are timeless characters.

Lego Scooby-Doo Haunted HollywoodTOONZONE NEWS: Do you have a favorite member of the gang and who do you relate most to?

RICK MORALES: That’s two different questions. I don’t know. I think in this particular film, Haunted Hollywood, I like Fred, actually, just because the avenue that we take him down he goes way overboard, and I think that stuff is pretty funny. But overall, I’ve always kind of liked Shaggy. He’s just carefree. Goes through things, he’s eating. I wish I could eat like him.

TOONZONE NEWS: And stay thin.

RICK MORALES: Right and stay thin, that’s the trick.

TOONZONE NEWS: I think the appeal to Shaggy is that he’s who the audience would be if they were attacked by these monsters.

RICK MORALES: Right, I think there’s probably some truth to that. We would probably turn tail and run, but yeah, I just think that Shaggy has got that kind of appeal where he’s kind of there, but he’s scared, he wants to eat, he gets distracted. He’s very human.

Lego DC Comics Super Heroes Justice League Cosmic ClashTOONZONE NEWS: Same question for the Justice League.

RICK MORALES: My favorite character is Superman overall. I like the Christopher Reeve Boy Scout version, I wish that were the version we saw more of, which is why I like the way that we handled him in LEGO DC stuff. He’s very noble, maybe a bit naïve, but goodhearted and a good guy, and he makes the right decisions because that’s what he does. He’s Superman. I like that. It’s becoming more and more rare to get that type of character in media nowadays. That would be my answer for that.

TOONZONE NEWS: Have you seen Dawn of Justice?

RICK MORALES: I have.

TOONZONE NEWS: What’s your take on it?

RICK MORALES: What’s your take on it?

TOONZONE NEWS: I think we’re kind of along the same lines. I thought it was well made, but when I left the theatre, I thought, “This wasn’t quite what I wanted from a Superman movie.”

RICK MORALES: Yeah, I can’t say I disagree with that. It was great action in it. I thought Ben Affleck as Batman was great, and I actually do like Henry Cavill a lot as Superman. I wish they’d lighten him up a little bit, though. I wish they’d allow him to smile and enjoy exercising his powers. That’d be my take on it.


JIM KRIEG

LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes - Justice League Cosmic Clash
Rick Morales, Jim Krieg, and Brandon Vietti

JIM KRIEG: There’s a new LEGO Justice League that just came out, Cosmic Clash.

TOONZONE NEWS: Did you write that?

JIM KRIEG: Yes, I highly recommend it. I love them all, but that I think is our best one so far.

TOONZONE NEWS: Why’s that?

JIM KRIEG: I think we just finally nailed the tone and the comedy. Phil LaMarr is Brainiac in that one, and he kills it. They’re all great, but that one was a delight.

TOONZONE NEWS: You keep coming back to these LEGO projects.

JIM KRIEG: LEGO has been very, very good to me.

TOONZONE NEWS: What appeals to you about them?

JIM KRIEG: I think that I have the sensibility of a child, but I hope I get what they think is funny. I have kids of my own and I get to practice on them, and I just enjoy the LEGO world and the tone and the comedy. I think it’s a good fit and I know these properties. All the DC heroes and Scooby-Doo. I guess everybody knows them. It’s not a special skill.

TOONZONE NEWS: What was your first exposure to Scooby-Doo? All the way back to Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?

JIM KRIEG: Oh yeah. The show came out when I was two or three. I was three years old, so I don’t remember a time before Scooby. I think my first memory is of Star Trek, but it’s shortly followed by Scooby-Doo. I was one of the producers on What’s New Scooby-Doo?, which was a show we did in early 2000’s.

TOONZONE NEWS: Was that the one that aired on Kids’ WB?

JIM KRIEG: Yes it was. And they had done a couple movies but it had been off the air for sixteen years. We brought back Frank Welker and Casey Kasem as Shaggy and it was such a thrill to work with these voices that have been in my head since I was three years old. It was really cool. It’s really strange. It’s a surreal moment. I’m ready for someone to be unmasked. Like there’s some sort of plot behind it. Some kind of real estate shenanigans.

TOONZONE NEWS: Before coming to the franchise, do you have a favorite Scooby-Doo moment or memory?

JIM KRIEG: I’ve never thought about it before. There’s something about the original Scooby-Doo Where Are You? that doesn’t feel like individual moments. It feels like an experience that you’ve compressed into one big Scooby moment. All of those images are burned into your head now. Especially because the animation was somewhat limited so they would use the same run cycles and walk cycles over and over again. And of course the theme song is so long that you can’t hear it without seeing Scooby-Doo lick all the ice cream off his head or looking out from the barrel and see the giant robot looking down on him. They’re all burned into your head. If they’re not, you can go onto Tumblr and see every single one of them. It’s also a really beautiful show. I also saw this on Tumblr, someone had posted all the background paintings and they’re not silly at all. There’s nothing funny about the environment of Scooby-Doo. They’re legitimately spooky, but in a colorful and inviting way to a child. They’re not unlike the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. Which, on the surface, you get it both ways. It is kind of spooky but it’s also kind of inviting. You want to see it.

TOONZONE NEWS: It’s a kid-friendly spookiness.

JIM KRIEG: Yeah, it’s not Saw.

Lego Scooby-Doo Haunted HollywoodTOONZONE NEWS: Coming into Scooby-Doo, what do you bring to the franchise?

JIM KRIEG: Familiarity, a love. I never get tired of them. I think that they’re wonderful characters. I try to give every single one of them a moment. They all need to do something wonderful and in character. Even though Shaggy and Scooby are stars, I think that it’s a real ensemble and they all need to have their moment and the actors are all so good that you want to give each of them something to do.

TOONZONE NEWS: Proudest moment if you can choose one?

JIM KRIEG: In What’s New Scooby-Doo?, we did a Christmas episode and for some reason the original script had to be thrown away. Ed Scharlach and George Doty and I had written it, and we had to re-write it overnight. So we broke it in a morning, each of us took an act, and we wrote it overnight and that is exactly what airs every year. It’s “Ho-Ho-Horrors” or “Scooby-Doo’s Christmas” and it came out great. Sometimes there’s the thrill, the satisfaction in laboring over something and taking a long time in doing it and then there’s also a thrill of “Hey, let’s put on a show” and having it turn out really well. Unless there are people out there who hate that episode, so sorry, to you. If you want to know why it’s because it was written overnight.

TOONZONE NEWS: Do you pay much attention to fan reaction?

JIM KRIEG: You know, it’s funny, I haven’t thought about it in terms of Scooby, but there is a big Scooby community. I feel it more acutely with the DC characters because they really react vehemently. Which is strange because I’m one of them, so I always feel that I know exactly what they want to see because I’m a fan and it turns out never to be the case. You can never get it totally right because it’s never going to be what they saw when they were 11, and I think that’s a little bit true of Scooby as well, only Scooby fans seem a little more inviting. They’re more excited that there’s more Scooby product than disappointed that it’s not exactly what it would be in their imagination.

TOONZONE NEWS: I’m a huge superhero fan and you worked on the unfortunately short-lived Green Lantern The Animated Series.

JIM KRIEG: Yes.

TOONZONE NEWS: I felt I wanted more of that and when I see a new version of Green Lantern, I still kind of miss the old one.

JIM KRIEG: Yeah, there’s sort of a life cycle of it. The new show will come out, and people will be mad that it’s not the old show. Then they’ll slowly come to love it, and that’s when we run out of money and episodes and then the cycle starts all over again. But it’s hard because you’ve been working on a new show for so long and you just want everybody to love it and they are still hesitant to love it because they still love the old one. It’s a kind of challenge. I’m bracing for it with my new series, for that reaction.

Justice League ActionTOONZONE NEWS: Can you talk about this new series?

JIM KRIEG: It’s been announced, so I think it’s okay to say that I’m writer/producer on Justice League Action, but I can’t talk about it. That’s all you can know. The spoiler alert is it’s awesome and it’s great and you’re going to love it, but my fear is that first you will hate it because it’s not like the old series, and then slowly you will come to love it and then it will be gone.

TOONZONE NEWS: Back to Scooby-Doo, what is it about the concept or the characters that makes it so timeless?

JIM KRIEG: I think that it was a really well executed show. There’s something about the combination of scary and funny that makes the scary palatable for kids. Shaggy and Scooby are also super-relate-able to a kid in that they feel fear. They either want to be silly and have fun, they want to eat junk food, or they are confronted with something they don’t understand and they want to run away. And that makes them 100% relate-able. Unfortunately even to this point in my life. Those are my three impulses.

TOONZONE NEWS: If there’s a character you relate most to, who is it?

JIM KRIEG: It’s Shaggy. I love them all, but I posted on my Twitter feed at one point, I think when Frankencreepy came out, there’s a picture of me at 19. I am Shaggy. I’m living some kind of weird Shaggy fantasy and eating a lot of junk food.

TOONZONE NEWS: I feel like Shaggy is always going to be the audience surrogate. We’re going to be scared and running around.

JIM KRIEG: Or oblivious. That’s the other thing. There are moments where the monster is right behind him and he has no idea. And that, I think, feels very real too. Well, I hope you like the movie.


Toonzone would like to thank James Arnold Taylor, Rick Morales, and Jim Krieg for taking the time to talk with us, and the WB PR team for arranging the interviews. LEGO Scooby-Doo!: Haunted Hollywood is available now from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.