After reading Chapter 2 of Spreadable Media, a certain quote stuck out to me; “A media franchise operates very much like a retro band, with new value generated by inserting Scooby into new contexts or putting him in front of new audiences.”
I realize that happens a lot with a variety of popular characters like; Scooby, Snoopy, Spongebob, and Mickey Mouse. Of the following titles, which of them do you think is made up? Scooby-Doo! Wrestlemania Mystery, Scooby-Doo! and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery, Scooby-Doo! Batman vs Dogman , or Scooby-Doo! Mask of the Blue Falcon. If you had a tough time figuring it out, it’s okay. (The Batman vs Dogman was made up!)
By putting Scooby-Doo with rock bands and professional wrestling, that’s creating new value for sure. Since when would Sc0oby-Doo and the gang ever have to match up with John Cena to solve a mystery? My guess is to appeal to younger and older fans… and make money as well.
To me it makes sense, who wouldn’t want to see Mystery Inc. team up with other popular characters to solve a mystery? That’s fine, when it’s a cartoon. But when it’s live action, do these actions make the original character lose their… character?
For example, we all know Scooby is going to have to solve a mystery with the gang and eat Scooby-snacks, but when a popular live action character does it, is that character true to their character?
Tyler Perry’s character Madea is like Scooby, in the sense that she is everywhere in every genre. She stays true to her original character from the plays, but the situationsshe are in are far from what she and her movies originally stood for.
My question is, how much is too much before a character (or franchise) becomes too jaded for it to bring in or retain its value?