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SYFY WIRE Scooby-Doo

The new ‘Scoob!’ holiday movie from Warner Bros. is now completely finished, but still canceled

Even without an audience, the ‘Scoob! Holiday Haunt’ team went ahead and pushed the Mystery Machine over the finish line.

By Benjamin Bullard

Remind us never to call Scooby-Doo a quitter…or a pupper who snubs his snout at the spirit of the season. Despite falling to the same Warner Bros. Discovery streaming axe that also scuttled the finished Batgirl movie earlier this summer, the canceled Scoob! Holiday Haunt film has nevertheless been finished — even though there’s slim chance that fans will ever get to see the completed Christmas caper.

Producer and writer Tony Cervone took to Instagram to share news that the animated movie’s creators had gone ahead and driven the Mystery Machine the very last mile in spite of Holiday Haunt’s doomed fate, giving props all around to the film’s voice cast and creative team. “Well, we finished this thing today. A bittersweet conclusion for sure,” he wrote, alongside a shot of the movie’s festive title card. “I really hope you get a chance to see it somehow. It’s a good one.”

Scoob! Holiday Haunt was initially headed toward an upcoming holiday-season release until Warner Bros. Discovery nixed the project as part of a larger effort to trim costs and emphasize big-screen projects in the wake of the merger that formed the company back in April of this year. A prequel to 2020’s Scoob!, Holiday Haunt was set to follow our sleuthing Great Dane hero and a 10 year-old Shaggy (Iain Armitage) through Scooby-Doo’s (Frank Welker) very first Christmas mystery as they suss out the spooky secrets of a haunted holiday resort.

The studio reportedly marked off both Scoob! Holiday Haunt and Batgirl as tax write-downs, a move that stipulates neither film can ever generate revenue. That’s a boring way of saying this particular Scooby-Doo mystery has scant chance of ever seeing release, since Warner Bros. Discovery is bound by law not to earn money off a film it’s written off as a tax loss. In a different reality — perhaps one without all those meddlesome tax codes — the prequel would have landed at HBO Max on Dec. 22.

The film was “95 percent finished” when it was canceled, as co-writer Paul Dini tweeted at the time, and its creators apparently felt strongly enough about Scooby-Doo’s first Christmas case to see it through to the end. “Every minute with you was a pleasure,” Cervone — who also directed the earlier Scoob! movie — Insta-shouted out to Holiday Haunt directors Bill Haller and Michael Kurinsky, alongside the animated movie’s voice cast (Armitage as Shaggy, McKenna Grace as Daphne, Ariana Greenblatt as Velma, Pierce Gagnon as Fred, and “the one and only Frank Welker” as Scooby-Doo himself.)

Looking for more kids movies in the meantime? Stream Minions the Rise of Gru, Antz, Chicken Run, The Croods, Despicable Me 1-2, The Lorax and more now on Peacock.