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Jinkies! Scooby-Doo Meets Five Nights at Freddy's in This Viral & Delightfully Retro Fan Film
The killer animatronics at Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria are no match for the plucky sleuths of Mystery Inc.
The killer animatronics lurking in the shadows at Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria are no match for the plucky sleuths of Mystery Inc. in a viral fan film that brilliantly combines the retro hijinks of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! with the survival horror of Five Nights at Freddy's.
Animated in the stop-motion style of iconic Rankin/Bass productions like Mad Monster Party? and The Year Without a Santa Claus, the video (titled "Springtapped" after one of the villains of the Freddy's canon, it currently boasts over a million views) hails from LA-based artist Eagan Tilghman, who once harbored an ambition to bring FNAF to the big screen.
"I had this pipe dream that I was gonna write the perfect script, get it to the right people, and they were just gonna produce my movie," Tilghman admits over a Zoom call with SYFY WIRE. "And then it quickly became apparent that it's not that easy."
He nearly got his wish while working at a special effects company the year he first moved to Los Angeles. "I was actually supposed to work on the Five Nights at Freddy's movie suits," he explains. But the long-gestating project — which has been in the works for close to a decade — was suddenly put on hold before ramping back up.
"I finally reached the point where I get to work on the movie I've always dreamed of working on and then it just kind of slipped through my fingers," Tilghman continues. "So I was like, ‘Alright, I'm just gonna do it myself … I clearly can't wait around for somebody to give me the opportunity, so I'm just going to try to make my own opportunity.’"
Watch the Scooby-Doo! mashup with Five Nights at Freddy's below
Spurred on by the Worthikids YouTube channel and a general fascination with animation and puppetry he's nurtured since childhood, the artist began to teach himself how to animate. "I didn't just want to animate tests, though," he says. "I wanted them to be something that even if it was just a test, it was still something that I could show and it would be cool and entertaining to watch."
And so, the idea to blend two of his favorite properties was born. The initial thought, however, was just to do it as "a quick joke of them unmasking Springtrap at the end," Tilghman reveals. "But I started watching some old Scooby-Doo! just to refresh my memory on the flow of how that worked. And when I saw the title card on the first episode, I just knew, ‘Okay, I gotta do a full episode.’"
The impetus behind channeling the herky-jerky aesthetic of Rankin/Bass, meanwhile, came out of the rationale that both the films of Rankin/Bass and the original Scooby-Doo! cartoon were both products of the late 1960s and early 1970s. "I wanted it to feel as if they were doing a Christmas or Halloween special episode," he says.
From start to finish, "Springtrapped!" spanned three months of work using the Blender software. "It took a lot of tests and back and forth to get some textures and lighting and rendering right, but I figured it out in the end. I’m happy with the end product."
Despite the fact that this was an almost zero-budget endeavor — whose sole purpose was not to make money, but to take a place of honor in Tilghman's portfolio and, hopefully, entertain fans of Scooby-Doo and FNAF — the video caused a small controversy online.
Professional voice actor Grey DeLisle (who has occupied the role of Daphne for decades) took umbrage to the fact that several characters were brought to life with A.I. Since then, Tilghman has been in touch with members of the voiceover community and plans to release an updated version with re-recorded dialogue from actual performers.
"I've got a lot of talented people who have offered to help with my next animation," he concludes. "I've received so much support from people and that's been super nice."
The long-awaited Five Nights at Freddy's movie arrives in theaters and on Peacock Friday, Oct. 27.
Want more theatrical action in the meantime? Head on over to Peacock for exclusive access to recent releases like Cocaine Bear, Renfield, The Super Mario Bros. Movie, and Asteroid City! Fast X officially joins the streamer Friday, September 15.