The Evolution of Velma!

Recently, I did an interview with CHUPPL and one of the takeaways was that there are some Velma fans who believe the only "True" Velma was the original Velma from the original series. But, which original series?

If you are talking about the 1990s Velma, she already went through several drastic changes! I, for one, loved the original series and by that I mean the 1969 "Scooby Doo Where Are You?" That said, I am a fan of most every version of Velma that has been produced. I will put in one qualifier in that I am not a fan of the recent adult version "Velma" as it appears to intentionally destroy the character of the original characters. In addition, Scooby isn't even in it, so I don't consider it part of the Scooby franchise. Since this website is designed for those of all ages, I will leave it at that....                  
So, which is the correct series to base Velma on?


I covered some of this on my page "The Many Faces of Velma", but it has been a while and there have been a few more Velmas! Much of the characteristics of Velma played off the personalities of the voice actresses behind the scenes. 
So, shall we base it on one specific voice actress? 

Here is what a quick search revealed as all those who voiced Velma:

Nicole Jaffe was the original voice in 1969
Pat Stevens voiced the role from 1976 to 1979
Christina Lange was Velma in A Pup Named Scooby-Doo
B. J. Ward voiced Velma from 1997 to 2002
Mindy Cohn assuming the role in 2002
Linda Cardellini appears as Velma in the live-action films
Hayley Kiyoko played Velma in the live-action TV movies

And That's just for Starters !!

There were many smaller projects and videos and I can't be sure my picture list is complete!

Original Velma:

The first voice of Velma was Nicole Jaffe. She voiced  "Scooby Doo Where Are You?" as well as "The New Scooby Doo Movies." She also returned to do a couple of the videos.

She was the sarcastic, quick witted Velma, best summed up in one episode where Freddy says "Velma, you're a genius!" 
To which she replied "What else is news?"

One issue with the early hand-drawn animation was that depending on who was drawing her, her looks changed a lot! Sometimes she was drawn as plump, other times thin with baggy clothing. Some drew her with freckles, others left that out. Her hair color would change a bit as well as facial features and style/shape of her glasses. Modern animation is far more consistent, but many will note that the older style was softer and more human. 

Pat Stevens Velma:

Pat's version of Velma mellowed out quite a bit. Not quite as sharp on the attack. I think the writers and artists tended to tune their work to the way each actress voiced the character. The changes were subtle but I remember noticing. This Velma was a bit more structured, less likely to lose her glasses, more likely to make calm summaries of the situation. 

Christina Lange

I'm not sure I can do any comparison!  "A Pup Named Scooby-Doo" took things in a whole new direction. What were these kids like when they were... kids? 
The assumption was that they were always together doing the mystery thing, but what it really was, was an attempt to grab a new audience as the "trick" had worked on several other re-boots. I actually thought it was pretty funny but was sad the old gang was off the air... for the time being. 

Mindy Cohn

What's New Scooby Doo took things back toward the original formula. Mindy's Velma was kind of a cross between Nicole and Pat. The features were drawn a bit harder, but not as harsh as the newer animation. I was so glad to see them back I probably overlooked a few things. For me, the original version of Velma was back, even if she was a bit more mellow. 

Linda Cardellini

Oh boy! I can remember the anticipation waiting for this movie to come out! Ultimately, there were two of them and Linda did not disappoint! It was a big budget film so the plot had to be cranked up a bit, but I feel she was true to the character even though some questionable back-story was added. In a movie, you have to expand on the characters, but the expansion did not seem "out of character" for Velma. 

Hayley Kiyoko

Conversely, this pair of movies were low-budget flicks. However, this was no fault of Hayley, and I loved the way she played Velma! In the opening scene, she has a science fair project, which she is explaining. She is so obsessed explaining it that she completely misses the fact that she is now talking to herself! If you have not seen these two movies, rent them! They are really good, once you get past the fact that they were done on a budget! 

Mindy Again!

2010 saw the comeback of Mindy's Velma in "Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated." The animation had a sharp geometric look, something that had been developing for the last few seasons. This Velma seemed a little burned out at first, but as soon as a good mystery hit, she was back to her old self!

Kate Micucci

Ah.. What? "Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!" aired starting in 2015. In all fairness, my biggest issue with this series was not Kate as much as the animation style and the way the characters were applied. This was more comic then mystery and it fell short in many departments. 26 episodes were generated but only 20 aired before the plug was pulled. 

Kate Redeemed! 

In 2019 "Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?" brought things almost full circle! The animation was far closer to the original style, as were the plots! Kate did a great job with the voice. Back in 1972, "The New Scooby-Doo Movies" brought in different guests each week. This was a return to that format. The series ran until 2021 and it was a blast seeing something so close to the original format!

Gina Rodriguez

Wow! and Wow again! This one absolutely blew me away! Gina does a great job! I wasn't sure how I would feel about the "3d" type characters, but trust me, it turned out great! The humor was off the charts, without resorting to mocking the characters. Check out the Trailer Here
Sadly, it came out in 2020 right when the pandemic hit, so it never had a chance to be shown in theaters. 

In 2023, a new series called "Velma" came out. The greatest offense I take is that this is an adult themed series. Scooby was dumped! That's right, there is no Scooby Doo in this series. I always felt that the series belonged to kids. Yes, there were secondary jokes layered in, but it was a kids show, even for us OLD kids! Again, in my opinion, the original characters are destroyed and mocked. Some of us may actually enjoy and understand what is being presented, but it should not be considered part of the Scooby franchise (No Scooby!) as it really simply uses the names and then reinvents the characters.

My greatest hope is that Warner, or some other company will pick up the ball and run with it!  "Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?" came close. 

Series Timeline:

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! 1969 
The New Scooby-Doo Movies 1972
The Scooby-Doo Show and Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics 1976
Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo 1979
The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show 1983
A Pup Named Scooby-Doo 1988
What's New, Scooby-Doo? 2002
Live Action - Scooby-Doo 2002
Live Action - Monsters Unleashed 2004
Live Action - Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins 2009
Live Action - Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster 2010
Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 2010
Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!2015-2018
Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? 2019
Feature Movie - Scoob! 2020


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