Mystery solved: Will Forte explains how ‘Scoob!’ is unlike anything Scooby-Doo fans have seen before

Will Forte voices Shaggy Rogers (right) in "Scoob!"
Will Forte voices Shaggy Rogers (right) in "Scoob!"(Warner Animation Group)

The origin of Scooby-Doo and the gang is a mystery no more.
“Scoob!" — the long-running franchise’s latest movie — takes viewers back to the very beginning, showing how Scooby met his best friend Shaggy Rogers, got his name as a puppy and became part of the case-cracking team Mystery Inc.
Helping to tell that story is actor Will Forte, who grew up a fan of Scooby-Doo and voices Shaggy in the new animated film.
“Certainly, there are a lot of elements of this movie that people haven’t seen before,” Forte, 49, told the Daily News last week. “To go back to the origin story of Shaggy and Scooby meeting for the first time, and the group getting together, and then you get such a bang for your buck because all of those wonderful characters in that universe all come together. It’s a fun story.”
“Scoob!” — out Friday on premium video on demand — begins with the classic crew of Scooby, Shaggy, Fred, Velma and Daphne as young children, before fast-forwarding to their days as professional mystery solvers.
In the movie, the friends must figure out a particularly high-stakes mystery that puts Scooby’s friendship with Shaggy to the test.
The movie’s makers encouraged Forte to put his own twist on the snack-loving, hilariously cowardly Shaggy, rather than try to re-create iterations performed by original voice actor Casey Kasem, or Matthew Lillard, who played the character in a 2002 live-action movie.
“It was definitely nerve-racking because I know how important that character is to fans of the show, so you don’t want to screw it up for them,” said the former "Saturday Night Live” star.
“It’s a tough voice to do ... because you want to push your voice to this place where it’s breaking, but then to do that tires you out, so you only have so much of it during the actual recording session."
Will Forte during a voice recording session for "Scoob!"
Will Forte during a voice recording session for "Scoob!"(Eric Charbonneau/Warner Bros. Pictures)
Forte is part of a star-studded voice cast that includes Amanda Seyfried as Daphne, Gina Rodriguez as Velma and Zac Efron as Fred. Frank Welker, a veteran of the franchise, voices Scooby.
During his eight-year tenure on “SNL,” which began in 2002, Forte turned in memorable performances as the character MacGruber — which he spun off into a movie — and dancing with Peyton Manning in a raucous high school basketball sketch.
It’s an experience that’s helped Forte in the movie and TV roles he’s taken on since.
“There is no experience like ‘SNL.’ It is such a unique show,” the actor said. “Everything about it — the show itself, the preparation week — it really prepares you for anything. If you can somehow learn how to deal with that week, you can really deal with anything. ... There’s something magical about that stress. It took me a long time to get used to not being there. Somebody once used the term ‘addicted.’ You just are addicted to the rush of the show. It was a magical time.”
Five decades after the original Scooby-Doo series premiered, Forte has an idea why the franchise continues to connect with audiences.
“Each person is a totally different personality, and it’s like my dopey group of friends,” Forte said of the characters. “You watch them for so long, they start to feel like they’re part of your own group of friends or family. ... It’s just a lovable group of characters who always have each other’s backs. That’s why I love it.”

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