The Scooby Story

INTRODUCTION:

Who would ever imagine: A cowardly canine who's afraid of his own shadow, and created as a desperate experiment in new cartoon ideas, rises to [cartoon] superstardom, and inspires a generation of cartoons to follow.

The way it would usually start, is with a group of four teenagers and a dog, who are simply on their way to such normal teenage activities as concerts, parties or the beach, in their colorful flower painted van. They would stumble across shady, or supposedly supernatural events, which they would curiously get more involved in and investigate. This would lead them to all sorts of creepy mansions or other seemingly haunted places where they would encounter ghosts and other creepy characters, often associated with some legend or myth, who would chase them around as they found clues to the mystery. Then, they would eventually set a trap, often using their cowardly pet as bait to capture the villain, who would always turn out to be an ordinary human crook in disguise with their intention of scaring people away from the scene of his crime, or from some hidden treasure or other asset he's trying to steal.

The theme worked well. On the heels of Scooby, CBS and the other networks clamored for more. Hanna Barbera produced Josie and the Pussycats, which had real villains, but was similar in the idea of teenage sleuths. Then, even more in the line of the Scooby Doo Mystery was a whole plethora of mystery crime-solvers-- the Globetrotters, the Funky Phantom, Clan Chan, Goober and the Ghost Chasers, featuring another cowardly canine, Speed Buggy, Hong Kong Phooey, the Clue Club, featuring two more cowardly canines and Captain Caveman. Scooby's actual creators, Joe Ruby and Ken Spears opened their own studio in the late 70's, and continued the pattern, with Fang Face, Plastic Man, and even later a series of popular video-game characters, such as Donkey Kong and Frogger, and even a living animated Rubik's Cube-- all with crime-solving formats with phony monsters unmasked in the end, who "only did it to scare everyone away". Meanwhile, Scooby himself remained steady foiling ghosts as his fame increased. Soon, famous celebrities would join him in his adventures. The act got so hot that his canine relatives gradually joined him, as monsters got weirder and weirder and his travels spread to all around the world. Scooby then took a few years off from crime solving, only to wind up in such fantastical places as Atlantis and Wonderland, where he finds that the monsters, witches and other mythical characters are no longer phony crooks, but are quite real. He quickly returned to phony ghosts, climbing the corporate ladder of the crime-solving industry to get his own detective agency, and then came the ultimate challenge, as he and his friends teamed up with Vincent Price, king of horror films (in animated form, of course) to capture the 13 most terrifying ghosts of all, which Scooby himself had accidentally released from a chest.

Scooby's illustrious career, running longer than any other cartoon show, would end in the nostalgic kick we are in today, where Scooby at times received more air-play than any other cartoon character, and finally has his own live action feature.





OUTLINE

Scooby's history is divided into the following eras:

BOOK 1

Era 1: "Mystery Five"

1969, 70 "Scooby Doo, Where Are You?: 25 (17 first season + 8, 2nd season) half-hour episodes

1972, 73 The Scooby Doo Movies: 24(16+8) hour long episodes featuring famous guests

1976 Scooby Doo/Dynomutt: 16 half-hr episodes, plus "Dynomutt".

1977 Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics: 8 additional half-hour episodes, plus "Laff-A-Lympics"

1978 Scooby's All-stars: 16 half-hr episodes, plus reruns, and other shows

1979 Scooby and Scrappy Doo: 16 half-hr episodes featuring whole gang plus Scrappy

Era II: Scooby, Scrappy, and Shaggy (Intermission)

1980-1 "The Scary Scooby Funnies": 60 7 min. episodes (3 per hr, part of "Richie Rich")

1982 The Fearless Detective Agency: 26 7 min. episodes, plus Scrappy and Yabba Doo

Era III: The New Scooby Doo: Mini-mysteries, Mini-gang:

1983 All New Scooby and Scrappy Doo: 22 10 min. episodes + 2 half-hr 2-part (13 half-hr shows)

1984 New Scooby Doo Mysteries: 14 10 min. episodes + 6 half-hr 2 part (13 half-hr shows)

IV Close of first age

1985 Thirteen Ghosts of Scooby Doo: 13 half-hour episodes

1987-8 The Hanna Barbera Superstar 10: 3 feature length movies

1988-90 Pup named Scooby Doo: 23 half-hour episodes + 7 short episodes.

BOOK 2

V: The '90's/Turn of the Milennium Nostalgic Revival

1993/4 Scooby's Arabian Nights: Scooby and Shaggy in adventure as prince's food tasters, tell him stories, featuring Yogi and friends in Aladdin, and Magilla Gorilla as Sinbad (videocassette and TBS)

1994-6 Joins Cartoon Network, appears in dozens of promotionals

1997 "Bravo Dooby Doo": gang reunites in episode of a Cartoon Network original cartoon series

1998 "Scooby on Zombie Island": New Feature, plus "Those Meddling Kids" segments, and more CN promotionals and bumpers

1999 Scooby and the Witch's Ghost; "The Scooby Doo Project" segments (parody of Blair Witch Project)

2000 "Scooby and the Alien Invaders"

2001 "Scooby and the Cyberchase"

VI: Scooby Hits Big Time: Live Action Movies, New Series; More animated Features

2002, summer "Scooby Doo", LIVE ACTION feature finally released

2002, Fall, "What's New Scooby Doo" -- NEW SERIES-- 13 episodes plus holiday special!

2003 Nicole Jaffe returns as Velma for "Scooby Doo and The Legend Of Vampire Rock", and "Scooby Doo and the Monster of Mexico". Second Season of "What's New Scooby Doo", 14 additional episodes.

2004 Live Action sequel "Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed", and animated "Scooby Doo and the Loch Ness Monster"; third season of "What's New Scooby Doo" with 14 more episodes for total of 42

2005 "Aloha, Scooby-Doo!" and "Scooby Doo in Where's My Mummy?"

2006 "Scooby Doo in Pirates Ahoy!" and "Shaggy and Scooby Doo: Get A Clue!" (series, 2006-8)

2007 "Chill Out, Scooby-Doo!" (Another "Snow Ghost" story; but this time in the actual Himalayas).

2008 "Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King"

VII To the present: Too many new animated feature productions to keep track of (including webtoons, etc.)

3rd live action movie: Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins (2009)

4th live action movie: Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster (2010)

Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated (2010) Serialized show covering the gang's ascendancy in Coolsville.

Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! (2015) (Scooby drawn like "Family Guy")

Daphne and Velma (2018), 5th live action movie, released on DVD

2019, SCOOBY TURNS 50!!!
Scooby Doo and Guess Who: revival of special guest stars format





A legend is born



1969, the height of the age of hippies and Woodstock. A beatnik teenager (aptly named "Shaggy") is walking with his dog, a Great Dane, on a spooky night. They come across a truck with a suit of armor in the drivers seat, the driver having mysteriously vanished. Enter their 3 friends, a handsome blond, with a pair of opposite-extreme females; a pretty but ditzy redhead, and a less attractive, but brainy genius. They arrive in a green van decorated with orange flowers and words "The Mystery Machine". And their curiosity leads them to the spooky museum where the suit of armor was to be delivered. There they discover the legend of the Black Knight, the suit of armor, which soon comes to life and confronts them.

This began a 30 year quest into the supernatural that would take them all around the world, and into superstardom.

Before Scooby

The show was a new idea, greatly needed because of the pressure the cartoon industry was under to tone down violence-- from the slapstick violence of the old theatrical cartoons and 60's TV cartoon series to the blast-'em-up action of super adventure type cartoons that were popular in the few years leading up to this point. Hanna Barbera's offerings in these three areas included Tom & Jerry, Yogi, Quick Draw, the Flintstones, Space Ghost, Birdman and Mightor. The predecessors of the Scooby idea were the super adventures, nearly all of them co-starring kids and their pets who get into trouble with villains and alert and aid the hero. The most notable was Moby Dick-- with a seal interestingly enough named "Scooby", and with the same voice by Don Messick! The predecessor of these, Johnny Quest (HB's very first "realistic people" cartoon) also was similar to Scooby in some ways, including a strong mystery element and traveling around the world, but also had violent action.

The next step was 1968, which was the "missing link" between the slapstick and super adventures of the preceding years, and the upcoming Scooby and its influenced shows. Wacky Races, Gulliver, Huck Finn, and the Banana Splits Show, which included cartoon shorts of Three Musketeers, Arabian Knights, The Micro Venture, and the live action Danger Island (Hanna Barbera's first!) combined elements of the prior formats with those of the future Scooby type shows. Some of the music you may associate with Scooby was even used here, as well as pieces from the past. Violence began to be toned down, and scripts became more realistic and people oriented. All of this pressure may also have been a reaction to both the recent wars and assassinations of the Kennedy's and Martin Luther King. This was now the age of "flower power", and of "peace" and "all you need is love" and new cartoon formats would be greatly influenced by this. Yet in 1968, none of the new shows were big hits. (Wacky Races came close, with two spinoffs the following season, and its villains becoming widely used later on). Many of them have been hard to find over the years, and only thanks to the Boomerang channel that one could see them regularly until recently. A winning formula was yet to be discovered.

ENTER SCOOBY

The following year, CBS president Fred Silverman came up with another new idea. Originally, it was titled "Mystery Five", and featured an entirely different cast (five teens Geoff, Mike, Kelly, Linda, and Linda's brother "W.W.", and a different dog, "Too Much"), who were a rock music band which solved mysteries on the side. This may have been partly influenced by the cartoon adaptation of the Archies, which was a music band with comedy on the side, and had become a big hit by the upstart rival studio Filmation the prior season. This format would influence many cartoons in the decade to come. The new show would consist of "fifteen-minute cliff-hanger episodes with love interests, jealousies, parents, school, etc." similar to the Archies, as well. A big cowardly dog was chosen over a small feisty dog. However, the choices for the big dog were between a Great Dane and a sheep dog. The Great Dane was actually conceived first, but this raised concern that it would be too much like Marmaduke from the comic strips. So the sheep dog was initially chosen. The notion of a cowardly hero who "when there was danger, as scared as he was, he always came through" was taken from old Bob Hope movies.
The gang went through several changes, with one kid dropped (actually Geoff and Mike merged into another, named Ronnie), and the others gradually taking the shape of the four kids we would eventually see. Kelly by now looked like Daphne, but without the hair barette. Ronnie looked like Alan from the later Josie adaptation, but with Fred's Ascot. W.W and Linda still looked completely different from Shaggy and Velma; W.W. more resembled the "young sidekick or hero" from the earlier "Super Adventures" (such as Young Samson when not transformed into Super Samson), with a neat dress shirt and hair; and Linda was as pretty as Kelly; basically the same look, with long hair, but more curl. At that point, they were still trying to decide whether Too Much would be a sheep dog or a Great Dane. The bongo-playing sheepdog was finally ruled out, because it would be too similar to Hot Dog from the Archies. However, Scooby's creator, Iwao Takomoto decided to break the dog-show rules for a prize-winning Great Dane, and we ended up with the features that would distinguish the dog we would later love. While Scooby and Marmaduke do bear a good resemblance, Joseph Barbera assured Ruby and Spears that it would not be a problem, and it never was. Meanwhile, the title was being decided upon as well, and after the character changes, the next proposal for the name of the show was "Who's S-S-Scared?". When the show (including a short completed animation of the "flour sequence" with Shaggy and Scooby that became part of the episode "Mine Your Own Business") was at first presented to and rejected by CBS executives for fear that it would be too "frightening" to children, based on the artwork; Ruby and Spears further reworked the show, dropped the rock band format, and made it more comedic, focusing more on the dog and his master. The dog was renamed after a vocal scat line in a Frank Sinatra song "Strangers in the Night": "Scooby Dooby Doo", which Silverman had listened to while flying out to the meeting! (Later Scooby ally Dynomutt actually sings this line when sculpting a bust of Scooby, once!) The kids were of course also renamed to the present version somewhere along the line, with "Freddy" being named after Silverman at his own request! When "Scooby Doo, Where Are You?" was finally presented again to the executives, it was approved, and the Cartoon world would never be the same again! The same year, Filmation produced a mystery series based on the Hardy Boys, but this never caught on like Scooby did. Scooby was a totally fresh cartoon concept that would eventually capture the culture.

More details on the Evolution of Scooby Doo:
Wikipedia article
Ruby and Spears' side of the story
Some more details on the evolution of the gang, including "The different faces of Velma" and Casting of the gang

Basic Descriptions of the show

Compared to other cartoons, the show was realistic. No more characters getting killed and then coming back without a scratch. The ghosts and other mythical supernatural characters were always phony-- a crook scaring people away from the scene so he could carry out his crime. Scooby talked, but only as a dog would talk if he could-- almost all words beginning with 'R', as if he was barking them. This made for a recognizable, unique character (though it was already used for Astro on the Jetsons, also voiced by Messick). Yet there were many cartoon-style gags, utterly impossible in real life, but logical in cartoon life, such as flapping garbage can lids to fly, or attaching a washing machine to an ironing board and fan, drinking a potion that turns you into a frog; using your dog as a motorcycle, with his ears as the throttle, or if he's already fled, pulling your own belt buckle like a lawnmower cord; "motorizing" your feet. Many of the traps were what are known as "Rube Goldberg" type contraptions: one action causes a chain reaction. This was popular in the classic cartoons of the golden age. There were also gags like the haunted bone: the only "haunted thing" unexplained (and also the only haunted thing Scooby's not afraid of!)

Most violence was accidental, like Scooby or Daphne hitting Shaggy on the head, but sometimes they did have to trip up the ghosts to escape, and some villains try to hit them, such as the hunchback phantom who tries to knock off Velma's glasses so he would have an excuse to hit her (she then kicks him in the shin), and the caveman who tries to bash Shaggy and Scooby with a club. But even this toned down violence would disappear as the series went on.

One of the best things about Scooby was its educational value. Part of the criticism of cartoons was not just the violence, but also lack of substance. In this age, watchdogs demanded education for the children, and many of the new cartoons adapted in ways that came across as preachy, and were a turnoff for many kids, especially looking back (think Yogi's Ark and others, including the more recent Captain Planet). But Scooby got across much knowledge in a way that blended well into the story. The biggest method was the many logical explanations and big words offered by Velma, in the course of solving the case.

There was a wide variety of settings after the Black Knight. We had the most elemental of ghostly foes, a plain-sheeted "phantom" in a castle on Skull Island, and later three classic movie monsters-- Dracula, Frankenstein, and a werewolf, in another castle. There was a witch and zombie in a swamp, a mummy who comes to life in another museum, a sea-going scuba diver ghost, an old miner in a western gold-rush town, the ghost of Geronimo with a dog-napping witch doctor, an ape-man on a movie set, a robot in a closed amusement park, a "ghost clown" haunting a circus, a ghost who turns people old, a shadowy cloaked puppet master in a theater, a space alien on an abandoned airfield, a ghost pirate on a ghost ship, shadow phantoms, who become green ghosts in an old mansion the gang had to spend the night in, and the ghost of the legendary Yeti in a snowy forest.
Nice fitting "spooky" score was created for the show, most of it a variation of the Scooby Doo theme (the instrumental one, that is; not the familiar sung one). Others were borrowed from the previous season's Gulliver, Huck Finn, Three Musketeers and Arabian Knights (early episodes consist largely of this); an athletic sounding piece used here and there was borrowed from Wacky Races, and some score from still even earlier shows occasionally appear. (Decoy For a Dognapper has a lot of this). A couple of tunes, such as one often used at the end of the mystery, were shared with Cattanooga Cats, also from 1969.

The second season continued the pattern in 8 additional episodes. They have an encounter with a descendant of Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, who supposedly has the same problems. Then they run into a Chinese ghost and zombies in Chinatown, a phantom called "the Creeper" on a farm, a frozen caveman near an aquarium, and a headless specter in a haunted house. For the first time they begin traveling abroad, to Hawaii, where they encounter a Tiki god and witch doctor. (In later years, they would expand their adventures to places all over the world). Finally, there is another werewolf, and a wax phantom in a TV station.

The big addition this season were the musical interludes-- chase scenes where contemporary style rock songs would play, and there was almost no dialogue. ("Tiki Scare is no Fair" is the exception; not having an interlude). This feature, dropped from the original concept, had become apart of a fad of this time, as other cartoons this season, such as Josie and the Pussycats featured bands playing. (The songs were likely produced for that original cocept of the show, where the band would perform them, like on the Arhices, but then dustedoff to become chase score for the second season).
What many people don't realize, is that this season was the first for Heather North as Daphne. In the first season, she was voiced by Stephenianna Christopherson. Some had thought that they were really the same person (name change), but the voices do sound a little different.

Scooby can be brave!

Over all, these first two seasons established the team of kids and dog that we would all grow up with, and would eventually take a big place in pop-culture. The many variations were now to begin. The signature statement of this period was when asked by the crook why they didn't mind their own business:

"Hunting dog nappers is our business. After all, Scooby is a dog, and we love him, very much!



The [New] Scooby Doo [Comedy] Movies

After the success of Scooby's first two seasons, he was big enough to host celebrity guests on his show, who would lend their voices and talents, appearing in the stories in animated form. The personalities of Don Knots (twice), Jonathan Winters, Phyllis Diller, Sandy Duncan, The Monkees' Davy Jones, Jerry Reed, Sonny & Cher, Don Adams, Tim Conway, Mamas and Papas singer Cass Elliot and Dick Van Dyke all thought enough of the Scooby series to appear in person with the cowardly crime solver. Also featured were voice impersonations of the Harlem Globetrotters (3x), Three Stooges (2x), Laurel and Hardy, and the fictional characters Batman and Robin, (2x) The Addams Family, Jeannie and Babu, Speed Buggy, and similar gang Josie and the Pussycats. Most of these were either contracted to CBS, or owned by Hanna Barbera. (The Batman episodes were Hanna Barbera's first use of DC superheroes, the rights to which began to be gradually transferred from Filmation).

The episodes were now an hour long, making for some good, more-developed plots. Some were extensions of original "Where are You" episodes. "Ghost of the Red Baron" (The second with the 3 Stooges) has the same basic plot as "Kooky Space Kook": an old airfield, about to be expanded into a jet field, is "haunted" so a crook can buy the surrounding land cheap and sell it back to the county at a profit. Only now, there is much more to the story. The Ghostly Creep from the Deep (first with Globetrotters) and Go Away Ghost Ship use the same exact ghost: Redbeard the Pirate (although with different voices, and colored in the first incarnation, but all white now), and parallels can be drawn between Scooby Meets Laurel and Hardy (with Bigfoot), and That's Snow Ghost; first episode Ghastly Ghost Town (with 3 stooges), and Mine Your Own Business; Phantom of Country Music Hall, and Backstage Rage; and the Haunted Horseman of Hagglethorn Hall bears a resemblance to the Black Knight.

The best episode of all has to be Dynamic Scooby Doo Affair, the first with Batman, where both Scooby and the gang, and the Dynamic Duo are baffled by an elusive old lady, her mysteriously vanishing house, and the Joker and Penguin's role in a counterfeiting operation. They drive the heroes out of their wits in a haunted funhouse they use as their hideout. In this, and in "Frickert Fracas", the plot thickens midway through the episode, as the captured suspects turn out not to be the brain behind the crime. In Loch Ness Mess, Scooby and the Globetrotters are faced with glowing colonial ghosts by land and a fire breathing serpent by sea during a visit to Shaggy's uncle's house. Jeannie has them magically transported to ancient Persia to tackle an evil genie who wants revenge for being bottled for 10,000 years. Even though this spirit was real, the basic format of a human crook trying to steal an inheritance was not abandoned, as the genie's master was a jealous uncle trying to inherit the sultanate. They have the scariest time of all in the deliberately haunted house of the Addams Family. Scooby and Shaggy wind up in the belly of a live dinosaur skeleton, and run into various other spooky Addams household items, as they try to rescue daughter Wednesday from a creepy vulture, which turns out to be a couple of neighbors trying to scare the spooky family away (one of the few examples where the culprits are not villains and not arrested. Another is "Mystery of Haunted Island", where various haunted getups are rigged by a rival basketball team, trying to make the Globetrotters lose sleep so they'll be too tired to play. But Scooby and Shaggy are able to wake them up with ice on the court, so the crooked team leaders still lose in the end).

The music score was similar with the 1969 pieces created for Scooby used, and new pieces based on the Scooby themes. The borrowed 1968 stock that appears in the first two seasons was rarely used, however, but similar Josie score, and some other borrowed tunes were added which fit perfectly.


Scooby, Dynomutt, and the Laff-A-Lympics

After a 2 year break, Scooby switched networks, from CBS, to ABC, where he remained the rest of his network career, and returned to the original format of the half-hour mystery. But by this time, the whole mystery format was getting worn, having already been copied by dozens of other shows. At this period, Hanna Barbera stopped including title screens in most cartoons, so the titles did not appear. (Though some are surfacing for the second season, which were probably added later, or perhaps fan-created). In the new episodes, the first 16 appearing in the Scooby Doo/Dynomutt hour, and the last 8 in Scooby's All Star Laff-A-Lympics the following season, there were some specific themes such as the Bi-Centennial, the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the Superbowl, and the Hatfields and McCoys (a witch is the last McCoy, who turns the Hatfields into frogs), but by in large, they were an uninspired rehash of previously used ideas. Where the series originally was highlighted by Scooby's bravery despite his fear, Scooby and Shaggy are now unrespectable chickens. The focus of the episodes seems to be more and more on the two of them and their chase gags, with weirder monsters such as the 10,000 Volt Ghost and the Steamin' Demon. One set of ghosts even takes on the colors of flavored ice cream! Where in the earlier series, there was more of a unity between the four teenagers and the dog in busting the cases, now Freddy and the girls become more the mystery solvers, finding most if not all of the clues, while Shaggy and Scooby are simply the comedy relief, running from the ghosts, donning ridiculous disguises, and being the bait for Freddy and Velma's traps, and a few times they don't even know what's going on at the end of the story, when the others begin explaining the mystery. In split-ups, Velma travels with Fred and Daphne much more than she does with Shaggy and Scooby. (Modern fans have forgotten this, with everyone, including new productions making a big deal of Fred and Daphne as partners, to the point that they are assumed to be romantically involved). New, ill fitting music score (shared with Dynomutt and others)*, poor sound and a new voice for Velma (by Pat Stevens, replacing Nicole Jaffe)** also took away from the magic of the earlier series. The best things about this period were the verbal and sight gags, such as Scooby's giant chicken suit or literally morphing into a big "fraidy cat" to try to get out of scary assignments, and lines like "when it comes to checkin', we're chicken". What would become another of his trademark lines: "I don't get it", realized after laughing along at one of Shaggy's puns, also had it's beginning here. In "Curse of Viking Lake" Shaggy and Scooby construct the "Scooby Dooby bike-a-copter" (a bike with peddle-controlled propellers) in a trash bin to escape the Vikings.
A lot of the realism (which also helped make Scooby so identifiable to real life) also began fading; like when a toy duplicating machine actually makes a room full of copies of Scooby (which then eat up all the food in the cafeteria).

*(Many episodes did use mostly old score, but this was heavily accented on the "Clue For Scooby Doo" type stock, giving them the feel of that episode (a seafaring adventure), which differed from that of the others. Much of this was not originally from Scooby at all, but from 1968's "Gulliver" and others. A lot of the 1968 score had been used in the original series, and some in the 1972-3 "movies", but some fit spooky land mysteries better than others, and what is used a lot here clearly is a more "seafaring" type score. Added to this were several 1974 "Valley of the Dinosaurs" cues. The sound also was a factor, meaning the way the score, voices and sound effects were mixed and equalized. Here it is not done well, giving many of these episodes a "stuffy" or "tinny" sound, so even when the original score was used (often sped up a bit), it still does not sound the same. The music was not edited as well either, with certain pieces overused and some of the classic pieces used in different type scenes than what they fit best in. All of this together lacked the edge of the earlier episodes in which the score and sound worked together to create the "spooky" atmosphere that made Scooby mysteries great.

** Stevens' Velma voice had a similar "twang" ("forced inflection") to it as Jaffe's original voice, but was deeper, and notably changed the personality of the character. As one of the highlights of the show was Velma's dialogue, this change really affected the show, as well as Velma not even having as many such brilliant lines as in the earlier series.

All of these factors greatly affected the quality of the show. Overall, the series began to take on the feel and sound of an action adventure show (interlaced with comedy) more than a spooky ghost mystery, and this should be kept in mind when assessing the major changes that lied ahead in the series.
Dynomutt was super-adventure with a comedic twist to it (The malfunctioning robot dog's antics), and the new score that appeared in Scooby fit the Dynomutt episodes much better. Scooby and the gang even made guest appearances to help out in three episodes: Everybody Hyde, What Now, Lowbrow and The Wizard of Ooze. (In one other episode, Dynomutt accidentally makes a sculpture of Scooby's head). These cameos were actually a much better usage of Scooby and the gang than the new crop of Scooby episodes.

In four episodes, a cousin (also referred to as a brother) of Scooby appears, Scooby Dum, a brave, but dopey Mortimer Snerd-like detective. (He continues to look for "clues" even after the mystery is over). In the last of these another cousin, Scooby Dee appears as a canine movie-star. (She's a cousin, but also a girlfriend the two males compete for. In the 80's there were said to be plans to bring her back as Scooby's girlfriend. Perhaps this is because they are dogs, and likewise, Dum being both cousin and brother!). The most hilarious scene is when a vampire appears in a room. Scooby jumps into Shaggy's arms (as usual), and Scooby Dum jumps into the arms of the vampire (the person closest to him)! The best story of this period is "Chiller Diller Movie Thriller", in which movie star Scooby Dee is being transported by the gang by train. She gets kidnapped in a town they pass through, and replaced by a phony Dee which actually fools the gang, until she has to kiss Scooby Doo and Dum (she uses a plunger). (These two and "Harum Scarum Sanitarium" come closest to the spirit of the first four seasons). After solving the case of the High Rise Hair Raiser, he is a rewarded as "Honorary Police Dog" with a pizza plaque, which he still gobbles up, rather than keep as a trophy.

The 1977 "Laff-A-Lympics", itself was one of the best cartoon ideas ever, featuring Shaggy, Scooby, Scooby Dum, Blue Falcon and Dynomutt, and old fellow crime solvers Babu, Speed Buggy, Hong Kong Phooey, and the new Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels in one team, the "Scooby Doobies"; Yogi and most of his early 60's friends in their team the "Yogi Yahooeys", and a bunch of miscellaneous bad guys in a third team, the "Really Rottens", led by "Mumbly". (Who actually started out as a good guy, the hero detective [hence, the trench coat] of his own series as part of the "Tom & Jerry/Grape Ape/Mumby" show. So he was retconned to replace Muttley; and Dick Dastardly replaced by the similar "Dread Baron", because "Dastardly and Muttley" were owned by the Heatter-Quigley company, and Hanna Barbera did not have the rights to the characters at this time. In the 80's and 90's they would reappear, as HB and its new owner Turner got permanent rights to Heatter-Quigley property). Laffalympics only used Hanna-Barbera's own created characters, which explains why Babu appeared without Jeannie. So other than the Dalton Brothers (from Quick Draw McGraw) and the Creepleys (from the Flintstones), the members of this last team were mostly new. The announcers were Snagglepuss and Mildew Wolf (originally the villain in the 1969 show "It's the Wolf"). The three teams competed all around the world in track and field athletics.

Scooby and Shaggy's chase antics became the highlight of the show

In 1978, 16 new mysteries were introduced following the same vein, but with new title screens, as part of "Scooby's All-stars" (actually the second season of the Laff-A Lympics). Some thought they were a revival ("lost episodes", even!) of the original "Scooby Doo, Where are You" show, including Jeff Lenburg's Cartoon Encyclopedia. This view would persist to the point that they would even be packaged as such on the DVD release. This confusion comes from the fact that the original show was also rebroadcast as part of "Scooby's All-stars", and some of the episodes aired as part of the separate "SDWAY" show). But actually, they were basically a continuation of the 1976-7 episodes with increasingly weirder monsters, much more fitting for a super adventure cartoon, such as the Moon Monster, Cat Creature, Disc Demon, and 7-foot insect. Themes include the Salem Witch Hunt, the Bermuda Triangle and the Loch Ness Monster. Even newer, Superfriends style score (with original score hardly used at all) drove the series ever further from the original. And Scooby and Shaggy's chase antics continued to be the highlight of the show; some times they spend most of the episode apart from the rest of the gang, who've by now pretty much fallen into the role of spectators. In a couple of seasons, Freddy and the girls would be dropped altogether, and new formats would consist entirely of chase gags.
The big improvement this season was the richer background graphics (which were added to HB's other action shows that year), complete with better shadowing of objects. A notable example was the stone walls in the interior and stairwell of the castle in Highland Fling. This almost prefigures modern computer graphics.

These three seasons would be syndicated as "The Scooby Doo Show", with a modified "Scooby Doo/Dynomutt" opening sequence (with references to Dynomutt removed. See below). The theme music was a total departure from the earlier "Scooby Dooby Doo" based themes, containing not even a reference or resemblance to them, and further makes these seasons lack the feel of classic Scooby. Three later episodes, "The Menace in Venice", the "Beast is Awake in Bottomless Lake", and "Warlock of Wimbledon" were for some reason never syndicated, and after this last season would not be seen until a decade later, on cable.

"The Scooby Doo Show"
Syndicated/Cable (1980 to present)
"The Scooby Doo/Dynomutt Hour"
Original (ABC, 1976)

We got it all together for a brand new show

Scooby Doo is here, and yet away we go

While Scooby Doo is haunted by a spooky Ghost

Shaggy is a-doin' what he does the most

Hey come on, get involved, 'till the mystery is solved

Hang around for Scooby Doo... etc.


They've got it all together, and do you know what?

Scooby Doo is hangin' 'round with Dynomutt!

While Scooby Doo is tangling with a spooky Ghost

Dynomutt is catching crooks or folding clothes

They make a super pair, with a super show to share

Scooby Dooby Doo! And Dynomutt, Dog Wonder!







"Why are we running this way, Uncle Scooby; the ghost went the other way!"

SCOOBY AND SCRAPPY DOO

"Put 'em up, prepare to splat"; "Tata-ta ta ta-ta, Puppy Power", were the battle cries of the feisty little pup who joined the gang in 1979 (for Scooby's 10th anniversary). Amazingly, this has become probably the most hated cartoon character of all time, at least on the Internet. In the early days of the Internet's commonplace usage, hardly a Usenet news group discussion on Scooby went by without someone taking pot-shots at Scrappy, plus whole other websites trashing him, even coming up with a sort of death ribbon as their symbol (similar to the familiar "Breast Cancer Awareness" ribbon, but with pictures of Scrappy on it). Jumptheshark.com, which chronicled people's opinion on the downfall of TV shows, listed him as the number one example of the category "New Kid In Town". Worse yet, latter day productions would begin to cast him as a total menace to everyone.
Many "Scooby purists" find him not only annoying, but also feel he is the downfall of the show. (And even Scooby haters also seem to have had an added hatred for him). Yet the series would continue for almost a solid decade (skipping only 1986) after that. It has also been pointed out that the ratings did not suffer at all but remained as strong as ever (which is why they would keep making new Scooby shows year after year). To skip over this period (as some suggest), is to cut out the entire middle decade-- a whole third of the first half of Scooby's career! Some of his greatest moments were during this time!

Mark Evanier, who wrote for the series during this time has even been quoted as saying "The network kept threatening to cancel it every year or two, so every season they had to add a new element to the show to keep it fresh". We see they had already toyed with a new character in Scooby Dum, so change was inevitable. So, Scrappy was simply part of a cartoon fad of the time, where popular characters were given little sidekicks after a few seasons. So Plastic Man got Baby Plas, Fangface got Fang Puss, Godzilla got Godzookey, and Scooby got Scrappy, his nephew by his sister Ruby Doo. (This will be revealed the following season). A fad like this had already occurred even back in the golden age of theatrical cartoons, with annoying young nephews being given to characters (sparked off by Huey, Dewey & Louie of Donald Duck Fame). You also had Linus of Peanuts receiving a baby brother who looked just like him, Rerun.

Many of them are similar in personality to Scrappy, and in fact, Evanier had even patterned his personality largely after popular Looney Tune character Henery Hawk (who always challenges roosters or dogs much bigger than him), after Barbera described the concept to him, and after rumor spread of an ABC executive being easily sold on series that could be perceived as having some lineage with classic Warner Brothers cartoons. ("Scrappy Days")
Aside from the fearlessness, another aspect of Scrappy would resemble Sylvester Jr. (who always urges his wimpy father to action), and also bulldog Spike's sidekick Chester (who does both, and is also a puppy!) None of these other sidekicks got the hostility leveled at Scrappy. People's aversion to these little characters seems to be that they make shows lame, "cutesy", "mushy" or "gooey" and thus more child-oriented, but Scrappy was actually the least like this of all these characters!

Still, Scrappy drew more villification, perhaps because he was the longest running of them, and on the greatest cartoon series ever, as has been pointed out. However, recall that one of the original ideas for Scooby besides a big cowardly dog was a small feisty dog! "Scooby-Doo Still Going Strong on DVD" by John Latchem, Home Media Magazine, Oct. 20, 2007 http://www.homemediamagazine.com/news/html/breaking_article.cfm?article_id=11404 even confirms that he "...bore a resemblance to Spears’ and Ruby’s initial idea for a feisty little dog". So Scrappy may not even be as unoriginal to the series as we thought!

Most fans will agree that Scooby's first four seasons were far superior, but looking at the lackluster episodes of the subsequent three seasons, this addition actually breathed new life into the show, with most of the attention going to Scrappy, who thinks he's 'bad' enough to whip monsters 10 times his size. This was a total contrast to Scooby and Shaggy, who always wanted to run away. This actually keeps with the format of the show, because in the earlier episodes, Freddy and Velma were the contrast Shaggy and Scooby needed to keep them from running away, abandoning the mystery altogether. (And if Scrappy is such an annoying troublemaker, don't forget the similar role of "danger-prone Daphne", in the original series). This now finalized a permanent division between "Freddy and the girls", and "Shaggy and the dogs". In the final episode, Freddy and the girls make only brief appearances, dropping off and picking up Shaggy and the dogs in New York City, and are otherwise absent from the story, which for the first time is not a mystery (a shadow of things to come). Velma, in this transitional episode is completely silent, and in the four episodes before that, had a third voice, by Maria Frumkin (who would return for four episodes in 1984). One hilarious scene has Shaggy and Scooby barricading a door to lose the snake demon, only to have Scrappy carry the creature (above his head) in the other door. ("Look guys, I've found him!"). But once again, only seeing this as annoying, the critics don't appreciate how funny it is.

Otherwise, the series was a continuation of the '76-78 series, and reflected the late 70's culture with such villains as the Neon Phantom of the Roller Disco, and the Star Creature. Adding to people's dislike of this period, most stories were weak, and some elements were downright corny (Lady Vampire of the Bay, Sky Skeleton, Devil Bear). They were clearly running out of ideas! Once again, Scrappy cannot be blamed for this (it was already going this way), and producing the same episodes without him would not have helped. The format was old and needed a rest. There were a few new ideas, such as "Night Ghoul Of Wonderland", about an amusement park where Velma plays out a Sherlock Holmes fantasy mystery, which then becomes a real crime case. One story people generally like is the opener, about a comic book super hero who comes to life as a super villain. Evanier had actually imported this from a former comic book story he had done for Scooby.
The original 1969 score is completely absent now, but fresh new music replaced most of the other score.

This early Scrappy was often naive, and admittedly, kind of annoying. Sometimes, he actually would get hurt if not snatched away in time by the others, like in the first episode "The Scarab Lives". (When told not to move, he continues to stand still even as a heavy stone statue is plummeting toward him from a roof). He often pounces on the wrong people, claiming "but I'm just a puppy". And his "Scrappy Traps", snare like contraptions, always seem to catch Shaggy and Scooby instead of the bad guy. (Finding Shaggy in it one time, even asks if he's the villain!) He did get on Shaggy and Scooby's nerves sometimes, and once, when trapped in something, Shaggy jokingly suggests leaving him in there. But the critics fail to realize that in the following seasons, Scrappy would mature a lot, which will eliminate his annoyingness, and add to his funniness.

Also this season, was a prime-time hour long special "Scooby Goes Hollywood", in which Scooby tries to become a star. (Scrappy is not present, even though this was produced at the same time as the regular season episodes, and uses some of the new score.)

A NEW DIRECTION

After 105 episodes in 10 years of mystery solving and dozens of copycat shows, Scooby took a totally different turn in 1980. Originally airing as part of the *Richie-Rich/Scooby Doo hour, the new Scooby cartoons marked a total departure from his established format. Episode length was reduced from the usual half-hour to 7 minutes, the standard length of cartoon shorts, with 3 fitting in a half hour. The by now played out mystery format was totally dropped, as were Freddy and the girls, and now, Scooby, Scrappy and Shaggy, who were obviously the main attractions of the show, took off on their own in a series of slapstick chase adventures and fairy tale spoofs reminiscent of the great theatrical shorts of old. Ghosts and monsters were now real, no longer crooks in disguise, and settings would range from a day in the park to such fantasy places as "Ahz", Atlantis, Jack's Beanstalk, Alice's "Wonderland", the pre-historic past, a Jetsons-like future, and even outer space.
The series could have been played by any three characters, but it is still interesting to see Shaggy and Scooby in this new setting. They are still their same old selves, always crying "Zoinks", and "yow", as they always had in the mysteries. This shows that Scooby was very versatile; being able to exist in a totally different format. Freddy and the girls and the mystery format were at this point no longer useful, (they had stuck together so much, that they could easily have been replaced by a single character, and this is essentially what was done here) and it is as if they had cut all the chase scenes with Shaggy and the dogs (or Shaggy and Scooby by themselves) out of the mysteries and framed them into their own mini-episodes. This was an appreciable relief to a theme that was well worn by then. It was simply the logical conclusion of the direction the series was going in. (But the series would eventually go full circle back around to the original format).
This was admittedly a very dark period for Scooby. Not only was nearly every elemental feature of the original Scooby format gone, but for the first and only time, Scooby now had second billing to another cartoon star (Richie Rich)! And all of this may not have been completely avoidable. 1980 was apparently a hectic year in the industry. A voice actors strike even pushed back the fall season to November, and many cartoons were forced to have a limited voice cast! (There apparently had already been a problem keeping Velma's role steadily casted, and now perhaps they could only get Don Messick and Casey Kasem to do the series). Hanna Barbera also seemed to make only short cartoons during this period.

The Mystery Machine, ironically, is still around, now driven by Shaggy. In fact, one feature of the old show that had returned is Shaggy's ability to be serious at times. In the early series, while Shaggy would often be just as scared as Scooby, at some times, he would talk sense into him, and even order him to the task at hand, or to stop being scared. So Shaggy was a bit more like the other kids back then. Over time, this disappeared, as both Shaggy and Scooby were constantly written as being cowardly together, and it was Freddy and Velma ordering them around. But now, as the de-facto leader of the gang, Shaggy once again talks sense into Scooby at times, especially when Scooby sees the ghost first. Once Shaggy sees it, then he becomes scared and runs away with Scooby. An example is "Scooby Ghosts West". He of course also tries to talk sense into Scrappy, as in Waxworld. (Though for the opposite reason than for Scooby, of course).

Scrappy has matured some, just as brave as before, but now knowing what he is doing, and this time able to carry out his threats and actually splat the bad guy. Shaggy and Scooby constantly grab him away from characters that he could really handle himself if left alone. This makes him at his funniest in the series. When bullies and other creeps attack Scooby, Scrappy shouts "nobody does that to my Uncle Scooby", calls "Puppy Power", and splats the meanie good if Scooby doesn't snatch him away first. People criticize him for being so small and "all talk", yet now he could put his money where his mouth was! For instance, when Shaggy and Scooby are tired of being chased by a lava monster, and Shaggy wishes he would go "back to where he came from", Scrappy says "Well, why didn't you say so?" and simply picks up the creature, carries him off and throws him back into the volcano. This is not the naive brat of the first season, whom the critics can't seem to see past. Helping to improve the character, his new Don Messick voice (similar to Ricochet Rabbit) suited him much better than the crotchety Lennie Weinrib voice (similar to Shaggy's uncle Nat) of the first season. And he no longer barked like he did in the first season. In fact, the Scrappys of the first and second (& later) seasons are almost like two totally different characters, and if people had given him a chance after the first season, maybe we wouldn't have the rampant hatred of him afterward.
He did get the others in trouble by repeatedly giving away their disguises (trying to fight the bad guy), as in "Lighthouse keeper Scooby" and "Waxworld", but this was hilarious, not annoying (except to Shaggy and Scooby). Cartoon characters are supposed to do silly things that cause trouble.

The adventure begins with "Close Encounters with the Strange Kind", which begins very similarly to the prior season's mystery, "Close Encounters of a Scooby Kind". A UFO soars through the evening sky, lands, and its alien pilots are seen. We cut to Scooby, Shaggy and Scrappy, on a camping trip, who soon encounter the aliens. In the former episode, they go and get Freddy and the girls, as usual, and their later trip into space turns out to be phony (a movie type prop). But now, in this season, the aliens actually do kidnap Shaggy into space, and Scooby and Scrappy follow, and the chase begins to get Shaggy back to earth. This time, the aliens are not unmasked; they simply abandon their earth-specimen mission, and the episode ends as they drop the gang off back on earth and head back to their planet. Next, the gang has their first encounter with a real vampire in "A Fit Night for Bats". They tackle one last phony ghost in "Chinese Food Factory", and for the next 57 episodes will encounter a real mummy, real sorcerers, witches, monsters, ghosts, and other legendary characters, ending the series with an encounter with a real Bigfoot! As in other cartoons, the reality of these characters is not questioned. While the old Scooby format tried to be fairly realistic, in this series, anything is possible. One ghost even turns out to be the spirit of Scooby's great-grandpa, a civil war dog trying to rid Scooby Manor of the cowardly Scooby and his grandpa. (He is proud of Scrappy, though). In "Scooby's Luck of the Irish", they try to get gold from a smart-alecky leprechaun they had captured. Not all episodes involve supernatural or mythical adversaries. In "Way Out Scooby", they wind up on Mars, and are confronted by a US robot whom they think is a Martian. Scooby is pitted against a jealous bully bulldog in "Scooby's Swiss Miss" and "Strongman Scooby". He also runs into a bullfight, an army training base, a restaurant that refuses to serve dogs, "Nazrat" of the jungle, spies in "Surprised Spies" (the other of the series only 2 crime plots), and a rival football team. Not all episodes even had bad guys. In "Scooby Dooby Goo", Shaggy and Scooby are turned into babies by a steam bath, and are entered into a baby contest by Scrappy, only to have him win when they change back to normal. They get carried away on a hang glider in "Hang in there Scooby". "Scrappy's Birthday" retells Scrappy's birth to Scooby's sister Ruby Doo. In 1984, episodes were rebroadcast under the title "Scary Scooby Funnies", with a new opening sequence similar to the New Scooby Doo Mysteries they aired with, and this is how they are referred.

1980 was also the season the older episodes entered syndication. So Scooby fans unimpressed with Scrappy could now enjoy their old favorites five days a week. While the original CBS series had been rebroadcast on ABC, the hour long Movies hadn't, and were now seen for the first time since the CBS run, aired in 2 half-hour parts. Generally, the schedule was Monday, "Scooby Doo, Where Are You" (1969); Tues/Wed., Comedy Movie pt. 1, 2; Thurs., "Where Are You" (1970); Fri., "Scooby Doo Show" (1976-78). Of course, local stations could change this around. The subsequent seasons debuting during this period would gradually be added to the syndication package in the latter half of the decade.

*The current opening for this season's episodes is simply the first season episode opening, with a scene toward the end, of Scrappy carrying Scooby into a room where the whole gang is sitting, replaced by a clip from "The Ghoul, the Bat and The Ugly" showing Scooby and Shaggy running and clinging to each other in fear. But if you watch Richie Rich, notice the opening sequence begins with a brief reference to the Scooby Doo theme. The closing sequence contains the entire Scooby theme. This is a remnant of the original opening, (which featured clips of "Scooby Nocchio" and "Lighthousekeeper Scooby" and Scrappy standing in front of the show's title saying "and Scrappy too!") and the entire closing.

SCOOBY AND YABBA

The Scooby and Scrappy Doo/Puppy show of 1982 was a joint venture between Hanna Barbera and their former storymen Ruby and Spears' company (which had been taken over by HB's parent company Taft), joining Ruby Spears' Petey the Puppy with new episodes of Scooby and Scrappy, plus the western adventures of Scrappy and another Doo relative, Sheriff Yabba (sort of a canine Quick Draw McGraw), and a western counterpart to Shaggy, Deputy Dusty. Because of the joint production, different, non-HB sound effects (such as the old Warner Brothers whipoorwhil, used for running), can be heard in the show.

Scooby episodes were similar to the Scary Scooby's, but now there was a semi-return to a crime-solving format, as in half of the episodes the three work at Shaggy's Uncle Fearless' detective agency, where they get called onto new cases. It's still not quite the old mystery routine, as such crooks as the Cat Lady and others were their true identities. ("Capt. Canine Caper", "Catfish Burglar Caper", "Comic Book Caper", and "Snow Job Too Small" are the exceptions, with the crooks unmasked in the end). The other episodes feature our heroes dealing with other teens in teenage type situations such as teen center sports, the beach and dating. (The bulldog we saw twice before is now given a teenaged master, and aliens and genies and others are now distinctively teen.) Scrappy is pretty much the same, but is now becoming less prominent in the show, not confronting bullies as much, as the focus is gradually being shifted back to Shaggy and Scooby. Over all, these episodes, more people-oriented than the Scary Scoobies, did make for a nice series of cute comedies, and three of the Fearless cartoons ("Maltese Mackerel", Stakeout at the Takeout", and "Beauty Contest Caper") even featured original 1969 score, unused for several seasons by now.

This series now uses the same modified "Scooby and Scrappy" opening sequence as the last season's series, but the closing sequence is the original from this season, including Dean Elliot's "Petey the Puppy" theme.

THE ALL NEW SCOOBY AND SCRAPPY

In 1983, Scooby returned to his old tried and true domain of ghost-catching. The opening sequence begins with bats flying off, in the fashion of the original series' opening. Everything now though, was a scaled down version of before. Half-hour shows consisted of 2 mini-mystery episodes. There were a couple of end-season two-parters that filled a half hour each. Daphne returned, looking and sounding like before, but now was no longer ditzy, but instead, has taken over Velma's role as the intelligent female of the gang. She now drives the Mystery Machine, working as a "snoopy reporter" for a magazine, and bringing the gang to her cases. Scrappy is now even more matured, and totally softened down from before, having a much bigger sense of danger. He will even back down if a monster growls loud enough, and can even be seen shivering in fear and crying for help; unthinkable in his earlier life. He is now basically the "new Freddy", solving the mystery with Daphne, while Shaggy and Scooby return to their prior role as the comedy relief who only keep the ghosts busy while Scrappy and Daphne find the clues. Still, they make for cute little mysteries, with a lot of fresh new ideas brought in. New villains include a dinosaur, the Hound of the Scoobyvilles (Scooby himself gets suspected), and the Creature from Chem-Lab. Once again, phony characters were unmasked in the end, but "Scoobygeist", "Wizards and Warlocks" and "Who's Minding the Monster" follow the Scary Scooby pattern of real monsters. "The Mark of Scooby" is a takeoff of Zorro, set in a Spanish village (actually a dream). The two-part "Where is Scooby Doo" has a "murder on the Orient Express" plot, and the final "Wedding Bell Boos", feature much of Scooby and Shaggy's families, including the ghost (supposedly) of one of Shaggy's ancestors, who tries to wreck Shaggy's sister's wedding. Even more new score was added-- modern, but creating a comparable "mystery" atmosphere to the original.

1984's "The New Scooby Doo Mysteries" is a continuation of the All New Scooby and Scrappy except that Scooby now has his own company, the Scooby Doo Detective Agency. The show is heavily influenced by the movie "Ghostbusters" (The gang is even called this a few times!), and the opening sequence is set to a hip-hop beat with rapped lyrics, and has the gang and six classic monsters (Dracula, Medusa, Frankenstein, Igor, werewolf and sea demon) dancing to the beat. The funny new ideas continue as the gang runs into the "Hands of Horror" (mechanical floating hands), and as the "Bee Team"(takeoff of TV's "The A Team") tackle giant killer bees. There is even a caricature of scientist Carl Sagan as a scientist in "South Pole Vault".
The highlight of the season was the six two part episodes featuring the guest appearances of Freddy (now a mystery writer) and/or Velma (now a researcher with NASA). The first is the season opener, "Happy Birthday Scooby", a 15th anniversary tribute, set to the theme of "This is Your Life". The final episode is a Christmas special, based on the "Nutcracker" play. Scooby becomes "Sherlock Doo" in one, and even helps out the President in another, and "Halloween Hassle in Dracula's Castle", and "Ghosts of the Ancient Astronauts" feature real ghosts and monsters, and recaptures some of the magic of the original series.

In these two seasons, our gang receives their last names: Daphne Blake (though this was first used for her uncle in "A Bum Steer for Scooby"), Shaggy Rogers, Freddy Jones (mistakenly called "Rogers" in his initial introduction in "Happy Birthday Scooby") , and Velma Dinkley.)

THE THIRTEEN GHOSTS OF SCOOBY DOO

Scooby entered another era in 1985 with the Thirteen Ghosts of Scooby Doo. Everything has now been updated. The new Mystery Machine is a modern sleek red high-tech van, and there is also a Flying Mystery Machine-- the gang's own private plane! Daphne has a totally new look with a new hairstyle and new outfits, and Shaggy's T-shirt has changed from green to orange.

This series is based on "Ghostbusters", as in the first episode, Scooby has been tricked into opening the "Chest of Demons", containing the 13 worst ghosts of all, which now scatter all around the earth. Scooby and the gang (the trimmed down gang— Raggy, Rappy, Raphne) now must travel the globe tracking down these ghosts and trapping them in the chest. (They sometimes use vacuum-like devices similar to the Ghostbusters). They are joined by a haggling little kid, Flim-Flam, and his wizard friend Vincent Van-Ghoul (Vincent Price). Aiding the demons are a pair of bungling ghosts voiced by Arte Johnson and Howard Morris, and one episode replaces them with three bungling witches (a female "Three Stooges").

Once again, these ghosts are real, and the show features seances and the gang communicates with Vincent through his crystal ball. He can also magically appear on the scene to help the gang. A few times we get a new feature: "program interruptions"-- comical newsbrief type bits. In "Scoobra Cadoobra" a caricature of children's TV watchdog Peggy Charren demands a scene with a dragon be cut out. Scrappy (as the dragon's attorney) protests that she has something against dragons, and that he has to feed his family too. This idea would be heavily used in the upcoming "A Pup named Scooby Doo". In "It's a Wonderful Scoob", a caricature of President Reagan appears in one of these spots, urging Scooby to return to ghost-chasing. He had gotten so tired of ghosts that he quit and went back to his parents, to be replaced by a dopey St. Bernard. Then, in the fashion of both "It's a Wonderful Life" and Dickens' "A Christmas Carol", Scooby is shown glimpses of what the world would be like without him, as the ghost Time Slime takes over and creates a dark future. But as always, Scooby eventually overcomes his fear and gains enough courage to come back and save the day. In another episode, the gang is actually trapped in the pages of the funny papers, and in still another, they get trapped in a warped mirror dimension. The opener, "To all the Ghouls I've Loved Before", and "Me and My Shadow Demon" dig out both some original 1969 score, and 1978 "Superfriends" score.

HANNA BARBERA SUPERSTAR 10 MOVIES

In 1987 and 1988, Hanna Barbera released ten 2 hour movies for syndication, featuring their top stars, and this included three for Scooby Doo: Scooby and the Ghoul School, Scooby and the Boo Brothers, and Scooby and the Reluctant Werewolf. In all three, Scooby, Shaggy and Scrappy run into adventures with real ghosts and monsters (sort of like extended "Scary Scooby Funnies" cartoons). However, The Boo Brothers does have such elements of the traditional mystery format as searching for clues, and a phony ghost unmasked in the end. Carried over from the 13 Ghosts are the new Mystery Machine and Shaggy's orange T-shirt. (In the Boo Brothers, Shaggy drives a jeep colored the same green as the old Mystery Machine). By this time, Hanna-Barbera had ceased using Hoyt Curtin/Ted Nichols music score, so all the older score was retired for good.

The Ghoul School is a school for the daughters of Dracula and other monsters, and the gang winds up as their gym teacher. They must battle against a rival military style boy's academy, and a witch who thinks the monsters have softened. In the Reluctant Werewolf, Shaggy becomes a werewolf (it runs in his family, as we first saw in the Scary Scooby episode "Moonlight Madness"), and Dracula tries to make him lose an auto race of monsters so he can remain a werewolf and replace the old werewolf who has quit the monster lifestyle. (Shaggy also has a girlfriend, Googie, who helps him out). Obstacles along the way include the Shlockness Monster). The Boo Brothers are a ghostly Three Stooges (so many incarnations of this comedy Trio in the Scooby series!), the gang employs to catch ghosts while searching for hidden family treasure on a plantation Shaggy had inherited.

A PUP NAMED SCOOBY DOO

In the late 70's we saw the cartoon fad of giving stars little sidekicks, which brought Scrappy onto the scene. Now, a decade later-- the late 80's, the new fad was now younger childhood versions of the stars. Hanna Barbera had Yo Yo Yogi, with the bear and his friends, and villains Dastardly and Muttley as teenagers, the Flintstone Kids, the Tom & Jerry Kids, and Popeye and Son. Other studios had The New Archies, The Muppet Babies, Little Rosie and Tiny Toons-- a "new generation" of Looney Tunes stars. So once again, the Scooby series joined the act in 1988 with A Pup named Scooby Doo-- the young Scooby, plus childhood versions of the original gang-- Shaggy, Freddy, Velma and Daphne. A new regular was added: Red Herring, the neighborhood bully. This show was basically a spoof of the original show, with frequent comedic references to such original themes as Freddy's "Let's split up", Scooby's "I don't get it", and the villains' "I would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for those kids" (Scooby harumphs and the villain remembers "...oh, and that puppy!") Scooby snacks now come in all kinds of flavors. Continued are the "special announcements" introduced in the 13 Ghosts.

The setting is an interesting mixture of both the 50's and the 80's, with early rock-type opening and chase music and modern high-tech gadgetry. Typical late 80's and 90's style animation, with tonsils and huge eyeballs popping out with the blood veins visible when startled, are frequent (this was in the spirit of the late great Tex Avery and Bob Clampett of Golden Age theatrical cartoon fame). In the first episode, they slide down a chute, like in the classic series, but now a sign on it reads "standard cartoon chute gag", as you would see in an Avery cartoon. Villains include the Ghostly Dog Catcher, the Headless Skateboarder, the Cheddar Monster and Chickenstein. Shaggy and Scooby are their same old selves, of course, using the same voices, but the other voices and personalities were changed. Velma is still the brain, but now barely talks at all, some episodes saying little more than her trademark "jinkies" (which alerts the gang that she's found a clue). Freddy and Daphne's personalities have been all but reversed. Daphne is now a loud smart-mouthed snotty type rich kid (voiced by Kellie Martin), and always calling her butler Jenkins to remove Red or clean dirt off her clothes. She also seems as a bit tom-boyish, compared to the highly feminine "damsel in distress" she was in the original series. She has taken a lot of the wit Velma had, and it is she who frequently reminds everyone that "There's no such things as ghosts!" (Martin would have been a good Velma, as she sounds a lot like the original Jaffe voice). Freddy is a ridiculously nerdy dweeb who even tops Shaggy in weirdness. He reads the "National Exaggerator" believing all its stories, and thus constantly fears Martian invasions and such. He comes up with ridiculous ideas and hypotheses, and even put everyone to sleep listing 200 suspects of the crime, and always suspects Red Herring, even when he is not in the story. (He's the one picked on the most by Red. The name, by the way, is an expression for a misleading clue). Otherwise, the series marked the return to the established format, the weird animation and monsters being the centerpiece. We see Shaggy's baby sister (but renamed "Shoogie" from the "Aggie" used in "Wedding Bell Boos"), and learn his real name is Norville! (And Scooby's full first name is "Scoobert"!)

Three more seasons would include a few additional episodes, some of them short, at two per show, and one of them a slapstick comedy featuring Shaggy and Scooby only.



THE 90'-- DEATH AND REBIRTH

As the 80's drew to a close and the 90's drew on, Scooby ended his 20+ year run (or reign) on network TV. During this time, the older episodes moved from syndication to the USA cable network, which at the time had most of the Hanna Barbera and Ruby Spears cartoons. Ted Turner, who already owned the MGM library (including Hanna and Barbera's old Tom & Jerry films) now began eyeing the HB library for the new Cartoon Network cable channel he would launch in 1992. It immediately got A Pup Named Scooby Doo (which was not apart of USA's package), but it would take another 2 years for that network's contract on the rest of the episodes to expire. In the meantime, a new Scooby feature, Scooby's Arabian Nights was released on videocassette in 1994, but this was more a Yogi and Friends story being told by Shaggy and Scooby, than it was a Scooby story. It went largely unnoticed.

Upon Turner's acquisition of the entire Scooby series, new promotionals were produced, featuring Don Messick resuming his role as Scooby advertising his arrival on the "Rartoon Retwork". In this early one, Shaggy, shouting "Scooby Doo, Where are you?", had a different voice. But soon enough, Casey Kasem returned; the most notable promo being the Pulp Fiction style piece with Shaggy and Droopy Dog discussing Cartoon Network around the world. With the increasing popularity of computer rotoscoping of animated cells, (copying them off of cartoons and pasting them onto new backgrounds) Scooby was also included on almost every other promo produced for the network, such as the Cartoon Network rap, the CGI backgrounded Cartoon Network Library, and the excellent "Boo Boo, Baba, Dee Dee". Another promo linked Velma to every other cartoon, making her "the center of the Cartoon Universe", (Betty Rubble --→ Judy Jetson (same exercises) --→ Astro --→ Scooby --→ Velma; Brainy Smurf --→ Azrael --→ Sebastian --→ The Pussycats --→ Alan ——→ Freddy --→ Velma; Space Ghost --→ Zorak, who was reused on an episode of Jabberjaw, with Clamhead, who looks like Shaggy --→ Velma). By now, Scooby was really on the upswing again. The network began airing the show several times a day, and there were still Turner's other networks, TBS and TNT (which had cartoons until Fall, 1998). An annual tradition developed with a 25 hour marathon of Scooby (the 25 original episodes played one after the other, twice) during daylight savings time weekend, and then plenty were played right after that on Halloween. (There have also been Scooby Movie marathons). Two years in a row, there was a "Dog Bowl" on Super Bowl weekend, in which various dog cartoons would be played, and the "winner" would be chosen by callers. Scooby won both years, rendering any future "Dog Bowls" unnecessary. The darkest moment came in October of 1997, when Don Messick, Scooby's voice, died. In the style of the "Silence" animation poster, showing Looney Tunes characters mourning the death of Mel Blanc, their voice, Warner Brothers, by now the owner of Turner/HB, put out one with Shaggy and Scooby mourning Messick. (This understandably drew criticism, since it ignored all the other cartoon stars voiced by Messick.).

Scooby would never be quite the same again. But as it is always darkest before dawn, a revival of 70's nostalgia in the late 90's (just like the 50's nostalgia in the 70's; 60's nostalgia in the 80's-- it's a 20 year cycle as the children of those decades grow up and become nostalgic about their young lives) further elevated Scooby back into the limelight. New animation was on the way, and a new voice would soon take over. One of Turner's original visions for the Cartoon Network was "World Premiere Toons". The Hanna Barbera studios (later renamed Cartoon Network Studios) brought in a bright new generation of young cartoon directors and animators who created new 7 minute shorts. It was hailed as a throwback to the golden age of theatrical cartoons, where there was freedom from the demands of a Saturday morning network series schedule to allow total creativity. Whichever cartoons were well received soon became new series. One of those series, Johnny Bravo, would include a spoof of the Scooby mystery format that featured the original gang. Kasem, Welker and North returned, though the new Scooby and Velma voices (by Scott Innes and B.J Ward) were no where near the original. The episode even featured a musical chase sequence, reminiscent of the second season (1970) episodes. At the end, several masks were pulled off of the "ghostly gardener", revealing old characters Professor Hyde White (though, he wasn't a villain!), Harry the Hypnotist, Don Knotts, Bigfoot (from the Laurel & Hardy episode), and Joe Barbera (Bravo: "Who's that?") (It turns out to be Bravo's aunt, trying to scare him out of the house). Also are hints of what cynical 90's fans had been suspecting: romantic involvement between Fred and Daphne (since they are the ones who usually go together on split-ups). She treated Bravo coldly just like all of the other women he hits on. But he and Velma liked each other, as was elaborated on in a later CN promotional. Other promotionals featured the gang as well, such as them waiting for Velma to find her orange socks. Burger King sold Scooby toys, and produced a commercial featuring a live action Mystery Machine driven by an animated Shaggy. (You could even start to see vans painted as the Mystery Machine around this time).

Look out for a live Mystery Machine on a street near you!

He was really back on a roll now, and a new full-length videocassette feature, Scooby on Zombie's Island, quickly followed. For some reason, Casey Kasem and Heather North bowed out at this point, leaving Frank Welker (Freddy) as the last original voice. (Rumor has it that Kasem stopped playing the meat-loving Shaggy because of a falling out with WB over the afroementioned Burger King ad campaign due to his vegetarianism. Hid did return to play Robin of Batman fame in a promo about cartoon sidekicks, though). The new Shaggy voice, by Billy West, of Ren & Stimpy, was at times pretty good (especially in the deep whispering and high tone, where it sounded just like the original), but at other times was pitched wrong. The new Daphne (Mary Kay Bergman) was fairly OK.

This movie, and the ones after it, do not really have the feel of the original series. Perhaps, the real monsters and the occult atmosphere are what the producers feel is the essence of the whole Scooby mystery format. It was even noticed that the animation looks more WB than HB. Like the various Justice League related movies and series being produced beginning at this time, (and probably inspired by them) the new Scooby animation would not have the cartoony music and sound effects of earlier animation, but would sound more like standard non-animated features. But despite the big changes in voice and animation, many Scooby fans were satisfied, feeling the original spirit of the show was back, because it was the whole gang and no Scrappy.

The mystery Machine is a more modern mini-van now (with side windows), but painted in the original colors. Picking up on ideas introduced in "Bravo Dooby Doo", Freddy and Daphne get jealous when they meet other men/women. This relationship between those two would become a new pattern in most new productions. Daphne, a modern woman, does a talk show "Coast to Coast", and after telling many stories of unmasking phony ghosts, wants to catch a real one. Velma sells mysteries (novels), which she says is harder than solving them. Shaggy and Scooby are shiftless menial workers who have trouble keeping jobs. The gang gets back together, and are told of a real haunted house on Moonstone island in Louisiana, and go and investigate. Freddy figures it's just someone trying to scare kids away, and there are plenty of references to "mechanical claws", "holograms" and all the other phony "haunting" gadgets they were so familiar with. They even try to pull "masks" off of some zombies, and find that they are real.

Before and after the release of the movie, Scooby CN bumpers exploded, with a new set appearing seemingly every few weeks. (They all featured the intro to Carl Stalling's "Powerhouse" piece from the 1940's Looney Tunes, which then led into the original Scooby title theme. This in fact was done on all other cartoons as well, signaling that the Turner/HB/MGM library has been grafted into the Warner Brothers family.) Ones released right after the movie featured Freddy and the new Shaggy with "We'll be right back" messages reminiscent of the long forgotten original CBS bumpers with Freddy and Shaggy ("Don't fly the coop, we'll be right back with the troops"; Don't go away, we'll be right back in a flash").

Less than a month later, on Halloween, 1998, the movie would premiere on CN's Cartoon Theatre. (CN had recently acquired the Hanna Barbera Superstar 10, including the other 3 Scooby features from the Disney Channel, plus Scooby's Arabian Knights, which all were airing on this program.). New promotionals for the Network's broadcast of Zombie Island featured Shaggy as a prowler/crank phone caller harassing Daphne at home. A week before Halloween, on the daylight savings time marathon, new voices and reused animation (and some new drawings) were framed into 8 "interviews" entitled "TMK" (Those Meddling Kids). They featured the gang sharing facts about themselves and each other, and pictures from childhood. In the first "case", we see it was Daphne's father who originally financed the gang, and drove them around in his car ("Seven Days a Week" playing on the radio). When he forbids her to go into a haunted house, the gang decided to travel on their own. The next 5 cases feature each of the 5 members. The next case after those interview various captured villains, and the final one is "the Gang, Reunited" (a summary). In all of these, we learn that it was Shaggy who found the Mystery Machine, Velma has won dozens of achievement awards and inspired the gang with her "jinkies" call, and Daphne claims to be just as smart as her, getting all A's in school. She early on aspired to be a crime solver (as well as fashion model) to the shock of her parents. She and Freddy also deny their romantic involvement, which Scooby gives away by blowing kisses. These segments originally aired during the commercials during that marathon, and afterwards had been used as bumpers at the end of Scooby programs.

Scooby Turns 30 and enters New Millennium with more DTV movies

For Scooby's 30th anniversary in 1999, a second new feature was released, "Scooby and the Witch's Ghost", also for videocassette in the Fall, and aired on the Network around Halloween. West left leaving Innes to take over Shaggy's voice. It sounded pretty much the same, just having too much of a rough edge compared to the original.
Leading up to this is "The Scooby Doo Project", including a 24 hour marathon of original episodes one weekend, followed by the five prior 2 hour movies the next, and even a Scrappy Doo marathon. This year, in place of the "TMK" segments, were bits parodying the movie "Blair Witch Project". The animated gang drives the real life Mystery Machine around in the real world interviewing real people in the area about strange goings on. They camp out in an old cemetery in the forest and encounter a monster (actually reused from a bumper introduced years before). All of this was advertized by parts of some of the bits, plus "footage" of the sheriff (also live action) having found all of the episodes in a briefcase and the abandoned Mystery Machine in the woods. Around this time, General Mills also added Scooby, Shaggy and Mystery Machine marshmallows to its "monster cereals": Count Chocula/Franken Berry/Boo Berry. Cartoon Network also celebrated by adding a four hour Saturday block (Noon-4) during the summer, featuring two original episodes, two Scooby & Scrappy, one Comedy Movie, New Scooby Doo Mystery, and A Pup Named Scooby. (This was also done the following summer). Many CN viewers began crying "enough Scooby already", especially fans of anime and action-adventure, which they felt had been crowded out for Scooby or "Cartoon Cartoons" (the former "World Premiere Toon" series). Scooby was now shown more than any other cartoon, beside the new cartoons, leading some to proclaim it the "Scooby Doo Network").

Scooby entered the new millennium with another animated feature, "Scooby and the Alien Invaders" the following Fall. He even won the Cartoon Network's 2000 cartoon Presidential election! All of his movies ran as "Presidential Movies for the People" on July 4th weekend. In Fall 2001, another videocassette movie was released "Scooby's Cyber Chase" about the gang getting trapped inside a computer. It was a pretty interesting story, in which they help a college computer scientist who has made a game featuring the gang, and is then troubled by a living "virus" monster who traps the gang inside the program. There have to play several levels, in which they must find the box of Scooby snacks, amidst being challenged by the virus. On the final stage, they meet their digital selves, who wear the original outfits except for Shaggy who has the orange T-shirt from the late 80's. Their colors are also duller, like the old series. They also are chased by five villains from the 70's— Creeper, Jaguaro, Gator Ghoul, Iron Face and the Tar Monster, who are now "real" and not disguised. (It was supposed to be "every villain we've ever captured". It would have been nice if they had put in more of them, especially from the more classical episodes). Bergman had died and was replaced, by Grey DeLisle.
For the Halloween Marathon, a new "mystery" was created, "Night of the Living Doo", which was a "Comedy Movie" parody starring an animated Gary Coleman, David Cross and the band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (Both shown in the flashlight title screen taken from the Comedy Movies) and a cameo by Mark Hamill. Jabberjaw winds up as the villain, jealous of all the attention Scooby got instead of him. It aired in parts as the commercial bumpers, then was broadcast whole at 11:30 pm. The Cyber Chase movie was shown the weekend after Thanksgiving. With all of this, the greatest moments were still yet to come.

WHAT'S NEW, SCOOBY DOO? Live Action Movie and new series finally arrive for 2002!

Next in line was a live action feature, following the Flintstones and various other cartoons (the late 90's/millennium fad) which was filmed in Australia, and released June 14th 2002. It has live actors for the gang, and a computer amimated Scooby. Real life lovers Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar played Fred and Daphne. Matthew Liliard plays Shaggy, and Linda Cardellini plays Velma. The voices were done reasonably well. The CGI Scooby fit in with the live action excellently, though his somewhat sharper looking face, smaller recessed eyes (with shadows), and realistic pointy dog teeth make him look a bit too "real", and more like a Doberman Pinscher.
Of course, you saw promotionals of the movie everywhere (no longer just on Cartoon Network), along with all the posters, billboards, internet ads, etc. in the months leading up to its release. The movie also has a soundtrack, of course. Scooby had truly captured the entertainment world this year. Anticipating the added Scooby-mania, the Kids WB network began playing the classic series, bringing Scooby back to regular broadcast ("air") television for the first time in over a decade. (Hour long Movies were once again showed in 2 parts). In the beginning, Casey Kasem even did the promotionals for the show! This version featured new popup information, such as countdowns to important clues, the gang's sayings or traits ("zoinks", "jinkies", Velma losing her glasses, etc.) or other significant information, and even viewer comments. Cartoon Network's new retro-oriented Boomerang channel launched and became another vehicle of the Scooby series.

Of course, this movie marked the ultimate triumph of the anti-Scrappy sentiment, as somewhere late in the development, writer James Gunn, who has pointedly stated his detest for the character, decided to add Scrappy to the script as the villain, who in a highly uncharacteristic fashion, rails against and tries to >KILL Scooby. He's now the one to utter: "I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling sons of-[cell door slams!". Where Scrappy had been totally ignored in previous productions (and then began to slowly creep into some CN promotions with negative connotations, such as "The Scooby Doo Project" interstitials, and The "Scrappy Stinks" web game), this would now set a trend of negative references to him being thrown into many new productions (both within the Scooby franchise, and in external comedy spoofs) to come.

One of these other productions was the "Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law" show episode "Shaggy Busted", which plays on the "Shaggy-as-drugged-out" theme. (Actual clips of the old series showing things like clouds of dust in the Mystery Machine are taken as "evidence" of drug use). Snausages introduced an actual "Scooby Snacks" brand of dog treats, with beef flavor Bone, cheese flavor Cheese, chicken flavor Drumstick, and bacon flavor Pizza shaped treats! Kelloggs introduced Scooby Doo Cinnamon Marshmallow cereal around the same time as well.

And that still was not all! A rumored new series debuted in the Fall! There was a lot of great news!
13 episodes of "What's New Scooby Doo" aired on Kids WB, plus a Christmas special. To a large extent, it is similar to the animated movies. Animation is a cross between the new WB style and the classic HB style. Modern cultural references are still present, such as Velma's laptop and Daphne's cellphone. Some criticized this, but remember, the gang always had the latest technology of the day (such as all the Mystery Machine radar equipment in Decoy for a Dognapper). In at least one instance it came quite in handy. When Daphne gets lost, Fred and Velma go off to search the old fashioned way, while Shaggy suddenly gets the idea to phone her cell, thus leading him right to her. This is the type of ingenuity that made the old series so good.
There was really a great effort in creating an element of surprise in revealing who the culprits are. One time, Velma gets a person to confess; he is taken away, the gang drives off (with Shaggy and Scooby digging into the food, as usual), and then suddenly it dawns on Velma that that wasn't the culprit after all, and one later clue they had found wasn't accounted for. They drive back and catch the real cuprit in action. Some of the villains seem lame, however some are reminiscent of the classic episodes, while some stories overdo it and come across as ripoffs (the first episode seems to be a rehash of "That's Snow Ghost" for example).

The gang has pretty much regained their original outfits, with a couple of modifications. Fred's sweater has a thick horizontal blue stripe, and gone is the ascot. (a promotional for the shows rebroadcast on Cartoon Network later, would play on this). Gone also is Daphne's green scarf and purple stockings, and the dress is similar except that the top opens like a robe. Velma's skirt has only a single pleat in the front, and her hair seems a bit ruffled (a modern style now).
The Mystery Machine is once again the original van, not the minivan of the movies. One episode involves its previous owners, a musical group called the "Mystery Kids" whose tour bus it was.

The best news was that Casey Kasem returned as Shaggy, and Welker does both Fred and Scooby! (to this day). Welker's Scooby sounds markedly better on sounds such as giggling and "huh". Mindy Cohn from "The Facts of Life" took over as Velma. She was a logical choice, since Cohn had a similar "inflection" as the original Jaffe voice. Grey DeLisle continued to do Daphne. As she is mostly about "looks" rather than speech, the differences of voices for her haven't been as detrimental. She is always pretty much herself no matter who plays her.
It seems many of the episodes had the makings of classic Scooby type adventures, but the thing that needed the most improvement was the music score. Score was very important in creating the feel of the original, and even some of the later shows, such as the 83-4 season, the Superstar 10 movies and even A Pup Named Scooby created new score that fit well for a "spooky mystery" feel. The score used in the new series is standard modern cartoon score similar to the movies and other action cartoons. Some episodes do use remakes of a couple of the original pieces, but these are scattered and not enough to color the episode. There were also musical chase scores, and this was usually hard rock.

Meanwhile, Scooby marked his official move from Cartoon Network to Boomerang with a killer 368 hour marathon of every Scooby episode from 1969 to 1991, spread over four weekends in October '02! (originally entitled "Much Ado about Scooby", and repeated subsequent Octobers under other names). Scooby was afterwards down to only two daily slots on CN, -an hour block in the morning entitled "Scooby Universe" of two half hour programs, one of which was repeated late nights followed by an hour long Comedy Movie; but was then shown more on Boomerang.

However, if the new series was not quite satisfying, then the greatest news yet was to come! The next animated feature Legend of Vampire Rock was released the following Spring, and both Heather North and at long last, even NICOLE JAFFE had returned! Plus the return of the old H-B sound effects and remakes of the original music cues, and art & background style. This was the best thing to happen to Scooby in 30 years; in theory, an almost complete return to the spirit of the original that many fans had been dying for! The gang had their original outfits back, as well as the original Mystery Machine and people's faces are generally drawn as they would have been in the original. The vampire however, is a typical new style monster (like in the other movies) that looks nothing like the classic mysteries. Sort of like "Moon Monster Extreme". And there is still the great emphasis on action and effects that have colored most new productions.
Shaggy and Scooby play their own video game (based on "What a Night for a Knight") in one of those new drop down LCD car TV screens, and Velma still has her laptop. So there is something for everyone; both fans of the old and new styles.

A second animated movie after that, "Scooby Doo and the Monster of Mexico" was released October '03, following the same pattern, but seemed a bit better. The Chupacabra (set in Mexico, instead of Puerto Rico where the real legend is from. A Dexter episode had it set in South America) looks like the Jaguaro with a new head. Original score is recreated with a mexican flavor, some of the 1968 and a couple of older pieces (including one that was never used in Scooby) are recreated as well. The movie begins with the gang having an IM conversation on their laptops, where they decide to go to Mexico.

Also was a new season of What's New Scooby Doo and the live action sequel "Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed". This sequel was also better then the first live action movie, and like "the Cyber Chase" featured comebacks of several of the old villains (still heavy on the "Scooby Doo Show" era; nil on the Scooby Doo Movies, but at least there were more from the original series this time). One episode of this new season of the series, "Uncle Scooby and Antarctica" raised questions among internet posters of whether Scrappy was making an appearance. But it actually turned out to refer to a group of little penguins who called Scooby "uncle". (The story ironically was similar to the Scrappy episode "South Pole Vault", in which Scooby befriended a penguin). Soon, What's New Scooby Doo made it's move to Cartoon Network, airing in Cartoon, Cartoon Fridays, and a couple of other places. Still later, it finally moved to Boomerang, which created a new bumper for it, showing the gang riding around in a toy Mystery Machine (with Scrappy banished to the back), followed by a "B" logo on wheels, colored like the Mystery Machine. On Kids WB, a third season would follow in 2004, for a total of 42 episodes. (One even reused A Pup Named Scooby Doo version of the characters, in a look back at the gang's youth). This also marked Scooby's entry into the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most episodes of an animated franchise!

The next animated movie "Scooby Doo and the Loch Ness Monster" was released in 2004, and reverts back to the "What's New Scooby Doo" voice cast, and the other original references such as the outfits and score cues of the previous two videos are dropped for the new style again. So this and the animated movies afterward are basically 90 minute "What's New Scooby Doo" episodes. The animated movies became the regular consistent venue for new Scooby stories, with about 29 released over a 20 year period!

SURPRISE: Another Total Revamping

Just as it seemed Scooby might finally be winding down, word of a totally new Scooby series for Sept. 2006 suddenly begins surfacing only a few months before. "Shaggy and Scooby Doo: Get A Clue" would be produced for the Kids WB Saturday morning block, now on the new CW network formed by the merger of UPN and WB. (Since it is half owned by CBS, which had acquired UPN in an earlier merger, Scooby has in a "half-way" sense returned to his original network roots!)
Fans had decades earlier received a shock when Scrappy was added and then the format was completely revamped with the removal of Fred and the girls and the mystery premise. This had been the biggest change in the series ever, which many have loathed to this day. This was followed by the biggest character redesign: the conversion of the gang to pre-teens for a Pup Named Scooby Doo. Afterwards, the characters were restored to original form, but with new style drawings (with shadowing on the faces, etc), animation, backgrounds, outfits and voices. It felt a bit different, but still, Scooby had come full circle, and fans were happy to have the original format back! This new change tops all of that put together, and was totally different from anything we had ever seen! It figures, when you look at the increasing reuse of villain and story ideas of the DTV's and even "What's New Scooby Doo" and realize that the writers had once again run out of ideas, as had happened nearly 3 decades earlier when the first major change was made. But just as then, it is better to have all new ideas, then endless rehashes of old ones, so time will tell if this series is good.

The premise is that one of Shaggy's rich relatives (he has a bunch of them, as we have seen over the years) has disappeared and left him his mansion and fortune. The villain, Dr. Phinneas Phibes is based on Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movies; and with his crazy looking fliptop hairpiece looks like a cross between him and old Josie villains such as Greenthumb. He is supposed to be the perennial evil scientst "driven mad by all my failures in science". For his henchmen, Field Agents 1-13 (addressed by their numbers), think of grownup knockoffs of Cartoon Network's Codename: Kids Next Door. (Some of the score is even like what you would hear on CKND).
So the basic plotline of the show is Phibes either sending his agents to try to destroy Shaggy and Scooby and get from them the formula, or Albert sending Shaggy and Scooby to various locations to foil Phibes' latest plots, which usually involves capturing scientists. The agents bungle and bicker amongst each other (and Phibes, when he is present), for the comedy effect. The formula, they quickly figure out in first episode "Shags to Riches", is in a batch of "New Improved" Scooby Snacks, which in this instance turns Scooby invisible; allowing him to foil the bad guys. They last until digested, indicated by a loud burp. The Mystery Machine is not only changed again (though the original one is used for scene changes in the first episode) but now it is also given transforming capabilities, sort of like the Chan Clan van.
Fred and the Girls only make a few appearances, such as a the end of the pilot, where they meet in a diner and discuss whether Shaggy and Scooby even need them to help solve cases anymore! They do promise they can "always be be counted on for help", but basically, Shaggy and Scooby have "grown up" and shown that they "have what it takes", to work on their own for awhile, or at least until they find Uncle Albert. So the series in that respect is like a cross between the Uncle Fearless episodes, and the "New Scooby Doo Mysteries" show two seasons later.

The biggest change of all is the complete redesign of the characters and backgrounds. They appear to be based largely on the live action movies, with small eyes for Scooby, updated hairstyles, and outfits (except for Velma who has her original outfit). Daphne in particular looks a lot like Sarah Michelle Gellar, the live action counterpart. Both girls have the pointed chins most new cartoon females have taken on, due to the influence of anime in American animation, and otherwise there are more new style rough edges drawn on the characters, such as the hair. Gone is the "What's New Scooy Doo" style realistic look, in favor of a sharp 2D style on the characters and most background objects, like you would find on Codename: Kids Next door and other new, less serious cartoons. Overall, it also resembles somewhat the Paper Mario game graphics. The opening theme is a new Thrash style with a rhythm not much different from the previous series.
The voices are the same for Scooby, Freddy and the Girls as the previous show, but Shaggy is now voiced by Scott Menville (who voiced Red Herring from A Pup Named Scooby). It basically sounds like all the other Shaggy's compared to Kasem, who apparently left again because of increased references to Shaggy being a meat-eater. He voices Uncle Albert, however. The series would continue for a second season, with a surprising conclusion as Uncle Albert is found.

New series and redesigns pick up to the present!

But this still was not the end of it! New productions would now focus once again, on the gang's past, this time, to the period between A Pup Named Scooby Doo and the original show. This was sparked off by the 3rd live action movie, Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins (2009) (which ended up as made for TV, rather than theatrical). This one covers their high school days in Coolsville, and how they started solving mysteries together. It was the most-watched telecast in Cartoon Network history with 6.1 million viewers on September 13, 2009. Its followup was Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster (2010) So now, in addition to new animated series and movies, live action movies also became a series.

So following this new direction, we would get another reavamping that once again tried to get back to basics. The next series, in 2010, would be Scooby Doo, Mystery Incorporated (this by now becoming the gang's official name), a serialized concept which covers the gang, after starting out solving mysteries in Coolsville. Looming behind everything is the mysterious "Mister E". The romance has its peak here, as not only are Fred and Daphne made a couple (though Fred is clueless about it), but even Shaggy and Velma were toyed with at one point, but Shaggy clearly was more into food and Scooby. Showing how "A Pup Named Scooby" never completely wore off for Fred, one episode, "Revenge of the Man Crab", which goes as far as to have him actually try to play an eight track tape cartridge on a record turntable! Vincent Van Ghoul makes appearances, and the gang looks at statues of him, Flim Flam and Scrappy, and vow never to speak of the latter! (Ironic how he was hated this much to begin with for "changing the show", in light of what has been done with Freddy, in addition to the romance!) Outfits are original, and the character design is like a cross between Get a Clue and What's New Scooby Doo with the plain textured angular face designs. This series ran for two seasons, for a total of 52 episodes.

On the DTV scene, we got "Lego Scooby-Doo! (Haunted Hollywood)" in 2016, using actual Lego block animation!

Next after this was Be Cool, Scooby Doo (2017) It once again features a radical new design of characters, by Zac Moncrief, resembling other modern cartoon characters, such as Family Guy, which he had directed. (The clothes are again original, however). More comedic that preceding shows, Daphne is particularly wacky in this one, like wearing a fake beard. It maintains the new continuity with the other productions, as it covers when they decide to travel during their last summer break together.

2018 brought Daphne and Velma's own live action movie, released on DVD.

Finally, Scooby's golden anniversary arrived, 2019! Scooby Doo and Guess Who! Essentially a revival of The Scooby Comedy Movies featuring special guests. Included are another crossover with Batman (this time, in his "Dark Knight" form), and also Wonder Woman. Fellow cartoons stars include Funky Phantom (the two gangs are antagonistic to each other, however) and Mr. Peebles and Magilla Gorilla (the latter only grunts like an ape, rather than talking). Other fictional characters were Sherlock Holmes and Steve Urkel, and real life celebrities included Weird Al Yankovic and Wanda Sykes (who was on the Magilla episode, so some guests were doubled). The intro is more of a remake of "Scooby Doo Where Are You" rather than "Scooby Doo Comedy Movies", and the background graphics are very crisp and 3D-like at times.

Also, realizing that only 12 ghosts had been captured in the "13 Ghosts" series (of the 13 episodes, the first one had them released, and the remaining 12 had one "chest demon" captured each), they aimed to close this hole with Scooby Doo and the Curse of the 13th Ghost
So both Vincent and Flim Flam return, with the whole gang this time, and when Flim Flam asks "Where's Scrappy?", Velma doesn't know what he's talking about, while the others give each other this funny look. (If he was so bad as established by the first live action movie, she certainly knew who he was then!). Just as bad, the 13th ghost turned out to be a standard fake ghost, where the others were real!
In the works for 2020 is "Scoob", which will once again be theatrical, but will be all CGI. The designs this time around look much better than on the first movie. Scooby looks truly like a 3D version of his cartoon self.

Scooby has come a long way across the last half century. He is now taken his permanent place as one of the greatest icons of modern culture!

Complete Episode Guide

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