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Scooby-Doo

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Template:Infobox television

"Scooby-doo" is also British naval divers' slang for "civilian sport scuba diver".

Scooby-Doo is a popular and long-running animated series produced for Saturday morning television by Hanna-Barbera Productions (now Cartoon Network Studios) from 1969 to 1986, 1988 to 1991, and from 2002 to the present day. Though the format the show and the cast (and ages) of characters have varied significantly over the years, the most familiar versions of the show feature a talking Great Dane named Scooby-Doo and four teenagers: Fred "Freddie" Jones, Daphne Blake, Velma Dinkley, and Norville "Shaggy" Rogers (from whom the contemporary reggae artist Shaggy took his name).

These five characters (officially referred to collectively as "Mystery, Inc.", but never referred to as such in the original series) drive around the world in a van called the "Mystery Machine," and solves mysteries typically involving tales of ghosts and other supernatural forces. At the end of each episode, the supernatural forces turn out to have a rational explanation (usually a criminal of some sort attempting to scare people away so that he/she could commit crimes). Later versions of the show featured different variations on the supernatural theme of the show, and include additional characters, such as Scooby's cousin Scooby-Dum and his nephew Scrappy-Doo, in addition to or instead of some of the original characters.

Originally broadcast on CBS (19691976), and then on ABC (19761986, 19881991), Scooby-Doo is currently broadcast on the WB Network during the Kids WB programming block. Repeats of the original series, as well as second-run episodes of the current series, are broadcast frequently on Cartoon Network in the USA and other countries. As of October 2004, Scooby-Doo holds the Guinness World Record for having the most episodes of any cartoon series ever produced, a record previously held by The Simpsons. It will first be published as holding this record in the 2006 edition of the Guinness Book of Records. [1] (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/3949579.stm).

Contents

Production history

Creation and development

Starting in 1968, a number of parental watchdog groups began vocally protesting what they perceived as an excessive amount of gratuitous violence in Saturday morning cartoons during the mid-to-late 1960s. Most of these shows were action cartoons such as Space Ghost and The Herculoids, and virtually all of them were cancelled by 1969 because of pressure from the watchgroups. Members of these watchgroups had begun to serve as advisors to Hanna-Barbera and other animation studios to ensure that their new programs would be safe for children. In 1968, then-CBS executive in charge of children's programming Fred Silverman was looking for a show that would revitalize his Saturday morning lineup and please the watchdog groups at the same time. The result was The Archie Show, based upon Bob Montana's teenage humor comic book Archie. Also successful were the musical numbers The Archies performed during each program (one of which, "Sugar Sugar", hit #1 on the Billboard pop chart in September 1969). Silverman was eager to expand upon this success, and contacted producers William Hanna and Joseph Barbera about possibly creating another show based around a teenage rock-group, but with an extra element: the kids would solve mysteries in-between their gigs. Silverman envisioned the show as a sort of cross between the popular I Love a Mystery radio serials of the 1940s and the popular early 1960s TV show, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.

Hanna and Barbera passed this task along to two of their head storymen, Joe Ruby and Ken Spears and artist/character designer Iwao Takamoto. Their original concept of the show bore the title Mysteries Five, and featured five teens (Geoff, Mike, Kelly, Linda, and Linda's brother "W.W.") and their dog, Too Much, who were all in a band called "The Mysteries Five" (even the dog; he played bongos). When "The Mysteries Five" weren't performing at gigs, they were out solving spooky mysteries involving ghosts, zombies, and other supernatural creatures. Ruby and Spears couldn't decide whether to make their dog a large goofy Great Dane or a big shaggy sheepdog. After consulting with Barbera on the issue, Too Much was finally set as a Great Dane, primarily to avoid a direct correlation to The Archies (who had a big shaggy sheepdog, Hot Dog, in their band).

Takamoto consulted a studio colleage who happened to be a breeder of Great Danes. After learning all of the characterisitics of a prize-winning Great Dane from her, Takamoto proceeded to break every rule, giving Too Much spots (no Great Dane has spots), bowed legs, and a double-chin, among other abnormalies.

By the time the show was ready for presentation by Silverman, a few more things had changed: Geoff and Mike were merged into one character called Ronnie (later re-named Fred), Kelly was renamed to Daphne, Linda was now called Velma, and Shaggy (formerly W.W.) was no longer her brother. Also, Silverman, not being very fond of the name Mysteries Five, had rechristened the show Who's S-S-Scared? Using storyboards, presentation boards, and a short completed animation sequence, Silverman presented Who's S-S-Scared? to the CBS executives as the centerpiece for the upcoming 19691970 season's Saturday morning cartoon block. The executives felt that the presentation artwork was far too frightening for young viewers, and, thinking the show would be the same, decided to pass on it.

Now without a centerpiece for the upcoming season's programming, Silverman turned to Ruby and Spears, who reworked the show to make it more comedic and less frightening. They dropped the rock band element, and began to focus more attention on Shaggy and Too Much. According to Ruby and Spears[2] (http://www.rubyspears.com/scooby.html), Silverman was inspired by an ad-lib he heard in Frank Sinatra's song "Strangers in the Night" on the way out to one of their meetings, and decided to rename the dog "Scooby-Doo" and re-rechristened the show Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! The new and improved show was re-presented to CBS executives, who greenlit it for production.

Missing image
Scooby.jpg
Scooby-Doo is an important character in animation up to this day

Scooby-Doo television series

Main entry: Scooby-Doo series guide.

The CBS years

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! made its CBS network debut on Saturday, September 13 1969 with its first episode, "What a Knight for a Knight". The original voice cast featured Don Messick as Scooby-Doo, Casey Kasem as Shaggy, Frank Welker as Fred, Nicole Jaffe as Velma, and Steffiana Christopherson as Daphne.

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! was a major ratings success for CBS, and they renewed it for a second season in 1970. The 1970 episodes of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! differed slightly from the first-season episodes in their uses of more slapstick humor, Archies-like "chase songs" during climactic sequences, and Heather North as the voice of Daphne in place of Christopherson.

In 1972, the program was doubled to a full hour and called The New Scooby-Doo Movies; each episode of which featured a different guest star helping the gang solve mysteries. Among the most notable of these guest stars were The Harlem Globetrotters, The Three Stooges, Don Knotts, and Batman and Robin, who all appeared at least twice on the show. After two seasons of the New Movies format from 1972 to 1974, the show went to reruns of the original series until Scooby moved to ABC in 1976.

The Scooby clones

Having established a successful formula, Hanna-Barbera then proceeded to repeat it ad infinitum. By the time Scooby-Doo had its first format change in 1972, Hanna-Barbera had produced three other teenager-based shows that were very similar to Scooby in concept and execution: Josie and the Pussycats (1970) (which resurrected the idea of the rock band to the teenage-crime-fighter formula), The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show (1971) (which re-imagined the toddlers from The Flintstones as high-school students), and (the most blatant Scooby clone) The Funky Phantom (also 1971), which featured three teens, a real ghost and his ghostly cat solving spooky mysteries.

Later shows such as The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan (1972), Goober and the Ghost Chasers and Inch High, Private Eye (both 1973), Clue Club and Jabberjaw (both 1976), Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels (1977), Buford and the Galloping Ghost (1978), and the Pebbles, Dino, and Bamm-Bamm segments of The Flintstone Funnies (1980) would all involve groups of teenagers solving mysteries or fighting crime in the same vein as Scooby-Doo, usually with the help of a wacky animal, ghost, etc. Some of these shows even used the same voice actors and score cues. Even outside studios got in on the act: when Joe Ruby and Ken Spears left H-B in 1977 and started Ruby-Spears Productions, their first cartoon was Fangface, yet another mystery-solving Scooby clone.

Some fans lament these spinoffs and feel they detract from the original appeal of the show. During the 1970s, however, the imitating programs successfully coexisted alongside Scooby on Saturday mornings. Most of the mystery-solving Hanna-Barbera shows made before 1975 were featured on CBS, and when Fred Silverman moved from CBS to ABC in 1975, the mystery-solving shows, including Scooby-Doo, followed him.

The ABC years

On ABC, the show went through almost yearly format changes. For ther 1976 - 1977 season, Scooby-Doo was joined with a new H-B show, Dynomutt, Dog Wonder, to create The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour. This hour-long package show later evolved into the longer programming blocks Scooby's All-Star Laff-a-Lympics (1977 - 1978) and Scooby's All-Stars (1978 - 1979). New Scooby episodes, in the original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! format, were produced for each of these seasons. Four of these episodes featured Scooby's dimwitted country cousin Scooby-Dum as a semi-regular character. The Scooby-Doo episodes produced during these three seasons were later packaged together as The Scooby-Doo Show, under which title they continue to air.

In 1979, Scooby's tiny nephew Scrappy-Doo was added to both the series and the billing, in an attempt to boost Scooby-Doo's slipping ratings. The new Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo format succeeded in regenerating interest in the show, and as a result, the entire show was overhauled in 1980 to center more closely on Scrappy-Doo. Fred, Daphne, and Velma were dropped form the series, which was now comprised of three seven-minute comedic adventures starring Scooby, Scrappy, and Shaggy instead of one half-hour mystery. This version of Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo aired as part of The Richie Rich/Scooby-Doo Show from 1980 to 1981, and The Scooby-Doo/Scrappy-Doo/Puppy Hour from 1982 to 1983 (no new Scooby-Doo episodes were produced in 1981 because of an animators' strike).

Daphne returned to the cast for The All-New Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Show, which comprised two 11-minute episodes in a format reminiscent of the original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! mysteries. This version of the show lasted for two seasons, with the second season airing under the title The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries and featuring semi-regular appearances from Fred and Velma.

1985 saw the debut of The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, which featured Daphne, Shaggy, Scooby, Scrappy, and new characters Flim-Flam and Vincent Van Ghoul (based upon and voiced by Vincent Price) traveling the globe to capture "thirteen of the most terrifying ghosts and ghouls on the face of the earth." The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo was cancelled in March 1986, and no new Scooby series aired on the network for the next two years.

Hanna-Barbera reincarnated the original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! cast as junior high school students for A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, which debuted on ABC in 1988. A Pup Named Scooby-Doo was an irrelevant, zany re-imagining of the series, heavily inspired by the classic cartoons of Tex Avery and Bob Clampett, and eschewed the quasi-reality of the original Scooby series for a more Looney Tunes-like style. The retooled show was a success, and lasted until 1991.

Reruns and What's New, Scooby-Doo?

Reruns of the show have been in syndication since the mid-1980s, and have also been shown on cable television networks such as TBS Superstation (until 1989), and USA Network (as part of the USA Cartoon Express from 1989 to 1994). In 1993, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, having just recently ended its network run on ABC, began reruns on the Cartoon Network; the other versions of Scooby-Doo joined it the following year and became exclusive to Turner networks such as the Cartoon Network, TBS Superstation, and TNT. When TBS and TNT ended their broadcasts of H-B cartoons in 1998, Scooby-Doo became the exclusive property of both Cartoon Network and sister station Boomerang.

In 2002, following the success of the Cartoon Network reruns and the late-1990s direct-to-video Scooby-Doo releases, the original version of the gang was updated for the 21st century for What's New, Scooby-Doo?, which has aired on Kids WB, since 2002 as well as Cartoon Network. The show returned to the familiar format of the original series for the first time since 1978, with modern-day technology and culture added to the mix to give the series a more contemporary feel. With Don Messick having passed away in 1997, Frank Welker took over as Scooby's vocie actor, while continuing to provide the voice of Fred as well, and Casey Kasem returned as Shaggy. Grey DeLisle now provides the voice of Daphne, and former The Facts of Life star Mindy Cohn voices Velma.

Missing image
Scooby_Doo.JPG
Scooby-Doo as seen in What's New, Scooby Doo?

Telefilms and direct-to-video features

Telefilms

From 1986 to 1988, Hanna-Barbera Productions produced Hanna-Barbera Superstars 10, a series of syndicated telefilms featuring their most popular characters, including Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, The Flintstones, and The Jetsons. Scooby-Doo, Scrappy-Doo, and Shaggy starred in three of these movies: Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers (1987), Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf (1988), and Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School (1988). In addtition, Scooby-Doo and Shaggy appeared as the narrators of the made-for-TV movie Arabian Nights, originally broadcast by TBS in 1993 and later released on video as Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights.

Direct to video features

Starting in 1998, Hanna-Barbera (by then a subsidiary of Warner Bros.), began producing one new Scooby-Doo direct-to-video movie a year. These movies featured a slightly older version of the original five-character cast from the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! days, and disregards the later Scrappy-Doo years as non-canonical. The movies include Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998), Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost (1999), Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders (2000), and Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase (2001).

The success of these movies led to Scooby's return to Saturday morning, What's New, Scooby-Doo?, and Hanna-Barbera based later entiries in this series of Scooby movies on it rather than the previous editions. The series continued with Scooby-Doo and the Legend of the Vampire (2003), Scooby-Doo and the Monster of Mexico (2003), Scooby-Doo and the Loch Ness Monster (2004), and Aloha, Scooby-Doo (2005).

Deviations from Scooby-Doo formula in these films

A number of these Scooby-Doo telefilms and direct-to-video feature the gang encountering actual supernatural beings. In Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School (1988) (set during the early-1980s Scooby and Scrappy-Doo series), Shaggy, Scooby, and Scrappy sign up as gym teachers for Miss Grimwood's school for girls, only to find is actually a school for ghouls, where the trio end up teaching the daughters of the Frankenstein Monster, Dracula, The Werewolf, The Mummy, and the stereotypical ghost monster (called the Phantom).

Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998) featured the gang a number of years after their earlier adventures (ingoring the Scrappy years, as mentioned above). The gang had since (mostly) disbanded. However, Fred, now director of Daphne's talk-show, reunites the gang for Daphne's birthday, much to her joy, as she just began a segment on her show in search of real supernatural mysteries and feels the gang would be perfect. After numerous failed attempts (all leading to the "bad-guy-in-a-mask" set-up of the original TV-series), they stumble upon an estate in Louisiana haunted by real zombies. Eventually, the gang discovers that their hosts are acutally a trio of malevolent cat demons who steal the life-force of living people to stay young, and the zombies are merely their former fictims.

In Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost (1999), the gang is invited to Oakhaven (a town in an unnamed New England state) by a famous horror writer, Ben Ravencroft, where they discover that the ghost of his ancestor, who was persecuted as a witch, is haunting the town. Though the titular Witch's Ghost is initially revealed to be a fake, it turns out that his ancestor really was a witch, and Ben uses her spellbook (rediscovered with the aid of the gang) to bring her back from the grave. The following two entries also featured true supernatural phenomenom.

The later, What's New, Scooby-Doo entries in the direct to video series returned to the original formula, and are basically extended episodes of the What's New, Scooby-Doo series.

Live-action Warner Bros. feature films

A live-action feature film version of Scooby-Doo was released by Warner Bros. in 2002. The cast included Freddie Prinze Jr. (Fred), Sarah Michelle Gellar (Daphne), Matthew Lillard (Shaggy) and Linda Cardellini (Velma). Scooby-Doo was created on screen by CGI special effects. Scooby-Doo was extremely successful, with a domestic box office gross of over $130 million. In March 2004, a sequel followed entitled Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, which earned $84 million at the U.S. box office.

The Scooby influence

The show is responsible for many pop-culture catchphrases, such as "Scooby Snacks" and "I'd've gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for you meddling kids and your dog!" a line traditionally spouted by the culprit when caught. This phrase has become so well-known that only the words "meddling kids" need be said to constitute a reference. The question of Velma's name (Velma or Thelma) has even been the subject of Internet polls.

Subsequent television shows and films often make reference to Scooby-Doo, for example Wayne's World and the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in which Buffy and her monster-slaying friends refer to themselves as the "Scooby Gang" or "Scoobies," a knowing reference to Scooby-Doo. (Coincidentally, Sarah Michelle Gellar, who played Buffy, later played Daphne in the live-action movie.) Even South Park paid homage to Scooby-Doo in an episode entitled "Korn's Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery". TV Funhouse poked fun at the Pup Named Scooby Doo depiction of the characters at a younger age with its own, even younger-aged version, Fetal Scooby Doo. In 2002, the online comic Sluggy Freelance featured a weeks-long guest strip culminating in the reincarnation of the Mystery, Inc. gang from other comic characters.

Merchandising

Cereal

Kellogg introduced a Scooby Doo Cereal in 2002, a marshmallow/cinnamon type cereal for children. The marshmallows are shaped like ghosts.

Dog Treats

Reward took the idea of Scooby Snacks, Scooby-Doo's (and Shaggy's) favorite treat, and made it into a real Dog treat.

Comic books

The first Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! comic book series began publication in 1970 through Charlton Comics, and initially contained adaptations of episodes of the cartoon show. The book soon moved to all-original stories, and hit its stride in the early 1970s with stories written by Mark Evanier and drawn by Dan Spiegle. Since then, Scooby-Doo comics have been published by Archie Comics and by DC Comics, who continue to publish a monthly Scooby-Doo series.

Board games

In 1983, Milton-Bradley issued a Scooby and Scrappy-Doo board game. More recent board games have been introduced to the market by Hasbro since the late-1990s, including a Scooby-themed edition of the popular mystery board game Clue.

Scooby-Doo filmography

Original TV series

Spin-off TV series

  • A Pup Named Scooby-Doo (19881991, ABC)

Series Revival

TV Special

Made-for-TV movies

Direct-to-Video movies

Scooby-Doo live action theatrical releases

See Also

External Links

Orignal Scooby-Doo series / General

What's New, Scooby-Doo?

Live-action features

fr:Scooby-Doo pt:Scooby-Doo

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