|Original work||Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! (1969–70)|
Scooby-Doo is an American animated franchise, comprising many animated television series produced from 1969 to the present day. Writers Joe Ruby and Ken Spears created the original series, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, for Hanna-Barbera Productions in 1969. This Saturday-morning cartoon series featured four teenagers—Fred Jones, Daphne Blake, Velma Dinkley, and Norville "Shaggy" Rogers—and their talking brown Great Dane named Scooby-Doo, who solve mysteries involving supposedly supernatural creatures through a series of antics and missteps.
Following the success of the original series, Hanna-Barbera and its successor Warner Bros. Animation have produced numerous follow-up and spin-off animated series and several related works, including television specials and made-for-TV movies, a line of direct-to-video films, and two Warner Bros.–produced theatrical feature films. Some versions of Scooby-Doo feature different variations on the show's supernatural theme, and include characters such as Scooby's cousin Scooby-Dum and nephew Scrappy-Doo in addition to or instead of some of the original characters.
Scooby-Doo was originally broadcast on CBS from 1969 to 1975, when it moved to ABC. ABC aired the show until canceling it in 1986, and presented a spin-off featuring the characters as children, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, from 1988 until 1991. New Scooby-Doo series aired as part of Kids' WB on The WB Network and its successor, The CW Network, from 2002 until 2008. Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated aired on Cartoon Network from 2010 to 2013, and Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! aired on Cartoon Network from 2015 to 2018. Repeats of the various Scooby-Doo series are broadcast frequently on Cartoon Network and its sister channel Boomerang in the United States as well as other countries.
- 1 Development
- 2 Original television series run
- 2.1 The CBS years (1969–75)
- 2.2 The ABC years (1976–91)
- 3 Reruns and reboots (1987–present)
- 3.1 TV movies, reruns, and direct-to-video films
- 3.2 Theatrical films
- 3.3 The Kids' WB years (2002–08)
- 3.4 The Cartoon Network and Boomerang years (2010–present)
- 3.5 Scooby-Doo! direct-to-video episodes
- 4 Cast
- 5 Scooby-Doo filmography
- 6 Reception and legacy
- 7 Comic books
- 8 Merchandising
- 9 Other media
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
In 1968, parent-run organizations, particularly Action for Children's Television (ACT), began to protest about what they perceived as excessive violence in Saturday morning cartoons. Most of these shows were Hanna-Barbera action cartoons such as Space Ghost, The Herculoids and Birdman and the Galaxy Trio, and virtually all of them were canceled by 1969 because of pressure from the parent groups. Members of these watchgroups served as advisers to Hanna-Barbera and other animation studios to ensure that their new programs would be safe for children.
Fred Silverman, executive in charge of daytime programming for the CBS network at the time, was looking for a show that would revitalize his Saturday morning line and simultaneously please the watch groups. 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", was the most successful Billboard number-one hit of 1969). Silverman was eager to build upon this success, and contacted producers William Hanna and Joseph Barbera about possibly creating another show based on a teenage rock group, this one featuring teens who solved mysteries in between gigs. Silverman envisaged the show as a cross between the popular I Love a Mystery radio serials of the 1940s and either the Archie characters or the popular early 1960s television series The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.
After attempting to develop his own version of the proposed show called House of Mystery, Barbera, who handled the development and sale of Hanna-Barbera shows while Hanna handled production, passed the task along to story writers Joe Ruby and Ken Spears and artist/character designer Iwao Takamoto. Their original treatment, based in part on The Archie Show, was titled Mysteries Five and featured five teenagers: Geoff, Mike, Kelly, Linda, Linda's brother W.W. and their bongo-playing dog, Too Much, who were all members of the band Mysteries Five. When The Mysteries Five were not performing at gigs, they were out solving spooky mysteries involving ghosts, zombies, and other supernatural creatures. Ruby and Spears were unable to decide whether Too Much would be a large cowardly dog or a small feisty dog. When the former was chosen, Ruby and Spears wrote Too Much as a Great Dane but revised the dog character to a large sheepdog (similar to the Archies' sheepdog, Hot Dog) just before their presentation to Silverman, as Ruby feared the character would be too similar to the comic strip character Marmaduke. Silverman rejected their initial pitch, and after consulting with Barbera on next steps, got Barbera's permission to go ahead with Too Much being a Great Dane instead of a sheepdog.
During the design phase, lead character designer Takamoto consulted a studio colleague who was a breeder of Great Danes. After learning the characteristics of a prize-winning Great Dane from her, Takamoto proceeded to break most of the rules and designed Too Much with overly bowed legs, a double chin, and a sloped back, among other abnormalities.
Ruby and Spears' second pass at the show used Dobie Gillis as the template for the teenagers rather than Archie. The treatment retained the dog Too Much, while reducing the number of teenagers to four, removing the Mike character and retaining Geoff, Kelly, Linda, and W.W. As their personalities were modified, so were the characters' names: Geoff became "Ronnie" – later renamed "Fred" (at Silverman's behest), Kelly became "Daphne", Linda "Velma", and W.W. "Shaggy". The teens were now based on four teenage characters from The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis: Dobie Gillis, Thalia Menninger, Zelda Gilroy and Maynard G. Krebs, respectively.
The revised show was re-pitched to Silverman, who liked the material but, disliking the title Mysteries Five, decided to call the show Who's S-S-Scared? Silverman presented Who's S-S-Scared? to the CBS executives as the centerpiece for the upcoming 1969–70 season's Saturday morning cartoon block. CBS president Frank Stanton felt that the presentation artwork was too scary 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 had Ruby, Spears, and the Hanna-Barbera staff revise the treatments and presentation materials to tone down the show and better reflect its comedy elements. The rock band element was dropped, and more attention was focused upon Shaggy and Too Much. According to Ruby and Spears, Silverman was inspired by Frank Sinatra's scat "doo-be-doo-be-doo" at the end of his recording of "Strangers in the Night" on a flight to one of the development meetings, and decided to rename the dog "Scooby-Doo" and re-rechristen the show Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! The revised show was re-presented to CBS executives, who approved it for production.
Original television series run
The CBS years (1969–75)
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!
The first episode of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! "What a Night for a Knight" debuted on the CBS network Saturday, September 13, 1969. The original voice cast featured veteran voice actor Don Messick as Scooby-Doo, radio DJ Casey Kasem (later host of radio's syndicated American Top 40) as Shaggy, actor Frank Welker (later a veteran voice actor in his own right) as Fred, actress Nicole Jaffe as Velma, and musician Indira Stefanianna Christopherson as Daphne. Scooby's speech patterns closely resembled an earlier cartoon dog, Astro from The Jetsons (1962–63), also voiced by Messick. Seventeen episodes of Scooby-Doo Where are You! were produced in 1969–70. The series theme song was written by David Mook and Ben Raleigh, and performed by Larry Marks.
Each of these episodes features Scooby and the four teenage members of Mystery, Inc., Fred, Shaggy, Daphne and Velma, arriving at a location in the Mystery Machine, a van painted with psychedelic colors and flower power imagery. Encountering a ghost, monster, or other ostensibly supernatural creature terrorizing the local populace, they decide to investigate. The kids split up to look for clues and suspects while being chased at turns by the monster. Eventually, the kids come to realize the ghost and other paranormal activity is actually an elaborate hoax, and—often with the help of a Rube Goldberg-like trap designed by Fred—they capture the villain and unmask him. Revealed as a flesh and blood crook trying to cover up crimes by using the ghost story and costume, the criminal is arrested and taken to jail, often repeating something nearly identical to "... and I would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn't been for you meddling kids!"
Scheduled opposite another teenage mystery-solving show, ABC's The Hardy Boys, Scooby-Doo became a ratings success, with Nielsen ratings reporting that as many as 65% of Saturday morning audiences were tuned in to CBS when Scooby-Doo was being broadcast. The show was renewed for a second season in 1970, for which eight episodes were produced. Seven of the second-season episodes featured chase sequences set to bubblegum pop songs recorded by Austin Roberts, who also re-recorded the theme song for this season. With Stefanianna Christopherson having married and retired from voice acting, Heather North assumed the role of Daphne, and would continue to voice the character until 1997.
The TV influences of I Love a Mystery and Dobie Gillis were apparent in the first episodes. Of the similarities between the Scooby-Doo teens and the Dobie Gillis teens, the similarities between Shaggy and Maynard are the most noticeable; both characters share the same beatnik-style goatee, similar hairstyles, and demeanors. The core premise of Scooby-Doo, Where are You! was also similar to Enid Blyton's Famous Five books. Both series featured four youths with a dog, and the Famous Five stories would often revolve around a mystery which would invariably turn out not to be supernaturally based, but simply a ruse to disguise the villain's true intent.
The role of each character was strongly defined in the series: Fred is the leader and the determined detective, Velma is the intelligent analyst, Daphne is danger-prone, Shaggy is a coward more motivated by hunger than any desire to solve mysteries, and Scooby is similar to Shaggy, save for a Bob Hope-inspired tendency towards temporary bravery. Later versions of the show would make slight changes to the characters' established roles, most notably in the character of Daphne, shown in 1990s and 2000s Scooby-Doo productions as knowing many forms of karate and having the ability to defend herself, and less of a tendency towards getting kidnapped.
Scooby-Doo itself would be an influence on many other Saturday morning cartoons of the 1970s. During that decade, Hanna-Barbera and its competitors produced several animated programs also featuring teenage detectives solving mysteries with a pet or mascot of some sort, including Josie and the Pussycats (1970–71), The Funky Phantom (1971–72), The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan (1972–73), Speed Buggy (1973–74), Goober and the Ghost Chasers (1973–74), Jabberjaw (1976–78), Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels (1977–80), among others.
The New Scooby-Doo Movies
In 1972, new one-hour episodes under the title The New Scooby-Doo Movies were created; each episode featuring a real or fictitious guest star helping the gang solve mysteries, including characters from other Hanna-Barbera series such as Harlem Globetrotters, Josie and the Pussycats and Speed Buggy, the comic book characters Batman and Robin (later adapted into their own Hanna-Barbera series, Super Friends, a year later), and celebrities such as Sandy Duncan, The Addams Family, Cass Elliot, Phyllis Diller, Don Knotts and The Three Stooges. Hanna-Barbera musical director Hoyt Curtin composed a new theme song for this series, and Curtin's theme would remain in use for much of Scooby-Doo's original broadcast run. After two seasons and 24 episodes of the New Movies format from 1972 to 1974, CBS began airing reruns of the original Scooby-Doo, Where are You! series until its option on the series ran out in 1976.
The ABC years (1976–91)
The Scooby-Doo Show and Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics
Now president of ABC, Fred Silverman made a deal with Hanna-Barbera to bring new episodes of Scooby-Doo to the ABC Saturday morning lineup, where the show went through almost yearly lineup changes. For their 1976–77 season, 16 new episodes of Scooby-Doo were joined with a new Hanna-Barbera show, Dynomutt, Dog Wonder, to create The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour (the show became The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Show when a bonus Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! rerun was added to the package in November 1976). Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, now working for Silverman as supervisors of the ABC Saturday morning programs, returned the program to its original Scooby-Doo, Where are You! format, with the addition of Scooby's dim-witted country cousin Scooby-Dum, voiced by Daws Butler, as a recurring character. The voice cast was held over from The New Scooby-Doo Movies save for Nicole Jaffe, who retired from acting in 1973. Pat Stevens took over her role as the voice of Velma.
For the 1977–78 season, The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Show became the two-hour programming block Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics (1977–78) with the addition of Laff-a-Lympics and Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels. In addition to eight new episodes of Scooby-Doo and reruns of the 1969 show, Scooby-Doo also appeared during the All-Star block's Laff-a-Lympics series, which featured 45 Hanna-Barbera characters competing in Battle of the Network Stars-esque parodies of Olympic sporting events. Scooby was seen as the team captain of the Laff-a-Lympics "Scooby Doobies" team, which also featured Shaggy and Scooby-Dum among its members.
Scooby's All-Star Laff-a-Lympics was retitled Scooby's All Stars for the 1978–79 season, reduced to 90 minutes when Dynomutt was spun off into its own half-hour and the 1969 reruns were dropped. Scooby's All-Stars continued broadcasting reruns of Scooby-Doo from 1976 and 1977, while new episodes of Scooby-Doo aired during a separate half-hour under the Scooby-Doo, Where are You! banner. After nine weeks, the separate Where are You! broadcast was cancelled, and the remainder of the 16 new 1978 episodes debuted during the Scooby's All-Stars block. The 40 total Scooby-Doo episodes produced from 1976 to 1978 were later packaged together for syndication as The Scooby-Doo Show, under which title they continue to air.
Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo
The Scooby-Doo characters first appeared outside of their regular Saturday morning format in Scooby Goes Hollywood, an hour-long ABC television special aired in prime time on December 13, 1979. The special revolved around Shaggy and Scooby attempting to convince the network to move Scooby out of Saturday morning and into a prime-time series, and featured spoofs of then-current television series and films such as Happy Days, Superman: The Movie, Laverne & Shirley and Charlie's Angels.
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 1979–80 episodes, aired under the new title Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo as an independent half-hour show, succeeded in regenerating interest in the show. Lennie Weinrib voiced Scrappy in the 1979–80 episodes, with Don Messick assuming the role thereafter. Marla Frumkin replaced Pat Stevens as the voice of Velma mid-season.
Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo shorts
As a result of Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo's success, the entire show was overhauled in 1980 to focus more upon Scrappy-Doo. At this time, Scooby-Doo started to walk and run anthropomorphically on two feet more often, rather than on four like a normal dog as he did previously. Fred, Daphne, and Velma were dropped from the series, and the new Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo format now consisted of three seven-minute comedic adventures starring Scooby, Scrappy, and Shaggy instead of one half-hour mystery. Most of the supernatural villains in the seven-minute Scooby and Scrappy cartoons, who in previous Scooby series had been revealed to be human criminals in costume, were now real within the context of the series.
This version of Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo first aired from 1980 to 1982 as part of The Richie Rich/Scooby-Doo Show, an hour-long program also featuring episodes of Hanna-Barbera's new Richie Rich cartoon, adapted from the Harvey Comics character. From 1982 to 1983, Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo were part of The Scooby-Doo/Scrappy-Doo/Puppy Hour, a co-production with Ruby-Spears Productions which featured two Scooby and Scrappy shorts, a Scrappy and Yabba-Doo short featuring Scrappy-Doo and his Western deputy uncle Yabba-Doo, and The Puppy's New Adventures, based on characters from a 1977 Ruby-Spears TV special.
Beginning in 1980, a half-hour of reruns from previous incarnations of Scooby-Doo were broadcast on ABC Saturday mornings in addition to first-run episodes. Airing under the titles Scooby-Doo Classics, Scary Scooby Funnies, The Best of Scooby-Doo, and Scooby's Mystery Funhouse, the rerun package remained on the air until the end of the 1986 season.
The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show
Scooby-Doo was restored to a standalone half-hour in 1983 with The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show in 1983, which comprised two 11-minute mysteries per episode in a format reminiscent of the original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! mysteries. Heather North returned to the voice cast as Daphne, who in this incarnation solved mysteries with Shaggy, Scooby, and Scrappy while working undercover as a reporter for a teen magazine.
This version of the show lasted for two seasons, with the second season airing under the title The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries. The 1984–85 season episodes featured semi-regular appearances from Fred and Velma, with Frank Welker and Marla Frumkin resuming their respective roles for these episodes.
The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo
1985 saw the debut of The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, which featured Daphne, Shaggy, Scooby, Scrappy, and new characters Flim-Flam (voiced by Susan Blu) and Vincent Van Ghoul (based upon and voiced by Vincent Price) traveling the globe to capture "thirteen of the most terrifying ghosts upon the face of the earth." The final first-run episode of The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo aired in December 1985, and after its reruns were removed from the ABC lineup the following March, no new Scooby series aired on the network for the next two years.
A Pup Named Scooby-Doo
Hanna-Barbera reincarnated the original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! cast as junior high school students for a new series titled A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, which debuted on ABC in 1988. A Pup Named Scooby-Doo was an irreverent 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, including an episode where Scooby-Doo's parents show up and reveal his real name to be "Scoobert". The series also established "Coolsville" as the name of the gang's hometown; this setting was retained for several of the later Scooby productions. The retooled show was a success, remaining in production for four seasons and on ABC's lineup until 1991.
A Pup Named Scooby-Doo was developed and produced by Tom Ruegger, who had been the head story editor on Scooby-Doo since 1983. Following the first season of A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, Ruegger and much of his unit defected from Hanna-Barbera to Warner Bros. Animation to develop Steven Spielberg Presents Tiny Toon Adventures and later Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, and Freakazoid!.
Reruns and reboots (1987–present)
TV movies, reruns, and direct-to-video films
From 1987 to 1988, Hanna-Barbera Productions produced Hanna-Barbera Superstars 10, a series of syndicated TV movies 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 Ghoul School (1988), and Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf (1988). These three films took their tone from the early-1980s Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo entries, and featured the characters encountering actual monsters and ghosts rather than masqueraded people. Scooby-Doo and Shaggy later appeared as the narrators of the made-for-TV movie Arabian Nights, originally broadcast by TBS in 1994, Don Messick's final outing as the original voice of Scooby-Doo.
Reruns of Scooby-Doo have been in syndication since 1980, 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 1990 to 1994). In 1993, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, having just recently ended its network run on ABC, began reruns on the Cartoon Network. With Turner Broadcasting purchasing Hanna-Barbera in 1991, in 1994 the Scooby-Doo franchise became exclusive to the Turner networks: Cartoon Network, TBS Superstation, and TNT. Canadian network Teletoon began airing Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! in 1997, with the other Scooby series soon following. 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.
With Scooby-Doo's restored popularity in reruns on Cartoon Network, Warner Bros. Animation and Hanna-Barbera (by then a subsidiary of Warner Bros. following the merger of Time Warner and Turner Entertainment in 1996) began producing one new Scooby-Doo direct-to-video movie a year beginning in 1998. These movies featured a slightly older version of the original five-character cast from the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! days. The first four DTV entries were 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). Frank Welker was the only original voice cast member to return for these productions. Don Messick had died in 1997 and Casey Kasem, a strict vegetarian, relinquished the role of Shaggy after having to provide the voice for a 1995 Burger King commercial. Therefore, Scott Innes took over as both Scooby-Doo and Shaggy (Billy West voiced Shaggy in Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island). B.J. Ward took over as Velma, and Mary Kay Bergman voiced Daphne until her death in November 1999, and was replaced by Grey DeLisle.
These first four direct-to-video films differed from the original series format by placing the characters in plots with a darker tone and pitting them against actual supernatural forces. Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, featured the original 1969 gang, reunited after years of being apart, fighting voodoo-worshiping cat creatures in the Louisiana bayou. Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost featured an author (voice of Tim Curry) returning to his hometown with the gang, to find out that an event is being haunted by the author's dead ancestor Sarah, who was an actual witch. The Witch's Ghost introduced a goth rock band known as The Hex Girls, who became recurring characters in the Scooby-Doo franchise.
Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase was the final production made by the Hanna-Barbera studio, which was absorbed into parent company Warner Bros. Animation following William Hanna's death in 2001. Warner Animation would continue production of the direct-to-video series while also producing new Scooby-Doo series for television.
The direct-to-video productions continued to be produced concurrently with at least one entry per year. Two of these entries, Scooby-Doo! and the Legend of the Vampire and Scooby-Doo! and the Monster of Mexico (both 2003) were produced in a retro-style reminiscent of the original series, and featured Heather North and Nicole Jaffe as the voices of Daphne and Velma, respectively. Later entries produced between 2004 and 2009 were done in the style of What's New, Scooby-Doo, using that show's voice cast. Entries from 2010 on use the original 1969 designs and feature Matthew Lillard as the voice of Shaggy, the character Lillard portrayed in the live-action theatrical Scooby-Doo films. Two Scooby-Doo! movies were released in 2016, named Lego Scooby-Doo! Haunted Hollywood and Scooby-Doo! and WWE: Curse of the Speed Demon.
In addition, a live-action TV movie, Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins, was released on DVD and simultaneously aired on Cartoon Network on September 13, 2009, the 40th anniversary of the series' debut. The film starred Nick Palatas as Shaggy, Robbie Amell as Fred, Kate Melton as Daphne, Hayley Kiyoko as Velma, and Frank Welker as the voice of Scooby-Doo. A second live-action TV movie, Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster, retained the same cast and aired on October 16, 2010 and a direct-to-video spin-off Daphne & Velma in 2018. The three films serve as prequels taking place before the events of the 2002 film.
A feature-length live-action film version of Scooby-Doo was released by Warner Bros. Pictures on June 14, 2002. Directed by Raja Gosnell, the film starred Freddie Prinze, Jr., as Fred, Sarah Michelle Gellar as Daphne, Matthew Lillard as Shaggy, and Linda Cardellini as Velma. Scooby-Doo, voiced by Neil Fanning, was created on-screen by computer-generated special effects. Scooby-Doo was a financially successful release, with a domestic box office gross of over US$130 million.
A sequel, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, followed in March 2004 with the same cast and director. Scooby-Doo 2 earned US$84 (€55,98) million at the U.S. box office. A third film was planned, but later scrapped following Warner Bros.' disappointment at the returns from Scooby-Doo 2.
On August 26, 2013, it was announced that Warner Bros. Pictures is developing a fully animated Scooby-Doo feature film with Atlas Entertainment. Charles Roven and Richard Suckle, who produced the first two live-action films, are producing the animated film, and Matt Lieberman will be writing the film. On June 17, 2014, Warner Bros. announced that they will restart the film series with Randall Green writing a new movie. On August 17, 2015, Warner Bros announced that Tony Cervone will direct the animated film, with Allison Abbate as producer and Dan Povenmire as executive producer. The film was originally planned for a September 21, 2018 release. On April 13, 2016, it was announced that it would be titled S.C.O.O.B. and would be the first film in a Hanna-Barbera Cinematic Universe. In May 2017, the film was pushed back to May 15, 2020.
The Kids' WB years (2002–08)
What's New, Scooby-Doo?
In 2002, following the successes of the Cartoon Network reruns, the direct to video franchise, and the first feature film, Scooby-Doo returned to Saturday morning for the first time in 17 years with What's New, Scooby-Doo?, which aired on Kids' WB from 2002 until 2006. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, the show follows the format of the original series but places it in the 21st century, featuring a heavy promotion of modern technology (computers, DVD, the Internet, cell phones) and culture.
Beginning with this series, Frank Welker took over as Scooby's voice actor, while continuing to provide the voice of Fred as well. Casey Kasem returned as Shaggy, on the condition that the character be depicted as a vegetarian like Kasem himself. Grey DeLisle continued to voice Daphne, and former Facts of Life star Mindy Cohn voiced Velma. The series was produced by Chuck Sheetz, who had worked on The Simpsons.
Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!
After three seasons, What's New, Scooby-Doo was replaced in September 2006 with Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!, a major revamping of the series which debuted on The CW's Kids' WB Saturday morning programming block. In the new premise, Shaggy inherits money and a mansion from an uncle, an inventor who has gone into hiding from villains trying to steal his secret invention. The villains, led by "Dr. Phibes" (based primarily upon Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers series, and named after Vincent Price's character from The Abominable Dr. Phibes), then use different schemes to try to get the invention from Shaggy and Scooby, who handle the plots alone. Fred, Daphne, and Velma are normally absent, but do make appearances at times to help. The characters were redesigned and the art style revised for the new series. Scott Menville voiced Shaggy in the series, with Casey Kasem appearing as the voice of Shaggy's Uncle Albert. Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue! ran for two seasons on The CW.
The Cartoon Network and Boomerang years (2010–present)
Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated
The next Scooby series, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, premiered on Cartoon Network on April 5, 2010. The first Scooby series produced for cable television, Mystery Incorporated is a reboot of the franchise, re-establishing the characters' relationships, personalities, and locations, and expanding their world to feature their parents, high school, and neighbors. The series also borrowed pieces from many parts of Scooby-Doo's long history, as well as characters and elements of other Hanna-Barbera shows to form its back story and the bases of some of its episodes. Matthew Lillard was brought over from the direct-to-video series as the new voice of Shaggy, while Welker, Cohn, and DeLisle continued in their respective roles. Patrick Warburton, Linda Cardellini, Lewis Black, Vivica A. Fox, Gary Cole, Udo Kier, Tim Matheson, Tia Carrere, and Kate Higgins were added as new semi-regular cast members. Casey Kasem appeared in a recurring role as Shaggy's father, one of his last roles before retiring due to declining health.
The series, while still following the basic mystery-solving format of its predecessors, was broadcast as a 52-chapter animated televised novel and included elements similar to live-action mystery/adventure shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Lost. An overarching mystery surrounding the gang's hometown of Crystal Cove, California became the series' main story arc, with pieces to the mystery unfolding episode by episode. Also featured were romantic entanglements and interpersonal conflict between the lead characters. The series ran for 52 episodes over two seasons, with a three-part finale airing across April 4 and 5, 2013 – exactly three years from the debut.
Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!
On March 10, 2014, Cartoon Network announced several new series based on classic cartoons, including a new Scooby-Doo animated series titled Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!. The show features the gang "living it up" the summer after the gang's senior year of high school. Along the way, they run into monsters and mayhem. The series premiered October 5, 2015 on Cartoon Network and concluded on March 18, 2018.
Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?
On May 23, 2018, Boomerang announced that a new Scooby-Doo series titled Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? is scheduled to be released sometime in 2019. The series is currently slated to air on the Boomerang streaming service and app. The series will feature the Mystery Inc. gang teaming up with a variety of guest stars to solve mysteries. Confirmed guest stars include Halsey, Sia, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Mark Hamill, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ricky Gervais, Kenan Thompson and Chris Paul. The series will also include fictional guest stars, including Jaleel White as Steve Urkel, Kevin Conroy as Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and Sherlock Holmes.
Scooby-Doo! direct-to-video episodes
Beginning in 2012, Warner Bros. Animation began producing direct-to-video special episodes in the style of the concurrently produced films for inclusion on Scooby-Doo compilation DVD sets otherwise including episodes from previous Scooby series. These include Scooby-Doo! Spooky Games, included on the July 2012 release Scooby-Doo! Laff-A-Lympics: Spooky Games, Scooby-Doo! Haunted Holidays, from the October 2012 release Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales: Holiday Chills and Thrills, and Scooby-Doo! and the Spooky Scarecrow and Scooby-Doo! Mecha Mutt Menace, from the September 2013 DVD releases Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales: Run for Your 'Rife! and Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales: Ruh-Roh Robot!. On May 13, 2014, another episode, Scooby-Doo! Ghastly Goals was released on the Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales: Field of Screams DVD. On May 5, 2015, Scooby-Doo! and the Beach Beastie, the sixth direct-to-video special, was released on the Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales: Surf's Up Scooby-Doo DVD.
- Scooby-Doo: Don Messick was the original voice of Scooby-Doo from 1969 until 1997. Hadley Kay performed the voice for the Johnny Bravo episodes "Bravo Dooby-Doo" and "'Twas the Night" in 1997. Scott Innes was the voice of Scooby-Doo from 1998 to 2002. Neil Fanning voiced Scooby-Doo in the live-action Warner Bros. theatrical films produced in 2002 and 2004. Frank Welker is the current voice of Scooby-Doo, having taken over the role from Innes in 2002, although Innes voiced the character in video game projects until 2008. Dave Coulier (2005) and Seth Green (2007, 2012) voiced Scooby in the Robot Chicken parodies. Innes returned as Scooby-Doo for a 2017 Halifax commercial.
- Norville "Shaggy" Rogers: Casey Kasem was the original voice of Shaggy from 1969 until 1997. Billy West voiced Shaggy in Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island. Scott Innes voiced the character from 1999 to 2001 and he would continue to voice Shaggy in video game projects until 2009. Casey Kasem returned to the voice role in 2002 and continued as Shaggy until 2009. In 2006, Kasem continued to voice Shaggy only in the direct-to-video film series until 2009, while Scott Menville performed the voice of Shaggy in the 2006–08 CW series Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!. Matthew Lillard appeared as Shaggy in the live action 2002 and 2004 theatrical films, and took over as the voice of the animated character in 2010. He also voiced Shaggy in three stop-motion parody sketches for the Adult Swim show Robot Chicken. Nick Palatas appeared as Shaggy in the 2009 and 2010 live-action TV movies. Innes returned as Shaggy for a 2017 Halifax commercial.
- Fred Jones: Frank Welker has always performed the voice of the animated versions of Fred since 1969, with the exception of the 1988–91 ABC series A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, where Carl Steven performed the voice of preteen Fred. Freddie Prinze, Jr. appears as Fred in the live-action theatrical films and voiced the character in the Robot Chicken parodies. Robbie Amell played Fred in the live-action TV movies.
- Daphne Blake: Stefanianna Christopherson was the voice of Daphne in the first season of Scooby-Doo, Where are You! in 1969–70. Heather North assumed the role for season two in 1970, and continued as Daphne through 1997, save for Kellie Martin's turn as preteen Daphne in A Pup Named Scooby-Doo. Mary Kay Bergman performed the voice of Daphne from 1997 to 2000, when Grey DeLisle assumed the role and continues to perform the voice to this day. North reprised her voice role for two 2003 direct-to-video films, Scooby-Doo! and the Legend of the Vampire and Scooby-Doo! and the Monster of Mexico. Sarah Michelle Gellar appears as Daphne in the live-action theatrical films and as Daphne's voice in the Robot Chicken parodies. Kate Melton played Daphne in the live-action TV movies.
- Velma Dinkley: Nicole Jaffe was the original voice of Velma from 1969 to 1974. Pat Stevens assumed the role from 1976 to 1979, with Marla Frumkin taking over midseason on Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo that year. Frumkin returned to voice Velma on a recurring basis for The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries in 1984, and Christina Lange voiced preteen Velma in A Pup Named Scooby-Doo. B. J. Ward voiced Velma from 1997 to 2001, with Mindy Cohn assuming the role in 2002. As with North, Jaffe reprised her voice role for Scooby-Doo! and the Legend of the Vampire and Scooby-Doo! and the Monster of Mexico in 2003. Stephanie D'Abruzzo voiced Velma for the 2013 puppet film Scooby-Doo! Adventures: The Mystery Map. In 2015, Kate Micucci took on the role for the series Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! and Lego Scooby-Doo shorts and specials, then in 2016 she took over the role from Cohn completely. Linda Cardellini appears as Velma in the live-action theatrical films and as the voice of Velma in the Robot Chicken parodies. Hayley Kiyoko played Velma in the live-action TV movies. Mindy Cohn returned as Velma for a 2017 Halifax commercial.
- Scrappy-Doo: Lennie Weinrib voiced Scrappy-Doo during the first season of Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo in 1979–80. Don Messick assumed the role in 1980 for the Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo segments of The Richie Rich/Scooby-Doo Show and continued as Scrappy through 1988. Scrappy has only appeared sporadically since 1988, with Scott Innes performing the voice in the 2002 live-action film, which portrays Scrappy as the main villain, as well as in Cartoon Network commercials and games.
Reception and legacy
During its four decade broadcast history, Scooby-Doo has received two Emmy nominations: a 1989 Daytime Emmy nomination for A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, and a 2003 Daytime Emmy nomination for What's New, Scooby-Doo's Mindy Cohn in the "Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program" category. Science advocate Carl Sagan favorably compared the predominantly skeptic oriented formula to that of most television dealing with paranormal themes, and considered that an adult analogue to Scooby-Doo would be a great public service.
Scooby-Doo has maintained a significant fan base, which has grown steadily since the 1990s due to the show's popularity among both young children and nostalgic adults who grew up with the series. Several television critics have stated that the show's mix of the comedy-adventure and horror genres was the reason for its widespread success. As Fred Silverman and the Hanna-Barbera staff had planned when they first began producing the series, Scooby-Doo's ghosts, monsters and spooky locales tend more towards humor than horror, making them easily accessible to younger children. "Overall, [Scooby-Doo is] just not a show that is going to overstimulate kids' emotions and tensions," offered American Center for Children and Media executive director David Kleeman in a 2002 interview. "It creates just enough fun to make it fun without getting them worried or giving them nightmares.
Older teenagers and adults have admitted to enjoying Scooby-Doo because of presumed subversive themes which involve theories of drug use and sexuality, in particular that Shaggy is assumed to be a user of cannabis and Velma is assumed to be a lesbian. Such themes were pervasive enough in popular culture to find their way into Warner Bros.' initial Scooby-Doo feature film in 2002, though several of the scenes were edited before release to secure a family-friendly "PG" rating. Series creators Joe Ruby and Ken Spears reported that they "took umbrage" to the inclusion of such themes in the Scooby-Doo feature and other places, and denied intending their characters to be drug users in any way.
Like many Hanna-Barbera shows, the early Scooby-Doo series have been criticized at times for their production values and storytelling. In 2002, Jamie Malanowski of the New York Times commented that "[Scooby-Doo's] mysteries are not very mysterious, and the humor is hardly humorous. As for the animation—well, the drawings on your refrigerator may give it competition."
By the 2000s, Scooby-Doo had received recognition for its popularity by placing in a number of top cartoon or top cartoon character polls. The August 3, 2002, issue of TV Guide featured its list of the 50 Greatest Cartoon Characters of All Time, in which Scooby-Doo placed twenty-second Scooby also ranked thirteenth in Animal Planet's list of the 50 Greatest TV Animals. For one year from 2004 to 2005, Scooby-Doo held the Guinness World Record for having the most episodes of any animated television series ever produced, a record previously held by and later returned to The Simpsons. Scooby-Doo was published as holding this record in the 2006 edition of the Guinness Book of Records.
Gold Key Comics began publication of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! comic books in December 1969. The comics initially contained adaptations of episodes of the television show drawn by Phil DeLara, Jack Manning and Warren Tufts. The comic books later moved to all-original stories until ending with issue #30 in 1974. Several of these issues were written by Mark Evanier and drawn by Dan Spiegle. Charlton published Scooby comics, many drawn by Bill Williams, for 11 issues in 1975. From 1977 to 1979, Marvel Comics published nine issues of Scooby-Doo, all written by Evanier and drawn by Spiegel. Harvey Comics published reprints of the Charlton comics, as well as a handful of special issues, between 1993 and 1994.
In 1995, Archie Comics began publishing a monthly Scooby-Doo comic book, the first year of which featured Scrappy-Doo among its cast. Evanier and Spiegel worked on three issues of the series, which ended after 21 issues in 1997 when Warner Bros.' DC Comics acquired the rights to publish comics based on Hanna-Barbera characters. DC's Scooby-Doo series continues publication to this day. In 2013, DC began a digital bi-monthly comic book titled Scooby-Doo Team-Up, crossing over Mystery Inc. with other DC and Hanna-Barbera characters. Since then, the series has become a monthly comic book available in print.
In 2004, a limited series of a 100 comic books called Scooby-Doo! World of Mystery was released. In each issue, Mystery Inc. go from country to country solving mysteries. Each issue came with a pack of exclusive cards, with 350 in total able to be collected.
In 2016, DC launched a new monthly comic book entitled Scooby Apocalypse, with the characters being reinvented in a story set in a post-apocalyptic world, where monsters roam the streets and Scooby and the gang must find a way to survive at all costs, while also trying to find a way to reverse the apocalypse.
Early Scooby-Doo merchandise included a 1973 Milton Bradley board game, decorated lunch boxes, iron-on transfers, coloring books, story books, records, underwear, and other such goods. When Scrappy-Doo was introduced to the series in 1979, he, Scooby, and Shaggy became the foci of much of the merchandising, including a 1983 Milton-Bradley Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo board game. The first Scooby-Doo video game appeared in arcades in 1986, and has been followed by a number of games for both home consoles and personal computers. Scooby-Doo multivitamins also debuted at this time, and have been manufactured by Bayer since 2001.
Scooby-Doo merchandising tapered off during the late 1980s and early 1990s, but increased after the series' revival on Cartoon Network in 1995. Today, all manner of Scooby-Doo-branded products are available for purchase, including Scooby-Doo breakfast cereal, plush toys, action figures, car decorations, and much more. Real "Scooby Snacks" dog treats are produced by Del Monte Pet Products. Hasbro has created a number of Scooby board games, including a Scooby-themed edition of the popular mystery board game Clue. In 2007, the Pressman Toy Corporation released the board game Scooby-Doo! Haunted House. Beginning in 2001, a Scooby-Doo children's book series was authorized and published by Scholastic. These books, written by Suzanne Weyn, include original stories and adaptations of Scooby theatrical and direct-to-video features.
From 1990 to 2002, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo appeared as characters in the Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera simulator ride at Universal Studios Florida. The ride was replaced in the early 2000s with a Jimmy Neutron attraction, and The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera instead became an attraction at several properties operated by Paramount Parks. Shaggy and Scooby-Doo are currently costumed characters at Universal Studios Florida, and can be seen driving the Mystery Machine around the park.
In 2001, Scooby-Doo in Stagefright, a live stage play based upon the series, began touring across the world. A follow-up, Scooby-Doo and the Pirate Ghost, followed in 2009.
Currently, the various Scooby-Doo merchandise has generated over one billion dollars in profit for Warner Bros.
As with most popular franchises, Scooby-Doo has been parodied and has done parodies.
- The cult television and comic book series Buffy the Vampire Slayer features a group of characters that refer to themselves as the "Scooby Gang", who similarly battle supernatural forces and solve supernatural monster mysteries. The show contains obvious influences of Scooby-Doo, where "The Scoobies" use books to look up monsters. Sarah Michelle Gellar, the actress who plays Buffy Summers on the series, later went on to appear as Daphne Blake in the live-action films Scooby-Doo and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.
- Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. gang (based on their classic 1972 incarnation as opposed to their more recent incarnations) appear in the second part of the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Bat-Mite Presents: Batman's Strangest Cases" in which they team up with Batman and Robin to rescue Weird Al who was kidnapped by The Joker and The Penguin.
- Scooby-Doo and the Snowmen Mystery, vinyl LP released 1972 in the United Kingdom, Stereo, 33 ⅓ RPM, LP, from the label Music for Pleasure – MFP 50086.
- The film Wayne's World includes an alternate ending called the "Scooby-Doo Ending" in which a character in the film is revealed to have been wearing a mask. It also includes a reference to the iconic line "Let's see who this really is" before removing the mask.
- Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back has a brief scene where the title characters hitch a ride in the Mystery Machine with Scooby and the gang.
- The Filk band Ookla the Mok open their 2003 album Oh Okay LA with the song "W.W.S.D?" ("What Would Scooby Do?) which proposes a deontological system of moral philosophy based on the actions of Scooby-Doo.
- In October 1999, Cartoon Network made a Scooby-Doo spoof of The Blair Witch Project called The Scooby-Doo Project.
- A Scooby-Doo parody has appeared in the Mad episode "Kitchen Nightmares Before Christmas / How I Met Your Mummy".
- Scooby-Doo has been parodied on Futurama episode "Saturday Morning Fun Pit", where the characters from Planet Express take on the roles of the gang (Bender as Scooby, Hermes as Fred, Leela as Daphne, Amy as Velma and Fry as Shaggy).
- The Venture Brothers episode "¡Viva los Muertos!" features a thinly parodied version of the gang as aging, gone-to-seed miscreants with the characters matched to corresponding serial killers and radical figures, e.g. Fred being mixed with Ted Bundy into the composite character "Ted".
- The series is parodied in the animated music video for the song "Ghost" by Mystery Skulls.
- The animated series Arthur has a parody of Scooby-Doo called "Spooky-Poo".
- In the South Park episode "Korn's Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery," the nu-metal band Korn, parodying Scooby and the gang, tackle an invasion of mysterious "Pirate Ghosts'. They enlist the help of Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman, and Kenny McCormick and, after they solve the mystery, they perform Falling Away from Me from their album Issues.
- Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law defends the gang against possession charges in the 2002 episode "Shaggy Busted."
- In the Teen Titans Go! episode "The Cruel Giggling Ghoul," each Titan assumes the role of a Scooby Gang member (with Beast Boy as Scooby) to investigate a mystery at a spooky amusement park, with the help of LeBron James.
- The novel Meddling Kids (2017) by Edgar Cantero parodies not only Scooby-Doo—starting with taking the title on the show's catch-phrase—but also books by Enid Blyton, the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and teen-detective dramas in general.
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The Great Dane was supposed to be the biggest dog around ... and there was a woman [at the studio] who actually bred and reared Great Danes. So, she came over, and spent a solid hour describing all of the positive things that makes a prize-winning Great Dane. And I selected about five things, I think, and went in the opposite direction. For instance, a good, strong straight back, so I sloped his back. A strong chin, so I under-swung his chin ... and I think straight hind legs she mentioned. So I bowed them ...
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That character [Fred] started out ... I think his name was 'Geoff' ... and then he became 'Harvey'. And then all of a sudden, Fred [Silverman] came in and said [the character] was going to be 'Fred'. So, I guess he had something to do with that.
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Fred was based on Dobie, Velma on Zelda, Daphne on Thalia and Shaggy on Maynard.
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