As a cartoon lover, there is nothing that I find more fulfilling and fun to watch, like a mystery comedy series. That is precisely the case with the Scooby-Doo series. Over 50 years since its release Scooby-Doo is still famous and has been re-done in very many forms.
Understanding the background history of Scooby-Doo: Where Are You!
Yesterday, I bumped into the original Scooby-Doo: Where Are You! It evoked the ‘90s nostalgia in me and made me figure that I should write something about this awesome show. This was the first Scooby-Doo cartoon show that was done by Hanna-Barbera in 1969 on CBS. Since then, many spinoff series were developed, including merchandise and Video games.
The original Scooby-Doo: Where Are You! was created by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears.
The Scooby-Doo series follows a group called Mystery, Inc., which drives in its “Mystery Machine” from place to place to solve supernatural mysteries. The group essentially referred to as “Meddling Kids,” comprises Shaggy Rogers, Fred Jones, Daphne Blake, Velma Dinkey, and her dog Scooby-Doo. Scooby and Shaggy are very close; I considered them sacred, they get spooked quickly, they’re always told to do something unintentional and bribed by the others. The speech pattern of Shaggy is very peculiar because of its repeated use of the expression “like” as a discourse component.
“Zoinks!” is also his frequent exclamation. Fred is the stern and clever type. On the other hand, Freddie is never scared to reveal his orange ascot. Daphne is always positive, thrilling, but at the same time, she is the clumsiest of the five. Which made Velma to nickname her “Danger-prone Daphne.” Daphne often seems to be the one who gets abducted, bound up, and thrown into a dungeon. The other four still save her from trouble.
On the other hand, Velma is a very clever young woman who wants to become a scientist. A frequent running joke in the cartoon, however, refers to her severe short-sightedness, and she often loses her glasses during monster chases. Moreover, Velma is known for her signature expression, “Jinkies!”
For every episode of the series, almost the same thing happens. There is usually a mystery, and the gang would have to solve it. Contrary to some of today’s cartoons, there is no specific story angle. The mystery suspects typically have identical characteristics and come up with a spooky way of terrifying any intruders by disguising themselves as ghosts, witch, or monsters.
The fearful tactics are a ploy to prevent anyone from getting to know a certain criminal scheme that they have developed. The criminals almost always act as a figure of authority covering a plot. Whenever the gang solves this mystery, the criminal’s final line is usually, “…and I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for (your stupid dog and) you meddling kids!”
Scooby-Doo theme song
Perhaps the best way to connect with the Scooby-Doo show was through the theme song of the original show.
The music was composed and recorded for later use by Danny Janssen and Austin Roberts on other Scooby-Doo products like the 1998 Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island. It was performed for the first season I n1969 by Larry Marks and for the second season by George Robertson Junior around 1970. Unfortunately, the theme song was not used on the new releases of Scooby-Doo that came later.
One thing about Scooby-Doo: Where Are You! is the use of an episode laugh track. It appeared to be one of the first cartoons to have a track of laughter back then. When you think of the laugh track, you will only think of a sitcom filmed before a live audience. But in this case, it was a cartoon that had a laugh track since it was filmed in a studio.
The first episode was shown to a theater audience back in 1969 and 1970. From there, the theater's atmosphere was captured and then synchronized to the final sound mix in the CBS episode. This was the most realistic and reliable way of doing it, given the time span. Sometimes I think the laugh track made the scent sound funnier than they were.
Scooby-Doo: Where Are You! Storyline
Whenever confronted with the “monster of the day,” they try to disguise and trick or fool the villain(s) by throwing or squirting stuff in their faces like paint or a pie. Scaggy and Scooby would subsequently flee, and a chase would ensue. Sometimes, they would run through a doorway, and Scooby would pull the door closed with his tail, and the villain(s), stupidly, would crash into the closed door.
Another funny trope is Shaggy and Scooby’s recurrent and almost never-ending lust for food. It seems like that’s all they ever think about. Is there ever a time when they’re not hungry? While on the matter, when Shaggy makes a sandwich for himself, Scooby always sneaks up and steals all of the contents when Shaggy isn’t looking.
While this series was initially been on television about 25 years before my time, I followed it consistently in 2000 until 2002 when reruns were airing on Cartoon Network. The series’ re-run has since moved to Cartoon Network’s sister satellite and cable network Boomerang. Even when the series was airing reruns on Cartoon Network, I haven’t seen every single episode. It looks like I have another show that I need to create time for binge-watching.
Scooby-Doo is the eponym of the Scooby-Doo animated TV show. He is Shaggy Roger's pet and companion. In the show, Scooby-Doo is considered a rare Great Dane dog that speaks broken English, unlike other dogs. Scooby used to put an R in front of almost every word. The different version of Scooby-Doo was the puppy called Scooby-Doo.
The name of Scooby-Doo came from the syllables “doo-be-doo-be-doo,” which was from a Frank Sinatra’s hit song called Strangers in the Night.
Scooby-Doo was voiced by Don Messick from 1969 to around 1994. Later on in 1997, he was voiced by Hadley Kay on the episode of Johnny Bravo. Later in 1998 to 2001, he was voiced by Neil Fanning in Scooby-Doo and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. From 2002 to now, Scooby is voiced by Frank Welker (Fred Jones’ voice).
Norville “Shaggy” is one of the four fictional characters in the TV series Scooby-Doo that features the adventures of the crime-solving teenagers and Shaggy’s pet great dane. Shaggy is seen to be more interested in eating as opposed to solving mysteries. He is also a coward.
He is the only Scooby-Doo Character, apart from Scooby, in all the releases of the show. From 1969 to 1997, Casey Kasem voiced Shaggy.
Shaggy was voiced by Billy West in Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island. While between 1999 to 2001, he was voiced by Scott Innes. Currently, he is voiced by Matthew Lillard, who played Shaggy in theatrical live-action movies.
He was played by Nick Plalatas in Scooby-Doo, the prequel to the Cartoon Network; The mystery Begins and Scooby-Doo (2009)! Lake Monster (2010). Will Forte voiced Shaggy as an adult in the theatrical animated movie Scoob with lain Armitage voicing his younger self.
Also known Freddie, he wears a blue and white shirt that is sometimes worn under a white shirt, sweater, or jacket. And he has blue jeans.
Fred sports a 16 ½ size orange ascot in the original release in the 90s. Fast forward to the 2000s series, Fred’s outfit was changed by cutting his orange ascot and adding to its sleeve two blue stripes. He is also seen to create different Rube Goldberg traps for villains, which Scooby-Doo and/or Shaggy often carry mistakenly.
Fred usually leads the way in solving the mystery. When looking for tips, Fred and Daphne generally go with Velma, but Fred and Daphne often go together while Velma goes with Shaggy and Scooby.
Daphne is usually seen collaborating with her other friends, Fred Jones, Shaggy Rogers, Velma Dinkley, and Shaggy’s big Dane Scooby-Do, to overcome different Mysteries. Daphne is depicted as enthusiastic, but timid and danger-prone.
Velma is usually depicted as a highly intelligent, young woman with numerous interests ranging from highly established sciences (which leads her to a career in the “Scooby and Scrappy-Doo” series as a NASA research scientist. She is very much informed in a variety of fields like ancient Viking writings.
In the show: Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo, Velma’s sister, described her as born with a book of mystery in her hand. She is the one who often cracks the mystery and comes to the aid of Fred and Daphne.
I know I can go on and on breaking down the Scooby-Doo show; I remember it like yesterday. Pure nostalgia. Especially when you think of the humor and the cast.
What do you remember?
And how do the new releases compare with the old classic of the ‘90s?