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Wednesday, 7 March 2018

⏪ Classic Cartoon Rewind: Scooby- Doo, Where Are You! (1969)


Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!
1969
Country of Origin: U.S
Hanna-Barbera Productions
Number of Episodes/Seasons: 41 episodes, 3 seasons
Characters: Scooby-Doo, Shaggy Rogers, Fred Jones, Daphne Blake, Velma Dinkley
Ran From September 13, 1969 - October 31, 1970 & September 9 - November 4, 1978
Aired on CBS, ABC, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, ITV, Syndication, USA Network
'Scooby- Doo, Where Are You!'

'Scooby- Doo, Where Are You!' is a mystery comedy cartoon produced by Hanna-Barbera for CBS that debuted on the network on Saturday 13, 1969 and its Saturday morning schedule in the U.S. The show, which ran for 30 mins per episode, aired for 2 seasons and in 1978, the third season of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! emerged; although the show differs from the first two seasons with a selection of episodes taken from The Scooby-Doo Show and Scooby All-Stars. These were aired under the '....Where Are You!' title. In total, 25 episodes were produced. The voice casting consisted of Don Messick as Scooby Doo, who also provided the voices for Astro in The Jetsons, Yogi Bear's Boo-Boo and Ranger Smith, Papa Smurf of The Smurfs and interestingly enough, Hampton J. Pig from Tiny Toon Adventures. Casey Kasem was the original voice for Shaggy from 1969 to 1997 and 2002 to 2009 whereby he retired from the role. Rounding up the casting was Frank Welker as Fred who also voiced Dynomutt and Megatron of Transformers to name but many to his list of credits, Nicole Jaffe and Pat Stevens as Velma & Stefanianna Christopherson & Heather North for Daphne. 

This was the first incarnation of the Scooby-Doo series, which spawned successors and spin-off shows such as Scooby-Doo & Scrappy-Doo, which saw the arrival of Scooby's diminutive nephew in Scrappy-Doo, whose presence divided fans of the famous cartoon franchise, The 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo that had Fred and Velma replaced by Vincent Van Ghoul and a young boy in Flim Flam & a continuous plotline, which never got resolved. A Pup Named Scooby-Doo had teen/kid versions of the main characters, as it existed to cater to younger audiences and Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, which as I type this, was the last Scooby show that ended back in 2013. In 2015, Be Cool, Scooby-Doo was released with redesigned versions of the main characters. This aired on Boomerang's video-on-demand streaming service. There were also 2 theatrical live-action Scooby-Doo Hollywood films released in the early 2000s with Scream's Matthew Lillard, as well as Buffy The Vampire Slayer's Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr and E.R's Linda Cardinelli as Shaggy, Fred, Daphne and Velma & a CGI Scooby, coupled with some straight-to-DVD movie offerings. Coincidentally, Lillard eventually became Casey Kasem's voice-over replacement and successor as Shaggy for the Scooby-Doo animated TV shows & movies. 

In Scooby- Doo, Where Are You!, four teenagers, Fred Jones, Velma Dinkley, Daphne Blake and Norville ''Shaggy'' Rogers and a Great Dane, the clumsy, cowardly but innocent hound named Scooby-Doo are Mystery Incorporated, who travel in a van called the ''Mystery Machine'', and go on to unravel and solve mysteries, as well as unmasking the supernatural and paranormal culprits behind the acts, who turn out to be just some person in a mask and fooling people into thinking it is a real ghost or monster. The bad guy would utter the famous line: ''and I would have gotten away with it too if it hadn't been for you meddling kids!'', which was parodied in movies such as Mike Myers's 1992 comedy, Wayne's World. Along the way, the teens and Scooby are terrorised by the ghouls, with Daphne, Fred & Velma figuring out how to stop them & Shaggy and Scooby running for their lives, whilst stopping on their way for some grub. Each character is distinguished by their looks: Fred with the blond hair, Daphne as the long red-head, Shaggy as the lanky teen with a small goatee and Velma with the nerdy glasses. Shaggy and Velma also had their own one-word catchphrases: ''zoinks!'', which was uttered by Shaggy and ''jinkies!'' for Velma.


The concept for Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! first came to prominence when CBS and Hanna-Barbera had plans to create a non-violent family and kids Saturday morning cartoon programme with (not too overly) horror dark themes and have their heroic characters outwit and outsmart the villains, without the use of violence. It was originally titled ''Mysteries Five'', based on a radio show title, then ''Who's S-S-Scared'' until the creators, Ken Ruby and Joe Spears finally settled on the name of Scooby-Doo. It underwent a number of changes that included the musical pop group angle based on the Archie gang of the comics, which was scrapped. Scooby was going to be called ''Too Much'' who plays the bongos. Joe Ruby and Ken Spears knew TV executive & producer, Fred Silverman, who was the head of ABC & was a lover of dogs so, Joe Barbera asked if they would add a dog to the show, and they went ahead with it. & Ruby-Spears came up with Scooby. In 1978, Silverman then ditched Filmation & went in favour of Hanna-Barbera & replaced Filmation's cartoons with H-B's, including Scooby-Doo.

And character development wasn't much of a consideration at this time. Because of this, we didn't get to know much about the lives of Scooby and the gang, aside from that in the humans they were teenagers and Scooby was a dog. 


Nonetheless, almost 50 years on since its arrival, the show that started it all and pioneered the Scooby- Doo phenomenon which has outlived both of its creators, Ruby & Spears and Hanna-Barbera, who brought it to life, still remains as watchable as it was when it came out in 1969. Showing the popularity, perseverance and staying power of Scooby-Doo hasn't waned, one single bit, despite the so-called repetitive formula, it has gone on to become an iconic children's animated cartoon in its own right and Hanna-Barbera's longest-serving series ahead of The Flintstones

                                                           


Sources:

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! - Wikipedia 

Saturday Mornings Forever: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!

SYSK Selects: Scooby Dooby Doo, Where Are You

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