We often critique a series for its inability to get off the ground running. Perhaps no television series excelled at that (both literally and figuratively) than the one and only original 1969-1970 animated series, Scooby Doo, Where Are You? The entire series is airing this month on Boomerang. The cultural impact of “those meddling kids,” the Scooby Gang, Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and their Great Dane Scooby Doo, cannot be overstated. The pop song introduction, the 1960s van, the clothes, the cameraderie, mix with the first shake cam most of us ever noticed, cool colors, and a laugh track telling us we weren’t the only ones in on the fun.
Joss Whedon had the high school kids on Buffy the Vampire Slayer call each other the Scooby Gang (and it was a wholly updated but certain version of the original). On the fan-favorite Doctor Who episode “Blink,” Larry exclaims “you live in Scooby Doo’s house?!” when he finds Sally at Wester Drumlins. Carl Sagan once suggested an adult analog to the series would be a great public service. TV Guide named Scooby as one of the top 50 cartoon characters of all time. The big-budget box office hit Wayne’s World took on its own Scooby Doo ending, literally unmasking the villain. South Park had its own homage, and the long-lasting Supernatural series animated episode “Scoobynatural” became an instant classic.
Casey Kasem, voice of American Top 40 for decades, was also the voice of Shaggy, with Nicole Jaffe and Rosalinda Galli as Velma, Frank Welker as Fred, Stefanianna Christopherson, Heather North, and Emanuela Fallini as Daphne, and Don Messick as Scooby Doo. Direction of the episodes was split, with 25 episodes for each of Joseph Barbera and William Hanna.
Nobody ever questioned the Great Dane in the museum, in the office, in the museum, at college, at an amusement park, on an old plantation, a mine, a movie set, a music concert, a bank, an abandoned mill, a swamp, a dance contest, a zoo, a ghost ship, an abandoned airfield, an old lighthouse, an antique shop, a castle in Transylvania, or a village in Hawaii. And nobody ever questioned his unusual name. The Mystery Machine is as iconic as the Batmobile, the Ghostbusters hearse, and Marty McFly’s DeLorean. And generations have fed their dogs Scooby Snacks they bought at the grocery store.
Going to the library to solve problems was shown as cool to kids. Friends could resolve their problems by working together, without big arguments or fights. Scooby Doo, Where Are You? was also great fun, and it still is.
What could be more fun for your own gang this October leading up to Halloween? Catch the re-airings of Scooby Doo, Where Are You? all month on the Boomerang cartoon channel. And if you’re already a fan, check out the great, new Scooby-Doo! Betrayal at Mystery Mansion now available here at Amazon we reviewed earlier this summer here at borg. The home release of this year’s Scoob! movie is also available.