Pros:Still the best version of Scooby-Doo; classic epidoes with memorable villains
The Bottom Line: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! is still a favourite in this family with a new generation learning all about the Scooby gang. Time the sing the theme song again.
Leave it to the Boomerang network to revive some classic cartoons from my youth. It has become a nightly ritual to watch an episode of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! before tucking my son in bed. And it’s because of the theme song. Once it starts there is no way anyone can stay quiet and not sing it. From there it’s a romp with the Mystery, Inc. gang to solve the lastest mystery.
The show made its debut back in 1969 in an effort to create a non-violent program for children. In essence this was an effort to placate those parent groups that protested against superhero shows at the time. Seriously? It’s ironic that Batman and Robin team-up with Scooby-Doo in its next incarnation of the show The New Scooby-Doo Movies.
Fred, Daphne, Velma and Shaggy seem like four ordinary teenagers. Along with a Great Dane named Scooby-Doo, a cowardly dog with a voracious appetite for food, they always somehow manage to stumble across a supernatural mystery that needs to be solved by the gang. Of course all the goblins, witches and monsters they encounter are never really of the supernatural flavour but it’s fun trying discover the true culprit in the end.
There is a formula to every episode that has stayed true during the entire run of the series. The gang starts off doing something unrelated, such as eating at an ice cream parlour, coming from the movies or a dance, or just plain hanging out in some manner. Along the way they always stumble across a monster or supernatural situation, which in turn leads them to volunteer to solve that particular mystery. They usually split up into groups (Fred with the girls and Shaggy with Scooby) to look for clues and get into more trouble. Then it’s time to trap to perpetrator, which sometimes doesn’t work yet they always manage to capture the bad guy in the end. The monster usually ends up being a bad guy in disguise. The end.
For me the best part is the chase scene songs. I just find it hilariously hokey and crack up whenever it occurs. But the music was also part of the charm with these Scooby-Doo episodes. It just brought out lots of energy to indicate that this wasn’t your ordinary crime-solving mystery show.
A lot of the villains are still memorable to his day. You may not remember their exact names but they have a distinctive look like the Ghost of Mr. Hyde, the Creeper, the Witchdoctor, the Chained Phantoms, and even Frankenstein’s Monster. Recently, action figures of these characters have been made, in which my son has a few in his possession. He gets excited when he sees one of these characters that he has on television.
The voice acting is actually great. Don Messick provides the familiar intonations for Scooby-Doo, Casey Kasem is the gangly Shaggy Rogers, Stefanianna Christopherson (and later Heather North starting season 2) is the beautiful Daphne Blake, Nicole Jaffe is the brainy Velma Dinkley, and the versatile Frank Welker is the confident Fred Jones.
Scooby Doo, Where Are You! is still a perennial favourite enjoyed by all. After all these years and its many incarnations of the show, the first series is still the most appealing of the bunch.
Scooby-Doo Meets Batman
***This is part of my 2012 Canadiana Write-Off. Come join the festivities until the end of July.
CANADIAN FACT: Nicole Jaffe, the voice of Velma, was born in Canada. Where in the Tundra, I'm not exactly sure.
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Type of Program: Cartoon or Animated