Episode 02.5: Scooby Doo History
Consider this quote from show writer Mark Evanier: “The network kept threatening to cancel it every year or two, so every season they had to add a new element to the show to keep it fresh.” (No source found).
This collection occasionally mentions the programming block, but usually just sticks to the actual names of the shows themselves.
- Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? 1969-1971, CBS
Four meddling teenagers and their stupid dog set out to prove that ghosts and ghouls aren’t real by solving crimes and overcoming booby traps. It ran for two seasons with 35 episodes and can be seen on Boomerang and the Cartoon Network today. You also get them on iTunes here: Season 1, Season 2.
- The New Scooby Doo Movies, 1972-1974, CBS
The format was the same, but the episodes were twice as long, and the gang was joined by celebrity – usually one who needed a mystery solved. These cast additions were either real life stars, such as Sonny and Cher and Don Knotts, or other Hanna Barbera Animation properties – such as Josie and the Pussycats.
- The Scooby Doo Show, 1976-1978, ABC
Three seasons, 40 episodes, these aired under programming blocks named The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour, Scooby’s All-Star Laff-A-Lympics , Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! and Scooby’s All-Stars. Intoducing Scooby-Dum as a semi-regular character, and even one appearance by Scooby-Dee. We’re not sure if you can see these broadcast anymore – but you CAN buy them on iTunes: Season 1, Season 2.
- Scooby Goes to Hollywood 1979, ABC
An hour-long, made for tv Movie-musical in which Scoob and Shaggy go to Hollywood in the attempt to become real movie stars instead of sat-am cartoon nobodies. That sound you hear is the pieces of the fourth wall breaking all over the place. Clearly, the makers of the show were aware of how the premise of the show wasn’t translating well to modern audiences, and tried this before they settled on THIS solution …
- Scooby Doo and Scrappy Doo,1979-1980, ABC
Half hour show, no programming slot. Running for 16 episodes, this show introduced the son of Scooby’s sister, Ruby-Doo. I liked Scrappy, but a lot of people don’t. You can buy it here.
- Scooby Doo and Scrappy Doo, 1980-1983, ABC
After a year of Scappy being super successful, the show had a mini-overhaul in 1980 – Fred, Velma and Daphne were dropped from the show (ostensisbly pursuing their careers as a writer, nasa intern, and reporter respectively) and Scooby started to walk on his hind legs. Each half hour slot had three seven-minute adventures, in which the villians turned out to be real ghosts and ghoulies, as opposed to criminals in costumes This aired under the The Richie Rich/ Scooby-Doo Show block and the The Scooby Doo/Scrappy Doo/Puppy Hour. Download here and here.
- The All-New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show/New Scooby Doo Mysteries, 1983-85, ABC
Two seasons, each with a different name, this show was true to the format of the original show. With Fred removed from the show, Scrappy became less annoying as he began to take on some of Fred’s personality. He even made a few traps! A lot of Scooby Doo backstory – especially the family trees of the main characters were established in this show. Daphne returned as a regular character – to satisfy the requirements of eye candy. Starting in 1984, Fred and Velma would occasionally show up too. Download here and here.
- 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo, 1985, ABC
Thirteen episodes (of course) of Scooby, Shaggy, and Daphne hunting ghosts for Vincent Van Ghoul (voiced by Vincent Price) after the Shaggy and Scoob accidentally released them. Scrappy, yes, but there is Flim-Flam, a 9-year-old Tibetan Con artist as a regular character. Signiificant for the slow breaking down of the fourth wall. The series was never finished, so not all 13 ghosts were caught. Can currently be seen on Boomerang.
- Scooby Doo Meets the Boo Brothers, 1987, Scooby Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf, 1988, Scooby Doo and the Ghoul School, 1988.
Part of a series of Hanna Barbara direct-to-video movies featuring their most popular properties. Similar to Thirteen Ghosts, these movies depicted the supernatural encounters as real. Only franchise appearance, apart from Mystery, Inc. that shows Shaggy having a girlfriend! Only Scoob, Scrappy, and Shaggy were in the show.
- A Pup Named Scooby Doo, 1988-1991, ABC
Everyone was doing this in the 80s! The high school gang is reinvented as middle schoolers, became very squashy and stretchy, and ignored most of the previously established cannon. Interesting, a majority of the production team for this show ended up on Tiny Toon Adventures! It’s occasionally on Boomerang and you can pick it up on iTunes: Season 1, Season 2.
- And then we enter the long desert crossing of reruns and syndication, during which time, Cartoon Network and Boomerang became the sole owners of the Scooby-Doo property (in broadcasting terms, I think), and Hanna-Barbara became a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Scooby, showing an a billion channels in a lot of countries, became extremely popular!
- Scooby-Doo On Zombie Island, 1998, Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost, 1999, Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invasion, 2000, Scooby Doo and the Cyber Chase, 2001. Direct-to-Video Movies.
These movies were something a little bit new for the gang. They were depicted as a little older than high-school, and weren’t afraid to get a little dark, as they saw the gang pitted against actual supernatural forces. Jon loves Zombie Island, and Suzannah loves Witch’s Ghost (it has Tim Curry AND giant turkey in it!) Here we also see the introduction of the Hex Girls, an all-female goth band. The first four pioneered the dark style, and the batch produced at the same time as ‘What’s New Scooby-Doo” matched both the approach and voice cast of that show. Done by the Real Adventures of Johnny Quest team. Original reboot, follows old continuity with the kids as adults.
- Scooby Doo, 2002, Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, 2004, Theatrical releases
They were live action, they were funny. They weren’t Shakespeare, but they laid a lot of the groundwork for the current incarnation of the show. They were followed up by two live-action, tv-release movies, Scooby-Doo! The Mystery begins, 2009 (billed as a prequel) and Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster, 2010.
- Scooby-Doo and the Legend of the Vampire, 2003, Scooby -Doo and the Monster of Mexico, 2003, Direct-to-Video Movies.
Proto-What’s New Scooby Doo, retooled because of complaints of prior DTV’s being “too dark”. These are generally considered the worst two of the lot.
- What’s New Scooby-Doo, 2002-2005, Kids WB
This was a respectable return to the original Scooby-Doo Where Are you, with a similar format, but updated for the 21st century. New music, new gadgets, no more laugh track-style sounds. The Hex Girls continued to appear. The bad guys in these shows were criminals in disguise, not supernatural being. Interestingly, it was never actually cancelled, but put on “infinite hiatus.” Forty Two Episodes, currently accesible on the Cartoon Network
- Scooby-Doo! and the Loch Ness Monster, 2004, Aloha, Scooby-Doo! , 2005, Scooby-Doo! in Where’s My Mummy? ,2005, Scooby-Doo! Pirates Ahoy! , 2006, Chill Out, Scooby-Doo!, 2007, Scooby-Doo! and the Goblin King, 2008, Scooby-Doo! and the Samurai Sword, 2009. Direct-to-Video Movies.
What’s New Continuity DTV. Follow the style and storytelling patterns set up by What’s New, but extended in format, usually with a song. Started off OK, got a bit weak in the middle, ended very strong. Goblin King is notable for including real monsters – something that had not been done since the Zombie Island era.
- Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue, 2006, Kids WB
In this version, the characters were redesigned to more resemble the actors playing them in the live action movies. Shaggy & Scooby arer no longer cowards – they are practically secret agents, out to save the world from Shaggy’s uncle Albert’s evil nemesis Dr. Phibes. The Mystery Machine is upgraded to be a James Bond-type transforming vehicle, and comes with a robot butler. There was a lot of secret-agenty cartoons in the early 2000s. Notable because part of the crew of the “then popular” Xiaolin Showdown had a large hand in this series. Also notable in that its the only Scooby series that has – to date – not been in any reruns since its cancellation on Kids WB. It’s considered the last show of the What’s New continuity like how 13 Ghosts was for the original, until the DTV’s came along.
- Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo, 2010, Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare, 2010, Scooby-Doo! Legend of the Phantosaur , 2011, Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire, 2012. Direct-to-Video Movies.
VERY well recieved. Cross between Zombie Island and Mysteries Inc. but does NOT follow Mystery Inc’s storytelling style. Think of it as Zombie Island without taking itself seriously, real monsters and harder to solve mysteries.
- Scooby-Doo, Mystery Inc, 2010, Cartoon Network.
It’s awesome! Check out or main podcast for what we think of this!