Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! is an American animated mystery comedy television series produced by Hanna-Barbera. Produced for CBS, the series premiered as part of the network's Saturday morning schedule on September 13, 1969, and aired for two seasons until October 31, 1970. In 1978, a selection of episodes from the later series Scooby's All-Stars and The Scooby-Doo Show were aired on ABC under the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! name and, as such, is sometimes marketed as its third season.
The series centers on a group of characters consisting of four teenagers—Fred Jones, Daphne Blake, Velma Dinkley, and Norville "Shaggy" Rogers—and the title character, a semi-anthropomorphic Great Dane. The group travel in a van named the Mystery Machine, solving mysteries involving several local legends; in doing so, they discover that the perpetrator is almost invariably a disguised person who seeks to exploit the legend for personal gain.
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! was the first incarnation of what would eventually become a long-running media franchise which primarily consists of subsequent animated series, several films, and related merchandise.
Scooby Doo, Where Are You! was the result of CBS and Hanna-Barbera's plans to create a non-violent Saturday morning program that would appease the parent watch groups that had protested the superhero-based programs of the mid-1960s. Originally titled Mysteries Five, and later Who's S-S-Scared?, Scooby Doo, Where Are You! underwent a number of changes from script to screen (the most notable of which was the downplaying of the musical group angle borrowed from The Archie Show). However, the basic concept—four teenagers (Fred, Daphne, Velma, and Shaggy) and a cowardly, clumsy Great Dane (Scooby-Doo) solving supernatural-related mysteries—was always in place.
Scooby-Doo creators Joe Ruby and Ken Spears served as the story supervisors on the series. Ruby, Spears, and Bill Lutz wrote all of the scripts for the seventeen first-season episodes, while Lutz, Larz Bourne, and Tom Dagenais wrote the eight second-season episodes with Ruby and Spears. The plot varied little from episode to episode. The main concept was as follows:
- The gang is driving in the Mystery Machine, returning from or going to a regular teenage function, when their van develops engine trouble or breaks down for any of a variety of reasons (overheating, flat tire, out of gas, etc.), in the immediate vicinity of a large, mostly vacated property (ski lodge, hotel, factory, mansion, cruise ship, etc.).
- Their (unintended) destination turns out to be suffering from a monster problem (ghosts, Yetis, vampires, witches, etc.). The gang volunteers to investigate the case.
- The gang splits up to cover more ground, with Fred and Velma finding clues, Daphne finding danger, and Shaggy and Scooby finding food, fun, and the ghost/monster, who chases them. Scooby and Shaggy love to eat, including dog treats called Scooby Snacks which are a favorite of both the dog and the teenage boy.
- Eventually, enough clues are found to convince the gang that the ghost/monster is a fake, and a trap is set (usually by Fred) to capture it; or, they may occasionally call the local sheriff, only to get stopped by the villain half-way.
- If a trap is used, it may or may not work (more often than not, Scooby-Doo and/or Shaggy falls into the trap and/or they unwittingly catch the monster another way). Invariably, the ghost/monster is apprehended and unmasked. The person in the ghost or monster suit turns out to be an apparently blameless authority figure or otherwise innocuous local who is using the disguise to cover up something such as a crime or a scam.
- After giving the parting shot of "And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling kids", the offender is then taken away to jail, and the gang is allowed to continue on the way to their destination.
- Main article: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! episode list
The second season featured bubblegum "chase scene" songs produced by La La Productions (which had originally been contracted to create the music for Josie and the Pussycats, the first of many animated series made from the same mold as Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!). These songs were written by Danny Janssen and Austin Roberts, and were performed by Roberts, who also made a new recording of the Scooby Doo, Where Are You! theme song for the second season. The series' theme song has been covered by several subsequent artists, including Matthew Sweet for the 1995 TV special and album Saturday Morning: Cartoons' Greatest Hits; Third Eye Blind for the 1998 film Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island; Billy Ray Cyrus for Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost (1999); Jennifer Love Hewitt for Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders (2000); the B-52's (Cindy, Kate and Fred) for Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase (2001); MxPx for the live-action Scooby-Doo film (2002); and Krystal Harris for Scooby-Doo! and the Legend of the Vampire (2003).
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! utilized a laugh track, a common feature in most animated TV series until the late 1970s. It was removed for syndication in the 1980s. Following Turner's purchase of Hanna-Barbera and its networks' (TBS, TNT and Cartoon Network) initial broadcast of the series in 1994, the laugh track was reinstated in 1997.
- Don Messick as Scooby-Doo
- Casey Kasem as Norville "Shaggy" Rogers
- Frank Welker as Fred Jones
- Stefanianna Christopherson as Daphne Blake (season 1)
- Heather North as Daphne Blake (seasons 2 and 3)
- Nicole Jaffe as Velma Dinkley (seasons 1 and 2)
- Pat Stevens as Velma Dinkley (season 3)
Release and reception
Scooby Doo, Where Are You! was a hit for Hanna-Barbera and CBS, which led Hanna-Barbera to eventually create series with similar concepts on ABC, NBC, and CBS, including, Josie and the Pussycats, The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show, The Pebbles, Dino and Bamm-Bamm segments on The Flintstone Comedy Show, The Funky Phantom, Speed Buggy, Jeannie, Jabberjaw, The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan, Inch High Private Eye, Goober and the Ghost Chasers, Clue Club, Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids, and The New Shmoo.
In 2005, Scooby Doo, Where Are You! came 49th in Channel 4's 100 Greatest Cartoons, in the UK, and was more recently voted the 8th greatest Kids' TV Show by viewers of the same channel. It was ranked the 24th greatest cartoon on IGN's Top 100 Animated Series.
Home media releases
On July 4, 2002, Warner Home Video released four episodes from the series on a compilation DVD in Region 1 entitled Scooby-Doo's Creepiest Capers. They later released all 25 episodes on DVD in Region 1 on March 16, 2004 under the title Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! The Complete First and Second Seasons. A DVD entitled Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! The Complete Third Season was released on April 10, 2007, made up of episodes produced in 1978, added to the Scooby's All-Stars package, and later syndicated as part of The Scooby-Doo Show.
On November 9, 2010, Warner Home Video released Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: The Complete Series. The 8 disc set features all 25 episodes of the series plus the 16 episodes produced in 1978 which aired as part of Scooby's All-Stars. The set is encased in a special collectible packaging in the form of a Mystery Machine replica. In addition, it also features a special bonus disc filled with new and archival material. The set was re-released on November 13, 2012.
|DVD Name||Ep #||Release Date|
|Scooby-Doo's Spookiest Tales||3||August 21, 2001|
|Scooby-Doo's Creepiest Capers||4||July 4, 2002|
|Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: The Complete First and Second Seasons||25||March 16, 2004|
|Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: The Complete Third Season||16||April 10, 2007|
|Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: The Complete Series||41||November 9, 2010|
November 13, 2012 (Re-issue)
Starting on January 27, 2009, Warner Home Video released single disc DVDs with four episodes each, plus an episode from Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get a Clue. Four volumes have been released through October 19, 2010.
|DVD Name||Ep #||Release Date||Bonus Episode|
|Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: Vol. 1, A Monster Catch||4||January 27, 2009||Shags to Riches|
|Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: Vol. 2, Bump In The Night||4||May 5, 2009||More Fondue for Scooby-Doo!|
|Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: Vol. 3, Hello Mummy||4||September 1, 2009||High Society Scooby|
|Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: Vol. 4, Spooky Bayou||4||October 19, 2010||Lightning Strikes Twice|
- Later iterations of the series added a hyphen to spell the character's name "Scooby-Doo". However, the first series and such spinoffs as Gold Key Comics' Hanna-Barbera Scooby Doo... Where Are You! and Scooby Doo... Mystery Comics used no hyphen.
- Lenberg, Jeff (2006). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. New York: Facts of File. ISBN 0-8160-6599-3. pp. 618–619.
- Cronin, Brian (September 25, 2013). "TV Legends Revealed | Jinkies! The Mysterious Origins of 'Scooby-Doo'". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved on August 5, 2015.
- Mikkelson, Barbara (May 22, 2006). "Scooby-Doo, What Is You?". Snopes.com. Retrieved on August 5, 2015.
- Shostak, Stu (05-02-2012). "Interview with Joe Ruby and Ken Spears". Stu's Show. Retrieved 03-18-2013.
-  Archived September 3, 2005, at the Wayback Machine
-  Archived February 4, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- "Top 100 Animated Series—Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!". IGN.com. Retrieved on 11 December 2012.
- "Scooby Doo, Where Are You! - The Complete First and Second Seasons : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video". Dvdtalk.com (2004-03-16). Retrieved on 2014-03-10.
- "Scooby Doo, Where Are You! - The Complete Third Season : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video". Dvdtalk.com. Retrieved on 2014-03-10.
- Lacey, Gord. "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! - Complete Series Announced - Mystery Machine Packaging!". Retrieved on 11 December 2012.
- "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! DVD news: Announcement for Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! - Season 1, Volume 4: Spooked Bayou". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved on 2014-03-10.
- Cartoon Network: Dept. of Cartoons: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!—cached copy from Internet Archive
- "Hanna-Barbera Studios" (and sub-articles), The Big Cartoon DataBase