What's New, Scooby-Doo? is an American animated sitcom mystery comedy series produced by Warner Bros. Animation for The WB television network; it is the ninth incarnation of the Scooby-Doo franchise that began with Hanna-Barbera's Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! and the first of such since the previous incarnation, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, ended in 1991. The series revives the format of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, in which the title character and his companions, Fred Jones; Daphne Blake; Velma Dinkley and Shaggy Rogers, travel to varying locations solving mysteries; this format is modernized for What's New, Scooby-Doo?, in which the characters utilize technology that did not exist at the time Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! first aired. It is the first television series in the franchise in which Frank Welker, Grey DeLisle and Mindy Cohn respectively portrayed the voices of Scooby-Doo, Daphne and Velma; and the final one in which Casey Kasemportrayed Shaggy, having originally quit the role following a dispute regarding the portrayal of the character. The series premiered on September 14, 2002, and ran for three seasons before ending on July 21, 2006. The title songwas performed by Canadian band Simple Plan. Reruns of the series have aired on both Cartoon Network and Boomerang in the United States. It also aired on Teletoonin Canada, and CITV in the United Kingdom.
Fred: The leader of the Mystery, Inc. gang who is the master of making traps to catch the villains. However, sometimes the traps fail to work; Shaggy and Scooby mess them up then use the parts to catch the villain in their own fashion.
Daphne: The fashionable, rich glamor girl of the gang who defends herself with her great fighting skills, although she can still fill the role of damsel in distress, often being captured by the antagonists. She is also quite ditzy and accident prone.
Velma: The smartest of the gang, and wears glasses because she is myopic. She has to fight back the advances of semi-recurring Gibby Norton, who does devious things, thinking it will win her over.
Shaggy: A beatnik slacker who is friends with Scooby. He and Scooby are usually scared and hungry; a running gag in the show. He is also known to have a high metabolism, and also is rich. At his voice actor's request, Shaggy was made into a vegetarian for this series.
Scooby: A Great Dane who is friends with Shaggy. Two things that they have in common are that they love food and are always afraid of things including monsters. Voiced by Frank Welker.
Characters in the series who appear more than once.
Elliot Blender: A competitive, jerkish spoiled child who often loses to Velma in contests. Voiced by Kimberly Brooks.
Melbourne O'Reilly: An Australian adventurer/explorer who is one of Fred's heroes (he is also based on Steve Irwin and Indiana Jones) Voiced by Steven Blum.
J.J. Hakimoto: A famous, over enthusiastic, Asian director. Voiced by Brian Tochi.
Gibby Norton: A nerd who has a crush on Velma, who hates the sight of him. He often turns out to be the villain to impress Velma, never succeeding. Gibby is modelled after his voice actor, Eddie Deezen.
Burr Batson: Cocky southern professional racer who drives a monster truck. Voiced by James Arnold Taylor.
Professor Laslow Ostwald: An inventor whom the gang meets. Voiced by Dave Foley, later by James Arnold Taylor. He first appears in "High-Tech House of Horrors" where his "House of the Future's" AI "Shari" goes haywire attacking tourists. Though the gang suspects him it is later revealed that "Shari" itself is responsible (as she was angry at the Professor due to him getting all of the attention). The gang defeated "Shari" by ignoring her (as attention was what she wanted) causing her to overload. Professor Ostwald also appears in "E-Scream" at a "Video Game Convention" where his new invention the cuddly "Osomons" turn evil. It is later discovered that the whole mystery was actually a VR simulation Velma was trying out.
The Hex Girls: Thorn, Dusk and Luna, are the members of the famous eco-goth rock band, The Hex Girls, with whom Scooby and the gang are acquainted with, ever since their first meeting in Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost. Thorn is voiced by Jennifer Hale, Dusk by Jane Wiedlin and Luna by Kimberly Brooks.
Mr. B: The owner of the Secret Six puppies. His full name is never revealed. He is voiced by Jeff Bennett. He also appears to be based on actor John Turturro given his accent and appearance.
Crissie: A Golden Retriever who is the Secret Six's mother. She appears in "Homeward Hound" and "Farmed and Dangerous.” Unlike the Secret Six she does not appear in “Gold Paw”.
The Secret Six puppies: Maize, Flax, Jingle, Knox, 14-Karat and Bling-Bling. They are six very well-trained, prize-winning Golden Retriever puppies who have a knack for getting into trouble. Maize and Knox are voiced by Jennifer Hale, Jingle is voiced by Colleen O'Shaughnessey, Flax is voiced by Dee Bradley Baker, Bling-Bling is voiced by Grey DeLisle, and 14-Karat is voiced by Frank Welker.
Nancy Chang: Reporter in episodes "There's No Creature Like Snow Creature" and "Riva Ras Regas". Voiced by Lauren Tom.
For this incarnation of the franchise, Frank Welker, the voice of Fred, took over as the voice of Scooby (replacing both Don Messick, the original voice of Scooby who died in 1997, and Scott Innes, the second voice of the character in the made-for-video films released between 1998 and 2001). Casey Kasem returned as Shaggy, seven years after he had quit the role and making his comeback as the character in 2002 after the production team decided to make Shaggy a vegetarian. This would also be the final series Kasem voiced the character, continuing to voice Shaggy in direct-to-video Scooby-Doo films until retiring from the role in 2009 due to health problems; Grey DeLisle returned as the role of Daphne (having previously voiced the character in Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase). Actress Mindy Cohn of The Facts of Life fame, took over from B. J. Ward as the role of Velma.
The series itself is a modernized version of the original Where Are You! series. It takes place in the 21st century and is more "realistic" than the previous, more cartoony incarnations, and features music from contemporary genres and all-new, original sound effects to replace the classic Hanna-Barbera sound effects. Even a distinctive thunderclap sound that was used frequently on older Scooby-Doo TV series was very rarely used on the series. A laugh track was only used for the Halloween special. The classic formula was also frequently parodied throughout (in a manner similar to A Pup Named Scooby-Doo), including the line "And I would've gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling kids." As such, it returns to the formulaic version of humans in monster disguises, rather than the real monsters and ghosts of the prior four direct-to-video films (or the 1980s versions that preceded them).
It is the first Scooby-Doo series to be produced in 16:9 widescreen, although it was cropped in 4:3 when broadcast.
Home media releases
Warner Home Video has released the entire series on DVD in Region 1. The series was initially released in ten volumes of four or five episodes between 2003 and 2006, as well as in the United Kingdom from 2004 to 2006 and later re-released, in the United States, in season sets in 2007–2008. In the UK, the volumes were released in a two disc set on May 30, 2011. A box set was released on October 29, 2007 in the UK containing all ten volumes in a complete set.