Can you remember the day you watched Scooby Doo for the first time? If you are a baby boomer reading this article, you had the opportunity to see the first part of the franchise. Millennials, you must have enjoyed it when you were a child growing up in the 80s. To the Generation Z readers, you may not have been able to watch the franchise grow, but that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate it.
Scooby Doo was different than the other cartoons. The writers made each character relatable to the viewers. If we didn’t see ourselves in Fred, Daphne or Velma, we may have gone to school with someone that reminded us of them. Despite the supernatural theme and creepy background noise that gave us goose bumps, the show always reeled us in to keep watching. We always wanted the Scooby Doo gang to win, find clues and outsmart the villain at the end of the episode. As a Great Dane, Scooby may not have been the most expensive dog breed but the franchise will continue to have an influence on cartoons for decades to come.
Who was your favorite character? Daphne represented the high class and fashionable woman. Fred Jones was the well groomed and popular guy we all remember in high school. Velma may have been the bookworm but she helped the team put the pieces of the mystery puzzle together. As for Shaggy, he was scruffy, entertaining and made us laugh. He was light-hearted and didn’t take himself too seriously. Last but not least, Scooby was the dog that didn’t walk around and run after Frisbees all day. Scooby pulled his weight by helping the team.
If you think you know everything there is to know about Scooby Doo, read this article and you will be surprised.
15. All You Need to Know About the Cartoon Series
The Scooby Doo cartoon series was one of a kind and there are not many shows to compare it to. What we know now as the internationally acclaimed franchise, was an idea created inside of the Hanna-Barbera animation studios. Hanna-Barbera is also responsible for developing the cartoons Fred Flintstone, Space Ghost, Yogi Bear and Tom and Jerry.
During the cartoon series, Fred Jones and Shaggy Rogers were 17 years old, Velma was 15, and Daphne was 16 years of age.
The thunderstorm sound effect that we heard at the beginning of the cartoon was not the sound of real live bats, but the sound of a tape recorder echo unit feeding back its own sound.
In 1979 Scrappy Doo’s character (Scooby’s nephew) was introduced to the story line to improve low ratings that the show was experiencing.
Many Scooby Doo cartoon fans were not aware that in the show, there was a total of 27 villains. 23 of these characters committed crimes that involved stealing money.
The characters of Fred, Daphne, Velma, and Shaggy came to life after the writers watched the show The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. We’ll talk more about their inspiration below.
14. Unnoticed Mistakes in the Movie
There are avid movie buffs that have a keen eye for catching mistakes in any film. While most of us were excited and enjoyed watching Scooby Doo cartoons and the movie, some people managed to find errors. Here are a few mistakes that were found in the movie:
In one scene Fred is looking in the mirror at his hair. If you look close, you will notice that he is wearing two blonde wigs on top of each other.
As Velma is hanging upside down by a piece of rope in a scene, she is wearing a red skirt that stays close to her knees in the same position. How is that possible?
Scooby is seen wearing a yellow church hat and a long dress to disguise itself as a woman while on the plane, but bringing dogs on airplanes has been a normal airline policy for quite some time.
People can tell that the alternative rock band Sugar Ray is lip syncing in the movie.
In another scene, Shaggy falls backward before Scooby jumps on his chest which added to the point that the CGI used in the movie was not that great.
When Shaggy, Daphne, and Scooby are in the airplane, there is an angry white cat in the lap of its owner. This is definitely weird and makes people question the pet policy for the airlines in the movie.
13. Unknown Facts About Scooby
Scooby’s character is the star of the cartoon series that will always be remembered. Here are surprising facts you most likely didn’t know:
Scooby’s full name was going to be Scoobard Scooby Doo and “Too Much” was the second name the character was given from the popular phrase “that is just too much.” Both names were replaced for the infamous name that we know today.
Throughout the entire empire, Scooby is 7 years old or 49 years old in dog years. If we count its age from 1969 to today, Scooby would be 323 years old in dog years.
Originally, the writers thought about making Scooby a sheep dog but during development, the dog named Red in Archie shared too similar a resemblance. Scooby was related to a set of triplets named Skip-i-doo, Doo-be-doo, How’d-de-doo, Ya-ba-doo, and Ha-ba-doo. Roo-di-doo is the name of Scrappy Doo’s mother.
The cartoon experienced a re-birth as the Scooby Doo movie series featured popular cartoon characters that included The Addams Family, The Harlem Globe Trotters, Batman and Robin and The Three Stooges.
Don Messick was the voiceover actor for Scooby and he was also the voiceover for Papa Smurf in The Smurfs.
Dr. Stephen Long that works at the Speech Pathology department at Marquette University believed that Scooby had a speech impediment named rhotic replacement. People with rhotic replacement have difficulties with adding letters in the beginning of a vowel.
12. Who is Shaggy Rogers?
The original name of the tall shaggy character was Norville Shaggy Rogers. Some critics believed that his sporadic appetite for food was because of a drug addiction. Another reason for this is because he always had a keen eye for spotting ghosts before anyone else in the gang, but the writers debunked this rumor stating that they had no intention of creating this type of character for a cartoon made for children.
One of the interesting parts you may not know about Shaggy’s voice over actor, Casey Kasem, was that he was a devoted vegetarian with a strong determination to keep Shaggy’s character from eating red meat. In 1995, Casey walked away from this voice over job because Shaggy was expected to appear in a Burger King commercial. Now that is what I call having dedication to your craft! In the real life movie, Shaggy was also portrayed as a vegetarian, as indicated by the very end of the movie when Shaggy is seen grilling an eggplant burger in his van with Scooby. Casey finally returned to continue the voice over legacy in 2002 after he was promised that Shaggy would continue to be a strict vegetarian.
11. The Influence in Pop Culture
During the 1992 hit movie Wayne’s World there was an alternate ending called “The Scooby Ending” that features a character who wore a mask throughout the film. A reference to the Scooby Doo’s famous line “now let’s see who you really are” was also included in Wayne’s World. If you’re curious, after the man’s mask was removed it was revealed that he was Mr. Withers.
In Buffy the Vampire Slayer the team named themselves the Scooby Gang. When you consider they were constantly in battle throughout the show with supernatural forces, you can understand that’s a pretty badass honor to give the show.
TV Guide ranked the cartoon Scooby Doo at number 5 on its list of “60 Greatest Cartoons of All Time.”
In 2014 one of the franchise’s biggest fans, Rebecca Finley who lives in Vancouver set the record for owning 1,136 pieces of Scooby Doo merchandise.
A rock band named the Hex Girls was first introduced in the Scooby Doo and the Witches cartoon in 1999 and appeared in later renditions of the cartoon series.
When Warner Bros. studios were drumming up interest for the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets movie, they decided to put the trailer before the Scooby Doo movie started. You can imagine this helped increase business!
10. The Hidden Facts About the Cartoon
The name of the show was originally Mystery Five and it was later changed to Mysteries Five. Scooby-Doo was originally a rock band that solved mysteries in between on-stage performances but after careful review of how similar the concept was to the cartoon Archie and the character Marmaduke, so the writers went back to the drawing board.
The name of the show was almost changed to Who’s Scared but CBS believed that children would be terrified to watch it after hearing the title.
Mark Evanier wrote the first Scooby Doo series and was well-known for writing Garfield and Friends and Grow the Wanderer comic books. The show also aired a few weeks before Sesame Street.
The cartoon franchise had such an influence on writers in the industry that spin-off shows that were similar to Scooby Doo included Speed Buggy, the Funky Phantom, Goober and the Ghost Chasers, Jabber Jaw, The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan, Captain Cave Man and the Teen Angels.
The TV movies that were both animated and live action were named The New Scooby Doo Movies, The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, Scooby Doo Mystery and Incorporated, Shaggy and Scooby Doo Get a Clue, A Pup Named Scooby Doo, and What’s Up Scooby-Doo.
Can you guess which characters consistently appeared in every season? You’ve got it right! Shaggy and Scooby. Who knew that a shabby looking teenager and a dog would be so popular? The show was the longest cartoon to run in the history of Saturday morning television.
9. How the Story Line Was Created
Even if you watched Scooby Doo your whole life, you may not know exactly how it started. The beginning of the Scooby Doo Empire began in 1968 when Action for Action for Children’s Television (ACT) started to protest the popularity of violence in Saturday morning cartoons. You must be wondering what cartoons were on this list. The cartoons that received criticism were produced by the Hanna-Barbera studios included Space Ghost, The Herculoids, Birdman and The Galaxy Trio.
Eventually, all of these cartoons were canceled in 1969 because of the power that parental groups had on television shows for children. The members of the “watch group” just so happened to be advisers for Hanna-Barbera and a list of other animation studios. They had the aim of putting out more shows on television for children that were appropriate.
At this time, the executive that was responsible for daytime programming on the CBS network realized the importance of pleasing the watch groups. A spin-off from The Archie Show that inspired the Scooby Doo brand was titled Mysteries Five featuring 5 teenagers named Mike, Kelly, Linda, Geoff, Linda’s brother W.W. and a dog that played the bongos.
The watch group presented the “Too Much” character (Scooby) to Fred Silverman (the executive producer) but there was a concern that Scooby’s character would appear to viewers as being similar to the comic character named Marmaduke. At first, Fred Silverman rejected the idea but after consulting with the Hanna-Barbera studios he was given the green light for the character to be a Great Dane instead of a sheepdog.
8. Out of This World Scooby Doo Merchandise
We read the comic books, our parents gave us the multi-vitamins, and let’s not forget about the Scooby Doo pajamas. When we thought we’ve seen all of the merchandise there is to see, these were simply icing on the cake. Although the Scrappy Doo Empire started in 1979, Shaggy Rogers and Scooby became the main focus of lucrative merchandise throughout the decades. I thought I was in tune with all that there is to know but in 1983 Milton-Bradley developed a vintage Scooby Doo and Scrappy Doo board game. Additionally, Hasbro also designed board games that included an edition of Clue.
With all of the pet lovers out there, even dogs had a chance to experience the cartoon. “Scooby Snacks” dog treats were made by Del Monte Pet Products.
In case you didn’t notice, theme parks also jumped on the Scooby Doo bandwagon and are still a big part of the experience. During 1990 to 2002, Scooby and Shaggy were in The Fantastic World of Hanna-Barbera which was a simulator ride at the Universal Studios in the state of Florida. In the 2000’s this ride ended up being replaced with the Jimmy Neutron ride. The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera was a ride at a few other properties that were run by Paramount Parks.
There are real live costume characters at Florida’s Universal Studios that drive the Mystery Machine throughout the park. To add to the theme park list, the Scooby Doo Spooky Coaster ride that was inspired by the movie was built by Warner Bros. in 2003. The attraction is located in Gold Coast, Australia.
7. Who Inspired Fred Jones’s Character?
Fred Jones was the teenage heart throbbing character that reminded us of the most popular guy in high school. The character of Fred Jones was inspired by the sitcom character Dobie Gillis played by Dwayne Hickman in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. Don’t blame yourself if you don’t know the show, it aired in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Fred originally had brown hair when the show was originally being pitched as Who’s S-S-Scared? His hair eventually changed to blonde because the writers wanted him to stand out amongst the group who primarily had dark hair color. Additionally, Fred Jones was given his name by Fred Silverman.
The actor Freddie Prinze, Jr. that played his character in the movie had to keep bleaching his hair to maintain the blonde hairstyle and at the end of filming, he had no choice but to shave it off because it was damaged by the chemicals.
Much like many people in general, Fred’s character was believable because he was 3 dimensional. Most of the time, he was the nice handsome guy and a bit bossy when needed. In A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, he was ditsy with a strong belief in urban legends such as Big foot and mole people. By the time the episode What’s New, Scooby-Doo? aired his supernatural beliefs disappeared.
In the cartoon, Frank Welker had a successful career as the voice over for Fred Jones and it was his first voice acting job.
6. What You Didn’t Know About Daphne Blake
We all remember Daphne Blake as the pretty, wealthy, fashionable and trendy girl with red hair and a skill for attracting danger. She was the love interest of Fred Jones and admired by Velma. Thalia Menninger, the character in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis show that was played by the American actress named Tuesday Weld was the inspiration behind Daphne Blake. Thalia was a beautiful high school classmate that was adored by the leading character Dobie and was considered a money hungry woman.
In the Be Cool, Scooby-Doo show Daphne’s birthday was revealed to be on December 25th (Christmas Day).
In the beginning, Daphne was known as the clumsy, enthusiastic and “Danger-prone” girl. Little did we know that as the franchise evolved she became physically stronger and independent. In the episode Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! she was an eccentric, non-conformist, with a new obsession for puppets, false facial hair, etc. She sounds like a completely different person!
Can you guess which actress was asked to play her in the movie? Jennifer Anniston and Jennifer Love Hewitt were the two actresses that had an opportunity for the role. I can see Jennifer Love Hewitt nailing Daphne’s character.
Scooby and Shaggy were not the only characters that left a lasting impression on fans. Daphne was made into a mini sized Barbie Doll with high boots, a purple outfit, scarf and headband. The cost to purchase the doll is pricey, but to be fair it comes with a microphone, camera, laptop, pen, and a small stuffed animal of Scooby.
5. The Evolution of Velma Dinkley’s Character
Although many of us would like to think Velma’s character was drawn on a piece of paper when the writers had a light bulb moment, her character was inspired by a tomboy named Zelda Gilroy who was played by Sheila James in the sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. Velma has differing personalities and a varying history in the storyline. In the original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! series she attended the same high school as the rest of the gang. However, she attended a different school in The New Scooby-Doo Movies in the episode called Spirited Spooked Sports Show. Although the cartoon depicts her as being 15 years old, she also has a more mature look in the movie.
There was a rumor that Velma and Daphne had a secret relationship even though it was denied countless times by the writers. In the movie, there was a deleted scene where Velma and Daphne actually kissed.
One part of Velma’s personality that some of us did not notice was that she was self-conscious about her weight. After eating chicken at the Addams Family mansion she said, “It’s time to start my diet.”
4. A Different Side of Shaggy Rogers’ Character
Did you know that Scooby and Shaggy were similar? Now, I know what you are thinking, a dog can’t be similar to a human being, but we need to look at the facts. Both have an insatiable love for food because as they have said in the past,”Being in a constant state of terror makes us constantly hungry!”
Even when Scooby runs on four paws, Shaggy in some cases was faster. Scooby was not the only cartoon character that fans believed was similar to Shaggy. Shaggy’s character can be compared to Maynard if you ever watched the Dobie Gills show. Both have the same goatee, hairstyle, and personality traits.
Unlike the rest of the gang, Shaggy wasn’t classified as having a Psychological Disorder but we can’t deny that he had a major case of paranoia. He may not have been the most intelligent person on the show but he kept the rest on their toes and provided the comic relief that was needed.
The actor Casey Kasem was chosen as the very first voice actor for Shaggy’s hippie inspired character, but later admitted to being uncomfortable with the decision because he did not know what the hippie lifestyle entailed, having never played a hippie in a previous acting role. Casey also had the desire to play Fred Jones and Frank Welker wanted Shaggy’s role. Although good luck was not on Casey’s side, the CBS network assigned him to play Shaggy. Casey used Walter Denton’s (played by Richard Crenna) style and mannerisms from the television show Our Miss Brooks to nail the voice.
3. Scrappy Doo: The Bad Apple of the Bunch
Now that we know Scrappy Doo (Scooby’s nephew) was written into the storyline in the late 1970s to help improve low ratings and the show from being canceled, the character was also gaining a bad reputation at the same time. From 1979 to 1980 there were 16 episodes with Scrappy Doo, but the Standards and Practices department at the ABC television network wanted to remove the small witty dog from the story line. How can a character that helps a show be a negative role model?
In a six page blog by Mark Evanier (one of the television writers for Scooby Doo) he expressed his opinion throughout the blog of Scrappy’s influence in the cartoon:
“Shortly after the last of many recordings of ‘Mark of the Scarab’ (that first script), it dawned on ABC Broadcast Standards that maybe Scrappy was a bad role model for the kiddos. He was—and one person in that department actually used this term to me—‘too independent.’ The network thought Scrappy was ‘too rebellious.’ Mainly, I pointed out that Scrappy, as written, was an effectual character. He got things done, always (eventually) for the better. Our heroes, Scooby and Shaggy, fled from danger, panicked, hid, trembled, etc. If they contributed to the resolution of the problem and catching the villain, it was only by accidentally crashing into him. ‘Why,’ I asked, ‘do you want to make that the role model Scrappy and our viewers should emulate?”
While he may have had some good points, he was still widely considered to be hated by critics and fans. Evanier went on to defend Scrappy by saying, “Scrappy did exactly what he was supposed to do: He got Scooby-Doo renewed for another season.”
2. He Has Teamed Up With Johnny Bravo
What can I say? Scooby has appeared in every episode of the franchise since 1969. This is more of a reason to give you more Scooby facts:
The animated designer named Takamoto that drew Scooby in the cartoon went to a dog specialist to get a better idea of how to draw a Great Dane. Rather than sticking to a general appearance, he drew Scooby with different physical attributes.
The last part of Scooby’s name was also inspired by Frank Sinatra’s song “Strangers in the Night.”
The main writers Joe Ruby and Ken Spears needed a character to base Scooby’s personality on and they used the characteristics of Bob Hope’s demeanor in his horror-comedies where he was a coward that finds courage when his friends are in danger.
The presence of Scooby was high in demand outside of the cartoon show and he was featured in Teen Titans Go! during a scene when Cyborg and Beast Boy were rapping. Scooby also had a cameo in Johnny Bravo’s “Bravo Dooby-Doo” and “‘Twas the Night” during the first season.
In 1994 Scooby voice actor Don Messick quit smoking and as a result, the raspy tone of Scooby’s voice we are used to hearing suddenly disappeared. Although Don made an effort to improve his health he died after health complications in 1997.
1. The Ties With DC Comics
DC Comics bought the rights to a Scooby Doo comic book series that is still in production today.
In entertainment we have learned that the numbers never lie. Although the ABC network aired The Hardy Boys as competition (a popular cartoon), Scooby Doo remained successful. Based on Nielsen ratings, 65% of Saturday morning cartoon watchers tuned in to watch the show.
Fred, Velma, and Daphne were taken out of the storyline in 1980 for the focus to remain on Scooby until 1983.
Out of all of the voice over actors and actresses in the first 4 DTV entries named Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998), Scooby-Doo! And the Witch’s Ghost (1999), Scooby-Doo And the Alien Invaders (2000), Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase (2001), Frank Welker was the only person to return.
While there were many television show influences on the franchise, Scooby-Doo, Where are You! was very similar to Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books. Both of these shows had four young characters with a dog. The Famous Five books had a strong focus on a mystery that would eventually turn out not to be supernatural, but a villain that is disguising their intentions.
Although most villains in the seven-minute Scooby and Scrappy cartoons were in previous cartoon series, all of the villains were revealed as human criminals wearing costumes, and they became real (not disguised) within the context of the series.