April 11, 2015

A PUP NAMED SCOOBY-DOO

A PUP NAMED SCOOBY-DOO
(ABC, September 10, 1988-August 17, 1991)

Hanna-Barbera Productions, Wang Film Productions Company, Cuckoo’s Nest Studios, Fil-Cartoons


MAIN CAST:
Casey Kasem – Norville “Shaggy” Rogers
Don Messick – Scooby-Doo, Jenkins
Carl Steven – Freddy Jones
Kellie Martin – Daphne Blake
Christina Lange – Velma Dinkley
Scott Menville – Red Herring

 For the history of Scooby-Doo, check out the post here.
  
Character model sheet.

            Developed by Tom Reugger, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo is the eighth incarnation of the Scooby-Doo franchise. It was a return to basics, with the full Mystery, Inc. gang (back with the original moniker of The Scooby-Doo Detective Agency) together again to solve supernatural mysteries they happened upon. However, this time there was a twist: they were now in junior high. The series made full use of the babyfication craze popularized by the success of Muppet Babies as a means to inject new life into the franchise. Reugger also did so by infusing the program with a different type of humor, making it the most wacky and comical entry of the franchise. This was especially evident by the wild  Tex Avery/Bob Clampett-inspired big-eyed surprise takes whenever a character encountered something frightening, animated by overseas supervisor Glen Kennedy.
 
Daphne bribes Scooby with Scooby Snacks.



            Since they could no longer travel around via Mystery Machine, the Scooby gang was based out of the fictional town of Coolsville. Shaggy (Casey Kasem) and Scooby-Doo (Don Messick) remained essentially the same and retained the same voice actors. Shaggy’s classic green shirt returned after being replaced by a red one for the last few years. They were given new heroes in the form of comic book characters Commander Cool and Mellow Mutt, whom he and Scooby would often dress as. These heroes were parodies of Batman and Superman, as well as Krypto, Robin and Ace the Bat-Hound, respectively. Scooby Snacks were heavily featured as an element in the show to entice Scooby into acts of bravery (and sometimes Shaggy as well). Shaggy’s sister, who first appeared as Maggie Rogers in the “Wedding Bell Boos” episode of The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show, appeared here named (or nicknamed) Sugie (pronounced “shoogy”).


Freddy with a copy of The National Exaggerator, his favorite tabloid.

The rest of the Scooby-Doo Detective Agency underwent some personality changes to go with their new looks. Freddy (Carl Steven, marking the first time Fred was not voiced by Frank Welker) was made an outspoken conspiracy nut whose mouth would run faster than his brain. Freddy often jumped to the wrong conclusions, aided by his love of scandal sheet The National Exaggerator, and tended to blame crimes on the neighborhood bully--the aptly named Red Herring (Scott Menville). Red, created for the show, was only actually guilty one time--the only time Freddy didn’t accuse him.


Daphne has Jenkins properly dispose of Red Herring.

            Daphne (Kellie Martin) was made into a bit of a spoiled rich girl who was often sarcastic and skeptical. She was an incredibly vain fashionista with a love of pink. A running gag would involve her calling her Butler, Jenkins (Messick), to perform some kind of task for her in the middle of a situation, or to bring her a change of clothing if she got so much as a small spot on what she was wearing. Velma (Christina Lange), while always intelligent, was elevated to genius level and when she walked her feet were shown as a rapid blur of movement. The biggest change to her character was the addition of a super computer she carried around in a briefcase that often helped her solve their mysteries and reveal what villain was inside the monster costumes.

Using an X-Ray to stave off the Chickenstein monster.

            Another familiar element restored to the franchise was the musical chase sequences. 1950’s-esque rock and roll-styled songs about the monster of the week played when said monster would be chasing the kids around. In the fourth wall-breaking style of humor Reugger would employ on his future series, the kids were often aware of the music; asking for it to be played, playing it themselves, and even taking time out to dance along to it with the monster (the kids’ dances were often done using stock footage). 


Shaggy and Scooby hiding their fear well.

            A Pup Named Scooby-Doo debuted on ABC on September 10, 1988 and was also run as part of the weekly syndicated programming block The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera. The show was written by Reugger along with Jim Ryan, Charles M. Howell IV, Mary Jo Ludin, Bill Matheny, Lane Raichert, Laren Bright, Kristina Mazzotti, Wayne Kaatz, Evelyn A-R Gabai, Alan Swayze, David Schwartz and Scott Jeralds. Reugger also wrote the theme song’s lyrics with music by series composer John Debney

Velma takes the wheel on her motorized skateboard built for five.

Following the first season, Reugger and much of Hanna-Barbera’s production staff left to help revive the Warner Bros. Animation Studio. The series lasted for two additional reduced seasons. ABC Weekend Specials replaced the show for several weeks and pushed back the last of the first-run episodes, resulting in its ending in August of 1991. That break has resulted in the third season being considered two different seasons. This series would be Messick’s last outing as Scooby-Doo, as giving up smoking had reportedly robbed him of the rasp in his voice needed for the character.


The Pup crew makes a comeback on What's New, Scooby-Doo?
            Although direct-to-video movies, video games and future series would restore the characters to their teenaged selves, the character designs from this series were used (with some modifications) in a flashback of “The Menacing Metallic Clown” episode of What’s New, Scooby-Doo? and inspired the design of the puppets used in the direct-to-video movie Scooby-Doo! Adventures: The Mystery Map. Milton Bradley produced two puzzles based on the show in 1989, and Applause released a stuffed Scooby in 1990. Archie ComicsHanna-Barbera Presents #5 featured two stories starring the Pup cast. They made a brief return to the printed page for the franchise’s 50th anniversary in DC ComicsScooby-Doo Team-Up #50, which featured a collection of the different Scooby character incarnations. Between 2005 and 2007, Warner Home Video released the series to DVD across seven volumes. In 2010, the first three volumes were rereleased in a single collection, and the following year the first four were rereleased together. In 2008, the complete first season was released, followed by season 2-4 in 2009. Four episodes were released as special features between the compilation DVDs For the Love of Snack and Surf’s Up, Scooby-Doo! and the direct-to-video film, WrestleMania Mystery. The first two seasons were made available for streaming in the iTunes store and the complete series on Amazon Prime Video

 

EPISODE GUIDE:

Season 1:
“A Bicycle Built for Boo!” (9/10/88) – A green ghost steals Shaggy’s bike and the gang takes his case.

“The Sludge Monster From Earth’s Core” (9/17/88) – The gang investigate why a monster is haunting Scooby’s doghouse.

“The Schnook Who Took My Comic Book” (9/24/88) – Dr, Croaker steals the first edition of Shaggy’s favorite comic that he was planning to buy.

“Wanted Cheddar Alive” (10/1/88) – A cheese monster puts the Scooby Snacks factory out of business, making solving this case personal for Scooby.

“For Letter or Worse” (10/8/88) – Shaggy and Scooby’s debut on their favorite game show is interrupted by the ghost of gangster Al Cabone.

“The Babysitter from Beyond” (10/15/88) – The gang deliver Shuggy to her babysitter, but discover the babysitter’s house is the old lair of a master criminal who escaped from jail.

“Now Museum, Now You Don’t” (10/22/88) – Shaggy and Scooby are blamed for the theft of cursed samurai swords taken by a samurai ghost.

“Snow Place Like Home” (10/29/88) – The gang heads to a ski lodge facing bankruptcy where they encounter the Ice Demon.

“Scooby Dude” (11/5/88) – A day at the beach turns into a mystery when a headless skateboarder turns out to be connected to some missing dolphins from the local aquarium.

“Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (11/12/88) – Halloween night leads the gang to a real haunted house, which they must save in order for the Ghost of Boobeard the Pirate to survive.

“The Story Stick” (11/19/88) – An Indian reservation ends up being haunted by a living totem pole monster.

“Robopup” (12/3/88) – Chef Pierre’s ghost returns to the Blake family’s mansion to steal Daphne’s belongings.

“Lights…Camera…Monster” (12/10/88) – Stinkweed emerges from his movie and terrorizes the Coolsville Mall.

Season 2:

“Curse of the Collar” (9/9/89) – Scooby is forced to wear a hideous bejeweled collar on his birthday, which attracts the ghost of sadistic dog catcher Buster McMuttmauler.

“The Return of Commander Cool” (9/16/89) – A bump on the head has Shaggy believing he’s Commander Cool while the gang investigates an alien slug.

“The Spirit of Rock and Roll” (9/23/89) – A new rock star, Buddy Chillner comes under fire from the ghost of Coolsville’s former #1 rocker, Purvis Parker.

“Chickenstein Lives!” (9/30/89) – A giant chicken haunts Freddy’s favorite newspaper, the National Exaggerator.

“Night of the Living Burger” (10/14/89) – Mr. O’Greasy hires the gang to save his restaurants from a giant burger, but trouble brews when Shaggy and Scooby have a falling out.

“The Computer Walks Among Us” (10/21/89) – The gang seeks to help Velma’s suspension from school be reversed when her invention comes to life and causes havoc.

“Dog Gone Scooby” (10/28/89) – Scooby runs away from home and ends up in the clutches of Paula P. Casso who desperately wants his head.

“Terror, They Name is Zombo” (11/4/89) – The gang’s favorite amusement park is haunted by Zombo, the Phantom Clown.


Season 3:

“Night of the Boogey Biker / Dawn of the Spooky Shuttle Scare” (9/8/90) – Daphne bets Freddy can’t go 24 hours without accusing Red while Red’s aunt hires them to find her bike. / A ghost spoils Velma’s chance to have her latest invention sent to space.

“Horror of the Haunted Hairpiece” (10/6/90) – Bigwig, the haunted hairpiece, attacks the video arcade where Daphne begins working.

“Wrestle Maniacs” (11/3/90) – The Hooded Heifer, a disgraced wrestler, returns to haunt the Coolsville Wrestling Federation.

“The Were-Doo of Doo Manor” (8/3/91) – An old curse haunts the Doo family.

“The Wrath of Waitro / Catcher on the Sly / The Ghost of Mrs. Shusham” (8/10/91) – Shaggy and Scooby imagine themselves as Commander Cool and Mellow Mutt to take on a snooty waiter. / Baxter McMuttmauler wants revenge on Scooby and his family. / The ghost of a librarian haunts Shaggy over an overdue book.

“Mayhem of the Moving Mollusk” (8/17/91) – The gang heads to New York to battle a snail monster and save Critter Getters from closing.


Originally posted in 2015. Updated in 2020.

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