Scooby-Doo (character)

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Scoobert "Scooby-Doo"
Scooby-Doo character
Scooby-Doo.png
First appearance"What a Night for a Knight" (Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!)
Created byJoe Ruby, Ken Spears & Iwao Takamoto,
Voiced byDon Messick (1969–1994)
Frank Welker (1996, 2002–present)
Hadley Kay (1997)
Scott Innes (1998–2001)
Neil Fanning (2002 & 2004 (Live action films only)
Information
SpeciesDog
GenderMale
BreedGreat Dane
 
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Scoobert "Scooby-Doo"
Scooby-Doo character
Scooby-Doo.png
First appearance"What a Night for a Knight" (Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!)
Created byJoe Ruby, Ken Spears & Iwao Takamoto,
Voiced byDon Messick (1969–1994)
Frank Welker (1996, 2002–present)
Hadley Kay (1997)
Scott Innes (1998–2001)
Neil Fanning (2002 & 2004 (Live action films only)
Information
SpeciesDog
GenderMale
BreedGreat Dane

Scoobert "Scooby" Doo [1] is the eponymous character and protagonist of the Scooby-Doo animated television franchise created in 1969 by the American animation company Hanna-Barbera. Scooby-Doo is a male dog and lifelong companion of amateur detective Shaggy Rogers.

History[edit]

Writers Joe Ruby and Ken Spears created Scooby-Doo, Where are You!, for Hanna-Barbera for CBS's 1969-70 Saturday morning cartoon schedule. Originally titled Mysteries Five, the dog who later became Scooby was originally more of a sidekick character - a bongo-playing dog named "Too Much" whose breed varied between Great Dane and sheepdog between treatments.[2][3] By the time the show was pitched to the network as W-W-Who's Scared? in early 1969, Too Much was solidified as a cowardly Great Dane. Both the dog and the series would be renamed Scooby-Doo by CBS head of daytime programming, between its unsuccessful first pitch and a second pitch which go the show a green light. Sliverman came up with the name from the syllables "doo-be-doo-be-doo" in Frank Sinatra's hit song "Strangers in the Night".[4]

Taking notes from a Hanna-Barbera colleague was also a breeder of Great Danes, Production designer Iwao Takamoto designed the Scooby-Doo character with a sloping chin, spots, a long tail, a sloped back, and bow legs - all traits in direct opposition to those of a prize-winning purebread Great Dane.[5] In defining the personality of the dog, Ruby and Spears looked for inspiration to the characters played by Bob Hope in his horror-comedies - a coward who shows traits of bravery when his friends are in danger. Veteran H-B voice artist Don Messick was the original voice of Scooby.

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! premiered on CBS on September 13, 1969 at 10:30 a.m. EST and ran for two seasons, for a total of 25 episodes. Its final first-run episode aired on October 31, 1970.

Personality[edit]

In most incarnations of the series, Scooby is regarded as a unique Great Dane dog who is able to speak in broken English, and usually puts the letter "R" in front of words and noises made. Other incarnations, such as A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, present talking dogs as quite common. In one Scooby series, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, Scooby is able to speak in more complete sentences, partially retaining his speech impediment.

Different iterations of the character have been developed and expanded in the various series featuring the characters, many of them contradicting, such as the original series and recent live-action movies where Shaggy and Scooby first meet as older teenagers for the first time, contradicting the A Pup Named Scooby-Doo animated series where they know each other from almost infancy.

In all versions of the character, Scooby and Shaggy share several personality traits, mostly being cowardly and perpetually hungry. But their friends (Velma, Daphne and Fred) encourage them to go after the costumed villains, usually with "Scooby Snacks", a biscuit-like dog treat or cookie snack (usually shaped like a bone or, in later versions of the cartoons, Scooby's dog tag), though Scooby's inherent loyalty and courage does often force him to take a more heroic stance. Scooby is also extremely ticklish and this is seen in many of the television shows and movies.

Scooby has a speech impediment and tends to pronounce most words as if they begin with an "R", though most characters are able to understand him perfectly. In most iterations, he keeps his sentences relatively short, usually using charades for anything longer than three or four words. His catchphrase, usually howled at the end of every production, is "Scooby-Dooby-Doo!" or "Rooby-Rooby-Roo". Scooby was voiced by Don Messick through Arabian Nights in 1994, after which point Messick quit smoking; quitting smoking changed his voice and prevented him from achieving the same raspy vocal effect (despite Messick's efforts, he suffered a career-ending stroke in 1996 and died in 1997, before any further Scooby-Doo productions were made). Messick is also known for providing the voice of the dogs Astro on The Jetsons and Muttley (who snickered).[6] The characteristic voices of Scooby and Astro are so similar that Astro's signature phrase, "Ruh-roh!", is popularly and improperly attributed to Scooby (as in "Ruh-roh, Raggy!").

Appearance and anatomy[edit]

Scooby is brown from head to toe with several distinctive black spots on his upper body and doesn't seem to have a melanistic mask. He is generally a quadruped, but displays bipedal 'human' characteristics occasionally. Scooby also has opposable thumbs and can use his front paws like hands. He has a black nose and wears an off-yellow, diamond-shaped-tagged blue collar with an "SD" (his initials) and has four toes on each foot. Unlike other dogs, Scooby only has one pad on the sole of each of his feet (so that it was easier to draw in the Scooby-Doo Annuals).

Scooby has a fully prehensile tail he can use to swing from or press buttons. Both his head and tail are malleable and useful as a communication aid or creating a distraction.

Creator Iwao Takamoto later explained that before he designed the character, he first spoke to a Great Dane breeder, who described to him the desirable characteristics of a pedigree dog. Takamoto then drew Scooby as the opposite of this. He said "I decided to go the opposite [way] and gave him a hump back, bowed legs, small chin and such. Even his color is wrong."[7]

According to the official magazine that accompanied the 2002 movie, Scooby is seven years old.

Voice actors[edit]

Don Messick originated the character's voice patterns, and provided Scooby-Doo's voice in every Scooby-Doo production from 1969 until his retirement from the character in 1996. The legendary Frank Welker (also the voice of Fred) voiced Scooby-Doo in a 1996 episode of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and from 2002 he took over beginning with What's New, Scooby-Doo? and other spin-offs including the live-action prequels Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins and Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster. Voice actor Hadley Kay voiced him once, in a 1997 episode of Johnny Bravo. Scott Innes (also the then-voice of Shaggy) voiced Scooby-Doo in four late 1990s/early 2000s direct-to-video films. Neil Fanning provided the voice of the computer-generated Scooby-Doo in the first two Warner Bros. live-action feature films. Luke Youngblood is the stand in for the computer-generated Scooby-Doo in the live-action Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster while Frank Welker voices him. Dave Coulier and Seth Green have both voiced him in Robot Chicken.

Voiced By:

Voiced by in other shows and languages:

Relatives[edit]

Over the course of Scooby-Doo's various spin-offs, various relatives of Scooby were introduced:

Love Interests[edit]

Appearances in other media[edit]

Reception[edit]

Casey Kasem, the previous voice actor for Shaggy Rogers, said that Scooby is "the star of the show--the Shaquille O'Neal of the show." Kasem explained "People love animals more than they love people. Am I right or wrong? They give more love to their pets than they give to people. Scooby is vulnerable and lovable and not brave, and very much like the kids who watch. But like kids, he likes to think that he's brave."[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Scooby-Doo's Snack Tracks: The Ultimate Collection (Compact disc liner notes). Rhino Records. p. 4. R2 75505. 
  2. ^ Shostak, Stu (05-02-2012). "Interview with Joe Ruby and Ken Spears". Stu's Show. Retrieved 03-18-2013.
  3. ^ Ruby and Spears (2002).
  4. ^ Scooby Doo : Scooby History Cinema.com
  5. ^ (2006). Interview with Iwao Takamoto. Eerie Mystery of Scooby-Doo and Dynomutt's History [documentary featurette from The Scooby-Doo/Dynomut Hour: The Complete Series DVD bonus features]. New York, Los Angeles, CA: Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. Excerpt: "The Great Dane was supposed to be the biggest dog around ... and there was a woman [at the studio] who actually bred and reared Great Danes. So, she came over, and spent a solid hour describing all of the positive things that makes a prize-winning Great Dane. And I selected about five things, I think, and went in the opposite direction. For instance, a good, strong straight back, so I sloped his back. A strong chin, so I under-swung his chin ... and I think straight hind legs she mentioned. So I bowed them ..."
  6. ^ Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: The Complete 1st and 2nd Seasons: "Scooby-Doo Facts" interior
  7. ^ "Scooby-Doo creator dies aged 81". BBC. 2007-01-09. Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  8. ^ Sigesmund, B.J. "The Inside Dope." Newsweek. June 14, 2002. Available at Lexis-Nexis.