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Scooby-Doo is a long running series about a group called "Mystery, Inc." and is named after the group's dog.
So where did "Scooby-Doo" come from? Lots of places, actually. The names Yabba-Doo and Scooby-Doo were adapted from small sayings from "The Flintstones" which used "Yabba-Dabba-Doo!!" and humming "Scooby-Scooby-Doo". Earlier Hanna Barbera Cartoons featured dogs begging for snacks, eating them, being overwhelmed by the excellent taste, and then jumping in the air and landing softly. The drawings of Scooby-Doo and the characters were from Iwao Takamoto, which could explain why these characters are drawn to look more anatomically correct (instead of having large noses and a reduced amount of fingers and toes) since many cartoons drawn by similar artists (anime for example) usually have anatomically correct characters with detailed backgrounds. The five characters were also created by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, who would later form their own animation studio about a decade later. They helped adapt the characters to 1960s hair and clothing styles. The dog character had several different redesigns before the present brown Great Dane named Scooby Doo "won the audition". It was named after Scooby-Doo himself instead of "The Mystery Five". If they did that, it would have sounded too much like Rankin-Bass's The Jackson 5ive. They also avoided a musical band because that would have made it too much like some of Archie Comics characters by Filmation. It was later formed into a group of amateur detective group of meddling kids. What would have been the musical performances was instead played during chase scenes, but they would occasionally get to participate in music performances.
Fred has blonde hair and a white shirt and is the leader and usually the driver of the group. He frequently said "Let's Split Up, Gang".
Daphne is the character that is very fashionable and usually gets lost or stuck in something. She is the leader whenever Fred and Velma are not around.
Velma is very intelligent and needs to wear glasses or she can't see well at all. She is one of the more serious characters, and figures things out easily.
Norville Rogers (Shaggy) eats a lot and gets scared easily. One of the things he says is "Zoinks!!"
"Scooby-Doo" is a Great Dane that also eats a lot and gets scared easily. Both of them eat Scooby Snacks. Scooby frequently denies that he is a dog. He is a talking dog that mumbles usually, ("Ruh-Roh" as "Un-Oh" for example) and also giggles.
"Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?:"
The first series that was made was "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?", which had two theme songs. One of them is a longer version of the musical segment seen in the episode title cards seen in every episode, and another one is an adapted Frank Sinatra song, with "Scooby-Dooby-Doo" used as wordplay. This series was usually dark, and created a spooky feeling, and was actually rejected at first because of this. Constantly reused animation and music can be easily noticed in these episodes. Also, towards the end, there was a featured song. If this series would have remained about a music band, these songs would be performed by the characters. Instead they were just shown in musical chase scenes of "monsters". Actually the monsters and supernatural characters was all just created by criminals to distract the police and to scare off witnesses.
"The New Scooby Doo Movies:"
These were not full length movies, but featured animated versions of celebrity guests. They also featured crossovers of other cartoons produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions, such as "Josie and The Pussy Cats" and "Speed Buggy".
In 1979, an actual animated movie was made called "Scooby Goes Hollywood".
"The Scooby-Doo/Dyno-Mutt Hour":
Scooby Doo and Dyno-Mutt, Dog Wonder both appeared in cartoons together and as part of the same show.
"All Star Laff-A-Lympics":
Teams of several Hanna-Barbera characters were featured in Scooby's All Star Laff-A-Lympics. This is inspired from an earlier series called "Wacky Races" but it seems that all those characters on Wacky Races was created just for that series.
"The Scooby Doo Show":
All of the new episodes featuring Scooby-Doo up until 1979 were re-syndicated as "The Scooby-Doo Show". Since these episodes were featured in other shows, featured music was never included. However, the opening theme song was similar to the featured music that was presented previously. These episodes featured the Space Age Pop music that was popular even years before then and used that type of music instead of the just plain eerie format. The story lines were expanded to the point where there could be any number of suspects and a detailed explanation was given of the clues found leading up to the results. The characters, including Velma, sounded slightly different beginning with this series.
"Scooby Doo And Scrappy Doo":
19 episodes in 1979 were focused on an added character called Scrappy-Dappy-Doo who was the Nephew of Scooby. He ended up with the most lines in each of the episodes and because of steady ratings the other characters that were "just there" disappeared for many years. The next season included cartoon shorts.
"The New Scooby Doo Mysteries" was made after that after Daphne being added back into the series. Fred and Velma occasionally appeared in these cartoons and was explained that they were doing other work. At the time that this series was made, a Christmas special was made of Scooby-Doo, and unfortunately did not include all of the main characters.
"The 13 Ghosts Of Scooby Doo" was a very different series compared to the others. It is most likely the most different of all of the ones that were made so far at that time. Fred and Velma were still absent, and Daphne looked and acted more and more like both of them. She became the leader of the group under the supervision of expert Vincent Van Ghoul, voiced by Vincent Price, who also did voice acting on "The Great Mouse Detective", (and is parodied on Sesame Street's "Mysterious Theatre" hosted by a Muppet named Vincent Twice Vincent Twice). A younger (and annoying) kid also was part of the group and was called Flim-Flam. Daphne's appearance at this time is identical to Debbie of "Speed Buggy". There were two Mystery Machines. There was a plane and a red bus thing. Thirteen episodes were made, and each episode focused on trapping evil and real supernatural creatures and returning them to The Chest Of Demons.
"A Pup Named Scooby Doo" If "Scooby Doo, Where Are You?" was set in 1969, that would mean that A Pup Named Scooby Doo was set in 1963. All of the main characters were included and featured a lot of added humor.
Around the time that "The 13 Ghosts Of Scooby Doo" was made, 3 other movies were made but only had Scooby and Shaggy with Scrappy and had the same feel of The 13 Ghosts Of Scooby-Doo. About a decade after that, more movies were made. There were 4 direct-to-video releases that were later rebroadcast many times on television. The characters appeared to be much older than meddling kids now. It combined the Mystery Inc. gang's original early drawings with additional modernization. They had different clothes, different hairstyles, more featured music, more of an Anime Feel that also included toon-shaded animation, and 4 movies were completed, beginning with "Scooby Doo And Zombie Island", "Scooby-Doo And The Alien Invaders", "Scooby Doo And The Witch's Ghost", and "Scooby-Doo And The Cyberchase". All 4 of these included even more of real creatures. They had real zombies (but were not criminals), and real aliens (also not criminals), and the fourth one mentioned trapped Mystery Inc. into a virtual world with a dangerous computer virus. The third movie mentioned is about a real witch's ghost that has a very twisting ending.
Live Action Movies:
Live Action Movies were made beginning in 2002. One of them featured Scrappy, who was kicked off the team (and was being very annoying and rude) and constantly mentioned supernatural characters. It was explained to him that there aren't any real creatures, only special effects and some guy in a mask (which is inaccurate because real creatures appear in just about everything made between "The 13 Ghosts Of Scooby Doo, to the 4 movies made beginning in the late 1990s". This does not include "A Pup Named Scooby Doo" or "What's New Scooby Doo"). The characters look very much like they do in animation, with more added comedy, and numerous special effects made for the films.
"What's New, Scooby Doo" is another series made of Scooby-Doo and has an updated look, but is slightly different than the 4 animated direct-to-videos. "Scooby-Doo And The Cyberchase" showed additional clues that hinted that Scooby Doo would later completely return to its original look similar to "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?"
Later, there were more animated movies made, and then another series focusing on Shaggy and Scooby-Doo. Other characters that appeared in other cartoons such as Scooby-Dum, Yabba-Doo, Vincent Price, Flim-Flam, and Red Herring have yet to reappear in any other cartoons. Based on the recent direction of Scooby Doo being made by Warner Brothers Animation, this does not at all seem likely to happen.
The Mystery Machines:
Depending on when Scooby-Doo was made, there was actually a variety of Mystery Machines used. Almost all of them had the famous custom paint design. The first Mystery Machine appears to be a Volkswagen, or an early Chevrolet Beauville or some other kind of van...anything that would include a spare tire at the front of it (neither one of these cars mentioned has this so it could have been a customization). It was driven in most episodes.
Another one was an unknown very large red vehicle, perhaps with a diesel engine based on its extra wheels. It almost looks like a modified Blue Bird. It was the most equipped and was driven during The 13 ghosts of Scooby Doo and also around any other time whenever Shaggy wore a red shirt. There was also a plane called The Flying Mystery Machine.
In the late 1990s direct to video releases, what appears to be a Dodge Caravan or GMC Safari was used.
In the live action feature films, there was an older model full size van, possibly another type of Dodge or Ford E-Series.
During "A Pup Named Scooby Doo", the group of course did not drive at that age.