Much like the supernatural evils explored in the show, Scooby Doo refuses to die. Even services that offer direct tv coupons and services proudly proclaim their channels and the presence of this talking dog. To date there have been eleven animated TV series starring Scooby-Doo, Hanna-Barbera Productions’ intrepid Great Dane. The first of these shows, “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” debuted on CBS in 1969; the most recent, Cartoon Network’s “Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated,” ran from April 2010 to April 2013. Along the way, Scooby has starred in two live-action theatrical movies and in many telefilms. So what accounts for Scooby’s lasting appeal?
Young children enjoy Scooby because he’s an idealized pet: big, cheerful, able to speak some English words in a comical doggie accent. Even the name “Scooby” seems to be fun for toddlers to say. Older kids, meanwhile, can fantasize about teenage life after watching Scooby’s high-school-aged human friends in action. There’s affable Shaggy – Scooby’s closest pal – intelligent Velma, cheerleader Daphne, and jock Fred. This unlikely gang often travels to exciting locales – Hawaii, local amusement parks, and so on – in order to solve mysteries, and no doubt that travelogue aspect of the show appeals to kids as well.
This cartoon also appeals to teenagers and adults through its mild naughtiness. The way the kids literally unmask a series of goblins, revealing them as greedy individuals whom they’ve already met, is campy-funny. Additionally, Shaggy and Scooby exhibit signs of marijuana usage. Scooby forever craves snacks, and Shaggy, who’s never shown actually attending school, always sounds spaced-out when he talks. And he has a glassy stare and delayed reaction times. Moreover, Shaggy and Scooby ride around in a “mystery van,” one decorated with images of giant flowers.
Scooby Doo is one of Hanna-Barbera’s most iconic characters. Appearing in several different cartoon series and movies, he is the good-natured dog who spends his days palling around with cocky Fred, glamorous Daphne, brainy Velma and dopey Shaggy, who is Scooby’s very best friend. Together, they travel the country in their big green van, solving mysteries and unmasking villains who achieve their dastardly ends by impersonating monsters.
Scooby and Shaggy are both very motivated by food, so waving the temptation of a Scooby snack over the affable dog’s head can be very effective in getting him to focus. However, while one snack gives him a boost, too many just cause him to crash in a stupor of over-eating. It’s important, then, for the people he travels with to exercise some caution in doling out those treats. Still, if they are in a pinch and only Scooby can help, they know that a snack is a great way to get him to spring into action.
Scooby mysteries are silly and formulaic, with each episode containing most of the same elements, but the sense of relaxed camaraderie remains and makes Scooby and the gang fun cartoon characters for mystery lovers of all ages.