Scoobert "Scooby" Doo is one of Hanna-Barbera's most iconic characters, debuting in 1969 on Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!. His name comes from scat lyrics at the end of Frank Sinatra's song "Strangers in the Night". In designing the character, Iwao Takamoto studied Great Danes and then gave Scooby the opposite traits.
Scooby-Doo and his friends have appeared in the following series:
- Main article: Scooby-Doo (franchise)
Different iterations of Scooby-Doo 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-Doo first meet as older teenagers for the first time, contradicting A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, where they know each other from childhood (especially considering that such amounted to a "prequel" series).
In all versions of the character, Scooby-Doo and Shags 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 do often force him to take a more heroic stand.
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 catch phrase, usually howled at the end of every episode, is "Scooby-Dooby-Doo!" or "Rooby-Rooby-Roo". He also usually says, at least once per episode, "Ruh-roh, Raggy" ("Uh-oh, Shaggy"). His quirky chuckle is often also in an episode, but it changed slightly when Frank Welker took over the voice of Scooby.
Appearance and anatomy
Scooby is brown from head to toe with several distinctive black spots on his upper body. He is generally a quadruped, but displays bipedal 'human' characteristics occasionally. Scooby also has opposible 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 a stylised "SD" (his initials). He has four toes on each foot and, unlike other dogs, Scooby has only one pad on the sole of each of his feet (so that it was easier to draw in the Scooby-Doo Annuals in Great Britain).
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.
How the character came to be
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."
According to the official magazine that accompanied the 2002 movie, Scooby is 7 years old (49 in stereotypical dog years).
Shaggy and Scooby-Doo as heroes to the gang
In the films listed below, Shaggy and Scooby both showed the ability to come to the rescue and act as "superheroes" when the rest of the gang were in trouble (such as being captured) or needed some help:
- Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island
- Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders
- Aloha, Scooby-Doo!
- Scooby-Doo! Pirates Ahoy!
- Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King
- Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword
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.
Don Messick originated the character's voice patterns, and provided Scooby-Doo's voice in every Scooby-Doo production from 1969 until his retirement in 1996. Scott Innes (also then the voice of Shaggy) voiced Scooby-Doo in four late 1990s/early 2000s direct-to-video films, and Frank Welker (also the voice of Fred) took over beginning with What's New, Scooby-Doo? in 2002 and other spin-offs including the live-action prequel Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins.
In foreign dub
- In Brazil, actor Orlando Drummond has been the Portugese voice of Scooby-Doo for 30 years,
- In Denmark, he is voiced by Lars Thiesgaard.
Over the course of Scooby-Doo's various spin-offs, various relationships of Scooby were introduced:
Scooby's young nephew (and son of Scooby's sister Ruby-Doo), Scrappy is the bravest of Scooby's relatives. Scrappy became a recurring character in the Scooby-Doo series beginning in 1979, and was noted for being quite headstrong and always wanting to face off in a fight against the various villains (unlike his uncle). Scooby and Shaggy were present at Scrappy's birth.
According to Scrappy and Yabba-Doo, Yabba is Scooby's brother, a white dog owned by Deputy Dusty in the American Southwest. Unlike Scooby, Yabba is brave. Unlike Scooby and Scrappy, his typical custom catch-phrase at the end is "Yippity-Yabbity-Doooo!!!" (and not "Yabba-Dabba-Doo!", presumably due to another Hanna-Barbera character's usage of that phrase).
Scooby's cousin (according to Shaggy in "Headless Horeseman of Halloween"), a blue-grey Mortimer Snerd-esque dog who longed to be a detective. Scooby-Dum was rather dimwitted (he'd keep looking for clues even after the mystery was solved).
Scooby's distant cousin, a white dog. She spoke with a Southern accent, and was an actress. She appeared only in "The Chiller Diller Movie Thriller".
Scooby's cousin, a singer. He is one of the few relatives of Scooby-Doo to have human-like hair on his head. He appeared only in "The 'Dooby Dooby Doo' Ado".
Momsy and Dada Doo
Scooby's cousin, a clown. Owned by Shaggy (Norville)'s uncle, Gaggy Rogers.
Scooby's sister, and mother of Scrappy-Doo.
Scooby's brother. Highly intelligent; he wears glasses.
Another of Scooby's brothers. Enjoyed reading supermarket tabloid newspapers. He appears to become a redhead.
Scooby's uncle. Was interested in monsters and science.
Scooby's cousin and the pet of Betty Lou, Shaggy's Southern cousin.
Scooby's distant ancestor. Not much is known about him. He appears to have been a Pilgrim.
Dumper Scoots Doo
A confused lion that thinks he is a dog. Having the same speech pattern as Scooby-Doo, he believes he is Scooby's cousin. Dumper has brothers.
In Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders, Shaggy and Scooby are abducted by the "aliens" and abandoned in the desert. There they meet a wildlife photographer, Crystal and her dog, Amber. Scooby was heart broken when it is revealed that Amber and Crystal are actually aliens from another planet and must go home, though he and Shaggy quickly forget about them when they found out there was one more Scooby Snack box left. Amber and Crystal did seem to have actual feelings for Shaggy and Scooby but don't pursue them due to 'long distance relationships never working out'. Amber's disguised form is that of a Golden Retriever wearing a red bandana, while her true form is a large, blue reptilian creature with a beak-like mouth. Like Scooby, she is capable of speech but only shows so at the end of the movie and unlike Scooby, she speaks like a normal human.
In the episode "The Vampire Strikes Back", Scooby was caught in a costume and Dusk kisses him. Scooby then giggles.
In Scooby-Doo and the Monster of Mexico, Scooby meets up with Chiquita, Alejo's son's pet Chihuahua, when the gang arrives at Alejo's family hotel.
In Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf, he received a kiss from her, then later at the monster race, he tried to get another kiss, but was pulled off by Shaggy.
In The New Scooby-Doo Movies episode "Sandy Duncan's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", Scooby fell for Sandy Duncan at a studio.
A sled dog
In the "Snow Beast" episode, Scooby falls in love with a sled dog. At the end, she kisses him.
In Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword, the gang meets up with Daphne's foreign friend, Miyumi, in Japan. Miyumi's affection for Scooby was evident in a few scenes in the movie, such as petting him at the beginning, offering him ten Scooby Snacks inside of a cave while trying to lure him out of a jet, and even kissing him on the nose at the end of the movie. On another side note, Scooby enjoyed watching a battle between Daphne and Miyumi, which Shaggy referred to as a "kung-fu catfight" and Scooby agreeing. Also, Scooby hinted an interest for Miyumi at the end of the movie by asking her to sit next to him in the Mystery Machine during the gang's future mysteries before she declined.
Casey Kasem, the previous voice actor for Norville "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."
- The "dog-treat/Scooby Snacks" gag had been used before in several Hanna-Barbera cartoons, including Quick Draw McGraw and Dastardly & Muttley in Their Flying Machines. It would later turn up in the Crazy Claws segment of The Kwicky Koala Show.
- In Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!, Scooby and Shaggy are not so cowardly as they were in previous series, although in the episode "Lightning Strikes Twice", Scooby is shown with a severe case of astraphobia, something he rarely had in the other shows. Scooby-Doo also gains awesome powers by eating certain Scooby Snacks (bone-shaped dog treats).
- The name Scooby-Doo comes from the last line of the Frank Sinatra song "Strangers in the Night", although other singers used the phrase before Sinatra's song was released. (Equally interesting: Fred Silverman, then-Head of Daytime Programming for CBS, was flying to Los Angeles at the request of network executives to raise objections over the original live-action format and approach of the series, as went under the working titles Mysteries Five and Who's Scared?, and to suggest changes. The song, in essence, may have changed things big time; right there and then, such would change to an animated format and make the dog the star, thus softening the potentially darker aspects by making such more comedic. In the original concept, the dog, who was supposed to be a bongo player via his forepaws, took on a secondary role.)
- Scooby-Doo was once impersonated by former N'Sync star J.C. Chasez in A Scooby-Doo Valentine and by David Beckham in an animated Scooby-Doo promo from the United Kingdom. Scooby was also imitated by a few other people (most notably the Ape Man).
- French names of the characters are different; Velma became Vera and Shaggy Sammy. As for Scooby-Doo, his name was first written "Scoubidou", but lately, the original spelling has been used for the series and direct-to-video movies.
- Scooby-Doo appears in the Robot Chicken episode "Operation: Rich in Spirit", voiced by Dave Coulier (who previously imitated Scooby's voice in Full House). He is amongst Mystery Inc. members who end up killed by Jason Voorhees except Velma. Seth Green voices Scooby in the episode "Ban on the Fun", in the segment that parodies the Laff-a-Lympics in the style of the Munich massacre. This time, Scooby did not get killed.
- In an episode of Robotboy, when Robotboy and his 'mother' escape from police with a big speaker, a dog which looks like Scooby hangs on to the speaker and follows them home.
- Scooby-Doo also appears in an episode of Drawn Together.
- Scooby and Shaggy make two cameos in an episode of Yin Yang Yo!. In the first, Shaggy complained about Yin and Yang stealing their montages; Scooby said, "It sucks!"
- Scooby-Doo and Shaggy made a cameo appearance in Looney Tunes: Back in Action, complaining to Matthew Lillard (who played Shaggy) about his performance in the live-action Scooby-Doo movies.
- Scooby-Doo appears as a guest in a 1996 video called "Kids for Character".
- In the Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated series, Scooby started talking in full sentences, instead of just saying a couple of lines as he did in the older Scooby Doo series.
- His "birthday" is March 21st, coincident with the Vernal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and the Autumnal Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere.
- "Scooby's Surf Day," as per the Hanna-Barbera employee calendars of the 1980's, is on the third Wednesday in August.