Saturday, September 8, 2018

30TH Anniversary of "A PUP NAMED SCOOBY DOO"

Monday, September 10, 2018, marks the 30th Anniversary of the premiere of "A PUP NAMED SCOOBY DOO" -- the first show I produced at Hanna-Barbera.  

Thanks to Bill Hanna, Joe Barbera, Jenny Trias and her team at ABC for giving me the job, and thanks to all the members of the Scooby crew, including Kellie Martin (Daphne), Scott Jeralds, Lane Raichert, Charlie Howell, Bill Matheny, Jim Stenstrum, Alfred Gimeno, Paul Strickland, overseas animation supervisor Glen Kennedy, series composer John Debney, Scott Menville (Red Herring), Jayne Barbera, Jean MacCurdy, Barbara Simon, Amy Simon and, of course, Casey Kasem  (Shaggy) and Don Messick (Scooby), among many others.    

Special kudos to Bill Hanna for directing the first episode, and to Joe Barbera for teaching me that we needed to use equally wild sound effects whenever we created "Tex Avery"-style wild takes.  ("That's the way Tex did it.")

Here are the first three pages of the original bible/pitch presentation for the series:  

As you can see, the original title of the show was "Scooby Doo -- the Puppy Years."  That soon changed to...

Here's a background used in the first episode, "A Bicycle Built for Boo."   In the series, set in Coolsville, Shaggy's family kept their Christmas light on their house all year round.  

In the first sequence of that very first episode, we demonstrated our plan to have Scooby and the gang react to frightening situations with over-the-top wild takes.  Here are few screen shots from that sequence...

And here's a model sheet we used for a few of our wild take ideas:  

Music played a big role in the show, with composer John Debney giving the show a unique background vocal track and some great songs for the "Scooby Romps."  I helped John write the lyrics for the Main Title of  "A Pup Named Scooby Doo," for which Hanna-Barbera's legal department had me sign the following release.

At the time, I didn't know not to sign it.  I was just thrilled that the show was proceeding and that it looked good and sounded good.   Of course, I shouldn't have signed.  There's a lesson here.  Before you sign something, have your lawyer look at it!    And then, probably don't sign it!  

A year or two before "A Pup Named Scooby Doo," Mitch Schauer and I worked on "The 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo."   Mitch is a brilliant producer and artist.

When Mitch heard that we would be doing a show about Scooby's younger years, he responded with a drawing for a different Scooby show concept:  "Scooby Doo -- The Final Years."

I want to see this show!!!!    I would love to work with Mitch on it! 

"A Pup Named Scooby Doo" was the first version of the Scooby franchise to be nominated for an Emmy Award.  Here's an ad that ran in the trades during the Emmy voting season.  

Unfortunately we lost to "Winnie the Pooh."   

But "A Pup Named Scooby Doo" was a hit with the kids, and its 27 half-hour episodes are still rerunning to this very day.  Yes, they've been rerunning 27 half hours of "A Pup Named Scooby Doo" for 30 years!  

In fact, currently, Boomerang is running back-to-back episodes of "A Pup Named Scooby Doo" daily!


  1. I'll admit, I prefer A Pup Named Scooby Doo over the original for a few reasons:
    1. We get to see familiar characters in their youth (something I have a soft spot for).
    2. The animation style fits more with my preferences, with the cartoony designs, the over the top takes, the tendency to do the impossible for laughs, that good stuff.
    3. It plays with the typical Scooby-Doo formula in fun ways and gives the characters more dimension (although Shaggy and Scooby pretty much remain the same ever-so-hungry fraidy cats we all know and love).

    Also, lil' Daphne and Velma are adorable.

  2. How much do The Wife and I love A Pup Named Scooby Doo?

    We named our daughter "Shugie".

  3. Thanks Vinnie! I love this! All the best to you, your wife, and your wonderful daughter!

  4. One of my favorite Scooby shows! Clever and witty, and perhaps the only Scooby series to get it right in parodying the formula and conventions (I'm looking at YOU, "What's New Scooby-Doo!") Great music and songs, great voice cast and acting, and even Glen Kennedy's animation here is more fun to watch than on "Tiny Toon Adventures."
    I'd love to see Warner Bros. Animation revive this show for a fourth season, but only if they get the right people for it (maybe even get Kellie Martin to reprise Daphne and Scott Menville as Red Herring!)

  5. Did you know that Carl Steven, the voice of Freddy Jones, died years ago from a drug overdose at 36?

    1. No I had not heard this. This is dreadful news. Makes me cry. That drugs would take him from us is so incredibly sad.

    2. Hi Mr. Ruegger. I wanted to make sure you knew that it wasn't Carl's fault. The culprit traces back to an injury he suffered in his teen years. His mother explains in this community post near the bottom:
      I teared up as well . . I love this show and these characters so it hits close when such a tragedy takes place. Let alone if you worked with them . .
      He's in a better place though. It's just heartbreaking the manner in how he went and at such an early age. Unfortunate that he didn't see his role in the Fiftieth Anniversary comic. To end on positive note, I sometimes make archives for titles I like. And if I ever create and finish an archive for a Pup Named Scooby-Doo (including fan-works) I'll be sure to share. Thank you, God bless and congratulations on A Pup Named Scooby-Doo's thirtieth anniversary.

  6. Wow, I just discovered you worked on this (thanks wikipedia). My son is four now, and I'm introducing him to the cartoons I grew up loving - stuff like Animainiacs and Freakazoid.

    He absolutely loves Pup Named Scooby Doo, and if I had to guess why I'd say it has a lot to do with how cartoony it is (wild takes and all).

    Thanks for making such great cartoons. I'm only now watching this stuff again, after 25-30 years, and it has aged very well. You taught my generation how to be meta. Cheers and much respect.

    Steven Shockley

  7. The voice recording of the show's first season takes place before Daws Butler's death in 1988.