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!