Wednesday, October 19, 2016

RR What's New, Scooby-Doo?

Scooby-Doo's long awaited return to TV!

Actually a decent show, kind of a modern-day reboot of the classic series, nothing much more to it.

Scooby-Doo - where are you?! Right here:

Name: What's New, Scooby-Doo? Complete 1st, 2nd and 3rd Season
Created by Sander Schwartz
Original run 2002-2006
Genre Action/Adventure/Mystery/Comedy animated series

Following the success of the first live-action Scooby-Doo movie (which you might enjoy or not, but you can't deny it's success at the box office), a brand new Scooby-Doo animated series was immediately launched into production.

Called What's New, Scooby-Doo?, it was the first proper Scooby-Doo series entirely created by Warner Bros. Animation, not Hanna-Barbera Productions anymore, developed by Sander Schwartz.

The show would run for 42 episodes for a total of 3 Seasons from September 2002 to July 2006 on The WB/Kids WB.

What's New, Scooby-Doo? sees the return of the whole Mystery Inc. gang: Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and of course, Scooby-Doo himself!

The show was basically a big return to the original series' formula. The gang is looking into all sorts of monster' sightings and trying to solve mysteries.

The main big feature of this incarnation is that the gang was traveling to all sorts of different locations from a mountain resort to the Costa Rica, going to NASA, the New Orleans, Las Vegas, a roller coaster park, Africa, etc! And running into all sorts of creepy monsters as before, like a snow monster, dinosaurs, aliens, an island sea serpent, a headless snowman, zombies and other kinds of ghouls and ghosts!

Each episode containing a different chase scene and a song!

Like I said, a return to the classic Scooby-Doo formula.

The show had several recurring characters, including the return of the goth rock band the Hex Girls!

What's New, Scooby-Doo? was a great revival of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!.

After Warner Bros. Animation absorbed Hanna-Barbera Productions back in 2001, a new Scooby-Doo show from Warner Bros. was bound to happen eventually.

For the occasion they simply decided to go back to what made Scooby-Doo, ditching any of the gimmicks they explored in the past. Simply modernizing the original Scooby-Doo Where Are You concept. And taking several cues from the live-action Scooby-Doo movie, mostly the fact the story was now clearly taking place in modern day.

It was maybe not as great as the original, but it was quite reminiscent of it. They didn't force any additional new character to the cast. Our whole cast even followed the same archetypal roles. Scooby and Shaggy were still the heart and comedy relief of the group.

The various changes included ditching all the old classic Hanna-Barbera sound effects. But the laugh track made a brief return in an Halloween Special episode.

The art style and the animation became a lot cleaner, all characters were slightly redesigned. The show even played off long-established rules of Scooby-Doo. Yet episodes still have the same basic formula at heart. And they also tried a bit harder to play off your expectations with the red herrings.

Starting with this show Frank Welker took over the late Don Messick as Scooby. This was the first Scooby-Doo series to feature Mindy Cohn and Grey DeLisle as Velma and Daphne respectively. And sadly the last to feature Casey Kasem as the voice of Shaggy.

What's New, Scooby-Doo? is a great modern interpretation of Scooby-Doo.

While it doesn't really try anything different or original really, it's the show Warner Bros. needed to make to regain the fans after some of the last Scooby-Doo productions.

With a return to bad guys in disguise, no magic or real monsters like some past shows or animated films (or even the live-action films..).

Often poking fun at itself, with a much more self-aware tone, parodying the classic Scooby-Doo formula. Although they still found ways to make use of the classic line "And I would've gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling kids"...

To this very day, it's still one of the most appreciated Scooby-Doo shows, in fact they keep re-running it all the time on various channels such as Boomerang or Cartoon Network, all over the world.

For this incarnation, the music was composed by Rich Dickerson. They modernized the tone, and music followed suit. The band Simple Plan performed the theme song here, which was quite energetic and fitting for this iteration. Simple Plan even appeared in one episode and they used a couple of their other songs too.

Overall, What's New, Scooby-Doo? was a great return to form for the franchise. Specially after some odd and questionable changes to the formula in some of the past series. It didn't really add anything new to the table but it's a decent modern take on Scooby.

The modern rock approach can be a bit disconcerting for older fans, but it's a natural progression from the old school surf rock of the past.

Scooby-Doo's still pretty gun, goofy and charming! The new episodes were fun and captivating! A Recommended series, which was a great introduction for a new generation!

Actually, several later direct-to-video animated films were sort of spin-offs from the show using the same art style and animation and even voice cast!

The Scooby-Doo license was back into popularity thanks to the success of both live-action films, this show, all sorts of video games and concurrent direct-to-videos animated films, from this point onwards Scooby-Doo never really left and Warner has been constantly following one show after another, reimagining the concept from time to time.

And the first new iteration to follow What's New, Scooby-Doo? would be quite different. Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue! would succeed from 2006 to 2008, which proved a radical departure from most Scooby-Doo series prior to this point... But that will be for next time!

I give it:
2.5 / 3 Felixes!

1 comment:

  1. I mainly loved how they try to rework the running gags and show formulas in different ways, such as Fred deciding to split up with Shaggy instead, only to find out the whole pairing was just very awkward.
    My favourite one, though, is with Shaggy wanting to solve the case of the clown at the mini golf tournament that he wants to win, while Velma being scared of clowns wants to stay far away from it with Scooby. Clever stuff like that is why I like this iteration of the series.