A Pup Named Scooby-Doo is the eighth incarnation of the Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning cartoon, Scooby-Doo. This spin-off of the original show was created by Tom Ruegger and premiered on September 10, 1988 and ran for three seasons on ABC and on The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera as a half-hour program, until August 17, 1991 (though reruns continued until September 11, 1993).
Following the show's first season, much of Hanna-Barbera's production staff, including Tom Ruegger, left the studio and helped to revive the Warner Bros. Animation studio, beginning with Tiny Toon Adventures. This was notable for being the last series where Don Messick voiced Scooby-Doo, and one of the few animated series in which someone other than Frank Welker voiced the character of Fred Jones. Messick and Casey Kasem (who voiced Shaggy Rogers) were the only two voice actors from other Scooby-Doo series to reprise their roles in this version, and both received starring credits for their work.
Overview & Tone
The new format followed the trend of the "babyfication" of older cartoon characters, reducing the original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! cast to junior-high age. (In doing so, the series reintroduced Fred Jones and Velma Dinkley to the show, both of whom had not appeared as regular characters since the 1970s.) This new show also used the same basic formula as the original 1969 show: the Mystery Inc. gang (referred to in this show as the "Scooby-Doo Detective Agency") solved supernatural-based mysteries, where the villains (the ghosts and monsters) were always revealed as bad guys in masks and costumes. The biggest difference was the tone of the show: with A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, producer Tom Ruegger built upon the slightly irreverent humor he had established along with producer Mitch Schauer with Scooby's previous unsuccessful incarnation, The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo. This resulted in a wackier, more extremely comic version of Scooby-Doo that satirized the conventions of the show's previous incarnations. It was not uncommon for the characters to do wild Tex Avery/Bob Clampett-esque takes when they ran into ghosts and monsters.
Animation director and overseas supervisor Glen Kennedy animated many of the wild-take sequences personally. Fred was constantly blaming a character appropriately called "Red Herring" (a pun on Red Herring) for each and every crime on the show (true to his name, Red was always innocent, except for the one episode in which Fred didn't blame him) and shots of the characters (and even the ghosts and monsters) dancing were inserted into the obligatory late-80s-pop-rock-music-scored chase sequences. The ghosts and monsters themselves were also more comedic, such as a creature made out of molten cheese, a monster in the form of a giant hamburger, and the skeleton ghost of a dogcatcher. The series also features Scooby and Shaggy as their favorite superhero duo. Shaggy would be the fearless Commander Cool (a combination of Batman and Superman) and Scooby would be his faithful canine sidekick Mellow Mutt (a combination of Krypto, Robin and Ace the Bat-Hound.)
- Carl Steven – Fred Jones
- Kellie Martin – Daphne Blake
- Christina Lange – Velma Dinkley
- Casey Kasem – Shaggy Rogers, Shaggy's Father
- Don Messick – Scooby-Doo, Jenkins
- Scott Menville – Red Herring
Warner Home Video initially released all 30 episodes of A Pup Named Scooby-Doo on DVD in Region 1 in seven volume sets. They subsequently re-released the entire series in 2 DVD sets. All episodes are available for download from the iTunes Store.