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Scooby-Doo: Back on the Big Screen

How Scooby-Doo Went From TV Newbie to Movie Star

How Scooby-Doo Went From TV Newbie to Movie Star

(Updated 03/24/2020)

Scooby-Doo has been solving crimes for over 50 years, and now his origin story will finally be told in the big-screen movie SCOOB!, coming soon. Scooby's long, strange road trip from TV to the movies is quite a ride — let's look at where the sandwich-loving talking dog came from.

Scooby-Doo's Early Days

Scooby-Doo's TV Origins

Way back in the 1960s, CBS needed a new show for kids that could conform to standards set by parent organizations and also entertain as broad an audience as possible. After extensive development, "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?" was born, with a talking dog and four teenage friends roving from town to town encountering monsters, eating comically huge meals, and busting the dastardly plans of greedy men.

The show operated with a consistent formula: Fred, Shaggy, Daphne and Velma, with Scooby-Doo in tow, make up the group Mystery, Inc. As the friends rove around in their brightly-colored van, the Mystery Machine, a breakdown would typically lead them to take refuge in a supposedly haunted mansion, theme park, or hotel. The crew would soon discover that the monster said to be roaming the grounds was in fact a local in disguise who was trying to cover up some sort of crime.

This powered a few dozen episodes in multiple incarnations of "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?" between 1969 and 1978. The show's characters were mixed and matched in different configurations for years afterward, with occasional new additions, and characters who popped in from other Hanna-Barbera shows.

Enter a Dastardly Villain

Dick Dastardly, the Villain of Scoob!

Occasionally, one of the TV cartoons would tweak the formula so that Scooby, Shaggy & Co. were facing real monsters instead of masked criminals. That was the story in the two live-action feature films written by James "Guardians of the Galaxy" Gunn, as well. But the core concept behind Scooby-Doo almost always relied upon not-quite-supernatural evil.

Over in other shows from Hanna-Barbera, a villain rose to make trouble for a whole other set of do-gooders. In "Wacky Races" and "Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines," Dick Dastardly was more of a trickster and schemer than a man of true evil. He and his giggling dog sidekick, Muttley, made life difficult for anyone who opposed him. But he almost never succeeded in his plans, either. He was basically like a Scooby-Doo villain who didn't even need a mask.

SCOOB! doesn't merely bring our favorite dog and his pals back to the big screen. It also gives Dick Dastardly (voiced by Jason Isaacs) a chance to try his hand at a new scheme. He seems to pose an actual threat to the Mystery, Inc. crew — but they're not alone in opposing him, as the movie draws other Hanna-Barbera characters into its plot as well.

Scooby's Extended Universe

In keeping with his TV past as the center of an extended universe, the latest SCOOB! trailer reveals that a few other classic Hanna-Barbera characters will be integral to the movie's storyline. The Blue Falcon (Mark Wahlberg) and Dynomutt (Ken Jeong) — a duo that was originally a Batman-influenced alternate version of Shaggy and Scooby — have a big part in the movie. They first appeared in the Scooby-Doo offshoot series "Dynomutt, Dog Wonder," in 1976, and have been a part of Scooby's universe ever since.

Also involved is Dee-Dee Sykes (voiced by Kiersey Clemons) and Captain Caveman, voiced by Tracy Morgan. On TV, Sykes was part of the Teen Angels, a mystery-solving crew that palled around with a caveman who was thawed from a block of ice. In the new SCOOB! trailer, Dee-Dee is part of the Blue Falcon's crew, and presumably, there'll be some flashback or plot thread to show how she ended up leaving Captain Caveman behind.

Want to know more about SCOOB?

All images courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

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