Scooby-Doo is the cowardly but lovable Great Dane who helps his teenage friends solve mysteries in the TV cartoon series "Scooby Doo, Where Are You!
" (1969) and its long series of follow-ups. These include other TV series, made-for-TV and -video movies and two big-budget live-action theatrical films in which a computer-animated Scooby performs alongside flesh-and-blood actors.
In his first outings, Scooby teams with Fred, Daphne, Velma and Shaggy to solve mysteries, which usually feature thieves dressing up as ghosts and monsters in order to frighten away anyone who might snoop into their wicked business. Left to themselves, Scooby and his closest friend Shaggy might shy away from these experiences. They are terrified of ghosts. No matter how often they find that these seemingly supernatural fiends are just everyday persons in costumes, they always need inducement from the rest of the gang to set off on a new adventure.
The inducement is usually food. And the food, more often than not, is a box of Scooby Snacks. It is unclear exactly what these crunchy morsels are, or who manufactures them; but the snacks are tempting to both Scooby and Shaggy. (Given Shaggy's enormous and indiscriminate appetite, it's not unlikely that Scooby Snacks are just dog food.)
Scooby is a ham, and his desire to perform is often greater than his desire to run away and hide. Fred can always persuade him to be a decoy for one of his monster-traps. Both Scooby and Shaggy will disguise themselves in outlandish get-ups in order to baffle and thwart their ghostly pursuers.
Scooby's speech is garbled; he often replaces the first consonant of a word with an r
sound. ("Raggy! Raggy! Rook out!") Of course, he's a dog. As Dr. Johnson
might have pointed out, it's remarkable that he can speak at all.
In later productions, Scooby acquired relatives, an obligation on all popular cartoon characters. We meet Scooby-Dum, a hillbilly cousin and Scooby-Dee, a kissing cousin. His nephew Scrappy-Doo became a regular member of the gang; but it took producers years to realize that he was even more obnoxious to his viewers than he was to the weekly pack of criminals.Don Messick
created the charming voice for Scooby, an improvement on his already likable characterization for Astro, the dog from "The Jetsons
." He played Scooby until his death from a stroke in 1997. Frank Welker
, who is also the voice for Fred, has since played the part. So has Scott Innes. Neil Fanning
gave him voice for the two theatrical films.