Sunday, December 04, 2016

Nostalgia Theater: A Pup Named Scooby Doo Goes Back in Time

Scooby-Doo has been of the most dependable brands for Hanna-Barbera/Warner Bros. since its debut in 1969, surviving any number of permutations and variations throughout the years. One such refresh of the property happened in fall of 1988, coming on the heels of a general trend in animation aimed at taking beloved characters and "youth-ifying" them. This first reared its head a few years earlier with Muppet Babies and would continue with Hanna-Barbera's own The Flintone Kids, and would finally hit dogtown with A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, a prequel (of sorts) depicting the earliest days of those do-gooder detectives of "Mystery, Inc.":


(That theme music is by film composer John Debney, by the way.)

The show took the same basic premise of the tried-and-true Scooby-Doo formula (Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby get involved in mystery, unmask guy in halloween costume) and aged everyone down to their teen/pre-teens. Simple enough, and given how successful that formula had been over the years, you can see why they didn't rock the boat. A Pup Named Scooby-Doo premiered on ABC in September of '88, and managed a not-bad four season run, totaling 30 episodes when all was said and done in spring of 1991.

In addition to the self-aware, breaking-the-fourth-wall humor that was the hallmark of show creator Tom Ruegger (who would go on to shape Tiny Toon Adventures) the show is also notable for being the final time original Scooby-Doo voice Don Messick played the role before his passing in 1997.  This would also be the last regular Scooby series for more than ten years, until What's New, Scooby-Doo? began airing on the Kids' WB! However, the style and humor of A Pup Named Scooby-Doo what makes it stand apart from the sheer volume of other Scooby shows that have been produced, and makes it worth checking out digitally or on home video.

One Year Ago in Nostalgia Theater: Flash Gordon -- 35 Years of the Savior of the Universe

Two Year Ago in Nostalgia Theater: G.I. Joe Action Stars Cereal

Three Years Ago in Nostalgia Theater: Demolition Man Action Figures

Four Years Ago in Nostalgia Theater: Before Smallville -- Superboy's Flight Through Syndication

Five Years Ago in Nostalgia Theater: Animated Apes Edition

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