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 four seasons on ABC and on The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera as a half-hour program, until August 17, 1991. 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 to star Don Messick as the voice of Scooby-Doo before his death in 1997, and one of the few animated series in which someone other than Frank Welker voiced the character of Fred Jones (child actor Carl Steven took on the role for this series). Messick and Casey Kasem, the latter of whom 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.
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, and erased Scrappy-Doo from the cast.) This new show also used the same basic formula as the original 1969 show: the "Scooby-Doo Detective Agency" (a forerunner of Mystery Inc.) solved supernatural-based mysteries in the town of Coolsville, 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.) In 2013 a direct-to-video puppet movie was released exclusively to US Walmart stores and digital download called Scooby-Doo! Adventures: The Mystery Map, that featured traits similar to that of A Pup Named Scooby-Doo.
Shaggy was exactly like his older incarnation. He ate a lot and used the terms "Like" and "Zoinks!" constantly. He sometimes agrees with other members of the gang, considering the ghost, phantom, etc. Scooby-Doo behaved like the older version of the character as well.
Daphne was a vain young girl who was quite skeptical and sarcastic (especially towards Fred). Being born into money, she often called to her butler, Jenkins (a pun on "Jinkies!"), for help (on occasion Scooby would call for him instead), usually for incredibly silly reasons ("be scared for me"), something she does not do while older, despite still being fabulously wealthy. She often accused the wrong person who did the crime, only by her intuition. She also had a deep infatuation with the color pink (opposing older Daphne, who prefers everything in purple), preferring most of her clothes and personal possessions in said color, and treats fashion as life and death. She also hates getting dirty, and absolutely refuses to believe in the supernatural (her catch-phrase in the show is "There's no such thing as [insert supernatural element here].") despite the fact she and the rest of the gang actually met (and befriended) a ghost in one episode.
Fred was an outspoken young boy who always jumps to the wrong conclusion. His runaway imagination often annoyed the rest of the gang (his favorite magazine is the National Exaggerator) and, before accusing Red Herring for absolutely no reason (which happens in nearly every episode), he often stated a ridiculous example, such as Mole people or aliens from another planet. However, he can get the point at times.
Velma was mostly the same as her older incarnation— intelligent and soft-spoken with thick eyeglasses. The most evident change to her character was that she owned a briefcase-sized mobile computer that could determine who the criminal was in any particular episode. Velma also owned an oversized fan-propelled skateboard with a color scheme similar to the Mystery Machine, which all the characters could ride on.
The What's New, Scooby-Doo? episode "A Terrifying Round with a Menacing Metallic Clown" featured a flashback to Velma's fifth birthday, using the character designs from A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, albeit with some modifications, such as Daphne wearing purple rather than pink. Fred and Velma were the only returning characters to speak in the flashback, and were voiced by their normal voice actors Frank Welker and Mindy Cohn. The recent live-action film Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins establishes the team meeting in their teens. However, it can be seen as a prequel to the theatrical films.
Rock and roll styled songs (specifically about the monster-of-the-week) were played during the chase scene in each episode, similar to the second-season episodes of Scooby-Doo, Where are You!. Unlike previous versions of the show however, the kids were often aware of the music being played (having turned it on themselves in many occasions) and would dance for a bit along with the ghosts and monsters before continuing with the chase (Glen Kennedy would often animate the characters' dance cycles himself).
The show's theme song featured lyrics by series creator Tom Ruegger and music by composer John Debney also bore a similarity to the "Intro Song" from Little Shop of Horrors, which had recently been adapted into a successful feature film. The music is almost always in a 1950s rock and roll style, possibly to indicate their younger age, as the original show took place in 1969.Don Messick as Scooby-Doo – the main character of the series, and the mascot of the Scooby-Doo Detective Agency. Messick also voiced several other characters in the show.
Casey Kasem as Shaggy Rogers – Scooby Doo's best friend. Kasem also voices Shaggy's Dad, and additional voices.
Carl Steven as Fred Jones – leader of the Scooby-Doo Detective Agency.
Kellie Martin as Daphne Blake – a wealthy, vain girl.
Christina Lange as Velma Dinkley – an intelligent, shy girl.
Red Herring (voiced by Scott Menville) – Otherwise known as the town bully in which Freddie nearly always pointed the blame and was always wrong, although in one episode "Night of the Boogey Biker", Fred ended up being right as Red was found to be the villain, despite the fact that he did not accuse him. He often torments the gang but is always thwarted. Among his catchphrases are "HAH! What a weanie!", "That's not very funny" and "I didn't do it, Jones!" His name is a reference to the idiom "red herring".
Sugie – Sugie is Shaggy's baby sister with her name being pronounced "shoogy". She only appeared in two episodes. She seems to eat as much as Shaggy and starts crying when she's apart from her brother. She is Shaggy's favorite "non puppy person" in the world. She has a baby bag which contains her favorite boulder, a crib, her string collection, a refrigerator containing her baby food among various other items. Sugie appeared in The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show episode Wedding Bell Boos in 1983, using her given name of Maggie Rogers.
Gus – Gus is the janitor of Coolsville Jr. High. He is an inventor. It is shown that he also works at Coolsville Mall (and possibly for the Blakes). He has a fondness for Velma and will do anything to help her.
O'Greasy (voiced by Charlie Adler) – O'Greasy is the owner of O'Greasy restaurants, a fast food chain which serves every meal in a bucket. O'Greasy once had competitor named Arnie Barney who used to serve his fast food in bags until O'Greasy blew his business out of the water. The gang helps him when the burger monster threatens to close O'Greasy's down.
Carole Collossal – Carole Collossal is the owner of Collossal Toys and later the Coolsville Wrestling Federation (CWF). She also is the creator of Commander Cool. The gang helps her when her business and the Commander Cool Toyline is in danger.
Barbara Simone – Barbara Simone is Carole Colossal's secretary. She tried to destroy Colossal Toys, but was foiled by Scooby Doo Detective Agency in "The Return of Commander Cool". She's so efficient as a secretary Carole Colossal got her a license to leave prison to resume her work in "Wrestle Maniacs" where she appears wearing the traditional black-and-white stripped prison uniform and has an officer following her wherever she goes. With that, she became the only former "monster" (other than Red) to appear in an episode after being unmasked.
Jenkins (voiced by Don Messick) – Jenkins is Daphne's butler, whom she calls in to do various tasks. Sometimes they're something silly like being scared for her, dusting a dusty house for Daphne and doing impressions of suspect. Others more serious like making Scooby a Scooby Snack or saving Daphne when she's thrown out a window. He responds whenever his name is called (He once showed up after thinking Velma said "Jenkins", when she really said "Jinkies"). The one time he didn't respond to Daphne's call, a butler named Dawson responded for him and told Daphne Jenkins was busy doing her shopping, which she deemed an acceptable excuse. Dawson seems to be as efficient as Jenkins.
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. The first two seasons are available for download from the iTunes Store. Wrestle Maniacs can be found on the Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery DVD.