Unpopular Opinions: Blue Falcon & Dynomutt 2020

OK, so Scoob! happened.


As you know by now, we don’t review movies here at Twinsanity, so I won’t go into detail about the movie itself (there are already a ton of reviewers YouTube who have done that already), I’ll just say that my assessment of the film overall was…


It was OK. Not great, not groundbreaking, just OK. I don’t think it was low-grade dog food like many people on the internet apparently do, but I admit that its’ main draw was either for die hard Scooby-Doo fans or people in my age bracket (40-100 and up) who grew up with 1960’s through 1980’s Hanna-Barbera cartoons and will therefore recognize and appreciate the many references, allusions and callbacks.

No, I didn’t think Scoob! was swill, but believe it or not, that’s not the Unpopular Opinion of this post. Today’s Unpopular Opinion is that, regardless of what I thought about the movie itself…


I liked the movie’s takes on Blue Falcon…

Dynomutt 2020

…and Dynomutt.

To understand why I feel this way (and to get the young’uns in the crowd up to speed), here’s a brief history lesson:


Blue Falcon and Dynomutt, Dog Wonder made their debut on ABC’s Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour in 1976. The Blue Falcon (originally voiced by Gary Owens) was a Batman-esque superhero (his alias was that of millionaire playboy Radley Crown) and Dynomutt (originally voiced by Frank Welker) was his eager, brave but comedically inept sidekick, who just happened to be a talking robot dog. Dyno’s bumblings were so frequent that Blue Falcon (or “B.F”, as Dynomutt called him) would often refer to him as ‘Dog Blunder’.

The duo later turn up in–of all places–an episode of Dexter’s Laboratory entitled “Dyno-Might”.


“Guest star powers-ACTIVATE!”

Fanboy and Chum Chum


Dyno-Might 1

In it, the Falcon’s arch-foe, The Buzzard, ‘kills’ Dynomutt in battle and BF comes to Dexter for assistance. Dex rebuilds Dyno, but feels that the goofy ‘Dog Blunder’ isn’t a worthy sidekick to an awesome superhero like Blue Falcon, so he builds a replacement called Dynomutt X90, a more efficient but far more aggressive robot dog who’s so extreme that he sets a man on fire for littering and nearly laser blasts a little girl for picking a flower before he’s stopped by the re-activated original Dynomutt.


“Jaywalking? Not on my watch, buster! Say your prayers, dirtbag!!”

At the end of the short, Blue Falcon says that he prefers having a comic relief sidekick because it makes him look cooler. Dexter, who’s saddled with Dee-Dee, agrees.

Fast-Forward to Scooby-Doo: Mystery, Inc. BF and Dyno turn up in this series as well (by this time it’s been long established that the crime fighting duo know and are well-acquainted with the Scooby-Doo gang, as they’ve met and crossed over on numerous occasions and even appeared alongside one another on the Scooby Doobies team on ABC’s Laff-A-Lympics), albeit with a slightly revised backstory and some notable changes in characterization.


“I’m a falcon! Grrr!”

Here, rather than being a rich playboy, Radley Crown is a security guard at one of the laboratories of Quest Industries (as in Dr. Benton Quest, father of Jonny Quest–yes, Jonny Quest, Scooby-Doo and Blue Falcon exist in the same universe–it’s canon now) and Dyno is his faithful dog Reggie. One fateful night the two are attacked by a mutated monster created by Mad Science and Reggie is seriously injured in the attack. Desperate to save his friend, Crown enlists the aid of Dr. Benton Quest himself, who utilizes Quest technology to transform Reggie into a super canine cyborg. While Dyno here is his usual goofball self, B.F. is more gritty, angtsy and edgy, basically a spoof of Frank Miller’s Batman from The Dark Knight Returns.

And now we come to today. B.F. and Dyno turn up again in Scoob!. Here, Blue Falcon is a very famous and highly revered superhero, idol to millions and heavily trademarked, BUUUT (*Spoilers for those who haven’t seen the movie, or actually care, which I doubt is many of you) this Blue Falcon is not Radley Crown, rather it’s his adult son Brian Crown, a somewhat goofy and slightly egotistical glory hog who seems more interested in promoting his brand than saving the world.


“Remember, kids: say you prayers, eat your vitamins, drink your milk, and buy my T-shirts!”

Dynomutt 2020

Dynomutt meanwhile has apparently been upgraded to a sleeker, cooler and far more competent version of himself; his tech is 100 times cooler, he’s more sarcastic and quick to chide his new partner and his goofy giggles have been replaced by a more annoyed wiseguy voice, provided by Ken Jeong.

And I enjoyed the heck out of these guys, particularly Dynomutt 2.0. Confession time: I’ve always thought Dynomutt was kind of cool. Despite his usual portrayal as a bumbling dufus who hindered Blue Falcon’s efforts as much as he helped them, I always though his tech was pretty cool. Back in the ’70’s, Dynomutt, along with the Robonic Stooges…

Robonic Stooges

That’s right, THESE guys…

Were what first attracted me to the idea of utilizing high-tech as a super power. These guys were the Robocops and Cyborgs of their day. So I was actually glad to see Dynomutt on screen and not being a joke. You’re free to disagree with me but I thought Blue Falcon and Dynomutt’s banter was funny and I love their new designs. The details on Brian’s costume looked awesome and this new Dynomutt is just cool-looking and badass.

Plus, I can’t be the only one who’d like to see an animated series starring these two. C’mon, a Booster Gold-esque Blue Falcon trying to make a name for himself while struggling to live up to his father’s legacy and his snarky but efficient robot dog companion? I’d watch the heck out of that show!

Even if you don’t agree with me on that, there’s something else I think we can all agree on:

Daphne Blake 2020

Kid Daphne in this movie was cute as a button!


The Retro Bin: Laff-A-Lympics (1977-1978)

As you may have noticed by now, Twinsanity generally doesn’t probe too deeply into the careers of Hanna-Barbera’s premier roster of characters like Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Snagglepuss and the many, many Scooby-Doo clones. This is for 2 reasons: one, they tend to be a tad on the interchangeable side, and two, the H-B studio has provided us with opportunities to discuss several of them at once.

One such example is the subject of today’s Retro Bin, Laff-A-Lympics.


Laff-A-Lympics was the co-headlining segment, with Scooby-Doo, of the package Saturday morning cartoon series Scooby’s All-Star Laff-A-Lympics, beginning in 1977. The show was a spoof of the Olympics (duh!) and the ABC television series Battle of the Network Stars, which debuted one year earlier. It featured 45 Hanna-Barbera characters organized into the teams (the Scooby Doobies, the Yogi Yahooeys, and the Really Rottens) which would compete each week for gold, silver, and bronze medals. One season of 16 episodes was produced in 1977–78, and eight new episodes combined with reruns for the 1978–79 season as Scooby’s All-Stars. Yes, both incarnations of the show were named after Scooby-Doo; he was pretty much the Kingpin of Saturday morning back in the 70’s.

“Riss my ring, ritches!”

The episodes themselves basically reiterated the same formula: the 3 teams would lock horns in various sporting events, typically taking place in some exotic location. The various team members would employ their special talents, quirks and shticks to win; sometimes they’d work, sometimes they wouldn’t. The ‘bad guy’ team, the Really Rottens, would habitually cheat and suffer the consquences, and at the end, 1 team would emerge victorious with a gold medal, a 2nd would earn the silver and the loser (usually the Rottens) would get stuck with the bronze. Yada yada yada. What made this show special was its’ novelty: it featured no less than 45 H-B stars occupying a single program. That means nothing to anyone born past Generation X, but for a kid in the 70’s, especially one who was a hardcore Hanna-Barbera fan, LAL was the equivalent of giving a kid the keys to a candy store and saying they can go nucking futs, or a horndog let loose in the Playboy Mansion with a License to Grope badge. Here’s the intro:


Now, on to the show’s major selling point: the teams and the stars themselves. The “good guy” teams, consisting of the Scooby Doobies and the Yogi Yahooeys, were good friends and their respective team members gladly helped each other whenever they got into a jam. The Really Rottens, however, always cheated and pulled dirty tricks which would ultimately cause them to be the last-place losers in most episodes. Much like Dick Dastardly and Muttley on Wacky Races, typically the Really Rottens would be just on the verge of winning, before they would make a fatal error at the very end that allowed one of the other two teams to end up at the top. Occasionally, though, the Rottens’ cheating technique wouldn’t actually be against the rules, which resulted in them (unlike Dastardly and Muttley) actually winning in a few episodes; there was even one episode where they won through sheer chance. The final event on the show’s final episode, which took place on the moon (!), ended in a 3-way tie.

Each team adhered to a particular ‘theme’ or genre/era of H-B cartoons.


This team was comprised of Hanna-Barbera’s 1950’s through 1960’s television shorts characters. It was the only team made up entirely of anthropomorphic animals. Grape Ape was the only post-1962 character in the line-up. With this team, the challenge wasn’t finding members for it, but narrowing the choices down to just a few!


  • Yogi Bear (captain)
  • Boo-Boo Bear
  • Cindy Bear
  • Huckleberry Hound
  • Mr. Jinks
  • Pixie
  • Dixie
  • Wally Gator
  • Quick Draw McGraw (no Baba Looey)
  • Hokey Wolf (no Ding-a-Ling)
  • Snooper
  • Blabber
  • Augie Doggy
  • Doggy Daddy
  • Yakky Doodle
  • Grape Ape

“Oh sure, name your frelling team after one of us but don’t even ask us to be on it! No royalty check, nothin’! We couldn’t even get jobs as water boys! Yeah, that’s fair!”

“You folks are probably wondering why your old pal Beegle Beagle didn’t make it to the Yahooeys team. Well, it turns out I was blacklisted by the Laff-A-Lympics Ethics committee. Geez, you offhandedly mention that you know a guy who can hook your team up with some Happy Win-Time Go-Go Juice injections, and suddenly you’re banned for life!”

“So let me get this straight: the Scooby Doobies had a magic user. The Really Rottens had a magic user. I’m a 60’s era H-B character who’s a magic user, and I don’t get so much as a phone call? What the what?!”


Much like how the Yogis team represented 50’s-60’s era H-B, the Scooby Doobies team had a heavy 1970’s vibe to them. (They were the ‘modern era’ team at the time.) This team drew mainly from the 1970s Hanna-Barbera cartoons, particularly the “mystery-solving/crime busting” series derived from Scooby-Doo, whose titular character served as team captain.


  • Scooby-Doo (captain)
  • Norville “Shaggy” Rogers
  • Scooby-Dum (Why? I don’t know)
  • Dynomutt
  • Blue Falcon
  • Captain Caveman
  • Brenda Chance
  • Taffy Dare
  • Dee Dee Skies
  • Babu (from Jeannie)
  • Hong Kong Phooey
  • Speed Buggy
  • Tinker

*Rumor has it that Mark and Debbie from Speed Buggy had fled to get busy in a love nest in Tijuana at the time.

BTW, take a gander at the original lineup for the Scoobies.

Yes, that’s right: the early production art for the series showed Jeannie from the Jeannie series and Melody, Alexander, Alexandra, and Sebastian the Cat from the Josie and the Pussycats series as members of the Scooby Doobies team, but legal problems with Columbia Pictures Television, Screen Gems’ successor, prevented it. Babu from Jeannie made the final cut, as he was an original creation of Hanna-Barbera, but Columbia controlled all rights to Jeannie’s image. As a result, Babu appeared alone as a member of the Scooby Doobies. Likewise, Archie Comics held rights to the Josie characters. In the actual series, Jeannie was replaced by Hong Kong Phooey and the Josie characters were replaced by Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels.

“When we lawyers sink our teeth into something, there’s no letting go!”

“Shafted again…naturally.”


No prizes for guessing, This team is composed of villainous characters. With the exception of Mumbly and the Dalton Brothers, all of the members are original characters, many of whom are based on various characters that appeared in cartoons and comics prior to Laff-A-Lympics. Originally, Muttley and Dick Dastardly were planned as the leaders of the Really Rottens; however, they could not appear on the show due to those characters being co-owned by Heatter-Quigley Productions. In their place, Hanna-Barbera used the existing character Mumbly and created the new character Dread Baron.

“What did I just tell you??”

Prior to Laff-A-Lympics, Mumbly was a heroic detective rather than a villain on his original show. (Turns out he was another cop gone corrupt, just like in Serpico.) Following the character’s revision as the villainous team leader, he remained a villain in Yogi Bear and the Magical Flight of the Spruce Goose, which was also Dread Baron’s only other role. The Dalton Brothers appeared in 1950s and 1960s shorts (including the 1958 short Sheriff Huckleberry Hound, which featured appearances by Dinky, Dirty, and Dastardly Dalton, as well as their other brothers Dangerous, Detestable, Desperate, and Despicable). However, they were given new character designs for the Laff-A-Lympics series. After Laff-A-Lympics, Dinky reappears in The Good, the Bad, and Huckleberry Hound with brothers Stinky (who bears a resemblance to Dastardly Dalton from Laff-A-Lympics), Finky, and Pinky. Mountain-sized Dinky (get it?) was the only mainstay of the Dalton clan.


  • Mumbly (captain)
  • Dread Baron (co-captain)
  • The Dalton Brothers (Dinky, Dirty and Dastardly)
  • The Creeply Family (Mr., Mrs. and Junior; loosely based on the Gruesomes from the Flintstones and the J. Mad Scientists from the H-B shorts)
  • Orful Octopus (aka Octo, the Creeplys’ pet)
  • The Great Fondue (villainous magician who seemed to be incapable of performing magic with any sort of accuracy; Similar to Abner K. Dabra from the 1963 book, Yogi Bear and the Cranky Magician)
  • Magic Rabbit (Fondue’s pet, dialogue limited to “Brack!” Bears a resemblance to the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland (or What’s a Nice Kid Like You Doing in a Place Like This?)
  • Daisy Mayhem (or as Goldstar likes to refer to her “Boner Launcher”; mean-spirited hillbilly gal with split ends, Daisy Dukes and bare feet, who bears a resemblance to the Li’l Abner character Moonbeam McSwine)
  • Sooey Pig (Daisy’s pet pig. You can tell he’s rotten because he wears sneakers and an eye patch!)

“What? You recruited a bunch of newbies and doppelgangers instead of me? You could’ve just hired me and all the bad guys from ‘Yogi’s Gang’. There’s your Rottens team right there!”

“I didn’t get a call either? What’s the deal? Just yesterday I was in the park feeding the pigeons…to some alley cats! I’m totally rotten up here!”

Trivia Time:

  • In one season 2 episode, Mumbly is referred to throughout as Muttley.
  • Dick Dastardly and Muttley appear in issue #13 of the Laff-A-Lympics comic book series, “No Laff-A-Lympics Today!”. In the book, Dread is revealed to be Dick Dastardly’s twin brother.
  • In the Latin American dub of Laff-A-Lympics, Dread Baron and Mumbly are called Dick Dastardly and Muttley.

Each episode was presented in a format similar to an Olympic television broadcast, with announcing/voice-over duties handled by an unnamed/unseen Announcer character (see also Wacky Races, Yogi’s Space Race and Fender Bender 500). Hosting duties and commentary were provided by Snagglepuss and Mildew Wolf from the It’s the Wolf! segments of Cattanooga Cats (though unlike It’s the Wolf!, Mildew was not voiced by Paul Lynde; he was here voiced by John Stephenson). Apparently, Lynde had a reputation of being difficult to work with, so HB opted to go with a sound-alike rather than contend with the real deal.

I guess H-B considered Mr. Lynde to be kind of a silly savage.

Also, since the show was airing on ABC, Snagglepuss and Mildew wore the then-traditional yellow jackets of ABC Sports announcers.

Laff-A-Lympics ran for 16 episodes in it’s first season (1977-78) and an additional 8 episodes for its’ second season (1978-79). The series kind of fizzled after that; probably because it was the same basic formula repeated again and again, and also, let’s face it: the show lacked the ‘jiggle factor’ that permeated throughout the series that inspired it, Battle of the Network Stars. Let’s address the elephant in the room…


These guys don’t have much to offer in the wet T-shirt department.

Beyond the Background: The Ghoul School

Today’s installment of Beyond the Background spotlights that rare sub-species in pop culture: the all-female Monster Mash. Today we’ll be shining the spotlight on a gang of monster girls who all attend a special school together.

Ah, no, not them. Believe it or not, kiddies, there was another ghoul girl gang before Monster High. Today we’ll be looking at the girls from Miss Grimwood’s Finishing School for Ghouls, the finishing school for the daughters of monsters, as featured in the Hanna-Barbera Superstars 10 TV movie Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School.
"Those Monster High bimbos think they're so hot. Let's see them rock these bitchin' tutus!"

“Those Monster High bimbos think they’re so hot. Let’s see them rock these bitchin’ tutus!”

Scoob, Shaggy and Scrappy were employed at Miss Grimwood’s boarding school for a single school year as gym teachers, though they spent most of that year being scared, running away from people and things and having to save their students from a swamp witch with a web fetish. Anyways….
The school’s headmistress was (no prizes for guessing) Miss Grimwood, who had an octopus butler and a floating hand in her service, as well as a pet dragon named Matches who acted as the school’s ‘guard dog’. Miss Grimwood definitely had a preference for the macabre, but what kind of monster was she? She didn’t seem to possess any kind of dark power nor did she seem to come from any kind of supernatural or paranormal lineage. Maybe she was just a Goth.
“I did assemble this outfit at Hot Topic, yeah.”
Now on to the students. First up, we have Sibella, the daughter of Count Dracula and one of his many, many, many wives, girlfriends, lovers and flings. (Vampires are the playas of the monster world, after all.) Sibella is very kind, polite and generous, though not above using vampire powers or her bat form to her advantage in sports such as volleyball and racing. She has a frequent habit of making puns on words to make them relate to vampires, such as “Fangtasic to meet you.”(Yay, puns.) She seems to be creative with clothing, making a bat robe for her father and a fire proof one for Matches, and she seems to be able to go out in the sunlight with no difficulty, though she doesn’t appear to sparkle in sunlight either.
“Darling, I sparkle everywhere I am! I just got it goin’ on like that!”
In addition to being the second tallest of the ghoul girls (tied with Phantasma and second only to Elsa) Sibella is, dare I say, the hottest among the girls. I’m starting to like the color purple more and more…
Next up, we have Winnie Werewolf, a brave, tough, sometimes over-confident 8-year-old lycanthrope, possessing superhuman strength, speed, and senses and perhaps as a result of her wolf-like nature, she is notably the most athletic of the girls, once challenging Sibella to a race.
Winnie Werewolf
“Yeah, I’m pretty awesome at sports. I basically rule all of ’em! Well, except maybe swimming. I don’t swim much; when I do the pool sometimes gets clogged with globs of hair. I have body hair issues.”
Next there’s Elsa Frankenteen, the teenage Frankenstein monster. She’s a tad slow and lumbering, with a facility for stating the obvious, but she’s got heart (or to be more accurate, 2 of them) and while lacking the speed and agility of the other girls, she compensates with great strength and extreme durability.
Elsa Frankenteen
“I guess I’m pretty strong. I did once lift the entire school to retrieve a soccer ball. But my real passion is Mad Science. I’m majoring in Dark Matter studies and minoring in Building an Army of Atomic Supermen.”
Next up is Phantasma the phantom. She’s loud, hyperactive, wacky and silly, with a high-picthed cackling laugh, but is actually smarter than she appears. She also loves to play, float, and run around. Being a ghost, she can float through many objects. She can also spin her head around like an owl. As a spectre, Phantasma can become intangible at will. This makes her able to phase through both inanimate objects and people alike. She’s also a talented organ player, having composed an original piece which she wrote and performed with with Miss Grimwood’s hand keyboard with her octopus butler on drums; it was called “Duet for Three Hands and Six Tentacles”.
“I’m totally gonna be a rock ‘n’ troll musician when I grow up! I’m gonna come on stage in a flashy cape and start my shows by saying, ‘It’s showtime, folks!'”
“You’re adorable, kid, but that’s my line. The only things scarier than me are copyright lawyers!”
Finally we have Tanis the mummy, the youngest and shortest of all the girls, with an innocent demeanor. She’s a literal thumb-sucker. Cute, but not nearly as hot as Monster High’s Cleo DeNile.
“Who says I’m not hot? Underneath these wrappings, I look like Zoe Saldana!”
Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that Miss Grimwood’s Finishing School for Ghouls was adjacent to Calloway Military School, a military academy for boys. the Grimwood Ghouls had a long-running rivalry with Calloway due to the boys constantly beating them at volleyball (this is why Scooby and pals were brought on as gym teachers in the first place). I wonder if the girls like the boys now?
“Like them? Why, they were DELICIOUS!”
So no rematch, then.

Beyond The Background: Scooby’s Family Tree

Welcome to another segment of Beyond the Background. All of us are familiar with Scooby Doo and his many television incarnations over the past 3 decades, so today, we’ll be looking at some of Scooby’s relatives who have appeared over the years, and I won’t be talking about this relative:

…And cue the angry mob.

Angry Mob


Now that that’s out of the way, the reason why we’re not profiling Scrappy Doo is because Scrappy, whether you love him or hate him, is far too well known and prominent in the Scooby Doo universe to be profiled here. Instead, we’ll be looking back at some of Scooby Doo’s relatives who aren’t Scrappy.

First, there’s Scooby Dum. Scooby Dum is Scooby’s country cousin who first appeared on The Scooby Doo Show (ABC, 1976-1978) who’s chief trait is, wait for it, acting stupid! Dum lives with Ma and Pa Skillet, in the Okefenokee swamp of southern Georgia. He appeared in a couple of episodes of the show, and was added as a teammate of the Scooby Doobies team of Laff-A-Lympics. After Laff ended after 2 seasons, Scooby Dum retired from show business and sought out the help of a speech therapist to cure him of his habit of punctuating his every sentence with the ejaculation “Dum-Dum-Dum-Dum!”

“Yep. That there doctor fella sure did the trick! He threw a real heavy book at my head and said ‘Cut it out, ya freak!’ He’s a genius!”

Next, there’s Scooby Dee, a distant cousin of Scooby Doo who first appeared  in the episode “Chiller Diller Movie Theater” and also has a couple of cameo appearances in the second season episode of What’s New, Scooby-Doo?, “Homeward Hound”, where she is one of many dogs seen at the dog show the gang is attending. She is seen walking past the screen in two separate scenes in the beginning. Scooby-Dee was meant to return to The Scooby-Doo Show as a girlfriend to Scooby-Doo, but the show ended before that could happen. Scooby Dee had no other performances other than a certain video tape that’s been circulating in the cartoon underground which features Dee partaking in a game of “fetch” with H-B veteran Doggie Daddy.

“You thought that Auggie Doggie didn’t have a mother? Doggie Daddy knows who Mama is! What happens in the dog house stays in the dog house!”

Next, there’s Yabba Doo, another cousin of Scooby’s who appeared in a recurring segment titled Scrappy and Yabba Doo on Scooby’s SatAM show for a single season.  His adventures took place out west, where he fought crime with his master, a bumbling deputy named Deputy Dusty, and his enthusiastic nephew Scrappy-Doo. In contrast to Scooby’s catchphrase of “Scooby-Dooby-Doo!”, Yabba’s was “Yippity-Yabbity-Doo!” (and not “Yabba-Dabba-Doo!”).

“The ‘Yabba Dabba Doo’ catchphrase is copyrighted. Anyone who tries to steal it gets a meeting with Fred’s big wooden club!”
Yabba Doo and Dusty
Yabba Doo: Nope. Hanna-Barbera never called us again, but we ain’t bitter. Isn’t that right, Dusty?
Dusty: I don’t live with my mother! Oh, sorry, what was the question?
Finally, there’s Dooby Doo, another one of Scooby’s extended relatives who is a lounge singer. He appeared in one episode of The New Scooby Doo Mysteries titled “The Dooby Doo Ado”. Currently, Dooby Doo is still working the lounge circuit as an opening act for an Elvis impersonator.
“Eventually, I hope to hit it big and open for a Frank Sinatra impersonator.”

So there you have it. A few of Scooby’s relatives who never quite reached the level of stardom as the Great Dane himself.


“In case you were wondering what Scrappy is doing now, he’s back with his mom. I finally had to tell my sis Ruby Doo to get off her tail and do some parenting! The Scoobster is nobody’s full time nanny! Oh, and, ROOBY-ROOBY DOO!”

The Couch: Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!

Today the Couch looks at the quickly gone and forgotten 10th incarnation of Hanna-Barbera’s Scooby-Doo franchise, Warner Brothers’ Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!.

Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!
Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get a Clue! debuted on September 23, 2006, and ran for two seasons during the Kids WB Saturday morning block of The CW Television Network. The show’s second season premiered on Teletoon in Canada on September 6, 2010.
This series boasted a number of notable features: Despite being produced by Warner Bros. Animation, this was the last cartoon series produced by Hanna-Barbera co-founder Joseph Barbera. This show also came along right on the heels of the 2002 live-action Scooby-Doo movie, so the characters were redesigned to resemble their movie counterparts; Scooby was drawn with dot eyes, for example. Get a Clue! was the third show in the Scooby-Doo franchise, after A Pup Named Scooby-Doo and What’s New, Scooby-Doo?, that was not animated or drawn in the usual Hanna-Barbera style. This was also the first series in which Casey Kasem did not voice Shaggy, but was instead done by Scott Menville (although Scott Innes or Billy West have portrayed the character in many of the Scooby-Doo animated movies made for television or home video). However, in this series, Kasem did voice Shaggy’s rich and on-the-run Uncle Albert. Another noticeable difference was that Shaggy wore a white short-sleeved shirt with a green stripe across the middle and green sleeves instead of his trademark green t-shirt (Shag didn’t even sport his red shirt from the 80’s here). Frank Welker still did Scooby’s voice, replacing the late great Don Messick, who died of a stroke in 1996. In addition, Shaggy and Scooby are considerably not as cowardly this time around.
Get a Clue! was one of the rare Scooby shows which deviated from the usual formula of the Mystery, Inc. gang solving mysteries involving fake ghosts and monsters. Unlike in, say, The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, in which the selling point was that the monsters were real, here we got no ghouls, spooks or ghosties at all, real or otherwise. The premise of the show revolves around the fact that Shaggy Rogers’ incredibly rich Uncle Albert Shaggleford disappears and names Shaggy as his sole heir for an inheritance. With the help of the inheritance, Shaggy has upgraded the Mystery Machine, so it now has the ability to transform itself into a number of other different vehicles, like the “Hot Dog Making Machine”.
Dr. Albert Shaggleford had made some enemies before disappearing, though. Among the most dangerous is the archetypal evil genius and technology pirate out to take over the world and/or become immortal–truth be told, his motivations were about as clear as Gargamel’s—Dr. Phineas Phibes (who gets his name from the Vincent Price villain The Abominable Dr. Phibes). Dr. Phibes recruits various sidekicks and minions to help him with his plans, among them Dr. Trebla. (Dun-dun-dunnn!)
It appears that the supposedly late Dr. Shaggleford was, beyond being rich, an inventor in his own right, and his clueless young heir is now in possession of some very interesting nano technology. The top secret nanotech formula has been mixed in with Scooby Snacks, which, when eaten, cause a variety of day-saving side effects.
The duo are also aided by Robi, A loyal robotic servant with a tendency to bust through walls and other highly destructive things without second thoughts. Robi would also have various uses for Shaggy and Scooby, though he is a rather lousy cook, various impressions, and giving out safety tips Insector Gadget style. He also projects holograms of Uncle Albert when he wants to talk with Shaggy. One clever bit was that Robi also usually called Scooby “Rooby Roo” due to misunderstanding Scooby’s unique vocalizations.
Shaggy and Scooby-Doo have a mission: armed with an updated Mystery Machine, a loyal robot servant, their new riches and the new and improved Scooby Snacks, they must stop the evil plans of Phineas Phibes and save the world. In episode 2, Shaggy upgrades the Mystery Machine from its original form, to a high-tech transforming vehicle. However, it usually transforms into machines inappropriate for the tasks at hand. In their spare time, Shaggy and Scooby are fans of the show Chefs of Steel, the famous mystery solver Chad Chatington, and the giant monster-fighting robot named Badgerly, the Adverb.
What of the rest of the gang? Fred Jones, Daphne Blake and Velma Dinkley only made occasional appearances; only appearing in 2 episodes of season 1. Fred and Daphne made a non-speaking cameo in a single season 2 episode, getting barred from entrance to a party. However, their silhouettes run across the screen in the opening credits in amongst the silhouettes of all the show’s regular cast.
“Hey kids, you’re probably wondering why we didn’t get a bigger role on this show. Well frankly, so are we! Why do I keep getting passed over? I’m hot!”
“No parts for us in any of the Superstars 10 movies and now this? Seriously, what’s the deal? You gotta be perpetually hungry to get a decent role on one of these shows??”
“Look on the bright side. At least we didn’t have to appear in those lame-oh Richie Rich/Scooby-Doo Show episodes where it was just Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy driving around the countryside being chased by somebody! Geez Louise, what were they thinking??”
Trivia Time: Coincidentally this is not the first time that Frank Welker has done the voice of Scott Menville’s pet as the two of them did the voice of Ma-Ti (Menville) and his pet monkey Suchi (Welker) in the 1990-96 cartoon Captain Planet and the Planeteers.
Further coincidence is Scott Menville’s voicing Shaggy, a character previously voiced by Casey Kasem. Both voice actors have also played Robin in Teen Titans and Super Friends respectively.
Here’s the opening:
A YouTube commenter referred to Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get a Clue! as “the series which raped the Scooby-Doo franchise”, and apparently Warner Brothers must have felt the same way, as this show hasn’t seen the light of day since its’ initial run on Kids’ WB!. So far it’s never even resurfaced on Cartoon Network, and they used to carry Pink Panther and Pals. A friend told me that WB has basically swept this show under the rug and refuse to so much as acknowledge it anymore. Myself, I have no comment on how good or bad the series was, for you see, there’s another notable feature about Get a Clue!: I’ve never actually seen an episode of this show. I kept saying that I was going to check out an episode just to say I’d seen it, but the series went off the air before I ever got to. That said, based in what I’ve read about Get a Clue!, I have to say that I didn’t think the idea sounded all that bad, at least not on paper. The show’s theme song was delightfully ear-splitting, and the premise actually sounds pretty fun: 2 kooky funsters suddenly finding themselves super-rich living it up in a mansion with a robot butler, the latest high-tech toys and super power-inducing nanotech to play with, that sounds pretty cool to me, sort of like Richie Rich meets Dexter’s Laboratory. In fact, it sounds similar to a show idea I had about a year ago with the working title Dream, about the kooky children of wealthy boo-billionaire celebrity parents who have crazy-cool fun in their high-tech pleasure-filled mansion while driving their butler/nanny crazy; it would’ve been like Disney’s Jessie, only good, but I digress. I think perhaps the problem people had with this show is that it was just too great a depature from the usual Scooby fare. No fake ghosts, no mysteries, little to no Fred, Daphne or Velma, and those dot eyes on the Scoobster were just kind of jarring. Like another infamous Kids’ WB! bomb, Loonatics Unleashed, Get a Clue! might have fared better if the producers had went with all-new characters in the lead roles instead of placing this in an established franchise since it was such a huge deviation from the norm.
So while I never actually saw Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get a Clue! (I know some episodes of this are available on DVD, so maybe I’ll check it out one day), I can’t entirely hate on this show. Ultimately it may not have worked, but I have to at least give Warner Bros. credit for trying something different, especially since it didn’t involve Scoob and Shag just drifting aimlessly around in the Mystery Machine and getting into endless brainless chase sequences with some big goon again and again.