Guess Who’s Coming to Scooby-Doo?

11 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available on Boomerang
Broadcasting on Cartoon Network beginning July 8, 2019

Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? is out and about! This new Cartoon Network series has two episodes available and I am hooked! I’m glad the experiment known as Be Cool Scooby-Doo is finished. The stories were okay but to reimagine the gang Calarts style was not for me. I’d rather rewatch A Pup Named Scooby-Doo instead. I can hear and appreciate the voices, but it did not flow well with the visuals.

The character designs and work by Iwao Takamoto defined everything I adored throughout the decades. I believe nostalgia plays an important factor in this franchise otherwise why bother? In what’s enjoyable with the new series is that it not only is it a  light reimagining of the main characters Fred, Velma, Daphne, Shaggy, and Scooby, but also the dynamics that defined many a show get a nudge too. That is, we see them react much like they did in What’s New Scooby-Doo?

 

Plus, this series is bringing the catalogue of past Hanna Barbera properties and celebrity friends they know, like Batman! The New Scooby-Doo Movies (1972-4) was the most memorable and Guess Who? borrows from this run.

Image result for funky phantom scooby doo guess whoMy elation to see The Funky Phantom with the second episode made me seek YouTube videos of this old show to watch again. The fact the episode “A Mystery Solving Gang Divided!” went hilariously meta. It’s a terrific way to reintroduce to new viewers the ‘toons of the past. While many of Hanna-Barbera’s shows from the early 70s were all essentially variations of the Scooby-Doo formula, the kid in me did not care. Daws Butler and Don Messick are amazing voice over talents and I’ll watch anything they worked on. Between all the Scooby-Doo series, only Frank Welker has remained to voice either Scooby or Fred Jones. I find him amazing as his voice hardly aged!

The character designs used in this new series are not drastically changed. The work put behind detailing the world is a light year ahead while remaining faithful to the classic era. When considering the difference between the past two series under the Cartoon Network banner, Mystery Incorporated and this series are the best. Be Cool should have been put on ice; Just why it lasted for as long as it did, well, we’ll never know. It’s a mystery best left unsolved.

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