Cartoon of the Day: Watch Out! The Willawaw!

11 Flares 11 Flares ×
Watch Out! The Willawaw!

Watch Out! The Willawaw!

The fifth incar­na­tion of Scooby-Doo began on this date in 1978 with Watch Out! The Willawaw! from Scooby’s All-Stars. WHen the series started, no one thought it would go to five shows, much less the thir­teen shows it has spawned to date. Five curi­ous teens and their dog and going on almost 50 years.

Grey Fox per­pe­trates the leg­end of The Willawaw with a hot air bal­loon painted like The Willawaw to frighten peo­ple away from his smug­gling oper­a­tion. He kid­naps Velma’s Uncle Dave Dink­ley, a law­man, when he gets too close to the oper­a­tion. Red Heron, with the help of his friend Snap­ping Tur­tle, fol­lows Grey Fox’s trail and releases their friend Dave, while Shaggy Scooby-Doo, Velma, Daphne and Fred cap­ture Grey Fox and prove to the fright­ened Chippe­was that the Willawaw is lit­er­ally just a bag of hot air.
It all began in 1969 as Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? The trav­el­ing com­pan­ion of four hep-cat teenagers, Scooby-Doo helped solved mys­ter­ies while simul­ta­ne­ously mur­der­ing the Eng­lish lan­guage (though the fact that he could even speak should count for some­thing). Scooby’s best friend was the skinny, goofy Shaggy, with whom he shared a love for Scooby snacks, among other del­i­ca­cies. Also along for the ride was the much hunkier Freddy, the babes­li­cios Daphne, and Velma, the brainy girl who did most of the mys­tery cracking.

The inex­plic­a­ble five­some tooled around in the Mys­tery Machine (a groovy painted van), end­ing up in some pretty creepy towns men­aced by ghosts, ghouls or mum­mies. Freddy would “take the girls,” leav­ing Scooby and Shaggy to fend for them­selves, usu­ally end­ing up in each other’s arms out of fear. After an exten­sive chase scene/musical sequence, the vil­lain would be caught, reveal his true iden­tity and curse those med­dling kids for foil­ing his plans.

This incar­na­tion lasted for two sea­sons before reruns took over. From 1972 to 1974, the show became The New Scooby-Doo Movies. This for­mat had the kids meet­ing up with such guest stars as Mamma Cass, the Glo­be­trot­ters, Sonny and Cher, and Don Knotts (all play­ing them­selves) to solve more mysteries.

For one sea­son in 1976, the gang became half of The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Show, shar­ing the bill with the “robonic” Dyno­mutt and his human super­hero part­ner, The Blue Fal­con. Scooby’s gang was joined by Scooby’s cousin Scooby-Dum, who (you guessed it) was dumb.

From ’76 to ’80, Scooby was granted ninety min­utes under the title Scooby’s All-Star Laff-A-Lympics (later renamed Scooby’s All-Stars). This show fea­tured a plethora of Hanna-Barbera characters—dating as far back as the 50’s—engaged in a vari­ety of competitions.

In addi­tion to rerun­ning Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? in 1978, ABC paired Laff-A-Lympics with a new show, Scooby and Scrappy-Doo. This show intro­duced Scoob’s short and con­fi­dent nephew, who, though younger than Scooby, had much clearer speech. In 1980 the cow­ardly elder Doo was paired with a famous mini-millionaire in The Richie Rich/Scooby-Doo Show.

Scooby and Scrappy were still together in 1982, but now they split their time with another canine in The Scooby and Scrappy-Doo/Puppy’s New Adven­tures Hour. Join­ing these new shows were air­ings of reruns now called The Best of Scooby-Doo. In 1984 The New Scooby-Doo Mys­ter­ies (which brought back the teens as well as hold­ing on to Scrappy) were aired, as were a bunch of reruns, this time called Scary Scooby Fun­nies.

In The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo (1985–86), Scooby, Scrappy, Shaggy and Daphne were joined by 9-year-old Flim Flam. The group, helped by war­lock Vin­cent Van Ghoul (Vin­cent Price), fought off wicked sor­cery. That sea­son the Great Dane could also be seen in another rerun col­lec­tion, Scooby’s Mys­tery Fun­House. In 1986 Scooby could only be seen in reruns of Laff-a-Lympics.

The air­waves were deprived of Scooby for two years. Then, in 1988, a new show called A Pup Named Scooby-Doo was pro­duced. Like many car­toons of the time, this show took famil­iar char­ac­ters back to their early years. Thus, Shaggy, Freddy, Velma and Daphne were now pre­teens. Scooby, of course, was but a pup. This ver­sion had the kids con­stantly run­ning into the char­ac­ter Red Her­ring (wink, wink), whom the gang always sus­pected of com­mit­ting crimes. This show ran in reruns until 1993, when it finally left net­work television.

And then, the Scooby dry spell. Ten years of now new Scoobs. OK, sure, we had the occa­sional direct-to-video releaese with the Mys­tery Crew, but no more reeg­u­lar tele­vi­sion. Ninally, in 2002, we got What’s New, Scooby-Doo?. This is also the first show since Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo to con­tain the gang in it’s orig­i­nal for­mat: Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo.

Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue! saw the first real redesign the crew has ever seen. The best way to describe the new look is to just avoid it altogether.

Scooby-Doo! Mys­tery Incor­po­rated is the most recent ver­sion of the show. Back to the orig­i­nal mod­els (thanks GOD!). Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and their talk­ing dog Scooby-Doo are back, solv­ing mys­ter­ies in the spooky town of Crys­tal Cove, a sleepy coastal vil­lage that boasts a long his­tory of ghostly sight­ings, were­wolves and glow­ing deep sea divers.

It’s inter­est­ing to note that while the show itself under­went many changes, the char­ac­ters did not. Aside from a mod­i­fied Daphne appear­ing in The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, the gang retained their late-sixties garb well into the eight­ies and nineties. This included knee-highs, a mini-skirt and lumpy turtle­neck sweater for Velma, a rockin’ minidress and head scarf for Daphne, and groovy bell-bottoms for the guys. Scooby remained in his nat­ural canine glory.

Scooby-Doo may have left Sat­ur­day morn­ing, but his work is far from over. Scooby con­tin­ues to answer the call, appear­ing semi-regularly in direct-to-video car­toon fea­tures. As long as mys­ter­ies need solv­ing, Scooby-Doo will come through (and then he’ll have him­self a Scooby Snack… that’s a fact).


Related Posts:

About Cartoon Animation News

The Big Cartoon DataBase is the highest regarded source for cartoon production information on the Internet. From Disney to Soyuzmultfilm, Pannónia Filmstúdió to Looney Tunes, the BCDB provides more information in one place than any other resource. We welcome you to send us your comments here.

Cartoons, News, , , ,

Leave a Reply