Scooby Doo: Where Are You is the earliest incarnation of the classic series. These are the classics, dating all the way back to 1969. This show laid the groundwork for all other Scooby-Doo platforms, and when I review the other Scooby-Doo shows, I will definitely compare them to this original series.
If you watch the first episode, What a Night for a Knight, we are introduced to the general format of the series. The gang coincidentally stumbles upon a mystery involving some kind of monster who turns out to be a man in a costume. Along the way there are plenty of spooky stories, campy jokes, false scares, and an overabundance of food-mongering. The gang manages to repeat this 25 times throughout this first incarnation of Scooby-Doo.
While the show is formulaic, that description alone does not do it justice. The atmosphere of the show deserves particular recognition. The art style, color scheme, and music in the various episodes creates the perfect environment for Scooby-Doo: Where Are You to thrive in. The environments are wonderfully artistic in their own right. They are highly detailed, slightly offsetting, and thoroughly goofy in nature. The music is similar throughout every episode, but in certain scenes where the gang is being chased by monsters, a song by Danny Janssen plays in the background. The music and art style resonate in brilliant form to create the perfect conditions for a great show.
The atmosphere of the episodes highlights the varying personalities of the characters. The characters’ dominant traits are immediately recognizable and endearing. Fred is the fearless leader, Daphne is the unfortunate damsel in distress, Velma is the resident genius, and Shaggy and Scooby-Doo are the cowardly but lovable dynamic duo that garner the show’s attention. Shaggy and Scooby-Doo consistently manage to locate two things: food and trouble. While the rest of the gang is off searching for clues, Shaggy and Scooby can usually be found in the kitchen, consuming all manner of creative (but unappealing) dishes. The contrasting nature of the characters is not at all abrasive, but humorous and welcome to the show.
Overall, Scooby-Doo: Where Are You varies its villains from episode to episode, but the formula, atmosphere and characters remain constant. It defined Scooby-Doo for all the show’s successors and generations of viewers.
Audio (Music, Sound Effects): 10/10
The episodes of Scooby-Doo: Where Are You are:
A Clue for Scooby-Doo
Mine Your Own Business
Decoy for a Dognapper
What the Hex is Going On?
Never Ape an Ape Man
Foul Play in Funland
The Backstage Rage
Bedlam in the Bigtop
A Gaggle of Galloping Ghosts
Scooby-Doo and a Mummy Too
Which Witch is Which?
Go Away, Ghost Ship
Spooky Space Kook
A Night of Fright Is No Delight
That’s Snow Ghost
Nowhere to Hyde
Mystery Mask Mix-Up
Jeepers, It’s the Creeper
Scooby’s Night With a Frozen Fright
Haunted House Hang-Up
A Tiki Scare Is No Fair
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Werewolf?
Don’t Fool with a Phantom
How to buy: The best available package to buy the show in is Scooby-Doo: Where Are You!: The Complete 1st and 2nd Seasons.