Scooby-Doo is one of the most iconic cartoon characters of the last few decades. The famous talking dog is a protagonist of the animated television franchise of the same name, and it surfaced among the other famous Hanna-Barbera cartoon character like Yogi, Flintstones, and more. The Scooby-Doo franchise produced fourteen tv series and over thirty movies, that are still popular today, and the beloved talking dog is still part of the new projects that are being released. However, discussions over Scooby’s origin story resurfaced – Is Scooby Doo an alien?
After the recent Scooby-Doo popular TV series, Mystery Incorporated, Scooby is truly an alien, which moves away from its original canon that was founded in the 1970s. In the Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated TV series, Scooby is an Annunaki – a race of ancient creatures that can cross universes and take over the form of animals. The 2020 movie called Scoob! is a direct sequel to the tv series that also explores canine’s alien origins, and both the TV series and movie are confirmed to be set in the so-called Scooby-Doo Universe.
We will discuss this topic further, and talk about the alternate universes of the Scooby-Doo franchise. Since there are so many projects created over the decades, we will only include the relevant TV series and movies for this article. If you are interested in this topic, stay with us until the end of the article.
Scooby-Doo’s Original Origin Story
The character of Scooby-Doo first appeared in the episode “What a Night for a Knight” of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! TV show in 1969. The unique Great Dane dog was on par with other popular cartoon animals of Hanna-Barbera production company – talking animals that have their own mind. Scooby was a hit from the beginning and the show received massive popularity all over the world.
There are multiple different iterations of Scooby’s character over the years, but the original one is probably the most popular one. The show and its characters, Shaggy, Daphne, Velma, and Fred, were products of their time, and the feel of the campy 1970s horror, and mystery movies charmed its way into our hearts.
The original Scooby-Do, Where Are You! series did not explore that much of Scooby’s origin story – the audience gathered from the series that he is Shaggy’s trusted dog companion who happens to talk. Keep in mind that old cartoons did not explore that much of the lore, and it got only popularized during the 1980s when new iterations of the character and series started being released.
The premise of the show was simple – it focused on the four teenagers and their talking dog Scooby-Doo. The group travel in their van called the Mystery Machine, where they are bumping into and solving mysteries along the way. When the mysteries are solved, the group reveals the perpetrator by taking off their mask – they are usually normal people who are using the legendary myth or mystery for their material gain.
The show and its characters were campy, fun, and cool, and it kickstarted the franchise which saw off several generations of young children till today. Scooby was a talking Great Dane, which like Scooby Snacks, was always hungry and eternally scared of the shady happenings in their travels. It is funny since Shaggy and Scooby are mostly first at finding out and solving the mysteries.
Scooby-Doo’s New Origin Story and Concept of the Multiverse
Now, we get to the interesting part. We all know that long-standing franchises need to adapt to each period in time. Scooby and the gang were not the same characters in the 1980, and 1990s – all of the characters went through small reworks to fit each decade. This only showed that the creators who “inherited” this notable Hanna-Barbera franchise, still cared for the projects and characters.
Warner Bros. officially acquired Hanna-Barbera in 2001, and since then has taken great care of notable production projects, especially Scooby-Doo. Now, there were a lot of Scooby-Doo projects over the years, even the popular live-action movies at the end of the 1990s, and beginning of the 2000s, but the TV series that changed the landscape and the premise of the Scooby-Doo franchise we knew of for decades, happened when Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated TV series was released in 2010.
From the beginning, the show had a vast different premise, but the feel of the show felt like the original one from the 1970s – after years of various designs of the shows and characters, Mystery Inc. brought back the original design, which was welcomed by the critics and fans. The 2010 TV series decided to pay homage to old classics like A Nightmare on Elm Street, modern films like Saw, notable TV series Twin Peaks, and more.
The story of the show follows the original gang once again, but this time, they are trying to figure out the mysterious origins of Scooby – in this installment, the Great Dane was found and eventually taken by Shaggy, when he was little. Scooby also talks more eloquently, with full sentences, using whole dialogues in Mysterious Inc. whereas in the original series that wasn’t the case.
Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated also changed the format of the show and the episodic mystery arcs with the reveal at the end of the episode, which was present in the original show was changed for more science fiction, dark, adult-oriented themes which was a pleasant surprise for the fans and critics.
Scooby-Doo’s role in this series increased tenfold, and he was not just one of the characters, and part of the gang, his story became important. Do not get us wrong, the old Scooby-Doo TV series, especially the original one, still holds up well and is a watchable series that reminds us of the old times, but Mystery Inc. made Scooby relevant once again. He is a titular character and his story is the heart of the show.
He wasn’t just a happy, talking dog, he is now an Annunaki, an ancient creature from the other universe. The concept of the Multiverse from the comics seems overused at this point, but this is the best way to organize a long-going franchise that created so many film and TV projects. Scooby-Doo Universe definitely needed it and it was finally introduced in the Mystery Inc. series. Scooby is an alien from another universe, and you know what, it all makes so much sense.
There is also a sequel to the series in the form of a movie called Scoob! released and created by HBO in 2020. There was supposed to be a sequel to the movie as well, but HBO Max’s recent purge of animated, children-orientated projects from their platforms stopped all the development in the future.
Regardless, we hope that Scooby-Doo continues its progression and development in modern times, which ignited the old charm and flame of the original series that we loved so much.