I remember those early morning watching HannaBarbera cartoons on Cartoon Network. Among my favourites were The Flintstones, Top Cat, and Scooby Doo. But while The Flintstones and Top Cat remained in my favour, I began to get bored with Scooby Doo. At first I thought it was because the format was too predictable (it was always obvious who the villain was), but after a recent marathon of re-watches, I think I know the real reason.
The Scooby Doo cartoons are made up of several different series, the first being Scooby Doo, Where Are You? These twenty-five minute cartoons are the perfect length to keep a child entertained, are a lot of laughs.
The second series in the franchise was called The New Scooby Doo Movies, which ran for two seasons between 1972-1974. There were a total of twenty-four episodes, and after watching the first four on the volume one DVD (no other volumes are available in the UK yet), I think it was this incarnation that put me off Scooby Doo for a while.
It is not that the cartoons are poorer in quality, but mainly because they are almost twice the length. These episodes run for forty-three minutes, and even as an adult I think they drag out for far too long. The stories could easily by told in their original twenty-five minute format, without losing much story.
The second reason I think children might get bored of The New Scooby Doo Movies is because of the guest stars. In each episode there is a caricature of a real-life or fictional celebrity. These celebrities are a product of their time, and today most children are not going to have a clue who these people are. or get the humour.
For example, in the episode Ghostly, Ghostly Town, The Three Stooges make an appearance. The Three Stooges were an American Vaudeville comedy from the early to mid twentieth century, and while they were famous back then, there is little mention of them in pop culture today. This is also true of Jonathan Winters from The Frickert Fracas and Don Knotts from Guess Whose Knott Coming to Dinner.
Kids will still enjoy appearances from fictional characters like Batman & Robin and The Addams Family, but overall, I think The New Scooby Doo Movies is a victim of time, both historically and lengthwise.
If you want to get Scooby Doo for your children, then I would recommend either Scooby-Doo, Where are You? or What's New, Scooby Doo? instead.