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Ed Aycock
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Posted: 13 September 2019 at 11:00am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Today, September 13th, marks the day "Scooby Doo, Where Are You?" premiered on TV.

Fitting that its anniversary is on a Friday the 13th under a full moon.
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 13 September 2019 at 11:30am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Zoinks! Jinkies! Ruh-ro!

Did you know that before hiring Scooby Doo, Hanna and Barbera weren't sure that he would work out... so for the first half of the first season, Scooby was actually played by Astro in disguise.

More truly, did you know that this wasn't the first Scooby that Hanna Barbera had in cartoons?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 13 September 2019 at 12:13pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I didn’t watch the show but this still makes me feel oooolllllldddddd!!!
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Dave Kopperman
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Posted: 13 September 2019 at 12:48pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I wonder how it is that Scooby Doo still feels pretty contemporary, while so many other similar HB (Filmation, etc.) cartoons from the era have dated horribly.
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Craig Markley
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Posted: 13 September 2019 at 12:59pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Heavens to Murgatroyd! (It's still HB)Most likely its
the merchandising. How long until kids don't know who
the guy is on the Fruity Pebbles box?

Edited by Craig Markley on 13 September 2019 at 1:02pm
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John Byrne
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Posted: 13 September 2019 at 1:48pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Seriously?
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 14 September 2019 at 1:08am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I think there's validity in that argument.  As a child of the 70s who grew up with Scooby-Doo, Sid and Marty Kroft, and many (many) Hanna-Barbara series as well as repeats of children's programming of an earlier age, there was definitely a distinct difference between what I was watching and what came before. For good or ill, there was a tonal shift in storytelling and I wouldn't at all be surprised if that came as a result of real world events like we saw in 1968.  

In short, is there any doubt that children's programming shifted at some point between what was offered in the 50s through the mid-60s and what we got in the 70s?  That had to have come as a response to something, no? 
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 14 September 2019 at 7:01am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I loved Scooby Doo as a kid. On a related note, I have
really enjoyed the Scooby Doo Team Up series from DC
over the last few years. Sadly it is ending with the
next issue. I recommend hunting down the back issues
for any of you Scooby fans.
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 14 September 2019 at 7:44am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Hanna Barbera in the late 60s*... H-B never gave up on its funny shows, but it had found a new, profitable venue in super hero cartoons. The first wave of super hero cartoons were going strong (Jonny Quest, Space Ghost, Mightor, etc.) on CBS, and the other two networks wanted to start spreading out... H-B's Birdman and the Galaxy Trio, and Young Samson and Goliath on NBC, H-B's Fantastic Four on ABC (who also commissioned a Spider-Man that went quite wrong, and the Marvel Super Heroes).

Unfortunately, some few people who couldn't stand refraining from forcing their opinions on the public started ranting and raving about action-adventure cartoons. It evolved into Action for Children's Television, who railed to the point of violence against violence in children's TV**. Within one season, those cartoons were gone, and amidst reruns, H-B created "Who's S-s-scared?", which was renamed to "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?" Great fun (well, sort of), and physical comedy as only Hanna and Barbera could do it... but NO violence. Guns, but absolutely no one could get hit. Take ALL the violence away.

The rationale, as I understand it, was that little tykes watching such horrid behavior would resort to same in their very own domiciles. Since children who had watched Superman (live and cartoon TV shows) were tying towels around their next and jumping off roofs and out of windows by the thousands***, and their parents were obviously doing nothing... SOMEONE had to force their will to protect the little snowflakes.

This overlooked not on the fact that westerns were making an incredible surge on TV shows, but no children every shot their brothers or sisters. They PLAYED western, sure, but couldn't follow them exactly - no horses and no guns. Ditto for space adventures, cops and robbers, etc.

Every for children's shows, there was violence prior to Jonny Quest. Huck and Yogi took and doled out punches, door slams, frying pan clouts, holes in floors, etc. Prior to those, Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies were PACKED with violence. Ditto for the Three Stooges and Popeye, and the first animated Paramont Superman adventures.

The issue was, as it has almost always been, a problem with parenting - not a problem with TV programs. There were alcohol, tobacco, and firearms available to the general public, in even easier access than today. But no reasonable person expected children to start smoking at 8, drinking at 10, and shooting up the school at 6.

The motivations were good intended, but we know what the road to Hell is paved in. However, to me (then and now), it spelled itself as censorship. 

Then it continued when even children's shows had to be modified further. "Let's all be friends!" "Be nice to strangers!" "A new person is just a friend we haven't met yet!" Nice ideas, but again - ones to be tempered. If a stranger came to the door and rang the bell, my parents taught me to find out who it was BEFORE flinging open the door to valuables and even us. 

"Don't criticize" and "Let's all follow the leader" and "Let's get along with everyone by not arguing" rather took away the idea of freedom of free thought and choice. There was a Dungeons and Dragons cartoon where everybody in the group always agreed on what to do... except Eric, the Cavalier****, who always thought to do something else. Of course, the show was written so that Eric was always wrong... but in reality, Eric probably would have been right more often than wrong.

So Scooby Doo was a symptom of what I saw as a much larger problem, and the after effects still echo down to day. And damnation, I still miss Mightor.

*Mind you, while I did some research after the fact, a lot of this is from the impressions of an eight-year-old at the time.

**Yeah, I know. It's supposed to be irony.

***More irony. I heard such stories, and I never believed a single one was true.

***Funny coincidence, that. Right? RIGHT???
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John Byrne
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Posted: 14 September 2019 at 7:59am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Action for Children’s Television

•••

PAH-tooey!!

Dog, how I loathed those people! They seemed to think all kid shows should be 100% EDUCATIONAL. As if parents coming home from work would be allowed to watch nothing but National Geographic specials!

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Rodrigo castellanos
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Posted: 14 September 2019 at 11:45pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply


In short, is there any doubt that children's programming shifted at some point between what was offered in the 50s through the mid-60s and what we got in the 70s?  That had to have come as a response to something, no? 

Yeah, definitely something happened there.

I remember an interview with Bruce Timm about BATMAN TAS and he said that by the current regulations at the time they couldn't even show Batman punching a person in a Saturday morning cartoon. Fortunately, WB lobbied and got to change that.

I suspect that all those He-Man and Captain Planet epilogues, with a "final message" and a lesson for the kids to learn after the episode were mandatory too.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 15 September 2019 at 6:56am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I think back to when old Warner Bros cartoons started showing up regularly on TV--in a half hour "variety" show in prime time. Still remembering that those old Bugs and Daffy (etc) cartoons were not made of kids. They played with grown-up movies, along with newsreels and travelogs.

But somehow, once they showed up on TV there started to be a shift in attitude, and the embryonic stirrings of ACTV began protesting that they were "inappropriate for children".

Beginnings of the Nanny State, where the government feels behooved to do the job parents are supposed to do.

And this, of course, is when the powerful toy manufacturers, who did not fear Action for Children's Television, started to take over the shows, and they became half hour commercials for the Product. Which ACTV also complained about, ironically.

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