The theme music of Scooby-Doo! is audible. At ten minutes past seven on a Monday evening, it seems an odd sound, but such is the multiplicity of television channels and the repetition of scheduling, that it should not seem such a surprise to hear traces of the canine detective.
Scooby-Doo! was a favourite programme in times past, though given the paucity of choice, that might not be a great accolade. Any cartoon was watched with avid enthusiasm, they were not plentiful. Tom and Jerry and The Flintstones along with The Wacky Races and The Loony Tunes cartoons, could have been screened all day every day and still retained a power to captivate. Bank holidays would always bring Disney Time and it would always be a disappointment if the majority of the programme was not selected from the animated films, even if it was umpteenth time upon which the crows in Dumbo were shown singing “When I see an elephant fly.”
The fascination of cartoons would have been hard to explain. If someone had asked why Scooby-Doo! was preferable to Jackanory or Blue Peter, or any among the numerous other programmes screened at the time, it would have been difficult to point at particular reasons; there would probably have been a shrug of the shoulders and the answer, “just because.”
Perhaps there was a touch of magical realism in cartoons, they were rooted in everyday things but were not constrained by the realities of the naturalistic world. No matter how many times Wile E.Coyote got squashed in his pursuit of Road Runner, or Tom was flattened in his attempts to catch Jerry, they immediately sprang back into shape to continue the action. In Scooby-Doo! there would always be a naturalistic explanation of the ghosts and monsters that appeared, but there was never felt a need to explain a dog who understood every word spoken (dogs, naturally, speak English) and who was able to respond in a comprehensible language of his own.
It would have been difficult for a children’s television story required to adhere to the laws of nature and science to compete with the imaginative world of the animators, how can a real world children’s drama match up to a world where there are no rules? Perhaps that was part of its attraction in those primary schooldays, when life is circumscribed by rules, a little anarchy may have seemed an attractive option. Scooby-Doo will be fifty years old in 2019, successive generations of young people must still be captivated by his animated version of reality.
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