One of the hottest tickets at last week’s Annecy festival was Warner Bros.’ Scoob! Work in Progress session which featured director Tony Cervone, production designer Michael Kursinky, Reel FX animation supervisor Bill Haller and producer and Warner Animation exec VP Allison Abbate.
Abbate (Iron Giant, Frankenweenie, Corpse Bride) pointed out that 2010 was the 50th anniversary of Scooby-Doo, and that the beloved Hanna-Barbera been on the air each and every year since its introduction. She mentioned that Warner Bros. is reintroducing many of the class properties to young audiences. “A lot of these characters were born from TV or books, come from the world of 2D. So how do we make CGI fabulous motion pictures of the things we would usually see on a smaller screen?”
Scoob! will let audiences find out about the famous dog’s origins, revealing how as a small puppy, he met his future best pal Shaggy for the first time, and how the Mystery Inc. team got assembled for the first time. According to press notes, “the film takes audiences to the four corners of the globe and will reveal something amazing about Scooby-Doo’s true heritage and destiny that will shock everyone – including Scooby-Doo – and. have an unexpected impact on the world.”
Cerone noted that when Iwao Takamoto designed Scooby Doo, he wanted to create a very charming dog that was full of personality but wasn’t perfect. “So he got a book, found out what are the rules for a championship Great Dane. Then he broke every rule. Look at his legs..Scooby has bow legs at the back; he doesn’t have a straight elegant back, his is kind of broken; his belly hangs out; his chin is soft; his ears and eyes are constantly asymmetrical. You have to listen to the characters, because they will tell you what they want to do. Scooby and Shaggy just kept telling us: ‘I just want to be Scooby and Shaggy,’”
Kurinsky noted that that the team took special care to be faithful to the design and fashions of the original while updating some elements, such as giving Fred a smart phone while doing away with his orange Ascot neck scarf. “We went and got every [fashion] catalogue we could find from 1968, 1969 and 1970, we had a whole bookcase full of catalogs,” he told the audience. “And we found that there were two or three months where men wore Ascots… I’m not kidding. And that’s when Iwao designed Fred. So we were able to find that little slice in history which our look was stuck with this for 50 years.”
Haller said he went back to the first season of the classic show for inspiration. “Scooby-Doo was made on a lower budget. I was amazed at just how few cycles there actually were. Probably like 10 or 12 cycles. The series inherited the crew from the Tom and Jerry days.” Among the crew were acclaimed artists such as Irven Spence, and Takamoto himself who had worked with Disney’s Milt Kahl.
Scoob! will feature the voices of Will Forte as Shaggy, Gina Rodriguez as Velma, Zac Efron as Fred, Amanda Seyfried as Daphne and Tracy Morgan as Captain Caveman. Frank Welker, long-time voice of Scooby-Doo, will also be back as the famous Great Dane. The movie will be released on May 15, 2020.
Source: Variety, Annecy