Saturday, 17 January 2015

Scooby Doo

Scooby Doo is a beloved and nostalgic cartoon created in the late 1960's, which involves five main characters who travel around America in their mystery van solving mysteries. The characters incorporate different personalities which are very stereotypical however they work well together for the young target audience that watch the program, and for the aged story line. The characters were presented in this way due to the influence of the era that it was created in:

+ Fred - The main leader of the group and is resembled as the hero.
+ Daphne - The main female role in the group and is resembled as the damsel in distress.
+ Velma - The brains of the group and helps them put the clues together to find the bad guy.
+ Shaggy - The jester of the group, always hungry and always ends up in trouble.
+ Scooby Doo - The main character, a lovable dog who will do anything for a scooby snack.

The original series held a good simple narrative that worked for both the older and the younger audience, with Scooby Doo and Shaggy being chased by the villain and accidentally capturing them as they run away. The series developed as technology advanced in both visuals and character development, the characters became less stereotypical, and gained more depth with the personalities. For example Daphne became a stronger character, able to defend herself and stopped being the damsel in distress as often as the original. This can be seen in the movie, Scooby Doo on Zombie Island 1998, Daphne becomes the main focus who brings the gang back together and finds them a new mystery.

The narrative is quite different to the regular mysteries, in which they catch the bad guy who is dressed up as a monster or ghost, in this instance the monsters are real. I quite liked this twist of narrative as it was something that they hadn't done before, and the reactions of their realisation of them encountering monsters that are real feels genuine through the facial expressions and the body language; An exaggeration is used as they use their arms to protect themselves with, shielding their eyes and slowing walking backwards as to try to escape the monsters. The colouring of the animation fitted the dark atmosphere, adding black fills for shadows and using desaturated tones to make it feel foreboding.

In the live action version of Scooby Doo, the characters are exaggerated more through their actions, as they feel as if they have taken influence through the walk cycles that each character obtains and makes it more unique. For example with the character Shaggy, emphasises his strides and shrugs his shoulders down, and as they sneak around, taking the most delicate footsteps by first lightly touching the floor with his toes and then turning his body to see if anyone is around before proceeding to move forward. I found the movement of his arms quite humorous with them being at his side but bent at the elbow and his hands forming a claw like shape, making him resemble a scared t-rex.

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