Jinkies, Scooby-Doo Turns Fifty, Frank Welker Has Voiced Freddie Jones for Half a Century
Scooby-Doo turns 50
Most Baby Boomers can recall September 1969, when Hanna Barbera introduced the world to the cartoon classic Scooby-Doo Where Are You. The program was only on the air for three seasons, but fifty years later is still going strong, Scooby and the gang have endeared themselves to several generations and currently can be seen on the Boomerang Network, where reruns of the original series were replaced by Be Cool Scooby-Doo. Recently Boomerang added Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? This latest version of the popular animated series has Frank Welker reprising his role as the voice of Freddie Jones. I caught an episode of the cartoon and was surprised that Fred, Daphne Velma, and Shaggy all looked as they did in the original series.
In Scooby-Doo, Where Are You, the four friends rode around in the Mystery Machine, solving cases and unmasking villains who were masquerading as ghosts. In later cartoons, as well as live-action movies, Daphne was portrayed as a rich airhead and she and Fred were dating. The animated and movie versions both were updated for each new generation, with desktop computers, laptops, pagers, and cell phones. As other popular Saturday morning kid shows fell by the wayside, Scooby and the gang continue to evolve and thrive and so has Frank Welker during the past 50 years.
Frank Welker the voice of Fred for half a century
If you are a fan of those meddling kids and their pesky dog, you will have noticed something specific during the past half-century. The voices of Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and even Scooby-Doo have changed, but Fred Jones sounds the same. This is because Frank Welker has been the only person to portray Fred in every animated adaptation of the show, except for A Pup Named Scooby-Doo. Welker has done other voices including eight of the Decepticons in the 1980's cartoon series Transformers.
Additional, credits include voicing Little Beeper, Calamity Coyote, Fur Ball, Ralph the guard, Byron Basset, Gog Dodo, Henry Bear, and Uncle Stinky Pig in Tiny Toon Adventures. The voice actor has a wide range of characters, noises, and other vocal effects have propelled Welker to the number one position on the list of All-Time Top 100 Stars at the Box office. His work is featured in more than 90 films, which have a combined gross of over 12 billion dollars and has him ahead of stars such as Ton Hanks and Samuel L Jackson.
Fred Jones Bio
According to his biography, Frank Welker has been the voice of Fred Jones more than 200 times in 14 different versions of the animated classic: Th original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! in 1969, The New Scooby-Doo Movies in 1972, The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour and Dynomutt Dog Wonder, both in 1976 and Scrooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo in 1979. During the next decade, it was The Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Puppy Hour in 1982, The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries in 1984, Scooby's Mystery Funhouse in 1985. He was on Family Guy in 1999), and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law in (2000. In 2002 it was What's New, Scooby-Doo?, Robot Chicken in 2005, Batman: The Brave and the Bold in 2008 and Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated in 2010. Now, in 2019 Welker is lending his voice to Scooby-Doo and Guess Who.
This latest installment seems to be a combination of the original 1969 series plus The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries. The gang is once again unmasking the bad guys who pretend to be ghosts, with the help of guest celebrities. I recently caught an episode where Wanda Sykes helped the gang solve the mystery. The first thing I noticed was that Fred's voice had not changed in fifty years.
Frank Welker will always be Fred
Scooby-Doo will officially be fifty in September 2019 and there have been a lot of changes for the original cast. Don Messick, who first voiced the lovable Great Dane died in 1997 at the age of 71. Shaggy Rogers was portrayed by Casey Cassem who passed away on June 15, 2014, at age 82. Nicole Jaffe who first voiced Velma Dinkey left acting behind to get married and became an agent for the William Morris Agency where she continues to work today. Stephanie Christopherson, who originated the role of Daphne Blake was in the movie Dark Crystals(1986) but nothing more is recorded about her later years.
Frank Welker is the only living member of the original cast from Scooby-Doo Where Are You who continues in the entertainment industry and he is to be commended. He has remained in a venue that does not look kindly on aging actors, and he has carved out a name for himself by voicing numerous beloved characters, without having to turn his back on Freddie. No matter how many others have done and will in the future lend their voices to Mr. Jones, for many baby boomers and even those of subsequent generations, Frank Welker was is and always will be Fred Jones. Jinkies!
© 2019 Cheryl E Preston