Tony Cervone and Michael Kurinsky are on a mission. That mission? Updating a 50 year old license to make it contemporary and fresh, all without losing what made that license a classic in the first place. They think they may have pulled it off with Scoob!, which is under development by the Warner Animation Group.
Cervone is the director of the upcoming animation program, while Kurinsky is the production designer. They have been tasked with updating the look and feel of Scooby-Doo, a series that has been played in some capacity, somewhere or other in the world, every single day for the last 50 years.
Cervone and Kurinsky showed off a little bit of Scoob! to the gathered audience at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, which is currently underway in Annecy, France, at a panel hosted by Warner Animation Group executive vice president Allison Abbate.
Abbate was excited to bring a new, refreshing take on Scooby-Doo:
"Warner Bros. sits on some of the most iconic characters the world has ever known: Scooby, Bugs Bunny and Looney Tunes; we're starting to do movies with DC, also have Dr Seuss and 'The Cat in a Hat. 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?"
Cervone and Kurinsky were tasked with breathing new life into Scoob! without losing the charm of the original. That started, of course, with studying the very beginnings of Scooby-Doo, who had been created in 1969 by Iwao Takamoto.
Takamoto wanted the Scooby Gang to feel authentic for the period that Scooby-Doo was produced in, not realizing that fashions during that period of time where going to be about as chaotic and mercurial as the political climate. Fred's famous ascot, for instance, was completely in style for men when Takamoto designed the character… and for about three months afterwards.
That wasn't the only thing that the new design team noticed when studying classic Scooby-Doo– the animation was incredibly limited due to a minimal budget, but the animation team for the show was made up of industry veterans that came up with innovative ways to work around the budget.
The new team hopes to be able to add more character to the animation they are providing for Scoob!, and add some more movement to the characters.
The new team will be using a full 3D rendering system on Scoob!, but the final outcome will look more like traditional 2D animation, like Dreamworks' recent Peanuts movie, or the Hotel Transylvania films from Gendy Tartakovsky.
The cast for Scoob! has already been announced, with Will Forte as Shaggy, Gina Rodriguez as Velma, Zac Efron as Fred, Amanda Seyfried as Daphne and, get this… Tracy Morgan as Captain Caveman. I don't remember Captain Caveman being in the original series, but hey.
One thing isn't changing from the original, though: Frank Welker, who voiced Scooby-Doo in the original series, will be returning to voice the great dane once again in Scoob!.