NUMBER FIVE OF FIFTY COOL THINGS
With the help of Star With (the Xerox Department Supervisor) and Allison Leopold (the Ink and Paint Department Supervisor) , I was able to create my next favorite cool thing…
5. AUTOGRAPHED SCOOBY DOO ANIMATION CEL
Working at Hanna Barbera in the pre-digital world was like a dream come true because they had all their original artwork onsite! I created the piece above by using the original model sheets, xeroxing them onto a cel, and borrowing a paint station in the Ink and Paint department (after hours of course!). I later got it signed by Bill Hanna, Joe Barbera, Don Messick (the voice of Scooby Doo), and Casey Kasem (the voice of Shaggy). It’s basically a stock pose of Scooby and Shaggy superimposed in front of an image of the Mystery Machine.
Yes, the Mystery Machine. Mystery Inc.’s signature mode of transportation.
Animation Art had a real life Mystery Machine (which was awesome!) custom made for signings and appearances to draw crowds. There was a bit of grumbling from some of the artists when they unveiled it because it wasn’t made from a vintage Ford, VW, or Corvair van, but I didn’t care. It was the Mystery Machine! It was so cool driving in to work every day and seeing it in the parking lot. So when we were producing interstitials for “Johnny Bravo” I, of course, asked to do my interview inside, where else…?
One time, back in 1997, Butch Hartman, Seth MacFarlane, and I got permission to bring the van out to Glendale for a school visit with Mae Whitman and her elementary school class.
The interesting part was, when we pulled into the school parking lot, we were followed in by a police car! (You would think they would be in front of us as escorts, but fat chance there!) As a hoard of kids ran up to the chain link fence to see all the commotion, we started to stress out about the ramifications of getting a ticket in a vehicle we didn’t own. When the officers pulled up beside us, I asked, “Is there anything wrong, officers?” One of them nonchalantly answered, “Nah. We just wanted to see if Shaggy was in the back.”
Seth and I grabbing some Carl’s Jr. after the school visit.
In 2003, I was able to use the Mystery Machine one last time during our wrap party for the fifth season. We had them drive the van out to Loyola Marymount University where we parked it out in the middle of their Sunken Gardens and used it as a photo op.
The Mystery Machine is a definite crowd pleaser and Warner Brothers often uses it when there’s something eventful going on. For example, here’s a pic of Jay Bastian (the head of development for Warner Brothers) and I during the unveiling of the Hanna Barbera relief statue at the Academy Of Television Arts and Sciences in 2005.
So it’s fair to say that I’ve taken my share of pictures with Mystery Inc.’s mobile of choice.
There are several vans now. Most of them created specifically for the live action movies. One of them is on permanent display at the Warner Brothers Studio Lot so now everyone can take a picture with it! Scooby Doo is now a Warner Brothers property and is a part of their lineup as you can see by the WB mural on the corner of Olive and Pass Avenue.Read More