Since 1969, the interchangeable storylines of the many versions of Scooby Doo has been the stuff of cartoon legendm for better or worse. There had been eleven separate Scooby shows from 1969 to the debut of A Pup Named Scooby Doo and the format remained unchanged.
Only here, producer Scott Jeralds chose to change the design to resemble what Ralph Bakshi did a year earlier with Mighty Mouse, which on CBS was a critical hit but not a ratings hit. He made Scooby a pup and the gang elementary-school age, and the resulting alchemy just doesn't produce gold. (I digress, it was nominated for an Emmy that season.) Bakshi's writers took chances with situations, animation and dialogue that hadn't been seen on Saturday morning since George Of The Jungle (ABC, 1967-70), and with Mighty Mouse it worked since he worked with the character before in the early 1960s. It's difficult to peg such outrageous graphics to a series whose ground rules were set in stone such as Scooby Doo. The forgettable songs and accompanying dance scenes don't help.
If there's anything to note that's truly positive, it's how well fleshed out the relationship of the gang is. Scooby is obedient to Fred and Daphne and best friends with Shaggy, but he adores Velma. And who couldn't? Here Velma is quiet, pragmatic, and very endearing. She gets as many "wet puppy kisses" from Scooby as Shaggy does.
Among the pantheon of Scooby shows that ABC has run (after getting it from CBS), A Pup Named Scooby Doo wasn't a classic show, but in an era where TV cartoons were mainly created by network committee, it wasn't a flop, either.