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Daphne Ann Blake is a fictional character in the long-running American animated series Scooby-Doo. Daphne, depicted as coming from a wealthy family, is noted for her red hair, her fashion sense (she is shown to be vain in the newer "What's New Scooby-Doo", though before she was shown to only care about her hair) and her knack for getting into danger. Daphne is considered to be the third most popular character in the Scooby Doo franchise, only behind Shaggy and Scooby, and has appeared in more adaptations than the other characters, aside from Shaggy and Scooby. She is played by Sarah Michelle Gellar in the first two live action films.

Overview

Performers



Character biography

Together with her other teenage cohorts, Fred Jones, Norville "Shaggy' Rogers, Velma Dinkley, and Shaggy's pet Great Dane Scooby-Doo, Daphne would engage in solving various mysteries the gang would run across. She was often portrayed as the stereotypical "damsel in distress", being the one female in the group who is most likely to get captured, tied up, gagged, hypnotized, blindfolded, and left helpless, or messing up the gang's villain traps-thus earning her the occasional nickname "Danger-prone Daphne (but only in the first season). Daphne is usually rescued by Scooby-Doo and Shaggy, but sometimes also by Fred and Velma, or - occasionally - by all of the gang. Very rarely, Daphne escapes by herself. In Scooby-Doo and the Loch Ness Monster her cousin Shannon told the gang how the Blakes had designed the castle, leading to them falling into their own traps and that is why most people called the Blakes danger prone.

In the season Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo, some of the episodes focused on Daphne. In this season, Daphne doesn't get kidnapped although she was accidentally kidnapped by Scrappy in the two episodes. In the episode "Shive and Shake, That Demon's A Snake" Daphne bought an idol which was cursed by the Snake Demon. While sailing to Miamimarker, the snake attacked Daphne and demanded an idol, so she was supposed to toss it to Scooby, Shaggy and Scrappy. In the episode "The Scary Sky Skeleton", Daphne had an old friend Wendy who's a pilot. In the episode "I Left My Neck in San Francisco", Daphne was ill and had to sit out the mystery about The Lady Vampire of the Bay. Scooby, Shaggy and Scrappy were thinking that Daphne was a vampire due of the look, no refelection in the mirror and a bat flying around the empty bed. At the end of the episode, the vampire was unmasked as Lefty Callahan and Scooby, Shaggy and Scrappy realized Daphne isn't a vampire, and she's feeling well again. At the end of the episode "The Ghoul, The Bat, and the Ugly", Daphne was lost in the mystery about the Shadow Creature due to a lot of actors posing as the monsters, but Fred and Velma reminded her all.

Although she was not as smart as Velma, Daphne would attempt to solve her problems in a fashionable way. She later became more confident and started playing a more active role as time wore on. In What's New, Scooby Doo?, Daphne has also been known to open locks or do other tasks with strange items from her purse. In later renditions, Daphne has also been shown as a bit athletic. She can ride horses and is a black belt in martial art, and she also appears to be a little less intelligent than in the early days and sometimes flirtatious. She would also often be concerned about her hair and her fashion as well in the recent renditions.

Her usual appearance consists of a purple dress, pink pantyhose, purple shoes, and a green scarf. In Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase, she wore a purple and green three-piece suit with matching shoes. As a child, she wore a pink sweater, red skirt, and pink pantyhose with white go-go boots.Some fans have posited that Fred and Daphne share an attraction to each other, but this has yet to be truly declared as such in the series itself (though Cartoon Network, in its various promotional bumpers, has had fun with this notion). They openly make comments, in every film that has made viewers expect that they share mutual romantic feelings. Their relationship was parodied in a crossover episode of Johnny Bravo, most notably when he and Daphne go off to 'investigate' the basement together, and his various winks to the viewer whenever Daphne lands in his hands. In the live-action movies, they do share a kiss at the end (in both movies).

Daphne's character gained more prominence in the early-1980s Scooby-Doo spinoffs, when the focus of the series briefly shifted to her, Scooby-Doo, Scrappy-Doo, and Shaggy. This was particularly noteworthy in the spinoff The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, where Daphne replaced Fred as the group's leader.

The youthful Daphne portrayed in A Pup Named Scooby Doo would commonly call upon her butler, Jenkins, to do various tasks, such as ridding her of people, beating a monster up, freaking out, etc. This version was also portrayed as much more fashion-sensitive, easily scared, and smaller than her future self.

In the movie Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island Daphne had a very successful investigative TV series called Coast to Coast with Daphne Blake on a fictional channel called "Americana" and had been going on for 2 seasons. The producer of the show was her good friend Fred.

Jeffrey P. Dennis, author of the journal article "The Same Thing We Do Every Night: Signifying Same-Sex Desire in Television Cartoons," said that several commentators argued that Daphne and Velma were a homosexual couple, citing Saturday Morning Fever authors Kevin and Timothy Burke. Martin Goodman of Animation World Magazine responded, stating that "Any serious reading of this section in Saturday Morning Fever (pp. 105-111) quickly reveals that the Burkes were, in a most un-academic fashion, goofing."

In other cartoons

Daphne has been referenced in other cartoons. In the Johnny Bravo cartoon "Bravo Dooby-Doo", while Velma liked Johnny, Daphne was completely harsh towards him. He offered Daphne a huge dinner plate in one scene and she responded by heavily stomping on (and thus literally flattening) his foot. The second-season episode of The Venture Bros. entitled ¡Viva los Muertos! features the entire Scooby-Doo cast re-imagined as famous serial killers and radicals. Daphne's analogue, "Patty", is frightened and submissive, somewhat reminiscent of Patty Hearst.

Relatives

Relatives of Daphne shown during the series' run include:
  • George R. Blake: Daphne's father, the creator of the product "Blake's Bubbles".
  • Elizabeth Blake: Daphne's mother.
  • Uncle Matt: Daphne's uncle, a cattle rancher.
  • John Maxwell: Daphne's uncle, a movie director.
  • Olivia Derby: Daphne's aunt.
  • Jennifer: Daphne's cousin.
  • Danica LaBlake: Daphne's cousin, a famous Frenchmarker model. Voiced by Vanessa Marshall.
  • Shannon Blake: Daphne's Scottishmarker cousin. Voiced by Grey DeLisle.
Daphne's tendency to get into trouble is apparently something of a family trait. As her cousin Shannon explained in Scooby-Doo and the Loch Ness Monster: "For centuries we Blakes have been falling through trap doors, finding secret passageways, and getting caught in overly complicated booby traps of our own design. If there's one thing we Blakes are famous for it's being danger prone." This caused a chain reaction of Mystery Inc. looking at Daphne.

In other media



Daphne was portrayed by Sarah Michelle Gellar in the film Scooby Doo and its sequel, Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. Her husband Freddie Prinze Jr. played Fred in the other Scooby-Doo movies also. In the movies, Daphne and Fred began a relationship in the first, that followed on through the second. Unlike the previous incarnation of the character, Gellar's version of Daphne is trained in martial arts during Mystery Inc.'s year long departure in the first film, as she is tired of being a damsel in distress on every case that she's involved in with the gang. Gellar's representation of Daphne retains the character's fixation on fashion and appearances; in a humorous scene in the second film, when Scooby and Shaggy change their looks in the hopes of becoming more competent detectives by wearing clothing belonging to the others, she is seemingly more concerned that Scooby is wearing her go-go boots with Velma's turtleneck sweater than the fact that he is wearing them at all. At times, however, her obsession with appearances proves to be helpful, as she manages to use her makeup kit to bypass a biometric scanner in Wickles Manor.Sarah Michelle Gellar reprises Daphne in the Robot Chicken episode "Operation: Rich in Spirit." She is one of the victims killed by Jason Voorhees.

In the 2009 live-action movie, Daphne is played by Kate Melton.

References

  1. Dennis, Jeffrey P. " The Same Thing We Do Every Night: Signifying Same-Sex Desire in Television Cartoons." Journal of Popular Film & Television. Fall 2003. Volume 31, Issue 3. 132-140. 9p, 3bw. Within the PDF document the source info is on p. 134 (3/10)
  2. Goodman, Martin. "Deconstruction Zone — Part 2." Animation World Magazine. 2." Retrieved on October 30, 2009.



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