Howard Lovy returns to his coverage of nanotechnology in popular culture with news of a forthcoming film, Nano Dogs the Movie, in which some lovable family pets acquire super abilities after scoffing some carelessly abandoned nanobots. Not to be outdone, I’ve been conducting my own in-depth cultural research, which has revealed that no less an icon of saturday morning children’s TV than Scooby Doo has fully entered the nanotechnology age.
In the current retooling of this venerable cartoon, Shaggy and Scooby Doo Get a Clue, the traditional plot standbys (it was the janitor, back-projecting the ghostly figures onto the clouds, and he’d have got away with it if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids) have been swept away to be replaced by an evil nanobot wielding scientist. But the nanobots aren’t all bad; Scooby Doo’s traditionally energising Scooby snacks have themselves been fortified with nanobots, giving him a number of super-dog powers.
I wasn’t able to follow all the plot twists on Sunday morning, as I had to cook the children’s porridge, but it seems that the imprudent nano-scientist had attempted to mis-use his nanobots in order to make his appearance (formerly plump, ageing, balding and with a bad haircut, as you’d expect) more, well, Californian. Naturally, this all ended badly. I’ve seen some less incisive commentaries on the human (or, indeed, canine) enhancement debate.