Jeepers, It’s the Jaguaro! aired on October 28, 1978 and is the eighth episode of the third season of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!
If you’d like to own this episode, you can snag it on DVD in the Scooby-Doo Where Are You box-set on Amazon. This box-set contains all the episodes on DVD in unique Mystery Machine packaging.
If you’re feeling lazy – watch the 10 minute spoiler filled summary!
The Episode opens with two tribesmen and their Shaman paying tribute to the Jaguaro, which is this gigantic beast with the body of an ape, and the head of a sabre-toothed tiger (why they don’t say Jaguar head remains a mystery to me). The Shaman offers it a big steaming bowl of something that must be yucky and the Jaguaro awakes from his slumber and screams. Terrified, and justifiably so, the tribesmen and Shaman scurry off.
Meanwhile, the gang is on an airplane to visit Rio de Janeiro for a carnival. They must have chartered their own plane, as it’s just them and the pilots. Scooby’s so excited, he’s already wearing his costume for the carnival and ready to Samba for the next five days.
Scooby’s dance is cut short due to the pilots having to make an emergency landing due to not having any gas due to a clogged fuel line. If only the gang read this airline’s Yelp reviews before booking their plane, then they’d know Air Jaguaro is not the way to travel.
Scooby in Brazil
The pilot, José, and his co-pilot, Luis, find a clearance in the Brazilian jungle and a safe landing is made. Shaggy and Scooby are so grateful that they run out and kiss the ground, but are soon spooked to hear the sound of tribal drums, and the fact that they are in Jaguaro country!
Jaguaro, as one of the pilots explains is a legendary beast that a local headhunting tribe worships. The thought of the Jaguaro convinces the gang that they need to get the heck out of the jungle, so they go searching for a boat to help them sail away.
Splitting up, Shaggy and Scooby leave to search among the river while Fred, Velma, and Daphne make the bad decision to head to the ‘friendly’ headhunter village, because hey ‘they’re not cannibals’. Seriously kids, if ever given the chance to visit headhunters, think twice, or you might end up like one of Vincent Price’s pals!
Walking along the river, it doesn’t take Scooby and Shaggy to be terrorized by the Jaguaro, and a chase ensues until they evade the beast by crossing the river on a makeshift canoe. They barely make it across as Piranha take a liking to their boat and munch it down to nothing. Shaggy and Scooby escape the hungry fish and grab an overhead vine that turns out to be a gigantic tree snake. Leaping back into the water they land in an alligator’s mouth, but quickly escape its jaws by leaping to shore before becoming a literal Scooby snack for the hungry gator!!
Meanwhile, Fred, Velma and Daphne while searching for a village, and hear a motorboat and call the driver over. Here they find an Australian Film Director named Barney who’s making a documentary on the Jaguaro and natives who worship him. Barney tells the gang that their airplane crash has angered the Jaguaro, and awakened him from his slumber. Due to ‘reasons’, Barney is unable to give the three a lift, and says he’ll radio for help further down the river.
The gang hook up with Scooby and Shaggy and head back to the airplane where they discover that it’s been clawed to shreds. Even worse, the two pilots are missing. Freddy, Velma and Daphne follow a set of tracks back into the jungle.
Shaggy and Scoob make the mistake of waiting by the air plane, where they end up getting captured by a friendly ape family and then recaptured captured by the natives.
The Plot Thickens!
Fred, Velma and Daphne find a hut by the river and search it for clues. The hut, it turns out, is a sluice for mining (the kind gold miners would use in the old days). They also run into Barney who is coasting down the river and Luis the airplane’s co-pilot. After boarding Barney’s boat, Luis explains that the Jaguaro attacked the plane and nabbed José. Barney tells everyone he’ll drop them off at the plane, and then call the authorities to help look for José.
Before dropping the gang and pilot off at the airplane, Barney suspiciously hands Luis a roll of film to deliver to his photo lab in Rio.
Back at the airplane they discover Scooby and Shaggy are missing, and being the smart detectives they are, it’s no mystery that it was the natives as there are several feathers from arrows scattered about. Luis tells them they have an hour to find Scooby and Shaggy. If they’re not back, then he plans on taking off.
Hopefully they find Scooby and Shaggy fast, as it looks like they are in a world of trouble back at the Native camp!
Entering a cave near the native village, Freddy, Velma and Daphne find a statue of the Jaguaro. Freddy figures it was hidden in the cave to fool the natives into thinking the original statue turned into the Jaguaro. Upon hearing the Jaguaro scream off in the distance they go investigate.
Back in the village, Scooby turns his tail into a saw, and hacks through the ropes binding him and Shaggy. Posing as natives, Shaggy and Scooby make a failed attempt to run for it. Recognising that natives don’t have dog tails, the natives change after our duo.
Scooby and Shaggy manage to escape by tearing across a bridge, however the Jaguaro waits on the other end. The Jaguaro damages the bridge trapping Scooby and Shaggy right in the middle with nowhere to go. The beast then rattles the remains of the bridge so he can get his hands on them.
Freddy has a plan, and pries open a damn upstream. This sends a heavy current of water that whisks the Jaguaro plus Scooby and Shaggy away. All three tumble over a waterfall, and the Jaguaro gets pinned between a rock and the remains of the native’s bridge.
Who was the Jaguaro?
Freddy pulls the mask off of the Jaguaro and Shaggy blurts out that it’s Barney. This is kinda strange as at no point had Shaggy or Barney ever crossed paths. Freddy asks where José is, and Barney tells the gang that he’s safely tied in a tent.
The gang untie José and everyone are back at the airplane. Ready to board the plane, Freddy explains that he has returned the original Jaguaro statue, and José thanks him for rescuing him. Freddy and Velma then reveal that Luis (the co-pilot) was in cahoots with Barney, and Velma explains that Luis faked a crash landing so he could pick up diamonds that they were mining, then sneak them over the border into Rio. This entire time Barney had been using the legend of the Jaguaro to scare off the natives.
Luis tells the gang that they’re full of phooey, but Velma opens up the film canister Barney gave him to reveal millions of dollars in uncut diamonds. Luis attempts to escape by locking himself in the airplane and flying away, but Freddy had the foresight to remove the spark plugs from the airplane, preventing it from taking off.
To celebrate, the gang then fly to Rio and dance in the carnival.
Dangerous Animals in Brazil
Scooby and the Gang encountered all sorts of critters in their Brazilian adventure, however the writers made one major goof, there are no Gorilla’s in South America. Monkeys sure, but Gorillas are only indigenous to Africa. I get that it’s a cartoon, but you have to admit this was some sloppy writing on their part. (of course it’s easy to wag my judgement finger when I can just Google things in this day and age, and don’t have deadlines to meet)
If you are packing your day bag to explore Brazil for the Jaguaro, here are four animals that Scooby and Shaggy sorta-kinda did encounter that you want to avoid.
When Scooby and Shaggy are up in a tree, they do encounter a pink snake with fangs. Although the colour is off, the length of this snake makes me wonder if this was intended to be a Green Anaconda, one of Brazil’s most deadliest snakes. Green Anacondas are primarily nocturnal snakes who live near water, where they float just beneath the surface.
When a prey stops to get a sip of water, that’s when the Anaconda strikes, wrapping its long body around its victim with the purpose of suffocating it. They’ve even reportedly eaten Caimans and Jaguars.
At one point in this episode, Scooby and Shaggy narrowly escape the jaws of an Alligator, which was probably a Black Caiman. The Black Caiman is one of the largest species of Alligators and is the apex predator of the Amazon ecosystem. This large reptile preys on all matter of fish, bird, and mammal.
I’m still puzzled why the Jaguaro had the head of a Saber-Toothed Tiger and not a Jaguar. It just makes sense given the creatures name. Maybe they wanted to give the beast larger teeth than what the Jaguar has. Still, Jaguars are quite terrifying, being the third largest cat species in the world.
This cat tends to stalk its prey, and then strike. When it goes for you, it’ll zero in right on your jugular. Although Jaguar attacks are rare on humans, when visiting the Jungle, it’s probably a bad idea to wander aimlessly about like the gang did.
Red Bellied Piranha
Piranha rarely attack humans, and some people have even filmed videos of them swimming with these tiny fishes. Typically they like to feast on dead things, however, many an aquarium owner has lost a chunk of their thumb or finger trying to get too cosy with this fish.
In this episode we see piranha attacking Scooby and Shaggy on their boat, and consuming the boat. This would not happen in real life, as these fish do not consume wood, nor do they generally go after live prey.
Have a Scooby-Doo Episode you want reviewed? Leave a comment as to which one in the comments below!