Pin It
Favorite

DVD Review 

by Ted S. McGregor Jr.


Among the most enduring cartoon franchises ever, Scooby Doo has also been the most abused. In production just about continuously since the late 1960s, the big, brown talking dog has suffered through the indignities of an annoying sidekick, Scrappy Doo, and being thrown into a bunch of really bad celebrity pairings in the '70s (like Scooby Doo Meets Laurel and Hardy). Even the recent live-action version was a disaster (except for Matthew Lillard's dead-on Shaggy).


But in recent years, Warner Bros. has treated the franchise with the respect it deserves, with a series of feature-length adventures, most recently Scooby Doo and the Monster of Mexico. Yes, those old original mysteries are cheesy, but they set the template that any good Mystery Inc. lover wants.


The archetypal plot goes like this: While recreating, the gang -- Scooby, Shaggy, Fred, Velma and Daphne -- winds up embroiled in a caper. Fred then announces, "Well, gang, it looks like we've got a mystery on our hands!" They split up, with brainy Velma discovering clues and Fred looking on; then Daphne somehow manages to get captured. Shaggy and Scooby, while seeking out munchies, always wind up encountering the villain. There's a peppy musical interlude, with lots of hijinks from the gang. Then comes the denouement, with Daphne saved and the setting of a trap. After the villain is caught, he or she is unmasked, the plot to scare people off the property is mentioned and, then, the best line of all: "And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for these meddling kids and their dog!"


In the recent features, they've gotten back to basics, dutifully following the above template. The animation is crisp, and they've got the original voice talents back -- including Kasey Kasem as Shaggy. On the first three new ones -- Alien Invaders, Zombie Island and Cyber Chase -- they had the gang updated for the '90s. But in the last two -- Monster of Mexico and Legend of the Vampire -- they're back to 1969, even down to Fred's ascot.


Out of the five, I'd have to rate them this way: 1) Vampire; 2-tie) Cyber Chase (classic villains and the B-52s singing the theme song); 2-tie) Alien Invaders (hints of X-Files); 4) Monster of Mexico (not enough chills); and 5) Zombie Island (too scary for young kids. This is the only Scooby Doo where there's no rubber mask -- these are real zombies.) But kids aren't this picky -- they even like Scrappy Doo.





Publication date: 10/23/03

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Rich Man, Poor Men
  • Rich Man, Poor Men

    Can the wealthiest U.S. president ever help the poorest U.S. citizens?
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • La Resistance
  • La Resistance

    Michael Moore, Congressional Democrats and local progressives: How they are resisting Donald Trump's agenda
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • Must-See TV?
  • Must-See TV?

    Alternatives to the inauguration (and how to make watching more fun if you have to)
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
USA Dance Anniversary Celebration

USA Dance Anniversary Celebration @ Sandpoint Community Hall

Sat., Jan. 28, 7-10 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Ted S. McGregor Jr.

  • The Watch List
  • The Watch List

    You'll learn a lot by watching some key people who could make or break Trump's presidency
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • Fake-News Nightmare
  • Fake-News Nightmare

    The social media dream of the 2000s is fading, but we can reset the system by sticking up for the truth
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • BOOKS
  • BOOKS

    From Twin Peaks to the darkest reaches of our galaxy, there's a new book for everyone on your list
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • One Free Shave

    Donald Trump might have merited a honeymoon with voters had he managed his transition better
    • Dec 29, 2016
  • The Landed and the White

    How Americans followed tradition when they voted for Trump
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Comment


Briefs


marijuana


green zone


Politics


Readers also liked…

  • Patrolling While Black
  • Patrolling While Black

    Gordon Grant's nearly 30 years as a Spokane cop have been affected by race, but that's not the whole story
    • Jul 8, 2015
  • Beggs for a Solution
  • Beggs for a Solution

    In the three months Breean Beggs has been on the council, he's pitched out-of-the-box ideas for some of the city's stickiest problems
    • Jun 2, 2016

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation