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Warner Home Video presents
The Best of the New Scooby Doo Movies: Golden Collection Volume 1 (1972)

"Scooby, Dooby, Doo!"
- Scooby-Doo

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: March 21, 2005

Stars: Don Messick, Casey Kasem
Other Stars: Nicole Jaffe, Heather North, Frank Welker
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 11h:00m:00s
Release Date: March 22, 2005
UPC: 014764264929
Genre: television


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ A-BC B-

DVD Review

Scooby-Doo has pretty much been a Hanna-Barbera flagship character since the company's inception. Yeah, they've also got the Flintstones and the likes of Huckleberry Hound and Captain Caveman, but Scooby-Doo is definitely their Bugs Bunny, their Mickey Mouse. After Hanna-Barbera took the animated TV world by storm with the success of the Scooby-Doo Where Are You? series, they decided to branch out and give Scooby even more sidekicks. This time, though, his detective partners are quite a bit more famous than the likes of Fred, Daphne, Velma, and Shaggy.

Sure, the Scooby-Doo Where Are You? animated series was great, but it's the New Scooby-Doo Movies series that contained the classic adventures fans know and love. Personally, I can remember anxiously anticipating each new entry week after week, if only to see who the next guest star(s) was going to be. Still, never was I (and every other kid, I'm sure) happier when the opening titles would finish and the narrator would say "...with special guest stars Batman and Robin." Of course, the show was great regardless of the special appearances, but getting to see Batman and Robin interact with Scooby-Doo and the gang was priceless.

The Best of the New Scooby-Doo Movies: Golden Collection Vol. 1 compiles 15 of these 50-minute or so shows in a very nice four-disc boxed set, including some of the best that this series had to offer.

Disc 1 kicks off with one of two episodes in the set featuring The Three Stooges, Ghastly Ghost Town. This has the bumbling trio teaming with Scooby's gang to help rid the Stooges of some ghosts that are haunting their amusement park. I can't count how many times I've seen the next episode, The Dynamic Scooby-Doo Affair, as it is the first of two here that feature the aforementioned Dynamic Duo. It's amazing how, after over 15 years, the memories of watching this all came flowing back to me during the opening sequences. The other two episodes on Disc 1 feature a couple of legendary comedians in Jonathan Winters and Don Knotts, who appear in The Frickert Fracas and Guess Who's Knott Coming to Dinner?, respectively.

Knotts guests again in the first episode on Disc 2, The Spooky Fog, in which he spoofs his famous character from The Andy Griffith Show. The Ghost of Bigfoot has Scooby and the gang teaming with Laurel and Hardy to uncover the mystery of Bigfoot at a ski lodge. The Ghost of the Red Baron touches on the spirit of another legendary figure, with Scooby enlisting the help of The Three Stooges once again. Rounding out Disc 2 is a teaming with The Harlem Globetrotters as they are trying to fend off the ghost of Redbeard the Pirate.

Even though all of these great guest stars are here, they can't top, you guessed it, Batman and Robin. Warner Home Video has actually included two of the caped crusaders' Mystery Machine rides, with the second leading off Disc 3 and entitled, The Caped Crusader Caper. This time, they're trying to foil the Joker and Penguin's attempts to steal a powerful flying suit. The next two episodes feature more Harlem Globetrotter mayhem, with The Lochness Mess and The Mystery of the Haunted Island keeping the Globetrotters/Scooby-Doo teamings near a watery location, for no particular reason. Don Adams guests on The Exterminator, a tale where the whole crew winds up at Horror Hill, the home of old horror film star Lorne Chumley.

The fourth disc doesn't feature any repeat guests, with The Weird Winds of Winona guest starring Speed Buggy. A couple more "hauntings" take place in The Haunted Candy Factory and The Haunted Carnival. The former has Mama Cass Elliott with Scooby-Doo and co. fighting off two green cotton candy globs that are wreaking havoc at her candy factory. The latter episode begins when the gang heads to the carnival for a much-needed break. They soon find Dick Van Dyke running the carnival, which is haunted.

I've always been a proponent of seasonal TV boxed sets, and strongly against "greatest hits" collections such as this one. However, in the case of the New Scooby-Doo Movies, a collection isn't such a bad idea for a number of reasons. First, none of these episodes follows a linear storyline that goes beyond that episode, so missing out on a show from a particular "season" isn't a big deal here. Plus, this series didn't last longer than a season and a half, so by releasing the show this way, the second collection won't seem as slight in comparison. Just having these shows that young children of the 1970s and '80s adored on DVD at all is so much better than the alternative.

I was amazed at just how much I still enjoyed the New Scooby-Doo Movies. I knew I would at least get a kick out of seeing the animated Batman and Robin in action, but even the appearances by the stars that I was never really fond of (namely, the Three Stooges and Mama Cass) were a great blast from the past. Heck, I guess I'd even be happy just hearing that opening song again and again, which, thanks to Warner Home Video, I now can.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: A-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: These shows are presented in their original full-frame format, and feature decent transfers that conserve their original look, while also cleaning things up a bit. The colors are rendered well, but, given the age of the animation, they won't exactly jump off the screen at you. There is some dirt and grain, but this has been kept to the bare minimum.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The original mono tracks have been included for each episode, and things sound almost exactly how you remember them from the show's TV days. Even though everything is confined to a single speaker, hearing that opening theme song and the various music cues that we know and love are priceless, regardless of the audio quality. Dialogue comes across fine, with sound effects and music also nicely blended into the mix.

Audio Transfer Grade: C

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 15 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
7 Other Trailer(s) featuring Scooby-Doo Where Are You?: Seasons 1 and 2, The Flintstones: Season 1, The Flintstones: Season 2, The Flintstones: Season 3, Top Cat: The Complete Series, Wacky Races: The Complete Series, What's New, Scooby-Doo? Vol. 5
3 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Digipak
Picture Disc
4 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: For such a nice boxed set, content-wise, there really aren't a whole lot of valuable extra features to complement it. They consist of some previews for other animated classics on Warner DVD, as well as three featurettes, beginning with The Hanna-Barbera Kennel Club Roasts Scooby-Doo. This is basically a collection of clips from various cartoons, with some new footage of classic characters that are roasting Scooby-Doo.

Uptown with Scooby-Doo and the Harlem Globetrotters has live-action footage of the Globetrotters doing their thing, as well as clips from Scooby-Doo episodes they appeared in.

Girls Rock! is a spotlight on Daphne and Velma featuring interviews with various Scooby-Doo fans.

Extras Grade: B-

 

Final Comments

While some fans of the series might be upset that their beloved New Scooby-Doo Movies aren't being released on a seasonal basis, just look past that and enjoy having the show at your fingertips. Scooby-Doo and the gang are at the best alongside some of the most talented stars of the last 30 years, making The Best of the New Scooby-Doo Movies: Golden Collection Vol. 1 a necessary addition to any animation lover's DVD collection.

 


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