DVD Review
by Kevin Carr

    MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5 stars)
    DVD EXPERIENCE: *1/2 (out of 5 stars)

    Not Rated
    Available on DVD May 5
    Official Kids WB site
    Studio: Warner Bros.

    Back to DVD Review Home


Warner Bros. has released the second volume of the original series “Scooby-Doo Where Are You!” This single-disc DVD includes four episodes from the first season of the Scooby-Doo series that started it all. Subtitled “Bump in the Night,” the release includes episodes 5 through 8.

“Decoy for a Dognapper” sees Scooby and the gang try to catch a thief kidnapping prize-winning pooches from a local dog show. “What the Hex Is Going On?” follows the kids to a haunted house where someone is trying to scare away heirs to a fortune. “Never Ape and Ape Man” finds Scooby and the gang on a movie set where a horror movie is coming to life. “Foul Play in Funland” takes place in an abandoned amusement park where a creepy robot is terrorizing the Mystery Inc. kids.

While I’m not old enough to have seen these episodes in their original run, I spent plenty of Saturday morning and afternoons after school watching old Scooby-Doo reruns. It’s actually been quite a while since I’ve seen these original episodes, which feature clips that are seeded into the famous “Scooby-Doo Where Are You!” opening musical sequence. So, in often expressed terms, this DVD release brought me back to my childhood a bit.

What’s really nice about these extremely early episodes of the classic cartoon series, the cliches that we now know and love weren’t really cliches yet. The series was definitely in its infancy, and these were the first times that the Mystery Inc. gang unmasked some greedy hoaxster. The series was still untested when these episodes were made, so there’s a freshness about them.

There’s also a dose of political incorrectness about them that I love. The shows aren’t offensive or anything like that, but they still presented Daphne as a ditzy girl and Shaggy as a glutton. And, with the show yet to be a hit, Casey Kasem hadn’t demanded that Shaggy become a vegetarian yet.

Hanna-Barbera did not always spend a lot of money on their cartoons, and some other franchises came across looking chintzy (like “Yogi Bear” and “Top Cat”). However, “Scooby-Doo Where Are You!” had a certain level of production value that, which a bit low-rent, wasn’t cheap.

There’s a trend in DVD releases for children’s shows and cartoons to only release a few episodes on a single disc rather than releasing the entire season at a time. And while “Scooby-Doo Where Are You!” is available with its seasons in its entirety, these four-episode compilations still seem a bit slim. Still, it’s an affordable way to catch up on the series.

In addition to the four episodes of the original series, there’s a bonus episode from the “Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue” series called “More Fondue for Scooby-Doo!” While this isn’t my favorite incarnation of the Scooby-Doo franchise, it’s still cute to watch for kids. Of course, mysteries have been replaced with goofy antics of Shaggy and Scooby, so this new series doesn’t hold the same charm as the original one does. Still, in a single-episode format, this bonus spot gives you a chance to taste the new series without investing in a DVD of that show.

Kids and old-school Scooby Doo fans.

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