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SCOOBY-DOO AND THE LOCH NESS MONSTER

Like the preceding SCOOBY-DOO AND THE MONSTER OF MEXICO, SCOOBY-DOO AND THE LOCH NESS MONSTER ($25) proves that the Scooby Gang and the Mystery Machine still have a few miles left in them. This amusing and fun direct-to-video animated program finds the members of Mystery Inc. visiting Daphneís cousin Shannon in Scotland where the Blake Clan will be hosting the Highland Games on the grounds of the familyís ancestral castle near Loch Ness. As the program opens, we discover that there have been an unusually high number of Nessie sightings in recent days, which threaten to cancel the games. Of course, faster than you can turn down a plate of haggis, the Scooby Gang discovers that they have another mystery on their hands. SCOOBY-DOO AND THE LOCH NESS MONSTER features the vocal talents Frank Welker as Scooby-Doo and Freddy, Casey Kasem as Shaggy, Mindy Cohn as Velma and Grey DeLisle as Daphne.

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Warner Home Video has made SCOOBY-DOO AND THE LOCH NESS MONSTER available on DVD in a very nice looking presentation intended for the 4:3 television broadcast aspect ratio (with hi-def on the horizon, I am stupefied as to why these direct-to-video programs arenít being produced in 16:9). The image appears clean, bright and as well defined as one is likely to get from this type of 2D animation. Colors appear vibrant and are rendered with complete stability. Blacks are inky, whites are solid and contrast is just fine. Digital compression artifacts are well contained throughout.

SCOOBY-DOO AND THE LOCH NESS MONSTER comes with a respectable Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack. The mix isnít particularly showy, but it gets the job done. Sound effects are well placed, but never aggressively implemented. The track generally creates a nice sense of presence by spreading music and ambient sounds to the outlying channels. Even with some thick Scottish accents sprinkled in, dialogue is always completely understandable. The bass channel supplies a surprising kick, which enhances the sequence involving Nessie sightings. French and Spanish 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the DVD, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

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Music underscores the basic interactive menus, which allow one access to the standard scene/episode selection and set up features, as well as a few nice extras. National Geographic's Inside Scoop is a factoid laden nine-minute program on Scotland and the Loch Ness monster that has been wrapped in a kid friendly package. An amusing Blooper reel is also provided, as well as How to Speak Scottish, a five-minute introduction to the lingo. The Case Of The Missing Scooby Snacks is an interactive game for the kiddies, How to Solve a Mystery and Catch Nessie are two brief programs that revisit material from the direct-to-video feature.

SCOOBY-DOO AND THE LOCH NESS MONSTER is a rather enjoyable offering that will tickle long time fans and certainly please the little ones. Thirty-five years down the road, it is great to see that Scooby-Doo and the gang are still chugging along in fine form. As for the DVD, it looks and sounds very good, plus it is certain to outclass the inevitable commercial laden airings on Cartoon Network.

 

SCOOBY-DOO AND THE LOCH NESS MONSTER 


Scooby-Doo and the Loch Ness Monster

 


DVD reviews are Copyright © 2004 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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