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Growing up, SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU! was one of my favorite Saturday morning cartoons. I started watching the show when it first premiered and followed Scooby-Doo and his fellow members of Mystery Inc. in all their later incarnations, of which there were many. Not surprising, when one considers that this cowardly canine is only a couple years shy of his fortieth birthday- hey! I wonder what that is in dog years??? Anyway, Scooby-Doo continues to demonstrate a longevity that no other Saturday morning cartoon character can come close to.

The basic premise of SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU! follows the exploits of the members of Mystery Inc. a group of teens that continually stumble onto supernatural happenings, which inheritably turn out to be a front for some form of criminal activity. Following the clues, these "meddling kids" always manage to solve various crimes that leave "the men and women of law enforcement" baffled. When split up to search for clues, Scooby-Doo our cowardly canine is always teamed with his pal, eating buddy and fellow coward Norville 'Shaggy' Rogers. Occasionally, Velma Dinkley, the true brains behind Mystery Inc., will find herself teamed with Scooby and Shaggy, but for the most part, remains with the other team’s other proactive sleuths- "Danger Prone" Daphne Blake and neckerchief wearing Freddy Jones, the "driving force" behind the Scooby Gang.

SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU!: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON ($35) comes to DVD in a two disc boxed set that features the following sixteen episodes: Watch Out! The Willawaw!, A Creepy Tangle In The Bermuda Triangle, A Scary Night With A Snow Beast Fright, To Switch A Witch, The Tar Monster, A Highland Fling With A Monstrous Thing, The Creepy Case Of Old Iron Face, Jeepers, It's The Jaguaro, Who Was That Cat Creature I Saw You With Last Night?, The Creepy Creature Of Vulture's Claw, The Diabolical Disc Demon, Scooby's Chinese Fortune Kooky Caper, A Menace In Venice, Don't Go Near The Fortress Of Fear, The Warlock Of Wimbledon and The Beast Is Awake At Bottomless Lake. Although this set is entitled SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU!: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON, the episodes bear the moniker of THE SCOOBY-DOO SHOW.

Warner Home Video has made all the episodes that comprise SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU!: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON available on DVD in the proper 4:3 full screen aspect ratios of their original television broadcasts. You know the old saying about making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear; well, it pretty much applies here. This is vintage 1970’s Saturday morning TV caliber animation that looks somewhat cheaply made. However, the presentations themselves are very good, with the quality of the animation itself being the only limiting factor. Colors are sometimes a little drab, but most of the time they appear strongly rendered and stable. Blacks and whites are accurately reproduced. Contrast is about all you could expect from this type of 2D animation. The film elements occasionally show blemishes, as well as other irregularities that were part of the original animation process. Film grain is noticeable, but never excessive. Digital compression artifacts are never an issue.

The Dolby Digital monaural soundtracks are pretty much what one would expect from Saturday Morning cartoons from 1970s. The dialogue is always intelligible, however the sound effects are canned and the music has a rather under-whelming presence. Fortunately, the soundtracks are free excessive hiss or any major distortions. No other language soundtracks or subtitles are provided on the DVD.

Music and a bit of animation serve to enhance the interactive menus, which provide access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as Hanna-Barbera: From H To B, which provides a history of the animation studio founded by William Hanna & Joseph Barbera and collaboration of it animators.

SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU!: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON is another must have for long time fans of the long lived cowardly canine. Warner’s presentations are very good considering the show’s age and production history. Recommended.



Scooby Doo, Where Are You! - The Complete Third Season



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2007 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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