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Did you know that Scooby-Doo has been solving crimes for over thirty years, which in dog years gives, this canine hero over two hundred years of super sleuthing experience? Of course, that bit of trivia is completely useless to anyone, except for those devoted fans who have been watching Scooby-Doo since he premiered on television back in 1969. Anyway, Scooby-Doo’s popularity and longevity are well demonstrated in the continuous re-runs of his shows that appear on Cartoon Network, as well as in SCOOBY-DOO AND THE ALIEN INVADERS ($25), a Y2K direct-to-video release featuring everyone’s favorite cowardly canine crime solver.

SCOOBY-DOO AND THE ALIEN INVADERS finds Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Velma, Daphne and Fred stranded out in a remote desert town, which is home to home to a government research station that is searching the skies for signs of intelligent life. As it turns out, the town is also a hotbed of UFO sightings, although the scientists at the research station haven’t seen any signs of UFOs. With one of the locals claiming to have been a victim of alien abduction, the kids from Mystery Inc. start their own investigation. Before you know it, Scooby and Shaggy have their very own close encounter with some less than friendly aliens. However, our two terrified heroes soon forget about the aliens and become moonstruck, after meeting two very attractive females out in the desert.

SCOOBY-DOO AND THE ALIEN INVADERS is a lot of fun for Scooby-Doo fans everywhere, plus the new direct-to-video animation is leaps and bounds beyond the quality of the original SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU? television series. The story line is classic Scooby-Doo all the way, but everything has been modernized for a more sophisticated audience. SCOOBY-DOO AND THE ALIEN INVADERS features the vocal talents of Scott Innes, Mary Kay Bergman, Mark Hamill, B.J. Ward, Jeff Bennett, Jennifer Hale, Candi Milo, Kevin Michael Richardson, Neil Ross, Audrey Wasilewski and Frank Welker.

Warner Home Video’s DVD release of SCOOBY-DOO AND THE ALIEN INVADERS is presented in the direct-to-video, television aspect ratio. The image on the DVD is very clean, very crisp and very colorful. As I stated above, the animation is light-years ahead of the original television show, although it does fall short of theatrical feature quality. Still, the picture is very pleasing and is rendered on DVD without any chroma noise and little film grain. The DVD is smartly authored to preclude any traces of Digital compression artifacts. Like most direct-to-video animated titles

SCOOBY-DOO AND THE ALIEN INVADERS features a two-channel Dolby Digital soundtrack, which decodes to standard surround. The soundtrack has some nice directional effects, plus a good deal of ambient sound coming from the rear channels. I personally, would have liked a 5.1 channel mix, with more whiz-bang sound effects, but you can’t have everything. Dialogue and the sound effects themselves are cleanly reproduced, plus the music has been nicely recorded and mixed into the soundtrack. There is a decent level of bass present on the track, which gives the track a solid bottom end. For those who are interested, Jennifer Love-Hewitt performs the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? theme song.

The Basic interactive menus provide access to the scene selection feature, as well as the DVD’s extras. Extras include character biographies, a "making of" featurette (which lets one see the people providing the voices), a "making of" for a Scooby-Doo video game, Scooby’s Steps to Solving a Mystery, plus trailers for other Scooby-Doo videos and some other Warner family DVDs.

SCOOBY-DOO AND THE ALIEN INVADERS is a great title for the kids, as well as long time Scooby-Doo fans (who will always be kids). As a Scooby fan, I know I am looking forward to SCOOBY-DOO ON ZOMBIE ISLAND and SCOOBY-DOO AND THE WITCH’S GHOST, which according to the Scooby-Doo web site, will be coming to DVD March of 2001.


Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2000 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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