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SCOOBY-DOO’S ORIGINAL MYSTERIES

I’ve been a fan of cartoon character Scooby-Doo since that munching, mystery solving mutt debut on television- over thirty years ago. Boy do I feel old… and stupid. Anyhow, my love of Scooby-Doo was born out of my childhood fascination with horror movies. Every week on SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU? Scoob and the gang would face a ghost, a witch or a monster of some sort, and I’d be glued to the television. Unfortunately, the ghost, witch or monster always turned out to be a criminal in disguise, and not a supernatural entity. However, the show was still fun for that little tyke I used to be, so I never questioned how Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Freddy Daphne and Velma how they managed to stumble on all this criminal activity in that really cool van they called The Mystery Machine. Heck, I still don’t question how those meddling kids and their dog avoided getting arrested, since they climbed in an awful lot of windows.

Anyway, at thirty plus years of age, Scooby-Doo is still going strong. Between starring in various other cartoon shows and being continuously rerun on Cartoon Network, as well as appearing a number of new direct-to-video releases, the cowardly canine sleuth has kept himself in the public’s eye. Of course, this brings us to the DVD release of SCOOBY DOO’S ORIGINAL MYSTERIES ($25), which features 1969’s first five episodes of SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU?. In episode one What A Night For A Knight, the gang check out a haunted suit of armor at a creepy museum. Episode two, Hassle In A Castle finds the gang in a pirate’s castle on Haunted Island chasing after a phantom. Episode three, A Clue For Scooby-Doo, a trip to the beach uncovers the ghostly return a captain who went down with his ship. A spooky miner haunts episode four- Mine Your Own Business. Finally, in episode five- Decoy For A Dognapper, a spectral Indian may somehow be involved in with the missing pooches that disappear before a dog show. SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU? features the vocal talents of Don Messick, Casey Kasem, Frank Welker, Stefanianna Christopherson and Nicole Jaffe.

Warner Home Video has done a good job with the DVD release of SCOOBY DOO’S ORIGINAL MYSTERIES. The image is clear and as detailed as it is likely to be, with the episodes looking somewhat better than they do on Cartoon Network. However, the thirty-year-old film elements do show enough age-related markings. There are nicks, scratches and dust specks on the prints, but none of them are too serious. Film grain slightly is noticeable throughout, but considering that SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU? looks like it was animated by Team Xerox, I don’t think fans of the show watch it for its visual qualities. Colors are stable and are as vivid as my Saturday morning cartoon recollections. Additionally, black appear very accurate. There are no noticeable problems with digital compression artifacts.

The Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack is at the Saturday morning level of thirty years ago; all the dialogue is intelligible, but the sound effects and music are low to mid fidelity. French and Spanish language soundtracks are also provided on the DVD. Except for music, the interactive menus are rather basic, providing access to individual episodes and soundtrack options. There are some supplements on the DVD, including a short kid oriented music video, a song sampler for the Rhino "Snacks Tracks" CD, a Scooby-Doo trivia challenge, and some very cool recipes from Mystery, Inc.

SCOOBY DOO’S ORIGINAL MYSTERIES is a something that older fans will want to purchase on DVD for the kid inside himself or herself. Hopefully future collections will follow, along with some of the direct-to-video Scooby-Doo releases.

 
SCOOBY-DOO’S ORIGINAL MYSTERIES 


Scooby-Doo's Original Mysteries

 

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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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