Judge Clark Douglas is still pretty sure that Red Herring did it.
Are you brave enough to join Scooby-Doo's team?
The gently trippy animated television show Scooby-Doo was very much a product of its time. The clothes, cars, and dialogue might have seemed hip in the 1960s, but they started to feel dated rather quickly. Well, I thought so, anyway. Somehow, the show has survived in various forms for several decades now, and the characters still have a very large fan base. One of the many versions of the show was A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, which aired during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The show hit the airwaves during that awful period in which every classic animated show was being given a "baby" variant. It may sound absolutely horrifying, but truth be told, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo is perfectly tolerable entertainment.
Seventeen episodes from the final three seasons of the program have been spread across two discs.
• "Curse of the Collar": Scooby-Doo is given a gorgeous new collar for his birthday, but unfortunately it seemed to be afflicted with an ancient curse.
• "Return of Commander Cool": Shaggy and Scooby dress up as superhero Commander Cool, and just so happen to run into a monster intent on destroying Commander Cool.
• "The Spirit of Rock and Roll": The gang heads to a rock concert, where they witness the appearance of the evil "Rock and Roll Ghost."
• "Chickenstein Lives!": A local gossip rag is threatened by a 7-foot chicken. Yes, it's true.
• "Night of the Living Burger": A giant hamburger comes to life and attempts to rob a greasy restaurant owner.
• "The Computer Walks Among Us": The gang does battle against a walking, talking, villainous computer.
• "Dog Gone Scooby": Scooby-doo disappears, and the gang begins to panic. Can they find him?
• "Terror, Thy Name Is Zombo": A fun amusement park is forced to shut down due to the appearance of a clown ghost.
• "Night of the Boogey Biker": There's a creepy biker on the loose, and Freddy suspects Red Herring once again. Could it really be Red this time?
• "Dawn of the Spooky Shuttle Scare": The subway becomes a very scary place when a ghost appears.
• "Horror of the Haunted Hairpiece": A wacky hairpiece with giant teeth is tormenting everyone in town.
• "Wrestle Maniacs": The gang goes to watch a wrestling match and end up battling a giant monster cow.
• "The Were-Doo of Doo Manor": Shaggy and Scooby spend the night in a house that has been haunted by a werewolf.
• "The Wrath of Waitro": The appetites of Shaggy and Scooby-Doo are confronted by a nasty waiter.
• "Catcher on the Sky": Scooby must attempt to escape from a mean-spirited dogcatcher.
• "The Ghost of Mrs. Shushman": The gang's treehouse is invaded by the ghost of a cranky old woman.
• "Mayhem of the Moving Mollusk": A giant snail wanders through the streets, causing terror wherever it goes.
This show may lack the campy charms of the original program, but there's a gentle wit and good-natured goofiness that kids will undoubtedly enjoy. The characters are all still more or less the same, except Freddy. For some reason, Freddy is incredibly stupid. Oh, and Velma almost never says anything other than "Jinkies!" Shaggy is still voiced by the inimitable Casey Kasem, and Don Messick (also known as "Papa Smurf") continues to provide the unmistakable voice of everyone's favorite mystery-solving dog. I praised the first season of the show for its clever sense of humor, and that still kind of applies here. I liked a lot of the amusing little side items, but for some reason these three short seasons seem a bit less imaginative and interesting.
The episodes feel less like a satire of corny children's shows and more like…well, episodes of a corny children's show. The gags start to become predictable and less amusing after a while. I grew tired of the gang gasping in excitement every time Velma said "Jinkies!" and all the hemming and hawing about whether or not a character named Red Herring actually committed one of the crimes. The monsters aren't quite as interesting this time around, and the writers seem to be increasingly less inspired as the episodes progress. Sadly, by the time it wrapped up, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo had pretty much run out of steam. It's still one of the more tolerable and entertaining versions of the franchise (especially when contrasted with something like the god-awful Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!), but a drop in quality from the first season.
The transfer is rather disappointing here, with a considerable amount of scratches and flecks throughout. The image gets very warped at times, and some episodes also seem like they've been taken from some sort of crappy VHS tape. The audio feels pinched and tinny throughout, and the musical numbers sound exceptionally weak. The show is both watchable and listenable, which is about the kindest thing I'm able to say. The only extra is an episode from the aforementioned horrible new version of the franchise, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!.
Not guilty, but a little less innocent than it was during the first
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Warner Bros.
• Bonus Episode
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