Judge Bryan Pope says this neutered Scooby-Doo is strictly for the sandbox set.
They might be little, but the fun and adventure are HUGE.
I'm reminded of Clue Junior, the offshoot of the popular Parker Brothers board game that scrubbed away any hint of murder to make room for a game better suited for children. Poppycock, I say! Half the fun of playing Clue as a kid was that feeling of participating in something sinister, nefarious and very adult. To plunk Clue Junior in front of me, with its "plot" about missing toys, would have been to insult my intelligence.
Which brings me to A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, Vol. 4. Its storylines about dog catchers, skateboarding ghosts and, yes, missing toys, make me pine for the old days of the Mystery Machine, the soda shop and the Miner 49er. Where's the suspense? Where's the murky atmosphere? Zoinks!
I dunno. Perhaps we have the Muppet Babies to thank for convincing studios that there's a market for reimagining beloved childhood characters as little tykes. But while that show at least had enough imagination to take the characters in zany new directions, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo just sits there like a fat bast…er, basset hound. The show is concerned more with yuks than telling a convincing story, which means we're bombarded with shots of eyes popping out in surprise and a diminutive Velma puttering around, whipping her PC out at the most unlikely of moments. Every so often, Pup approaches a level of cleverness adults might appreciate, such as when scapegoat Red Herring makes an appearance, but otherwise this is strictly kid's stuff.
On the plus side, the credits boast a somewhat impressive lineup of voiceover artists, including Kelli Martin, Della Reese, Isabelle Sanford and the always-great Tress MacNeille. And of course there's Casey Kasem, who knows better than anyone that his Shaggy gig will be his bread and butter 'til the day he dies, and Frank Welker. And would it really be a Scooby show without Frank Welker?
A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, Vol. 4 contains four 22-minute episodes:
A monster is stinking up the set of the Scooby Gang's movie in Lights…Camera…Monster!
Scooby is haunted by the ghost of a mad dog catcher in Curse of the Collar.
In The Return of Commander Cool, the Colossal Toy Factory is being ransacked by a one-eyed monster, and it's up to Shaggy to save the day.
Rock 'n' roller Biddy Chillner rolls into Coolsville, but is he ready to face The Spirit of Rock 'n' Roll?
Each episode is presented in its original full-frame format with Dolby mono audio. The disc doesn't include subtitles, and the only extras are a handful of trailers for other WB kid DVDs.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Warner Bros.
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