Judge Clark Douglas is attempting to form a tabloid tag for this unlikely pair. Richidoo? Scoobyrich? Nah.
Two cartoon icons together in their classic, rarely seen series!
Richie Rich: "Don't worry, we'll catch that thief. All we have to do is lure him into my shower."
Richie Rich's Understandably Worried Friend: "Lure him into your shower? Why your shower?"
Richie Rich (rubbing his hands with glee): "I'll show you why my shower."
Facts of the Case
The Richie Rich/Scooby-Doo Show premiered on television in November of 1980. The show ran for one hour, and each show featured six animated shorts. Three shorts would feature the insanely rich child Richie Rich, and the other three would feature Scooby-Doo (along with Scrappy-Doo and Shaggy, but not the rest of the gang). The new two-disc DVD set presents the first seven episodes of the series.
• Episode One: Scooby-Doo meets some ghosts in an abandoned western town ("Scooby Ghosts West"), battles a wicked witch who loves frog legs ("Swamp Witch"), and attempts to escape from a villainous wax figure ("Waxworld"). Meanwhile, Richie Rich stops a robber from stealing his things ("Piggy Bank Prank"), takes a trip to the beach ("Muscle Beach"), and rescues his slave robots from a horrible fate ("Robotnappers").
• Episode Two: Scooby-Doo rescues Shaggy from some curious aliens ("A Close Encounter with a Strange Kind"), battles a vampire ("A Fit Night Out for Bats"), and captures a burglar ("The Chinese Food Factory"). Richie Rich loses a rare stamp ("The Rare Scare"), accidentally super-sizes his cat ("Kitty Sitter"), and goes on a treasure hunt ("One of Our Aircraft Carriers is Missing").
• Episode Three: Scooby-Doo travels to the Middle East ("Scooby's Desert Dilemma"), stars in a movie ("Stuntman Scooby"), and escapes from a horrible mummy ("Mummy's the Word"). Meanwhile, Richie Rich stops an unwashed poor man from stealing his stuff ("Spring Cleaning"), gets a case of the Million Dollar Measles ("Silence Is Golden"), and battles an electric woman ("The Shocking Lady Strikes Again").
• Episode Four: Scooby-Doo and his pals battle some evil cats ("The Old Cat-and-Mouse Game"), visits the circus ("Scooby's Three-Ding-a-Ling Circus"), and has a high-flying adventure ("Hang in There, Scooby"). Richie Rich keeps a blurry whirlwind from stealing his valuable stuff ("The Blur"), attempts to wash his dog ("Cur Wash"), and takes a trip to Australia ("The Kangaroo Hop").
• Episode Five: Scooby-Doo gets stuck in a ring with a bull ("Scooby's Bull Fright"), hides out on a ship ("Stow-aways"), and does battle with a pirate ("Long John Scrappy"). Richie Rich has to replace one of his robots ("Irona vs. Demona"), attempts to stop Dollar from stealing his food ("Chef's Surprise"), and gets snowed in ("The Snow Bounders").
• Episode Six: Scooby learns the story of Scrappy's birth ("Scrappy's Birthday"), visits a Scottish castle ("Sir Scooby and the Black Knight"), and has an adventure in the jungle ("Bungle in the Jungle"). Richie Rich goes on a bad picnic ("The Abominable Snow Plan"), considers getting a new robot ("Miss Robot America"), and has fun with a new construction machine ("Constructo").
• Episode Seven: Scooby-Doo takes a trip through the world of Lewis Carroll ("Scooby in Wonderland"), goes to the fair ("Scooby's Fun Zone"), and finds himself stuck on a dessert island ("Scooby's Mysterious Island"). Richie Rich thinks his dog is acting suspicious ("Counterfeit Dollar"), plays with a new invention ("The Greatest Invention in the World"), and battles a creepy critter ("Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Bug").
I can see why kids might like Richie Rich. He's so incredibly rich and he has complete freedom. What kid wouldn't want to have a ton of money, no responsibilities, and the ability to do whatever they wanted? However, I never liked Richie Rich. Didn't like him as a kid, don't like him now. That spoiled little snot not only loves rubbing his wealth in the faces of other kids, he never demonstrates any intention of doing anything socially redemptive with his money. The little punk even tattooed dollar signs all over his dog (aptly named "Dollar"). For me, Richie Rich goes in the same category as Road Runner and Tweety Bird…I'm always rooting for his enemies.
Putting Richie Rich and Dollar in the same show as Shaggy and Scooby-Doo was certainly a peculiar decision. The characters would seemingly appeal to entirely different types of kids. On the one hand, you've got spoiled brat Richie Rich and his remarkably dumb dog. On the other hand, you've going easy-going hippie Shaggy and his atypically perceptive canine friend. When I was a kid, I always thought Shaggy was way cooler than Richie Rich…and I defy anyone to find a more lovable dog than Scooby-Doo (well, there's Droopy, but that's just unfair). Anyway, I'm going to go out on a sturdy limb and assume that most of the people purchasing this DVD set are primarily Scooby-Doo fans, not Richie Rich fans. So, I hope you won't mind if I focus primarily on Scooby-Doo.
Everyone's favorite crime-solving dog has had his delightful moments (check out the surprisingly witty A Pup Named Scooby-Doo) and his awful moments (see the Scooby-Doo live-action theatrical efforts). More important, Scooby-Doo has had tons of moments, period. There are few characters that have been in so many television shows, made-for-TV films, movies, and comic-books. So where do these shorts fall on the Scooby-Doo Quality Scale? Pretty low. For one thing, the seven-minute animated short format doesn't really seem to suit Scooby-Doo very well. There's no time for guessing games or investigations. Here, we meet some supernatural creature, have a battle or chase scene, and a quick conclusion. It's not too much fun.
While Shaggy is on hand, the rest of Scooby-Doo's pals are certainly missed. We do get Scrappy-Doo, but…well, does anybody really care much about Scrappy-Doo? Poor little puppy. By the way, can anyone tell me why Scrappy-Doo speaks perfect English while Scooby-Doo can barely manage to put together a coherent sentence? Never mind, it doesn't really matter. To get to the bottom of things: these characters almost always make for pleasant company, and very young kids will undoubtedly be satisfied with this sort of thing, but there are dozens of better options out there for Scooby-Doo fans.
Picture quality on these episodes is perfectly respectable for a 1980 animated show. There are some minor scratches on each episode, but otherwise the transfers are just fine. The mono sound is clean and relatively crisp. Extras are limited to a simple ten-minute featurette that tells "The Story of Richie Rich."
Scooby-Doo junkies will likely be pleased to add this relatively obscure show to their collection. As for the ordinary kids out there, this is acceptable (though banal) entertainment, but it pales drastically in comparison to similar shows that are available on DVD.
The show is guilty of attempting to pair a watered-down version of one franchise with another generally uninteresting franchise. However, the DVD packaging and transfer are perfectly solid, so Warner Bros. is free to go.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Warner Bros.
• "The Story of Richie Rich"
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