Judge Dawn Hunt finds frequent snack breaks and costume changes make most situations more bearable.
Get Ready For Scooby-Doo's Most Spook-Tacular Cases Yet!
Because I've never met a pun I didn't love, let me ask: if you don't know who Scooby-Doo is, where are you? The most iconic of all Great Danes, and a product of the Hanna-Barbara studios in the late 1960's, Scooby and the gang have been a pop culture staple for decades. Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tale: Run For Your 'Rife! is a sampling of several of the titular mutt's shows, beginning with the earliest and adding an all-new adventure to the mix.
This is a nostalgia piece, pure and simple. No one is going to buy this in order satisfy some kind of curiosity about who Scooby is. You're going to get it if you're a fan of the series or your collection is missing one of the included episodes. That said I appreciate how care is taken to insure the characters (Scooby-Doo in particular) are maintained regardless of the series. The consistency works not only in terms of recognition but also cohesiveness between series.
The downside to these episodes is the rotating cast of characters. I'm a hardcore original Scooby gang aficionado and the iconic episodes are the ones with Scooby, Shaggy, Fred, Daphne, and of course Velma. Within this set you'll see Flim-Flam, Vincent Van Ghoul, and one of my least favorites, Crappy, er, Scrappy-Doo. Replacing Fred and Velma in the newer series never works for me. The shows have always worked best when they rely on quick-change costumes paired with corny slapstick humor.
The two-disc set contains 13 episodes, listed below with their corresponding series.
"Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad, Werewolf?"
"A Gaggle of Galloping Ghosts"
"Which Witch is Which"
"A Tiki Scare is No Fair"
"Scared a Lot in Camelot"
"Hang in There, Scooby-Doo"
"The Stoney Glare"
"Scooby-Doo and a Mummy, Too"
"A Scooby-Doo Halloween"
"Scooby in Kwackyland"
Revisiting these episodes is a mixed bag. I love the oldest offerings. Sometimes they are formulaic but that formula works and is often copied on other shows. But while I do appreciate the desire to update these iconic characters through the years the examples chosen aren't the standouts of their respective shows.
The video transfer varies not only in animation style but aspect ratio as well. The animation style begins with 1.33:1 aspect ratio hand-drawn cartoons which dominated the television landscape for decades. To me this is the strongest visual presentation, offering a darker palette more suited for the mystery genre as well as interesting backgrounds with a simple yet full picture. The other choice is a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio computer generated cartoon. While it offers more eye-popping colors and a cleaner animation I still prefer the older cartoons. As far as audio goes it's an extremely simple Mono transfer but it works because it brings along the warehouse of Hanna-Barbara sound effects and music cues which only serve to heighten the nostalgia.
There were no special features.
Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales: Run For Your 'Rife! comes with a very specific purchase recommendation. If you aren't a hardcore fan and just want to see some old episodes and check out where they've taken the present day characters, this is the set for you. Serious fans will do well to seek out more complete collections.
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Studio: Warner Bros.
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