April 25, 2007

DVD Review: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! - The Complete Third Season

Did the two live action movies fail to feed your itch for Scoobert? Well, fortunately for you, Warner Brothers has already released the original series that started it all, Scooby-Doo Where Are You! seasons one and two, plus the best of the Scooby Doo movies, the complete Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt series, and a variety of other episode collections and entries from the more recent series. Now, if all that isn't enough for you, and honestly, who can get enough of the Scoob? Here comes Warner Brothers again with Scoody-Doo Where Are You! The Complete Third Season to attempt and satiate that insatiable itch.

Well, before actually taking a look at the series, we should take a look at just what, exactly, this two disk set contains. If you were saying "There wasn't a third season to Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!" you'd be right. The classic series only ran for two seasons back in 1969-1970, it never made it to a third. However, the show was revived with new episodes in the mid to late 1970's and aired under the title The Scooby-Doo Show and was a part of Scooby-Doo All Stars and aired in 1978. I have read that these episodes did run, at some point, with the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! title and opening animation/music. Here, the 16 episodes are run with the The Scooby-Doo Show title and music with lyrics welcoming you to the new show. While looking up information on the series, I found the history to be rather confusing with different episodes being attributed to different incarnations of the series, with this collection often called the unofficial third season. Whatever the case is, this is the third season of a version which has not yet had its first two seasons released. So, take it for what you will, Scooby completists will want it, hile anyone else looking fro a Scooby fix will be more than satisfied.

I like Scooby-Doo, I remember watching all manner of reruns back in my youth, and while they all follow the same formula, they are always a bunch of fun. How can you go wrong with an animated comedy with a supernatural sleuthing bent?

The shows always went the same way. They would start with the gang heading off to meet a friend or relative, they bump into a town with a ghost or monster problem. The gang would invariable offer to investigate. Freddy and Velma were the clue gatherers, Daphne would find some trouble, while Shaggy and Scooby would run into the ghost and get chased, in a rather comedic fashion. Following the chase, the gang would set a trap that would not work until Scooby would trip up causing the bad guy be caught, with the climactic reveal of who the monster really was as the scheme was explained.

It was a simple formula, all they really need do is insert the monster and the scheme, and come up with the setting. For as repetitive as the stories really were, there was something that clicked. There was this magical blend of creative that made the formula feel fresh, from the story to the animation, the gags to the look, it all worked together.

The 16 episodes presented here are all a blast. This collection features the Scooby Gang facing off with Iron Face, Jaguaro, the Tar Monster, a Warlock, and the dreaded Willawaw. Each episode will give you a bunch of laughs and will truly put a smile on your face. Scooby-Doo is fun for the whole family.

Audio/Video. The video is presented in the original ratio of 1.33:1. While not perfect, it looks very good, and probably the best they have looked since their original broadcasts. The colors are sharp and everything is nicely clear. The audio is presented in Dolby Digital mono, and it sounds just right, just like I remembered it.

Extras. Not much to speak of, a little more would have been nice. The lone featurette is called Hanna Barbera: From H to B. It runs for over twenty minutes and takes a look inside the relationship between the duo. We also see the work that went into the creation of the classic cartoons, and all of the people that were involved. It is well worth the watch. Also included are DVD trailers for The Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, What's New Scooby Doo, Justice League Unlimited, and Batman Beyond.

Bottomline. Watching Scooby's antics is a lot of fun, and a nice way to melt away the day's stress with a little bit of silliness. I only wish that Warner Brothers had labeled this better as to what you were getting, help defuse some of the convoluted Scooby family tree. It is a minor nit as the episodes themselves are fun.



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