Ahh, Scooby-Doo. The cartoon of my youth is back with all new episodes. Luckily, the new episodes haven’t meddled too much with the classic formula, as so often happens with remakes of movie and TV shows. There are four episodes included in this collection, each dealing with a different spooky mystery. Trampy Fred and Daphne, sexually confused Velma, baked Shaggy and their English-speaking dog are all here, and their trippy hippy van as well. You know them, you love them. Scooby is back!
…p>First and foremost, the back of the box says that these episodes are presented in Dolby Digital 5.1, but in reality, it is more like 3.1. There is no signal running to the surrounds that I was able to perceive. Not that these cartoons really need surrounds to be effective, I am just setting the record straight.
Now that this little tidbit has been addressed, the sound quality itself not too bad at all, considering the source. Bass tones are full but not overpowering. Dialog is crisp. Kasey Kasem is back as Shaggy, and Scooby sounds the same as always. The rest of the gang, however, sounds a little more modern somehow. No modern slang terms are used (to my relief), but the voices do seem to have a bit of Lizzie McGuire in their tonality.
If I was a little surprised with the quality of the audio, I am a lot surprised with the quality of the video. The video is very clear, with consistently bright colors. Focus is also great, though there are some very minor edge problems here and there. The animation style is pretty basic, but it works well to support the show’s retro charm. The disc also has nice black levels, and no color bleed. Warner Brothers often has great transfers, and this disc is no exception.
One good extra and three boring ones are included here. First, the boring: Scooby-Doo’s Famous Foes and Shari, the House of High Technology are both shorts that are made up of clips from the episodes that are on this disc, and a few others. Throwaway extras if I have ever seen them. The Sneak Peeks are trailers for other Scooby-Doo and cartoon products produced by Warner Brothers.
The one extra that is noteworthy is the Haunted Backlot Tour. This is a look into the VIP Tour on the Warner Brothers Backlot. Viewers see many of the street sets and facades that are located there, as well as a fascinating tour of the vast Prop Department. Unfortunately, much of the action is interrupted by annoying voice-overs by Scooby and Shaggy, as they keep seeing ghosts.
This is an excellent release for kids and sentimental adults. I was surprised by the quality of the audio and video, and except for some lame extras, this is a first-class release.
Special Features List
- Haunted Backlot Tour
- Scooby-Doo’s Famous Foes
- Shari, The House of High Technology
- Sneak Peeks