Over the decades, Scooby-Doo has faced more than any dog’s share of bumps, snarls and scares. He’s logged thousands of miles in the back of the Mystery Machine van cruising across the country with Fred, Daphne, Velma and Shaggy in the pursuit of one thing: getting to the bottom of ghost stories. But there’s always been a question of where is home for the dog and his pals. What inspired them to be so brave in the shadow of monsters, aliens and mutants?
Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated answers quite a few of those questions. Turns out the four kids and their Great Dane are from Crystal Cove. The quaint town bills itself as the “Most Hauntedest Place on Earth.” There’s even a museum that promotes all the famous spooks. But Scooby-Doo and the gang know the awful truth. The only thing haunting their hometown are greedy people in masks. Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: Season One, Volume One gives the first four episodes of the new series where they hope to find a real monster.
“Beware the Beast From Below” lets us know that this isn’t a retread of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? The kids are stuck in Crystal Cove with their overbearing parents. Fred’s father is the mayor. Daphne’s parents are loaded. Velma’s folks run the museum. Shaggy’s folks are a bit kinky. They aren’t just kids on their own anymore. They have to come up with excuses to chase down mysteries after dark. Something big happens when sewer workers are attacked by an evil creature. The kids swear this is going to be big, but they need a little help from Professor Emmanuel Raffalo. The guy looks just like Late Night Horror host Mr. Lobo. The key to the creature appears to lie in a brand new restaurant that serves a substance that isn’t ice cream or frozen yogurt. Mostly the kids are hoping that this is a real mutant critter terrorizing the town. Keep your eyes open for a cameo from Don Knotts. The supporting cast features quite a few superstar voices including Gary Cole (Fred Jones Sr.), Vivica A. Fox (Angel Dynamite), Patrick Warburton (Sheriff Stone) and Lewis Black (Mr. E).
“The Creeping Creatures” brings more reptile ugliness to the area. Turns out there was once a town known as Gatorsburg that ran off a gator mine. It’s joyful nonsense about pumping gators from the ground. The mystery opens when a family like the Griswalds in National Lampoon’s Vacation movies gets attacked by altered gators. The kids arrive at the nearby town to investigate. The fun comes in when they stay at a hotel together. Fred and Daphne don’t quite click since Fred’s obsessed with traps. Velma and Shaggy finally seem destined to hook up, but they get interrupted by the gators. “Secret of the Ghost Rig” terrorizes the town in a glowing truck. Daphne’s parents want her to marry the heir of a ladder fortune. What are the odds these incidents are linked? “Revenge of the Man Crab” brings horror to the beach. The beast ruins the big volleyball tournament and takes Daphne. Will she be cracked as part of the revenge? Part of this mystery relates back to the clue found in the first episode.
Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated is more entertaining than the live action flicks. The stories play with the legends and aspects of the original series. Who doesn’t wish that just for once there was a supernatural explanation to the horrors. The show has just enough of Adult Swim’s irreverence to make it palatable to an adult on a nostalgia bender without alienating little kids that want more Scooby-Doo action.
The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The transfer looks great as the animation pops. There’s a lot more dynamic action then the original series. The audio is Dolby Digital Surround Stereo. The mix is good enough for the bumps and confessions of the real monsters. There are dubs tracks in Spanish, French, Thai and Portuguese. The episodes are subtitled in English, Spanish, Thai and Portuguese.
Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated (Season One, Volume One) is fun for both kids and adults that enjoy the original cartoons. It pokes fun at the show without deflating the action. These four episodes show the series is heading in the right direction without being an annoying cash grab.
Warner Home Video presents Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: Season One, Volume One. Starring the voices of Gary Cole, Mindy Cohn, Matthew Lillard, and Patrick Warburton. DVD Contents: 4 episodes on 1 DVD. Released on DVD: January 25, 2011.
Tags: Don Knotts, Patrick Warburton, Scooby-Doo