DVD Review: Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated (Season One, Volume 3)

Scooby-Doo isn’t merely one series that’s lasted 42 years. Fred, Velma, Daphne, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo have starred in eleven different shows since Scooby-Doo, Where Are You debuted in 1969. Normally it’s a law of diminishing returns with each series being a little less satisfactory than the last as it appeals to little kids who don’t despise Scrappy-Doo. Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated bucks the trend by being more for adults or at least smart alecks. The meddling kids and their dog have returned home to Crystal Cove. The tiny town is out to make itself a tourist destination based on it being a magnet for ghosts and monsters. Although the town isn’t happy that the kids keep proving the fearful creatures just pesky guys in rubber suits. What makes matters worse is that Fred’s dad is the mayor. Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: Season One, Volume 3 packs in 4 more episodes that toys with the formula.

“Battle of the Humungonauts” right off the bat pays tribute to War of the Gargantuans. Crystal Cove opens its first Tiki bar to appeal to the tourists. The mayor and Sheriff Stone (Patrick Wurburton) are digging a woman singing, “The Words Get Stuck In My Mouth.” Without any warning a giant monster destroys the Tiki Bar. The song is lifted from the Toho movie. The sheriff nicknames the beast a Humangonaut. Turns out there’s a second monster in the area. The mayor sees dollar signs. He wants the kids to lure the creatures into a stadium so they can fight in front of a paying crowd. After numerous hints by Lewis Black (The Daily Show), the kids think the monsters are linked to two rival insurance salesmen that are brothers (both voiced by Tom Kenny a.k.a. SpongeBob SquarePants). Will Fred break his dad’s heart again by revealing the true nature of the beasts? The romance between Shaggy and Velma heats up. Can Scooby-Doo be second in Shaggy’s life?

“Howl of the Fright Hound” arrests Scooby-Doo on suspicion of being a violent dog. Udo Keir (Breaking the Waves) must determine if Scooby is insane. Also providing voices are Jessica Walter (Arrested Development) and Frances Conroy (Six Feet Under). That’s more star power than the Scooby-Doo Mystery Movies. A vampire haunts Crystal Cove in “The Secret Serum.” The person suspected of being undead is Daphne’s mom. Can she stake her own mom? Tension grows between the gang until they finally split up. “The Shrieking Madness” yells at a nearby college campus. The Char Gar Gothakon can destroy things with its voice. The gang must reunite. Author Harlan Ellison (Star Trek‘s “City on the Edge of Forever”) makes a guest appearance as himself. This rates up there with the time Thomas Pynchon popped up on The Simpsons. At the end of the episode, more secrets of Crystal Cove are revealed. It’s a spooky kind of town. And Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated is frighteningly entertaining revival of Sooby-Doo.

The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The transfer looks fine since it’s a recent show. The audio is Dolby Digital Stereo Surround. Things sound good since it’s all created in the booth. There are dub tracks for French, Spanish, Portuguese and Thai. The subtitles are in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Thai.

There are no bonus features.

Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: Season One, Volume 3 continues the best reworking of the series. The relationship between the kids and their dog changes as they get more emotionally involved and frustrated by each other. This wasn’t made for five year-olds looking to guess what adult is under the mask.

Warner Home Video presents Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: Season One, Volume 3. Starring: Lewis Black, Gary Cole and Patrick Warburton. Boxset Contents: Four episodes on 1 DVD. Released on DVD: September 27, 2011. Available at Amazon.com.

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