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Warner Home Video presents
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You: The Complete First and Second Seasons (1969)

"And I would have gotten away with it if it hadn't been for you meddling kids."
- various characters

Review By: Kevin Clemons  
Published: April 07, 2004

Stars: Don Messick, Casey Kasem, Frank Welker, Stefianna Christopherson, Nicole Jaffe
Director: various

Manufacturer: WAMO
MPAA Rating: G for nothing offensive
Run Time: 09h:48m:37s
Release Date: March 16, 2004
UPC: 014764233321
Genre: animation

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

I truthfully am not bragging when I say that my girlfriend is stunning to look at, really I am not. I bring it up simply because if there were no such thing as Scooby-Doo we may never have gotten together. Aside from her dazzling personality, aforementioned beauty, and the fact that her smile could light up Chicago, these things were inconsequential to me during our courtship. What was a huge factor was that the girl loved Scooby, and that was enough to let me know she was perfect.

By now everyone knows the general outline of Scooby-Doo. We have Fred (Welker) the pompous ascot-wearing unofficial leader of the gang who may be a tad too goody-goody. Daphne (Christopherson) is the physically stunning but air-headed girl who gets into a lot of trouble and constantly needs rescued. Velma (Jaffe) is the brains and perhaps the most loved of the trio, still years after the series was originally aired. And then there are Shaggy (Kasem) and Scooby (Messick), two best friends who travel with the rest of the gang in the Mystery Machine and solve crimes dealing with monsters and ghosts.

There are several reasons that Scooby-Doo has become a pop culture phenomenon and enormous cash cow: the series has a way of gaining the affection of generation after generation. The characters are so likable, to some they are as beloved as family members.

Each of the 25 episodes from the first and second seasons are included on this four-disc set, and while each feels like a repeat of the previous one, there remains a high level of entertainment. Nearly every episode is predictable, with the gang chasing a monster or a crook while going after one suspect who is so diabolically evil that they all but have a sign around their necks proclaiming that they are the perpetrators behind the crimes.

But all of this is what makes Scooby-Doo an American treasure. The production level of the series is deliciously weak and that is what helps to add to the atmosphere. The low budget backdrops set the tone and by the time the second season rolls around, the show features upbeat pop songs to go along with the canned laughter.

It would be pointless to delve into the arc of each season, as every episode is pretty much a carbon copy of another, but it is safe to say that nearly every classic Scooby villain is included in the set, from Redbeard the Pirate to the Wolfman, Frankenstein, and Dracula, and some of the episodes even reuse the same villain. For instance, the Phantom appears in the first season and Wax Phantom comes along late in the second season.

For purists, the first season is where you will likely remember the show with the most fondness, as the innocence was still there and it was an entertaining way to pass twenty minutes. In Season Two, the series would lose some of its luster, but it is still deserving of the praise and love it has garnered from generation to generation.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: A


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Each transfer is presented in the original full-frame image and, for the most part, Warner has done a fine job of restoring the nearly four-decade-old prints. Colors do appear a bit faded throughout each episode, yet, from time to time, colors do show some vibrancy. Sharpness and detail are each nearly perfect when you consider the age of the source material. For all intents and purposes, this is the best this set could have possibly looked.

Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access

Audio Transfer Review: The sound for the set is mono and while one would be wrong to expect a bombastic track, I was disappointed by the quality of the sound for this set. The dialogue is average with no real distortion or dropouts evident, but the center channel lacked the richness that many of the best mixes offer.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 25 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
4 Featurette(s)
Packaging: custom cardboard cover with sl
Picture Disc
4 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extra Extras:
  1. Trivia Game
  2. Fun Facts
Extras Review: Four featurettes are included, the first of which deals with the fashions of the characters on the show. Fun, but rather light in terms of quality information. For those interested in learning how to draw Fred and the gang, there is a three-minute piece that gives the basics of sketching the characters. The final two pieces deal with Scooby fans and how far some will go for their passion.

Finally, a trivia game and some brief fun facts round out the package.

Extras Grade: B+


Final Comments

If you are a fan of Scooby-Doo you will undoubtedly be thrilled by the fact that the shows are included in their original order for the first time on DVD. The transfers look fantastic and there are enough pleasing extras to make even the most diehard fan happy. Highly recommended.


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