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Warner Home Video presents
What's New Scooby-Doo: Volume 5 (2005)

"Like, usually it takes a lot longer before we're unmasking people."
- Shaggy (Kasey Kasem)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: July 07, 2005

Stars: Casey Kasem, Frank Welker
Other Stars: Mindy Cohn, Greg Delisle
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:24m:37s
Release Date: June 14, 2005
UPC: 014764268125
Genre: animation

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

Being a couple of years removed from the last Scooby-Doo movie, the cartoon series' legion of fans can begin to put those pathetic live-action adventures behind them. Both Sarah Michelle Gellar vehicles were a disgrace to the series, failing miserably in the one aspect that should have been a home run; animating Scooby, himself. They would have been better off just inserting the live actors into footage from one of the cartoon series, regardless of how silly that would look. Fortunately, Warner Home Video has made forgetting those films easier by continuing to release the Scooby-Doo cartoons, in their many incarnations, on DVD.

The newest of these discs, What's New Scooby-Doo? Volume 5: Sports Spooktacular, is a collection of four episodes from the newest spin-off featuring these beloved characters. While this series isn't as entertaining or funny as the 1970s show, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?, it does still use the same formula, with the same group of core characters that many fans have grown up with. Regardless of whether you've been a Scooby-Doo fan for 30 years or 3, these are shows that are well-worth checking out.

There will definitely be some griping about these shows being artificial representations of Scooby, Shaggy, etc., but giving the show a chance will prove to the doubters that the essence of the original series is still present. I realize that the older, cheaper, bumbling animation style is what most fans prefer, but this show has performed the valuable service of introducing a new generation to these characters, in a move that will hopefully keep Scooby-Doo alive, at least in some form or another, for many years to come.

There's a nice mix of old and new elements in this series, as well, including the vocal presence of the "original" Fred and Scooby (Frank Welker), as well as the only person who should EVER embody Shaggy (hear me, Matthew Lillard?!), Casey Kasem. The new voice talent features Grey Delisle as Daphne and The Facts of Life's Natalie, herself, Mindy Cohn. Even the hardcore purists will have a hard time denying how surprisingly effective these new voices are, and, as long as they can get past the terrible new rendition of the Scooby-Doo theme song, they'll enjoy What's New Scooby-Doo?

The four, sports-themed episodes in this collection are: The Unnatural, The Fast and the Wormious, Wrestle Maniacs, and Diamonds are a Ghoul's Best Friend. All of these are very good, but there are a couple of standouts. The Unnatural tells the tale of a stadium that is haunted by the ghost of an old baseball player. The reason this episode shines is it's striking resemblance to the older shows. Sure, the animation is more advanced, but the core formula is definitely in play, as the gang's job is to determine just who this old baseball player is.

Wrestle Maniacs is another above average show, taking our favorite mystery-solvers to the squared circle. Their battles with the wrestler, Titanic Twist, are hilarious, as most of the gang struggles to fend off his freakish tactics (he has two arms on one side of his body). The Fast and the Wormious and Diamonds are a Ghoul's Best Friend aren't bad, but they just don't feel like the classic Scooby-Doo stories that we know and love.

Three seasons worth of What's New Scooby-Doo? episodes is enough for Warner to start releasing them in seasonal, or at least multi-disc, DVD sets. Releasing these shows as single-disc "volumes" is a lot of beating-around-the-bush, and actually winds up being more expensive for the show's fans. Still, arguments can also be made that people enjoy being able to somewhat pick and choose the episodes that they own, but the majority of DVD collectors prefer the larger, more comprehensive sets. There has to be a reason why this series is still being released the way that it is, though, and there are no signs that point to a different plan at all.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: The video is the show's original full frame, and everything looks good. The overall quality is similar to the show's broadcast quality, including the bright, vivid colors and sharp detail. There aren't any blemishes to bog things down, including no color bleeding or fading.

Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, French, Spanishyes

Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 2.0 audio doesn't offer anything earth-shattering, but is adequate enough to suit the material. Everything stays up front and there's hardly any bass presence, but the music and clear dialogue blend in well with each other in the overall mix.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 4 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
5 Other Trailer(s) featuring Funky Monkey, Racing Stripes, What's New Scooby-Doo? Volume 6, Son of the Mask, What's New Scooby-Doo? Volume 5: Sports Spooktacular
2 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Snapper
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The only extras, aside from a collection of Trailers are the featurettes, Scooby-Doo All-Stars Meet the Home Run King Hank Aaron and Scooby-Doo All-Stars Baseball Tips. The titles of these pretty much say it all, with the same group of kids being involved in both segments' activities, and Hank Aaron seeming genuinely interested in getting his segment's message across in the kid-friendliest manner.

Extras Grade: D+


Final Comments

Rev up the Mystery Machine, because Scooby-Doo and the gang are up to their old investigative tricks in What's New Scooby-Doo? Volume 5: Sports Spooktacular. Four more episodes of this newest of animated series are presented in solid audio and video transfers, along with a couple of decent bonus features.


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