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Warner Home Video presents
A Pup Named Scooby-Doo: Volume 1 (2005)

"And whenever I oversleep I get woken up by my personal alarm clock: A pup named Scooby-Doo."
- Shaggy (Casey Kasem)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: September 29, 2005

Stars: Frank Welker, Casey Kasem
Other Stars: Kellie Martin
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:32m:14s
Release Date: July 19, 2005
UPC: 014764278124
Genre: animation


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
D+ C-C+C F

DVD Review

Seemingly the umpteenth spin-off of the classic Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? television show, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo wagged his tail on to the screen way back in 1988. There appeared to be a trend in the late 80s/early 90s to reimagine beloved cartoon characters in much younger versions. Other shows in this mini-genre were Tom & Jerry Kids and Tiny Toon Adventures, which featured kid-versions of the classic Looney Tunes, albeit with completely different names. Of these two shows, the former paled in comparison to the "adult version," but the latter was actually very good, maintaining the wit and spirit of its parental version.

A Pup Named Scooby-Doo has its moments, but, for the most part, it pales in comparison to the "adult" versions of these same characters. The only characters that are even close to being as enjoyable as their older counterparts are Scooby and Shaggy, with Fred, Velma, and Daphne being uninteresting as youngsters. There are plenty of die-hard Scooby-Doo fans out there that will watch their beloved dog in any form (yes, even in the dreadful Scooby-Doo feature), and snatch up this DVD as soon as they can. However, if you are the parent of a young one who might instantly fall in love with the inhabitants of the Mystery Machine, introduce them to the shows where the characters are actually old enough to drive that van.

One of the few saving graces of this show (and the main reason at least two of the characters are still enjoyable) is the vocal work of series stalwarts Casey Kasem (Shaggy) and Frank Welker (Scooby-Doo, himself). It's hard to think of anyone else manning these voices, so keeping these wonderful actors on board is a definite plus. Some "new" talent is on board for this spin-off as well, with the most notable name being Kellie Martin, who most people know from the TV shows Life Goes On and ER. Her work as Daphne is solid, but she isn't going to make anyone forget Heather North's work in the original series.

There are four episodes on this initial DVD collection, including the show's premiere episode, A Bicycle Built for Boo. This episode introduces us to the younger versions of these familiar characters, yet still finds time to throw in a solid mystery. Shaggy apparently had a paper route when he was younger, and one day while he was delivering the news, a green monster swipes his bicycle. After getting Scooby and the rest of the gang, they follow the monster to a haunted house where they discover his secret plan. There's nothing very revelatory about this premiere episode of the show, as it contains a light story so we can become comfortable with these younger versions of these characters.

The shows on this disc are actually the first four shows of the series, continuing with The Sludge Monster from the Earth's Core, a story that is slightly more involved than the first one, but you still get the sense that something is missing. Scooby finds a monster in his doghouse that has been accused of a robbery. Again, we go through the same formula, which is just fine and what fans come to expect, but I just couldn't shake the feeling that I could find a similar storyline in an episode of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?. Most fans will probably have the same notion to revisit a classic episode after a few minutes of this or any of the other four episodes (the last two are titled, Wanted Cheddar Alive and The Schnook Who Took My Comic Book) in this collection, and it would be difficult to blame them. Still, smaller kids who have never heard of Scooby-Doo or Shaggy might not care who's doing the voices and might even relate more to these mini-characters. In that regard, there is definitely an audience for this show, so parents will have to make a tough call as to what form of Scooby-Doo they show to their young ones.

Rating for Style: D+
Rating for Substance: C-

 

Image Transfer

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


Image Transfer Review: All of these four episodes are presented in their original full frame formats. There really aren't any surprises as far as the overall quality of these transfers goes, and it's nice that it maintains a similar look to that of the original series. Compared to the polished look of the modern versions, this is definitely a welcome sight. The colors are just as drab as on the old series, but this is intentional. The only glaring problem is a bit too much pixelation that does become a distraction at times.

Image Transfer Grade: C+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglish, French, Spanishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital Mono audio isn't surprising, but it is also just fine given the inherent nature of the material. With everything confined to the front of the sound stage, there isn't much room for any depth, but the dialogue and music always play nice together and present a pleasant listening experience.

Audio Transfer Grade: C

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 4 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
Packaging: Snapper
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: There aren't any extras at all on this disc.

Extras Grade: F

 

Final Comments

Don't waste your time with the four episodes in A Pup Named Scooby-Doo: Volume 1 if you grew up loving the "adult" versions of these characters. Now that nearly all of these spin-offs are available on DVD, they're easier to compare, and, after revisiting this 1988 incarnation, it's clear that the original series (and the older "movies") are the way to go. The audio and video presentations on this disc are what we would expect from a late 80s animated show, and there aren't any extras accompanying these four episodes.

 


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