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Warner Home Video presents
What's New? Scooby-Doo TV Episodes: Monster Matinee (2005)

"Wow, like, free Swedish massages."
- Shaggy (Casey Kasem)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: January 19, 2006

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

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:25m:31s
Release Date: August 09, 2005
UPC: 014764278520
Genre: animation


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B BBB- C-

DVD Review

The number of different incarnations of Scooby-Doo seems to constantly increase. The latest of these is the What's New Scooby-Doo? show, featuring most of the same characters that fans know and love, but updating their looks thanks to the wonders of modern, yet still (thankfully) hand-drawn, animation.

While lacking the old school, nostalgic look of the original series, this new version still keeps the spirit of it intact. It's very difficult for people who were born and bred on the old show to accept their favorite characters with a new look. Fortunately, What's New Scooby-Doo? treats Scooby and gang just fine, adding just enough freshness to the franchise to make this incarnation worth a look.

Monster Matinee, Volume 6 features four episodes of the show, with the first, A Scooby-Doo Halloween being the best of the bunch. The main reason for this is the appearance by the rock group KISS, who has seen their share of Scooby-Doo mysteries in the past. Even though this isn't as entertaining an adventure as the band's earlier appearances, it's still an involving story centering on the mystery of an old ghost that is haunting Banning Junction after being dead for 100 years.

San Franpsycho finds Scooby and the gang in the middle of the Grind Games. A world-renowned skateboarder is haunted by the San Franpsycho monster, and the gang tries to do what they can to keep the Games going. Their sleuthing eventually involves an exciting trip to Alcatraz.

New Mexico, Old Monster is pretty much Shaggy's show, as he and the gang encounter one of his old friends, Jimmy Brown Wolf. This Native American from New Mexico instantly charms the gang since his mannerisms are virtually identical to Shaggy's. Their new friend helps the gang with the mystery of The Wakoomee Beast, a giant bird of prey that has a penchant for snagging humans. Along the way to another successfully solved mystery, the gang learns a thing or two about Native American culture from Jimmy Brown Wolf.

Big Appetite in Little Tokyo takes Scooby and the gang to Japan, where a group of scientists are to study a robot dog that Velma has created. Their initial plans are interrupted when Dr. Onodera is approached by an old ghost who warns him not to build a new wharf in Tokyo. After the gang gets involved, Shaggy has the unfortunate distinction of being the one cursed by the ghost instead of Dr. Onodera. This is pretty much the second best of these episodes, thanks to the Japanese settings and the appearance of the "Shagzilla."

It's great to see these characters up to their old tricks again, but the one thing that bogs the new series down is the horrid, alternative music that is featured in most of the episodes. I understand that the creators are trying to appeal to a new generation of Scooby-Doo fans, and they can't be faulted for that. However, for a die-hard, old-school fan like myself (especially one that hates the state of corporate-driven "rock" music today), having to listen to this music while watching the Mystery Machine drive around is a hard pill to swallow.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B

 

Image Transfer

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


Image Transfer Review: Each episode is presented in its original full frame format, and the quality is very similar to the way these looked on TV. This is a good thing, though, as the color scheme is just as bright and vivid as it originally was, and the hand-drawn animation is crisp and well-defined. There aren't any major flaws to note, either, making for generally pleasing transfers.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, French, Spanishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Each show also has a Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track, which suits the material just fine. The lack of surround activity leaves a bit to be desired, but the crisp, clear dialogue and overall solid mix makes up for this bit of a complaint.

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
7 Other Trailer(s) featuring Trollz, Hi Hi Puffy Ami Yumi, Cartoon Network Halloween 2005, Codename: Kids Next Door Sooper Hugest Missions File, Scooby-Doo, Xiaolin Showdown & The Batman on Kids WB!, Leapfrog Catalog Trailer
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Snapper
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Blast the Monster Challenge - Interactive game
Extras Review: There are a couple of decent extras, including trailers for other animated Warner Home Video DVDs.

A five-minute segment called Haunted Hoax mixes animated footage of Scooby and Shaggy with a pair of kids that are led through a haunted house by a seemingly nice witch. During the tour, the kids learn how to make costumes and other Halloween-oriented effects.

There's also an interactive game called Blast the Monster Challenge. Kids will enjoy this easy game that has you using various weapons to fend-off various monsters that appear on the screen.

Extras Grade: C-

 

Final Comments

Hide your goblins and ghosts because Scooby-Doo and the gang are back to their old mystery solving tricks. While their look has changed dramatically, the overall themes of the show hasn't, and What's New Scooby-Doo?: Monster Matinee, Volume 6 is a solid collection of what this new incarnation is all about. The audio and video on this disc are solid, and there are even a couple of decent extras that the kids will want to check out.

 


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