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From the Vault: Scooby Doo Movies
Guest Star goodness with the New Scooby Doo Movies
By Tim Janson
October 07, 2012
Since its debut in 1969, Scooby Doo has become one of the most enduring animated characters of all time with numerous series’, animated and live-action films produced. For a young cartoon addict like myself growing up in the 1970s, getting up early on Saturday mornings, pouring a big bowl of cereal, and plopping down in front of the TV was a weekly ritual. In 1972, "Scooby Doo, Where are You?" became "The New Scooby Doo Movies". The show was now an hour long instead of 30 minutes and each episode had the gang meet a new guest star each week. This format lasted from 1972 through 1973 and featured a total of 24 episodes along with a Halloween special. Never was there a more eclectic roster of guest stars gathered together in one place. You had stars of yesteryear like The Three Stooges and Laurel and Hardy; pop stars of the early 1970s like Davy Jones and Sonny & Cher; comedy stalwarts like Tim Conway, Jonathan Winters, Phyllis Diller, and Don Knotts; fellow animated characters Josie and the Pussycats and Speed Buggy; to some truly inexplicable guest stars like country singer Jerry Reed and Mama Cass.
In 2005 Warner Home Entertainment released The Best of the New Scooby Doo Movies which is a four DVD set featuring 15 episodes of the show. “Best of” is misleading to say the least. The 15 episodes included had nothing to do with them being the best but rather with the fact that Warner was unable to come to an agreement with several of the guest stars and thus their appearances were omitted. Thus, while we get all of the appearances of The Harlem Globetrotters (three) Batman & Robin, Don Knotts (two each) we don’t get the episodes featuring The Addams Family, Sony & Cher, Phyllis Diller, or Tim Conway.
This is a definite disappointment to Scooby fans and cartoon completists and at this point, it doesn’t look as if these other 9 episodes will ever see the light of day on DVD or Blu-Ray, but you never know. This set is aimed at baby boomers since most kids today are not going to have any idea who people like Don Adams, Jerry Reed, and Mama Cass are but these are still a lot of fun. An actor lending their voices for animated shows is quite common today but it wasn't so much back in the 1970s and it's very cool to see animated versions of these great comedians with their own voices.
Below is an episode list and quick synopsis of the 15 episodes included in The Best of the New Scooby Doo Movies.
"Ghastly Ghost Town" guest stars the Three Stooges. The gang is forced to seek help on foot in the desert after their van is forced onto a sand dune by a low-flying, king-sized bat. They come across Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly-Joe DeRita, whose amusement park is really the one in need of help.
"The Dynamic Scooby Doo Affair" with Batman & Robin. When The Mystery Machine breaks the gang bump into smugglers, Batman and Robin, a little old lady, and a punching clown filled with counterfeit cash. A tip leads them to the carnival. . .where they find Joker and Penguin behind the kooky counterfeit caper. As is usually the case with these villainous villains, our heroes wind up in a funhouse hideout.
"The Frickert Fracas" with Jonathan Winters. Hoping they will have a vacation from haunted houses and spooky characters when Jonathan Winters invites them to stay at Maude Frickert's farm, Scooby-Doo and company soon learn differently when the place becomes overrun with vandalizing scoundrels and living scarecrows.
"Guess who's Knott Coming to Dinner?" with Don Knotts. When the gang stop at Moody Manor to get directions, they find themselves mistaken for Captain Moody's neices and nephews by an assortment of characters who all resemble Don Knotts.
"The Spooky Fog" - with Don Knotts. A spoof of Knott's show Mayberry R.F.D, wherein a unique form of small-town hospitality is in store for Scooby-Doo and pals when officer Don Knotts invites them to spend the night at the best hotel in Juneberry: the local jail!
"The Ghost of Bigfoot" with Laurel & Hardy. While visiting a ski lodge, the gang run into bellhops Laurel and Hardy, who attempt to help the gang uncover the mystery of the ghost of Bigfoot... but Laurel and Hardy are even more cowardly than Scooby and Shaggy.
"The Ghost of the Red Baron" with the Three Stooges. The gang re-teams with the Three Stooges to ground the ghost of Baron Ludwig von Richtofen, The Red Baron, the evildoer of daring who has scared off all of Mr. Sawyer's crop dusting pilots in an effort to pressure the farmer into leaving his land.
"Ghostly Creeps from the Deep" with the Harlem Globetrotters. Scooby and the gang run across the clown princes of basketball, The Harlem Globetrotters on the eerie banks of a haunted swamp so that their boosted team spirit might protect them from the supernatural spirits being released by the ghost of Redbeard The Pirate.
"The Caped Crusader Caper" with Batman & Robin. In Batman and Robin's second appearance on this series, Scooby and the gang try to foil Joker and Penguin's attempts to steal a flying suit from a goofy scientist.
"The Lochness Mess" with the Harlem Globetrotters. The Gang travel to a small New England town to visit Shaggy's Uncle Nathaniel but walk into the middle of a mystery complete with the ghost of Paul Revere and a spooky sea serpent. With the aid of The Harlem Globetrotters, they uncover a plot whereby Morgan, a local crook, is trying to scare the townsfolk into moving away in order to hide his discovery of a treasure ship.
"The Mystery of the Haunted Island" - The Globetrotters are back again. The gang and the Trotters are taken by a spectral ship to a deserted island. They take refuge in a deserted mansion where statues come to life, books fly off the shelves, and ghosts and secret passages are everywhere.
"The Exterminator" with Don Adams. The gang pick up Don Adams who is running an extermination business and take him to his next job at Horror Hill, an eerie, foreboding-looking ramshackle which is also the home of old horror film star Lorne Chumley.
"The Weird Winds of Winona" - with Speed Buggy! The Mystery Machine breaks down and the gang find themselves running into Speed Buggy and his friends. It's up to the two gangs to discovery the mystery of the winds that blow through the town that they've been stranded in.
"The Haunted Candy Factory" with Mama Cass. Mama Cass, Scooby-Doo and company are caught in a "sticky mess" at her namesake candy factory when two green cotton candy globs attempt to "cover" stolen gold bullion with caramel, chocolate and nuts.
"The Haunted Carnival" with Dick Van Dyke. The gang takes a trip to the carnival to escape their ghost-chasing troubles, only to find Dick Van Dyke owns and operates the park. . .which is haunted.
This set is aimed at us baby boomers since most kids today are not going to have any idea who people like Don Adams and Mama Cass are but they are still fun and I've not seen many of these in over 30 years. Great to see these on DVD! Actors doing voices for animated films and shows is quite common today but it wasn't so common back then and it's fun to see animated versions of these great comics with their own voices.