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STUDIO: Turner Home Entertainment
MSRP: $16.99
RATED: Not rated
RUNNING TIME: 288 minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES:

  • Bonus episode: “A Scooby Doo Christmas”
  • Do You Know Your Scooby trivia game



THE PITCH

The Scooby Gang finally joins us in the 21st Century.

THE SCOOBY GANG

Scooby, Shaggy, Fred, Daphne and Velma.

THE NUTSHELL

Harkening back to the original Scooby Doo, Where Are You?, What’s New, Scooby Doo?
continues the adventures of the Scooby Gang as they’re still solving
crimes and unmasking bad guys in lame costumes with hackneyed plots to
get rich by scaring other people.



“Oh my god, Scrappy’s gonna jump from that building.  Shouldn’t we do something?”
“I’ll get the beer and popcorn…”



THE LOWDOWN

What’s New Scooby Doo?
I think has the spirit of the original Scooby TV series more than any
other incarnation of the show in the last 30 years or so.  With a
highly self-reverential tone and play on the gang’s relationships from
the original show, What’s New is a pretty fun cartoon and if you grew up on and liked the original, you’ll probably like this one too.  What’s New
follows the classic recipe for Scooby Gang adventures, with Scooby and
company basically traveling all over the world having fun and
invariably coming across a mystery involving some sort of monster,
ghoul or ghost that’s scaring people.  What’s New
has updated the characters by bringing them into the modern world of
cell phones and computers, and updating the music for the 21st Century,
but the intergroup dynamics that made the original cartoon memorable
are back as well.  Only now they’re in the forefront as long-held
conventions of the group are held up to the light and skewered
regularly.



Oh, how I’ve dreamed of this…



The
gang is basically the same: Fred is a lighthearted jock who has a
penchant for setting traps for the bad guy and splitting up to look for
clues, Velma is the sleuth of the group, and now a die hard hockey fan,
and Daphne is even more obsessed with shopping.  Of course the formula
to making any Scooby Doo incarnation work – and this is the ninth or so
– is Shaggy and Scooby themselves, once again voiced by Casey Kasem and
Frank Welker, who took over for the late Don Messick.   Having Casem
and a polished veteran like Welker who can continue Messick’s work as
the titular pooch is crucial and the two are key to keeping any
incarnation of the show going.  Shaggy and Scooby are still the fraidy
cat chowhounds they’ve been for forty years and they’re still fun to
watch.



Looks like Shag and Scoob like the previous cap as well.



What’s New
continues to take the gang up against all sorts of weird
ne’er-do-wells, including the ghost of an evil Lighthouse keeper
(“Fright House of a Lighthouse”), The Titanic Twist, the contorted
ghost (both of his arms are on one side as a result of a wrestling move
gone bad) of a wrestler in “Wrestle Maniacs”, the Frozen Fiend, the
ghost of a frozen Russian hockey player in “Diamonds Are a Ghoul’s Best
Friend”, a giant robotic demon clown from a putt putt golf course in “A
Terrifying Round With A Menacing Clown” and the Toxic Terror, a glowing
green tree monster at a summer camp in “Camp Comeoniwannascareya.”  “A
Terrifying Round With A Menacing Clown” is notable because it
establishes a link back to A Pup Named Scooby
Doo in order to establish Velma’s fear of clowns due to an incident
with a birthday party clown, a shredder and Velma’s encyclopedia gone
wrong.



Velma: “Jinkies, this is as mystery!”
Shaggy: “Yeah, what the hell is Daphne doing on Hustler.com, anyway?”
Daphne: “Fred!  How did those pics get up on this website?!”
Fred: “Uh, let’s split up and look for clues.  I’ll go by myself…”
Scooby: “Row, roobies!”



Not
only are the Scooby Gang updated, but they’re also expanded and aren’t
afraid to reference their own idiosyncrasies.  For instance, Fred is
now a big wrestling fan, benches 220 (which isn’t nearly impressive
enough to his Uncle Karl) and takes utter delight in coming up with the
most convoluted traps he can imagine.  Velma peers into a mirror darkly
when she comes across Verona Dempsey, who is also an ace mystery sleuth
and is eerily similar to Velma.  And Scooby has an irrational fear of
ice due to a certain past tail freezing incident.  Shaggy is also the
world putt putt golfing champ.

What’s New Scooby Doo? is a fun, fresh new take on the old tried-and-true Scooby Doo formula and is pretty fun to watch.

THE PACKAGE

The
animation is much crisper on this one than previous recent Scooby incarnations because this is a much newer cartoon.  The sound is also suitably good.  There are two special features: a bonus episode titled “A Scooby Doo Christmas” and a Do You Know Your Scooby trivia game.  The trivia game’s a bit annoying and isn’t even interactive, as you have to write your answers on a piece of paper or keep them in your head.


6.2 out of 10