STUDIO: Warner Home Video
MSRP: $19.97 RATED: NR
RUNNING TIME: 80 Minutes
• Scooby Doo All-Stars Meet the Home Run King Hank Aaron
• Scooby Doo All-Stars Baseball Tips: Batting Lessons with Kevin Renz

Scooby Doo is a staple of my childhood. I don’t think this makes me any different from any other Chewer. The Scooby Gang has seemingly always been around in some incarnation. Whether the classic Scooby-Doo Where Are You? or A Pup Names Scooby-Doo or that series with the gang as kids – Scooby has been there for you.

Now, a new series has entered the lineage and it has brought DVD with it. What’s New Scooby-Doo? is the latest version of the Gang’s never-ending quest to battle dumb criminals dressed as ghosts and goblins.

You see the truth about Randy Johnson when you look at him through the sunglasses from They Live.

The Flick

What’s New Scooby-Doo Volume 5 is titled Sports Spooktacular (oh those clever marketing guys!) and contains a whopping four episodes of the show.

Four. Count’em, four. Four episodes of a 20 minute show. Damn, Warner Brothers sure can get cheap when they want to. But, wait! Not just four “ordinary” episodes. Oh no! The box declares “Four Fantastic Adventures from the Hit TV Series.”

Well, that makes all the difference doesn’t it? Four Fantastic Adventures? That’s worth $19.97.

Fred expected to go to Hell after stealing the Pope-mobile. He didn’t expect the French Tickler in the driver’s seat though.

Actually, no, it isn’t. I’m not saying these episodes are enjoyable or that the disk itself isn’t any good, but for $19.97 I want more than four episodes. That seems a wee bit cheap. Especially because this is volume 5. To “collect them all” would cost almost $120 (and you’d get 20 episodes at that point). Hell, not even the overpriced Star Trek Seasons rip you off that badly.

The four episodes are good, but nothing great. They are four Scooby-Doo episodes. If you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all (they are formulaic, in case you don’t remember). It is nice that they all play off the sports theme – as that does give the disk some continuity.

The Tremors worm blames Michael Gross for the poor box office performance of the Tremors sequels. Unable to afford food, the worm eats Gross – car and all.

The episodes on the disk are:

The Unnatural – Baseball themed episode that has nothing to do with The Natural.

The Fast and Wormious – I love the idea of movie crossovers (like Freddy vs Jason or Alien vs. Predator). The result usually leaves a lot to be desired, but I like the idea. This episode, although not an official crossover on either end, is pretty much The Cannonball Run vs Tremors. That’s a movie I’d pay to see! It would have to have been better than Tremors IV.

Wrestle Maniacs – The gang solves a wrestling mystery and Fred dons tights (I’m guessing not for the first time). A guest voice of a real wrestler would have been great here, but alas, there is none. Come on, tell me The Undertaker wouldn’t fit in a Scooby-Doo cartoon perfectly.

“Hey, look! I’m stealing Hulk Hogan’s gimmick."

Diamonds are a Ghoul’s Best Friend – Hockey theme mystery with Brett Hull. It takes place in Russia and is very Cold War-esque.

The best thing about the episodes is that Casey Kasem is still doing the voice of Shaggy. At some point Casey is going to hang up his vocal cords and on that day a part of Scooby-Doo lore will die. But, not on this set.

All-in-all the episodes are OK. These are Scooby-Doo episodes, not Shakespeare. There’s only so much they can do within the confines of the formula. They are a nice regression to your childhood, but nothing more.

5 out of 10

“You take that back! This outfit does NOT make me look like a gay Superman."

The Look

Scooby sure does look better nowadays, that’s for sure! The animation is much cleaner and the colors are more vibrant. I’m sure TBS wasn’t using the best copies of Scooby-Doo Where Are You? while I was growing up, but the difference between the look of that show and this one is amazing.

7 out of 10

Shaggy and Scooby’s dream of drugging Fred, tying him up and sealing him in a tomb of pretzels is just… alarming.

The Noise

The word “Zoinks” never sounded clearer.

7 out of 10

The Goodies

This disk contains two featurettes that are hard to complain about. They are focused at kids are more interesting than a generic “making of.”

Both featurettes are with the “Scooby-Doo All Stars,” your basic diversity-friendly group of ragamuffins. In the first featurette they scamper around Turner Field in Atlanta and meet Hank Aaron (who seems reaaaaaally uncomfortable around the little germ bags). The second has the group getting batting lessons at Kevin Renz’s baseball school.

Those are the only two goodies, so there isn’t too much there. However, the extras are a bit creative and not the “typical” extras that get thoughtlessly dumped onto disks.

5 out of 10

It was about 5 seconds into his first base jump when Fred realized he would be a victim of the metric system. He had 100 meters of rope and 100 feet to the ground below.

The Artwork

They took a something out of one of the episodes and put it on the cover. A good choice I guess. I like the big ghoul on the cover (looking a lot like Randy Johnson), but I’m a little shocked that the balance of the gang is regulated to a picture on the scoreboard.

6 out of 10

Overall: 6 out of 10