It’s time for the first of four Scooby Doo specials that I recently saw. It’s always interesting to see these because they are essentially really compressed Scooby Doo films. The formula is still in tact, but everything must happen at a very rapid pace, which actually turns out well since it captures the meat of the story without any of the fluff. It’s a little tougher to take a stab at who the culprit is though because sometimes you won’t see all of the suspects until it is almost too late. Even though the time varies a whole lot, I like to make my guess at the first commercial break and it turns out that I was right on the money for this one. It was a pretty proud moment in my rather impressive detective career.
So, the gang was having a good ole time as per usual when they find out that this town is having an issue with a Spooky Scarecrow. Legend states that this guy is no mere mortal and he actually survived being sliced by that fork-type weapon from the farms. As a result, Halloween is cancelled. The Mystery Gang is going to have to work quickly or else Halloween will never make a return and then they’ll have to go somewhere else for their candy.
There are a few suspects right off the bat. The Mayor is a little shady since he clearly needs more sleep to get rid of the dark rings under his eyes and the guy seems shady. There’s also the chief of police who is always ignored by the mayor so she may have an axe to grind about all of this. She is helping to block off the cornfield so the Mystery Gang can’t start sleuthing. That’s a little iffy eh? There’s also Billy Bob, or something like that. He’s always fairly cold to the heroes and only says “Yup” and “No” so maybe this guy has something to hide. Who do you think the culprit is?
As always, the animation is quite good for Scooby Doo. It’s not as if the company is hitting it out of the park or anything like that, but everything is smooth and appropriately detailed. It’s what I’d expect from Scooby Doo and it isn’t experimenting like some of the previous movies/specials. (Puppets…I don’t think so!) The soundtrack is also what you would expect at this point. It’s suitable for the scenes and that’s what I like to see.
The villain wasn’t quite as intense as some of the others, but the fact that he does have a pickax of sorts makes him a real threat. I would put him in my top 50 Scooby Doo villains….well, that’s not saying much. He was probably my least favorite from the 4 specials today, but at least he wasn’t a bad villain. Now that would have been sad! Meanwhile it was fun to see all of the corn snacks in the special. They’re definitely not very appetizing next to other tried and true classics like Pizza and burgers, but they will do.
On a final note for the analysis, it was good to see the Mystery Gang get some respect here. The police chief quickly realized that they were experts of sorts in the monster biz after they professionally handled the situation with a Net Launcher. That’s what I’ve come to expect from the gang and let’s face it…after about 30-50 years of catching ghosts from all around the world, their reputation should precede them at this point. Even in a small town like this one that doesn’t seem too heavy on computers, the legends of Scooby Doo and his friends should be quite well known.
Overall, This was a good Scooby Doo special. It played it close to the belt here as it is almost the definition of your average Scooby Doo adventure. It’s fun and goes by very quickly, but nothing really stood out. No worries, that will change for the other specials as they all typically have at least one gimmick that makes them fairly original. If you’re a Scooby Doo fan, then you’ll definitely enjoy this one. If you’ve never heard of Scooby Doo and have no idea what you’re about to get yourself into..you should still enjoy it as a fun little mystery. Although you won’t be able to appreciate just how good of a tradition this series is either.