What parents need to know
Even the most devout draw the line somewhere, whether it's an aversion to Scooby's plainly-speaking nephew Scrappy-Doo, invented in , or, more likely, the rancid recent live-action movies directed by Raja Gosnell and starring Freddie Prinze Jr. Personally, I absolutely enjoy Scooby and his friends, but I've never been passionate enough to know the different series and have opinions on them. After all, I find it a lot easier to get into s cartoons than today's didactic or obnoxious fare and even a terrible show couldn't induce too much pain with just thirteen episodes.
Fortunately, not only is "13 Ghosts" not terrible, it is pretty good.
By the mids, Scooby-Doo's well-known four-teenager dynamic hadn't been complete in some time. With the growing attention devoted to Scrappy-Doo, Shaggy's friends Fred the ascoted blonde and Velma the bespectacled brunette had been phased out.
So was Daphne the redheaded girl , but she returned as a regular in the sixth incarnation "New Scooby A fifth core cast member is had in an archetype that was popular in the s, that of the streetwise Asian boy. Flim Flam, introduced as a potion salesboy in the first episode, fits that bill like a glove. His mystic friend Vincent VanGhoul, a Vincent Price caricature voiced by the man himself, serves as the group's spiritual advisor of sorts, often appearing in a crystal ball.
Rounding out the regulars are Bogel and Weerd, the two mischievous but fairly harmless ghosts who con Shaggy and Scooby into releasing the eponymous spirits as only the living can. It takes Shaggy, Daphne, Scooby, and Scrappy to the Himalayan Mountains, where locked in a chest hidden inside a temple are the titular baker's dozen, the world's scariest ghosts.
When Shaggy and Scooby inadvertently let them out, the series' design becomes clear. The gang will have to capture these fearsome ghosts and return them to the chest.
Each episode involves a different ghost, without too rigid a structure. Sadly, a title revision may be in order, because only eleven are retrieved by series' end. Wikipedia's listing has information on two purportedly "lost" episodes. Aspects of the series seem inspired by then-recent hit films Ghostbusters and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. As the former blockbuster does much more skillfully than the latter, comedy here tempers what could be dark or frightening. Experienced young cartoon writer and story editor Tom Ruegger, who assumes associate producer duties for the first time here, would bring similar comic sensibilities to Warner's s free-for-alls "Tiny Toon Adventures" and "Animaniacs.
Unlike the franchise's first four incarnations, "13 Ghosts" does not feature a laugh track, which television animation moved away from in the s. The signature Mystery Machine van occasionally becomes the Mystery Flying Machine a plane , but is mostly replaced by a nondescript 6-wheeled red van. This program is not entirely removed from Scooby's past ones, however; joining the unmistakable Vincent Price in the voice cast are Casey Kasem and Don Messick, who still provide the familiar voices of Shaggy who now wears a red shirt instead of his customary green and Scooby, respectively.
Messick also voices Scrappy. Like much mass-produced TV animation from this era, "13 Ghosts" boasts simple but sufficient limited animation. Also common, the show borders on tedious when watched at a speed conducive to timely reviewing. I've come to find losing interest in a yesteryear cartoon series is almost the norm when revisiting in bulk, which even a modest 13 episodes qualified as here. As always, a pre-existing preferably childhood attachment to the show is invaluable here. See a clip from "The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo" episode "Coast-to-Ghost": Synopses follow, with red stars denoting my three favorite episodes.
Disc 1 1. To All the Ghouls I've Loved Before Originally aired September 7, Intending to visit Hawaii, the gang winds up crash-landing in the Himalayas, in a town of cursed werewolves. There, they meet Flim Flam and establish the series' premise. Me and My Shadow Demon Originally aired September 21, When the Chest of Demons goes missing on the night when monsters are strongest, the gang must endure a shadow demon, Queen Morbidia, and other spooks in Befuddle Manor. Reflections in a Ghoulish Eye Originally aired September 28, At a Marrakesh hotel during a paranormal convention, the gang is targeted by Bogel, Weerd, and their mirror monster.
That's Monstertainment Originally aired October 5, Scooby and friends are sucked into their television set and have to act in the old horror film The Son of the Bride of the Ghost of Frankenstein.
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While they're there, Zomba looks to unlock the Chest of Demons. Ship of Ghouls Originally aired October 12, Bound for Bermuda, the gang learns they're on a ghost ship. Disc 2 7. She sets her sights on Vincent.
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THE 13 GHOSTS of Scooby-Doo The Complete Series DVD NEW SEALED - $ | PicClick
The complete series was re-released in a 4-disc set by Timeless Media Group.