TV on DVD: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! -- Season 1, Volume 3: Hello Mummy (1969)

The Classic Series Continues
Where It Left Off
As A Fun Feature Length
4-Episode DVD

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I tell you, the only thing scarier than clowns are ghost clowns. As Mr. Barnstorm tells the veterans of the Mystery Machine in the second episode of the most recent Scooby Snack sized serving of the vintage Saturday Morning Cartoon's debut '69 season, "when the ghost clown appears at your circus, you might as well quit."

Yet par for the course for her brainy bespectacled character, Velma remains skeptical about myths just as she does in cases involving Scooby-Doo vs. a werewolf, an ominous curse of a three thousand year old entombed Egyptian mummy out for vengeance, and a crazy puppet counterfeiter. However, soon enough, events take a more sinister and unexplainable turn in this colorful collection which leads to hypnotized trapeze acts, violin cases filled with brand new bills, fake "girl dogs" used as bait, and much more in this fast-paced eighty-eight minute DVD.

A solid quartet of episodes-- the third volume features the show's famous denouement confession word-for-word that the villain "would've gotten away with it if it wasn't for you crazy kids," as brainy Velma, dashing Fred, gorgeous Daphne (every young boy's animated crush) manage to sleuth out the truth in roughly twenty-two minutes.

While I never quite understood the unusual group dynamic that includes the dimwitted slacker Shaggy and the TV show's namesake as embodied by his trusty canine sidekick Scooby-Doo, in the disc's opener "The Backstage Rage" it became much more evident as an adult that the duo's overactive appetite usually leads them into cases and clues.

And sure enough, you'll be glad it's on DVD and not network TV filled with fast food ads as you may find yourselves crazing some "blockbuster pizzas" with Shaggy and Scooby-Doo as they stumble their way into danger... while typically the higher functioning members of the ensemble ultimately piece together the satisfying mysteries.

Despite the fact that admittedly it suffers slightly from the dated look of the show and animation that doesn't feel overly crisp, the standard sized aspect ratio and original mono sound bring you right back to feeling like you're witnessing it when it aired forty years ago.
Containing a pointless bonus episode of the new animated series which loses the flavor, feel and soul of the show, you'll want to ignore that completely and focus exclusively on the other original episodes "The Backstage Rage," "Bedlam in the Bigtop," "Gaggle of Galloping Ghosts," and "Scooby-Doo and a Mummy, Too," wherein the first two episodes rank among the season's best.

Although you must be warned that the show's theme song has the tendency to stay in your head for days, even if the plots are bit too easy to predict, there's still no replacing the enjoyment of a great mini-marathon of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You provided you steer clear of Mr. Barnstorm's circus.

"The Backstage Rage" Video Clip

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