Saturday, September 19, 2009

Scooby Doo and Scrappy Doo – collected reviews

logoIt is absolutely painful – I know – realising that, when you look at the genius that was Scooby Doo you also have to look at Scrappy Doo (if you are being completist).

The Scooby and Scrappy shows came in a variety of guises – sometimes in 7 minute slots on shows like the Richie Rich & Scooby Doo show and sometimes without Scooby at all. Here are a few of the shows collected together…

The Ri¢hie Ri¢h/Scooby-Doo Show – Fit Night Out for Bats

spooky houseFirst aired in 1980, this one sees Scooby (Don Messick), Scrappy (also Don Messick) and Shaggy (Casey Kasem) out and about on a stormy night and the mystery machine has a flat. Scrappy spots a spooky looking house atop a hill and, despite Shaggy and Scooby’s better judgement, they head up to look for shelter.

Sylvester the vampireThe door is open and the gang fall in and into the path of an Eastern European accented gentleman who introduces himself as Sylvester. He seems a bit of a joker but invites the three to make themselves some food (it is the cook’s night off). Of course he is a vampire and is looking forward to some Type O as opposed to tomato juice.

a coffinAll the gang can find in the kitchen is tomato juice and a donut mix and so Scrappy starts making donuts when Sylvester flies in, having turned into a bat. He flies into Scrappy’s chef hat and is plonked out the window for his trouble. There is to be no more nice vampire, and the lights go out. Scrappy heads downstairs to find a fuse box and Shaggy and Scooby follow. Scrappy finds a box alright – a coffin – but doesn’t know what it is. Shaggy falls down the stairs straight into it and explains that a coffin is a place where “vampire type kooks like to take naps.” When the bat flies in they realise it is a vampire and Shaggy and Scooby leg it, carrying Scrappy who wants, typically, to be let at it.

no reflectionUpstairs they meet Sylvester in human form again but when Shaggy realises he has no reflection he knows that he is the vampire. Some more chasing around ends up in the kitchen and the donuts are as big as wheels. The next thing we see is Sylvester left at the house as the mystery machine drives off – its tyre replaced with a donut.

Okay, stereotyped vampire, annoying puppy, no real mystery and average slapstick – this was dreadful – though it is always nice to see a real monster. 2.5 out of 10. The imdb page is here.

The Ri¢hie Ri¢h/Scooby-Doo Show – Hard Hat Scooby

the vampireFirst aired in 1981, this one sees Scooby (Don Messick), Scrappy (also Don Messick) and Shaggy (Casey Kasem) working a night shift as hard hats – construction workers – building a skyscraper. Who on earth would want a night crew on construction… a vampire foreman of course. However, his objectives seem a little unrealistic!

Hiring a crew of three (and bunglers at that) to build a skyscraper by dawn just seems a little bit too silly but, again, this is an episode with no real story it is just a set up to have some low key slapstick – including a throw away gag about horse radish mustard, which makes Scooby belch fire. However, having bungled too much they are put with heavy machinery.

the vampire state buildingScrappy does just what his Uncle Scooby would do (yeah right) and puts the mustard in the machinery – which makes it all work automatically and at fast pace. They don’t realise this and are going to leave when the foreman points out that they have finished the Vampire State Building. Realising him for what he is they leg it – just as well a he was going to have them for breakfast. Fin.

Rubbish short, with thin gags and no real story. 1.5 out of 10. The imdb page is here.

The Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Puppy Hour - Vild Vest Vampire

unearthing a coffinI mentioned the fact that occasionally Scooby wasn’t even in it. Well this is a point in case with Scrappy (Don Messick), Yabba Doo and Deputy Dusty out in cowboy country. Yabba was kind of a good ol’ boy and actually brave so the dynamic of the show was changed somewhat. In this the three are digging post holes when they unearth a coffin.

a bit of eye mojoCoffin’s can’t hurt you but the vampire in it can. In this case it is one Count Zarko. Actually, in look he reminded me a bit of Count Frankenhausen in Mexican flick the Bloody Vampire. Now he has been unearthed he intends to take over Tumbleweed by turning everyone into zombies, via eye mojo, starting with Deputy Dusty. Yabba stops that but he soon has the town under his control.

a bit of slapstickOut at the spooky Ranch House near the cemetery the good guys discover a book – the Secret Life of Vampires – in which they discover that vampires hate garlic and sunlight. Yabba is turned into a zombie – but Dusty uses garlic break the spell and then, after a little slapstick, they convince Zarko it is daytime, whilst it is still night, trap him in his coffin and mail him to Transylvania.

Okay, there’s no Scooby but this actually had a story – compared to some of the shorts – and with the change in dynamic, even Scrappy seemed (a touch) less annoying. 4 out of 10. The imdb page is here.

Scooby Doo and Scrappy Doo – I left my Neck in San Francisco

the Lady Vampire of the BayBack to 1979 and full 30 minute length Scooby Doo for the final one we will look at in this article and, because the whole Scooby gang is in this we get a full mystery that begins with the gang going on a tour of Alcatraz. Along with Freddy (Frank Welker(, Daphne (Heather North), Velma (Patricia Stevens), Shaggy (Casey Kasem), Scooby (Don Messick) and Scrappy (Lennie Weinrib) are tour guide Jack, and tourists Sally and Mrs Cornell (Joan Gerber). As they cross the bay Jack mentions the Lady Vampire of the Bay. They land and Daphne claims to be feeling unwell and Shaggy and Scooby remain outside (avoiding ghosts). Scrappy decides to find the vampire but she finds them.

in AlcatrazInside the prison there is some curiosity about a convict named Lefty Callahan, a jewel thief whose last heist (a diamond, a ruby and an emerald) were never found. Jack tells them that Lefty was arrested after Alcatraz shut and went to San Quentin instead. Daphne appears to be missing but Shaggy and Scooby come running in pursued by the vampire. She escapes and Daphne reappears. On the way back they notice that a red lens from Jack’s boat is missing.

is its in a book it must be trueThe tour includes a tour of Fishermen’s Warf but Mrs Cornell is going to the opera and Daphne feels ill. In the hotel, before the continuance of the tour, the gang find a book detailing the vampire in a reading room. The lights go out and she then appears – without a reflection in a large wall mirror – warning the gang off meddling in her affairs. Shaggy notices that Daphne – who appears after she has gone – has no reflection either.

garlic defenceThe other lore moments of note are Shaggy and Scooby eating garlic pizza so their breath can ward off the vampire. We also see a bat, which flies into Daphne’s room. Shaggy and Scooby see it and Daphne does not appear to be there. When the rest of the gang look, the bat has gone and Daphne is in bed. The belief that a gang member might be a vampire and might have become a bat is a device that would be reused in What’s New Scooby Doo?

Of course it is all about Lefty and the jewels – indeed Lefty has come back for the stashed loot. To spoil things, however, once the mask is removed we see that Lefty is actually a woman – and doesn’t look too old. Now, San Quentin did have women prisoners… until 1932, the year before Alcatraz was purchase by the Federal Government and two years before it opened as a prison. Assuming (as per the dialogue) that Lefty was convicted after 1963 (when Alcatraz closed as a prison) we can see that the dates are all messed up – admittedly that was pedantic on my part. Also the jewels are all hidden in plain sight (such as on Jack’s boat as a red lens) so why Lefty needed to draw attention by pretending to be the vampire is anyone’s guess!

a glimpse of Dracula (in wax)We get a brief moment of Dracula appearing in the episode and, despite being a wax representation outside the San Francisco waxworks, he still manages to scare Shaggy and Scooby. For the episode as a whole, however, this wasn’t too bad in the scheme of things, but Scrappy was incredibly annoying and Daphne was out of action and suspected for a lot of the episode. 4.5 out of 10. The imdb page is here.


Marshalsify said...

Taliesin_ttlg said...

I'll leave the petition link but TMtV cannot endorse a campaign for any reboot that involves Scrappy ;)