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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated: Season 1 V.1
Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated: Season 1 V.1
Warner Bros. // Unrated // January 25, 2011
List Price: $14.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Neil Lumbard | posted May 26, 2011 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
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Scooby-Doo has had so many different incarnations over the years that it can sometimes become a bit tiresome to see a new series arrive, especially for old-school animation fans who are generally more appreciative of classic episodes and less interested in the newest versions that are sometimes a bit lacking in the humor, wit, and charm of the original Hanna-Barbera classic. Fans shouldn't worry so much this time, as Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated is worth a look.

The latest animated Scooby-Doo Series entitled Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated manages to be a delightful surprise and is astonishingly one of the most innovative and unique attempts at adapting the tried and true formula of Scooby Doo for a new generation of fans and it pulls this all off with enough grace and spirit to be worthwhile for long-time devotees as well. This is the best version of Scooby Doo produced in many years, and with each episode it becomes clearer that something remarkably special was created with this fun and Scooby-tastic series.  

The storytelling aspect has clearly been something the new writers are focusing in on as an important element to elevate the series. Each episode has some new twists and turns which manage to make the series feel excitingly fresh while still retaining that special nostalgia sensation. One interesting aspect that is notably different about this version is the time devoted to the parents of our favorite Scooby mystery gang. The parents of Shaggy, Velma, Fred, and Daphne are given some adequate development and presence, although they don't become so involved in any of the mystery-related activities in each episode. It was a smart development which brings the series a newfound sense of character-development which was needed at this stage in the franchise. There is also a sense of an ongoing story-arc with an unseen character named Mr. E (get it?) leaving the duo clues to a bigger puzzle. This was an enjoyable aspect, which seems to offer promise for future episodes.

Character relationships are also given a different amount of focus - undoubtedly an element meant to be appealing to a slightly older audience. Perhaps the most surprising relationship proves to be the pairing of Shaggy and Velma. Shaggy seems a bit befuddled by their romance and devotes more time to hanging out with his best bud Scooby, but it was still a change of pace that may seem fascinating to some fans and somewhat irksome to others. The writers have done a fine job of making this element an added aspect to the series without making it feel overdone. Less surprising is the romantic-pairing of Daphne and Fred, though it might not be time to call this a 'pairing' quite yet as Fred seems completely unaware that Daphne has an interest in him and he seems far more interested in setting traps and playing with various technological tools.

While this reboot of sorts will please many fans of the original series, it's also clear that the show is not going to be appropriate for the youngest of viewers. Parents of young children may want to screen the show first to make a decision. Diehard fans may also be disappointed to know that the Scooby Snacks have mysteriously disappeared this time around. While it's possible these snacks make an appearance in some later episodes the lack of them is somewhat surprising and seemed notable. Each episode is entertaining though, and with enough care being placed in the creation this show feels engaging and not like a simple retreat on the successful Scooby-Doo franchise.

This introductory volume offers the first four episodes of the Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated series: Beware the Beast from Below, The Creeping Creatures, Secret of the Ghost Rig, and Revenge of the Man Crab.

The DVD:


Video:

Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated is a great looking television series with high quality animation that represents absolutely stellar work from the animators responsible with realizing this new Scooby series as a compelling creation. The series is presented in 1:78:1, the original broadcast aspect ratio, with anamorphic widescreen enhancement. This is a strong transfer that appropriately demonstrates the excellent animation. The colors are well saturated, and the image quality is consistently high despite a standard definition presentation. This is a crisp image that should please fans of the series. The animation is stunning; with slick looking updated character designs, impressive backgrounds, and an appropriately moody use of colors that brings a darker edge to the show.

Audio:


There is a plethora of audio and subtitle options available on this DVD release. Despite the case only mentioning the inclusion of English, French, and Spanish audio/subtitles the DVD contains audio/subtitles in Portuguese and another language (Please refer to the screenshot found above). Audio is generally quite strong for a Dolby Digital 2.0 track and it uses enough spooky effects and effective music to make for an enjoyable audio experience. While a 5.1 mix would have been preferable the audio mix is still impressive and the variety of options makes this a more appealing release for various territories.

Extras:

The latest mystery for the Scooby, Shaggy, Velma, Daphne, and Fred to solve should be where the extras went for this release. This excellent new series should appeal slightly more towards older audiences and as such some nice making-of materials would have been appreciated. The only "extras" included are a couple of promotional trailers for other Scooby Doo products and series.

Final Thoughts:

Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated is one of the most enjoyable versions of Scooby Doo, and should appeal to long-time fans and newcomers. This is the best version made since the Scooby Doo on Zombie Island animated feature produced in 1998. The animation is stellar, the direction is strong (particularly from Curt Geda), and the writing mixes up the original premise in a way that makes this series worth watching. Fans of Scooby Doo are encouraged to seek this one out and give it a fair chance. The big downside to this release is the unfortunate lack of more episodes. Some viewers may want to simply hold out hope for a complete season release (and this series would make an excellent candidate for a Blu-ray season set as well). Highly Recommended.

Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.

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