An attempt to bring "Scooby Doo" to a new generation of kids on Saturday mornings, "A Pup Named Scooby Doo" ran for three years, starting in 1988 and coming to a conclusion in 1991. The series took the same characters that fans knew and loved and turned back the clock on them, presenting them as pre-teens. Adults had a bit of a mixed reaction to the series, but it went over well with the single-digit set that was clearly the target audience.
Pleasantly, there were at least a couple of ties to the original series - the original voices of Scooby and Shaggy - Don Messick and Casey Kasem, respectively - were brought in to do the voices for the Scooby and Shaggy characters again here. The characters (who often face a neighborhood bully named, amusingly enough, Red Herring) are fairly similar to their older verions, although the animation isn't - the character reactions and bright, poppy tone of the visuals certainly goes along with the whole "for kids" vibe. In terms of animation quality, it's pleasant enough, although it lacks fine detail.
Overall, although its merits have been debated by fans, I actually find this to be an enjoyable series. The animation isn't remarkable, but considering it's a Saturday morning series from the 80's, it's satisfactory. The show also boasted above-average writing for a kid's show, with some moderately clever mystries. Finally, the voice work is mostly quite good, and the theme song is downright catchy.
This "best of" volume offers the second four episodes of the original season of the series:
For Letter or Worse
- The gang comes across the ghost of Al Cabone.
Babysitter From Beyond
- Shaggy has the choice of seeing a horror movie or protecting his sister from their babysitter, who looks like the bride of Frankenstein.
Snow Place Like Home
- The gang has to face off against a threatening ice demon.
Now Museum, Now You Don't
- The gang must retrieve a 700-year-old priceless artifact stolen from the Coolsonian Museum.
VIDEO: Warner Brothers presents all four episodes in the show's original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio. The presentations all are quite good, considering the material. Sharpness and definition are perfectly fine, as the image appeared consistently crisp and clear. There were a few moments where lines appeared slightly jagged, but I'm guessing this is an issue with the original animation/elements. Otherwise, no concerns appeared, as I spotted no pixelation or edge enhancement. Colors appeared bright and vibrant, with no smearing or other issues.
SOUND: The stereo soundtrack delivered the catchy theme tune and dialogue crisply and clearly.
Final Thoughts: "Pup Named Scooby Doo" is a fun series that continues the "Scooby Doo" legacy pretty well - although geared towards kids, the stories are entertaining and clever. The DVD doesn't offer any extras, but audio/video quality is good. Recommended for kids.