Scooby-Doo's Spookiest Adventures (1979)

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Main Menu Audio
Featurette-The Headless Horseman of Halloween
Rating ?
Year Of Production 1979
Running Time 110:39
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Joseph Barbera
William Hanna
Studio
Distributor
Hanna-Barbera
Warner Home Video
Starring Nicole Jaffe
Casey Kasem
Don Messick
Vic Perrin
Hal Smith
John Stephenson
Jean vander Pyl
Frank Welker
Stefanianna Christopherson
Case ?
RPI ? Music Ted Nichols
Paul DeKorte


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Spanish
French
Italian
Portuguese
Hebrew
Greek
Hungarian
Turkish
Romanian
Dutch
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Scooby-Doo was my favourite cartoon as a kid . Many times I remember getting up at the crack of dawn to watch Scooby and the gang. Most of the time I was half scared out of my wits and the viewing took place from behind the lounge or under a blanket.

    25 years later something has changed. It just wasn't the same. Either Scooby has aged badly, or I have matured. I'm not sure which is the most disappointing.

    Scooby-Doo is not rocket science. It is a kid's cartoon written to a formula with only minor script and character changes needed from story to story.

    The formula is:

    Scooby and the gang are either invited or stumble upon a 'scary' location. Within a short time a ghost, goblin, phantom, witch or spooky creature of some sort appears and scares everyone else away. Fred and/or Velma gets suspicious and volunteer the gang to solve the mystery. They then split up to look for clues. Fred goes with the girls and Shaggy and Scooby are left to fend for themselves. Occasionally Velma will go with them. Shaggy and Scooby find the spook first and the chase begins. They lose the ghost and bump into the others, who by this stage have managed to lose Daphne, who has been captured by the ghost. Finding clues along the way, Velma decides it is time to set a trap. The trap fails but Daphne is found. More clues are found and another trap is set, again the trap fails, but the ghost is somehow miraculously caught. At this stage the police suddenly appear and the culprit is revealed.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality varies considerably over the four episodes and the special feature episode. Overall the transfer is not good and looks as if no restoration has been attempted.

    The transfer is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1, full-frame.

    The sharpness of the transfer was acceptable, though at times during the second episode it did degrade. The shadow perception was satisfactory with all details able to be seen. The low level noise was kept under control with no major instances identifiable.

    The colours were bright and in your face just as originally intended, but they were anything but constant. Colour fluctuations were particularly evident and numerous in the first episode with occurrences at 13:55, 14:30, 17:09 and 17:11.

    There were no noticeable MPEG artefacts, and film-to-video artefacts were kept to a minimum, with only minor aliasing occurring in the second episode, but telecine wobble is clearly visible in the credits of all episodes. As expected with an unrestored transfer of this age, there were countless film artefacts though all five episodes, with the second being particularly bad. The major instances occur at: 3:43, 3:45 and 12:45 in the first episode, 1:53, 2:56, 2:58 and 3:25 in the second episode, 12:42 and 18:31 in the third episode and 6:16 and 17:15 in the fourth episode. The fifth special feature episode contained only minor artefacts, to which by this time my dulled senses had become almost immune.

    There are 13 subtitle options available. The English subtitles appeared to be accurate and in sync with the video transfer .

    This is a single layered disc and there is therefore is no layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio transfer is better than the video, but is still not great.

    There are four audio tracks, all of which are Dolby Digital 1.0 (192kbps) mono. They are English, Spanish, French and Italian, with the default track being English.

    The dialogue was clear and easily understood throughout, despite the heavy accents. Audio sync was not an issue with this disc.

    The episodes on the disc come from different seasons of the show. Ted Nichols and Paul DeKorte are credited with directing the music from these seasons. The music for Scooby-Doo, like the story lines, is set to a formula. When certain action is happening in the story the assigned music plays. There are only four or five different music tracks and they are repeated incessantly throughout each episode.

    As only a 1.0 channel mono track is included there was no use for the surround speakers or sub-woofer.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    The only extra to be found is a bonus episode The Headless Horseman of Halloween.

Main Menu Audio

    The menu is a still drawing of Scooby and Shaggy in a scary scene accompanied by music. Neither are taken from any of the episodes.

Featurette - The Headless Horseman of Halloween

    This episode is take from the 1976 series. The story, as always, is written to the formula and is described above. The ghost in this episode is the Headless Horseman and once again he is after jewels, in this case a diamond necklace.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    As far as we can tell the Region 1 disc is identical to the Region 4.

Summary

    Scooby-Doo's Spookiest Adventures is a collection of four episodes plus a special feature bonus episode of this all time favourite kid's cartoon series. 30 years after it first played it still holds attractions for kids. Adults will find it boring and repetitive. The DVD has just passable video that a used car salesman would call 'In Original Condition' and the audio is only a tad better. Nonetheless it still provides a trip down memory lane.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Geoff Greer (read my bio)
Tuesday, June 17, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-S525, using S-Video output
DisplayBang & Olufsen BeoVision Avante 82cm 16:9 Widescreen. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderDenon AVR-1803. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVR 1803
SpeakersParadigm: Phantom Version 3 Front, Jensen SPX-13 Centre, Jensen SPX-5 Rear, Jensen SPX-17 Sub

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