Scooby-Doo's Creepiest Capers (2000)
Main Menu Audio-Creepy Music
Featurette-Get The Picture: Scooby-Doo And The Gang
Featurette-Get The Picture: Scooby-Doo
Music Video-Mystery, Inc.
Featurette-Mystery, Inc. Yearbook
|Year Of Production||2000|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Swedish Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Polish Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Scooby-Doo’s Creepiest Capers is the next instalment in the Warner Home Video re-release of the Hanna-Barbera classic Scooby-Doo on DVD. Unless you’ve been living under the permafrost in the Arctic for the last 30 years, you must be familiar with many of the Hanna-Barbera classic creations such as The Jetsons, Snagglepuss, Yogi Bear, The Flintstones, Wally Gator, The Cattanooga Cats (Motormouse), Popeye and many, many others. One of the most endearing and longest lasting, however, is of course Scooby-Doo, recently transformed into a modern Hollywood movie (altogether appropriate as it is simply following the Hollywood formula).
In fact, if ever there was a real formula-based cartoon, then Scooby-Doo must be it. Each episode is executed with such precision that it is almost impossible not to recognise the pattern. Scooby and the gang are generally minding their own business, touring around in the Mystery machine when they happen upon a spook, ghoul, spectre or monster. They decide to investigate and about mid-episode end up being chased around the house, caverns, forest or ruins displaying all manner of humorous antics with appropriate supporting music. After investigating and discovering, usually by complete accident, a number of clues, they finally reveal the protagonist to be merely someone in disguise with a hidden agenda. Thankfully, the ending usually always comes as a surprise, even to adults.
The only complaint I have is that I wish Warner Home Video would release the Scooby-Doo adventures in chronological order as part of a series, rather than grouped, as this is, according to some arbitrary classification into an arbitrary taxonomy. Each year of Scooby-Doo saw Hanna-Barbera make subtle but noticeable changes to the various production aspects of the series such as modifying the episode formula, the choice of music, the opening titles and adjusting general character interaction. When seen as a series, these changes are much more natural, however when you collect together a number of episodes from various production years, these changes become quite unnatural and thus continuity is lost. This release includes four episodes from the 1969 and 1970 series:
This collection of cartoons will amuse and entertain and is only let down by one particularly poor episode from the 1970 season.
Scooby-Doo is a simple cartoon with some humorous moments that will always appeal more to young children than their parents. The combination of Scooby-Doo and Shaggy make for an endearing pair that have a tendency to remain in your memories long after the storylines are forgotten. As a form of light-hearted entertainment for children, Scooby-Doo’s Creepiest Capers is reasonable but not great. You could do a lot worse though.
The episodes are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and are not 16x9 enhanced. Having not being able to find anything to the contrary I believe this is a fullscreen presentation in the original aspect ratio. The video quality is very good considering the material and its age.
The transfer was extremely sharp and detailed throughout and was only really impacted by the presence of some minor film grain and noise. The Haunted House Hang-Up was plagued by higher noise and grain levels than the other episodes. The black levels were exceptionally good, as was shadow detail. White levels were similarly good. What was a problem, however, were numerous frames which had a feathered like drop in light intensity resulting in a momentary drop in light levels. Good examples of this can be seen in Episode 1 (1:18 and 1:23) and Episode 2 (10:11).
Colours were for the most part exceptional, with completely natural skin tones (or as best can be approximated using cel animation) and wonderfully, but not overly, saturated colours everywhere. Episode 3 was the exception, showing very muted colours at the start although the depth and intensity did marginally improve about a third of the way through. There was no other evidence of any problems with colour bleeding or cross-colouration.
MPEG artefacts were almost completely absent with the only obvious occurrence being some Gibbs Effect in Episode 3 at 4:00. There was some minor telecine wobble and a fairly disconcerting shake in Episode 1 at 1:50. There were also numerous scratches (Episode 1+2 - 0:52, Episode 1 - 4:14), flecks (continuous) and black marks (Episode 4 - 1:16) present as well as some water damage (Episode 2 - 14:54-14:58). There was only very minor aliasing present (Episode 3 - 4:00, 19:44 on the wipers and guitar strings for example), but it never distracted from the presentation.
There were many subtitle languages on this disc which could be selected whilst the presentation was playing or via the disc's menu. I sampled both the English subtitles and English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles and found them to be almost perfect, differing only slightly from the spoken words on rare occasions.
This disc is single layered.
Being a mono-only track, the audio was as simple as you could possibly get. That said, however, the quality of the audio track in one episode was remarkably good, so good in fact that you almost forgot that it was in mono!
All the various language soundtracks were recorded as mono soundtracks in Dolby Digital. There was some variability in the audio clarity between episodes with Episode 2 and then Episode 3 being by far the most clear and crisp. The other episodes suffered from what sounded like a high-pass filter which left the audio sounding dampened and distant. I did have a listen to the various alternate language soundtracks out of interest and found it to be quite amusing how different the characters sound with the alternative dubbed voices. I also noticed that several of the alternate language tracks had significantly decreased audio resolution for the non-dialogue components of the action, thus the dubbing procedure was at a great expense to the audio quality.
Does synchronization have any meaning in the context of 30 year old cel based animation? It is practically impossible to determine any type of lip-sync in this material, however I didn’t notice any consistent delays between the audio and the on-screen action. The dialogue was distinct and clear at all times, even the Scooby-Doo dialect based on “R’s”.
Music is an area where Scooby-Doo cartoons actually excel and these episodes are clear examples of that (excepting of course Episode 3 which I feel used a section of music very inappropriately and ruined the title music). In general, the background music is almost always present, reinforcing whatever mood or action is being portrayed on-screen. Similarly, the music used during the various entertaining chase scenes is also well integrated and generally flows naturally; and who can honestly claim not to be familiar with the ever-catchy “Scooby-Dooby-Doo, where are you? We’ve got some work to do now." opening titles song?
There is no surround encoding and no surround activity (unless you choose to simulate it on your equipment – personally I wouldn’t).
The subwoofer didn’t even generate a whimper, let alone a woof of any sort! Do you really expect it to?
|Surround Channel Use|
The main menu has no animation but some really cool, creepy music to accompany it. It is clear and simple to navigate.
There were two Get the Picture extras on this disc.
This music video is from a much more recent era of Scooby-Doo (2000) and as such it provides an interesting contrast between modern day animation and the classic animation of the main presentation. The level of detail present in the backgrounds as well as the foregrounds and shadowing is vastly more complex than animators would have been willing to tackle for a basic cartoon in the days when every cel was painstakingly hand painted. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the music. (Duration 2:10).
This feature provides a quick glance at some of the history behind the original creation of Scooby-Doo. Starting first with some background on how Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera invented the basic concept of Scooby-Doo as a university thesis submission to the final production and voicing of their first episode ”House of Mystery”, there are some interesting tidbits of information here. Fans may also be pleased to find out how to decode the language of Scooby-ese. (Duration 6:38).
The R4 and R1 versions of this DVD look identical-featured except that the R4/R2 version appears to have more soundtrack and subtitle languages.
Scooby-Doo’s Creepiest Capers is a good, clean, amusing bit of fun.
The video quality is average.
The audio quality is, how shall I say it, simple, but OK for what it is.
The extras are mostly average.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-S733A, using Component output|
|Display||JVC Interiart Flat 68cm Display 16:9. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre.|
|Speakers||Front LR - NEAR MainMast, Center - NEAR 20M, Surround LR - NEAR Spinnaker DiPoles, Rear LR - NEAR MainMast-II, Subwoofer - NEAR PS-2 DiPole|