Monday, April 22, 2013

Scooby Doo and the Globetrotters...

A couple of years ago I purchased this DVD and another one featuring the Scooby gang teaming up with Batman and Robin. The episodes originated from the second Scooby-Doo series titled The New Scooby-Doo Movies which first aired during the 1972-1973 season. A DVD collection gathering random episodes from that 1972 series not only features these two episodes but also a third adventure with the Harlem Globetrotters in addition to the two episodes with Batman and Robin (battling The Joker and Penguin). This Scooby meets the Harlem Globetrotters DVD contains the episodes "The Mystery of Haunted Island" and "The Loch Ness Mess". The review contains spoilers. First up is the Haunted Island episode. In it, Scooby and the gang (Shaggy, Fred, Daphne, and Velma) meet up with the Globetrotters by accident. Initially looking for assistance with the Mystery Machine while en route to fictional picnic island, Scooby and the gang realize that the deserted shack isn't as deserted as it appears. It turns out the Globetrotters are using the shack as a hide-out to practice in and get some rest. Eventually, through a series of gags, the Globetrotters and Scooby and the gang come face to face. After filling up the Mystery Machine with fuel, Meadowlark and Curly inform Scooby and the gang that they are hoping to get some rest before a big game with a team known as the Ocean City Scorpions and that the shack was a perfect spot. The gang tell the Globetrotters about picnic island and soon everyone is headed for the island for a short visit. As it turns out, that short visit doesn't pan out because as they make their way to the boating docks a pair of hands places a sign that reads Picnic Island in front of a tanker which turns out to be the Haunted Island Queen. Everyone boards the wrong ship by accident and it's not long afterward that everyone realizes the accident...they also realize that nobody else is on board and that the ship is being controlled by some supernatural force. The bulk of the story takes place inside a large mansion where traps and tricks are on full display by unseen perpetrators. Glowing hand prints and foot prints soon have everyone on a wild goose chase. A sub-plot throughout is the desire of the Globetrotters to get a good night's rest before the game with the Scorpions. Eventually the story climaxes and it's revealed whose been behind the 'haunted house' trick. The idea behind the haunted island ordeal was dreamed up by the Scorpions owner...he wanted the Globetrotters to be so tired that they'd lose the basketball game. The next day everyone shows up at the gym. The Globetrotters are walking zombies, falling over one another, yawning and snoring while the Scorpions continue to rack up dozens of points. Shaggy comes up with an idea during half-time to use ice to help keep the Globetrotters awake. As time runs out it's up to one more final shot...does the ball go in? Do the Globetrotters win?

In the second episode on the DVD, "The Loch Ness Mess", the gang is on their way to Uncle Nat's place, specifically, Shaggy's uncle. Going by the directions on Shaggy's map they all find themselves lost. They meet up with the Globetrotters while the team was in the middle of a cookout. Shaggy's nose for food led the gang in that direction. After everyone meets and greets, Shaggy insists that the Globetrotters come with them and stay at his uncle's mansion. Fred had Shaggy do the driving...which leads to disaster as on their way a ghost appears in the area warning them to get lost. Shaggy, in a panic, starts to drive wildly in the Mystery Machine and eventually comes to a wild stop near a covered bridge. Recollecting that he doesn't remember this bridge, a light shines on the face of a local...it turns out to be Uncle Nat. At the mansion Nat tells everyone about the ghosts. When it's revealed that the gang and the Globetrotters are all going to go Scuba Diving, Nat warns them about the sea serpent. This causes Velma to sarcastically comment that not only is the area haunted by a ghost of Paul Revere but now they have to put up with a local loch ness monster. At the marina they're denied access, at first, to scuba equipment when one of the workers (Winslow) states that they're closed even though it's obvious that the business is open. After Shaggy and others threaten to go to the police, a man revealed to have the name of Morgan reluctantly allows them to go scuba diving. 

Long time Hanna-Barbera voice actor, John Stephenson, had given voice to the owner of the Scorpions in the previous episode with the Globetrotters. In the Loch Ness episode, Stephenson is heard as Morgan as well as Winslow. Fans of old-time radio, particularly the Fred Allen show, will perhaps notice that Winslow's voice is patterned after Titus Moody, a New England farmer character played by Parker Fennelly on Fred Allen's radio program in addition to a string of television commercials for Pepperidge Farms.

Meanwhile, as most of the gang are scuba diving they encounter a sea serpent. Some of the Globetrotters stayed behind with Velma and Daphne. While Scooby, Shaggy, Fred, Meadowlark, and Curly were investigating the cove, the others spent the idle time playing basketball.

The plot by Morgan soon unravels, though, as Winslow and another co-hort, Selby, turn out to be two of the three ghosts that are haunting the area. The ghost with the lantern, which appears on the DVD cover, turns out to be Morgan. Winslow reveals that Morgan found a chest full of gold under the water and was using the sea serpent to keep people away from the spot until they could take the gold. Uncle Nat gets enjoyment from all of this and laughs about the entire thing for he knows that the gold is fake and was used as a prop in a pirate movie that was filmed there several years ago.

I have since put in an order for the Best of the Scooby-Doo Movies DVD collection. The collection had been around for a number of years and was always too expensive. Even though it's still a bit pricey I felt that the current selling price would probably be the cheapest that it'll ever become and so I went ahead and ordered it. Once it arrives and I watch it thoroughly I'll write about it on this blog. It should arrive by the end of this week and so more than likely I'll watch it this coming Saturday if it arrives by then.

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