Scooby-Doo Goes Hollywood

Scooby-Doo Goes Hollywood (2002)
Warner Home Video
Extras: Set-top Game, Featurette, Art Feature, Music Videos, Bonus Trailers

The saying tells us that ’Everything that’s old is new again’ and that’s certainly true in the case of Scooby-Doo, as the character, who is over thirty years old, is more popular now than ever. With this renewed interest in Scooby, Warner has released several DVDs which contains compilations of the original ’Scooby-Doo’ TV shows, and a handful of brand-new ’Scooby-Doo’ movies. Their latest release, ’Scooby-Doo Goes Hollywood’ is packaged to resemble one of these new, original movies. But, don’t be fooled. This is actually a TV special from 1979, placing it after the Scooby-Doo pinnacle of quality (’Scooby-Doo Where Are You?’) and just before the unveiling of the franchise killing Scrappy-Doo (To this day, I don’t know what they were thinking.) This story opens with what appears to be a typical Scooby-Doo adventure, in which Scooby and Shaggy are being pursued by a crab-monster. But, suddenly, we hear the director yell ’Cut!’ and we see that we’re on a soundstage where an episode of ’Scooby-Doo’ is being filmed. As the scene ends, Scooby and Shaggy decide that they’ve had enough of being chased by monsters and want to be on a new show. So, they visit the head of the TV studio to try and convince him that Scooby-Doo has a great range and can play many different parts. This leads to many spoofs of 70’s TV shows, such as ’Happy Days’, ’Laverne & Shirley’, and ’Charlie’s Angels’. Fred, Daphne, and Velma fear that Scooby may become a huge star and leave them for good.

To be less than subtle, this special is the pits. To take Scooby and the gang out of their usual environment and place them into this ’comedy’ may seem like a refreshing change of pace, but it simply doesn’t work. The magic of the original ’Scooby-Doo’ shows stemmed from the combination/juxtaposition of a genuinely creepy monster/situation and the slapstick antics of Scooby and Shaggy. When Scooby is playing it strictly for comedy, it doesn’t work at all. Add to this the fact that most of today’s young fans aren’t going to recognize any of the shows being spoofed and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Even the most ardent Scooby fans will be disappointed by this.

’Scooby-Doo Goes Hollywood’ arrived on DVD from Warner Home Video. The show is presented in its original full-frame format. The image is sharp and relatively clear, offering little grain and very good colors. The digital transfer has revealed some flaws from the source material, such as dirt and black spots. The Dolby Digital Mono audio track provides the viewer with clear dialogue which isn’t marred by distortion or hissing.

As ’Scooby-Doo Goes Hollywood’ is only 49 minutes long, the DVD is rounded out by some fun extras. The ’Mystery Inc. Yearbook’ is a retrospective, which looks at the history of Scooby and the gang. It details the creation of the characters and gives some trivia about Scooby’s origins. ’How to Draw Scooby-Doo’ is pretty self-explanatory, as an artist slowly creates the beloved character. ’The Scooby-Doo Network Game’ is a set-top trivia game (hint: the answers can be found in the show and in the ’Mystery Inc. Yearbook’) The extras also include two music video and several bonus trailers, including one for the upcoming ’Scooby-Doo’ feature film.