Scooby-Doo has always been one of my favorite cartoon characters. Over the past four decades, starting in 1969, Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Daphne, Velman, Fred, and even Scrappy-Doo have made an indelible mark on American pop culture through a variety of TV series (11 so far), movies, merchandise, and video games. Almost everyone can recognize the cowardly Great Dane and his human companions in one form or another, and his popularity shows no signs of waning anytime soon.
Throughout the decades that Scooby-Doo has been around, Scooby and Shaggy have been the two constants in all the series. Daphne, Fred, Velma, Scrappy, and others have come and gone, but Scooby and Shaggy are the two characters that audiences have found most endearing.
Maybe it’s their inherent goofiness, their fear of everything, or their love of food that helps kids and adults identify with them most. They are one duo that has proved that loyalty and compassion in a friendship can go a long way.
In 1985, Scooby returned in the short-lived animated series, The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo. The premise is simple: Scooby (Don Messick) and Shaggy (Casey Kasem) accidentally let thirteen ghosts out of a mysterious Chest of Demons and must go about retrieving each ghost with the help of Vincent VanGhoul. No cranky old caretakers in rubber masks here.
Aside from the fake ghosts in previous incarnations of the Scooby-Doo universe, this series includes Daphne (Heather North) with a new look, Scrappy-Doo (also Don Messick), but no Fred and Velma, and a young kid to help the gang track down the ghosts, Flim Flam.
It’s an interesting combination of characters, and Daphne’s new look is much more modern than her purple dress from previous series (although, I do prefer her old look). You’ll also notice that Shaggy isn’t in his trademark green shirt in this series, either.
You also get Bogel and Weerd, two mischievous ghosts who cause trouble for out heroes. These two should not be confused with the Boo Brothers, whom Scooby and the gang come up against in the 1987 movie, Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers.
And the voice and look of Vincent VonGhoul should look familiar to fans of classic horror. It’s the iconic Vincent Price lending his voice to the series as the wise and at times understandably impatient mentor and guide.
With its unique twist on the Scooby-Doo universe, The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo is a refreshing change from the norm. It’s also full of the sight gags and jokes that have been a mainstay of the franchise for decades. It should also be noted that only 12 ghosts are actually captured and returned to the chest over the course of the series. Since episode one is the pilot, there are only twelve more eps after that they have to catch the ghosts. One remains on the loose to this day!
On disc one there is a bonus episode of the series, Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get and Clue (2007). Admittedly, it’s not the best entry in the Scooby-Doo anthology, but it’s still better than Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed in 2004.
The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo is available on DVD June 29, 2010!
What is your favorite Scooby-Doo series? Character? Leave a comment and let us know.
Check out the opening theme for The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo below: