Scooby-Doo Resolves Old Series with Curse of the 13th Ghost

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Scooby Doo Curse of the 13th Ghost

Among the many series that have been a setting for Scooby-Doo and the gang, there was the 1985 show, THE 13 GHOSTS OF SCOOBY-DOO, an adventure series starring Shaggy, Scooby, and Daphne, accompanied by Scrappy and a young con-artist named Flim-Flam. In this series, Shaggy had opened a chest of demons, releasing the 13 ghosts inside. Due to the wording of the curse, only the person who released the ghosts could put them back in -- so a globe-spanning series began, with their mystic mentor, Vincent Van Ghoul (voiced by VINCENT PRICE), leading them from one caper to the next.

This series was unlike previous incarnations of the show, because the ghosts were not people in rubber masks using hidden rope-and-pulley systems, but actual spirits. However, during the course of the show's run, they only captured twelve of the ghosts.

Which leads us to this animated movie, SCOOBY-DOO! AND THE CURSE OF THE 13TH GHOST. When Mystery Inc. is forced into retirement after botching a case, they begin to divest themselves of their equipment in a yard sale. That's when the crystal ball of Vincent Van Ghoul lights up, the sign that he is contacting them for another mission. This is a total surprise to Fred and Velma, who were completely unaware of this part of Daphne's life. There's an interesting scene where we see Daphne get herself ready for this mission, transforming from the version we see in the standard Scooby adventures to the one that appeared in 13 GHOSTS -- a purple-jumpsuited April O'Neill ready for adventure, and full of leadership.

Finding out that Daphne is a leader, and that she has her own, high-tech Mystery Machine, leaves him wondering where his place is on the team. And Velma's skepticism is put to the test when she is unable to explain certain circumstances that plague the gang in the Himalayas, where Van Ghoul resides.

MAURICE LAMARCHE does an excellent job bringing Vincent Price's distinct vocals to life as Van Ghoul, while FRANK WELKER, GREY GRIFFIN, MATTHEW LILLARD, and KATE MICUCCI lend their voices to the gang of Mystery Inc. The movie provides a much more detailed back-story as to the origins of the chest, and why Van Ghoul was entrusted to be its caretaker. And we are given an ending that blends the best of both of the Scooby adventures.

Bonus features on this disc include two episodes of THE 13 GHOSTS, beginning with the series debut, "To All The Ghouls I've Loved Before," showing how Shaggy got tricked into opening the chest by a pair of comic relief generic spirits, voiced by ARTE JOHNSON and HOWARD MORRIS, who go on to star in the rest of the series, trying to suck up to the more powerful spirits of the chest. The second episode is "Horr-Scope Scoob," and finds JOHN STEPHENSON providing the voice for a Boris Karloff pastiche.

If you were a fan of the older series, you'll certainly want to see this. But even if you haven't, the writers do an excellent job of bringing you up to speed with a condensed and more dramatic method. This one is fun for any fan of Scooby-Doo!