Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? Remains Faithful to Source While Thoroughly Modern

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Scooby Doo and Guess Who? Season 1

Scooby-Doo and Mystery Inc. have been an enduring franchise for several reasons, one being that the animation producers have been so open to innovation. One of these innovations early on came with The New Scooby-Doo Movies, a collection of adventures that revolved around Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby crossing paths with famous celebrities (who voiced themselves) or other popular cartoon characters.

An attempt to recapture that magic is made here, and fairly successfully, with Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? The Complete First Season which is making its way to the home video market on DVD. Featuring the voice talents of Frank Welker, Grey Griffin, Matthew Lillard and Kate Micucci, the show makes its way from mystery to mystery, often at the behest of a celebrity friend of one of the gang. The series succeeds openly embracing the beloved tropes it created, from the unmaskings to the "meddling kids" rant of each villain, and the new guests run the gamut from breakout stars to established names even parents would recognize.

Some of the "guests" are a bit of a cheat. For instance, in "A Mystery Solving Gang Divided," the announced guest is Abraham Lincoln. Obviously impossible, but beyond that the Abe in the adventure was also an imposter -- brought to "life" by none other than Muggsy, the Funky Phantom as the two mystery-solving teen-teams collide (with the Phantom crew being a bunch of jealous jerks). Further in, "Elementary, My dear Shaggy!" finds the gang getting help from Sherlock Holmes -- even though the entire gang knows and points out that Sherlock isn't real but a literary character, something "Sherlock" has difficulty accepting as he refers to Velma as Watson and Shaggy as Mrs. Hudson.

Returning three times this season, in different guises, is Mark Hamill, who not only gets to appear as himself, but also gets to voice The Joker when the gang teams up with Batman (Kevin Conroy) and then later The Trickster when Shaggy and Scooby's best fast-food friend, Barry Allen (Charlie Schlatter), calls The Flash to help the gang solve every mystery in less than a minute, much to their annoyance. Rounding out the superhero appearances this season, Velma and Daphne get some special battle training from none other than Wonder Woman (Rachel Kimsey) herself.

Other guests include the likes of Malcolm McDowell, Christian Slater (in an all-musical episode), Jeff Foxworthy, Whoopi Goldberg, George Takei, and Steve Buscemi. One particular episode, "Too Many Dummies," introduced me to ventriloquist phenom Darci Lynne Farmer, who I had to look up and spent an hour watching her astonishing performances.

There have been many reinventions of Scooby-Doo over the last several years, some successful and some experiments that didn't quite take off. This one, however, is utterly faithful to the original series while also being completely modern. A welcome addition to the collection of any Scooby fan.

Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?
The Complete First Season

Disc One Disc Two
Revenge of the Swamp Monster (Chris Paul)
A Mystery Solving Gang Divided (The Funky Phantom)
Peebles' Pet Shop of Terrible Terrors! (Wanda Sykes and Magilla Gorilla)
Elementary, My Dear Shaggy! (Sherlock Holmes)
Ollie Ollie In-come Free! (Ricky Gervais)
The Scooby of a Thousand Faces (Wonder Woman)
When Urkel-Bots Go Bad! (Steve Urkel)
The Fastest Fast Food Fiend! (Jim Gaffigan)
Attack of the Weird Al-osaurus! (Weird Al Yankovic)
Now You Sia, Now You Don't (Sia)
Quit Clowning! (Kenan Thompson)
What a Night for a Dark Knight! (Batman)
Space Station Scooby (Bill Nye and Neil Degrasse Tyson)
Disc Three Disc Four
The Nightmare Ghost of Psychic U! (Whoopi Goldberg)
The Sword, The Fox and the Scooby-Doo! (Mark Hamill)
One Minute Mysteries! (The Flash)
Hollywood Knights! (George Takei)
The New York Underground! (Halsey)
Fear of the Fire Beast! (Steve Buscemi)
Too Many Dummies! (Jeff Dunham and Darcy Lynne Farmer)
Dance Matron of Mayhem (Maddie Ziegler)
The Wedding Witch of Wainsly Hall (Jeff Foxworthy)
A Run Cycle Through Time! (Malcolm McDowell)
I Put a Hex on You! (The Hex Girls)
The High School Wolfman's Musical Lament! (Christian Slater)

 

Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0