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Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island
Warner Bros./Warner Bros. . R4 . COLOR . 70 mins . G . PAL

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Contract

Back in 1969, Joseph Barbera and William Hanna sat down and created the ‘Scooby Gang’, four kids and a Great Dane out on the hunt for mystery and adventure. Daphne, Velma, Frank, Shaggy and Scooby would hit the streets in their ‘Mystery Machine’, chasing ghosts and ghouls who always ended up being, surprise-surprise, guys in suits. Oh, and he always would have gotten away with it too, “if it wasn’t for those meddling kids.” Well over thirty years down the track the gang doesn’t appear to have aged too badly (or at all for that matter), but unfortunately they have all gone their separate ways.

Daphne has her own TV show called Coast to Coast, on which Freddie is a producer. Velma has become a librarian, but is missing the excitement of ghost chasing terribly. Shaggy and Scooby are of course still together, and have gone through many jobs, their latest involving Scooby being a baggage inspector at an airport. Of course sniffing out food, but not eating it becomes a problem, and the pair find themselves unemployed again shortly after.

They are all reunited when Daphne goes off hunting for a ‘real’ ghost, and not just a guy in a suit. As a surprise for her birthday Fred organises to get the Mystery Machine back in order with the entire gang present and accounted for. This alone is a great moment, seeing the Scooby Gang back together after all these years, but before we can get too carried away with it all the gang is back in action chasing ghosts and monsters, and just like the old days, they all end up being just another person in a suit. This is until the gang get a tip off about a ‘real’ set of ghosts and ghouls on a ‘real’ haunted island. Now how could they resist an offer like that?

The rest from here is just typical Scooby Doo-type adventure, but with all new twists and turns that will leave even veteran Scooby viewers on the edge of their seat. I don’t want to ruin the storyline, because even though this roughly follows the set Scooby Doo formula, it is quite unique and different which really makes this a great movie to watch, for young and old.

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Contract

Scooby Doo on Zombie Island is presented with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is in full frame. This was obviously created for television and has been transferred to DVD without any alteration. This leaves the transfer looking sharp, clean and vibrant. The cartooning style is very simple and follows the basic layout of the previous Scooby Doo series. With that in mind you can’t be expecting animation detail on a par with A Bugs Life or Toy Story 2, however this doesn’t mean that Scooby Doo doesn’t look brilliant. For 2D animation of this kind Scooby Doo on Zombie Island looks great. There are the occasional film artefacts, but they are so small, and so minor, that you probably won’t even notice them. There are no MPEG artefacts of any kind to be seen which makes this a very pleasurable disc to watch.

The audio is also a real pleasure to listen to. Although it is limited by how much the movie itself can do, the soundtrack sounds great. The dialogue is always clear and the score by Steven Bramson is also very appropriate, and just who doesn’t love the Scooby-Dooby-Doo theme song? The soundtrack has no audio sync problems or any other shortcomings. This is about as good as a soundtrack for this movie could be.

To end on a down note however, the extras on this disc are less than flattering, containing only one ‘featurette’ which appears to be more of an extended trailer. This is disappointing and does take away from an otherwise very well put together disc.

Scooby Doo adventures will always be great wholesome viewing for the kids. Hanna Barbera hit on a concept thirty years ago that is still successful today, and hopefully will remain successful for years to come. I’ve always been a big Scooby fan since I was a kid, so maybe I’m a bit biased, but I still think that Scooby Doo on Zombie Island will make a great present for the kids, and may even be something that the parents will enjoy.


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  •   And I quote...
    "...and Warner Brothers would have gotten away with it too... if it wasn’t for those meddling kids."
    - Nathan Clark
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-636
    • TV:
          LG 80cm
    • Speakers:
          Pioneer
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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