|SCOOBY-DOO MEETS BATMAN... WITH WACKY RESULTS!!!|
|Of the 310 Scooby Doo cartoons produced between the late 60's and the late 80's, one of the worst had to be 1972's "The New Scooby Doo Movies!" Every episode was an hour long and featured the Scooby Gang teaming up with some celebrity guest star to expose some phony ghost.
In addition to Batman and Robin, Scooby Doo teamed up with the Addams Family(minus their snappy theme song, and boo to that), the Three Stooges, the Harlem Globetrotters, Phyllis Diller, Tim Conway and Don Knotts. No, I did not make this list up. Shaggy announced the guest star at the title card of every episode for the kids that couldn't read. "Like, wow! Today Scooby Doo teams up with Jesus!!!"
Now, for extra horror, we'll fully review the Batman episode for those who haven't seen it. ZOINKS!! Try not to run away.....
So, what happens first? First they get out of their Mystery Machine because of car problems, for the billionth time. They were apparently on their way to a "mystery convention"..yeah. Well, while they're looking at the van, this airplane takes off and this guy runs away. They follow him steadily except for Shaggy who gets scared of every rock and tree. It leads to this old house. They're inspecting it when suddenly Batman and Robin come in!
You couldn't have gotten a lesser reaction if it had been a political commentator from CNN. "Oh, look, there's Batman and Robin," Daphne says. That's all.
Scooby Doo inspects one of the things in the house, this bop-em clown inflatable thing. He gives it a few punches and breaks it, and counterfeit money slides out. BUM-BUM-BUUUUUUMMMMM!!!!
"Holy (insert thing here)! It's funny money!!" says Robin. Oh yeah, and Batman and Robin have the same voice for some low-budget reason. Some more stuff happens....they go to this junk yard and Shaggy almost gets trash-compacted...yadda yadda....the screeching trumpet music grates on...someone says "Zoinks"....this guy in a hood runs away...
Finally they go back to the house--but what? THE HOUSE ISN'T THERE!! Batman instantly comes to a conclusion, and keep in mind he REALLY SAID THIS, and he was dead serious: "I'll bet that house really wasn't there at all! It was a trick of hypnosis!!"
Then Velma says, "But didn't you park your car by the house?"
Batman: "Oh. You're right. Okay, then I guess it wasn't."
Batman remarks that it's a good thing his car has that tracking device, so he can find wherever the house went. It went to an amusement park.
"Hmm. An amusement park, ay? And the money stored in clown thingies...it's the calling card of the JOKER!!" Batman concludes.
Just then the Joker shows up in a window somewhere and jeers at the gang. And the Penguin is with him! They both make some badly-scripted remarks, then dart back inside. Batman tells the gang to wait outside while he flushes out the Clown Prince of Crime, and the show is his for a few minutes. Joker pulls some really lame stunts to stop him. Here's one: he pushes a button and this sheet on a wire pops out to "scare" Batman away. This is sad.
Oh yeah, and the Joker also taunts Batman via this microphone and PA system, and then remarks to Penguin what he plans to do next. But the thing is, he's got that microphone to his face when he does BOTH things. So you'd think Batman and Robin would have had advance notice before they opened a door and fell into a deep pit with walls "too slippery" to climb out of.
Joker lets out one of the worst lines I've ever heard: "Now my pit is full. That's pit-i-ful!! YA HA HA!!!" Back to Fred, who says, "It's taking too long. Maybe we should check on them." Then....TO BE CONTINUED!!!
But it's already obvious what's going to happen in part 2: Shaggy will fall for every dumb scare trick Batman didn't; and they'll then somehow rescue Bats by "accident". Right? Right...stay tuned for the conclusion---right now!
Everything I mentioned happened--but in the first 15 minutes of the show, which was faster than I thought. For them anyway...well, the Penguin and the Joker were indeed beaten by accident. One of their scare tactics was to dress like skeletons and go "BOO" at everyone, but it didn't work on Scooby; he just licked his lips and started chasing after them, dreaming of gnawing on the bones like any stereotyped dog would. Now you know why Scooby doesn't work on murder cases. They wouldn't let him.
Too busy looking behind them at Scooby, they fell into the same pit Batman and Robin were in. Now they're ALL stuck, right? Wrong....NOW somehow Batman knows how to get out, or I'm guessing, because he's out in the next scene. But not before delivering a line even WORSE than Joker's as Joker tries to climb out of the pit: "Well, looks like the Clown Prince of Crime is now the Clown Prince of CLIMB." Then everybody laughs. Everybody laughs?? At that?? Do you know anybody that could make a joke that bad? I'm curious who wrote this and what his credentials were--even a high school dropout should be able to come up with a better line.
Nuts, there's still 15 minutes left in the show. So Joker says, "Actually, someone else was behind all of this. We were just helping that person out. We know nothing about the disappearing house." So the gang goes back...and now the house has reappeared again. Everybody goes inside except for Shaggy and Scooby who were probably scared by a strange crack in the sidewalk. The cowardly duo rest on a tree branch, and it mechanically bends, turning the house upside-down, and turning UP a fake treed platform! So that's how they hid the house...even for Scooby Doo this is far-fetched. Or is it....hypnosis??
Then somehow they wind up in a toy factory, with the villain in the hood in the same building, making for some wacky antics -- Daphne stuck on a trampoline, Scooby going nutso with a remote-control car, a jack-in-the-box knocking off Velma's glasses...blah blah blah. They use the same animation of Scooby on the car about 7 times before something different happens and he crashes into the hood guy.
And the hood guy turns out to be Mrs. Baker, the caretaker of the house who appeared in the first 5 minutes. They seem surprised by this--very surprised. But the thing is, Baker and the hood guy had the SAME HOOD. Almost identical coats....and with their "keen 'n groovy powers of obserevation," they should have noticed this.
Definately one of the worst Scooby shows(and that's saying a lot). Maybe I'll review the Globetrotters episode too.....nah.
|Update: This episode was recently re-released onto video again, with this box. It stayed in the Top 10 Video Sales chart for five weeks. But don't be so shocked. The video market is anarchic and not judged by reason, but by kids whose parents tell them "You can buy ONE video while we're here." Those kids rush and get the thing with the most appealing cover, despite what's coded on the DVD.|
|Haven't had enough? Then join us in part 2 of this essay:
"CAN BATMAN SURVIVE WITHOUT SCOOBY DOO???"