DVD Review: Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales: Run for Your 'Rife!

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With summer winding down, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has assembled a Scooby-rific collection of 13 Halloween-friendly episodes for their latest Scooby-Doo! reissue. The most important aspect of the two-DVD Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales: Run for Your ‘Rife! is the inclusion of an all-new adventure, the 22-minute “Scooby-Doo! and the Spooky Scarecrow.” As the title makes plain, Scooby, Shaggy, and the gang must confront the evil-doings of a maniacal scarecrow wreaking havoc in a sleepy farming town.

The presence of a fun new Scooby cartoon sets Run for Your ‘Rife apart from the average repackaging of old cartoons. Not that the others here aren’t worth revisiting for fans (or discovering for the first time in the case of new viewers). This just isn’t the place for a coherently-arranged reissuing of specific Scooby-Doo! series. It’s a grab-bag assortment that should please anyone looking for a bunch of random episodes. Two of these (besides the brand new one) are making their first DVD appearance.

Scooby Doo halloween (380x238).jpgWithout further ado, here’s a rundown of what you’ll find on Run for Your ‘Rife. “Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Werewolf” (1970) is from the second season of Scooby-Doo! Where are You!. Also from season two is the Hawaiian witchdoctor tale, “A Tiki Scare Is No Fair.” “A Gaggle of Galloping Ghosts” (1969) takes us back to the first season of that series. “Which Witch is Which?” is also from that initial season, with the Mystery Inc. gang fending off a witch and zombie.

Scooby Doo hang in there (200x149).jpgJumping ahead to 1976 is “Scared a Lot in Camelot,” from The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour. This one involves the disappearance of Shaggy’s awesomely-named uncle, Shagworthy. Part of the 1977 Scooby-Doo’s All-Star Laff-A-lympics, “Hang in There, Scooby-Doo” makes its DVD debut on this collection. While it may not exactly qualify as a highlight of the set (the pterodactyl creature is a little too silly, even for Scooby-Doo!), it’s nice to see some content that hasn’t turned up on disc previously.

Moving into the ‘80s, we find “Snow Job Too Small,” which was also on a 13 Spooky Tales collection from just last year (Holiday Thrills and Chills). Not cool repeating an episode from such a recent compilation. The episode comes from The Scooby & Scrappy Doo Puppy Hour. New to DVD is “The Stoney Glare Stare,” from 1984’s The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries.

Scooby Doo stoney glare stare (200x147).jpgOriginally planned for this set was that same series’ two-parter, “A Halloween Hassle at Dracula's Castle.” That would’ve marked the DVD debut of those episodes, but for some reason they were withdrawn. Instead, they were replaced with “Scooby Doo and a Mummy, Too,” a 1969 Where Are You! episode, and “A Scooby-Doo Halloween” from the 2003 series What’s New, Scooby-Doo?. Both of these episodes have seen the light of day on DVD before (multiple times for “Mummy, Too”) so the exclusion of the two part “Dracula’s Castle” is a sizable loss.

Concluding Run for Your ‘Rife, both “Scooby in Kwackyland” and “Scoobra Kadoora” first appeared as part of The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo in 1985. Obviously, serious collectors will have the majority of this stuff, but with two vintage episodes debuting on DVD and the all-new “Spooky Scarecrow,” completists will certainly want to pick it up.

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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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