Thursday, April 10, 2014

Scooby Doo And The Witch's Ghost:

This is an old article pending revision.

Might Contain Spoilers.

This is the second of four different movies that were made during the late 1990s and released with a red-violet background with Scooby-Doo behind the cursive Hanna-Barbera Productions logo. Like many versions of Scooby-Doo and Mystery Inc., these movies were majorly updated and revised. It began with "Scooby-Doo On Zombie Island about the reunification of Mystery, Inc. and after the over-appearances of Scrappy-Doo, he does not reunite along with the rest of them. Fred Jones produces Daphne Blake's television series "Coast To Coast". Velma is a writer that collects and sells various types of books. Shaggy works in airport security to check for suspicious luggage while Scooby's superior sense of smell also helps out. The third movie was Scooby-Dooo and the Alien Invaders. Both movies had real creatures but both times the creatures were not the criminals. The movie that was released after this one and the last one of this particular movie series was called Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase. It was about a computer virus created to trap and destroy Mystery, Inc.

"The Gang" revives their familiar traditions while continuing their new appearances. These movies were animated to model after the original idea of Iwao Takamoto. There were several Asian animators that gave it an anime look. Daphne's eyes design is example. The entire group sans Shaggy and Scooby had new clothes and hair styles. Scooby-Doo does not recognize himself as a dog and since the group has aged slightly they do not consider themselves kids. The term "...meddling kids and their dog!!" does not seem to apply anymore considering the fact that the group is made of teenagers or young adults anymore and Scooby does not think he is a dog. Everybody wants to know, including Daphne, why Fred puts them in the same groups whenever they split up. Since Velma was the one that was the most absent in the 1980s while Fred made a few more appearances than Velma and Daphne made numerous appearances and had the same clothes as "Speed Buggy"'s Debbie and acted more like Fred and Velma combined... this means that Velma got to have a larger role in this movie. She has more lines and a big chunk of the movie is about Velma.

They solve a "mystery" at a museum and "coincidentally" meet Ben Ravencroft, an author of horrific stories that quickly captures the attention of Velma who is into writing and solving mysteries. They all receive an all expense paid invitation to Ben's home town where there is a mystery alleged to be Ben's anscestor. A stereotypical witch appears out of the sky and is capable of throwing fireballs. Velma falls on purpose and traps the witch which is set up by the entire town.

The "Witch" that everybody had seen was just Mr. MacKnight in a Witch Costume with a stage prop to simulate the fireballs. Many of the other citizens helped to create this. It was an attempt to create an additional thrill for the tourism after digging up a grave marker while constructing a replica Puritan Village.

They also meet a group of eco-goths called "The Hex Girls" who are at first very briefly mistaken for witches because of their performing acts and their herbal remedies. "Thorn", one of the members, happens to be 1/16th Wiccan. Her real name is Sally MacNight, while the other girls names remains a mystery. It is later revealed that Sarah Ravencroft is a witch, not a Wiccan, who became power-hungry for witchcraft and the Wiccans trapped her into her own spell book. Ben Ravencroft also became drawn into Witchcraft and was only interested in her book because he wanted to become a Warlock. He frees her (who speaks in Old English) from the spell book but she is very disappointed in his evil work. They get Thorn to read a spell to cast Sarah into her book once again, this time grabbing Ben with her.

Some of the lines are:

Sarah: "Nooo!! Not Again!!"

(Ben Thuds; Sarah grabs him)

Ben: "Nooo!!

Sarah: I Won't Go Back Alone!!"

Ben: "NoOOoOoOoOoOo!!"

They both are now in the book. And then everybody approaches the book until a burning branch destroys it. The Puritan Village is now destroyed and the mayor panics even when The Hex Girls still offer to perform, but Shaggy points out a giant turkey that curiously was not restored when the Reverse Spell was said.

The movie this time stars Scott Innes as both Scooby and Shaggy, Frank Welker as Fred, B.J. Ward as Velma, Mary Kay Bergman as Daphne, Tim Curry as Ben Ravencroft, Tres MacNeille as Sarah Ravencroft, Jennifer Hale as Thorn, Jane Wiedlin as Dusk, Kimberly Brooks as Dusk, and Neil Ross as The Mayor. Iwao Takamoto, a creator of Scooby-Doo and the design consultant of many Hanna-Barbera cartoons, also was the creative design consultant in this film. Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, who seem to have disappeared, were both given a "Thanks To" credit.

This would be next to the last Scooby-Doo feature that Mary Kay Bergman would be involved in. This could possibly explain why the new revival series ended after one more movie with Grey Delisle as Daphne. If so, it is similar to the cancellation of CBS's COSBY after the death of Madeline Kahn.

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