Directed by: Charles A. Nichols, Ray Patterson (Assistant Director)
Written by: Glen Leopold
Runtime: 1 hour 32 minutes
Shaggy, Scooby-Doo, and Scrappy-Doo take on new roles as gym teachers at Miss Grimwood’s Finishing School for Girls, but when they arrive, they discover that the girls are in fact all Ghouls. Their new job introduces them to Sibella, daughter of Count Dracula, Winnie, daughter of the Wolfman, Elsa Frankenteen, daughter of Frankenstein’s Monster, Tanis, daughter of the Mummy, and Phantasma, daughter of a ghostly phantom, who (if it wasn’t obvious) are all parodies and tributes to the classic Universal Monsters of the 1930s and ’40s. The school is filled with other various creatures and cooky characters that frighten the life out of Scooby and Shaggy, but despite this, they stick around.
The new gym teachers must stick around to help the Ghoul Girls beat their neighboring rival school of Cadet boys (all human boys I should add) at a game of Volleyball, but that turns out to be the least of their problems, when a terrifying spider-witch, called Revolta, attempts to use the Grimwood Girl-Ghouls for her own devious purposes, putting them under her mind-control spell.
Can Shaggy, Scooby, and Scrappy save the Girl-Ghouls from the Spider-witches spell? And will Grimwood finally be able to add a trophy to its trophy case?
Originally airing in 1988 as part of Hanna-Barbera’s Superstars 10, a series of 10 made-for-television animated films starring the studio’s most popular animated characters such as Yogi Bear, The Flinstones, The Jetsons, Huckleberry Hound, Top Cat, and of course, Scooby-Doo. These animated films aired between September 1987 and November 1988, with this particular film being the 8th film in the series and the last of the films to use traditional cel animation.
There are three Scooby-Doo films in the Superstars 10 series, with all three of them featuring Shaggy, Scooby, and Scrappy without the rest of the Mystery Inc. gang, which was certainly something different for audiences, as the gang has always been together in previous iterations.
Ghoul School is a great story that collects the classic movie monsters, adapts them to suit a younger audience, and combines them with Scooby-Doo to make it an entertaining watch with plenty of your usual tropes, such as the corny puns (e.g. “fangtastic” – said often by Sibella, daughter of Dracula), silly stumbles, and creepy creatures that make Shaggy and Scooby quiver with fear, whilst Scooby’s nephew Scrappy-Doo, walks around with head held high and overwhelming confidence in his uncle’s ability to help others no matter what.
Cast and Characters:
Scooby-Doo is, as he always will be, a simply loveable character, who, along with his best friend Shaggy Rogers, will always make for an entertaining watch. Be it their consistent hunger for any and all food, their accident-prone antics, or their kindness toward others whenever someone needs help. Despite their apparent lack of courage, they never turn their back on those in need.
Scrappy is a character that has a history of being disliked by many audiences (something played upon in the 2002 live-action film), despite his years of appearances in the franchise. However, I can honestly say, in Ghoul School at least, he is a fun side character that is there to add to some of the humor of the film. His neverending admiration for his uncle Scooby also gives the film a little more heart.
This DVD features some awesome special features. The first is the two Music Videos, one for a song titled ‘America Loves Scooby-Doo’, written by Scott Innes, Claude Parish, and Nelson Blanchard, and performed by Scott Innes and Nelson Blanchard. The second music video is for a song titled ‘Scooby-Doo and Shaggy Love to Eat”, also composed by Innes and Blanchard and once again performed by Innes. These are two fun and catchy songs, with ‘Scooby-Doo and Shaggy Love to Eat’, also being featured on the special features of ‘Scooby-Doo! and the Reluctant Werewolf‘ as well as being featured on ‘Scooby-Doo! and the Cyber Chase‘ DVDs also.
The next special features involve two drawing tutorials. The first is how to draw Scooby-Doo, the second is how to draw Scooby-Doo and Shaggy together. These two tutorials are known as “Get The Picture: Scooby-Doo” and “Get The Picture: Scooby-Doo and Shaggy”. Whilst these sound great, I discovered they were speed drawings, meaning that whilst it shows you how to draw the characters it promises, the process is sped up, which would mean you either have to have a previous talent/knowledge of drawing, or you would simply have to continuously pause and play and pause the tutorial to get through the steps in what I would consider a much more accurate time frame. The tutorials are also accompanied by a fast-paced guitar solo to add some background to all the pencil scratching sounds.
The final special feature is simply a trailer for the Ghoul School home release, which also features footage from the animated movie ‘Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island’.
Not really a feature but I do find it odd that despite this cartoon being from the ’80s when Shaggy wore his red t-shirt, the cover art has for both VHS and DVD has always had him in his now-iconic Green t-shirt. Like I said, not a feature, just an interesting detail.
This DVD consists of seven language choices including; English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Swedish, and Polish, whilst the Subtitle options have twelve options, including; English, French, Spanish (Castellano), Italian, German, Portuguese, Dutch (Netherlands), Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, English for the Hearing Impaired and German for the Hearing Impaired, making this a very diverse DVD setup.
Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School is, as always, an enjoyable adventure that feels very strange compared to the rest of the animated films released after the ’80s. This is simply because of the absence of the rest of the Mystery Inc. gang, Velma, Daphne, and Fred, as well as the lack of Mystery Machine rolling about. It is also, yet again, another Scooby-Doo animated film that doesn’t feature the classic unmasking of any monsters, but instead plays on the idea that all of these monsters are very real and that Shaggy and Scooby, along with the pup, Scrappy, have somehow gotten themselves tangled up in another strange adventure, facing off against spider-witches and monstrous fathers.
However, the fact that it doesn’t have all of the classic Scooby-Doo tropes is what makes it such a fun film to watch in the first place. With its hour and thirty-two minutes run time, some may find it to be a slog to get through, but for true fans, I am sure this is just another great addition to their collection that they can happily watch over and over again.
Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School is available on the Warner Bros. Shop along with so many others in the franchise. Just follow the link below to buy your copy today!