Directed by: Paul Sommer, Carl Urbano, Ray Patterson(supervising director)
Written by: Jim Ryan
Runtime: 1 hour 33 minutes
I have previously reviewed two other ’80s Scooby-Doo classic movies, that didn’t involve the Mystery Inc. gang or the Mystery Machine itself, two staples of the franchise. Instead, these early feature-length animated movies only included Shaggy, Scooby, and Scrappy as the protagonists, and now, in this review, you are about to read, I am going to discuss the DVD for the first of those movies. The first feature-length Scooby-Doo movie that came before all others, meaning it was the first Scooby-Doo movie to be rid of the Mystery Inc. gang and the Mystery Machine, and try to give us an entertaining feature-length adventure starring the two most beloved characters of the gang, and the divisively unpopular puppy-nephew.
This is the 1987 feature-length film, Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers…
Shaggy receives a letter, telling him that his uncle Beaureguard has passed away, and in his will, he has left Shaggy the rights to the old Beaureguard Plantation, and the treasure hidden within. However, upon arriving at the creepy-looking property, the trio is chased by various kooky characters such as a headless horseman, a gorilla, and the ghost of Uncle Beaureguard himself.
After Scrappy finds a single ring inscribed with Shaggy’s name, as well as a clue, it becomes clear that to find the hoard of hidden treasure, the three of them must solve multiple clues scattered throughout the plantation, whilst also running away from ghosts, skeletons, gorillas, bears, and the Beaureguard butler, Farquard.
When the trio discovers an advertisement for three brothers who deal with Ghost problems, they meet three actual ghosts, Meako, Shreako, and Freako, known collectively as The Boo Brothers, but these three seem like they don’t really have a clue on how to catch a ghost…or anything for that matter.
To add to their problems, Shaggy discovers that the Beaureguard family apparently had a feud with a family of hillbilly’s known as the Scroggins, as Billy Bob Scroggins turns up to try and shoot Shaggy, whilst Billy’s sister, Sadie Mae Scroggins, tries to make out with Shaggy, neither of which Shaggy himself is pleased about.
As the early films do, this film seems to drag on a little bit too long, and whilst there are plenty of laughs to be had, the plot seems to be too repetitive, with a few too many chase sequences that really make the pacing of the film feel erratic. Some of the characters such as Sadie become annoying after a while, and the although the Boo Brothers are fun, I honestly feel like, apart from a few particular scenes, the Boo Brothers aren’t actually necessary to the plot. They are fun characters though, with a similar tone to that of the Three Stooges.
However, one thing this plot contains, that the other two films (Ghoul School and Reluctant Werewolf) of the ’80s did not, is that it does include an unmasking at the end, but at the same time, this film still has real ghosts as well, so it maintains a sense of spookiness about it, whilst keeping in a human villain.
It’s still enjoyable as a Scooby-Doo fan, but if you’re looking for something better then the later Scooby-Doo films clearly learn from some of these mistakes made in the first attempt at the feature-length projects.
The only special feature on this DVD that I own is a music video for a song called “When Ghosts Go Boo”, written by Scott Innes, Claude Parish, and Nelson Blanchard, performed by Innes and Blanchard also. It’s another catchy little tune that is accompanied by various clips from this feature-length animated film, as well as various clips from the original series.
As many of these DVDs do, the special features claim that there are unlockable features that can only be accessed by inserting the DVD disc into your computer, but sadly these days the PC extras do not work, as the Warner Bros. DVDs worked with an old program that you had to install, which sadly doesn’t run for whatever reason on more modern PC’s. If they did, many of these DVDs from the Scooby-Doo franchise specifically, would have games for you to play, and I cannot tell you just how disappointed I am that I can’t access these games today.
The Menus as always include different backdrops, as well as a spooky icon to help easily tell which option you are currently hovering over. In this case, it’s a small ghost that changes shape into one of the three different Boo Brothers.
This DVD consists of seven language choices including; English, French, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, and Polish, whilst the Subtitle options have a whopping twenty options, making it one of the biggest choices in Subtitles that I have seen in my Scooby-Doo DVD collection.
Overall a fun film, but one that feels a bit erratic, making it harder to enjoy than some of the later films. However, that’s not to say it is a bad film, as I know many Scooby-Doo fans will enjoy it for what it is, as I did, but I don’t think it would be on my list of recommendations for someone who hasn’t seen many Scooby-Doo films.
The DVD provides a lot of languages and subtitles to make this one of the most inclusive DVDs within the early years of Scooby-Doo home releases.
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!