Crimespree on Comics: Kate (and Dan) watch SCOOBY DOO MEETS BATMAN

Howdy, Faithful Readers! Kate is taking the reins of the blog this week. Kate (and Dan) Reads Comics is more than just reviews of the latest offerings from your Local Comic shop. This week we branch out into the world of video, specifically “Scooby Doo Meets Batman”.

Nostalgia is a funny thing. It has a way of wiping out your memories of how bad things really were. As a child, I loved Cookie Crisp cereal. What 5 year old would love cookies and milk for breakfast? Cookies and milk. For breakfast. ‘Nuff said. As soon as I was able to buy my own cereal as an adult, the first box I picked up was Cookie Crisp. Something happened over those 20 years and the cereal wasn’t as good as I remembered. Dan had a similar experience watching “Scooby Doo Meets Batman” with our friends Cory Q and Mary, too.

Like Scooby and The Gang, we have a pretty tight-knit group of friends from way back. We never solved any mysteries together, but we did get into our fair share of mischief and shenanigans. But these days, getting together can be a challenge, so when we do make the schedules work; we need to make it special. Nostalgia being what it is, we decided on movie night. Expectations were high for what we all remembered as a classic of youth.

You may not be aware, but there are actually two “Scooby Doo Meets Batman” movies: “The Caped Crusader Caper” and “The Dynamic Scooby Doo Affair”. We chose the first movie since we are suckers for alliteration.

The movie opens with Scooby, Shaggy, and the gang camping. As expected, Scooby and Shaggy are hungry and want to order pizza. This only fed fuel to the fire of instant stoner jokes. “Of course the stoners are hungry and want to order pizza from the middle of the woods!” I comment on this and Cory mentions that he has, in fact, ordered pizza from a campsite in the middle of the woods, but he wasn’t high.

Hijinx ensue and the gang runs into the Joker and Penguin. In the middle of the woods. Right. Where else would you encounter a super-villain team up? 1972-era Joker wears stir-up pants and walks like a pimp. I’m guessing he looks and walks like that because it’s a ‘70’s vibe, and that’s just the way it is. The Joker doesn’t sound anything like Cesar Romero, but he does sound like he just pierced his tongue or has a mouth full of chaw or had a stroke. The four of us couldn’t quite place his speech impediment. Very, very odd. (Too much Smile-X gas, maybe?)

Since the gang just encountered the Joker and Penguin, the Dynamic Duo aren’t far behind. Adam West actually voices Batman, but Casey Kasem does Robin. This makes for strange conversations between Robin and Shaggy since the same guy voices both. Imagine if Mr. Kasem had crossed his lines during the recording sessions, “Holy Scooby Snacks, Scoob!” “Zoinks, Batman!”

Speaking of Robin, his costume is exceptionally short. I mean uncomfortably, inappropriately short for someone who is referred to as “Batman’s ward”. It looked like he was wearing a banana hammock and his cheeks could be hanging out under his cape. Not very practical for nighttime adventures in the woods. And this is a kids’ show? Time for a call to child services.

The Joker and Penguin kidnap a professor that works at a rubber factory. The professor, Professor Flaky, created a flying suit that the evildoers want for themselves. The gang and the Dynamic Duo have to save the professor and stop the bad guys from getting the suit. That’s the plot, but it’s kind of irrelevant to the movie. Really.

The movie’s continuity problems were distracting. We could have started a drinking game every time the hubcaps on the Mystery Mobile changed. At the beginning of the adventure, the hubcaps have 5 spokes. A little later, they have 3 spokes. And then, it’s back to 5 spokes again. Not something a preteen would catch, I guess. But later, we encounter the Mystery Of The Disappearing Bat-Pants. Batman and the Gang are standing in a clearing in the woods, trying to solve the mystery. Batman is looking spooky, decked out in full Bat-gear. The camera cuts away to Scooby, and when it cuts back, he’s not wearing pants! WHA?! HUH?! Before you can say, “Holy Bat-No-Pants” the camera cuts away again, and his pants magically reappear! Again I say, that call to child services needs to happen, NOW.

We suffered through the 82 minutes of the movie and started searching the shelves for the better, earlier Scooby Doo episodes. You know, ones with without the wardrobe malfunctions. As we debated the merits of suspected stoners and their anthropomorphized Great Dane, the later TV episodes with Scrappy came up. Dan could easily sum up our feelings about these later episodes, “Anything with Scrappy is crap! Scrappy is Crappy!” We all hate that little dog.

I’ll admit I am not a fan of Hanna-Barbera cartoons. They are poorly drawn and creep me out. You can keep your Scooby Doo, Herculoids, and Josie and the Pussycats. Interestingly enough, Dan loves all that stuff. Herculoids, along with Space Ghost, and even the Challenge Of the Super-Friends, make up some of his all time cartoon favorites. I will say, in reviewing the Hanna-Barbera Wikipedia page, I see that they also did Hong Kong Phooey and Captain Caveman, which I did enjoy. So their cartoons may not have been as creepy as I remember. There’s that “nostalgia” thing again.

Dan and Kate Malmon are a happily married couple (except when Dan forgets to put dinner on the table) in Roseville, MN. When not working, reading comics and mysteries or watching sports, they hang out with Franklin the dog. You can find both Kate and Dan on Twitter.