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Was This The Explanation?

Author: richard.fuller1
26 March 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Dick Van Dyke in a carnival was a bit odd looking, tho at least Van Dyke had some remotely similar skills in real life.

Animation and plot was a bit weak, mainly with a floating arm.

For 1973, had Van Dyke, Shaggy and Scooby actually managed to fly in an old-timey automobile, a la Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, this episode may have had more meaning to us kids.

Still, the episode ends, the last of the Scooby movies, with the gang working at the carnival.

This conclusion has been hinted at how the gang earned their money to drive off on their adventures.

A feasible suggestion with merit, for sure.

The Scooby movies were fun, most definitely. No doubt about it.

This IMDb listing isn't complete. There is no listing for either of the 3 Stooges adventures, nor is the Laurel & Hardy adventure listed.

And Josie and the PUssycats in the Haunted Showboat isn't listed either.

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Best episode of Season 2

Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
14 September 2016

While 'The New Scooby Doo Movies' was a patchy and inconsistent show, it was also interesting and entertaining, with some great episodes, a handful of decent to good ones, some average to mediocre and a few bad.

Season 1 was generally very enjoyable, with only two episodes being disappointing ("Sandy Duncan's Jekyll and Hyde" and "The Phantom of the Country Music Hall") and the most consistent caveat being the less than great animation. Season 2 was much more of a mixed bag, boasting an even bigger nose-dive in animation quality and the show's two worst episodes ("The Haunted Showboat" and especially "Mystery in Persia", "The Weird Winds on Winona" also being the weirdest episode).

Two episodes in the season are very good. One is "The Spirited Spooked Sports Show", with only the often inept animation and the obvious identity of one of the villains which took away from some of the mystery being not so great. The other is this, "The Haunted Carnival" (aka "Scooby Doo Meets Dick Van Dyke"), the best episode of Season 2 and the best episode since "The Caped Crusader Caper".

None of the episodes of 'The New Scooby Doo Movies' are without flaws, the most common one being the animation and several of them feel overlong and over-stretched. The animation agreed is weak, with the drawing being stiff, choppy and crude (Van Dyke is quite awkwardly drawn) and the colours flat. Parts of the story do feel repetitious and like the episode went on longer than necessary.

However, what are especially good are Dick Van Dyke's guest appearance and the writing. Van Dyke is a perfect fit for the gang and was simply born for this, while the writing is the best written and funniest episode of the second season, and the best written and funniest since "The Caped Crusader Caper". The atmospheric carnival setting and the villain being one of few in the show to be a genuine menacing threat.

Music has the typical energy and haunting atmosphere, and the theme tune is infectiously catchy. Also love the charming and amusing chemistry between Shaggy and Scooby and Van Dyke's inspired interaction with the gang. The story isn't perfect, but the mystery does engage more than the rest of the season's episodes and atmosphere and humour are nicely balanced. The voice acting is very good, Van Dyke coming close to stealing the show and Don Messick and Casey Kasem don't disappoint either.

In conclusion, very enjoyable episode and not just the best episode of Season 2 but also one of the better ones of the whole show. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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"If there's one thing worse than a ghost, its a ghost with muscles!"

Author: TOMASBBloodhound from Omaha, NE USA
2 August 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This episode was a nice way to end the run of Scooby Doo episodes featuring famous, washed-up, or in some cases deceased celebrities. The gang, looking to have some fun after several episodes of chasing ghosts, stop at a run-down carnival run by Van Dyke. Of course, the carnival is haunted and all workers and potential customers have apparently been scared off. Dick literally has to run the entire place himself, setting up plenty of funny scenes where he pretends to be a ticket-taker, a barker, a strong man, a magician, you name it. Van Dyke was born for this story, and he swaps plenty of funny lines with Scooby and the gang.

Who is haunting the carnival? He's a somewhat intimidating muscle- bound ghost painted white. In actuality, he proves to be the former strong man who was thought to have quit, but now is back to scare everyone off so he can of course buy the carnival on the cheap. He naturally spends time chasing Shaggy and Scooby around the park while Dick mostly clowns around with the other kids. There is definitely a certain degree of menace that this ghost exhibits. Notice the crooked smile he flashes as he bends a barbell in half after threatening Van Dyke and the kids after they learn his identity. Some of these celebrity episodes lacked any menace whatsoever. Scooby Doo, Where Are You had a two other creepy carnival episodes, one with the Ghost Clown, and another with an out-of-control robot terrorizing everyone. The episode with Van Dyke goes more for laughs, as you might expect. I guess it would be worth about 8 stars. Certainly better than any episode with the Globetrotters! Glad it was included in the DVD package.

The Hound.

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