While 'The New Scooby Doo Movies' is a long way from a flawless series, with episodes and guest stars better than others (even the best ones have flaws too, the less than great animation being the most common factor), it was still an entertaining watch and one of the better Scooby Doo shows generally.
"The Spirited Spooked Sports Show" may not quite be one of the best of the show, like the Batman and Robin episodes, "Wednesday is Missing" and "Scooby Doo Meets Laurel and Hardy". But is it one of the better episodes of Season 2? Definitely, as well as being a huge improvement over the previous episodes "Mystery in Persia" and "The Haunted Showboat", two of the show's weakest.
Again the animation is not only less than great it's also pretty poor. Not quite as cheap as the animation in "Mystery in Persia" and "The Haunted Showboat", the animation of Redbeard in the first Harlem Globetrotters episode or the basketball sequences in the episodes with The Harlem Globetrotters. But it contains all the flatness, stiffness and choppiness that pretty much the whole of Season 2 had, none of the episodes in Season 1 are that well animated but the animation quality took even more of a nose-dive in the second season, plus there are some very noticeable and pretty inept goofs, some of the worst of the show.
It has also been said that the identities of the villains are easy to figure out. Have to agree there too, or at least with one of the villains who is blatantly obvious from the get go and it was easy to figure out that there was more than one person involved. There was a reasonably good twist on the other perpetrator though.
Conversely, the music is haunting and energetic with the theme tune as ever being infectiously catchy. The writing is some of the best and funniest of the second season, though the Dick Van Dyke episode is the season's funniest. Not just from Shaggy and Scooby but also some fun quips from Tim Conway and Fireball McPhain is huge fun, a good threat and definitely the second season's best villain by a wide margin.
The story feels like a mystery and for 'The New Scooby Doo Movies' it's action-packed and eventful, instead of feeling padded, overlong or over-stretched. There is a good balance of mystery and guest star rather than being non-existent, too much or too cluttered, and Conway acquits himself well. Shaggy and Scooby are funny and endearing, with such a charming friendship that gives a lot of heart to the franchise in general, and the voice acting is fine.
Overall, enjoyable episode and for Season 2 it's a good one. After being underwhelmed by "Mystery in Persia" and "The Haunted Showboat", "The Spirited Spooked Sports Show" was a refreshing step in the right direction and actually felt like Scooby Doo. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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