Judge Dawn Hunt is still trying to crack the secret Scooby Snack recipe.

Starring pop culture icon Scooby-Doo, arguably the most famous animated talking dog ever, our favorite Great Dane returns with his best friends in Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales: Surf’s Up Scooby-Doo!. This two-disc set samples several of the Scooby Gang’s shows and includes a brand-new episode as well. This set is another in the “13 Spooky Tales” set of releases, marking the seventh offering thus far.

The main selling point of the set is nostalgia. No one is going to buy this because you want to know who Scooby is. There are a few episodes from the newer incarnations of Scooby and Co. however the majority are total blasts from the past. The only character to make an appearance outside of our original quintet is Scrappy-Doo, the world’s smallest puppy with the biggest Napoleon complex. He’s in a large amount of the episodes but thankfully half of those feature the entire Scooby gang so there’s more screen time divided among the group.

The one thing I appreciate about this set is that though there are different incarnations of Scooby and Company throughout the years their core personalities haven’t really changed all that much, allowing for a nice sense of consistency no matter the episode you’re viewing. I’m a hardcore original Scooby Gang fan and the iconic episodes with Scooby, Shaggy, Fred, Daphne, and of course Velma have always worked best for me, relying on quick-change costumes paired with corny slapstick humor.

This set is broken up across two discs but instead of the order which they’re listed on the discs I’ll list them according to which show the episode is from starting with the original 1969 show so you can get a better idea of how that breaks down:

1969’s Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!
“A Clue for Scooby-Doo”
“Scooby’s Night with a Frozen Fright”

1976’s The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour
“The Creepy Case of Old Iron Face”
“A Creepy Tangle in the Bermuda Triangle”
“Hang in There, Scooby” (Also shown during 1979’s Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo as well as 1980’s The Richie Rich/Scooby-Doo Show)

1979’s Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo
“Excalibur Scooby/Scooby’s Luck of the Irish/ Scooby’s Escape from Atlantis”
“Shiver and Shake That Demon’s a Snake”
“Twenty Thousand Screams Under the Sea”
“Scooby-Nocchio/Scooby’s Roots/Lighthouse Keeper Scooby” (Also shown during 1980’s The Richie Rich/Scooby-Doo Show)

1988’s A Pup Named Scooby-Doo
“Scooby Dude”

2002’s What’s New, Scooby-Doo?
“She Sees Sea Monsters by the Sea Shore”

2006’s Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!
“Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’”

“Scooby-Doo! and the Beach Beastie” is a new direct-to-video self-contained film released in May 2015.

My favorite episodes are the oldest ones with their slapstick elements paired with an attempt to introduce critical thinking skills for youngsters. I’m not a Scrappy-Doo fan but including episodes where he merely tags along with the whole gang made his presence more bearable. This is a set for someone who just wants a few examples of the Scooby Gang through the decades, not someone who has a hardcore devotion to one of the shows showcased here.

“Scooby Dude,” the episode from 1988’s A Pup Named Scooby-Doo suffers the most in terms of specs. There’s some pixilation which can make the picture look as though it has occasionally lost focus for a moment here and there. Other than that it’s a true mixed bag of technical spec options. Let’s start with the video, which ranges from the old school 1.33:1 to the now-standard 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfers. The older the episode the darker the palette, an attempt to create a spooky atmosphere to go along with the mysteries being solved. The other variant is the animation, going from hand-drawn to now-standard computer generated styles, which showcase much brighter palettes. When you consider the audio the choices range from a simple yet functional Mono track to a richer Dolby Surround Sound option, but no matter what option you choose you will have three languages to listen to: English, French, or Spanish. A nice selection to have.

There are no special features.

THE VERDICT

Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales: Surf’s Up Scooby-Doo! is not for the hardcore fan but rather the curious one who just wants to see some old episodes as well as get an understanding of what the gang looks and sounds like today. Not guilty.

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