Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tooniversary: Scooby-Doo meets Jeannie (1973)

Space Ghost's 2nd season simply consisted of a 6-part story arc told over 2 weeks, introducing viewers to Hanna-Barbera's freshman class that was on CBS: The Herculoids, Mightor, Moby Dick, & Shazzan. 6 years later, CBS & H-B decided to do it again, this time with Scooby-Doo.

In season 2 of The New Scooby-Doo Movies, there were two crossovers with series that debuted that same season: Jeannie & Speed Buggy. As we know, Speedy and his driver, Tinker, and Jeannie's sidekick, Babu (Joe Besser, formerly of The Three Stooges and The Abbott & Costello Show) would join Scooby's team during the Laff-a-Lympics era (1977-9), but Jeannie (Julie McWhirter) didn't, and neither did her master/prospective boyfriend, Corey (Mark Hamill) or his sidekick, Henry (Bob Hastings). Anyway, Jeannie, Corey, & Henry join Mystery, Inc. for an adventure that takes them to ancient Persia. As we'll see, and had previously seen during this series, Scooby had a way of charming the ladies, genies included.........!

Rating: B.


Scoobyfan1 said...

Great episode, and it shows what i've thought all along, and what the writers should start realizing:

Not only do Scooby Doo and the gang believe in real supernatural forces, but Fred, Daphne and Velma(mostly Fred and Velma) have(or should have) no problems with ghosts, witches, werewolves, etc, as long as they're friendly.

It's amazing that in some episodes(like this one, and the Addams Family, and in Daphne's case the 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo series) Fred and the girls are right in the center of things, making friends with real supernatural type people.

But yet in other episodes and movies(Scooby Doo and the Goblin King most notably), Velma's brain conks out, and Fred and the girls are reduced to a role like theirs in Scooby and Scrappy Doo's The Ransom of Scooby Chief, in other words basically they only appear for a few minutes just to have them there, but the entire story is just Scooby, Shaggy(and in the episode I mentioned, Scrappy).

Which is, as I may have mentioned here and on Toonzone in posts there, a complete and total cop out by the writers.

Scooby's been around for over 40 years now, and there have been plenty of different ideas used for our favorite teen sleuths and their Great Dane(some good, some really bad), but overall there's always been something different in regards to Scooby movies and episodes.

That said, can the writers please, please go back to doing stuff like this episode on a regular basis? I've watched this episode by the way on a number of occasions and in doing so, i've noticed that it's almost as if Fred, Daphne and Velma see past the fact that Jeannie and Babu are genies and treat them as people... who have the additonal trait of having magical powers.

I really think that deep down, if Fred, Daphne and Velma met a witch or a genie, or a werewolf who was friendly, they would really like them, maybe become good friends with them.

That said, thank goodness for fan fiction where you can write this type of thing without worrying about the actual writers. Sorry for the rant as well; it's just something that's always bugged me about Scooby Doo over the years.

hobbyfan said...

You & me both, buddy.

Today's generation of writers have their own ideas, unfortunately, and, as we've noted, they'll play to the internet as they see fit, but they don't give a rat's backside to older fans who've followed Scooby from day 1 (I was 6 when Scooby debuted, for example).

Your point about friendly monsters has merit. Take for example "Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein", which I posted here back in October. The Wolf Man's alter ego of Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney, Jr. of course) struck up a friendship with Chick & Wilbur (Bud Abbott & Lou Costello), which proved valuable, as ol' Wolfie squared off with Dracula to save Wilbur.

Also, since Jeannie marks 40 years this year, your idea that she & Babu were perceived as real people with magical powers gives me an idea.......

magicdog said...

This ep was the exception to the usual Scooby formula of fake supernatural mysteries. Aside from the Addams Family crossover, Scooby & The Gang never had any reason to believe the supernatural existed in their world. In this ep, they had no problem beliving and enjoying it! Best of all, no memory wipes, which is often the case when someone sees something they shouldn't.

I agree it's time for more authentic supernatural events for the gang. SDMI is closing that gap in its second season (and dollars to donuts if the show had been cleared for a third, that would have been the direction Mitch Watson et al would have taken).

I think when the next SD incarnation comes out, we'll get more actual supernatural intrigue. Something in line with "Zombie Island".

hobbyfan said...

If only I could see some 2nd season SDMI to back up your analysis. Unfortunately, it's not on demand right now.....! Meh.

Maybe the next incarnation can follow traditional continuity, and not be a continuance. Like, you can't have everything.......

Scoobyfan1 said...

@magicdog: so true; that was something else that bugged me about SD and the Goblin King.

The fact that Fred and the girls had their memories of the night erased, while Shaggy and Scooby kept theirs.

And I definitely think there should be more Scooby episodes and movies in the vein of Zombie Island, without question.

Scoobyfan1 said...

@hobbyfan: thank you :)

I'm one of the younger Scooby fans out there admittedly(I've been following Scooby and been a fan since around age 11/12(which in my case was 1996).

I don't mind that today's writers having their own ideas actually, for the most part. I loved Scooby Doo Abracadabra Doo, Camp Scare and to an extent Legend of the Phantasour and the other newer direct to video movies.

But there has to be some balance between the current writers having their own ideas, and taking some things from past generations of Scooby Doo to create something that people will want to watch.

It actually leads me to something sort of like that; it's kind of in the vein that i'm talking about, but sort of different.

The whole gray area regarding fan fiction and fan art. Some people think it's legal, some people think it's against the law, and the whole SOPA/PIPA stuff, and things like that.

Most people assume that fan fiction is something that's on the lower levels of writing for any number of reasons(nothing against you of course, this is just the perception of fan fiction).

However, in my time as a fan fic writer, i've seen people in their sixties who are semi retired, and people who work in the media writing fan fiction, which goes against the fan boy mentality regarding fan fiction some people have.

I mention all of this because I was thinking the other day about SOPA and PIPA and certain bills similar to them.

I've always thought, and will always think that the reason these bills are brought up in Washington is people from big media companies want to protect their properties while keeping most of them under wraps.

Take Warner Brothers and Disney for example. Those two companies are the worst when it comes to releasing material on DVD, and putting their product on TV, not to mention how they treat their materials(like how WB treats the Hanna Barbera library sometimes).

But because these companies are so wrapped up in protecting their intelectual properties and characters, we get stuff like Shaggy and Scooby Doo Get A Clue, and who knows how many bad teen comedies on Disney Channel.

Meanwhile most of the good shows from the two companies is locked up in their respective vaults and trying to get them to put certain shows on TV in reruns, or on DVD or I Tunes is like pulling teeth a million times over.

Hopefully these companies will get the hint and leave the fans alone, while putting product on the air and available for purchase that people actually want to see and buy, as opposed to what they don't want to buy and see.

Again, sorry for the rant, but it was something that I was thinking about and I needed to put it to keyboard, or type it as it were.

Regarding the Jeannie episode, that's why it worked so well, and what made some of those older episodes so well remembered to this day.

They met two genies, and traveled thousands of miles in the span of a few minutes. And yet, they were cool with both of those things; partly because they had no reason to run away and scream at the supernatural, because the genies were friendly.

That's the entire point of everything i've said regarding Scooby and the supernatural. In this case, the gang had no reason to be afraid of Jeannie or Babu and the writers had no problem using a real supernatural being.

But the current day writers do for some reason, why I have no idea.

hobbyfan said...

Because modern writers have little use for actually doing some, well.....RESEARCH!!!!

Take for instance the dream sequence from season 1 of SDMI. Speed Buggy, Jabberjaw, Captain Caveman, & Funky Phantom were all tossed in on a whim by writer-producer Mitch Watson. We knew that Scooby had interacted with all but the Phantom in past series, so guess who gets to be the villain? Yep, the Phantom, deconstructed into an out-of-work actor. Not a good move.

And while Watson has tried to make up for it by reviving and rebooting Dynomutt (I had an idea for a fan-fic in the ToonZone Story Board that I might as well reset for someone else), CN screwed the pooch on SDMI by airing the first set of season 2 eps, as we already know, in a weekday afternoon berth over 2 1/2 weeks with next to no promotion. Snyder & Sorcher would rather shove their new ideas down the viewers' throats and pray that they're all winners (some are, some aren't) than show some respect to iconic characters like Scooby.

Granted, Scooby was shoved down the viewers' throats by a previous administration a decade ago, which shows that it doesn't matter who's in charge at CN. They don't get it right 100%.

magicdog said...

To be fair, virtually the entire ep was a fever dream of Scooby's and therefore not all that damaging. If anything, Speedy, Cavy and Jabberjaw were fictional in this particular universe. Perhaps they're HB type cartoon shows in the SDMI world as they are in ours.

The ep itself was a joke on the meddling kids shows that Scooby inspired. None of the cast is supposed to recognize them as "old buddies" they hung out with in a previous adventure.

hobbyfan said...

A goof instead of a homage, as it should've been? That's where Watson made his mistake.

Yes, virtually the entire episode was a dream induced by Scooby's illness, but if Watson thought older fans wouldn't have known Scooby's past interaction with Cavey & Speedy in particular, he was wrong. This is what happens when one fan's vision represents only that fan, and not the rest of the fanbase.

Scoobyfan1 said...

@hobbyfan: well said.

Cartoon Network is so poorly run these days, it's not even funny anymore, the same with Boomerang.

I first got that channel(Boomerang) in 2007, when my local cable system added it. I had seen the channel a couple times on vacation, and had heard about the cool programming that was on it.

For example, when our cable system first added Boomerang they were running Batman the Animated Series and Superman the Animated Series, as well as Superfriends at 9 PM every night.

All those shows, plus them showing their Meddling Kids block kept me glued to that channel when I was at home and when there was no sports on or nothing else good on TV.

Now I have a bunch of DVDs, plus i've purchased a few Scooby shows on I Tunes, not to mention watching certain shows online, so there's no reasson to watch Boomerang unless there's something that's rarely shown on(like October 2011 when they aired a few 1984 Scooby and Scrappy episodes, and when they aired Funky Phantom and Goober and the Ghost Chasers in October 2011 and 2012).

I had only seen those shows on Cartoon Network when they ran older Hanna Barbera shows quite a few years ago, and I got into them all over again(actually Goober and the Ghost Chasers reminded me of a radio series I listen to).

But of course Boomerang doesn't keep that type of programming on very often.

As for Cartoon Network, being out of school and not employed at the moment, other then volunteer work every so often has let me watch most, if not all the SDMI season 2 episodes thus far.

However, that's just me. For the general public, putting it on weekday afternoons in the summer with as you said, little to no promotion really hurts the product.

It's no wonder why the show has had so many hiatuses, while CN and Warner Brothers refuse to give any info about further episodes(which the fans might appreciate) and at the same time, don't allow people to see the new episodes until they start airing in the U.S.

Taking them down from Youtube, refusing to let people watch them to get a taste of what's to come, etc.

Overall, if you'll pardon the pun, Cartoon Network really screwed the pooch with Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated, which is a shame because I like the show, and it's not really that bad an incarnation.

Way better then Get A Clue if you ask me.

Scoobyfan1 said...

@hobbyfan: regarding the previous management of CN and Scooby, I honestly didn't mind it airing that much in the late 90s, early 2000s.

I mean I know it ticked off the anime fans, but it was a chance for the younger fans(like myself) who wanted to see some episodes that maybe they hadn't seen before, and could experience for the first time, which is great.

Now, if I had seen all those shows in the 80s or syndication, maybe I wouldn't want to see them that much, and maybe see some other shows.

Or maybe I would want to see them again, it would really depend on how many times i had seen them.

hobbyfan said...

I give you 1999's infamous "Scooby-Doo Project", a take-off on "The Blair Witch Project", as exhibit A on how CN has always showed disrespect to the "meddling kids" genre shows that came after Scooby.

While they could've used the promotion to tie into "Scooby & the Witch's Ghost", the 2nd DTV in the series, they could've sold it even better by pulling Scooby off the schedule entirely and subbing in Goober, Clue Club, Chan Clan, et al, for the duration, but they didn't, because no one at CN had the foresight to think of it. In terms of administration, then, all they have done in recent times is replace one set of idiots with another........