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Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost
Scooby Doo and the Witch's Ghost.jpg
DVD cover
Directed byJim Stenstrum
Written by
Based onScooby-Doo
by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears
Produced by
  • Cos Anzilotti
Starring
Edited byRob DeSales
Music byLouis Febre
Production
company
Distributed byWarner Home Video
Release dates
  • October 5, 1999 (1999-10-05)
(VHS)
  • March 6, 2001 (2001-03-06)
(DVD)
Running time
66 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States[2]
LanguageEnglish

Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost is a 1999 American direct-to-video animated supernatural horror comedy film, and the second of the direct-to-video films based upon Scooby-Doo Saturday morning cartoons. It was produced by Hanna-Barbera Cartoons. The film was released on VHS on October 5, 1999, then on DVD on March 6, 2001.

The plot involves Mystery Inc. travelling to a New England town called Oakhaven (a fictional suburb of Salem, Massachusetts) after being invited by horror writer Ben Ravencroft. Like a number of direct-to-video Scooby-Doo animated films released in the late-1990s and early-2000s, The Witch's Ghost features real supernatural elements instead of the traditionally fabricated ones the franchise is associated with, giving the film a darker tone. The film has been adapted into a book.[3]

It is the second of the first four Scooby-Doo direct-to-video films to be animated overseas by Japanese animation studio Mook Animation. The film marks the first time voice actor and radio-personality Scott Innes voiced Shaggy, as Billy West (who voiced Shaggy in Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island) needed time for his voice work on Futurama. This was also the final film starring Mary Kay Bergman that was released during her lifetime.

Plot

After Ben Ravencroft, a famous horror writer of whom Velma Dinkley is a huge fan, assists her and Mystery Inc. in solving a case at a museum, he invites them to his hometown, Oakhaven, Massachusetts. When they arrive, they find the town converted into a tourist attraction by Mayor Corey, with 17th-century replicas based on the ghost of Sarah Ravencroft, an ancestor of Ben's who was persecuted as a witch and executed by the Puritan townspeople in 1657. Ben disputes this, claiming that Sarah was a Wiccan who used herbal remedies to heal the less fortunate, and he has spent years searching for her medical journal to prove her innocence.

Scooby-Doo and Shaggy Rogers are chased by the ghost of a witch. The gang is drawn to an all-female gothic rock band, The Hex Girls, led by Sally "Thorn" McKnight, during one of their rehearsals. Fred Jones and Daphne Blake follow Thorn and discover her performing a ritual and are convinced the Hex Girls are witches.

The ghost witch is captured by Velma and revealed to be Mr. McKnight, Thorn's father and Oakhaven's pharmacist, and the townspeople were involved. Thorn explains the "ritual" Fred and Daphne witnessed was an herbal remedy made for soothing her vocal cords and that she is actually 1/16th Wiccan. Corey and Mr. McKnight apologize to Ben for using his ancestor in their publicity stunt, explaining that they created the ghost witch to boost the town's failing tourist economy and that they found inspiration from digging up the head marker for Sarah's grave, though her body was not found. It is revealed that a shoe buckle Scooby had found earlier was actually the lock from Sarah's journal.

Returning to where the lock had been found, Scooby digs and finds a box containing the buried journal, which is actually a spell book. Ben reveals that Sarah was in fact a witch, who wielded her witchcraft against the townspeople before the Wiccans used their nature-based powers to imprison her within her own spell book; his ancestry, therefore, makes him a warlock. He engineered the mystery at the museum just so he could meet with Mystery Inc., knowing they would be able to help him find the book; the town's fake ghost wasn't part of his plan, though he was able to use it to his advantage. Awakening his warlock powers, Ben releases Sarah but discovers that she has no loyalty to him, and her ambitions are to destroy the world to avenge her imprisonment rather than rule it alongside him.

Disillusioned, Ben attempts to reimprison Sara, but she tells him that only a Wiccan can defeat her, and traps him in a magical sphere. The gang launches an attempt to get the book while Sarah turns pumpkins and trees into monsters and enlarges a turkey in order to stop them. Daphne and Velma free the Hex Girls and the latter convinces Thorn to use her inherited Wiccan power to reimprison Sarah. The plan works, sucking her back into the book and turning the monsters she created, except for the turkey, back to normal. Refusing to return to her imprisonment alone, Sarah drags Ben into the book with her.

A burning branch then falls onto the book and incinerates it, ensuring that the Ravencrofts can never return. The gang and townsfolk celebrate their deliverance with a concert from the Hex Girls with the gang and the still giant turkey joining in on the performance.

Voice cast

Production

After the success of Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, which received better sales than Warner Bros. had expected, the team were tasked with creating a second Scooby-Doo direct-to-video film. Its predecessor was considered a one-off experiment and, as such, the crew producing it worked with little oversight from executives. For Witch's Ghost, this creative freedom was scaled back considerably. Warner Bros. suggested screenwriters Rick Copp and David A. Goodman, which insulted the team that had produced the first film in total autonomy. In addition, the studio requested the filmmakers "tone down" their content, as they feared Zombie Island had proved too scary for its intended audience.[4]

Copp and Goodman's script concluded with the revelation that the townspeople were using the witch as a publicity stunt. The original team found this unsatisfactory and Glenn Leopold re-wrote the last third of the film, introducing the concept that the ghost is real.[4]

Soundtrack

To coincide with the release of Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, Warner Bros. decided to release the album Scooby-Doo's Snack Tracks: The Ultimate Collection. It went on to peak at number 5 on Billboard's Kid Albums chart and stayed in the top 25 for over 26-weeks.[5] [6] This popularity inspired Warner Bros. to release a full length soundtrack for their next film, Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost.

Kid Rhino partnered with Warner Home Video and Cartoon Network to release the soundtrack for the film. According to Rhino VP Carol Lee, "We [worked] closely with Warner Home Video so that we're part of everything they do." She added the soundtrack to the film was, "treated like that of a theatrical release. We created a Music Video which appeared on the home video."[7] On September 14, 1999, the soundtrack was released on CD and Audio Cassette, featuring songs by The Hex Girls, and Billy Ray Cyrus performing "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?".[8]

Track listing
No.TitleRecording artist(s)Length
1."Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?"Billy Ray Cyrus1:02
2."Hex Girl"The Hex Girls1:43
3."Earth, Wind, Fire and Air"The Hex Girls1:55
4."The Witch's Ghost"The Hex Girls3:10
5."It's a Mystery"The Hex Girls3:08
6."Scooby Snacks"The Hex Girls3:19
7."Zoinks!"The Hex Girls3:10
8."Those Meddlin' Kids"The Hex Girls3:17
9."Ghost Story"Louis Febre3:13
10."The Ghost Is Here"Joe Pizzulo, Gary Falcone2:21
11."Terror Time"Joe Pizzulo, Gary Falcone2:55
12."Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?" (Instrumental Mix)David Mook, Ben Raleigh2:43

Release and reception

Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost was released on VHS on October 5, 1999, then on DVD on March 6, 2001. The VHS included the pilot episode for Courage The Cowardly Dog entitled The Chicken From Outer Space shown at the end.

The film earned a 50% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[9] David Parkinson of Radio Times, gave the film two out of five stars, saying, "This full-length cartoon featuring the ghost-hunting teenage detectives is something of a mixed bag."[10] Joe Neumaier from Entertainment Weekly said, "Though slyly written, it doesn't have the punch of last year's Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island – but it's still scarier than The Blair Witch Project."[11]

The film was criticized by religious groups upon its release, who claimed The Hex Girls were "of the Devil, luring young girls into Wicca witchcraft."[12]

Accolades

Year Award Category Result Ref.
2000 Annie Awards Outstanding Animated Home Video Production Nominated [13]

References

  1. ^ "Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost". WB Official YouTube Channel. Archived from the original on 2021-12-13. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  2. ^ "Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost (1999)". Allmovie. Retrieved October 24, 2015.
  3. ^ Herman, Gail; Copp, Rick; Goodman, David (9 June 1999). Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost. Scholastic. ISBN 9780439087865 – via Internet Archive.
  4. ^ a b Jozic, Mike (interviewer); Falk, Lance (interviewee) (February 7, 2017). APNSD! Episode 03: Interview With Lance Falk (Podcast). Retrieved July 27, 2019.
  5. ^ "Scooby-Doo's Snack Tracks: The Ultimate Collection - Original TV Soundtrack". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2011-12-08.
  6. ^ "Top Kid Audio Chart". Billboard. May 22, 1999.
  7. ^ McCormick, Moira (February 19, 2000). "The Sound of Children's Music: Labels and Artists Committed to Family Fare". Billboard Magazine. {{cite magazine}}: Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  8. ^ "Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost". Amazon. 1999. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
  9. ^ "Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
  10. ^ "Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost (2000)".
  11. ^ Neumaier, Joe (Oct 8, 1999). "Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost (1999)". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on October 2, 2008. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
  12. ^ Stewart, David J. "'Scooby-Doo' Promotes Wicca Witchcraft!". Jesus-Is-Savior. Archived from the original on November 5, 2021.
  13. ^ "28th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (2000)". AnnieAwards.org. ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved 2013-01-19.

External links

This page was last edited on 22 January 2023, at 11:11
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