I started my annual Halloween special viewings a little late this year, only starting this week, rather than October 1, as is my custom. Life has been extremely full all summer, moving to a new place, work and school duties, the birth of our niece (!), and settling into our new apartment. Life has only just now slowed down a little bit. All that being said, I’m very glad to start settling into routine and to begin my annual Halloween celebrations. As I mentioned in my previous post, a large part of Halloween for me is watching all my favorite Halloween TV specials and movies. Here are a few thoughts on a newer favorite–Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost.
Sometime around 15 years ago, I recorded (on a VCR! How old school!) Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost off of Cartoon Network. I’ve been a near lifelong fan of Scooby and the Mysteries, Inc. gang and have always enjoyed the majority of the newer Scooby films. I think of the ones I’ve seen, Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost is my most favorite.
The cast is top notch. With the likes of voice acting veterans, Frank Welker (the ONLY person to ever portray Fred in any incarnation of Scooby-Doo), the late great Mary Kay Bergman (Daphne), B. J. Ward (Velma), Scott Innes (Shaggy and Scooby), and the incomparable Tim Curry as Ben Ravencroft (a Stephen King-esque horror author), this is a cast that is hard to beat. I’ve been a voice acting aficionado since childhood. These are names I can recall seeing across my screen in nearly any cartoon or animated film.
The music in this special is exceptional also, especially for a direct-to-video release. The Hex Girls (Jennifer Hale, Jane Wiedlin, and Kimberly Brooks) are an “eco-goth” rock band, perfect for the film’s Halloween and ghost story theme, with their eerie witch-like appearance.
However, what really makes this film stand out for me is the eerie autumn tone throughout the movie. I’ve had long love affair with autumn, Halloween, and the pilgrim era of New England history, particularly the witch trials. This film embodies every bit of that, then adds a mystery, and one of my all time favorite cartoons on top. It’s the perfect storm for me.
Add Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost to your Halloween viewing list this year. I think you’ll like it.