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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Comedy > Animation > Groovie Goolies – The Saturday “Mourning” Collection (Horror/Comedy/Animation; aka Sabrina & The Groovie Goolies)

Groovie Goolies – The Saturday “Mourning” Collection (Horror/Comedy/Animation; aka Sabrina & The Groovie Goolies)

 

Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C+     Episodes: B

 

 

Around the same time Hanna Barbera and CBS hit with the original Scooby Doo and NBC had a Pop culture classic with Laugh-In, one of its writers (previously involved with other animation as well) Jack Mendelsohn signed on with Filmation and helped to create Sabrina & The Groovie Goolies again involving CBS and another classic hit was born.  Filmation was already on a roll with The Archies and decided Sabrina could be their Goldie Hawn/Munsters’ Marilyn figure in this show about a musically inclined group of monsters who came up with more puns and jokes than you could shake a box of silver bullets at.  For licensing reasons, her name was dropped from the title in future reruns and the like, but all her footage remained in all the episodes.

 

Like Superheroes, classic monsters were being sent up all over the place and the fun side of the counterculture sensibility struck again as we were treated to Frankie (voiced by Howard Morris doing his best and funniest Boris Karloff), Drac (F-Troop’s Larry Storch, a regular cartoon voice actor with underrated comic sense), Wolfie (Morris as a hip talker), Orville Mummy (Morris), Harvey Kinkle (Don Messick), Bonepart (Larry D. Mann) and Jane Webb voicing Sabrina, Bella Love-Ghostly, Hagatha, Aunt Hilda and Aunt Zelda.  And that is just the beginning of the send-ups of great monsters of the past.

 

The show is truly funny and holds up exceptionally well, from its fun art designs, to great character designs to brilliant use of color.  It captures the heart, soul and (no pun intended) spirit of how those classic monsters were being celebrated in everything from late-night revivals, to model kits, to action figures, to costumes, to customized cars and vans.  This is one of the all-time tour de forces of American TV animation and one of Filmation’s very best-ever series.  Sadly, only 16 shows were produced, but the joy, energy and hilarity are undiminished and over 35 years later, it has only become better with age.  How many animated programs from anywhere, especially from the 1970s, can you say that about?

 

The result was a show that kept Filmation on top and competitive with its competitors.  The great Hal Sutherland directed, Norm Prescott and Lou Scheimer produced, plus then-CBS mastermind Fred Silverman backed the show up and this 3-DVD set could easily make the show a huge hit all over again.  Anyone who loves the classic monster from Universal to the rest of the studios will find this set is a must have!

 

The 1.33 X 1 image is one of the best we have seen with a Filmation animated series on DVD and is only a tad soft in enough places to stop it from getting a higher rating, but I should strongly add that the color in inarguably excellent and even more vibrant and complex than the DVD case would lead you to believe.  What I like about the box art is that it also still has good color and shows us how enduring the leads are.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is really good and clean for its age, which helps the gags and the music throughout the show.  The combination is very impressive and those who love the show will be very happy and surprised with the playback quality.  The hit version of Chick-A-Boom (Don’t Ya Jes Love It) that was a Top Ten hit by Daddy Dewdrop (aka Richard Mondo in 1971 on the Sunflower label) is not here, but the original is.  What can you say about a show cool enough to have a band called The Rolling Head Stones?

 

Extras are once again many and include a DVD-ROM section that allows you to read and print every teleplay script, see the show’s bible guide when it was being produced under the also-interesting name of The Kookie Spookies, a sing-a-long for the show’s title song, several stills galleries, two excellent audio commentary tracks on the first two episodes with Scheimer, Mendelsohn, Bob Burns (part one) and Darrell McNeil (part two) both hosted enthusiastically by Wally (Family Guy) Wingert, liner notes by TV writer/producer Shawn Sheridan in a paper pullout and an new (and sometimes awkward) 45-minutes long “docu-comedy” on the show with interviews and some silliness.

 

All in all, an all time American animated classic has arrived on DVD and especially if you have never seen The Groovie Goolies, this is a must-see and must have.  Mendelsohn alone went on to writer for The New Scooby-Doo Movies (1972), animated Addams Family (1973), live-action Shazam! and (reviewed elsewhere on this site) Hong Kong Phooey.  The other talent stayed at Filmation, even if they did work outside of the company.  Horror fans will want to have this box on the same shelf as their Universal Horror Classics and all the rest.

 

 

-   Nicholas Sheffo


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