Scoobra Kadoobra is episode #2 of the 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, and it originally aired on September 14, 1986. The story is by Gordon Bressack and Mark Seidenberg. Ray Patterson directed the episode.
In this episode, the gang head into a haunted forest to capture Ghost #1 – Maldor the Malevolent, an evil ghost warlock from the dark ages. And of course, there is lots of comedy, botched plans, and scares along the way.
The episode begins with the gang heading into a haunted forest in the newly revamped Mystery Machine. Via a crystal ball message, Vincent Van Ghoul contacts them and warms them that this haunted forest is where Maldor the Malevolent rules and they should proceed with caution. The crystal ball projects Vincent Van Ghoul out in hologram form, sorta like R2D2 did with Princess Leia in Star Wars.
Maldor the Malevolent is after the Wonder Wand of Zagraz. With the wand’s mystic energy, Maldor, with his black magic, could take over the world! Vincent suggests that they head to the Castle of Princess Esmeralda, as that is where the wand is hidden.
Daphne steps on the gas, and as they get closer to the Castle, Maldor appears in the Mystery Machine surrounded by flames. With his brief appearance, he taunts the gang to try and stop him.
Turning the nearby trees into monsters, and a rabbit into a dragon, Maldor does his best to hinder the gang’s progress to the castle, but they forge on. There’s a funny interlude where the show has a ‘fake news’ broadcast where an angry lady complains about the dragon as ‘fire is dangerous’ and should be banned from the show. Scrappy, dressed as a reporter, argues that dragons need to work too, and if he didn’t appear in the show, this dragon wouldn’t be able to feed his family. This joke may have been inserted in as many religious groups were complaining that Scooby-Doo and the 13 Ghosts was promoting black magic and witchcraft due to its dark content. Or it may just have been done to poke fun at television censorship in general, as 80s cartoons were under strict controls on what they could show/feature.
Evading these challenges, the gang finally make it to the Castle of Esmeralda but are soon trapped by Maldor’s henchmen. Brought forth to Maldor, after a quick courthouse gag, Maldor tosses the gang into the dungeon to be held until he finds the wand.
In their dungeon cell, the gang meets a wizard named Zadgraz. The wizard explains that he has hidden the wand, and the castle owner, Princess Esmeralda, is currently under an eternal sleep curse by Maldor as she refused to give the wand to Maldor.
The gang end up escaping the dungeon, so Scooby and Shaggy head straight for the kitchen. Here, Scooby finds the Wonder Wand in the utensil drawer. Daphne, unfortunately, gets caught by Maldor, and he puts her under the eternal sleep curse.
The gang reunite, and Maldor tries to cast spells on Scooby to get the wand out of his paws. The wand protects Scooby, so Maldor zaps more spells at Scooby, and chases him off through the castle.
Shaggy, Flim-Flam and Scrappy find Daphne under the eternal sleep spell, along with Princess Esmeralda. The trio does their best to try and wake them up, but nothing seems to work.
Scooby and Maldor have an old good wizard/bad wizard showdown where Scooby turns himself into a fly. Maldor decides to then turn himself into a frog, so Flim-Flam hops upon this opportunity and scoops Maldor up and tosses him into the Chest of Demons.
The evil curse is then lifted upon the forest, yet Daphne and Princess Esmeralda remain asleep. Not even the wizard Zadgraz can lift the curse with the magic wand. He explains the curse can only be released by the kiss of a great Danish prince.
As Scooby is a Great Dane, he licks both Daphne and Princess Esmeralda, lifting the curse. In a strange turn of events, Princess Esmeralda turns out to be a Great Dane as well and is instantly infatuated with an uninterested Scooby-Doo.
I give this a 6.5 out of 10. This episode is well-written with gags, and a fun take on fairy tales, but it has no scares. With the Chest of Demons containing the world’s most evil ghosts, I thought a medieval Warlock would be a little more darker. Instead, we get some low level He-man villain of the week, with no brains or brawn (in fact, he kinda looks like Orko from He-man). The writers must have realized that their main bad guy was weak sauce, as the rabbit-turned-Dragon gets an equal amount of screen time (which is a plus as the dragon is voiced by Frank Welker).
While the gags were pretty good, it still made for a fun episode. I did enjoy the fake news gag, Scooby crying out ‘Relp Me’ as an homage to the original Fly film (staring Vincent Price), the Evil tree references to the Wizard of Oz, and Scooby singing the theme song to the New Scooby-Doo Movies as he cooks soup in the kitchen.
It was also nice not having Weerd and Bogle tossed in, as they would have cluttered this episode up even further. Hopefully, the series improves with the next episode.
Until next time, Stay Spooky!
Don Messic: Scooby-Doo, Scrappy
Casey Kasem: Shaggy
Heather North: Daphne
Susan Blu: Flim-Flam
Vincent Price: Vincent Van Ghoul
Peter Cullen: Maldor the Malevolent
Frank Welker: Dragon
Bob Holt: Zagraz