The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo is the seventh incarnation of the Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning cartoon, Scooby-Doo. This was the final first-run version of the original 1969-86 broadcast run of the series, it premiered on September 7, 1985 and ran for one season on ABC as a half-hour program and then ended on December 7, 1985. Thirteen episodes of the show were made in 1985. It replaced Scary Scooby Funnies (a repackaging of earlier shows, and another repackaged series, Scooby's Mystery Funhouse, followed).
In the initial episode the gang are thrown off course on a trip to Honolulu in Daphne's plane landing instead in Tibet. While inside a temple, Scooby and Shaggy are tricked into opening the Chest of Demons, which houses thirteen of the most terrifying and powerful ghosts and demons ever to walk the face of the Earth. The ghosts can only be returned to the chest by those who originally set them free; thus, the gang embark on a worldwide quest to recapture them before they wreak irreversible havoc upon the world.
List of episodes
- Main article(s): List of The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo episodes
- Don Messick as Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo
- Casey Kasem as Shaggy Rogers
- Heather North as Daphne Blake
- Susan Blu as Flim-Flam
- Vincent Price as Vincent Van Ghoul
- Howard Morris as Bogel
- Arte Johnson as Weerd
13 Ghosts was produced at a time when the 1984 Columbia Pictures film, Ghostbusters, was very popular, and two other animated series during that time was made, both about ghostbusting, one being Filmation's Ghostbusters and the other being The Real Ghostbusters. The Real Ghostbusters was the animated series based off the hit movie Ghostbusters, although Filmation's Ghostbusters was based on a live-action television show from 1975-1976 titled The Ghost Busters, which despite the title has nothing to do with the 1984 movie. In response to this, unlike previous Scooby series where the ghosts were criminals in costumes, the titular ghosts are depicted as being real supernatural beings, thus also attempting to give this series a much darker tone while still keeping much of the lighthearted humor, 13 Ghosts, much like The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries, attempted to give the Scooby-Doo franchise a more contemporary feel.
Daphne and Shaggy were given redesigns to fit them into the mid-1980s style. Daphne would slightly resemble Debbie from Speed Buggy and April O'Neil from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They, along with Scooby and Scrappy, were joined in this season by a young Mexican con-artist named Flim-Flam, and a warlock mentor, Vincent Van Ghoul (a parody of Vincent Price, who voiced the character as well). Fred Jones and Velma Dinkley were again completely absent from the series; they had not been major characters in the show since the addition of Scrappy-Doo in 1979.
The show featured self-parody, pop culture references, and fourth-wall-breaking gags, typical of Looney Tunes shorts and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This was the influence of associate producer Tom Ruegger, who would later go on to produce A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, Tiny Toon Adventures, and Animaniacs. Despite the show's title and the continuity in which it claims that thirteen ghosts have escaped from the Chest of Demons, only eleven ghosts are seen and captured throughout the series, including the ghosts from the pilot episode, although the ghost ship captain might have been one of the 13 ghosts. Taking into account two 'lost episodes' does bring the total to 13.
The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo was the last series for which Heather North voiced Daphne. The series also marked the final Saturday morning Scooby series to feature Scrappy-Doo, and was the only Scooby series that had a pre-adolescent child (Flim Flam) become part of the Mystery, Inc. gang. The show was canceled by ABC in March 1986 and replaced with re-runs of Laff-a-Lympics. No new Scooby series was there to take its place that September, the first time in a decade-and-a-half that Scooby-Doo did not air on a Saturday.
|Bang-Bang||Albanian||13 Fantazmat e Skubi-Dusë||?|
|Boomerang||German||Die 13 Geister von Scooby-Doo||?|
|Cartoon Network||Hebrew||13 הרוחות של סקובי דו||2002|
|TV2||Hungarian||Scooby-Doo és a 13 szellem (Scooby-Doo and the 13 ghosts)||1998|
|Canal+||French||Les 13 Fantômes de Scooby-Doo||March 1989|
|5* (possible)||Spanish||Los 13 fantasmas de Scooby-Doo||?|
|Rai||Italian||I 13 fantasmi di Scooby Doo||1998|
|Cartoon Network||Polish||13 demonów Scooby Doo||September 1, 1998|
|Czech||Not translated to Czech|
|DVD Name||No. of Episodes||Release Date|
|The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo!: The Complete Series||13||June 29, 2010|
- The number thirteen is referenced a lot throughout the series. The gang visits locations with "thirteen" in the name (typically in the address) on several occasions. This is both because of the title (which itself has the number thirteen in it) and because thirteen is seen as an unlucky number in the United States. However, in countries where thirteen is seen as a regular, or even lucky, number (for example, Italy), it is likely presumed thirteen has more to do with the number of escaped demons or the title rather than indicating unluckiness.