Richie Rich has adventures with his friends while Scooby-Doo runs into real monsters after years of investigating fake ones.
In 1980, Hanna-Barbera released a Saturday morning cartoon featuring Scooby-Doo and Richie Rich. This DVD set features seven episodes, with three Scooby-Doo shorts and three Richie Rich shorts in each. I was ten years old when this show was on the air so I should know a little more about Richie Rich cartoons than I do, but I can’t honestly remember anything other than the robot maid. I know all about Richie Rich from comic books, but this cartoon doesn’t ring a bell.
I think I know why.
I love Scooby-Doo. I loved Shaggy, Velma, Fred, Daphne, and the Monster Machine. I loved the old Scooby-Doo team up cartoons (Batman and Robin! The Harlem Globetrotters!) and would rush home from school to catch them on TV every day. However, I hated Scrappy Doo. I hated everything about that little flea bitten, annoying mutt. And the Scooby-Doo involved in these cartoons is the version with Scooby, Shaggy and Scrappy. At least they hadn’t hit the low point they would with the Puppy Hour.
I hate the Scooby Doo cartoons in this set. Forget everything the original Scooby-Doo stood for. I loved the gang showing up and solving mysteries, proving that the supernatural occurrences were just a crazy old man who “would have gotten away with it, if it wasn’t for you meddling kids!” To leave that formula makes Scooby-Doo a very boring puppy indeed. The new formula consisted of Scrappy getting his Uncle Scooby and Shaggy into a predicament where they faced a real monster, ghost or witch. Then the three would somehow bumble their way out and escape. It was boring, predicable and stupid. It was nowhere near what Scooby-Doo once was.
Richie Rich got his start here, sharing the hour with Scooby-Doo. He would later team for hours with The Little Rascals and Pac-Man (I actually remember Pac Man!!!). The only built in audience was from the comic books, which first appeared in 1953 as Richie Rich: The Poor Little Rich Kid. A lot of you may know him from the horrid Macaulay Culkin movie from 1994. The cast from this cartoon includes Reggie, the stuck-up rich kid, Richie’s sweetheart Gloria, and Dollar the dog. He also has a butler named Cadbury and a robot maid named Irona.
Richie Rich fares better than Scooby-Doo, because where the Scooby/Scrappy adventures are close to worthless, the Richie Rich adventures actually tell a story with a moral attached, and is better suited for the youngsters the show was created for. Richie Rich would use his wealth, intelligence and courage to fight crime on occasions. On other occasions, he would be the one positive force in a world of negativity. What Richie Rich was not, was boring. Not all the adventures were great, but he still blew the Scrappy-Doo misadventures away.
Both cartoons are funny in spots but this set really falters when compared with smarter cartoons and the show remains in the lower tier of children’s entertainment.
The Story of Richie Rich (09:44) is the only extra feature outside of previews. The feature tried to explain Richie Rich as a character we could identify with based on wish fulfillment. They argue the fact that teaching kids to wish for wealth is not what should be remembered, but the way Richie Rich remained normal even with his wealth was important.