The Orange Years: The Nickelodeon Story (2020)

If you have to ask, then you’ll never understand how big and important Nickelodeon was, once upon a time. For many, “The Orange Years” from Scott Barber and Adam Sweeney might feel like yet another bit of 90’s nostalgia for Millennials, but the documentary is a look at television, its history and how Nickelodeon blazed a trail for a massive industry, and set a precedent that many studios would aspire to topple.

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Scooby Doo! Pirates Ahoy! (2006)

2006’s “Pirates Ahoy!” is one of the more clever animated sequels to come from the aughts when the “Scooby Doo” movie series was pretty much stale. By this time they’d given up fighting real monsters, and reverted back to criminals and goons with fancy costumes and illusions. It’s surprising how much talent these direct to DVD movies always attract, and the cast compliments what is a pretty nifty mystery, altogether.

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The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot about Halloween! (2016)

I had absolutely no idea that the Cat in the Hat had his own animated series on television in America. He was always my favorite troublemaker in the Seuss universe.. The studios have been mining Seuss tales for years for new material and have given us is that wretched live action movie. This time around the animated adventure of the cast and his pals learn about the meaning of Halloween.

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Little Monsters (1989): Vestron Video Collector’s Series [Blu-Ray/Digital]

After spending a long time without an actual release, the Vestron Video Collector’s Series is back with two new titles in time for October. One of the biggies is “Little Monsters,” the 1989 cult classic that’s been considerably out of print for years and been handed some flimsy DVD releases. Now on Blu-Ray, “Little Monsters” is available for a new generation of blooming horror fans. As someone that lovingly looks at “Little Monsters” as a childhood favorite, I’m happy to declare that (despite a tonal change in the second half) the movie has lost little of its luster.

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Daffy Duck & Porky Pig Meet The Groovie Goolies (1972)

As a hardcore Looney Tunes fan, it’s heartbreaking to see how low the character gallery sank in the latter years. With the aging and inevitable death of Mel Blanc, the Looney Tunes basically tread water for years. With this movie, the Looney Tunes gang shares a marquee with a group of goofy monsters that get in all sorts of mishaps and adventures. What ensues is a dull, grating (the Looney Tunes don’t need no stinkin’ laugh track), and absolutely bizarre outing for the gang from Termite Terrace.

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Happy Halloween, Scooby Doo! (2020)

Who better to celebrate Halloween than the Scooby Gang? “Happy Halloween, Scooby Doo!” is the thirty first animated movie in the long running franchise. It’s a long running franchise that, to its credit, doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. This installment is firmly a Halloween oriented movie, revolving around the idea of fear, and Velma trying to ignore her emotional response to fear in favor of rationality. What she ultimately comes to realize is that fear can be a good thing; it can even help us survive in perilous situations.

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The Goonies (1985) [4K Ultra HD/Blu-Ray/Digital]

Even though I was born in the eighties, I don’t have a particular connection with “The Goonies” as while it’s mostly considered a masterpiece, I’ve only ever considered it just pretty good. Director Richard Donner’s adventure film is the Hardy Boys Meets Indiana Jones and for the most part it’s an entertaining call back to fodder like “The East Side Kids,” which keeps in line with Spielberg’s ode to his childhood cinema.

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Scoob! (2020)

I’d be lying if I said that I’m the biggest Scooby Doo fan around. Hell, I’m still stunned that Hanna Barbera has placed so much stock in the franchise for so many decades, but I digress. I had high hopes going in to “Scoob!” as every generation is introduced to Scooby Doo once again in some new form, and “Scoob!” seemed like the right avenue. Not only does it give us a new vision of Scooby Doo, but it makes tweaks to the mythos that I liked, while also establishing a shared Hanna Barbera universe. And yet, at the end of it all, I’d still rather have seen “Scooby Doo on Zombie Island” or “Scooby Doo and the Witch’s Ghost,” again.

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