Hassle in the Castle

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Hassle in the Castle
MI meet the Phantom of Vasquez.png
Premiere date: September 27, 1969
Music composed by: Ted Nichols
Writers: Joe Ruby and Ken Spears
Directors: William Hanna and Joseph Barbera
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Title card
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"Hassle in the Castle" is the third episode of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! season one. It aired on September 27, 1969 on CBS. It was written by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, the creators of the show, and produced and directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, the founders of Hanna-Barbera Productions.

Mystery Inc. gets stuck on what is literally called Haunted Isle, where the gang race against a phantom, who is looking for buried treasure.

Detailed summary

While the Mystery Inc. gang is boating, the weather turns quite gloomy and they accidentally crash onto Haunted Isle. The island is the location of Vasquez Castle, which had been abandoned for many years prior. They wander the beach until Scooby finds an old map that has a message trying to scare the gang away. They continue to the castle and search for clues.

Once inside the castle, Daphne and Velma start a discussion about a book that Velma once read about trap doors. Daphne denies the thought and in turn, falls through a trap leading her to be separated from the gang. The gang starts searching for Daphne, Daphne soon lands in a separate room and swiftly dodges the ghost's grasp and heads off to find the rest of the gang.

Shaggy and Scooby continue to search for Daphne with Velma and Fred and come across a talking skull that tells them where they need to go. They become so terrified they run into a different room and Shaggy states that he wished he had a ham sandwich to calm himself down. Suddenly, a ham sandwich appears and Shaggy is convinced it is his imagination. He hopes his imagination will cut his sandwich in half which happens after an ax falls on the table. Shaggy once again becomes terrified and both Shaggy and Scooby leave the room.

They continue to run until Daphne hits Shaggy on the head thinking someone is coming. Velma, Fred, and Scooby finally find both Shaggy and Daphne and the gang sees the Phantom for the first time. The ghost gives another warning trying to scare them away. The gang chases the Phantom and tries to tackle him. They fail and see the Phantom walk through the wall. They are all convinced the Phantom is real and the place is truly haunted. Daphne finds the gang's first clue which is an old key with an inscription saying "second passage of The Old Bell." They realize that the inscription is asking them to look in a book and they go to the library.

The gang finds the second passage of The Old Bell and discovers that the word catacombs is underlined. They head to the basement and use the key from the chest to unlock the door to the catacombs. Scooby is sent to survey the room before the rest of the gang enters. He discovers everything is okay and the gang enters to find tons of clues. The gang finds a saw-him-in-two box, disappearing cabinets, levitation tables, and other items commonly used in magic acts. The gang encounters the Phantom once more and is chased around the castle.

The Gang then starts preparing their next trap. The items they use are a suit of armor, a crossbow, and a cannonball, and an old spring as well. Scooby is the bait costumed in a beige coat, a mustache, and a black hat. The phantom is lured into the trap and Scooby accidentally gets caught in it. Scooby captures the ghost by falling on top of him.

The gang unmasks the ghost and discovers the culprit is ex-magician Bluestone the Great. He came to Haunted Isle to find the hidden Vasquez treasure. The gang discovered the way that Bluestone floated was through the use of wires. The police allow Bluestone the chance to perform his walking through walls trick which he performed using a projector and a trick mirror.

Scooby searches for the hidden treasure and instead finds a gopher!

Memorable quotes

Daphne: You sure picked a spooky day to go boating, Freddy.
Fred: Well it didn't start out that way. What could've happened?
Velma: It's very simple. When the barometric pressure dropped, and the warm offshore air came in contact with an inland cold front, we ran into some unnavigable mugilation.
Fred: You're right, Velma. Whatever you said.
Velma: I said, we're lost in the fog.


Fred: Looks like we've run aground.
Shaggy: Yeah, but, like, where?
Velma: Well, if I'm not mistaken, it looks like we're stuck on Haunted Isle.
Shaggy: I'm sorry I asked.


Shaggy: Like, he went through the wall -- nonstop!
Velma: There's a very logical explanation for all this.
Shaggy: Quick, tell me.
Velma: The place is haunted.
Shaggy: Thanks a lot.

Characters

Legend
Character debut Speaking debut Ep. debut No lines Mentioned

In order of appearance:

Character Actor
Phantom Hal Smith
Daphne Blake Stefanianna Christopherson
Fred Jones Frank Welker
Velma Dinkley Nicole Jaffe
Scooby-Doo Don Messick
Shaggy Rogers Casey Kasem
Rabbit N/A
Vasquez (picture) N/A
Bluestone the Great Hal Smith
Police officer Don Messick
Gopher N/A


Organizations

Locations

Objects

Vehicles

  • Mystery Inc.'s boat

Production

Development

"Hassle in the Castle" was produced as the second episode.[1] When first releasing this onto DVD, Warner Home Video would place it in production order.

It is the first episode to use the standard title card where the gang runs across the screen underneath the title of the episode.

The Phantom is just referred to as "Ghost" in his model sheet.[2]

Bluestone the Great is simply referred to as "Magician" on his model sheet.[3]

Music

The theme song's lyrics were written by David Mook, while Ben Raleigh wrote the music, which was performed by Larry Marks. The score was composed by Ted Nichols, who was credited as the musical director.

Release

Dates are in order of release:

  • United States: September 27, 1969 at 10:30 am on CBS

Behind the scenes

  • The Mystery Machine is absent for the first time.
  • It has the first appearances of a trap and the "Scooby-Dooby-doors."
  • After Shaggy politely thanks the skull for telling him where the gang went the skull replies, "S'awright", the trademark reply Señor Wences's Pedro (the head in a box) does.
  • Fred tries to talk Scooby into being Laddie, and then John Wayne in order to catch the phantom.
  • Rin Din Din is a reference to Rin Tin Tin, a famous movie star dog in the early 20th Century.
  • It's not explicitly stated, but the Phantom would most likely be based on Vasquez.

Errors

  • While Fred is shown holding the boat steering wheel, the wheel hasn't been drawn into his left hand, only his fingers are holding on, and his right hand is just next to it.
  • In the first close-up of the gang on the boat, Velma's skirt loses its pleats the entire time. At the same time, Scooby's spots on his back are missing, even when the camera switches to another close-up showing just him and Velma.
  • When Freddy takes the map, he's looking at the back until Scooby's close-up, when the map is suddenly turned correctly.
  • While Shaggy's on the floor after having a blow to the head from the vase, Scooby's sclerae are brown.
  • The rims on Daphne's cuffs are whitish on close-up up of her holding the key.
  • The page they're on says "2", despite the fact that they're halfway through the book.
  • When Fred says, "This is the place!", Daphne's pantyhose are missing.
  • When the gang finds the door that fits the key, the room looks different in two different shots.
  • When Shaggy says, "Groovy," his eyes disappear.
  • "Into the closet," says Fred, but the closet has stairs and passageways inside.
  • The falling anvil produces white "force lines" common to cartoons to denote moving objects. Only, these lines remain in the shot.
  • Bluestone wears gloves throughout the episode, except when Scooby falls on him.
  • Bluestone's costume has a separate mask by the episode's end, although it doesn't look that way at any other time.
  • None of the contents Shaggy mentions his Super Shaggy Sandwich having is seen on-screen.
  • Shaggy politely thanks the skull for saying "that away," although, without a hand to point with or eye movement, there is no actual indication.
  • Shaggy and Scooby must've felt brave for a moment if they were actually trying to run after the Phantom, instead of running the other way.
  • The key they find is novelty size.
  • In trying to give a hint in the clue, the key probably meant to find a passage in the second page of the book. Either that or there was bad communication between the writers and animators.
  • Freddy asks what happened to Daphne although he can clearly see the trapdoor closing.
  • It really should be called a "saw-her-in-two" box as it's usually the magician's "lovely assistant" that is the volunteer. It might be a coincidence that Shaggy just happens to be the victim.
  • There would be no possible way Bluestone could make a dummy head or feet of Shaggy to be used in time (or even if he needed to use one). Does he have dummy heads of the others?
  • At the time of this episode Rin Tin Tin's name was not trademarked (it wasn't until 1993), so it could've been used instead of "Rin Din Din."
  • Bluestone claims that he used wires to levitate. If that was true, who was working the wires?
  • How did the suit of armor in the trap grab Scoob by the collar? 
  • According to the solution to the mystery, all the flying objects are moved by wires. When Freddy and Daphne unroll the magic carpet, why don't they notice the wires? 
  • During Velma's scientific explanation of fog, she calls it "mugilation" which is not an actual word.

Everlasting influence

  • The episode has been adapted several times throughout the next few decades, either fully or partially inspired:

Critical reception

In other languages

Language Name Meaning
French Le Château du pirate or Pagaille au château The Pirate's Castle, The Castle of the pirate or Chaos in the castle
Greek Το Σοτιχειωμένο Νησί
Το Μαγεμένο Κάστρο
The Haunted Island
The Enchanted Castle
Hungarian A Vaskéz-vár varázslója The wizard of the Vasquez Castle
Italian L'isola è stregata The island is haunted
Polish Spotkanie w zamku An encounter in the castle
Portuguese (Brazilian) De Sururu no Castelo Sneaking into the Castel

Home availability

References