Scooby-Doo and Batman

It's a reunion nearly 40 years in the making when Scooby-Doo and his gang team up with the Dark Knight on a delightfully bizarre episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, airing Friday, April 1 (6:30/5:30c on Cartoon Network). Written by animation and comic book vet Paul Dini and hosted by Paul "Pee-wee Herman" Reubens (who reprises his role as Bat-Mite, a self-described "all-powerful being from the fifth dimension" and devoted fanboy), "Batman's Strangest Cases" celebrates various parodies of the Caped Crusader, including an old Mad magazine spoof, unauthorized Japanese manga and campy Scooby-Doo Meets Batman cartoons from the 1970s.

For that last segment the current cast of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated was used, including Matthew Lillard as Shaggy and The Facts of Life alum Mindy Cohn as Velma. (Longtime Scooby voice actor Frank Welker plays Fred, Scooby and Batman, while Brave and the Bold star Diedrich Bader tackles other roles in the episode.) Producer James Tucker and his team intentionally avoided modernizing the often crude (and frequently inconsistent) animation style of the original Hanna-Barbera shows. "We took the old model sheets and [our animators] really nailed the style," Tucker says. "It looks, for good or ill, like it was done in 1973.... If you put it up against those old episodes, I don't know if the untrained eye would be able to tell the difference."

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