The fun-loving teens of the Archie Comics universe get a paranormal twist in “Archie’s Weird Mysteries,” a cartoon series that originally ran from 1999-2000.
Animation has advanced a lot in the decade-plus since the show originally aired, and the stories are of its time. While the show might recall “Scooby-Doo” with its premise of teens investigating supernatural events, “Weird Mysteries” posits that these strange events actually are happening. The plots seem like kid-friendly versions of things that might have appeared on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” or “The X-Files.”
In each episode, high school newspaper reporter Archie Andrews digs into strange events that have been taking place in Riverdale since an experiment in the high school physics lab went awry. A parade of B-movie style monsters finds its way to Riverdale, with spooky specters that include vampires, zombies, swamp creatures and more.
In addition to the ghostly goings-on, the cartoons continue the themes from the comics: Red-haired Archie Andrews continues his eternal love triangle between pleasant blond Betty Cooper and glamorous but spoiled brunette Veronica Lodge. His best friend is the odd Jughead Jones, who never met a hamburger he didn’t like; his main rival for Veronica’s affections is the arrogant Reggie Mantle. The science nerd Dilton Doiley often finds himself at the center of the oddball occurrences in the episodes.
The budget-priced set contains 40 episodes. The voice acting and animation both are acceptable, but not great. Fans of the characters and young kids who enjoy a few mild scares in their cartoons will find the set enjoyable.
The action’s pretty simple, and each episode ends with a life lesson from Archie about what the teens have learned. An “Archie’s Weird Mysteries” comic book ran for 34 issues from 2000-2001.
Special features on the set include bonus episodes from Sabrina the Animated Series, Sabrina’s Secret Life and Mona the Vampire.
— Matthew Price
From Friday’s The Oklahoman