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The Tar Monster is a villain in the Scooby Doo series. He is a monster made entirely out of tar, and is the guardian of the ancient city of Byzantius. He first appeared in The Scooby Doo Show episode, The Tar Monster. He is one of Mystery Inc.’s most recurring foes, appearing in his original appearance, two films and several video games.
The Tar Monster made his first appearance in an episode of The Scooby Doo Show entitled “The Tar Monster.” In the episode, Mystery Inc. visits Professor Brickston, who is leading an archeologist dig in the ancient city of Byzantius. He tells them the dig is being cancelled because the workers are being frightened off by the Tar Monster, the protector of Byzantius who lived in the tar pools that the city was known for. The Professor also told the gang The Tar Monster had kidnapped his assistant, Mr. Stoner. That night The Tar Monster attacked Scooby and Shaggy in their tent, the gang followed the monster’s footprints to a tar pool where they found an ancient piece of pottery. The next day, the Professor takes Mystery Inc. into the city where they are attacked by the Tar Monster. The gang uses an air compressor to force the Tar Monster out of the tar pools, and unmask him to be Mr. Stoner, who used the legend of the Tar Monster to scare away the workers so he could sneak into the Inner Sanctum of Byzantius, and steal the treasure.
The Tar Monster appears in the direct to video film Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase. Here, he is a minion of the Phantom Virus and a guardian of the last box of Scooby Snacks needed to beat the game (along with Gator Ghoul, Old Iron Face, The Creeper and Jaguaro). He chases after Shaggy and Cyber-Shaggy, who hit him with a hammer taken from a “Test your Strength” carnival game, and cause him to trip into a cotton candy machine, becoming covered in the stuff. He is defeated when Scooby Doo grabs the last box of Scooby Snacks, beating the game. He also spoke in the film, yet his actor is uncredited.
The Tar Monster also appears in Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, voiced by Michael Sorich. His costume appears in the Coolsonian Criminology Museum. Fred mentions that the Tar Monster’s goal was to “scare the citizens of Byzantius away so he could steal their treasure”. The costume is later stolen by The Black Knight Ghost and Pterodactyl Ghost. He was one of the four monsters brought to life by Shaggy and Scooby (Along with the Zombie, Miner 49er, and Captain Cutler). He is later seen attacking the citizens of Coolsville by trapping them in his endless form. He is a major part of the finale, as he traps Mystery Inc. in his endless tar form. Scooby then uses a fire extinguisher to freeze the Tar Monster. The Tar Monster is destroyed when Scooby plugs the control panel back in.
Frantic Films was the company who animated the Tar Monster in the film. In order to create the Tar Monster, Frantic Films had to develop the “liquid skin” technique. This technique involved applying a fluid layer over the animated character. The Tar Monster’s facial animation was created using “localized morphing”.