Gee, Plucky, I Guess You Didn’t Get Your Wish
When I reviewed A Goofy Movie, my interest was sparked to watch another movie with a similar concept that I enjoyed in my youth. Both are animated movies revolving around how the characters spent their summer vacation. Both are also based on younger versions of famous animated characters, with A Goofy Movie coming from famous Disney characters and today’s movie from famous Warner Brothers characters. And both movie have me going in fearing the destruction of a fond childhood memory. But when I went to find this one, I found a DVD of it to be extremely difficult to come across … mainly because an official DVD doesn’t exist. Well, I found a copy of it anyway, so let’s get into my review of Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation, a direct-to-video movie written by Paul Dini, Nicholas Hollander, Tom Ruegger, and Sherri Stoner, directed by Rich Arons, and starring the vocal talents of Charlie Adler, Tress MacNeille, Joe Alaskey, Don Messick, Cree Summer, Kath Soucie, Gail Matthius, Rob Paulsen, Maurice LaMarche, Candi Milo, Jonathan Winters, Edie McClurg, Sorrell Booke, and Frank Welker.
All of the once famous Tiny Toon kids have just been released from Acme University and allowed to set off on their (mostly) separate adventures. Buster (Charlie Adler) and Babs (Tress MacNeille) Bunny (no relation, so it’s okay if they fuck) engage in a water pistol war that eventually escalates to them flooding the town of Acme Acres and leaving themselves to float downstream on a boat with a dog named Byron Basset (Frank Welker). They come across opossums that try to eat them, a family of alligators that want to marry Buster … and then eat them, and a river boat that wants them to entertain the guests … before they eat them. Plucky Duck (Joe Alaskey) manages to hitch a ride with his friend Hampton J. Pig (Don Messick) and his family – Wade (Jonathan Winters), Winnie (Edie McClurg), and Uncle Stinky – on their trip to HappyWorldLand. Fowlmouth (Rob Paulsen) finally gets Shirley the Loon (Gail Matthius) to agree to go to a movie with him, but he’s promptly kicked out for being a jerk. Fifi Le Fume (Kath Soucie) is obsessed with a movie star named Johnny Pew and is trying to get his autograph. Dizzy Devil (Maurice LaMarche) is sad because he can’t spin because he’s shedding and would be naked if he did. Just live free, man! Also, Elmyra Duff (Cree Summer) is trying to find a “kitty”.
I could not bring myself to type that this movie “holds up” to the memory I had of it in my childhood. I didn’t hate it, but the movie was clearly made for someone to enjoy at a much younger age … mostly. I’ll come back to that. The humor of this movie is pretty much all the slapstick stuff that you should’ve stopped thinking was funny at about 13. I actually saw a review on Rotten Tomatoes that called this movie “laugh-out-loud” and, best I could tell, the writer was not 9 years old and pounding his review out on his very first LeapPad. I only read what was readily available on the screen for fear that pressing ‘more’ and reading it in it’s entirety might turn my brain to mush and have it leak out my ears. It wasn’t a real critic, however. None of them actually reviewed this movie. And that is exactly why you should never listen to the reviews of the masses: they tend to be really stupid. Getting back to what a professional reviewer thought, the movie was still pretty charming, but nowhere near funny. One part in the movie was able to inspire me to laugh. It was when Elmyra was driving with her parents through a zoo safari and decided she wanted to jump out of the car to get a “kitty”, herein referred to as a Cheetah. The part that made me laugh was the person over the loudspeaker saying “May I repeat (so that Warner Brothers won’t get sued if anyone actually does this): Do not get out of the car.” The rest of the comedy was mainly just slapstick. They had a few moments that seemed to be meant for adults, like the parts with celebrity appearances that the children watching this would not recognize (such as Jay Leno, David Letterman, Johnny Carson, Rosanne Barr, etc.) The problem with this was that it was also not funny. They were just kind of there, as if you were watching the bastard child of Looney Tunes and The Critic that had a birth defect that destroyed it’s sense of humor. There’s even a joke where Buster compares Babs to Maury Amsterdam. This joke is so not meant for children that I’m 28 and I have no idea who that is. At one point, Elmyra actually uses the word “capricious”. I know ADULTS who don’t know what that word means! They do a couple of fourth wall breaking jokes that I found cute, like when Babs shot the screen with her water pistol and the hand of the “cameraman” came up to wipe it off, but I certainly wouldn’t call that funny. There were a couple of songs in the movie as well, but none of them nearly as good as A Goofy Movie’s songs were. I enjoyed the song that opened it, but mainly because it was a setup exposition that reminded you of the one or two personality traits that were awarded to each character, which was a necessary refresher for me, 20 years removed from my affections for Tiny Toons. They also have a song, once they arrive at HappyWorldLand, that seems to be a “Fuck You” to Disneyland as it basically paints the Disney-esque park to be run by greedy, money hungry jerks, which is weird because this would’ve been right around the time that Warner Brothers jumped on board to Magic Mountain. But they probably did it for much more wholesome reasons.
Can you call characters a ripoff if the company making the cartoon is the owner of the ripped off characters? Probably. The entire premise of these Tiny Toons is confusing to my mind, now so bitter and beaten down by life that I would actually analyze them. They’re like children versions of the Warner Brothers cartoons, but not really because those ‘toons are still in the show. They’re not their children either, so I don’t really know what they are. When I was 13, I wrote a book about the children of the X-Men that I sent to Marvel, got rejected (because the book was probably pretty shitty), and later changed the characters I created just enough to turn them into my own comic book … that was also pretty shitty. So, basically, this show’s premise is as creative as something I came up with when I was 13. Buster was kind of a dick, but he was the cool lazy bad boy type that I probably wanted to be like when I was a kid, except for one part: his relationship with Babs. Babs seemed pretty intent on getting after Buster’s dick for most of the movie, but he was having none of it. I don’t know how old these characters were supposed to be, but that relationship is probably something I don’t want to see too much of. I felt kind of bad for Plucky in this movie, but mainly because his side of the story was basically a 30 minute “Fuck You” to him. All he wants to do is go to HappyWorldLand, but the movie does everything it can to ruin that for him. First, his dick anus of a friend, Hampton, sees him basically begging to go along with his family on this trip and doesn’t think to ask. I thought, at first, that Plucky’s parents might have taken issue with it, but they’re never seen and seem unconcerned with their child going missing for a few months so one can assume his parents can go to Hell. I don’t know why he was so intent on going along with Hampton in the first place because his numerous attempts to get his family to stop on their road trip meant that he (on foot) had to get out ahead of them and set up some elaborate “Stop Here” setup to try to get into their car. If you can run faster than their car, you should just go on foot. Plus, the trip was horrible for Plucky, since Hampton’s family was as neglecting to Plucky as his own family probably is. He didn’t get to eat, they didn’t let him get a drink of water from a fountain, they picked up a murderous hitchhiker and sat him down next to Plucky. When they finally got to HappyWorldLand, Hampton’s stupid family was content in going around the perimeter of the park once in the monorail before heading home, further shitting on Plucky’s head. I also found a few annoyances with the Fifi La Fume character, and not just because she was just a female version of Pepe Le Pew with no other differences in character than their genitalia. It’s obvious to me (as someone who speaks French … kinda) that this character has no concept whatsoever of the French language. I can’t really remember any examples right now, but I put it in my notes so it must be true. Also, the introduction to the character shows pretty clearly that she (as a skunk) stinks, but later (in a crowded movie theater) they completely forget that character trait because they don’t presently have a “joke” about it.
Do you think there’s a chance I’ve written more about this movie than any other “critic” has? I realize that I said a lot of things about the movie that would lead almost anyone to believe that I hated it, but that’s not really the case. It’s flawed, to be sure, but it’s still somewhat charming, and I imagine kids will probably love it. It just doesn’t hold a lot for adults. Making fun of it does, however, so I decided to do that instead. It’s not funny, but the story is interesting enough and I doubt any parents forced to sit down with their kids and watch it will hate life for doing so. I recently had to sit through a few episodes of Barney with the child of my friend, and I will watch this movie over that any day of the week. Plus, I don’t know how your kids would get you to sit down and watch this movie as it’s incredibly hard to find, so you’re probably safe from having to find out if you can take it. Either way it’s a cute movie and I’d probably buy it if it ever comes out on DVD. Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation gets “I think the left front tire is a little low” out of “I’m gonna go on every ride ’til I barf twice!”
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