DVD Set Review: Tiny Toon Adventures – Crazy Crew Rescues!
It’s funny what can happen sometimes. In my episode review of Buster and Babs Go Hawaiian, I lamented Warner Brothers’ last releasing a boxset of Tiny Toon Adventures way back in 2009. As if some cosmic force heard my thoughts, we now have the release of Tiny Toon Adventures – Crazy Crew Rescues!
It sounds like some kind of made-for-tv movie, but this is the series’ Season 2 release many of us have been waiting for!
The set also includes four episodes from Season 3 of the series. This could be to balance out the eventual Volume 4 release, so that both of these volumes have (almost) the same number of episodes. As to when (and if) we’ll get Volume 4, it’s too soon to say.
It’s amazing how the animated series churned out over 65 episodes(!) in its first season, and then followed up its second season with only 13. Maybe the break-neck pace of the first season killed off most of the staff.
There are a couple episodes in Season 3 that really made me happy to see again. Notable among them are:
Buster and Babs Go Hawaiian – One of my all-time favorites, as mentioned in one of my previous Retro Recaps. Notable for being the only time in the series where Steven Spielberg voices himself!
Kon Ducki – Plucky Duck’s epic film about sailing to Salinas in 21 days, including a making-of special tacked on.
Sepulveda Blvd – a parody of Sunset Boulevard, where Montana Max portrays a plagiarizing cartoon writer, who shacks up with washed-up former cartoon star, Elmyra Desmond.
This DVD set also contains two episodes with segments regarding Plucky Duck as a child, that are often remembered by many to this day. One is in regards to him using the toilet (“I wanna flush it again”), and another revolving around a mall elevator (“elelator go down the hole”). If either of the quotes in that last line sound familiar to you, then you surely know one or both of these segments.
It’s also notable that several of the episodes include background characters that would appear in the direct-to-video special, How I Spent My Summer Vacation.
One of the highlights of the set, is the inclusion of an episode that was removed from television syndication due to controversy. In the episode Elephant Issues (a parody of the phrase “relevant issues”), the three segments cover everything from illiteracy, prejudice, and peer pressure. The segment regarding peer pressure, titled One Beer, was what put the episode in jeopardy. In the episode, Buster Bunny, Plucky Duck, and Hampton J Pig, find a bottle of beer in the fridge. Plucky and Hampton soon give in to Buster’s needling, and the three plunge into a television-style ride through the dangers of underage intoxication.
“But Buster, this isn’t like you,” says Hampton at one point.
“I know,” replies Buster. “But in this episode, we’re showing the evils of alcohol.”
Rumor is this episode only aired once, but as is the internet, I can’t find enough sources to make this a concrete fact. Though in a sense, it seems every series has at least one episode that makes people do a double-take.
There’s another episode that includes a line that I’m pretty sure would be a red flag with censors today. It involves Buster and Plucky talking about how to get Babs to stop her incessant comedy routines. Plucky’s response after a couple impressions? “Shoot her…just shoot her.”
While the release of these episodes is welcome, the quality of the ‘presentation’ of the episodes has taken a steep nosedive. It seems that the objective for this set was simply to get episodes out, with minimal involvement.
To show what I mean, I’m including screenshots showing the downgrade in presentation quality. First, a side-by-side comparison of an “episodes” screen from 2009’s Season 1, Vol 2 set, and one from Vol 3:
And now, let’s look at the quality of the disc-art from both releases:
I know not many people buy these boxsets for stuff like this, but come on, show us a little more care Warner Brothers! The DVD menu and disc art for this set looks like something some of us could do making bootleg Season 3 sets on our own time!
Much like the previous DVD release, there are no special features. No interviews with voice talent like Charles Adler or Tress MacNeille, and nothing from the crew who worked on the series. Pretty sad, as even additional DVD releases of Animaniacs and Freakazoid got some extras.
In the end, Crazy Crew Rescues wins no points for creativity, but gets the job done in fishing into the well of nostalgia, and bringing some more cartoons into the light.
To close out this little review, I thought I’d include two scenes from one of the episodes, showing Babs Bunny doing impressions that just wouldn’t fly today (but managed to get past censors in 1991):