Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Honourable Mentions: Tiny Toon Adventures – Stuff that goes Bump in the Night

dvdThis was a season 1 episode of the Tiny Toon Adventures, which first aired in 1990 and was directed by Art Leonardi. The Tiny Toons were, like many cartoons from the period, baby/child versions of the original cartoons. To be fair the Steven Spielberg production actually created new characters – though they were so close to the original as not to really make much difference.

However, I need to state, for the record, that I hate it when cartoons introduce child/baby equivalents. It is a cutification that is unnecessary and alienates the original audience – or at least I believe it does.

Buster and Babs' wraparoundThis was actually in portmanteau form with the wrap around involving Buster Bunny (Charles Adler) and Babs Bunny (Tress MacNeille) scaring each other in costume. On a couple of occasions this was in vampire guise. The first story involved a bunny ghost and the last a mosquito (which, aside from bloodsucking, I didn’t see the point of in a horror montage). The central section was called “Fang you very Much” and involved our vampire. Like Bugs Bunny in Transylvania 6-5000, this is too short to warrant actual review.

Acme Pet of the Month ClubWe are in the most terrifying place known to toons, the home of Elmyra Duff (Cree Summer). The episode begins with an escape from her home… of animals… pets on the run who clearly have suffered from too much Elmyra style loving. Not to worry, she has joined the Acme Pet of the Month Club and they arrive with the latest pet… a bat.

the vampireOnce the bat is in the house it transforms, however, into a vampire. Now, whilst the artwork is vastly superior I couldn’t help but be reminded of the vampire in Transylvania 6-5000. Elmyra never sees the vampire in human form, only bat form but, for him, she is just his type – O-Positive. Obviously the attempt to bite her keeps failing, to slapstick results.

a vamp in the sunOf course we are in the cartoon world of the Loony Toons and thus slapstick is the order of the day and (generally) non-lethal. It is a world were an anvil on the head is not the end, as it were. Thus when she decides the bat is looking pale and straps it to the couch in the sun room, you know the exposure won’t be the end. The bat melts but, down in the cellar, the remains reform into our vampire.

getting ready to pounceBy the end she manages to – whilst playing hockey with the bat – whack it right across town. Luckily for the vampire, he lands in the blood bank of the local hospital. Elmyra won’t be alone for long, however, as the Acme pet of the month van arrives with a crated up werewolf… and there you have it. A short slapstick cartoon with a vampiric theme. Nothing of real substance, though the animation is lovely (Tiny Toon adventures used a considerably higher cel count than most TV animations).

The imdb page is here.


Frog God said...

bugs bunny in
Transelvania 65000
and Hair raising hare
Warner brothers animated movie

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Yes they were produced by Warners but I'm not sure of your point, I'm afraid

Unknown said...

The Tiny Toons characters are all homages to the original Loony Tunes, but also very distinct. I consider the concept to have been sufficiently creative.

I grew up the 90s, the Tiny Toons, Animainiacs and Garfield and Friends are all very Nostalgic for me, I loved them. All 3 had a very Meta-Fictional approach to them, which I appreciate.

There are a few Vampire reference is the Night Gouhly special as well. One bit was clearly based on Abbot and Costello meets Frankenstein.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Hi unknown - I appreciate the nostalgic value for you, my comment on baby/child versions was just my feeling on the subject but I can fully appreciate the homage aspect.

I must keep an eye out for the Night Ghouly special

Unknown said...

At any rate, I'm sure the similarity to the Transylvania 6-5000 Vampire isn't a coincidence. Tiny Toons often referenced specific old Loony Tunes shorts. The first Batduck episode was clearly inspired by Ducktracey (particularly the villain roll-call) which was also homage din the first Bat-Mite episode of The brave and The bold.

JaredMithrandir said...

I was just watching an Animainiacs episode called "No place like Homeless" whihc could be an honorable mentions.

This was a special episode that mixed up all their characters. In this short Pesto the Pigeon (The Joe Pesci Parody from Goodfeathers) is paired with the dog Runt.

Runt gets taken in by an old lady who seems nice. Then when Petso land son his back she goes "h now, it's a horribly Pigeon, IT WANTS TO SUCK YOUR BLOOD" and whacks him with a Broom, it's such a random absurd thing for her to exclaim and so typical of Animainacs style.

But it continues, as she whacks him some more and calls him "Nosferatu" and latter still "Undead". So it's an interestingly random humorous Vampire refrence.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

cheers Jared, I'll keep an eye out for it :)