Since this is my first review of anything relating to Tiny Toon Adventures, I figured I should give you my stance on the show in general. Back in the 90's, this was one of my absolute favorite cartoons out there, and like any Tiny Toons fan back in the day, this movie was a favorite of mine.
Before I start reviewing the movie, I should cover the fact that Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation is an anomaly in both movies based off TV shows and of direct-to-video movies. Movies based off TV shows tend to be inferior to their source material and direct-to-video movies generally aren't any good. However, How I Spent My Vacation is both superior to the TV show source material (which is decent, if a bit aged) and is a direct-to-video movie that's actually good. Now on to the review.
All the toons at Acme Looniversity are really happy when school lets out for the summer. Buster and Babs Bunny (Charlie Adler and Tress MacNeille, respectively) get into a giant squirt gun fight that results in them floating down a river, embarking on creepy adventures in the rural parts of the country. Plucky Duck goes with Hamton Pig (Joe Alaskey and Don Messick, respectively) and his family on a road trip to Happy World Land, and Plucky soon learns that riding with his family is one of the worst decisions he's ever made. Fifi La Fume (Kath Soucie) yearns to see her favorite movie star, Johnny Pew (Rob Paulsen), and does almost anything to see him and eventually to make him happy. Elmyra Duff (Cree Summer) goes to the zoo in search of a new “kitty witty” (as Elmyra would say), and Fowlmouth (Rob Paulsen) bugs Shirley the Loon (Gail Matthius) to go on a date with her to the movies.
The way the characters are portrayed in this movie perfectly matches their personalities on the show. The characters in this movie are done quite well, because aside from matching their original personas on the show, the characters themselves are interesting and enjoyable to watch. Plucky was probably the most humorous and to an extent, the most sympathetic of the characters, as you know he really wants to have as most fun at Happy World Land as possible, and you can easily feel the pain he suffers by being with Hamton's family, who unintentionally keep him miserable through a bunch of antics. Elmyra is probably the most hated character in the roster of Tiny Toons characters, and I can sorta see why when watching the show, but thankfully in the movie, she's not on the screen as much, is less obnoxious, and is actually pretty funny at times. Since Fifi didn't get as much time on the show compared to other characters, it was nice to see the movie give her more attention (and the humorous gags she's in). Last but not least, Buster and Babs were a joy to watch on this movie, since their back-and-fourth antics kept me chuckling throughout.
One of the weaker links to the original Tiny Toons TV show was the fact that there were a good deal of jokes and gags that jabbed at early 90's pop culture, which usually didn't age well. Thankfully, these types of jokes aren't as prominent in this movie, though there are a few gags that do show their age (such as Roseanne falling on Fifi as she's singing, and of Babs falling into the river and bumping into a bunch of characters parodying The Little Mermaid).
Like the classic Looney Tunes, most of the jokes and gags on this movie are more universal, and therefore, age much better. Some of my favorite jokes and gags are when Buster rescues Babs with a life saver, and she says “Who can think about candy at a time like this?,” when Plucky gets drooled on by Hamton's Uncle Stinky and quickly gets disgusted when he sees where that “refreshing shower” came from, when Buster, Babs, and Bryon run into Eliot and ET in the moonlight, and when the psychotic hitchhiker loses his mind and tries to attack Plucky when Hamton's family drop him off.
The animation and artwork for this is really good. Thankfully, when Warner Bros. had this movie made, they got Tokyo Movie Shinsa (one of the outsourced animation studios that made TTA episodes) to animate this movie, since that studio's quality of animation and artwork was the best of the studios ordered to make TTA animations. It's also interesting to note that Tokyo Movie Shinsa was the same studio that animated Akira.
The art styles and color pallet perfectly match the TV show, and create a fun atmosphere that's perfect for this type of movie.
The soundtrack for this movie fits the style of movie really well, though I do admit that the background music could be a little more memorable.
THE DVD ITSELF
Tiny Toons fans have waited for many, many years for this movie to come out on DVD, and Warner Bros. honestly could have made a better DVD release for this. I wasn't expecting much in the way of bonus features, but they could have at least touched up the picture quality a little and made a better-looking DVD menu, as the picture quality is a bit grainy and the menu looks like something a 15-year old whipped up on DVD-burning software on his laptop in a hurry.
Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation is certainly a gem in early 90's animated films, and if you're a Tiny Toons fan, you owe it to yourself to get a copy of this movie ASAP.
While the Tiny Toon Adventures TV show was a decent cartoon from my youth, the direct-to-video movie How I Spent My Vacation was actually better than the show. This was almost like all the best qualities of the show bundled into one movie. This movie was animated by Tokyo Movie Shinsa (the studio that produced the best-looking TTA episodes, and strangely enough, is the same studio that animated Akira), and had some hilarious moments throughout (especially Plucky's … more