Summertime is here! Yay!
And there’s no better way to enjoy your summer vacation than to watch a movie about summer vacation, thus living out the adventure vicariously through the characters! Whoopee!!!
It is generally true that if you REALLY want an excuse to hate yourself, go and watch something that had you laughing your arse off as a kid. Back in the day, “Tiny Toon Adventures” was the sh*t. You may doubt me, but listen: if you can’t sing the theme song, you are living in denial. Come on, “We’re tiny, we’re toony…”
Of course, later on “Animaniacs” premiered and that was it for the “Tiny Toons”. And some of us went on to discover that many of the “Tiny Toon” episodes were just lame remakes of classic old-school Loony Tunes. But this was long after the Toon’s foray into a feature-length adventure. An adventure that I hadn’t bothered to watch in damn near a decade. I was bracing myself for a very long hour and a half.
As it happens, “How I Spent My Vacation” isn’t half bad. The catch is that you’re actually watching about four or five movies at once; there are about five different subplots to keep track of. Some of the subplots are better than others. The Happy World-Land / Road Trip to Hell plot is a freakin’ masterpiece. Fast-Forward through Buster and Bab’s Bogus Journey. The remaining rather random records (alliteration sucks) of what the other Acme Acres townsfolk are up to are… iffy. Just thank whatever cartoon gods there are that Elmyra’s subplot only wastes three minutes worth of celluloid.
Unanswered question: Just what the heck DID Steven Spielberg have to do with these cartoons?
The Best Parts:
5 minutes in – The “Ha, Ha, You can’t go!” Song!
6 minutes in – Wade Pig starts singing. Ho ho ho…
8 minutes in – Okay, that’s just ALL kinds of wrong.
13 minutes in – Hm, nice security at the dam holding back a river that could flood the entire city.
15 minutes in – Let’s pad the cast with female characters!
I’m starting to agree with Berke Breathed’s Hazel Hedgehog theory about why there are so few female cartoon animals. (See TV Tropes’ page on “The Smurfette Principle“.)
17 minutes in – Proof that the Early 90’s were strange days.
19 minutes in – SPOT THE CAR!!!
20 minutes in – Now, come on. Who hasn’t been compulsively doing the Tunnel Game ever since they first saw this movie? Damn you Big Dig!!!
23 minutes in – Eh, I like Homer Simpson’s version better.
29 minutes in – Oy, this is a time capsule. Try not to make direct eye-contact with their David Letterman caricature.
34 minutes in – Oh, that SUCKS!!!
36 minutes in – Um… Alligators don’t have… those…
What I’m really asking is, was that one gag REALLY necessary? (Again, see TV Tropes.)
41minutes in – Elmyra’s subplot. Abandon all hope…
42 minutes in – And the fursuit fetish begins!
47 minutes in – Speaking of suits, I want one like Mrs. Pig’s.
54 minutes in – W-h-a-t-?-?-?
55 minutes in – Say, why the heck are Fifi and Johnny (not to mention the pink slut skunk) attending a movie that’s offensive to skunks? And shouldn’t the title be “Mephitiphobia”? And am I the only one completely mystifyed, especielly in this post “Pirates of the Caribbean” / “f*** the lot of you, I’ve been a fangirl since at least ‘Platoon'” world, to see all this hate leveled at Johnny Depp?
59 minutes in – Damn, that was a short summer.
1 hour in – Remember Hazel Hedgehog? Yeah, well never mind.
1 hour, 9 minutes in – Lamest Deus ex Machina EVER.
1 hour, 15 minutes in – Plot Hole!
1 hour, 18 minutes in (end credits) – Didn’t they steal this idea from the Z.A.Z. movies? (see below)
Classic Lines of Dialogue:
“I miss school.” – Plucky
“Well skin me alive and call me luggage!” – Pa Alligator
“Look, Hampton! It’s the legendary Happy-Go-Pukey Ride!!!” – Plucky
“First one to find ’em gets to chow down on the good parts!” – Captain Terror Toad
“Say goodbye to teachers and books / see you in September, you schnooks!” – Plucky and cast
“Happy World-Land! / Happy World-Land! / Where the fun never stops / at only eighty bucks a pop! / In beautiful Happy World-Land! // Welcome to a land where the fun never stops! / We’ve got six real rides and a hundred gift shops! / The smiles are always rosy! / The sky is always blue! / This is Happy World-Land where all your dreams come true!” – the Happy World-Land chorus
Things I Learned from this Movie/Book/Whatever:
* – Let’s just get it out of the way. Elmyra is the most annoying animated character this side of JarJar Binks. No argument.
* – Acme Acres is on both coasts at the same time.
* – Alligators have big boobies.
* – Long hair is more retro than a high-top fade a la Chris “Kid” Reid.
* – Evidently Elmer Fudd has retired and is now hosting a soft-rock station somewhere.
* – It is perfectly acceptable to beat the crap out of people (or roosters) who talk through movies.
* – If you meet a gigantic toad with TEETH, f___ing RUN!!!
* – This movie will be officially out of date on April 6, 2021.
Things That Can Save Any Movie:
Good Soundtrack? But of course. It is a Warner Bros. Cartoon, after all.
Hot Guys? Johnny Pew if that’s your thing. Meanwhile, all the human characters have been beaten with the Ugly Stick.
Pretty Scenery? Nifty old-school looking background paintings.
Cool Creatures? Ayup. Tons O’Toons!
Nifty Animation/Special Effects? Really nice attempt at Golden Age era Looney Tunes style.
Drinking Game Potential? Easy. Take a drink any time something bad happens to Plucky. Take a drink any time they mention Happy World-Land. Take a drink any time Babs says something sarcastic. Chug your way through the Wild Safari Zoo scene. Ad infinitum…
Head Movie Potential? Wait until they’re done with the maniac with a chainsaw subplot.
Rating: Depends on the subplot. To wit:
1) “Happy World-Land” = Joey!!!
2) “Buster and Babs” = Eh… Danny.
3) “Acme Acres Townspeople” = Jordan.
A Warner Brothers picture released in 1991 by Warner Bros. Home Video. Producer: Tom Ruegger; Associate Producer: Sherri Stoner; Executive Producer (or, Guy Who Gets All the Credit): Steven Spielberg. Sequences Directed by Rich Arons, Byron Vaughns, Alfred Gimeno, Barry Caldwell, Ken Boyer, Art Leonardi, Kent Butterworth, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree. Animation Production: Tokyo Movie Shinsha Co., Ltd.
Total Media Bridge Review – Funny, he mentions the Hazel Hedgehog issue too.
And Because I Love You, Here is the List of Gag Credits:
Reason this Movie Went Straight to Home Video: Cuz It’s So Darned Good!
Original Running Time: Eight Hours, Forty-Seven Minutes
Hey, What About That Urkel Kid?: Is He Funny or What?
First Theatrical Screening: June 8, 1991, Old Orchard Theater, Skokie Illinois
Last Theatrical Screening: (Same as Above)
This Film Has Been Edited: For Your Protection
Do Not Back Up: Severe Tire Damage
Man in Sound Recording Booth Who Pushes That Funny Red Button a Lot: Link Poonie
Moral Of the Story (Pick One):
1) Enjoy Your Vacation
2) Relish Your Youth
3) Don’t Pick Up Chainsaw-Wielding Hitchhikers
4) Feature Length Movies Should Not Have 18 Different Plots
Additional Viking Dialogue: Jerry VanDyke
These End Credits: Are Interminable
Top Four Reasons a Caricature of David Letterman is in This Movie:
4) We admire his comedy stylings;
3) We wanted to use Merv Griffin, but he threatened to sue;
2) We needed some filler;
1) We are brown-nosed weasels who want him to mention us on his show;
Other Stuff Done By: Some Guy Named Bob
And That’s the Final End Credit!
Valhalla: As Himself
Our Only Regret: Joe Piscopo
Woman Who Cleans Studio: Queegee Bananahoe
Suggested Retail Price: $19.95 Without Rebate
With Rebate: About a Buck and a Quarter