Image Courtesy: Amblin
Once again, we take a walk back in time. This time we look at Tiny Toons, the American animated comedy TV series that stirred mixed reactions from the fans and foes.
Tiny Toons has been critiqued as much as it has been enjoyed. But all the same, it remains among my favorite ‘90s shows. I have also played the Tiny Toon Video games on a few occasions.
Let us dive in.
What is Tiny Toon, and Why was it Popular in the early ‘90s?
I still have fond memories of watching Tiny Toon adventures back then. I found it very funny then. Although I have noticed recently that I am struggling to get the jokes. They are not coming as easy as they did in my teen years
The show would entertain you wholesomely, from the characters, the animation, the music.
Right from the Tiny Toon Adventures Theme song:
It was the perfect dose of comedy you wouldn’t want to miss on the weekend after a hectic school week.
The original release of the cartoon show was broadcast from September 1992 to December by Warner Bros. Tinny Toons Adventures follows the adventure of a group of young cartoon characters attending Acme Looniversity with the ambition of becoming the next-gen Looney Tunes Series.
On 14th September 1990, the pilot episode, The Looney Beginnings, was broadcast as a prime-time special on CBS. In the first two seasons, the series was featured in the first-run syndication. The last season was posted on Fox Kids. The series ended production for Animaniacs in 1992, but in 1994 two specials were made.
The History behind The Plot of Tiny Toon Adventures
Tiny Toon Adventures is a cartoon set in the imaginary town of Acme Acres, where the characters of both Tiny Toons and Looney Tunes live.
The characters go to Acme Looniversity, which teaches mostly classical cartoons like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Sylvester the Cat, Wilie Cayote, and Elmer Fudd.
In the plot, the university has been developed to teach cartoon characters how to make fun of themselves.
Looniversity is not featured in all episodes since the storyline is not mainly centered around the school only.
Just like in the Looney Tunes, Tiny Tunes Adventures uses cartoon violence (like being hit by anvils and explosives) and a slapstick. The series parodies and responds to emerging trends in the culture of Hollywood in the early ‘90s. Tiny Tunes episodes often lead to covert stories of ethics and morality on ecology, self-esteem, and crime.
Tiny Toon Adventures Main Characters
The characters of this show were designed to imitate the younger version of Warner Bros’ most popular show, Looney Tunes. The characters in the two shows have similar characteristics.
The Tiny Toon Adventure’s characters were uniquely designed to keep you smiling even before they make a joke. The characters were all designed to display different types of andromorphic animals.
Characters in this show attend a school called Acme Looniversity in a place called Acme Acres. The characters have made appearances in several other TV programs, films, and commercials and continue to date.
Let us take an in-depth look into the Tiny Toon Adventures Characters one by one:
Buster Bunny and his best friend Babs Bunny are the main characters of the show. Buster was voiced by Charlie Adler; for some of the later series, John Kassir provided the voiced and specials.
Buster is depicted in the show as a young rabbit, and he is also the leader of the Tiny Toons. In the show, he has to deal with the hardship of the school curriculum, the schemes of the wealthy children, and a local bully called Montana Max. He also struggles with the mad animal lover’s advances, Elmyra Duff.
Like his friend Babs, Buster can do anything for some laugh, even though he’s slightly “Saner” than Babs. Buster goes to the Looniversity and adores Bugs Bunny.
Buster Bunny wears a long-sleeved red shirt and has white gloves, and like a lot of his toon counterparts, he does not wear pants, while his creator puts clothes in “for the censors” in the pilot episode.
The fact that Buster has no pants, was a running joke throughout the entire series. Even in cartoon censorship tradition, he usually wears something to cover his stomach if he doesn’t wear his shirt.
He is more or less designed like Babs, save for the split front tooth, uncleft upper lip, visible iris-free eyes, pointed tails, and shorter ears. He’s light blue and white in his body.
Image Credits: Deviantart
Together with her best friend, Buster, she is the main character of the show. She was voiced by Tress MacNeille. She is portrayed as a young, pink, and white lady rabbit with a yellow blouse, purple skirt, and purple ribbon bowed to the tip of her ear.
She goes to Acme Looniversity too and lives in Acme Acres. Babs looks for a mentor in “Fields of Honey,” since nearly every popular classical Looney Tunes character is male. She finds one, Honey, an old Bosko cartoon character who has been forgotten.
In comparison to Bugs and Buster, Babs doesn’t wear gloves. However, at any opportunity, she will wear gloves for her disguise, for instance, in “The Vanderbunnys” and the “Cinemaniacs!” episodes.
Unlike Buster and Bugs, Babs does not have a pointed tail but has a white cotton-like tail. But because of animation errors, her tail can appear to be pointy sometimes.
She lives in a rabbit hole near a hill with flowers and stepping stones on the banks of a stream.
Image credit: DeviantArt
In the show, Plucky is portrayed as a young, green male duck with a white tank top. He also goes to Acme Looniversity and lives in Acme Acres. Plucky’s favorite trainer and mentor is Daffy Duck, and in several respects resembles his greedy hero.
One such comparison with Daffy is the classic “Hunter Trilogy” joke. Daffy’s bill is still a hit in the trilogy, and Plucky’s bill still appears as a running gag in several episodes.
Plucky is even able to fly with his wings, like Daffy Duck, but he seldom does so. Plucky lives in the middle of a swamp near Acme Looniversity with his parents in a small wooden house. He has many family members and neighbors, including a couple of female ducks, called Gladys and Gracie, alligators, and other animals living in or near the swamps.
We see Plucky in the show as being an egocentric, hyper-active young duck. His natural wackiness and his tragic and comic defects make him beautiful. Her blind ambitions keep him going in the show. Plucky has big dreams of money, glory, and strength, but he is so desperate to get them, which leads him to be a victim of his wild schemes.
In Tiny Toon Adventures, Plucky has a child’s uncensored mind; he is all egoism and has irrational imagination. Plucky still feels he knows best, or he thinks he’s the best. He always has an angle; he always has a tactic to escape work or obligation. Like five minutes before the bell, he rarely studies and finishes his homework. He is easily annoyed, and he gives up quickly.
Plucky may be paranoid, assuming that someone is trying to get at him. He is extremely jealous of the coolness of Buster and the bank account of Monty.
He is also referred to as Hamton J. Pig. He is a young male pig in blue overall. He also goes to Acme Looniversity and lives in Acme Acres. Porky Pig is Hamton’s mentor and favorite teacher.
The two are different in that Porky sports a shirt with no pants while Hamton is usually seen in his blue overalls and no shirt. In some instances, Hamton removes his overall and is deemed to be naked!
Hamton has a well-maintained small house at the Acme Farm. He usually keeps his home tidy and elegant, with steps leading from the edge of his little front lawn and garden across his huge filthy mud mallow.
Hamton is not Elmyra Duff’s favorite; she thinks of him as being a dirty pig that requires a bath, which is very ironic considering how tidy and clean Hamton is. Hamton is obsessed with cleanliness.
Image Courtesy: DevinatArt
She was voiced by Cree Summer. She is a young redhead woman who loves wearing a white pleated skirt, a blue blouse with white collar and frills, a bright blue, bowed-branded ribbon in her hair with the gerbil-skull in the center.
She also attends Acme Looniversity and lives in Acme Acres. She also acts as a school nurse.
The character is based on Elmer Fudd. The name Elmyra is a female derivative of Elmer, while “Duff” has been reversed to read “Fudd.” Tom Ruegger also got the first name from his next-door neighbor, an old lady called Elmyra Lamb.
The Tiny Toon Adventure’s Elmyra closely resembles a younger version of the feminized Elmer Fudd from the 1946 cartoon called ‘The Big Snooze”, in which Elmer’s happy retirement dream became a nightmare where he was turned into a shapely girl by Bugs Bunny. It’s a little like Suzie, a boy from a very dar 1955 Freleng short called “A Kiddie’s Kitty.”
Montana (Also called Monty) was voiced by Danny Coosksey. Montana Max is one of the six main characters in Tiny Toon Adventures.
He is portrayed as a young man with brown hair and wearing a grayish -blue jacket, green shirt, greyish-blue shirts, and black shoes. He also goes to Acme Looniversity and lives in Acme Acres.
Month’s favorite teacher and mentor is Yosemite, who was named after a place in west America called Yosemite Sam. But unlike his mentor, Monty speaks correct English and does not use words such as “ain’t” or “ain’t none.”
He is the only boy from a wealthy family and lives in a huge villa on the edge of Acme Acres. They have several servants in their mansion like Grovely, who is seen in several episodes.
In Tiny Toon Adventures, Montana Max is bullying, privileged, affluent boy who throws a tangle of world-class temper. Montana Max has a low disposition and a very short temper and uses his money for his entertainment, even to the detriment of others.
His pastimes include counting his capital, landscape deforestation in the countryside, and stomping the rabbits. He also has industries causing high pollution that manufacture products like elevator buttons and holes. In some episodes like the Toxic Revenger, Plucky is seen battling these factories. This was a pun on the Toxic Avenger.
Other Recurring Tiny Toon Characters.
Other characters in tiny toon include: Fifi La Fume, Gogo Dodo, Shirley the Loon, Furrball, Dizzy Devil, Sweetie Pie, Calamity Coyote, Little Beeper, Li’l Sneezer, Arnold the Pit Bull, Byron Basset, Fowlmouth, Mary Melody, Bookworm, Concord Condor, and Barky Marky.
The Looney Tunes Characters
The Tiny Toons characters were based on the Looney Tunes characters who also attend Looniversity. The characters include Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Foghorn Leghorn, Granny, Pepe Le Pew, Peter Puma, Porky Pig, The Road Runner, Speedy Gonzales, Sylvester the Cat, The Tasmanian Devil, Tweety, Wile E. Coyote, and Yosemite Sam.
The most famous character in Looney Tunes, Bugs Bunny, is my favorite, and he even went ahead to have a Hollywood Walk of Fame and is considered a cultural icon.
Tiny Toon Adventures video game
In 1991, the Tiny Toon Adventures Tv show got its first Video game adaptation. It was on the NES video game platform. It was developed and launched in 1991by Konami.
Tiny Toon Video Gameplay.
Dizzy Devil, Furrball, and Plucky Duck are the three other characters. In the video game, the characters have special powers; Plucky can fly, Dizzy can destroy walls using his spin mode, while Furrbal can climb vertical walls and sliding down. Buster, on the other hand, can jump higher than the other characters.
The game has six worlds with three levels: The Hills, The Wetlands, The forest, Downtown, Montan Max’s villa, and Wackyland. Hamton is seen helping Buster by giving him additional life for every 30 carrots.
The second level of the world ends with a closed area where the player must escape Elmyra and leave through the door. If the player is by any chance taken by Elmyra, he must start over the world. Each world’s third level ends with a boss fight.
This was not so much a popular game, but it loved it the few times I got my hands on it. It had a steep learning curve for me, but if found it interesting at the time.
Tiny Toon and, by extension Looney Tunes remain among the best cartoon shows ever. Their jokes are timeless and were designed to impress children and adults alike. The fan base of Tiny Toon is so big that the show deserves a reboot.