A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there's exaggerated, comic cartoon action throughout Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation. Characters are flattened (often), chased by villains with treacherous weapons, struck by lightning, involved in head-on collisions, overpowered by a tidal wave, and put through many other absurd physical catastrophes. Though there are no injuries that aren't immediately overcome, the movie isn't recommended for kids who don't yet understand the difference between real and fictional violence. A bit of flirtatiousness and some buxom females add some mild sexuality to the story, and there's some bodily function humor (belching, barfing) in several scenes. This film was released direct-to-video when it was made in 1992 and now is available on DVD.
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What's the story?
School's out at Acme Looniversity! The Tiny Toon characters head out for a summer of adventure and fun. A series of separate, intercut episodes find Plucky Duck (voiced by Joe Alaskey) and Hamton Pig (Don Messick) on their way to "Happy World Land" (a Disneyland spoof); Fifi Skunk (Kath Soucie) trying to meet her celebrity crush, Johnny Pew; Buster (Charles Adler) and Babs Bunny (Tress MacNeille) on a raging river romp; Elmyra (Cree Summer) perilously making her way through "Wild Animal Safari Land" (an amusement park); and Shirley (Gail Matthius) and Fowlmouth (Rob Paulsen) in a movie theater with the deafening THUD Sound System (look out, George Lucas!). On their travels, the Tiny Toons meet up with a variety of bad guys and oddballs, including a family of hillbilly possums, a scary slasher, and some very hungry alligators.
Is it any good?
HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION is fast, funny, and fearless. Everything moves quickly; you're never with one story long enough to get tired of it or worry about the logic. There's no character development, messages, or thoughtful resolution; it's simply an onslaught of sight gags, satire, and hilarious cultural references from the early 1990s (Deliverance and "Dueling Banjos," Disneyland, late-night television, Tina Turner, Delta Burke, and more).
Old Looney Tunes characters make appearances (i.e., the Road Runner, Tasmanian Devil), along with Superman, Marilyn Monroe, and Hannibal Lecter. Does it have the wit, genius, and rich characterizations of Bugs Bunny, et al, the original Warner Brothers crew? Not really, but there's a little something for everyone: kids who like farcical cartoon action and parents who appreciate spoofs and inside jokes.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about cartoon violence. When do you think you were able to understand the differences between what's meant to seem real and what's meant as playful, pretend violence? Do you ever think it's confusing?
If you've seen the original Looney Tunes characters (Bugs, Daffy, Sylvester, etc.), how are the Tiny Toons different? Which characters do you think are most memorable? Why?
Why do people enjoy watching films or programs that "spoof" (lightly make fun of) certain people, places, books, movies, etc.? What's spoofed in this movie?
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