Friday, 16 October 2009

How dumb do they think kids' TV fans are?

When CITV stopped showing Tiny Toon Adventures at some point in the mid-90s, it was time to rely on buying videos. And thus I discovered the "volumes" of the series on video. These were not the motherlodes of silver-age goodness that the Volume 1 and 2 DVDs are today.

Volume One had New Class Day (segments), Kon-Ducki (full), Toons Take Over (full) and What Makes Toons Tick. It promised a "bonus 20 minutes" but there was none to be found - the small print explained quietly that this meant future volumes would only have three episodes on them.

Then came Volume Two, with Weekday Afternoon Live (full), A Cat's Eye View (segments), Acme Cable TV (full) and Love Disconnection (segments). You might notice that this video had four episodes on it as well. In fact, there was no indication on the back of the box that Love Disconnection was even on the video so maybe someone slipped it on in secret, who knows?

Then there was Volume Three. The blurb on the back announced that the episodes would be Duck In The Dark, Little Cake Of Horrors, Night of the Living Pets and Hare-Raising Night. If you know your TTA well, or take a look at the Tiny Toon Adventures Reference Guide, you'll realise that only Hare Raising Night is an episode - the rest are individual segments, from three different episodes. On the video the first three segments were packaged together like one episode, introduced by a clip from Love Disconnection - which, if you'll remember, was part of the previous volume! To make matters worse, the voice cast lists included the names of the episodes the segments came from, which increased the feeling of being ripped off (there's an episode called Best O' Plucky Duck Day??? why are we only seeing one-third of it?).

Next came Volume Four. I never bought that because the blurb on the back made it clear that it was just Volume One with a new box. Although it's possible it was actually *bits* of Volume One with a new box.


  1. At the time WB was the only one really releasing their TV cartoons on video - I recall Disney released some of their toons on video but only a few volumes for each show. They got away with it because I seem to recall then it was rare for a series, specially a kids one, to get proper episodic sets...

    I liked volume 1 of Tiny Toons - had a good mix of episodes but the rest were not really worth the extra. The non-volumed videos were better value - or even better still, the Bumper Video! Which had most of the released videos content. Really for Turner/Time Warner owned stuff the Bumper videos were really the way to go. As toons like Tom and Jerry really benefited from the extra long play tapes used on those

    They did the same thing with Animaniacs a few years later with slightly mixed up episodes and shorts. At least WB made up for it on DVD, I'ld prefer better treatment of those series but a release is better than it never being finished ala the Gummy Bears, Quack Pack and Goof Troop

  2. Yeah, the Bumper set contained the four "non-volumed" videos, I think. And the Animaniacs videos were about 40 minutes or so of shorts packaged as an episode.

    I agree, it's really only in the DVD age that kids' TV series are getting anything close to a good "episodic" treatment, I guess because of the ease of getting more episodes onto a smaller physical space. It would be nice if TTA had some decent extra features on the DVDs, but I do really like what they do have on the Animaniacs DVDs (though even more wouldn't have gone amiss)!