Tiny Toon Adventures Vol. 4: Looney Links! Is allegedly the final installment of director Steven Spielberg’s hit Fox Kids cartoon franchise. If this is indeed the final installment of the series, then it certainly is not the best way to end things. While most of this set is presented in its entirety, there is one glaring problem with the set. That issue comes in the episode, “Weekday Afternoon Live.” The episode in question actually splices the final minutes of the “Toon TV” in place of the final segment that aired in “Weekday Afternoon Live” in its original broadcast. This is not like Warner Home Video to let such an error occur in its home releases. This critic’s copy of Volume Four is not the only one that has done this either. According to others who have purchased the set, they too have had the same thing happen to them. That one major blunder aside, the remainder of the set will still bring enjoyment to long-time fans of this modern classic cartoon.
This new (and allegedly final) installment of Tiny Toon Adventures offers more than its share of laughs, poking fun at pop culture once again and even some former presidents. This time around, Buster, Babs, and company take another stab at Batman (and director Tim Burton). They also go after one of the biggest censorship groups of the time, the Parents Music Resource Council (PMRC). Only instead of dealing with music, Buster and Babs have to face off certain parties that want to censor cartoons. Long-time fans will recognize the episode “Toon TV.” That’s because it’s quite similar to a previous episode from Season One titled, “Tiny Toons Music Television.” It’s basically more music video spoofs. This time, the Tiny Toons gang goes even further back in time, covering hits from The Coasters, The Contours, and Shirley Ellis and Lincoln Chase. They even cover Tchaikovsky’s famed ‘Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies’ in this episode. Of course, this is just a sample of what audiences can expect from this final collection of episodes. Buster and Babs pay tribute once more to the golden days of animation by trying to save a group of “two-Tone” toons from an evil executive. There is much more to enjoy from this final portion of the show’s final season. But as noted already, the episodes contained in this final series of episodes aren’t entirely that original, thus making it less enjoyable than the series’ first two seasons.
For the seemingly decreased sense of originality in these final episodes of Tiny Toon Adventures and the problematic error created in ‘Weekday Afternoon Live’, there is at least one equally noticeable positive to this set. That positive is an episode the directly addresses the problem of bullying. To be more specific, it presents the situation in which Shirley The Loon is bullied by her classmates at her ballet class. Upon telling Babs about the harassment from her swan classmates, Babs vows to get even with them, which she indeed does. Of course getting even isn’t what people who have been bullied should do. This is by no means the message. But it does in its own way, go after bullies. At the same time, it re-tells the story of The Ugly Duckling. So in essence, it’s actually a doubly enjoyable episode for this.
The one major sequencing problem evident with Tiny Toon Adventures Volume 4: Looney Links! is something that will continue to plague this set unless the people at Warner Home Video make the effort to alleviate this issue. Luckily, it does have its positives as noted already. Looking at this set from the perspective of its packaging, the people charged with assembling this set at least got that right. As with so many multi-disc sets being released now, WHV has released this final installment in a standard single disc case with an insert. The insert included allows for the set’s first disc to be placed in its own spot, thus protecting the disc from scratching and, in turn, preserving the disc (along with the second disc) to be preserved much longer. So it is for that reason, and for the laughs offered throughout this collection, that it is worthy of at least some praise. But the massive error of having the wrong episode spliced into the end of another and the rehashed previous episodes will make any long-time fan of Tiny Toon Adventures take notice that this set is not perfect. It is far from it by chance because of these issues. Despite that, it is still a good addition to the collection of any Tiny Toons Adventures fan. With any luck, Warner Brothers and Warner Home Video will take notice of all the complaints from fans, and re-issue this set as it should be presented.
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