Saturday, July 18, 2015

Classic Review: Tiny Toons: One Beer

It's been a while since I've done one of these. My excuse is I don't have one. I'm just lazy. But there is something I want to talk about. This won't be exactly in my normal style. I'll still be covering the story and my thoughts on it, as well as scoring it on a scale from 1 to 5, but I'm also going to talk about the controversy surrounding it. I'm talking about the Tiny Toons segment One Beer. It was the third segment of an episode called Elephant Issues, where Gogo wanted to cover today's (or more like 1991's) issues.

The first two segments (Why Dizzy Can't Read, which covered Dizzy's addiction to TV; and C.L.I.D.E. and the Prejudice, which covered Monty's discrimination against a robot student) were fine, but the third segment, One Beer, involved alcohol throughout the episode and had Buster, Plucky, and Hamton getting drunk. This was enough for Elephant Issues to only air once during Tiny Toons' original run, and it also wasn't seen in syndication. The episode was later released on DVD, and finally aired again when The Hub started airing the series and continued after the switch to Discovery Family. So did this episode deserve to be banned? Let's find out.

The episode starts with Buster offering Plucky and Hamton a beer. Hamton points out how that's not like Buster, but he tells him that they're showing the dangers of drinking. They go to the park, and after there are no cops in sight, they fight over who goes first. They finally get Buster to go first because it was his idea. They all get drunk, and in their drink stage, they burp rhythmically. At school, they see Babs, Shirley, and Fifi, who are driven away by their bad breath and drunkenness. Then they go to a donut shop, where Plucky notices a police car with the keys still in the ignition, so they steal it and go for a joyride. They take it to the top of a mountain, where there is a sign that says "DANGER ROAD OUT AHEAD." They crash through the sign, fall off the mountain, plunge to their deaths, and their souls go to heaven. As the show ends, we see Buster, Plucky, and Hamton taking off their angel costumes. Buster asks Plucky and Hamton if they get a funny episode tomorrow and Hamton says "I hope so."

I'll start with my thoughts on the actual episode. This isn't exactly your normal Tiny Toons episode. Most Tiny Toons episodes focus on gags. This episode, however, focuses on sending out a message. I know there are people annoyed when cartoons try to send kids an important message, but as long as it's not too much, I don't really see the problem. I actually did enjoy watching this episode.

Now to decide whether or not it should've been banned. With all the drinking in the episode, I can see why some people would be worried, but this episode sends out a message against drinking. Maybe killing Buster, Plucky, and Hamton was a little extreme, but if kids understand why that happened, then I think they would get the message. Maybe they could've snuck in a mention that underage drinking and drinking while driving can get you in trouble, but for what it did do, I think it got the message out.

So did this episode deserve to be banned? I don't think so. Yes, it has drinking, and yes, the characters are very drunk, but it's to send out a message against drinking and how it can be bad for you. Once again, killing them might have been a little extreme, but it gets the message out.

Final score: 3/5

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