Robert Hampton

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3rd September 2006

Drugs are bad, m’kay?
Posted by at 1.26am | No responses | Television

Sizzling BBQ Doritos + late night = insomnia.

Anyway, thanks to YouTube, I found something which I’ve read about a bit on the internet, but never seen: Cartoon All-Stars To The Rescue.

This programme was broadcast one Saturday morning in the late 80s across all the major American networks, at the height of the “Just Say No” campaign being spearheaded by the US government at that time. The plot revolves around a teenager who has started doing drugs, who is rescued by an army of cartoon characters who show him the error of his ways.

This special was notable for characters from different animation studios all appearing together in one place, however combining shows as diverse as Garfield, Winnie the Pooh and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was never going to work entirely well, and the clash of styles is noticeable.

There’s also the problem of the serious message being somewhat undermined by its delivery by cute cartoon characters. Scenes where Simon from Alvin and the Chipmunks earnestly explains the finer points of marijuana to his friends, and Bugs Bunny scolds the wayward child (“What’s up Doc? … What’s this? A joint?!”) become unintentionally hilarious when viewed through more cynical eyes. As an anonymous Wikipedia commenter notes: “A kid who takes drugs getting lectured by talking chipmunks, a fuzzy alien, little blue people and a stoner ninja turtle? Wouldn’t he just think he’s on a really cool trip?”

Part 2 is here. Part 3, Part 4.

I could write more, but this review says it better than I ever could.

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