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Cartoon All-Stars To The Rescue VHS Review

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Mar. 1, 2017 at 3:43 PM , Categories: Real Ghostbusters, Home Video
Over at The Corner Penthouse, I've been porting over all 100+ reviews that I've written over the past 15+ years on various other sites. A new retro review will be posted on every even-numbered day for the next four months, with some truly new reviews slipped in on some of the odd-numbered days as I get them done. This one is more appropriate to post over here at Spook Central.

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This review was originally written on March 10, 2011
Awesome Crossover Special, It's A Shame It'll Never Be Released On DVD

Cartoon All-Stars To The Rescue was a half-hour animated drug prevention special starring many of the popular cartoon characters from American Saturday morning television shows, which was simulcast on April 21, 1990 on all three major American television networks (ABC, NBC, and CBS), most independent stations, as well as cable networks Nickelodeon and USA.

Cory (voice of Lindsay Parker), is worried about her older brother Michael (voice of Jason Marsden, who would later voice Garrett in Extreme Ghostbusters) because he's started acting differently. When her piggy bank goes missing, her cartoon tie-in toys come to life to help her find it. After discovering it in Michael's room, along with his stash of drugs, the various cartoon characters proceed to band together and take him on a fantasy journey to teach him the risks and consequences a life of drug-use can bring. The villain of the story, besides the drugs, is Smoke (voice of George C. Scott), an anthropomorphic cloud of smoke with a mafioso-like appearance and personality.

The "Cartoon All-Stars" that appear in the special, from 10 different franchises, with their original voice actors, are:

* The Smurfs: Papa Smurf, Brainy Smurf, Hefty Smurf (though Smurfette is seen on the poster and VHS cover, she does not appear in the special).

* ALF The Animated Series: Alf.

* Garfield and Friends: Garfield.

* Alvin and the Chipmunks: Alvin, Simon, Theodore.

* The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: Winnie the Pooh, Tigger.

* Muppet Babies: Baby Kermit, Baby Piggy, Baby Gonzo.

* The Real Ghostbusters: Slimer.

* Looney Tunes: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck.

* Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Michelangelo (although he appears in the special, he is not shown on the poster or VHS cover).

* DuckTales: Huey, Dewey, Louie.

The special was distributed on VHS videocassette by Buena Vista Home Entertainment (Disney), but it was only available for free rental, not for sale. This is probably due to the PSA nature of the special and the legal issues with the licensing of the characters for profit. Make a video for free rental only, no profit; sell it, and there's profit. Video stores were given a poster featuring the VHS cover art (you can buy a 11"x17" reproduction) to display in their windows or on their walls to advertise that they had the tape available for free rental, hence the "Rent It Here FREE!" banner in the upper left corner of the poster. I saw the special when it aired back in April 1990 and secured one of the rental VHS tapes from the "previously viewed" section of the video store that used to be in my town. I still have that tape, and will never sell it.
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In Loving Memory of Joel Richard Rudoff (July 28, 1944 - January 20, 2014)

In Loving Memory of Linda Joyce Rudoff (July 12, 1948 - November 29, 2015)

Doreen Mulman (May 22, 1961 - March 14, 2014)

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