Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue
A truly epic (which is to say, especially terrible) Very Special Episode that was originally simulcast commercial-free on Saturday morning, April 21, 1990, on all three major American television networks (FOX had only been on the air for three years at that point), along with most independent stations and several cable networks. Produced by the people who award the Emmys (and animated by Wang Film Productions and Southern Star Studios in Australia). Cartoon characters ranging from Looney Tunes to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles try to teach an at-risk teen called Mikey about the dangers of marijuana.
The special was relentlessly promoted in the days leading up to the simulcast. Interestingly, the anti-drug angle was underplayed in these commercials. Instead, the ads pushed the insane crossover among the various "All Stars", leading many kids to be filled with endless excitement that was only going to let them down. Admittedly, the fact that The Smurfs, Muppet Babies and DuckTales (1987) characters were going to be mixing it up together was truly life-changing for pre-teens. Frankly, whether the intended anti-drug message got through is a good question...
- The Aggressive Drug Dealer: In this special, not only are suburban teenagers lurking about giving away cheap-as-free drugs, Mikey also has to worry about Smoke. Smoke is a shoulder-demon who looks like Hexxus from Fern Gully, is voiced by George C. Scott, and ceaselessly persuades you to experiment with said cheap-as-free drugs.
- Award Bait Song: The ending credits feature a song about growing up and outgrowing cartoons (?) that's somewhere between sad, saccharine, and (thanks to the Ducktales cast, Chipmunks, and Muppet Babies) cacophonous.
- Body Horror: Mikey's breaking point comes somewhere between the journey through his own badly damaged brain and the point when it's revealed that he will eventually be so strung-out on hard drugs, he will turn into a zombie.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: The cartoon characters who did it in their own shows are just as unkind to the one between Mikey and Corey's reality and ours.
- Miss Piggy literally does this.
- Broken Aesop:
Mikey: But I can still give up!
Bugs: Not if you're on drugs!
- Canon Discontinuity: As far as Utrom Shredder's slideshow of the TMNT multiverse in Turtles Forever is concerned. Then again, when talking about multiverses...
- Clueless Aesop: Yup.
- Covers Always Lie: Smurfette appears on the VHS cover, but not in the special itself.
- Did Not Do the Research: Does it even need to be said? The show gets so many details about the drugs themselves, along with the paraphernalia used, how illegal drugs are obtained, and even how they're pronounced (with the infamous mispronunciation of marijuana toward the beginning) wrong that you have to wonder if the writers were really trying at all. Of course, trying to be factually accurate doesn't really seem to be the point.
- Disney Acid Sequence/Deranged Animation: Most of the special, ironically enough.
- Drugs Are Bad: The whole point
- Future Me Scares Me: Something to do with becoming a zombie heroin addict in a twisted futuristic hospital. But then, zombieism is a well-known side effect of marijuana.
- Irony: Featured cartoon Alf. It's very possible that there never would've been an Alf cartoon if the TV series hadn't run as long as it did: mostly due to outrageous scripts written by a guy on drugs.
- Human-Focused Adaptation
- Massive Multiplayer Crossover: A complete list can be found on the Other Wiki.
- Monochrome Past: Used when Mikey goes back in time because "This is the past and the past is in black and white. Get it?"
- Nice Hat: One of Michael's female "friends" has this... head... wear... thing that absolutely must be seen to be believed. More proof that the people behind this thing had no idea how teenagers actually acted (or dressed) at the time.
- Off-Model: Ridiculously so even by the standards set by the All-Stars' cartoons. In the scene with Michelangelo, Smoke says an entire line of dialogue without ever even moving his mouth.
- The Other Darrin: The special is the first TV or film production in which the classic Looney Tunes characters Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck were NOT voiced by the legendary Mel Blanc (who had died not long before production began, and is lucky he never had to make Bugs say "What's this, a joint?"). He was replaced here by Jeff Bergman, the first of many "new Darrins" who would take over the voices of Blanc's large stable of characters.
- Parental Obliviousness: Mikey's parents talk about how worried they are about Mikey's behavior. While trying to find two cans of beer that have gone missing. And while ignoring their daughter who tells them that he's been acting strange. She in turns neglects to mention the theft of her piggy bank or the mysterious box of evil drugs. Because that's not strange at all.
- It could be argued that they all had to be holding the Idiot Ball in that scene to set up Pooh's anvil, but then the scene is kind of lost forever when he tells Corey to consider all the bad things that could happen to her brother if she doesn't tell her folks what's up. Getting to hang out with all your favorite cartoon characters is a bad thing?
- Politician Guest Star: George H.W. Bush.
- Scare'Em Straight: The special is practically a textbook example of (attempting) this trope.
- Sequel Hook: The special ends with Mikey throwing out Smoke, who says he'll be back. Mikey and Corey respond by saying that if he does come back, then they'll be ready for him.
- Understatement: "Those drugs are so boring!"
- Watch It Stoned: It's that clueless. Kids, you want to see your favorite cartoon characters IRL? Get smashed on pot, right now.
- What Could Have Been: Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy were originally supposed to be featured in this special. For reasons unknown, they were replaced with Huey, Duey, and Louie.
- If they done this, it would have been the second time Mickey and Bugs are together and Donald and Daffy together since Who Framed Roger Rabbit?..
- It's obvious this is because he was the most "popular" Turtle at the time but the producers clearly had no idea why he was so popular.