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Tiny Toon Adventures remains a brilliant series

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Tiny Toon Adventures: Season 1, Volume 1

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How wonderful it is, that more than two decades after Tiny Toon Adventures premiered, it's fresh. It's always a risk to revisit a television series of one's youth, and hope that seeing it anew doesn't completely shatter the fond memories you had of it.

In such a relatively short period of time, production values, comedy, and so many other elements of television have changed or evolved. Tiny Toons has remained evergreen, an absolutely wonderful thing.

That's not to say that it doesn't date itself— at times, it really dates itself. The pilot alone has references to Rambo, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Dolly Parton, Menudo, direct dialogue mentions of the decade, even something as specific as Ted Turner's colourization of old movies. But these aren't just pop culture references for reference-sake, but comedy that functions on two levels, like the best of them. This is a show just as comfortable framing an entire episode around Citizen Kane, or a tribute to Woody Allen during a Star Wars parody.

Three times in 35 episodes, I noticed split second issues in the ink-and-paint department, but otherwise the animation has punch. Watching a second time around, I'm amazed that five animation studios worked on the program, each paired with a different animation supervisor from Warner. Just as with the original Looney Tunes directors, some of those studios like Glen Kennedy and his company Kennedy Cartoons bringing a distinct visual style. Week-to-week, it went by largely unnoticed, but on DVD, it's kinda cool.

One episode's credits are a tad murky, but otherwise the video and audio quality is great. (Tiny Toons had a full orchestra playing ever episode, on Spielberg's insistence.) The fourth DVD is double-sided—I've never been a fan of trying to keep those clean—but it works. From Looney Tunes to Tiny Toons— A Wacky Evolution! does a wonderful job illuminating the process behind creating the series, years after production wrapped, without straying too far to just people talking or just clips.

Simply, this is a stellar program. I fought between gobbling the whole series down as fast as possible, and savouring every moment slowly. The series is as good as you remember, if not better.

(Animaniacs fans take note: you'll see the security guard's debut, learn the origin of “narf”, and see a proto-Dot, of sorts.)

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