"All our favorite cartoon characters that we grew up with are coming together to talk to us about... drugs. (pause) This is going to be a long half-hour."Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue is a truly epic Drugs Are Bad special 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 local 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 Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck of Looney Tunes fame to the 1987 incarnation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles try to teach an at-risk teen named Michael 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 cartoon characters (considered a Fan Fiction writer's wet dream in this day and age).There's been a long-standing rumor that the reason this special has never re-aired is because Garfield was used without Jim Davis' permission, and Davis threatened to sue if the special re-aired. However, Mark Evanier (head writer of Garfield and Friends) debunked the rumor on the Cartoon Research Facebook page. He wrote, "Jim knew all about the special, he okayed Garfield's participation and approved whatever had to be approved. I believe the original plan, which got all the various copyright holders to agree to let their characters participate called for limited airing." Disney Channel managed to sneak in a couple repeat airings of it, however.Extensive reviews of the special can be found here, here, and here. You can find the special in its entire 32 minute glory on YouTube, and The Annotated Series version starting here.
Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue provides examples of the following tropes: