Hello. I'm Morgi. For my first (and hopefully not last) liveblog, I decided to tackle something from my early childhood. Cartoon All Stars To The Rescue, a 1990 television special. All three major TV networks at the time (ABC, CBS, and NBC) simultaneously aired this special, which featured characters from their various Saturday morning cartoon lineups. To a six-year-old, that's pretty damn awesome.
It even begins with an introduction by then U.S. Pesident George HW Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush. This is going to be epic, right?
Barbara: "'Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue' is the powerful story of a teenager dealing with drug and alcohol abuse."
George: "Some of your favorite cartoon characters will help you understand how drugs and alcohol can ruin your life."
George: "So watch the program. Talk about it with your family."
Barbara: "And make the right decision. Stay away from drugs and alcohol."
So it looks like we've been roped into a Very Special Episode, folks. But hey, it has some popular cartoon characters, music by Alan Menken of The Little Mermaid fame, and it's endorsed by the President himself, as well as McDonald's (who was responsible for the VHS release). How bad could it be?
Our story begins early one morning in a quiet suburban neighborhood (where someone owns a rooster, apparently). We enter the bedroom of a young girl, with background music that wouldn't sound too out of place in Belle's introduction in Beauty and the Beast. Said music briefly turns sinister as a hand slips opens the bedroom door and snatches a piggy bank off a nearby shelf. Dunh dunh duhhhhh!
A Smurfs themed comic book on the floor comes to life, as Papa Smurf emerges from his mushroom house in Smurf Village, only to look through the page into the bedroom at the empty shelf. "Great Smurfs!", he exclaims. "Corey's piggy bank is gone!" (I guess Corey is the girl's name. Good to know.) He rushes to the village square and rings a bell, rallying the Smurfs to venture out into the bedroom and alert Corey to the pignapping.
On a nearby dresser, a framed picture of Alf (yes, he had a cartoon at the time) comes to life and walks over to a Garfield lamp and suggests they help track down the thief. Garfield, true to character, wants to sleep in and wait for lunch. Alf yanks off his lampshade and threatens to have him for lunch instead if he doesn't get up. At the mercy of a cat-eating alien who clearly woke up on the wrong side of the...dresser, Garfield agrees.
From under an Alvin and the Chipmunks album cover, Simon and Theodore Seville decide they should give Alf and Garfield a hand. Alvin...takes a bit more convincing. He thinks they're trying to talk him into an autograph signing, and he'd rather sit around and watch TV. Fortunately his brothers drag him out before he can trash any hotel rooms.
As the Smurfs try to form a human-er-Smurf ladder to Corey's bed, her stuffed Winnie the Pooh wakes up and asks if breakfast is ready. (I'll give this special credit. The characters are in...character.) Brainy Smurf takes a break from bossing around the others to inform Pooh that Papa Smurf told them to wake up Corey, and Papa Smurf is always right because Papa Smurf-
The annoyed Smurfs send him flying across the bed. Pooh, despite his reputation for being a "bear of little brain", has the bright idea to set off her Kermit the Frog alarm clock, which turns into Kermit's counterpart from Muppet Babies, a spin-off of The Muppet Show where all the Muppets are imaginative toddlers in a nursery. (It was pretty good for such an odd premise. Well, odd until other series followed in its footsteps.) Everyone quickly hides or pretends to be inanimate as Corey wakes up, wondering why she would have set the alarm on a Saturday. Suddenly, Slimer phases through the bedroom wall and eats a fruit-shaped lamp, which shines a light on the empty spot on her shelf. "Someone took my bank!," she shouts. Surprisingly, this isn't followed by "And my room is haunted!"
Alf and the other toons follow the sound of something shattering to a room down the hall, while Garfield talks about food. Sneaking in, they discover that Michael, Corey's big brother (voiced by Jason Marsden, who voiced Max in A Goofy Movie) has stolen the bank, which lies in pieces on his bed as he counts the money inside. Theodore helpfully informs us of who he is. Alf not so helpfully says "Wally never did this sort of thing to the Beav". Because kids growing up in the late 80s were really into Leave It To Beaver reruns, I guess?
Corey comes in and spots him with the broken bank. He quickly stuffs the money in his pocket, while making up some bullshit excuse about trying to fix it after it fell. She's not convinced, but suddenly her attention is drawn to a shiny metal box on his bed. When she asks about it, Michael gets nervous and hides it under the bed.
This doesn't stop the toons from examining the box, which seems to contain a matchbook, a roll of paper, and...other stuff. Alvin thinks it's some kind of chemistry set, but Simon reluctantly suggests Michael is using "Marijuana, an unlawful substance used to experience artificial highs". "Something tells me we're not in cartoon territory anymore", Alf replies. Better listen to him, guys. Being a sitcom character originally, he knows a Very Special Episode when he sees one. Fortunately the kids can't overhear this conversation, despite them making no attempt at whispering. Isn't the government looking for Alf, come to think of it? You'd think he would try being a bit more discreet.
Corey seems less angry about Michael stealing money from her, and more concerned about his suspicious behavior as of late. She notices his eyes are bloodshot, but he quickly puts on shades and stomps out of the house as she pleads with him to talk to her. Meanwhile, the toons decide that Michael is in dire need of an intervention, and who's better for the job than a bunch of children's cartoons? They all follow him to the big city, except for Pooh. I guess he really wanted that breakfast.