Where on the Shelf Is...Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue?
Welcome to "Where on the Shelf Is..." In this column, I look at great TV shows and movies that have never been on DVD and/or Blu-ray. For your pleasure and out of all of our frustrations, this column examines the Where, When and, of course, WHY?! of these non-releases.
Up this week is...CARTOON ALL-STARS TO THE RESCUE
What Is It?:
ALF, Kermit the Frog, Bugs Bunny, Winnie the Pooh, and Slimer have two things in common: 1) They were sexual icons of their day, and 2) They wanted you to never do drugs.
In 1990, CARTOON ALL-STARS TO THE RESCUE aired simultaneously on ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and a number of other networks. The 27-minute anti-drug special told of a teenager named Michael, who has taken to marijuana (which he funds by stealing from his younger sister's piggy bank) and beer (which he steals from his old man).
Under constant pressure from a talking cloud of smoke named, uh, Smoke (voiced by none other than George C. Scott), Michael has no way out of the slippery slope...until a smorgasbord of animated characters--which (in addition to the aforementioned) include the Smurfs, the Chipmunks, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Huey, Dewey and Louie--enter the picture. (Apparently Michael had turned to acid, as well.)
The PSA was funded by McDonald's and Ronald McDonald's Children Charities, who clearly saw Happy Meals as a better alternative to a joint.
Where Is It?:
If you grew up in the '90s, your health teacher more than likely used CARTOON ALL-STARS TO THE RESCUE as an instructional tool--assuming they could work a VCR. It also screened in several countries, including Australia, Mexico and Poland, who didn't get CARTOON ALL-STARS until 1998, a full decade after ALF: THE ANIMATED SERIES went off the air.
As far as home video, CARTOON ALL-STARS never made it past VHS, although that version (released by Buena Vista Home Entertainment) did feature an introduction by then-president George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, who was originally cast as Smoke.
The reason for this has to do with copyright laws. A number of studios came together for CARTOON ALL-STARS in the name of teenage sobriety, including Disney, Warner Bros., Columbia, Fox, Hanna-Barbera, and DiC. Unfortunately, this was something of a one time only affair and the odds of any of the companies joining forces to get a DVD in order are slim.
When Will We See It?:
Another issue is that the majority of the properties featured in CARTOON ALL-STARS TO THE RESCUE are being revamped for modern audiences. The Muppets have a "second" feature due out next year; the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are being Michael Bay-ized; Alvin and his brothers are computer-generated hip-hop enthusiasts; The Smurfs are computer-generated Neil Patrick Harris enthusiasts; there's always the chance of another Ghostbusters adventure; and there's even been talk of another DUCKTALES video game.
Disney, Fox, Warner Bros., and the rest of the studios have no time or reason to drop their moneymaking plans just to bother with a forgotten and outdated TV special. In other words, they could care less whether Michael has taken to luring club girls with ecstasy or selling black tar heroin sandwiches at the Jersey Shore.
Where Can We See It?:
For those that want to own a physical copy of the movie, the VHS is available on Amazon for the perfectly reasonable price of $69.99.
And now, George H.W. Bush throwing up:
Is one of your favorite movies or TV shows not available on DVD or Blu-ray? Leave your suggestions below or shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.