Tiny Toon Adventures is a show that I watched as a kid and I finally got an opportunity to watch it for the first time in a long time.
It’s kinda funny looking at it now because I see Tiny Toons not so much as a “little” Looney Tunes but as a more refined version of the Ralph Bakshi Mighty Mouse show (it makes sense, being that many of the people that worked on Mighty Mouse also worked on Tiny Toons). Many of the visual gags, parodies, and unabashed cartooniness (is that even a word?) are the same things they tried to do with Mighty Mouse, but the few extra years of experiences allows those ideas to work better and more often on Tiny Toons. The show is still quite rough around the edges though, and it shows in the inconsistencies of animation/drawing quality from episode to episode. Often times, the characters look off-model and the animation can be a bit all-over-the-place and unpolished. I had an animation professor who hated the show because of the animation and now I see what his gripe is.
That’s not to say I hate the show now. For me, the strength of Tiny Toons is the writing. Compared to Mighty Mouse, whose execution often left a lot to be desired, I find the jokes and parodies in Tiny Toons work a whole lot better. The series finale “It’s a Wonderful Tiny Toons Christmas Special” is the funniest, most well-written episode I’ve watched so far. You really see the seeds of Animaniacs greatness in that episode. Another major strength of Tiny Toons is its who’s who of future voice acting legends playing the characters (Tress MacNeille as Babs in particular is just hysterical!).
Watching this show in retrospect, I geek out looking at the credits because Tiny Toons boasted so many people who went on to do amazing things in the world of animation. Tom Ruegger (Animaniacs), Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series), Tom Minton (Animaniacs), Jim Reardon (The Simpsons), Bob Camp (Ren & Stimpy), Sherri Stoner (Animaniacs), Eddie Fitzgerald (Spumco), etc.
In short, Tiny Toon Adventures is a more refined Mighty Mouse. And Animaniacs would be a more refined Tiny Toon Adventures.