In a world where Stephen Spielberg made E.T and Jurassic Park, the same man produced Animaniacs. I know right, kind of strange. Animaniacs originally aired from 1993-to 1998. Warner Bros wanted Stephen Spielberg to be a part and create an animated movie. Instead of making a movie, Spielberg with Jean MacCurdy would create Tiny Toon Adventures, an animated series about child Looney Tunes. With the success of Tiny Toon Adventures, Spielberg and MacCurdy brought Tom Ruegger in to help create their next animated series.
Animaniacs is the amalgamation of the Warner Bros lot, and the children of Ruegger. He based the characters of Wakko, Yakko, and Dot on his three sons and the trouble they would cause. Creating the feel of old Hollywood with the modernization of the 90s, Ruegger and his team would make a cartoon that would be for adults and kids alike, that was like a cartoon variety show of many segments with a running plot line.
Many of the cartoon shorts that were added included Pinky and Brain, Slappy the Squirrel, and The Hip Hippos, among others. Wakko, Yakko, and Dot would perform parodies or songs that would tie up the rest of the show. Many of those parodies and songs would continue to have life long after the show would be taken off the air. These songs would help Animaniacs to win eight Emmys, a Peabody, and many other awards.
The show was very well received because it was a show that was created for adults and children. There were many adult jokes that were added, while there was a lot of physical humor and songs for children to enjoy. The show would be the second most popular show behind Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and led to a huge internet fandom which was odd for its time and the age of the internet.
The series would comprise 99 episodes and 1 movie in its original run. It is now rebooted on Hulu.
I watched episodes from a list that comprised the “10 Animaniacs Episodes That Were Zany to the Max” by Critically Touched. I started with episode 2 which includes “Yakko’s World/Cookies for Einstein/Win Big”. Yakko’s World shows Yakko singing a song to the tune of the Mexican Hat Dance that names every country. It is updated on YouTube but is still educational and very impressive. Animaniacs had moments of being educational which you wouldn’t expect from a cartoon.
One of my favorite aspects of Animaniacs is that there are unique characters in each show. You will not get a show that is similar each time. One episode I watched had Pinky and the Brain, while the others has Goodfeathers, an ongoing series that is pigeons based on Goodfellas and many other characters. It makes it exciting every single time.
Another aspect that pulls Animaniacs away from every other cartoon is the catchphrases. One of the most popular ones is “Hello Nurse” because there is an attractive nurse in the series that frequents, but they also just say this to attractive women. “Goodnight Everybody” is another catchphrase that is usually said by Wakko when there is adult humor said.
Overall, this show is funny, and entertaining, and brought another amazing show that will be talked about later, Pinky and the Brain! This cartoon is so unique in its many unique elements with old Hollywood and new Hollywood. It’s impossible not to find something that you can like about Animaniacs.
Does it Hold Up?
There are a lot of outdated characters in this. For example, Albert Einstein, and Perry Como. These are people that some kids don’t know about today. That is why they have an updated version of this show so that they can make updated references. It doesn’t need to hold up.
This was a staple in my household, and so it is very nostalgic. I loved Animaniacs, and many other people did, too.
Do you agree with my assessment? Post your thoughts in the comments below!
As always, Creating Nostalgia Millennial Style!