Animaniacs is Getting a Reboot – Five Classic Moments You Have to Watch
Steven Spielberg caught lightning in a bottle when his television company produced Animaniacs. Equally educational and hilarious, there was something for all ages to enjoy, including several tongue-in-cheek jokes and references for the parents in the room.
I was so inspired by the voice work in this cartoon I stood in line for nine hours to meet Rob Paulsen and Jess Harnell, the voices of Yakko and Wakko Warner, respectively. You can't imagine my joy at the news that Animaniacs is coming back. Yes, you read that correctly. The Animaniacs, their pals The Goodfeathers, Pinky and the Brain, Rita and Runt, Buttons and Mindy, Otto Scratchansniff and Hello Nurse, Slappy and Skippy Squirrel - the whole gang is coming back thanks to new interest in the show since it's addition to Netflix streaming last year.
In honor of the reboot of one of the best cartoons of all time, here are my five favorite classic moments from the first run of Animaniacs.
Who's on Stage?
In a moment that was truly for the parents in the room, Slappy Squirrel and her nephew, Skippy, wake up in their tree to find the Woodstock Music Festival going on around them. If the reference to Woodstock wasn't enough, they jump in to a musical version of Abbot and Costello's Who's on First? with Who's on Stage? I remember when this episode aired for the first time and thinking "Now that's comedy."
Pinky and the Brain - Battle for the Planet
Pinky and the Brain, two lab mice who would eventually go on to have their own stand-alone cartoon, were bent on world domination. One of the most clever attempts by the duo was when they hacked a television broadcast and performed a War of the World's style "news story". Just another way Animaniacs tipped their hat to pop culture and made it accessible and interesting for the next generation.
Not only is it remarkable that the writers of the show managed to write a song using the name of every country in the world and make it rhyme, voice actor Rob Paulsen did the song in one take. I mean, I'm sure he did many takes, but this wasn't post-production patchwork. In fact, in 2015, Paulsen performed an updated version of "Yakko's World" live at Dragon Con, and it's just as impressive as the original.
The Great Wakkorotti
If there was one thing that could sum up Wakko Warner's character it would be "bodily functions." He had a very memorable Potty Emergency and was known for letting earth shaking belches rip on command. He was so in control of his "instrument," that it was put to the test in one of the most memorable concerts of all time. My mother still laughs uncontrollably at this skit, deservedly so.
The Randy Beaman Kid
Often used as a rejoin after a commercial break, Animaniacs made the most out of their cartoon shorts. Good Idea/Bad Idea with Mr. Skullhead, Wheel of Morality, and The Randy Beaman Kid were among the most successful. The Randy Beaman kid would pop his head out of his front door, see that he had company, and run to the end of the sidewalk with a new fantastical tale of the infamous Randy Beaman. Once said, he would mutter, "Okay, bye," and then run right back inside. I would see this familiar blue-grey house come on the television and think, "Oh no, what now?" Gotta love The Randy Beaman Kid.
I cannot wait for this show to come back and be introduced to a knew audience.
Bonus Video - Stefani Bishop Lets Her Dork Show