Skip

Animaniacs Volume 4, at last!!!
October 21, 2012 7:24 PM   Subscribe

The long wait is ending! On February 5, 2013, Animaniacs Volume 4 will finally be released on DVD. This set will contain the final 24 episodes from the 1993-1998 cartoon, including the remaining thus-far unreleased episodes from Season 3 and all the episodes from the truncated 4th and 5th seasons.

Included in this set, for the first time on DVD, will be film noir send-up This Pun For Hire, Star Truck (wherein our heroes boldly go where no Warners have gone before), fan favorite A Very Very Very Very Special Episode, art-house delight Ten Short Films About Wakko Warner, the Fantasia-astic The Brain's Apprentice (notable, as Pinky & The Brain already had their own series at this point), and their final cartoon ever, The Animaniacs Suite, a celebration of all that had come before.
posted by hippybear (51 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
Begone, pests, and give me the bird!
posted by Old'n'Busted at 7:27 PM on October 21, 2012


I think my favorite short was when Chicken-Boo pretended to be the most popular boy at Katy Kaboom's high school.
posted by KingEdRa at 7:38 PM on October 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh good god, I loved that show. Has it held up? Something tells me it has.
posted by koeselitz at 7:39 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Have any fandoms claims that members of them have died waiting for long-delayed releases like this? I don't know of any examples, but this is the internet. No holds are barred.
posted by BiggerJ at 7:42 PM on October 21, 2012


Mmmmmmmmmmmmmwah! Good night, everybody!
posted by delfin at 7:42 PM on October 21, 2012


I think my favorite short was when Chicken-Boo pretended to be the most popular boy at Katy Kaboom's high school.

You are referring to Katie Ka Boo.
posted by hippybear at 7:44 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


(I've always read Chicken Boo as being a metaphor for living in the closet. Seriously. It works.)
posted by hippybear at 7:44 PM on October 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


Wheel of Morality, turn turn turn, show us the lesson that we should learn.
posted by deezil at 7:46 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh good god, I loved that show. Has it held up? Something tells me it has.

Yes, always.
posted by Hey Dean Yeager! at 7:50 PM on October 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


...while some of continue waiting, quietly, patiently and semi-vegetatively, for Season 3 of "The Tick" (animated version, of course).
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:03 PM on October 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


Nothing is better than the Animaniacs. Really.
posted by tzikeh at 8:05 PM on October 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sweet! I'm just rewatching my DVDs of Pinky and the Brain now - never got around to buying the 3rd season (of that or Animaniacs), but I definitely need to complete my collection.
posted by hopeless romantique at 8:07 PM on October 21, 2012


Animaniacs is truly the greatest thing Steven Spielberg was ever even remotely involved with.
posted by koeselitz at 8:10 PM on October 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


"and then the camera did a long pan of the room that never really paid off."

IT DOES PAY OFF IT FILLS THE BEAT AND SHOWCASES HOW CRAZY WEALTHY SHE IS, GOD ANIMANIACS WAY TO DROP THE BALL.

I've been waiting YEARS to get that off my chest.
posted by The Whelk at 8:12 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


My favorite episode is still the almost ten minute long Apocalypse Now parody/extended riff on Jerry Lewis including an oblique reference to The Day The Clown Cried.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 8:18 PM on October 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was always a little mixed on this show -- so much of it was brilliant, but then they wasted such gigantic amounts of screen time on Rita and Runt. Yeah, I know it was Bernadette Peters. Yeah, I know she sings well. But there's only a half hour in that show, and I hated it when ten of those precious minutes were taken up with that stupid cat's self-obsessed warbling. That was Slappy or Yakko time we were losing, and I found it intensely annoying.

It rang false in that context. It did not belong. They were trying to shove art down kids' throats, and I bitterly resented it.

The funny bits, though... when Animaniacs was 'on', they were absolutely as good as Looney Tunes, probably better. I don't think Bugs ever once reduced me to tears from laughter, where Animaniacs did it several times.
posted by Malor at 8:23 PM on October 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


Animaniacs! That means it's almost time for Tazmania and after that the glory that is Batman!

/excitedly eats cereal.

/Saturday morning cartoon were a real big deal to me.
posted by Artw at 8:31 PM on October 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


"No no no...fingerprints!"
"Uh, I don't think so!"
posted by sourwookie at 8:37 PM on October 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


Meh. They completely misunderstood the dynamics of Chuck Jones et al's pacing and delivery. The result: half baked and overblown attempt at old school WB animated comedy.
posted by TSOL at 8:41 PM on October 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wait... gay people are giant chickens?


AWESOME
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 8:49 PM on October 21, 2012


Yah, I have to admit, some of the stuff on Animaniacs was brilliant.

But when those hippos came out, I lost interest faster than Mitt Romney talking to an economist.
posted by mephron at 9:07 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


they wasted such gigantic amounts of screen time on Rita and Runt.

I'm willing to bet there are fewer than 15 Rita & Runt segments across the 99 episodes of the show. Seriously. This episode list shows there were 13 of them in total.
posted by hippybear at 9:10 PM on October 21, 2012


Yeah -- the Hip Hippos were awful. Luckily, they only appeared in a few episodes. I think they quickly realized they were awful and phased 'em out.

I also hated the Buttons & Mindy shorts (though I still find myself thinking and saying "OK I LOVE YOU BYE BYE") -- I just felt way too bad for Buttons.

Loved most of the rest, though, but my favorite non-Warners, non-Pinky & The Brain (just as those two are obvious favorites that go without saying) was Slappy Squirrel. She was hilarious.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 9:12 PM on October 21, 2012


Wait... gay people are giant chickens?

It's a metaphor. Met. A. Phor. Talk to your middle school language arts teacher if you don't know what that is.
posted by hippybear at 9:12 PM on October 21, 2012


I think with Rita & Runt, it probably stands out more, just because their cartoons were typically a) really long (comparatively) and b) so very different than the rest of Animaniacs.

At the time, I didn't really like R&R -- though I'd be interested to come back to them as an adult. Seeing as I get all "EEEE" when, say, My Little Pony parodies Sondheim.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 9:13 PM on October 21, 2012


Yeah, that joke kinda failed. I was going for the image of basically just a lot of Chicken Boos going around in the real world....

...but then forgot that "Giant Chicken" meant other things too.

I MEANT IT LITERALLY! LITERALLY!

(but yeah, sorry for inadvertent douchebaggery)
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 9:15 PM on October 21, 2012


Nah, you weren't being douchebaggish.

It's one of those things, though... Every cartoon has Chicken Boo passing convincingly to everyone except one or two people, who keep pointing out that he is not who everyone thinks he is. And then something happens and he is outed and subsequently is cast out of his previously accepted roles.

If you were an out gay in the mid 1990s, it was pretty obvious.

(My partner and I even used the phrase "he's a bit boo" for a while when talking about people who were obviously queer but living in the closet.)
posted by hippybear at 9:18 PM on October 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


That's a cool point that I never picked up on, but seems pretty obvious in retrospect. I think I was too busy laughing at Boo's blank expression. (seriously, that just cracks me up.)

That said, I always wanted to be Chicken Boo's friend. If nothing else, it seems like it'd be fun to have a giant chicken around.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 9:20 PM on October 21, 2012


At the time, I didn't really like R&R -- though I'd be interested to come back to them as an adult.

Here's most of them on this first page of this search, probably the rest appear on subsequent pages.

I always liked the R&R bits. But I'm a musical theater queen at heart, and Bernadette Peters could sing the yellow pages and I'd listen with rapt attention.
posted by hippybear at 9:24 PM on October 21, 2012


I don't think the Animaniacs were as good as classic Warners, but literally nothing is. They're better than both classic Disney and classic MGM on the average (with exceptions like Tex Avery). And there are a few other cartoons that are better overall: from that era I'd offer The Tick, and (also from Kids WB) Freakazoid.

For every Warner Bros. episode, good Pinky and the Brain or Slappy Squirrel there's probably at least one matching bad Pinky and the Brain (there were more than a few misses), Rita and Runt, Mindy and Buttons or Hip Hippos. Goodfeathers also weren't great often, and once in a while you got a terribly mawkish cartoon like that one in an early episode with the talking candle flame witnessing the birth of the United States; that one rang hollow even then. And the animation was sometimes great sometimes awful, as all TV animation was at that time. (Some of the best animation in the series is from that oft-repeated Yakko's World bit; if you can find that on the internet somewhere, watch it and note how perfectly the [probably Japanese] animators depicted Yakko's dance.)

But when Animaniacs was working, it was extremely good. They learned many lessons from the (greatly overrated IMO) Tiny Toons Adventures, and even the bad cartoons have a much stronger thematic unity than Tiny Toons did. And the hit rate increased greatly, I think, as the show continued.

BTW, it pains me to note how Pinky and the Brain wasn't always terrific, because the premise is brilliant, still one of the strongest ever put to animation. I just want to like it. The theme song and how it leaves up in the air which is the genius and which is the insane one, the introduction to the characters, how they bounce off each other, the many running gags, the setting of Acme Labs, the idea that each story is one attempt to take over the world (ideally taking just one night, although in practice that's rare), how the stories (ideally) should always end with the same lines (actually, probably 90% of them try to make a joke off of it by presenting alternate ending lines, which falls flat because it hadn't been well established before then that the show should almost always end with the same lines), and the perfect voices. But the writing is not always up to the premise.
posted by JHarris at 10:36 PM on October 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


I don’t know about ya’ll but I just can’t get enough of that Bubba Bo Bob Brain, let’s hear it again...
posted by bongo_x at 10:44 PM on October 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


"The theme song and how it leaves up in the air which is the genius and which is the insane one..."

So it does... damn you mefi!!!! :-)
posted by ewan at 12:34 AM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


DANA DELANY
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:38 AM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Have any fandoms claims that members of them have died waiting for long-delayed releases like this?

Pretty sure I'm gonna die before the rest of Sergeant Bilko gets released.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 5:12 AM on October 22, 2012


I also hated the Buttons & Mindy shorts (though I still find myself thinking and saying "OK I LOVE YOU BYE BYE") -- I just felt way too bad for Buttons.

I agree with this EXCEPT I find it really useful to explain a certain type of person, such as my friend Megan from high school. She was a really sweet, kind person and stuff just worked out for her and she sort of floated through life. The thing is, the reason she could float through life is that she had friends (like me) running after her picking stuff up and making it work out. For example, the day before our Junior prom it turns out that although she was expecting to go to the prom but didn't have any plans for how to get there, get picked up, have dinner, ANYTHING. She lived an hour away and her mother couldn't drop her off or pick her up that evening. This meant that I rushed around making plans for her while she sort of floated around happily and expected everything to work out. Everything DID work out (because I enabled her, I guess) and she kept going on her happy, dreamy way. She was a good person but she was also basically Mindy. She's not the only Mindy I've met and sometimes I'm still naive/simple/whatever enough to be Buttons. I HATE those cartoons because I think I'll always be a natural Buttons; stuff doesn't really happen without me working hard at it and every so I often feel like I get hit by trains helping other people. Those segments are dumb and annoying but I still feel like they're useful for me in communicating with other Buttons.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 5:57 AM on October 22, 2012 [10 favorites]


I could swear they hit Bankrupt on the Wheel of Morality once, but the rest of the internet disagrees with me. Anyone?
posted by Flannery Culp at 7:47 AM on October 22, 2012


I think I watched every single Animaniacs episode from the first couple of seasons multiple times. (Then it got too sing-songy and I didn't like it anymore.)

But today I've already learned two new things about the show: hippybear's revelation about Chicken Boo and Mrs. Pterodactyl's revelation of Mindy and people like Mindy. (I think sometimes I am a Mindy and my husband is a Buttons. Uh oh.)

Holy. Animaniacs is deep. Thanks MeFi!
posted by jillithd at 7:48 AM on October 22, 2012


Speaking of that era of Saturday morning cartoons, I am waiting for Eek! The Cat.
posted by njohnson23 at 7:51 AM on October 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


All small children are Mindys all of the time.
posted by Artw at 7:57 AM on October 22, 2012


Have any fandoms claims that members of them have died waiting for long-delayed releases like this?

Well, Richard Stone, composer for the WB animation revival of the 1990s, died in 2001, before ANY of the Animaniacs episodes were released on DVD. Not sure that counts, however.

(And I'm pretty sure the conductor shown briefly in The Animaniacs Suite is in fact Stone, and not Michael Kamen as I originally thought.)
posted by hippybear at 8:07 AM on October 22, 2012


You know what else happens that day? A new Eels album drops.
posted by grateful at 10:17 AM on October 22, 2012


I'm grateful for this post, largely because it reminded me to check (for probably the 20th time in the last 5 years) to see if Upright Citizens Brigade season 3 will ever appear on DVD. This time I learned that a cast commentary was recorded sometime this year, so maybe something will finally happen...I don't get why Comedy Central are being so cagey about releasing it.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:12 PM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


The theme song used to be on my old cell phone. I miss that ringtone.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 12:41 PM on October 22, 2012


Flannery Culp: "I could swear they hit Bankrupt on the Wheel of Morality once, but the rest of the internet disagrees with me. Anyone?"

They almost did, but got the Trip to Tahiti instead.
posted by radwolf76 at 1:24 PM on October 22, 2012


The theme song used to be on my old cell phone. I miss that ringtone.

I have a couple of the albums. I set the theme as a ringtone for a particularly animated friend. Fits very well.
posted by pupdog at 1:44 PM on October 22, 2012


This is the best thing I've heard in a while. I've introduced my girls (6 and 3) to them and they love them. And now I have some more to share!

And sometimes, when I have to create a customer account to test something at work, I put in the name Bubba Bo Bob Brain.
posted by neilbert at 1:50 PM on October 22, 2012


Oh, oh, just remembered another one I am waiting for Earthworm Jim... same era... Someone tried to explain why the early 90s had such great animation for "kids," as it was the time when people who were raised on good cartoon shows were now making cartoon shows. Another one just popped into my head, Reboot. Sad to say those people seemed to have passed on.
posted by njohnson23 at 3:40 PM on October 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


But now kids get to watch enormous quantities of anime for free online. It's another golden age of cartoons. (I know this from the startling ease of babysitting jobs.)
posted by mek at 4:15 PM on October 22, 2012


Earthworm Jim rarely gets brought up in these discussions of good 90s cartoons, but it was very smart.
posted by JHarris at 5:33 PM on October 22, 2012


Earthworm Jim for Sega Genesis FTW!
posted by jillithd at 6:26 AM on October 23, 2012


@njohnson23 not afraid to admit that I asked for (and received) the Reboot series on DVD last year for Christmas
posted by ChipT at 6:17 AM on October 24, 2012


« Older London during World War 2, In Color   |   "Unbelievable. Do you recognize those uniforms?" Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post