Tails? Yep. Clothes? About half.
May 24, 2016 6:12 PM   Subscribe

 
THE ANIMATOR: They’re not constrained by parents, physics, or a moral code,

Never have I read a more succinct definition of what it means to be a child.

THE ANIMATOR: There is no fixed plot, structure, or mythos. Settings and characters leap the time-space continuum

And now we have our definition for parenting.
posted by Fizz at 6:18 PM on May 24, 2016 [10 favorites]


Toast? TOAST!!

Oh Toast, you're back! You're really back!

I had this horrible horrible dream, you were going away, forever.

But you're here now! It was just a dream!

And you're going to stay forever, right?

Hello? Toast?
posted by happyroach at 6:29 PM on May 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


THE ANIMATOR: There are hot men for Dot, too.

I found prints!
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:31 PM on May 24, 2016 [17 favorites]


Bonjour Brioche!
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:32 PM on May 24, 2016


TEN YEARS LATER

EXEC #1: So the little boy and the little girl are friends.

ANIMATOR: No, but they are friends with Death.

EXEC #2: So they die? that's a bit much.

ANIMATOR: No, but they are friends with Death. He lost a bet.

EXEC #1: The design for the little girl is very sweet, except she looks unhappy.

ANIMATOR: Not unhappy, no! She’s more bitter and determined and ruthless in her evil.

EXEC #2: Even so, I like the flower on her headband. Now, the little boy looks happy! A bit silly, but happy.

ANIMATOR: Well, he is the human personification of chaos, cruel and wanton and relentless, such that he will leave Dread Eris herself weeping at his feet. So, yes, he is silly and happy.

EXEC #1: I like how he has a strong father figure in his life!

ANIMATOR: Agreed. Grim is a marvelous straight-man, and Billy also has his Dad hanging around…

EXEC #2: If you could see your way clear to having Mandy smile, even just once, that’d be swell.

ANIMATOR: OK!
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:42 PM on May 24, 2016 [9 favorites]


THE ANIMATOR: Animaniacs will not make sense to them now. It will make the world make sense to them later.

That's it, that's the show.
posted by hobgadling at 6:44 PM on May 24, 2016 [53 favorites]


OH MY GOD I FORGOT ABOUT CHICKEN BOO
posted by hearthpig at 6:48 PM on May 24, 2016 [13 favorites]


Consider that The Tick was running at the same time.
posted by wotsac at 6:53 PM on May 24, 2016 [7 favorites]


I always thought of the Warners as harking back to the Marx Brothers - so not really sporadically malevolent agents of chaos, just chaotic.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:54 PM on May 24, 2016 [3 favorites]




In related news, I just bought the first three seasons of this show on DVD from Amazon as a result of this post. So there is that.
posted by Fizz at 6:57 PM on May 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


I was the intended audience for this show and watched it every day. I recently noticed it was on Netflix and put it on and oh boy it does not hold up. Painfully, painfully unfunny. Then I tried to think about what I thought about it when I was watching it and I can't remember. I think I just watched whatever was on like "This must be what reality is like I guess?" I just remember watching a lot of tv I didn't really like but there wasn't much else on or to do.
posted by bleep at 7:09 PM on May 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


Animaniacs is pretty much how I learned state capitals.
posted by AlexiaSky at 7:11 PM on May 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


I meant to add that the essay is hilarious and accurate.
posted by bleep at 7:12 PM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


poit
posted by limeonaire at 7:15 PM on May 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


Chicken Boo 4 Life. Forever trying to fit in. Forever rejected for being a chicken.
posted by irisclara at 7:21 PM on May 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


fran
posted by Death and Gravity at 7:21 PM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Consider that The Tick was running at the same time.

This is like trying to piece out who had the fastest racecar in the pre-war '30s, everything moved very fast, it was hyper-competitive and improvements were breathtaking and world shaking as they came. Spielberg was involved heavily in cartoons in the very early '90s, trying with various levels of success to use computer technology to bring down the cost and improve the quality of children's animation. Warner Brothers and Fox struggled along, with some notable hits and misses along the way. Animaniacs, in terms of animation, were actually a disappointment, considering the animated Batman series had come out the year before, and were a step back when considering their forebears, Tiny Toons Adventures. The Tick, coming out a year later than the Animaniacs in '94, had the benefit of a firmly established production line and creative talent that could rival Nickelodeon's NickToons line - as genius as the Animaniacs (and the Tick-alike Freakazoid) were, they were always a distant second place to the post-punk zeitgeist of what Nickelodeon was doing in the same timeframe. And then the Tick went and outdid Nickelodeon at their own game, with the tooling pioneered by Spielberg and Germany now all in one piece...

...ONE PIECE!
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:22 PM on May 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


-Pinky, what is troz?
-It's zort in the mirror!
posted by hobgadling at 7:24 PM on May 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


Wait, is that real, and is it a frigging redrum joke?
posted by Merzbau at 7:25 PM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


It is. And, it is.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:31 PM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


I forgot how much I loved this. Thank you for reminding me.
posted by rtha at 7:34 PM on May 24, 2016


Chicken Boo 4 Life. Forever trying to fit in. Forever rejected for being a chicken.

CHICKEN BOO WAS A CHICKEN!?!?!
posted by Guy Smiley at 7:46 PM on May 24, 2016 [17 favorites]


I'm suddenly reminded that as a young immigrant child who basically learned English from the tv, probably about 85% of my cultural literacy came from Animaniacs and The Simpsons.
posted by yasaman at 7:56 PM on May 24, 2016 [7 favorites]




The '90s were a kind of Golden Age of TV Cartoonery... there were isolated islands of quality in previous periods (I'm looking directly at Jay Ward AND Bill Scott) but look at all that was happening in the '90s: The Simpsons When They Were Good, Ren & Stimpy, Animaniacs, The Tick, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, King of the Hill, South Park When It Was Good... then in 1999, the twin disasters of Spongebob Squarepants and Family Guy created a cartoon zombie apocalypse that we've been fighting back from ever since, one season of Venture Brothers at a time...
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:29 PM on May 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


Dana Delany!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:44 PM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


I was the intended audience for this show and watched it every day. I recently noticed it was on Netflix and put it on and oh boy it does not hold up. Painfully, painfully unfunny.

I honestly believe that context in this case is very important. If I've been informed correctly, the Netflix edition of Animaniacs is only Yakko, Wakko, and Dot shorts. There aren't as many interstitial acts (like Good Idea/Bad Idea) or even many other characters (Pinky & The Brain, Chicken Boo, Rita, Slappy, Mindy, etc) except as they appear within the Warner siblings' storylines. Those other acts really rounded out the show, and when I watch episodes where they're not just Yakko, Wakko, and Dot nonstop I feel it holds up really, really well.

My other argument in support for this contextual argument is the standalone show they spun off for Pinky & The Brain. 7-minute storylines suited those characters well and their Animaniacs shorts are spectacularly funny. But there was a pretty big drop-off in comedic quality when they lengthened the plots and didn't mix up the characters for a whole show.
posted by carsonb at 8:50 PM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


other characters (Pinky & The Brain, Chicken Boo, Rita, Slappy, Mindy, etc)

Remember when they did an episode where they switched all the characters around? It was embracing the fact that all the sketches were so formulaic you could substitute characters without changing the plot.

"It's Mindy and the Brain, it's Mindy and the Brain, one's a little girl, the other's... the Brain."
posted by Daily Alice at 9:00 PM on May 24, 2016 [7 favorites]


There aren't as many interstitial acts (like Good Idea/Bad Idea)

Is...is Tom Bodett a chicken too?
posted by Guy Smiley at 9:04 PM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


My six year old has discovered Animaniacs on Netflix and I think they hold up pretty well. There is plenty of non-Wakko/Yakko/Dot material too.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 9:08 PM on May 24, 2016


Bukgok.
posted by boo_radley at 9:11 PM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


True story: I call my mother Lady, just like Mindy. Hello Lady!
posted by mochapickle at 9:17 PM on May 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


Hmm the discussion about the other characters makes me remember that I really hated Slappy Squirrel, Mindy, and Rita & Runt. The pigeons were...ok. Pinky and the Brain was to date the funniest thing ever. I really hated the parodies of old timey "old hollywood documentaries".
posted by bleep at 9:34 PM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Poor Tiny Toons. Never gets no respect.
posted by chrominance at 9:51 PM on May 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


This show was really popular in my college dorm. I watched it constantly, paid special attention during the end credits to see what weird title they gave to Kathryn Page (that's right isn't it?), and just always hoped it wouldn't be one of those episodes with too much Rita and Runt. Basically I was in it for the Warners and Pinky and the Brain. Most of the other characters weren't so much totally insane-y as they were painfully lame-y. Still, in spite of myself, the theme from Chicken Boo just pops into my head from time to time and there's nothing I can do about it. It's a part of me now.
posted by wabbittwax at 10:31 PM on May 24, 2016


Omg, I love Slappy. Love. And all the characters, but mostly Pinkie and The Brain. (I think so Brain, but this time, you wear the rubber pants.) One of my most treasured possessions is a hand drawn Pinkie and The Brain panel, where they talk amongst themselves about taking over my comic, so they could take over the world. ( my table at San Diego was across from theirs.) I own the dvds, and I think they hold up well. Plus anytime pollsters call the house, my son will holler out, Hey Mom, Do you want to take survey? And I respond, Is it about George Wentz eating beans? And we both laugh, so...I've inculcated a new generation, and i have no regrets.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 10:33 PM on May 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


You remind me of a very young Ethel Mertz.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:40 PM on May 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


This is like trying to piece out who had the fastest racecar in the pre-war '30s, everything moved very fast, it was hyper-competitive and improvements were breathtaking and world shaking as they came.

Honestly - that's my point too, though far less eloquent. There was a discontinuity in both culture and method, and verily shit went down. On one hand The Tick is probably a better show, but Animaniacs is particular in a way (which the article captures) that makes it faintly inexplicable in hindsight aside from the fact that it worked and The Great Schlockmeister cum Auteur (or is it the other way around) cared about it.
posted by wotsac at 11:01 PM on May 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


I loved the episode where the Brain did the whole Orson Welles outtake tape and often wondered if you weren't familiar with the Orson Welles outtake tape (which had to be most people) what the hell did you think you were watching?
posted by bongo_x at 11:04 PM on May 24, 2016 [7 favorites]


In related news, I just bought the first three seasons of this show on DVD from Amazon as a result of this post. So there is that.

Is the 4th set not available anymore? It took Animaniacs Maniacs like me literally a decade to get the final group of episodes released (they only made 99 total).
posted by hippybear at 12:30 AM on May 25, 2016


But really, let's get into the meat of this.

After the Golden Age of Warner Brothers Animation (which we are all familiar with from the Bugs Bunny / Daffy Duck days), there was really a total dearth of the classic form 6 minute animated short. We had all kinds of half-hour shows, but we didn't have those little slices, self-contained, the animation equivalent of the American Short Story that is so celebrated in literature.

But then, suddenly, we had Animaniacs. An entirely new cast of characters! Every bit as diverse and engaging as those from decades before, but culturally current, and every bit of the cast was so well thought out and formulated. It's like, every single cartoon grouping emerged fully formed with instantly recognizable archetypes and an easy to imagine backstory, even if there was never one provided. (There WAS one often provided, e.g. When Rita Met Runt, the first episode of Goodfeathers, etc.)

This show was a major part of my life during the first phase of my time with mr. hippybear. I was working in an elementary school, and he was teaching at a college, and we were living 150 miles apart. We would both get home around the same time in the afternoon, and we would both log into irc and watch the show together.

We analyzed this show to death. Chicken Boo was a metaphor for living as a closeted queer during the oppressive 90s. Many of Mindy's toddler phrases became part of our language, including "Mr. Beardyhead" which is how she addressed the god Neptune. Slappy Squirrel was a giant favorite. And while I know Rita and Runt is not a big favorite, any time Bernadette Peters is singing is a time in my life which is better than most others.

I mean, the utter brilliance of this show... It was NOT a show for kids. It was a show for adults who wanted to remember what it was like to be kids again, full of wonder and imagination, only getting all the in-jokes this time around AND HAVING THOSE IN-JOKES BE NEW. There were a lot of in-jokes in the old WB cartoons, but it's like, when I was 10 and was watching The Bugs Bunny / Roadrunner Show on Saturday mornings, did I even have any clue who all those movie star caricatures were? Absolutely not! But when the Animaniacs pans across a restaurant and I could recognize Cher and Mel Gibson (before the crazy set in) and so many others... it was utterly thrilling and magical.

And let's not forget the magic of the wraparounds. The first time The Great Wakkorotti appeared on the screen, I remember laughing so hard, so so very hard, like hurting myself laughing. Good Idea Bad Idea... Colin... Dot's Poetry Corner... And the ever-wonderful Wheel Of Morality!!!

USEnet had a thriving Animaniacs community, which fed into itself and on the show. There are still some remnants of that available online, like the Nifty Animaniacs Resource File, [N.A.R.F.] which itself today continues to have live-links to other online generated resources, such as a full episode guide and a compendium of cultural references in the show.

The show was released on DVD. Well, the first 75 episodes were... relatively quickly. But those elusive final 24 episodes... I am not exaggerating when I say I spent time during a full decade writing physical letters, signing online petitions, making phone calls... all trying to get the last batch released. They finally did, and it was entirely worth it for A Very Very Very Very Special Show and the final episode which, while not providing closure, ended it all on a really great note.

At one point, when I was unemployed for much longer than I wanted to be and was trying to occupy myself while I waited for jobs to even exist in the economy once again, I sat down with all my DVDs (only 3 sets at the time), and ripped every single element into its own short film. Every 6 minute cartoon, every wraparound, in the highest quality I could get off of DVD. It took forever (DVD ripping and video processing took a while on my old iMac), but in the end I had every bit of Animaniacs except for the opening credits and the closing credits all as discrete files. And I could load this whole folder up into something like VLC and have THIS ENDLESS STREAM OF RANDOM ANIMANIACS PLAYING IN MY HOUSE FOR HOURS OR EVEN DAYS AT A TIME. It was an accomplishment I was very proud of and even took to big house parties to run on a television in a corner as wallpaper. Unfortunately, I accidentally reformatted the hard drive it was living on one way and I haven't had the time or ambition to recreate that, only with the remaining episodes that I have since acquired. Someday, though... Someday.

Mr hippybear and I really had a lot going on with this series. There were t-shirts found and purchased, for ourselves or for each other... I have ball caps with The Brain's face on them. I have the Animaniacs Look And Find book, which is like Where's Waldo only SO MUCH FUCKING BETTER... Plush toys were purchased. CDs, McDonalds Happy Meal Toys (I still have a lot of these, some of them still Mint In Bag)... Jeebus... I still even have Happy Meal boxes and a cereal box tucked away, happily existing until someday they continue to be worth nothing. (Holy crap, I made the mistake of doing an Amazon search for Animaniacs merch, and I have trips planned this summer and I cannot spend this money help me please someone stop me before I click... Okay, whew. Closed the tab.)

But look, this was not a single show that was showing off how Warner Bros Animation had regained its mojo. Pinky And The Brain spun off to become its own show. And glory-be! It didn't become a half-hour adventure show, but it retained its animated short origins! And it was really really good! And then Freakazoid! happened, which had one utterly glorious season and one pretty good season that was of a completely different flavor, like when you compare beef enchiladas to chicken enchiladas. Both are good, but if you want one, you'd never order the other. And even Histeria was good, in its own weird semi-educational way. I have the full runs of P&TB and F! on DVD also.

There were a few mis-steps. Wakko's Wish never happened, just like the Star Wars prequels. And Pinky, Elmyra, and The Brain was unfortunate, probably the result of a really bad weekend of mixing cocaine and methadone and peyote. In the end, I think the entire thing proved to be too expensive to continue all around for WB Animation. Which is understandable. During the Golden Age, WB wasn't trying to do 2-3 new shorts every week for an entire television season spread across 3 or 4 series. They'd put out a new BB or DD or RR cartoon actually into the theaters to run before features, every once in a while. The production demands of doing series like this are gigantic, and it's hard to keep the production quality up while keeping production costs at least flat. And they never got the merchandising quite right. A lot of the products were great, but there weren't enough of them, they didn't come out often enough, and they were difficult to find.

In the end though, what we have is this amazing document, these 99 shows, utterly full of chaos and fun and puns and visual humor. They are both entirely of their time and utterly timeless. I revisit Animaniacs regularly, and I wish they were running on television. Apparently the full series is on Netflix as of April 2016, but that doesn't mean they are going to be there forever. For the time being, that might be the best answer to the question, "What are we going to do tonight?"
posted by hippybear at 1:30 AM on May 25, 2016 [27 favorites]


THE ANIMATOR: Cultural literacy is an Always food, my friend.
posted by Lesser Spotted Potoroo at 2:12 AM on May 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Well, maybe not "always", but certainly an "anytime" food.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:23 AM on May 25, 2016


I mean let's take a moment to appreciate that not only is one particular episode entirely built around a parody of Apocalypse Now--because what 8 year old doesn't love violent movies full of metaphors wrapped around the Vietnam War--and the documentary about the making of Apocalypse Now, it also requires enough knowledge of the Jerry Lewis catalog to get the jokes about The Day The Clown Cried.

God, I love that show.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 2:36 AM on May 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Fruenlaven they have spoken, in we should let them.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 5:26 AM on May 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


THE ANIMATOR: Animaniacs will not make sense to them now. It will make the world make sense to them later.

This is the best description of a thing that has ever been written, anywhere, about anything.

I also watched this show with borderline-religious fervor. (It was on the local Fox affiliate at 4PM every weekday. I can't remember my 6th grade math teacher's name, but I can sure as hell remember that Animaniacs was on at 4) As a couple of others in this threat have intimated, the overwhelming sense that I got from watching it was that (a) the show was hilarious on its face and (b) that it would be SO MUCH MORE hilarious if I understood half of the references they were making. Some of the conceits were completely over my head; I'd never seen Goodfellas or Les Mis, so while it was clear that some of these characters were riffs on something, the jokes were mostly opaque. (I also thought that all the famous people Slappy Squirrel name-dropped were real. This was before the internet.)

So, watching the show was largely an exercise in feeling uncultured, but it filled the next ten years with episodes of rhapsodic joy, when I connected the dots between an actual cultural artifact and some throwaway one-liner from a cartoon show. The God-Pigeon is actually Vito Corleone! Wally Llama is a Buddhist! "Fingerprints" is actually filthy innuendo!

I actually went and bought the full series on DVD when it came out a few years back. It doesn't quite hold up on a rewatch, but by definition it never could. Once you understand the things you're seeing a parody of, it's just a kids' show. But for an 11-year-old philistine living in the middle of nowhere, it was life-changing.
posted by Mayor West at 5:37 AM on May 25, 2016 [8 favorites]


It's a great big universe and we're all really puny, we're all tiny little specks about the size of Mickey Rooney!
posted by skookumsaurus rex at 6:19 AM on May 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


Animaniacs is pretty much how I learned state capitals.

Ahem.

United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama
Haiti, Jamaica, Peru,
Republic Dominican, Cuba, Carribean
Greenland, El Salvador too.
Puerto Rico, Columbia, Venezuela
Honduras, Guyana, and still,
Guatemala, Bolivia, then Argentina
And Ecuador, Chile, Brazil.
Costa Rica, Belize, Nicaragua, Bermuda
Bahamas, Tobago, San Juan,
Paraguay, Uruguay, Surinam
And French Guiana, Barbados, and Guam.

Norway, and Sweden, and Iceland, and Finland
And Germany now one piece,
Switzerland, Austria, Czechoslovakia
Italy, Turkey, and Greece.
Poland, Romania, Scotland, Albania
Ireland, Russia, Oman,
Bulgaria, Saudi Arabia
Hungary, Cyprus, Iraq, and Iran.
There's Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan
Both Yemens, Kuwait, and Bahrain,
The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, and Portugal
France, England, Denmark, and Spain.

India, Pakistan, Burma, Afghanistan
Thailand, Nepal, and Bhutan,
Kampuchea, Malaysia, then Bangladesh (Asia)
And China, Korea, Japan.
Mongolia, Laos, and Tibet, Indonesia
The Philippine Islands, Taiwan,
Sri Lanka, New Guinea, Sumatra, New Zealand
Then Borneo, and Vietnam.
Tunisia, Morocco, Uganda, Angola
Zimbabwe, Djibouti, Botswana,
Mozambique, Zambia, Swaziland, Gambia
Guinea, Algeria, Ghana.

Burundi, Lesotho, and Malawi, Togo
The Spanish Sahara is gone,
Niger, Nigeria, Chad, and Liberia
Egypt, Benin, and Gabon.
Tanzania, Somalia, Kenya, and Mali
Sierra Leone, and Algiers,
Dahomey, Namibia, Senegal, Libya
Cameroon, Congo, Zaire.
Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar
Rwanda, Mahore, and Cayman,
Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Yugoslavia...
Crete, Mauritania
Then Transylviania,
Monaco, Liechtenstein
Malta, and Palestine,
Fiji, Australia, Sudan.

posted by leotrotsky at 6:23 AM on May 25, 2016 [9 favorites]


I'm impressed that they mentioned just about every recurring character except Minerva Mink and Otto von Schnitzelpusskrankengescheitmeier.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:38 AM on May 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm so glad this show was really as bizarre as I remember it being.
posted by libraritarian at 6:40 AM on May 25, 2016


I loved the episode where the Brain did the whole Orson Welles outtake tape and often wondered if you weren't familiar with the Orson Welles outtake tape (which had to be most people) what the hell did you think you were watching?
posted by bongo_x at 11:04 PM on May 24


Maurice LaMarche is somewhat obsessed with those outtakes, so it makes sense it'd end up there.

(He's on stage with Pinky (Rob Paulsen) in that clip, and I believe in real life they're legit friends.)
posted by gc at 6:40 AM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


I watched the show regularly, but the real impact was the albums they released. We had them all and my sister and I listened to them ad nauseum. I still know every single lyric.
posted by chainsofreedom at 6:57 AM on May 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


It says a lot about a person as to whether they think Pinky is the genius, or vice versa.
posted by thecaddy at 7:18 AM on May 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


going out with a bang, eh?
posted by aspersioncast at 7:38 AM on May 25, 2016


She's grumpy, he's happy, they're generation gappy

A certain amount of dislike voiced above for Skippy and Slappy, but on the other hand, they gave us this.

Also

You cooin' at my boid?

You callin' me a cracker?
etc.
posted by hearthpig at 7:45 AM on May 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


It says a lot about a person as to whether they think Pinky is the genius, or vice versa.

It's obviously Pinky. The title song even says the other is insane. The alternative is that you really think a lab mouse who believes that he's going to take over the world in one night is the rational one.
posted by dances with hamsters at 8:18 AM on May 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


I know there's some dislike for Slappy here, but without her, I would never have learned to never play Believe Me, If Those Endearing Young Charms.
posted by Hactar at 8:43 AM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ahem.

Rob Paulsen has this memorized and regularly performs it at panels and stuff when he makes public appearances. As Yakko. I don't know if he can do it in front of a world map pointing at all the countries (out of date in 2016), but still....
posted by hippybear at 9:43 AM on May 25, 2016


And remember, just because you're a giant chicken, it doesn't mean you can't also be brave.
posted by ckape at 9:58 AM on May 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


I don't know if he can do it in front of a world map pointing at all the countries (out of date in 2016), but still....

Good news: They're doing an updated version during the World Tour.
posted by mochapickle at 10:17 AM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


They've already updated the countries song! I saw them perform it at Sketchfest last year (Jan 2015).

Jess Harnell (Wakko) also did a great bit explaining Wakko is based specifically on Ringo, by showing what the other 3 beatle riffs would have sounded like.

god, i love sketchfest. next i want a breakdown of Freakazoid
posted by politikitty at 10:55 AM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


next i want a breakdown of Freakazoid

So did all of his enemies.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:03 AM on May 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


It must include Weena Mercator, as the Hopping Woman.
posted by rewil at 11:12 AM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


This conversation doesn't seem real.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:07 PM on May 25, 2016


I'm suddenly reminded that as a young immigrant child who basically learned English from the tv, probably about 85% of my cultural literacy came from Animaniacs and The Simpsons.

Same here. I loved both shows fervently. My mom didn't pay much to what they were about because they were cartoons, so she automatically ignored whatever they said.

So, watching the show was largely an exercise in feeling uncultured, but it filled the next ten years with episodes of rhapsodic joy, when I connected the dots between an actual cultural artifact and some throwaway one-liner from a cartoon show. The God-Pigeon is actually Vito Corleone! Wally Llama is a Buddhist! "Fingerprints" is actually filthy innuendo!

I had the same sense when I watched it. It was super silly and goofy, and I just appreciated that. I thought "Helloooo Nurse" was just a really funny saying because of the way they said it. I didn't realize until after puberty and I watched reruns what that meant.

I don't think I disliked any of the characters. They all had their unique appeal.

And now I wanna take the time to recreate Hippybear's project!
posted by numaner at 12:57 PM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


I see that they ignored the Katie Ka-Boom segments. As well they should.

Loved just about everything else about Animaniacs though.
posted by Aleyn at 2:51 PM on May 25, 2016


on the other hand, they gave us this.
Sorry, but the "Who's On Stage" bit was semi-stolen from a 1970s routine by the radio comedy group The Credibility Gap, specifically by future Simpsons stalwart Harry Shearer and future "Squiggy" David L. Lander. But I appreciated that they "revived" the concept because it was an awesome idea.

I'm sure there are a lot of "Animaniacs Signature" material that was harvested from other sources where they never got the audience they deserved. Which is okay with me.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:00 PM on May 25, 2016


The procedure was; watch Warner's bits because they could vary wildly, wait for Pinky and the Brain, leave the room for everything else. The whole thing was just framing for Pinky and the Brain.
posted by bongo_x at 4:59 PM on May 25, 2016


Then Batman. I seem to recall it was just before Batman.
posted by vrakatar at 8:08 PM on May 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


Then Batman. I seem to recall it was just before Batman.

That opening.

Even as a little one it was obvious that this was brilliant.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:20 AM on May 26, 2016 [2 favorites]




36) Brain becomes a country music star…

What is this nonsense? Easily top 5.
posted by bongo_x at 10:09 PM on May 27, 2016


I just discovered this, via the Take Over The World Plans, Ranked linked oneswellfoop just posted... and promptly tipped The Toast.

Gizmodo and The Toast makin' Sunday Mornings funnier on the backs of 90s nostalgia. I'll take it!
posted by DigDoug at 7:04 AM on May 29, 2016


What hippybear said about Chicken Boo representing closeted gays has been eating at me ever since I read it. I have to disagree, even if this thread is dead and no one ever reads it.

Chicken Boo never feels like his achievement is fake or hollow. He never feels like he isn't being true to himself. He's more like a trans-person. He sees himself as a human guy. He tries to live as the person he believes he is but his presentation fails. All that others can see is that his appearance doesn't match his actions. He keeps trying because his self-image won't let him live as a chicken. It's not the human Boo that's fake, it's the Chicken Boo. His wings and beak are like a trans-woman's penis and adam's apple. To others, visible sign that he's pretending to be something he's not, but to him, a stupid appendage that gets in the way of being perceived as the person he is.
posted by irisclara at 10:49 AM on May 29, 2016 [6 favorites]


Damn, that's insightful.
posted by naju at 1:47 AM on May 30, 2016


I'm really not going to argue about any interpretation about Chicken Boo and the metaphor he might represent. In the segments, it's everyone who is entirely fooled except for usually one person who goes around saying that he's a giant chicken. Everyone else is entirely fooled and is happy to let him continue to be part of whatever scene he is in until his true nature is revealed.

Whatever that metaphor is, it applies to a lot of things.
posted by hippybear at 9:22 AM on June 1, 2016


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