Warner Brothers breaks loose, makes ‘Animaniacs’ available on Netflix


Millennials and ’90s kids rejoice: all 99 episodes of the the popular Warner Bros. animated show “Animaniacs” have been released on Netflix. Appropriately enough, the series became available on April 1.

Originally airing in 1993, the show was produced by Steven Spielberg on the Fox Kids & The WB channels. The show featured these main protagonists, the Warner Brothers Wakko, Yakko and their “Warner sister” Dot getting into stereotypical cartoon shenanigans.

Though the target demographic included children from age 2-11, who would be guaranteed to be up at 7 a.m. on Saturday, eating sugary breakfast cereal and anticipating cartoon violence, the show garnered popularity among adults for its tongue-in-cheek humor and the occasional raunchy joke that slipped past the censors.

An episode of ‘Animaniacs’ was presented in a series of vignettes, usually with a “main” feature by the Warner Siblings and several others involving a rotating cast of characters, including Slappy the Squirrel, a flock of Mafia-centric pigeons called the “Goodfeathers” and the popular mad scientist duo, Pinky and The Brain.

“Looney Tunes” and “Tiny Tunes” characters such as Buster Bunny and Daffy Duck also made frequent cameos, as the shows were produced by the same studio.

The voice actors for the characters were no amateurs and included Grammy-award winner Bernadette Peters as Rita the Singing Cat, Rob Paulsen behind Pinky the Mouse’s Cockney accent, often highlighted by his ludicrous observations.

Show topics were varied and sometimes surprisingly advanced for the show’s young audience; one episode, ‘Meatballs or Consequences’ parodied the Swedish film ‘The Seventh Seal’ about a man playing chess with Death.

The show was also famous for its memorable song sequences, covering everything from ‘The Anvil Song’ to ‘The Presidents,’ which has been used by many an ingenious AP US History student for last-minute studying.

Because of its intelligent plots lines, off-the cuff humor and excellent voice acting, “Animaniacs” has received multiple awards as well as critical acclaim, including an Annie Award for “Best Animated Television Program.”

Later on the show produced a spin-off series ‘Pinky and The Brain,’ based on the supporting cast characters, two lab mice attempting to “take over the world,” which ran from 1995-1998.

‘Animaniacs’ ran for eight years, switching from Fox Kids to The WB in 1995. The show was unfortunately cancelled in 1998, due to budget constraints and the failure of several other Warner Bros. animated series.

Despite its cancellation, the show still aired reruns through the early 2000s and developed an internet following, going on to inspire other cartoon classics such as ‘The Simpsons’ and earning the praise of multiple critics and internet personalities, such as Doug Walker.

Though it’s as yet unknown as to how long the show will be available on Netflix, viewers can be assured that there will be plenty of cartoon shenanigans for all- because nothing really completes a binge-watch more than an animated parody of  ‘The Pirates of Penzance.’

Marlese Lessing is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at marlese.lessing@uconn.edu.

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