Animaniacs: Some facts you probably didn’t Know! (1993 - 1998)

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The ’90s was amazing! Pokémon, Animaniacs, Pogs, Furby, BeetleBorgs, Tomagatchi, Ren & Stimpy, Hey Arnold! Powerpuff Girls, Y2K, Scooby-Doo, just to mention a few! Nothing has been or is ever going to be better.

Today, let’s talk about Animaniacs, one of the best-animated series of the ’90s by Tom Ruegger. Thank God it is now available on Netflix; at least you can catch up with the nostalgia of yesteryears. We will also look at some facts about Animaniacs that you probably didn't know.

Animaniacs has seen better days; it has managed to remain relevant throughout all the generations. No wonder it was one of the top animated series of the ‘90s. Animaniacs had an addictive factor. Thanks to the intelligent choice of words, groan-worth jokes, and the visual gags that would impress kids and grown-ups alike.

Every episode of Animaniacs was filled with smart scenes and details, and hysterical jokes in the background. If you were not keen, you could miss the joke sometime.

A quick run of Animaniacs
Animaniacs was a variety show that had a lot of…well, variety! There are many characters in the Animaniacs, but they generally focus on the siblings Yakko, Wakko, and Dot. The kids are usually held captive in a studio. Luckily they escape from the prison in a water tower quite often.

Rob Paulsen voiced Yakko while Tress MacNeille voiced Dot, and Jess Harnell voiced Wakko. As I indicated before, Animaniacs was a variety show that had lots of skits. The usual ones were Pinky and the Brain, which was lost when the show moved to the WB. Then there was the Slappy Squirrel. There were also Buttons and Mindy, Rita and Runts, Chicken Book, Flavio and Marita (The Hip Hippos), Katie Ka-Boom, and the three pigeons called The Goodfeathers.

The only regular sketch and characters that I didn’t like back then were The Hip Hippos. They just kinda upset me! But that is just me, am picky at times.

What about the songs?

If you have watched Animaniacs, then you are aware of the many memorable songs that filled the show. The songs varied from catchy to educational. Some of my favorites were:
Yakko’s World

Wakko’s America

The President’s Song

That last bit when they say the next president would be me was my favourite! I kinda believed them. It made me think that one day I would be a US president, and the press would distort everything I say! Much what is happening to Donald Trump right now.

I am sure one of this song is stuck in your head; maybe next time, I will do a round-up of the top 10 best songs in Animaniacs. I am impressed that kids today still sing along with this particular song. This means the creators did some work on the lyrics and made them timeless.

Animaniacs doesn’t even require a lot of explaining; it was a popular show in the mid-‘90s and is still well-loved today.

Did you Know…

Many questions remain unanswered to date about Animaniacs. But one of my most pressing is: What animal species were Yakko, Wakko, and Dot?

They seemed not to know themselves either. Plus, they were often called monkeys in some episodes. But to me, they didn’t look any close to a monkey or any other species in the monkey world!

Animania was an award-winning show produced by Steven Spielberg in the ‘90s. The show attracted a broad audience comprising of kids and adults. It was one of the most creative and innovative TV shows that were presented in a sketchy comedy style.

But the show had many things that you would overlook if you were not keen enough. For example:

Did you know that Pink and The Brain was based on the co-workers of the show’s creator Tom Ruegger? They always seemed to be planning to take over the world!

In the show, the two genetically modified laboratory mice living in Acme Labs had the most ambitious goals of taking over the world. The Brain was, well, the brain behind the operation while Pinky had good intentions but always messed up Brain’s plans unknowingly. Although, on the flip side, the fact that Pinky found out Brain’s ideas that indicates that he was also a genius!

Pinky and The Brain became so successful that in 1995 they had their own spin-off animated series. What many don’t know is that Rugger’s co-workers have influenced the characters. Pinky was based on WB, Eddie Fitzgerald, the Director for Animation, who used to say “Egad” and “Narf” a lot. Two of the catchphrases that Pinky used in Animaniacs.

On the other hand, Brain was based on a Warner Bros, Tom Minton; he was the writer and artist for the animation.

Did you know that the three Young sons of Ruegger influenced Wakko, Yakko, and Dot? Yes, as mentioned before, Pinky and Brain were influenced by Rueggers friends, but Ruegger’s sons influenced the main characters.

Back in the ‘90s, I was too young to make head or tail of such amazing facts. But if you think about it, this is a fantastic fact about Animaniacs that can make you connect with the characters. You can imagine that the trio: Wakko, Yakko, and Dot’s behavior was an enactment of someone’s children. This is just creative. No wonder we could easily connect and relate to the storyline.

Did you know that the famous song “Yakko’s World” was recorded in one take? This song was so popular and memorable back in the ‘90s. Even those who have never watched Animaniacs have heard of “Yakko’s World.” In this song, Rob Paulsen (Yakko) listed each country on the map in a rhythmic and highly addictive music. Randy Rogel produced the song. While helping his son with a geography quiz, he realized that the US, Canada, Mexico, Panama formed a nice rhyme. He later adapted the song to the tune of “The Mexican Hat Dance Song,” and that is how the famous music was created. The most impressive fact about the Yakko’s World song is that Paulsen said he recorded the song in on the go. I wouldn’t take such a dare.

Even as an adult, I still find it hard to name the Countries.

Did you know that Animaniacs was the best t spoofing other TV shows and films? Some of the popular movies and shows that have been spoofed include Goodfeathers, the Goodfellas pigeon parody, Friends, the Power Rangers, and Rugrats. Popular Disney films that were spoofed include The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast. The parodies were a humorous tribute to the famous TV shows and movies of the 90s.

At one time, Russell Calabrese was capture in tape saying that TV shows and films are honoured to be parodied on Animaniacs.

Did you know that the Wheel of Morality, which I found interesting at the time, was only created to fill time when an episode was short? I thought you should know! Now go back and re-watch the episodes. You will notice a slight lack of connection of the Wheel of morality scene with the overall episode.

The Wheel of Morality segment appeared several times on the show. It included Yakko, Wako, and Dot, who came across a lucky wheel that had moral lessons. When they turned it, they get a moral lesson for the day.

Just like most of the segments of Animaniacs, the story behind the show is as funny as its success. The Wheel of morality segment was primarily used for short-term episodes and was a parody part of FCC’s requirements that children’s programming should have a moral and educational lesson.

Some of the lessons I learned from the Wheel of Morality were:

  • If at first, you don’t succeed, blame your parents.
  • Vote early and vote often
  • Don’t eat with your mouth full
  • People who live in glass houses should get dressed with the lights out
That last one makes me laugh to date. I never got enough of the Wheel of morality lessons. The phrases were catchy and sometimes ended up being the talk of the day at school.

Did you Know that Animaniacs had a full 35-piece orchestra to perform the original songs for the entire series? Yes, besides the smart script, hilarious characters, and attention to detail, the background music was another thing that differentiated Animaniacs from other shows in the ‘90s.
1599324236841.pngThe creators made sure that each at least each episode had an original score. Steven Spielberg initiated this from the debut of the show, and Warner Bros. embraced the unique artistic approach of the film.

Animaniacs had a 35-piece orchestra with seven composers who wrote the scores. My all-time favourite was Slipping on The Ice. This made Animaniacs an expensive show that rendered music, writing, sound quality, and even the higher count of cel during the animation process. This set Animaniacs apart because of the fluidity in the movement of the characters compared to other competing shows of the ‘90s.

These were some of the unique features of the show that made it win an Emmy and Peabody award around the same time.

Lastly, did you know that Yakko is a look-alike of Mickey Mouse? Well, he is from far! The crew discovered after putting a giant balloon size Yakko on the WB water tower.
To promote the Animaniacs, people participating in the show had planned to make a giant balloon version of Yakko at Burbank, where the real water tower of the Warner Bros. is.

But there was one thing, Bob Daley, who ran Warner Bros at the time, was not informed of the plan. Yakko looked like Mickey Mouse from far, and Daley figured that someone had pulled a prank and set Mickey on top of the water tower.

This did not go well with Bob, and he cancelled the promotion and requested the Balloon to be removed from the water tower. Following the incident, Ruegger added whiskers to Yakko, Wakko, and Dot to make sure they don’t look like Mickey Mouse at all. Thus the entire surprise incident helped the team to make the new version of the main characters.

Did you know that is the end of the article?
What memories do you have of the Animaniacs? Any fun fact you gathered? Post on comments.


Ultra Geeze
Aug 11, 2020
This is my favorite cartoon hands down. ? :D 1599386095077.png Even as an adult this show holds up and doesn't feel aged, if anything,It captures a great time era time perfectly.