The Music of "Animaniacs" Turns 20!
It's been a historic year for anniversaries, among them is Steven Spielberg's immortal "Animaniacs" cartoon recently turning 20. Yes, this year marks two decades since the Warner Brothers (and the Warner Sister) began escaping from the watertower to wreck havoc on the Warner movie lot. While the show's given countless memories of celebrity skewering, social irreverence and general absurdity the generations of children since, another important aspect of the show is its original music. Largely composed by Richard Stone, who took home four Emmy awards during the shows run and died of pancreatic cancer in 2001, the music of "Animaniacs" managed to transcend the realm of children's programming and wind up in classrooms, allowing kids to laugh and learn at the same time. It is with great anvils that we look back at our top five favorite songs from "Animaniacs."
Wikimedia Commons The "Animany" and "Totally Insane-y" Animaniacs.
5) "The Senses"
The average kids shows that wanted to teach you something would take a fact or idea, find a melody and repeatedly beat you over the head with it until you changed the channel to something more satisfyingly violent. "Animaniacs" knew how to keep an act moving, interesting and sneak in bonus tidbits along the way. Case in point, "The Senses," where the first verse easily explains the five senses, but THEN continues to define seemingly every colloquial variant of "sense" in the English language. The Warners stay dropping jewels.
4) "Wakko's America"
Revisiting the show, a lot of the more adult references on "Animaniacs" really stand out. That's not solely referring to the subtle innuendo of the show (which does exist) but the jokes that absolutely no child would get at the time. Believe my surprise when the segue into "Wakko's America" begins with a joke about Valerie Bertinelli. Following that, we get Wakko breaking down each of the 50 states and their capitals without forcing a rhyme or missing one, leading up to a pretty great gag that, thanks to the perpetual relevance of "Jeopardy," remains funny even today.