Friday, February 1, 2013

It's (about) Time for Animaniacs!

Everybody SING!  (To the tune of the Animaniacs theme song):

It's time for ANN-ni-MAY-ni-acs!

This set's been dee-layed to the max

So, just sit back and relax...

...Or, surely you'll collapse,

...When you see ANN-ni-MAY-ni-acs (Volume 4)!

Considering that the LAST volume of ANIMANIACS was released on June 19, 2007, one MIGHT very well "collapse" at the sight of this unexpected release! 

But, all things come to he or she who waits, and so it is with ANIMANIACS Volume 4, finally to be released on February 05, 2013.  That's over FIVE AND A HALF YEARS since Volume 3, folks! 

This fourth and final volume contains the shows that were done for "Kids WB", after the show had left FOX.  For additional discussions of "Kids WB" on this Blog, please see our TAZ-MANIA post for some thoughts on the period that spawned "Kids WB", and our post on THE BATMAN that covers the period leading up to its demise.

Some particular favorites of mine will be on this set:

Yakko, Wakko, and Dot (she's Cute!) Warner star in "The Please, Please, Please Get a Life Foundation", which bites the "fannish hand" that feeds the show as effectively as FREAKAZOID!'s "And Fanboy is His Name!"

UPDATE Feb. 15, 2013: Actually, the "Get a Life Foundation" bit appeared at the end of ANIMANIACS Volume 3, waaay back in 2007 so, hopefully, you'll forgive me this faulty recollection.  ...And, because I actually mis-remembered such a piece of animation trivia, perhaps I "have a life", after all!  We'll still keep the illustration, though, as a continuing reminder of my eternal shame... AND because I like it! 

Please, Please, PLEASE Get a Life! (...Just not on THIS Volume!)

"Back in Style" finds the Warners loaned-out to other animation studios, much as star actors and other contract players were loaned in the days of the Studio System during Hollywood's Golden Age.  Look for right-on spoofs of Hanna-Barbera (both early and later periods) and Filmation! 
Early sixties or late sixties... Pick YOUR poison!
Two of my favorite Chicken Boo outings are also ahead:  "The Boo Network" and "Boo Wonder" the latter guest starring Adam West and parodying the Third Season BATMAN episode "Ring Around the Riddler". 

And, think your FREAKAZOID DVD collection is complete with the two season volumes released some years ago?  THINK AGAIN! 

The Freaky One also makes a guest cameo, clearly to plug his own show! 
Hellooo!  I have a SHOW!  Wanna watch it?
An' Slappy and Skippy will be there... An' Mindy and Buttons... An' The Good Feathers...  Pinky and The Brain not so much.  They had their own show by that time. 

And, we'll just have to put up with Katie Kaboom (perhaps the worst idea to come out of that nineties mini-golden age of Warner Bros. animation)... just don't tell her.  Please don't tell her. 

Lastly, I can't explain why but, after a lean period, Warner Home Video seems to really have gotten behind animation releases again, as seen in several of my recent posts... like THIS ONE, and HERE, and STILL ANOTHER. 
Three POSTS.  Three of US.  Does anyone sense a CONNECTION?
Let's support and enjoy this wave while we can, before a new management team sweeps in and changes it once again! 
Enjoying the wave!


joecab said...

Geez I forgot how funny that Fat Albert parody was! Haw!

I always wondered what kind of reception the episodes with more specific parodies got. Did people other than real big animation fans appreciate this? Or how about the Apocalypse Now parody with a running gag involving Jim Morrison?

Joe Torcivia said...

I dunno about the general reaction, JoeC, but this is precisely why I’ve always felt that these things were specifically made FOR “people like us”, BY “people like us”!

As mentioned in the TAZ-MANIA post, the best cartoons are enjoyable when you’re younger – but have surprises waiting for you to find once you’re older! And, if you’re fortunate enough to grow up to be a “people like us”, there’s lots of good stuff awaiting you in shows like ANIMANIACS and FREAKAZOID!, etc., once you get there!

Chris Barat said...


Just the two episodes you mention (the "animation houses" parody and the "Please Get a Life Foundation") are more than enough reason to get this set!


Joe Torcivia said...

Couldn’t agree more, Chris! Can’t wait to get this set – and see the rest of it, too! But, yeah… those are two really outstanding eps!

On the strength of those, I’d get this, even if I *didn’t* have the other volumes!

top cat james said...

Joe, IMHO:

"Don't Touch That Dial" > "Back In Style"

Same writer, same general premise, but I feel the satire is more pointed in the original,and with a GREAT capper, too. (and didn't have the advantage of a much larger budget and less S & P restrictions than "Animaniacs", either).

But I'll give out some bonus points for that Silly Sidney-esque Clodsby Kid, though.

Joe Torcivia said...

It’s hard to disagree with you there, TCJ!

But, honestly, because MIGHTY MOUSE: THE NEW ADVENTURES was not an “original” viewing experience for me, I didn’t consider it until you brought it up.

At the time, I was completely convinced that nothing good could EVER be produced for SatAM TV again. The previous two decades of Sat AM animated “product” had made a compelling argument for that position. By the time I’d even heard of MM:TNA, it was because of the real-life travesty that caused its cancellation. And so it was that I never saw it until the 2010 DVD, which I bought only on the show’s reputation.

But, sure enough, “Don’t Touch That Dial” can run with “Back in Style”! Not only because they chose to pointedly and deservedly satirize different animation houses (FAMILY GUY’S “Road to the Multiverse” took its shots at Hanna-Barbera and especially Disney, too!), but because they did it FIRST – and in a time where humor like that was as irreconcilably divorced from animation as could possibly be – and, as you note, because they both had the SAME WRITER: Tom Minton!

And, despite the unfortunate way it ended, MIGHTY MOUSE: THE NEW ADVENTURES “lived-on”, as it clearly opened the door to the type of humor I enjoyed during the “Nineties Golden Age” I’ve become so fond of discussing of late. Would my revered FREAKAZOID! be given the opportunity to exist (even if only for two seasons, alas) if not for MM:TNA? Much less ANIMANIACS itself? One could certainly argue that “Don’t Touch That Dial” GAVE BIRTH to “Back in Style”. In several different ways, in fact.

I may not have a true answer to the question until I watch “Back in Style” once again, but do know that your comments prompted me to re-watch “Don’t Touch That Dial” just now – and it is HYSTERICAL! Now, let’s see how the intervening 15-years-or-so have affected my perception of “Back in Style” and I’ll have more of a feel on how they stack up to one another.

Either way, thanks for a perspective-altering comment, TCJ!

I’m expecting a neck-and-neck race…