Parodies in Animaniacs

"Steven Spielberg Presents Animaniacs" was a 1990s animated television program that often parodied popular TV shows and movies. The "Animaniacs" animators made fun of everything and everyone, including their own fans, such as the episode "The Please Please Please Get a Life Foundation", which made fun of the show's fans that communicated over the internet.cite episode | title = The Please Please Please Get a Life Foundation | series = Animaniacs | network = Kids’ WB | airdate = 1995-09-23 | season = 3 | number = 72] Many spoofs were multi-layered, with the episode parodying one specific subject and referencing several other subjects along the way. For instance, the episode "Hooked on a Ceiling" did not only parody "The Agony and the Ecstasy", but it also featured Quasimodo shouting "Sanctuary! Sanctuary!", a direct reference to "The Hunchback of Notre Dame".cite episode | title = Hooked on a Ceiling| series = Animaniacs | network = FOX Kids | airdate = 1993-09-16 | season = 1 | number = 4] Because of Steven Spielberg's involvement in the series, several of his films and even Spielberg himself were parodied numerous times. In the episode "Hooked on a Ceiling", Spielberg was even made the "eminence" of the Sistine Chapel, and the Warners also painted an "E.T." picture on its ceiling.

"Animaniacs" mocked an abundance of celebrities, including David Hasselhoff, Whoopi Goldberg, Howard Stern, Jerry Seinfeld, Jaleel White, Regis Philbin, Shirley MacLaine, and Sigourney Weaver on several occasions. They have also paid tributes to now-dead celebrities, such as Christa McAuliffe, who was scheduled to be the first teacher in space, before she was killed in the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.Fact|date=June 2007

The show even made spoofs of various disasters, such as a full-length song about the 1994 Northridge Earthquake in which they proclaimed that "L.A. Town Is Falling Down!"cite episode | title = A Quake, A Quake! | series = Animaniacs | network = Kids’ WB | airdate = 1995-09-09 | season = 3 | number = 70]

Other parodies included acts of war, such as the episode about the Second World War, in which the Warners are teaching about wartime rationing and conservation, such as curtailing automobile usage, growing victory gardens and donating products to the war effort. In the episode, the Warners also collect fishnet stockings to be converted into mosquito netting, to which the Warner brothers are their usual aghast selves to see so many ladies donate their stockings.cite episode | title = Of Course You Know, This Means Warners | series = Animaniacs | network = FOX Kids | airdate = 1994-02-17 | season = 1 | number = 57]

Film

"Animaniacs" segments often parodied major motion pictures and other films as well. The early episode, "Hearts of Twilight," was a parody of Apocalypse Now. The cartoon also made fun of Jerry Lewis' unfinished film "The Day the Clown Cried," showing a Lewis-like character continuously trying to find an ending for a movie about a clown.cite episode | title = Hearts of Twilight | series = Animaniacs | network = FOX Kids | airdate = 1993-10-12 | season = 1 | number = 4] Also, a long segment called "Star Warners", which appeared on the "Animaniacs Super Special", parodied the "Star Wars" films.cite episode | title = Star Warners | series = Animaniacs | network = Kids’ WB | airdate = 1998-11-14 | season = 5 | number = 99] Furthermore, The Circle of Life intro to "The Lion King" was parodied, with Yakko taking on the role of Rafiki. In the cartoon, Yakko accidentally drops the Simba character from the cliff and exclaims, "I thought they were supposed to land on their feet."cite episode | title = The Tiger Prince | series = Animaniacs | network = Kids’ WB | airdate = 1995-09-30 | season = 3 | number = 73] In a Rita and Runt segment "Witch One", Rita sings a song, the tune of which closely resembles the title theme from Disney's "Beauty and the Beast". At the song's end, Runt remarks, "That sure was pretty, Rita. I hope we don't get sued."cite episode | title = Cutie and the Beast | series = Animaniacs | network = Kids’ WB | airdate = 1996-09-07 | season = 4 | number = 82] In one episode, where the Warners act as directors, their films directly parody Old Yeller and Raiders of the Lost Ark,

The Goodfeathers had three notable parodies. Their "West Side Story" parody involved Squit falling in love with a female sparrow, which caused unrest between the two bird gangs because the Sparrows wanted to perch on the head of the statue of Martin Scorsese, which was Goodfeather territory. The second musical parody was of "Fiddler on the Roof" where the Goodfeathers try to work out their relationships with their female companions. The cartoon ends with the statue of Martin Scorsese being replaced with a statue of Regis Philbin. When faced with the prospect of perching on the head of Regis, the Goodfeathers each decide that they would rather be a "Pigeon on the Roof." Amusingly, this cartoon is followed by a short segment in which Pesto rants and raves to Bobby that the cartoon story was stupid, and Bobby launches into a parody of a "West Side Story" song, encouraging Pesto to, "Stay cool, bird! Beak it, buzz it, easy does is...stay cool, bird. Real cool." The third parody is of "Rocky", where Bobby has to train to box another bird. Bobby is trained by a bird similar to Burgess Meredith, who constantly calls Bobby a bum. When Bobby asks him, "Why do you keep calling me a bum all the time?" his trainer responds, "Because you're a bum, you bum!" Also, Bobby did a parody of the stair climbing scene in which first Bobby climbs the stairs and starts punching, and then Rocky himself climbs the stairs to the top, knocking Bobby off the memorial in the process.

Television

"Animaniacs" had parodied popular television shows as well. A segment called "Star Truck" parodied "" in which the Warners are beamed aboard the Enterprise. It spoofed characters include "Squatty" instead of Scotty and "Spork" instead of "Spock." When the Warners are all hugging the crew, Wakko quips, "We're cling-ons, get it?" referencing the alien species from Star Trek.cite episode | title = Star Truck | series = Animaniacs | network = Kids’ WB | airdate = 1997-09-13 | season = 3 | number = 75] In the episode "Hot, Bothered, and Bedeviled," Yakko is asking Wakko and Dot for suggestions to get out of their dillema. He then asks "Bones" and a caricature of Deforest Kelly answers "Darn it, Yakko! I'm a doctor, not a magician!" Also, the show "Friends" was parodied as "Acquaintances", where the character Chandler had his sarcastic putdowns horrifically enacted upon him.cite episode | title = Acquaintances | series = Animaniacs | network = Kids’ WB | airdate = 1997-10-11 | season = 3 | number = 91] In another episode, when Wakko is portraying a Native American hunter, one of his catches is "the cast of Friends", revealing caricatures of the six stars. Yakko is unimpressed, noting that the catch could be found anywhere.

"Animaniacs" also parodied several children's shows during its run. "Super Strong Warner Siblings" lampooned the 90's TV series "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers," featuring replicas of the "real" show's costumes and similar villains.cite episode | title = Super Strong Warner Siblings | series = Animaniacs | network = Kids’ WB | airdate = 1995-09-09 | season = 3 | number = 70] Another parody, albeit a cold opening rather than a full "segment", depicted the "Animaniacs" characters as babies in a parody of the title sequence of "Rugrats".cite episode | title = Animani-rats | series = Animaniacs | network = Kids’ WB | airdate = 1996-09-14 | season = 4 | number = 83] Popular kids' character Barney was also parodied as "Baloney", a goofy character (who mysteriously frightened people) whose upbeat personality remained unaffected by the massive amounts of abuse to which the Warners subjected him, much to their annoyance.cite episode | title = Baloney and Kids | series = Animaniacs | network = FOX Kids | airdate = 1994-05-02 | season = 1 | number = 61] Also the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were parodied in a history segment on Michelangelo, in which the historian advocates that the pop culture has undermined great artists and that Michelangelo was NOT a turtle.

Trends

"Animaniacs" had also parodied trends that were popular in the U.S. Late into the series run, the parody "Macadamia Nut" aired, a spoof of the infamous music video/song "Macarena" by Los Del Rio. The song was mainly performed by the Warners, but the music video featured almost every major character to ever appear on "Animaniacs" all doing The Macarena dance (although Katie Ka-Boom was not featured).cite episode | title = Dot - The Macadamia Nut | series = Animaniacs | network = Kids’ WB | airdate = 1997-09-13 | season = 5 | number = 90]

References


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