Animaniacs: Volume 3 – DVD Review

Available at Amazon.com

Creators

Tom Ruegger and Steven Spielberg

Cast

Tress MacNeille Dot Warner
Rob Paulsen Yakko Warner
Jess Harnell Wakko Warner

DVD Release Date: June 19, 2007
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 750 Minutes on 5 discs

The Show

Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd and the rest of the Looney Tunes gang always ended up in the spotlight. To this day they were the focus of the Warner Bros.’ company and the trademarks that have sold merchandise worldwide, starred in motion pictures, and spawned theme parks. But what about the characters that weren’t quite as popular and needed to be hidden? The three characters living up in the water tower at Warner Bros. studios. The characters after which the studio was named the Warners.

The Warner brothers Yakko and Wakko are joined by their sister Dot to go on some of the wildest adventures and do some of the craziest antics you’ll ever see. Volume Three of the Animaniacs delivers the goods as I’m sure the previous two volumes – that I haven’t seen – have done. In a time when most cartoons like South Park and Family Guy are aimed directly at adults, their humor usually goes off in the direction of sex or fart jokes. Children’s cartoons like Spongebob are aimed at a younger generation, but just by watching them you can tell that a lot of the humor wouldn’t be understood by someone under the age of at least sixteen. In that regards, Animaniacs was way ahead of its time.

The Warners find amusing ways to deal with whatever situation they may put themselves into. Instead of just taking things as they come and living life a little more ordinary, delightfully fun songs and/or turning into classic figures from Hollywood seem more their speed. Or maybe it’s a day when they’d like to turn things into a fairy tale world, then hell they’ll do that too. It doesn’t matter how things get done in their world as long as they have fun doing it.

They aren’t alone though as they are joined by many other characters that may not be as zany as the Warners, but they still get into situations just as crazy. Pinky and the Brain have gotten their own series, but still make occasional stops over on this show and I couldn’t be happier about it. The Brain is a genetically altered mouse set on world domination and gets help from his lowly and not so bright assistant Pinky. Their plans never quite make it all the way through to ruling the world even though Brain’s ideas are usually fool-proof.

Mindy the blonde-headed toddler terror makes a good number of appearances and I remember her from when the shows were on the air. Buttons, her most valuable doggie protector still gets the worst of everything she does too just as he always had. One thing that didn’t seem familiar to me was the appearance of Elmyra from Tiny Toons interacting with the Warners. She thought they were dogs and wanted to keep them for her very own spoiled self. Elmyra was not an enjoyable character on Tiny Toons and she still isn’t now so I don’t know what made them ever want to have her in a cameo.

Animaniacs has been off the air for almost ten years now (God I feel old), but they are still just as funny as they always were. One of the most memorable in this entire set is “The President’s Song.” Yakko, Wakko, and Dot have a lovely song that goes through every President and tells a little bit about them with some fantastic visuals. At the time Bill Clinton was in the White House, so that’s as high as the list goes. But it’s that song which fully proves my point that the show was aimed at both children and adults. Kids could crack up laughing at the Warners interacting with our Presidents while adults will find the actual lyrics hilarious. You can’t help but laugh at lyrics like this, “Now in Washington D.C., there’s democrats and the G.O.P. But the one in charge is plain to see; it’s Clinton, first name: Hillary.”

Most animated shows go off the air and slip into cartoon obscurity. It’s a shame too because they were so good when they were new or in syndication, but just didn’t leave that lasting impression that made you want quote them or hum the tunes a decade later. The theme song to the Animaniacs alone is probably something that anyone over the age of sixteen can sing even though the show was off the air before they got a chance to enjoy it. Children and adults alike can watch the episodes while both getting enjoyment out of them while adults can relax knowing that what they’re children are listening to isn’t dirty but they just can’t comprehend it yet.

Episodes

Disc One:

Branimaniacs/The Warners and the Beanstalk/Frontier Slappy

Ups and Downs/The Brave Little Trailer/Yes, Always

Drive-Insane/Girlfeathers/I’m Cute

Brain Meets Brawn/Meet Minerva

Gold Rush/A Gift of Gold/Dot’s Quiet Time

Disc Two:

Schnitzelbank/The Helpinki Formula/Le Bouton et al Balloon/Kung Boo

Of Course You Know This Means Warners/Up A Tree/Wakko’s Gizmo

Oh, Oh, Ethel/Meet John Brain/Smell Ya Later/Spike

Ragamuffins/Woodstock Slappy

Karaoke Dokie/Cranial Crusader/The Chicken Who Loved Me

Disc Three:

Baloney and Kids/Super Buttons/Katie Ka-Boom: The Driving Lesson

Scare Happy Slappy/Witch One/MacBeth

With Three You Get Eggroll/Mermaid Mindy/Katie Ka-Boom: Call Waiting

Lookit the Fuzzy Heads/No Face Like Home

The Warner’s 65th Anniversary Special

Disc Four:

Take My Siblings, Please/The Mindy 500/Morning Malaise

Miami Mama-Mia/Pigeon on the Roof

We’re No Pigeons/Whistle Stop Mindy/Katie Ka-Boom: The Broken Date

Randy Beamen: Guy Gets Lost/Mime Time: Finding An Imaginary Coin/Randy Beamen: Bath with Brother/Good Idea Bad Idea Combined #2/Randy Beamen: Scab Collection/I’m Mad!/Bad Mood Bobby/Katie Ka-Boom: The Blemish/Fake

Super Strong Warner Siblings/Nutcracker Slappy/Wakko’s New Gookie/A Quake, a Quake!

Disc Five:

Variety Speak/Three Tenors and You’re Out/Bingo/Finale

Deduces Wild/Rest In Pieces/U.N. Me

A Hard Days Warner/Gimme A Break/Please Get A Life Foundation

The Tiger Prince Cold Opening/All the Words in the English Language/The Kid in the Lid/Method to Her Madness

The Presidents’ Song/Don’t Tread On Us/The Flame Returns

The Video

The episodes are shown in Full Frame format and could have really used a good clean-up. The colors are very bright and everything looks crisp, but you can tell that the episodes are truly showing their age. The actual episodes look alright, but the first segments and then the opening sequence look very dull and just old.

The Audio

The episodes are heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 sound and come through beautifully. The dialogue, sound effects, and music can all be heard at one stable volume without having to worry about flipping your level up or down constantly. The songs really showcase how good the sound is because I don’t remember the quality being so high years ago.

Special Features

They Can’t Help It If They’re Cute, They’re Just Drawn That Way – Many of the producers and directors sit down to give a really in-depth history of the show. A picture showing the three Warners as ducks really makes you kind of happy that they changed their original design. Some scenes from the volume are thrown in here and there, but it’s the stories that really make this whole feature. Creator Tom Ruegger even talks about so many characters they had created that never made it into the show including one named Bossy Beaver.

They’re Totally Insan-y In Cadence with Richard Stone – Writers, voice talents, and composers come together to discuss the musical stylings of the late Richard Stone. Like the first feature, some scenes from the show are given time and a few musical numbers are played. It’s a good look, and listen, to the music and songs which are really such an integral part of the show.

TrailersClassic Cartoons from the Vault, Animaniacs & Pinky and the Brain Vol. 3, Popeye The Sailor 1933-1938 Vol. 1, Wait Till Your Father Gets Home, and Superman/Doomsday

The Inside Pulse

Why you aren’t already out picking up this set is beyond me. I had truly forgotten how good this show was until watching this volume of Animaniacs, and I fully intend on making the first two sets my next DVD purchases. The special features really aren’t much to write home about, but still make for about forty-five minutes of extremely informative stuff so it’s not like they are a waste of time. Twenty-five episodes of a show that will surely live on for many decades to come since it withstood the first one so well, as it should have. And I challenge you everyone. If you can watch one episode or even have read this review without singing the theme song to yourself, then you are a stronger person then I.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Animaniacs: Volume 3
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE SHOW

9
THE VIDEO

7
THE AUDIO

8
THE EXTRAS

5
REPLAY VALUE

9
OVERALL
8
(NOT AN AVERAGE)