Okay, where are our Animaniacs fan GeekMom readers? Go ahead, raise your hands! I know you’re out there!
My husband and I remember watching the show while in college. If you go way back in time, my husband and I went to college at a time when the dorm’s one cable television was in a “TV lounge” so students would gather together for “viewing parties” once a week. Sometimes it was tough to agree on what to watch, but there were a couple universally accepted shows, such as the early 1990s episodes of Saturday Night Live…and Animaniacs!
If you have never seen Animaniacs, it’s never too late to check it out with your geeklings. Like current episodes of children’s shows such as The Amazing World of Gumball and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, the multi-layered humor is able to run in parallel: making the children laugh on one level, the adults on another. The show aired with the new “Fox Kids” programming and even was allowed to have the “E/I” logo with some of their segments, such as with “Yakko’s World.”
As I had touched on in my Denver Comic Con preview, and this week’s wrap up of our family’s panel experiences, one of DCC’s headline events was the Animaniacs Celebration, where all of the voice actors, along with composer Randy Rogel, reunited on stage to perform the show’s music. You can read more about the queueing experience in the DCC panels post I wrote earlier this week, but our family waited about 35 minutes in the queueing room, and ended up with some really good seats. With my telephoto lens, it looked as though I was right there! The Jumbotrons also helped those further back in the audience see the action.
Most of the panel ended up like a music concert, which was enjoyable in and of itself, but we also enjoyed the stories behind the songs. For example, the well-known “Yakko’s World” was Randy Rogel’s composition that convinced the network executives that he was the man for the songwriting job…like his resume piece.
Enjoy a performance of Jess Harnell voicing Wakko in the “States and Capitals” song. Go ahead, sing along!
Rogel and Paulsen tour the country and perform the Animaniacs repertoire with symphony orchestras with their Animaniacs Live! show. They pitched to us that if it’s something we’d like to see in our community, to contact our local orchestras and see if a performance can be arranged. The Colorado Symphony had hosted the show in 2014, but I’m curious if they’d come to Colorado Springs.
The day after the Animaniacs Celebration panel and sing-along, when my oldest son and I returned to Denver Comic Con, my son asked about getting the autographs of the actors and Mr. Rogel. Rogel had these songbooks for sale with the sheet music for the songs that were performed the day before. Wouldn’t you know it, we got the last one! My son was so thrilled to have this!
He proceeded to meet all three of the main character voice actors for autographs on the cover of the music book and then had quite a discussion about music with Mr. Rogel.
The Animaniacs voice actors have performed dozens of other voice-over parts. For example, if you are familiar with the show Drawn Together on Comedy Central, Jess Harnell is the voice of Captain Hero. Are you a fan of The Simpsons? MacNeille voices numerous female characters on that show: Bernice Hibbert, the crazy cat lady, Lunchlady Doris, and Manjula Nahasapeemapetilon. Rob Paulsen voiced both Raphael and then Donatello on the 1980s and 2012 version of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles television series.
If you can see a version of Animaniacs Live! or the Animaniacs Sing Along, you need to drop everything and make sure to see it. It’s a family-friendly fun experience, and you’ll get a glimpse of the personalities that made Animaniacs such a fun show for all ages!
GeekMom was provided with family media passes to Denver Comic Con for review purposes.