Tagged: Pinky and the Brain

Molly Jackson: Classic Days, Sound Advice

It’s been an interesting week. Watching the news is almost akin to watching a horror film at times. At my day job, we usually talk about anything but the current events. Somehow, the other day our daily conversations turned to our childhood television shows. I spoke with glee about the past shows like Pete & Pete, Animaniacs, Ren & Stimpy, Aaah! Real Monsters, and Batman: The Animated Series. While a couple of these shows brought excitement to my coworkers, most did not. I was baffled, how could people not love Pete & Pete or Animaniacs?!

In thinking about it afterwards, I understand why they weren’t as excited as I was. In my day job, I am older than most of my team. This runs counter to the majority of my life, when I was always the baby of the group. It’s an odd feeling, to have to explain days gone by. In a way, I am finally starting to understand my parents.

However, I’m not one to let a chance at nostalgia slip by. It is, after all, the upcoming theme of the country. Since it was the first show I could find available on Netflix, I started rewatching the animated classic, Animaniacs. On the off-chance you haven’t seen it (you weirdo), it follows the misadventures of the Warner brothers Yakko and Wakko, plus the Warner sister, Dot. It runs like an anthology of shorts, with appearances by a wide cast including fan favorites Pinky and the Brain.

I tried actually writing this column while I caught up on Animaniacs (I blame Mindy for this). That was a mistake. It is still a really good show that frankly holds up to the tests of time and age. I was mesmerized by episodes I barely remember so everything felt new. A few things were dated, like anyone wanting to hang with Mel Gibson, but it hardly mattered to me. I felt the easy peace that comes with revisiting old, cherished friends. Yes, it’s been over 20 years but I still know that Bill Clinton can still play the sax, the Warner kids are still snappy and witty, and right now I’d take the Brain as the new world leader.

The next nine days will not be easy for anyone. The country is in turmoil, no matter what side you agree with. Taking the time to relax with your childhood memories can be reinvigorating and fun. So if you get a chance, put your feet up and give that a shot.

Emily S. Whitten: Randy Rogel, the Music of Animaniacs & More!

Yakko’s World

If you’re any sort of regular reader of my columns, you’ll already know that I’m a big fan of Animaniacs. I’ve also had the privilege of interviewing several of the main voices for the show; including Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell, and Maurice LaMarche. One of these days I hope to meet the amazing Tress MacNeille as well!

One thing I’ve noted before as a favorite component of the show is the well-composed and clever song segments that are woven throughout the episodes – songs such as Yakko’s World; I’m Mad; Variety Speak; Noel; and There’s Only One of You. The songs are catchy, they’re fun, and they’re often educational to boot. And as it turns out, a great many of them were written by one man – Randy Rogel. That would be amazing enough on its own; but the cool thing about Randy is that he’s also a script-writer, theater actor, singer, and pianist. His work includes Batman (both the animated series and the movie SubZero), Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, Freakazoid, Danger Rangers, several Looney Toons properties, Tarzan, House of Mouse, The Emperor’s New School and Histeria! He’s also won a slew of awards, including three Emmys (and ten Emmy nominations), a Peabody Award, two Annie Awards, a Promax Gold Award, and an Ovation Award. Oh, and he can also do this.

As I mentioned last week, I was privileged to meet Randy at Dragon Con this year. I was also lucky enough to have a front-row seat for his panel with Rob Paulsen, “The Music of Animaniacs,” in which they discussed the creative process and performed Animaniacs songs live, and to also get to chat one-on-one with Randy about his life and work. And now, fortunately, I am able to share those awesome experiences with you!

FIrst off, if you aren’t super familiar with Randy’s work, here’s a little playlist of some favorites that I could locate on YouTube, consisting mainly of Animaniacs music, with a sprinkling of Histeria! and Bravoman thrown in. Give it a visit so you can marvel at Randy’s awesome talents.

Second, I was able to record the songs from the live show, so if you want to see what Randy and Rob are like live, hop on over to this playlist.

And finally, I had a ton of fun doing this great interview with Randy, wherein he talks about all kinds of cool things, and so I highly suggest everyone head over and give it a watch.

And then I suggest everyone gather some friends and have a nice Animaniacs singalong. I’ll be over here joining in by humming, “A quake; a quake…” And hoping that until next time, you Servo Lectio!