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Animaniacs, Vol. 1

4.8 out of 5 stars 1,144 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Steven Spielberg Presents Animaniacs: Vol. 1

Three inseparable, crazy siblings have been locked away in the Warner Bros. water tower for a very long time. But they have found a way to escape, and escape they do--every day! Causing chaos and comic confusion, Yakko, Wakko and Dot run loose in the city, turning the world into their very own personal playground in this mix of cartoon shorts, musical numbers, and comedy blackouts.

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As a splendid homage to the legacy of Warner Bros. animation, the Emmy and Peabody award-winning Animaniacs was arguably the most inventive and deliriously entertaining cartoon series of the 1990s. The series' appeal is at least two-fold: kids will enjoy the wacky characters and easy-to-follow comedy, and grownups raised on "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies" cartoons will love the show's knowledgeable movie spoofs, witty satire, and spontaneous lines of dialogue aimed squarely at an older audience with an appreciation for Hollywood history. Cartoon lovers and film buffs will benefit the most from repeated viewings of Animaniacs since the series was conceived by head writer Tom Ruegger (under the supervision of executive producer Steven Spielberg) as an affectionate tribute to the golden age of Hollywood, with its wild and wonderful cast of cartoon characters led by "Warner Brothers" Wakko and Yakko, and their ever-so-cute Warner sister, Dot, a playful trio of indeterminate species who were (fictionally) created in the early 1930s by the overworked animators of "Termite Terrace" (the actual name given to Warner's animation studios) and wreaked havoc on the Warner Bros. backlot until they were caught and captured in the studio's water tower. Every episode begins with their clever escape, leading to wacky adventures involving the entire cast of Animaniacs, a menagerie of colorful characters worthy of cartoon immortality.

This five-DVD set offers 25 beautifully preserved episodes (out of a five-season total of 99), mostly from the first season (1993), when Spielberg was also enjoying the success of Jurassic Park and Schindler's List. Premiering on the Fox Kids network, the series introduced delighted viewers to Pinky and the Brain; Slappy the Squirrel (a curmudgeonly veteran of decades in show-biz); the Goodfeathers (a pigeon-trio spoof of Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas); Rita and Runt (a dog and cat duo often featured in musical spoofs, the former voiced by Bernadette Peters); and a wide variety of peripheral characters who randomly appeared as part of the series' multi-segment format. Some segments are brief and brilliant (including many original songs that qualify as mini-masterpieces of educational entertainment), while others are cartoon-length adventures like the unforgettable "Bumbie's Mom," a riff on Bambi (and Disney animation) that's one of many first-season highlights. Smart, literate, and totally irreverent, Animaniacs benefited from all the prestige that Spielberg's involvement could bring, including a once-in-a-lifetime voice cast (honored here by disc 3's special featurette "Animaniacs Live," hosted by "Annie"-award-winner Maurice "The Brain" LeMarche) and amazing musical scores (many written or supervised by the late, great Richard Stone) that were recorded in the very same Warner studio where the legendary Carl Stalling scored most of the classic Warner Bros. cartoons. With creative and comedic highlights too numerous to mention, Animaniacs is must-see TV for those who missed it the first time around, and a welcome treasure for established fans who will cherish these DVDs for many years to come. --Jeff Shannon


Special Features

Interviews: ANIMANIACS LIVE! Comic Maurice LaMarche hosts an in studio style interview via satellite big screen TV with Animaniac friends as they comment on this historical showInterviews: ANIMANIACS LIVE! Comic Maurice LaMarche hosts an in studio style interview via satellite big screen TV with Animaniac friends as they comment on this historical showInterviews: ANIMANIACS LIVE! Comic Maurice LaMarche hosts an in studio style interview via satellite big screen TV with Animaniac friends as they comment on this historical showInterviews: ANIMANIACS LIVE! Comic Maurice LaMarche hosts an in studio style interview via satellite big screen TV with Animaniac friends as they comment on this historical show

Product Details

  • Actors: Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell, Tress MacNeille, Frank Welker, Nancy Cartwright
  • Producers: Sherri Stoner, Steven Spielberg, Jean MacCurdy, Tom Ruegger, Rich Arons
  • Format: Color, Closed-captioned, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French, Portuguese
  • Dubbed: Portuguese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 19, 2007
  • Run Time: 550 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,144 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FA57H6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,357 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Animaniacs, Vol. 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jaime J. Weinman on April 12, 2006
Format: DVD
A lot of people remember "Animaniacs," but not many people remember how popular it once was. In 1993, the year these episodes appeared on the Fox network, "Animaniacs" was the most popular cartoon on that network, and one of the most-watched cartoons on TV. It had a cult following like few other shows of its time; alt.tv.animaniacs was one of the most densely-populated groups on usenet. Adult and college-age viewers loved "Animaniacs" as much as, if not more than, the little kids; the obscure cultural references, double entendres, and good solid cartoon violence made it even more fun for an older audience.

Well, that was 1993, and over a decade later, how does this show hold up? Very, very well. All the things that made it so popular in 1993 -- the great lines, the imaginative visuals, the music (with the late Richard Stone leading a full orchestra, no computer-generated music allowed), the voices, the cultural references, the violence -- still work today. The anthology format, with each episode consisting of a mix of different characters and segments, gives the show a richness and variety that most cartoon shows don't have. And the characters are still as funny as they were in 1993: the Marx-Brothers-inspired Yakko, Wakko and Dot; elderly, amoral cartoon star Slappy Squirrel; Chicken Boo, the giant chicken forever passing for a human; and world-domination-seeking lab mice Pinky and the Brain (whose spinoff series is also available on DVD, separately).

The first DVD set contains the first 25 episodes of the series, out of a total of 99; if it sells well, three more volumes will be released. It includes some of the show's very best segments, like the encounters with Paul Rugg's Jerry Lewis parody "Mr.
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Format: DVD
Yeah, it's a not really a full first season, but the first 25 half-hour shows is still a big number for a 5-disc set! I just can't wait to buy this for my siblings, because I loved the show as a kid, and nowadays, I still appreciate the zany Looney Tunes-esque slapstick antics, solid art style, and great voice-acting.

As listed on tvshowsondvd.com, the first 25 episodes are:

1. De-Zanitized, The Monkey Song, Nighty Night Toon

2. Yakko's World, Cookies For Einstein, Win Big

3. HMS Yakko, Slappy Goes Walnuts, Yakko's Universe Song

4. Hooked on a Ceiling, Good Feathers (pilot episode)

5. Taming of the Screwy

6. Flipper Parody, Temporary Insanity, Operation Lollipop, What are We?

7. Piano Rag, When Rita Met Runt

8. The Warner's Lot Song, The Big Candy Store, Bumbie's Mom

9. Wally Llama, Where Rodents Dare

10. King Yakko

11. No Pain, No Painting, Les Miseranimals

12. Garage Sale of the Century, West Side Pigeons

13. Hello Nice Warners, La Behemoth, Little Old Slappy From Pasadena

14. La La Law, Cat On a Hot Steel Beam

15. Space Probed, Battle For the Planet

16. Chalkboard Bungle, Hooray for Slappy, The Great Wakkoroti: The Master & His Music

17. Roll over Beethoven, The Cat and the Fiddle

18. Pavlov's Mice, Chicken Boo-Rhyshnikov, Nothing But the Tooth

19. Meatballs or Consequences, A Moving Experience

20. Hitchcock Opening, Hearts of Twilight; The Boids

21. The Flame, Wakko's America Song, Davey Omelette, Four Score and Seven Migraines Ago

22. Guardin' the Garden, Plane Pals

23.
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Format: DVD
I had waited a long time for this. What's really good to see is how well the material holds up over time. Just like the classic Bugs Bunny cartoons from the 40's, these work on so many levels. The innuendo, the cultural references, the style...it's all timeless. I've made it my mission to introduce my wife to the series and this was the perfect way (replacing the VHS copies I made from the shows original airing). This series was the perfect example of what to do "right" with an animated series. It's true not all the characters worked well (the one joke Katie Ka-Boom, Favio and Marita) but the show had enough variety to make it interesting. You never knew what you were going to see from show to show. One one episode you may see the Warners at the height of zany, and the next you'd be touched on your heartstrings by the tale of some wrapping paper and it's journey through the world. It's was completely unpredictable and that was refreshing. Most cartoons today are predictable and bland. The unique factor that made Animaniacs work so well was it's ability to take us on strange and wonderful trips. The non-sequiter facet of the humor provided a great springboard for satire and parody. Characters like Chicken Boo are a perfect example of this. I actually owned a rat (white of course) and everyday it tried to escape from its cage, just like Pinky and the Brain. Basically we all wish we had a bit of the Warners in us. This collection, I hope, will be the first in a complete treasury that will continue to bring us to stranger places and beyond.
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