In 1993, around the same time “Jurassic Park” came out, Steven Spielberg produced an animated series titled, “Animaniacs.” The premise is about a trio of siblings their names are Yakko, Wakko & Dot. They’re known for their wacky antics like trolling people’s buttons, singing/dancing musical numbers, Fourth Wall Breaking, visual gags, puns, have the hots for a nurse, (except Dot) risqué jokes, witty dialogue etc.
Besides the trio, the show is presented as a variety show focusing on other characters including Pinky & The Brain, a pair of mice who’s goal is to take over the world. Sloppy Squirrel, an aging slapstick comedian who takes care of her nephew, Skippy. Goodfeathers, a trio of pigeons as they’re a parody of “Goodfellas.” Buttons & Mindy, an overprotective German Shepard who constantly endures pain while protecting a little girl. Rita & Runt, a singing cat and an unintelligent dog searching for a home.
Animaniacs aired in 1993-1998 earning instant praise from critics and viewers alike winning “Daytime Emmys.” If you want more information about the show’s legacy, I highly recommend Doug Walker’s (A.K.A. Nostalgia Critic) videos on YouTube. Don’t forget to check out a clip where he hired the voice actors of Pinky & The Brain (Rob Paulsen & Maurice LaMarche) delivering uncensored material. I’d definitely pay my money to see them on stage as some form of live stand-up comedy.
At first, Steven wanted “Wakko’s Wish” out in theaters in 1998, (same year Saving Private Ryan came out) so WB rejected a theatrical release in favor of a straight to video format in 1999. (same year Eyes Wide Shut came out) It received positive reviews from critics and movie goers alike. Despite very good reactions, the film sold less VHS copies scrapping potential sequels. Such a sad day for The Warner Siblings.
Animaniacs are recently revived on Hulu. In response to their comeback, I’d like to share my thoughts on their film debut.
Today’s review doesn’t contain no crucial SPOILERS. I’m gonna give a new generation of kids a chance to watch Animaniacs alongside this movie. Does Wakko’s Wish still holds up? Time to find out.
Stable & Unstable Elements
Stable: Rob Paulsen, (his name is Robert Paulsen) Jess Harrell & Tress MacNeille reprise their roles as The Warner Siblings. They all did a great job for their respective voiceover performances.
Rusty Mills, Liz Holman & Tom Ruegger all did a decent job directing the movie. They also served as co-producers.
Steven Spielberg served as an executive producer, like he did from the show.
Other Cast Members such as Maurice LaMarche, Nancy Cartwright, Sherri Stoner, Nathan Ruegger, (Tom’s real life son) Bernadette Peters & Ben Stein all did a greats for their respective voiceover performances.
Animation is digitally polished as an upgrade to the show’s hand drawn format bringing everything to life.
Humor retains the show’s visual gags, witty dialogue, Fourth Wall Breaking, risqué jokes that went over every kid’s head like mine, pop culture references, mocking celebrities word play and puns. (not excruciating like Mr. Freeze’s ice puns from Batman & Robin)
My favorite part is The Warners giving King Salazar a hard time suggesting ideas for a potential wish.
Musical Numbers are memorable from start to finish.
Wakko eats the WB logo, indicating what you’re about to see will make you laugh.
Salazar’s henchman is a parody of Dennis Hopper as the photographer from “Apocalypse Now.” Which is one of my favorite movies. Animaniacs made fun of the war epic on the episodes, “Hearts Of Twilight” & “Cute First (Ask Questions Later).”
The main characters live in a country called, “Warnerstock.” A play on word on WB. Another country is called, “Ticktockia.” I guess Animaniacs were the first to invent “TikTok” before the app existed. It’s pretty funny in hindsight for both countries now a reflection of AT&T (WarnerMedia) & TikTok are part of The Stock Market.
Every character is motivated to find The Wishing Star that’ll grant one wish. Each one (minus King Salazar) wants to make a wish to change his/her live to escape poverty or gain wealth.
Wait a second. An ensemble cast of characters racing for a grand prize cross country is similar to James Rolfe’s (A.K.A. Angry Video Game Nerd) favorite movie is the epic adventure comedy, “It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World.” “Rat Race” a has a similar plot like the aforementioned movie.
Central Theme is about Hope. Never give up, keep moving forward, don’t let nothing stand in your way if you want to make your dreams come true.
Although an all out laugh fest, Dot is sick. Meaning, the emotional stakes are drastically high.
I don’t wanna tell who made the wish, you’re gonna have to see for yourself.
Without giving too much away, the film ends with many characters going their separate ways.
Brain mentioned he and Pinky will take over the world in a sequel. They finally got their wish thanks to Hulu reviving them. Downside is, they have to go through scratch again if they want to prove themselves worthy.
I’m not gonna lie, if you pause during the end credits by checking out who was the executive in charge of production, look for the name Jennette McCurdy. Not to sound crazy, but I think Jeanette McCurdy went back in time to organize Wakko’s Wish. Perhaps she grew up watching Animaniacs.
Unstable: I’m gonna be brutally honest with you guys and gals. I couldn’t find nothing bad. I’m giving The Cast & Crew an Extra Point for making a flawless finale as possible.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
Animaniacs: Wakko’s Wish is a definite finale to the series. (then Hulu came along) The positive stuff I’ve listed as Stable, indicates why this movie is worth your spare time. If you’re eager to watch Animaniacs on Hulu, I strongly recommend the series where it all began since 1993 and don’t forget Wakko’s Wish. It’s also available on Hulu.