A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Animaniacs has something for everyone, blending over-the-top comedy and outrageous adventures that are sure to please the kiddies with smart satire and hilarious cultural references that teens and adults will love. There's a fair amount of humorous cartoon violence (explosions, collisions, punches, and the like), the occasional double entendre, and lots of fun found in mild misbehavior, but none of it is likely to affect kids. And the show does features segments with an educational flair, such as songs that teach about the solar system, U.S. history, and world geography.
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What's the story?
ANIMANIACS is a 1990s collaborative production by Warner Bros. and Steven Spielberg. The cartoon is structured like a variety show, featuring an ensemble cast of anthropomorphic animals -- including lab mice Pinky (voiced by Rob Paulsen) and the Brain (Maurice LaMarche), the Martin Scorcese-inspired pigeon trio The Goodfeathers, and know-it-all showbiz veteran Slappy the Squirrel (Sherri Stoner) -- and three central characters known as the Warner siblings: Yakko (Paulsen again), Wakko (Jess Harnell), and the infinitely adorable Dot (Tress MacNeille). The mischievous trio lives on the Warner Bros. studio lot, but their outrageous adventures take them around the globe as well as throughout different periods in world history, where they often wreak their own brand of havoc on those around them.
Is it any good?
Satirical, witty, culturally relevant, and occasionally irreverent, this cartoon is a bundle of fun packed with as much energy as its three off-the-wall main stars. Kids will be drawn to the characters' larger-than-life personalities and zany escapades, and parents will equally enjoy the show's slapstick exchanges, hilarious parodies, spoofs, and multiple pop-culture references.
While most of the content in Animaniacs is frivolous and highly unrealistic, some segments do blend entertainment and educational quality in a kid-pleasing manner. Frequent musical numbers include songs that teach about the U.S. presidents or list all the states and their capital cities, for example, and the characters' travels through literature and historical times -- though highly fictionalized -- give kids a reference for famous events like World War II and significant figures like Picasso, King Arthur, and Abraham Lincoln.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Animaniacs compares to others cartoons kids have seen. Kids: What do you like about this show? Do you enjoy the characters’ adventures? How would you compare this cartoon to some of your other favorites? How does its style differ from theirs? Which do you like better? Why?
Do you think this show intends to teach you anything? If so, what?
Themes & Topics
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.