Another shameless childhood reboot comes in the form of brand-new episodes of Animaniacs. But as long as we get to see more zany antics featuring Yakko, Wakko, and Dot, we don’t care about TV banking on our deeply ingrained nostalgia. Animaniacs might be just the show we need in a year that feels eerily like the satiric, slapstick, surreal world of the Warner siblings. (The new season of the show might be better marketed as a docuseries). We can’t wait to see what outrageous jokes and biting commentary the show has planned. And of course, we’re definitely down for any plan for world domination concocted by Pinky and the Brain.
The Animaniacs episodes of the 90s show Yakko, Wakko, and Dot wreaking havoc and referencing pop culture wherever they roam after escaping from the Warner Studios water tower. The Warner siblings also ended each episode with some questionable morals, courtesy of the Wheel of Morality. The moral of the story could be anything from “Never ask what hotdogs are made of” to “If you can’t say something nice, you’re probably at the Ice Capades.” While some life lessons didn’t hit home in Animaniacs, the Warner siblings still taught us a lot – through song, of course.
Us viewers learned about the vast expanse of space in the Universe Song. We learned how to speak a bit of German in the International Friendship Song. We also learned how to identify senses in the aptly named Senses Songs. But perhaps the most well-known Animaniacs song features Yakko pointing out countries on a map. Who could forget the increasingly rapid fashion of Yakko’s World Song.
The Yakko’s World Song, set to the tune of “Jarabe Tapatio,” became hugely popular. And a sing-along clip of the song on YouTube has been viewed over 10 million times. You could impress your friends if you could rattle off all the nations of the world listed by Yakko in the fast-paced song. And it also becomes a handy way to learn your world geography. Even better, rhyming is incredibly useful for memorizing, so the information stuck. Starting from “United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Haiti, Jamaica, Peru.” The world’s countries listed in Yakko’s haphazard order will forever be seared into our brains.
Yakko’s song wasn’t entirely accurate as some countries were left out. Borders have since changed since the 90s, and other countries weren’t properly distinguished (such as North and South Korea). In 2017, the song was updated with added countries and a note that the Soviet Union had dissolved. However, there are still some errors as the song has yet to include countries like Croatia or Cambodia. Or larger regions like the United Kingdom that holds Cornwall and Wales as well as England, Scotland, and Ireland.
Despite needing another update, Yakko’s World Song continues to be a surprisingly useful educational parlor tick. Animaniacs also taught us valuable life lessons once in a while. Along with healthy eating or long multiplication (there are songs devoted to these areas). From Animaniacs, we learned creativity knows no bounds as Yakko, Wakko, and Dot always had a new, crazy trick up their sleeves. We also learned not to take life so seriously and take the opportunity to laugh at yourself. In the end, Animaniacs did teach us a lesson, and we didn’t even have to spin the Wheel of Morality!