Denver Comic Con’s ‘Animaniacs’ Celebration

We met this fantastic cosplaying family while in line for Animaniacs voice actor autographs. The kids thoroughly enjoy Animaniacs, and like my husband and me, the parents were enjoying the show while in high school and college. Photo: Patricia Vollmer.
We met this fantastic cosplaying family while in line for Animaniacs voice actor autographs. The kids thoroughly enjoy the show today, and like my husband and me, the parents enjoyed it while in high school and college. Photo: Patricia Vollmer.

Okay, where are our Animaniacs fan GeekMom readers? Go ahead, raise your hands! I know you’re out there!

My husband and I remember watching the show while in college. If you go way back in time, my husband and I went to college at a time when the dorm’s one cable television was in a “TV lounge” so students would gather together for “viewing parties” once a week. Sometimes it was tough to agree on what to watch, but there were a couple universally accepted shows, such as the early 1990s episodes of Saturday Night Live…and Animaniacs!

If you have never seen Animaniacs, it’s never too late to check it out with your geeklings. Like current episodes of children’s shows such as The Amazing World of Gumball and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, the multi-layered humor is able to run in parallel: making the children laugh on one level, the adults on another. The show aired with the new “Fox Kids” programming and even was allowed to have the “E/I” logo with some of their segments, such as with “Yakko’s World.”

Kickstarter Alert: SwapBots Augmented Reality

As I had touched on in my Denver Comic Con preview, and this week’s wrap up of our family’s panel experiences, one of DCC’s headline events was the Animaniacs Celebration, where all of the voice actors, along with composer Randy Rogel, reunited on stage to perform the show’s music. You can read more about the queueing experience in the DCC panels post I wrote earlier this week, but our family waited about 35 minutes in the queueing room, and ended up with some really good seats. With my telephoto lens, it looked as though I was right there! The Jumbotrons also helped those further back in the audience see the action.

Jess Harnell, who voiced Wakko on Animaniacs, performs the song "Hellooooooooo, Nurse!" during the Animaniacs Celebration at Denver Comic Con. Photo: Patricia Vollmer.
Jess Harnell, who voiced Wakko on Animaniacs, performs the song “Hellooooooooo, Nurse!” during the Animaniacs Celebration at Denver Comic Con. Photo: Patricia Vollmer.
DSC_0343
Animaniacs voice actors (from left) Jess Harnell, Tress MacNeille, and Rob Paulsen perform the song “I’m Mad” together. Paulsen actually voiced two of the characters in this song, Yakko and Dr. Scratchandsniff, and would make faces to adapt to those characters. Can you tell who he’s voicing here? Photo: Patricia Vollmer.

Most of the panel ended up like a music concert, which was enjoyable in and of itself, but we also enjoyed the stories behind the songs. For example, the well-known “Yakko’s World” was Randy Rogel’s composition that convinced the network executives that he was the man for the songwriting job…like his resume piece.

Enjoy a performance of Jess Harnell voicing Wakko in the “States and Capitals” song. Go ahead, sing along!

Rogel and Paulsen tour the country and perform the Animaniacs repertoire with symphony orchestras with their Animaniacs Live! show. They pitched to us that if it’s something we’d like to see in our community, to contact our local orchestras and see if a performance can be arranged. The Colorado Symphony had hosted the show in 2014, but I’m curious if they’d come to Colorado Springs.

The day after the Animaniacs Celebration panel and sing-along, when my oldest son and I returned to Denver Comic Con, my son asked about getting the autographs of the actors and Mr. Rogel. Rogel had these songbooks for sale with the sheet music for the songs that were performed the day before. Wouldn’t you know it, we got the last one! My son was so thrilled to have this!

He proceeded to meet all three of the main character voice actors for autographs on the cover of the music book and then had quite a discussion about music with Mr. Rogel.

My oldest son, who takes piano lessons, had questions for Mr. Rogel about some of the bass clef chords in the music. Photo: Patricia Vollmer.
My 12-year-old son, who takes piano lessons, had questions for Randy Rogel about some of the bass clef chords in the music. You can see Maurice LaMarche, the voice of “The Brain” from Pinky and the Brain is over Mr. Rogel’s shoulder. Photo: Patricia Vollmer.

The Animaniacs voice actors have performed dozens of other voice-over parts. For example, if you are familiar with the show Drawn Together on Comedy Central, Jess Harnell is the voice of Captain Hero. Are you a fan of The Simpsons? MacNeille voices numerous female characters on that show: Bernice Hibbert, the crazy cat lady, Lunchlady Doris, and Manjula Nahasapeemapetilon. Rob Paulsen voiced both Raphael and then Donatello on the 1980s and 2012 version of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles television series.

If you can see a version of Animaniacs Live! or the Animaniacs Sing Along, you need to drop everything and make sure to see it. It’s a family-friendly fun experience, and you’ll get a glimpse of the personalities that made Animaniacs such a fun show for all ages!

GeekMom was provided with family media passes to Denver Comic Con for review purposes.

Get the GeekDad Books!

   

Patricia Vollmer is the proud mother of two emerging geek sons, ages 12 & 14. She serves part time as a meteorologist with the Air Force Reserve and is currently assigned to the U.S. Air Force Academy. Patricia blogs about her family's nomadic military life at Ground Control to Major Mom. Home is always where the Air Force sends her family, which for now is in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Hobbies include running, despite no one chasing her, sharing her love for Disney and Star Wars, and exploring the world with her boys. Ask her why the sky is blue at your own risk.