One of my few good memories about programming during the time I worked at a Fox affiliate in the early 1990s is Animaniacs, a Warner Bros.-produced cartoon with plenty of jokes that would fly in under the kids’ radar and give a big belly laugh (or maybe just a knowing smirk) to any adults who happened to be watching with their kids.
God, but I miss that show. With almost as many pop culture references as Mystery Science Theater 3000, and rollicking good fun to boot, Animaniacs is still probably underrated today.
It’s easy to dismiss cartoon music these days as being nothing but an ongoing pastiche of the works of Golden Age toon tunemeister Carl Stalling, but every once in a great while the right show is paired with the right composer, and you get magic. Richard Stone’s work on Animaniacs is an excellent example of this.
Animaniacs Variety Pack is the second Animaniacs album to come down the pike, and it’s also the better of the two, with more of the songs that fans both young and old probably wanted from the first one: the theme songs from Pinky & The Brain and Slappy Squirrel stand out foremost in my mind there. A personal favorite of mine is “Variety Speak”, an affectionately goofy homage to the kind of entertainment-industry lingo which brought us such headlines as the infamous “Hix Nix Stix Pix.” The constant recurrance of “All The Words In The English Language” can be a bit annoying if you’re not in the right frame of mind…but then again, if you weren’t in that frame of mind, I doubt you’d be listening to Animaniacs Variety Pack, now would you?
My one complaint: like the earlier Animaniacs song CD, Variety Pack weighs in at a little under a paltry half-hour. Even with a grand total of barely an hour of music from the series available, I know that more good tunes came out of this show than that.
- Variety Speak (1:57)
- The Monkey Song (2:52)
- All The Words In The English Language, Part 1 (1:01)
- Pinky And The Brain (1:30)
- Cheese Roll Call (2:32)
- Multiplication (1:29)
- Dot’s Song (0:44)
- Dot’s Quiet Time (1:39)
- All The Words In The English Language, Part 2 (1:13)
- Slappy Squirrel Theme (0:33)
- Wakkos’s Two-Note Song (2:05)
- The Presidents (3:20)
- The Anvil Song (0:50)
- At The Big Wrap Party Tonight (2:57)
- All The Words In The English Language, Part 3 (1:00)
- The Goodbye Song (0:32)
Released by: Kid Rhino
Release date: 1995
Total running time: 26:14