With "Animaniacs" coming out on DVD in a couple of weeks, I thought I might as well link to a particularly good "Animaniacs" cartoon. Also, saying nice things about "Animaniacs" makes John Kricfalusi very angry, and I can't pass up that chance.
The cartoon, "Ups and Downs," was written by Paul Rugg and directed by Bob Kline. It's pretty minimalist: only two characters are seen onscreen (Wakko Warner and the P-Sychiatrist Dr. Scratchansniff), plus two offscreen characters. The whole cartoon takes place in an elevator, but director Kline and the great animators at Tokyo Movie Shinsha find all kinds of ways to keep the cartoon from becoming static despite the confined space.
It's a nice example of how "Animaniacs" could sometimes strike a balance between cartoony humor and more observational (some might say sitcom-y) jokes. Wakko acts quite a bit like a real kid -- imitating people's actions, telling stories that don't go anywhere -- and to the extent that it's a cartoon rather than an animated sitcom, it's because of the great, broad animation by TMS. What also adds to the cartoon is the voice work of Rugg; in addition to being a very funny writer he was also a terrific voice performer, and no one delivers his own slightly skewed dialogue ("Big Ed's girth got it unstuck!") than Rugg does.
This cartoon appears in episode 52 of "Animaniacs," so it should appear on volume 3 of the DVD releases.