Friday, January 01, 2010

It's No Longer New Year's Eve, So This Song Is No Longer Applicable

But that's OK, because it's not the greatest of songs anyway. I just happened upon this clip from one of the last Animaniacs episodes (and therefore one of the shows that you won't see on DVD), "Hooray For North Hollywood." This was a strange episode, or rather two episodes. It was based on a story that the writers originally planned as a possible feature film: the characters pitch a movie idea. I liked the episode when it aired, don't like it very much now, since the structure is extremely weird: almost nothing happens in the first half (something that is acknowledged in the recap at the beginning of part 2*) and the second half has both too much plot and tons of padding.

Also, two very good song sequences that were produced individually -- "L.A. Dot" and "There's Only One of You" -- were awkwardly shoehorned into this episode to pad it out further, thereby weakening their impact. (If "There's Only One of You" had been shown on its own, it would be one of the best short song cartoons the show ever did.) And "Variety Speak" is performed all over again, with revised lyrics, because the song was originally conceived for this feature film idea.

Randy Rogel's new songs do sort of give an idea of what a full-fledged Disney-style Animaniacs musical would have been like (so does "Wakko's Wish," but that's almost a Disney-style musical played straight). This New Year's Eve song is the last original song in the episode, and it's not a bad song but there's something missing from it. The staging also illustrates the point I keep harping on about the show's visuals; it's not poorly done or anything, but there's not much in the way of interesting staging or acting.

*The best part of the episode was actually the recap, which went like this:

SKIPPY: Last time on Animaniacs...
WARNERS: We want to make a movie.
PLOTZ: You can't make a movie.
WARNERS: We want to make a movie.
PLOTZ: You can't make a movie.
WARNERS: We want to make a movie.
PLOTZ: You can't make a movie.
SKIPPY: That was pretty much it. For a full half-hour.


Mike Russo said...

Worth mentioning too is that the "Only One of You" number was animated by Startoons, so the thing stands out like a sore thumb.

Gettin' tired of Animaniacs these days, sadly.

Michael Jones said...

I like that tune a lot. May I echo its sentiment to you.

Jaime J. Weinman said...

Gettin' tired of Animaniacs these days, sadly.

I'm still where I was - committed to liking most of the Fox run, increasingly doubtful about much of the WB run.

I do notice that my Freakazoid! DVDs seem to be the ones I reach for the most. And not just because the Candle Jack meme has taken off wi

Uyin said...

No longer applicable but still best to feel it..