Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Animaniacs

  • Yakko's World [Kid Rhino, 1994] Choice Cuts
  • Faboo! Collection [Rhino, 1995] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Yakko's World [Kid Rhino, 1994]
"U.N. Me" Choice Cuts

Faboo! Collection [Rhino, 1995]
At the far end of a trajectory determined by Noel Coward and Shel Silverstein, we come upon Steven Spielberg's answer to Aladdin and the Archies, where three actors I never heard of--Jess Hornell as acutely all-American Wakko, Rob Paulsen as thickly Liverpudlian Yakko, and Tress MacNeille as precocious little Dot--warble a significant body of new nonsense songs. The music is "Turkey in the Straw," Gilbert & Sullivan, Offenbach, and lesser cliches, all rendered in loungecore-ready registers. But three writers with suspiciously similar surnames (Rogel, Rugg, Ruegger) furnish lyrics that are suitable for children (which makes the mildly risque moments more fun), occasionally educational ("Yakko's World" lists U.N. members, "The Presidents" mentions Nixon's ignoble end and says Jefferson wrote the Constitution), and always clever fun, especially on the reissued debut that fills out this two-CD, one-hour box. Maybe you can live without the cannily self-referential "I Am the Very Model of a Cartoon Individual." But don't you have something to learn from "All the Words in the English Language"? A-