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|“||♫ It's time for Animaniacs!
And we're zany to the max!
So just sit back and relax! You'll laugh till' you collapse!
We're Animaniacs! ♫
|~ The Warner Siblings during the start of the intro.|
Yakko, Wakko and Dot are the titular main protagonists of the animated series that has the same name and the 2020 reboot, and the cameo characters in Freakazoid!. The trio of red-nosed Warner siblings was considered to be the stars of the ensemble of characters on the show. They all appear in the Animaniacs logo, and the show usually begins and ends with gags performed by them. They are cartoon characters of an unknown species, although Tom Ruegger classified them as Cartoonus characterus. As with other Animaniacs characters, the Warner siblings were part of a loosely-defined cast of players and often made appearances in other characters' segments, often as a literal running gag, as well as hosting occasional appearances by other characters in their segments.
Yakko the eldest and is the leader of the trio with an attitude of a wise guy, Wakko the middle is the mild-mannered, polite kid but can be a complete goofball of the three and unlike his siblings, speaks with an English accent, and Dot the youngest and the only girl (basically the little princess of the trio) is cute, vain, sassy, and headstrong. All three of them run amok throughout the studio. However, they don’t provoke a person unless they’re asking for it. The siblings only use force when someone is being mean or disrespectful.
Yakko is voiced by Rob Paulsen, who voices many other iconic heroic characters such as Carl Wheezer, Rapheal, Donatello, and Antoine D'Coolette. Wakko is voiced Jess Harnell, who also voices Crash Bandicoot and Captain Hero. Dot is voiced by Tress MacNeille, who also voices Babs Bunny, Daisy Duck, Chip, Gadget Hackwrench, Wilma Flinstone, and Charlotte Pickles.
The three of the trio are mostly anthropomorphic dog/rabbit/cat-like toons with black fur from their head, torso, arms, and legs while have white fur on their face parts and feet. However each of them have different clothing said otherwise.
Yakko wears a light-brown cocky pants but wears no shirt, Wakko wears a red cap on his head and a blue sweatshirt, while Dot is mostly seen wearing only a pink-colored skirt with a flower tied to her ears.
As many differences as the Warners may have, what connects them above all is that they're all avatars and agents of pure cartoony, comical zaniness, mayhem, chaos, madness, insanity and confusion, which they have exhibited and loved to bring since their creation - and what makes extremely difficult to anyhow contain them, also considering their children’s mentalities and great persistence. They love to escape from their prison/HQ, the Warner Bros. water tower, to induce chaos and do what ever they please around the unjust, corrupt and cash-grabbing studio, as well as the whole world and time, satirising and taking potshots at whatever they can (mostly pop-culture) in the meantime. Their “zaniness” is incurable by any means (as it is their natural state) and they themselves make it as clear as they can they want to keep it as the most uncontrollable, anarchic and comical cartoon forces Hollywood has seen.
Yakko is the witty, sarcastic and charismatic de facto leader of the siblings (also the eldest). He relies on wordplay, wisecrack, catchphrases and occasionally slapstick in his antics. He is the most intelligent of the trio, their mentor and authority figure, as well as the first cause of trouble and the most irreverent (besides Dot, and counting that while his irreverence is good-natured, she simply does not care). He is obsessed with girls (not surprising, considering his age), which is predominantly shown with the iconic running gag where he and Wakko, seeing Hello Nurse (or any attractive woman for that matter) shout "Hellooooo, nurse!" and do any activity a cartoon does when he's madly in love (e.g., turn into wolves, let their tongues slide out). He also takes the responsibility for most of the adult-oriented humor (after a joke considered as such blowing a kiss and saying "Goodnight, everybody!"). Although he may tease and butt heads with his siblings at times, he still is very caring and protective towards them, especially in Wakko’s Wish.
Wakko is the middle one of the kids and the most childish and puerile as well as least intelligent and emotionally mature, but very sweet, silly, loving and meek, although when time comes, the most zany and reliant on slapstick and physical comedy, as well as toilet humor. He has a ginormous appetite and can eat virtually everything (on the promotional image of the reboot, his tummy is accurately described as an "endless void for noms"). Despite his zaniness and keenness of using cartoon violence, he undoubtedly is the purest of the siblings and has a heart of gold.
Dot is the sassy, vain, rude and outgoing little sister who takes great pride in her cuteness, which she often uses in order to get her way or get the attention of and appeal to anyone she meets (when that fails, she resorts to violence). While she hates when her brothers fawn over Hello Nurse, Minerva Mink and other beautiful women, she hypocritically does the exact same when seeing a handsome man, especially her idol Mel Gibson. Despite being slightly younger than Wakko, she’s essentially a big sister figure to him (which, considering girls mature a bit faster than boys, isn’t that surprising) and occasionally exhibits quite maternal attitudes towards him (for example, scolding him for not going to school). In the reboot, her reliance on cuteness has been toned down in favour of her cheekiness, wit and feminist attitudes.
Taking their respective forms of comedy to consideration, they may be seen as a sort of Trinity of Comedy, as they all represent a certain element or aspect of it: Yakko - comedy’s reliance on words, Wakko - comedy’s reliance on slapstick, Dot - the unpredictability of comedy.
Despite that some of their traits may sound negative, antagonistic or downright villainous, the Warners are very far from that category. While they love to drive insane - or at the very least get negative attention of - almost anyone they encounter, they make sure their zany torment won't occur if the potential victim won't deserve it - and all of it is good-natured and playful (as for Wakko, it's very much unintentional). Their zaniness and love of bringing humorous chaos is not antagonistic - it’s their main form of expression as 1930s cartoon characters. They're essentially zany kids with their own moral code who accidentally-on-purpose teach jerky adults in the world lessons in their own way - for the better or worse. Plus, they don't always just bother people to give them a taste of their own medicine - sometimes they inspire those who need a muse with all their antics, showing that nothing in the world couldn't have been done without a little humor, wackiness and thinking outside of the box.
Their characters, goals and doings are very similar to the ones of Woland and his troupe from the Soviet satirical black comedy novel Master and Margarita. Woland - the Satan in human disguise - and his crew consisting of demons and spirits incarnated as his helpers, arrive in the 1930s atheistic and immoral communist Moscow to arrange a ball in a cursed apartment for all souls residing in Hell, but in the meantime, they all wreak havoc in the sinful city, bringing deserved treatment and punishment to its citizens (for example teleporting a do-nothing theatre director to the city of Yalta or driving a young poet insane, making him realize that he's wasting himself writing propaganda poems, which leads him to become a successful professor, among many others). Ironically, all of Woland's potentially evil or antagonistic deeds and antics - just as those of the Warners - are more or less justified, and he himself is - compared to the entirety of the city, the country and its unlawfulness - not even necessarily evil; rather an invincible, unstoppable neutral force bringing outlandish and exaggerated justice to the nonsensical, preposterous world and, at heart, a good man. And that's precisely who the Warners are themselves.
- The Warners were originally supposed to be ducks.
- There was originally supposed to be four Warner siblings: Yakky, Smakky, Wakky and Dot. Later in production, Yakky became Yakko, Smakky and Wakky were merged into one character and became Wakko whilst Dot remained the same except that the bow on her head was changed to a flower.
- The main inspiration for Yakko and Wakko - aside from Tom Ruegger's own sons - were respectively beloved comedians Groucho and Harpo Marx, hence Yakko's witty, loquacious nature and his use of wordplay, puns, jokes and wisecrack, and Wakko's more meek character and more of a reliance on physical and prop comedy. Dot, on the other hand, according to the pitch bible of the series, was presumably based on the general idea of a female cartoon character as she's described as "all animated female characters have ever been".
- Furthermore, in the Halloween segment of the revival, "Fear and Laughter In Burbank", the Warner siblings are indeed dressed as the Marx brothers - Yakko as Groucho, Wakko as Harpo, and Dot as Chico.
- Wakko's voice was inspired by Ringo Starr.
- Wakko has Coulrophobia (a fear of clowns). The only clown of which he is not scared, however, is ironically Nickelwise, the fear-sucking spirit of Halloween and a parody of Pennywise.
- Interestingly enough, the only one of the siblings who eventually falls victim of Nickelwise's evasions of one's worst nightmares is Yakko, who upon not being answered to any of his jokes or whether he is funny suffers a nervous breakdown (definitely his darkest and only helpless moment) and is narrowly saved by Dot. This could imply that, while he acts as the most mature, experienced and the de facto leader of the trio, he actually is the emotionally weakest and most vulnerable (also taking to consideration that, as the eldest, he presumably has a lot more worries on his mind than Wakko and Dot, despite still being quite far from adulthood), providing depth to his character like never before. Despite being cheered up by his brother and sister at the end and having his spirits, optimism and zaniness fully restored, his insecurities probably still remain deep inside of him.
- In the reboot episode 8 segment "WhoDonut", Yakko and Dot construct an alibi for their whereabouts when Wakko's donuts are eaten by saying they were on a double date with bats. In the flashback sequence, Yakko is sitting across from the male bat and Dot is seated across from the female bat. This suggests that Yakko and Dot are bisexual.