“Animaniacs” was a TV show that produced episodes, shorts, and music videos between 1993 and 1998. It focused on 3 siblings: Yakko, Wakko, and Dot Warner – whose species never gets revealed.
At least a few of their music videos educate audiences. The one with the song, called, “The Presidents” is no different.
The clip starts with the title and the tune of “Glory, Glory, Hallelujah.” Then it cuts to the start of the music video, where Yakko, the tallest and oldest sibling, pops out of the eagle symbol, and sings the intro, asking the audience if they know the US presidents.
Wakko sings the next part – about George Washington being the first president. Yakko and Dot, the only Warner sister, take part in different sections of the song as well.
The whole song is in the tune of “William Tell Overture Finale,” except for the part where they mention the civil war – that is sung in the “Dixie” tune.
They identify and teach the audience about all the presidents up to Bill Clinton, since he was the president of the US then.
When I first saw the video, I thought about how it was outdated since I viewed it in either 2018 or 2019. I wanted to see if someone commented on the clip, saying something like, “Then came Bush, Obama, and Trump.” Unfortunately, comments were (and still are) disabled.
However, the good news is that “Animaniacs” received a reboot in 2020. So, the creators uploaded an updated version of “The Presidents” music video. In between the Clintons and the part where Yakko sings about who might be the next president, the new clip shows Bush, Obama, and Trump.
The Warner siblings focused more on Hilary Clinton, though – until they stated that Trump was president. It surprised me that Bush got no acknowledgement – just a brief scene of him in his bed – but awake.
I also predicted that the Animaniacs would mention that Obama was America’s first African American president. But that did not happen.
Another surprise that I noticed was that Yakko’s voice sounded a bit different in the updated version. I will admit, it didn’t satisfy me when I first spotted that. Yet, I got over that.
After all, “Animaniacs” ended in 1998. So, although the original voice actor of Yakko, Rob Paulsen, returned to portraying the same character, he probably couldn’t match it in the the same way as he did in the 90s.
Not just because of how much time has past since, and that his voice could have deepened more, he also acted in a lot of other projects, too.
The creators of the “Animaniacs” reboot presemably couldn’t get someone else to portray Yakko in the same voice as Rob Paulsen did in the 90s, who was in his late 30s and early 40s when the original show ran.
Yet, I am thankful that the “Animaniacs” creators updated the music video for “The Presidents.” Unless a topic like this specifies a range of when something happens over a long period of time, but only to a certain point (i.e., the year, 2000), the information becomes outdated.
Speaking of which, some of the lyrics about different presidents were not true. A notable one was stating that George Washington chopped down a cherry tree – that is just a fable.
Another false statement, despite its humorous message, was when Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he and his wife fought. And it got to the point where she forced him to sleep on a couch all night. However, at that time, she struggled due to a miscarriage she’d suffered from.
I absolutely enjoyed this video. Because the song has a fast pace, the characters don’t share a whole lot of information about each president. They only add up to a few brief facts for each.
I also admire the visuals that didn’t match the style of the cartoon. My favorite is when a “real-life” Abraham Lincoln pushed the scenes away to portray who won the civil war. He also wore a baseball outfit and hit a ball with a bat.
One part I found a bit weird is when Yakko caresses one of the president’s chins with his finger to state an aspect about his chin.
That’s a little too much, since it doesn’t look too cute on a president, not even on his portrait. But it also makes me giggle thinking about it.
Then later, Yakko mentions how Ulysses S. Grant used to drink a lot. But when he spilled it, it landed in an area where it looked like he urinated.
Speaking of which, right before Wakko sings his first verse, Yakko flushes a toilet while singing the intro. It’s irrelevant and funny at the same time.
The list goes on in the video, which you can search for on YouTube. If you’re more interested in the idea of how things have between 2001 and 2020, I’d suggest watching the updated version, where Bush Jr., Obama, and Trump are included.