Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Animaniacs: "Little Drummer Warners"

One of my favorite shorts of the series, "Little Drummer Warners" casts Yakko, Wakko and Dot as shepherds "abiding in the field at night" in this rendition of the Christmas story that offers up a jazzy swing version of "Little Drummer Boy."  Many thanks to Richard Stone, Steve Bernstein and Julie Bernstein for making the music work so well.  This cartoon was beautifully directed by Lenord Robinson.  Earl Kress and I worked on the script, and the vocal performances by Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell, Tress MacNeille and Jim Cummings, among others, are outstanding.


  1. I liked this jazzy rendition too. I think I liked "A Christmas Plotz" a little more though. :)

  2. Funny, this happens to be my favorite short as well. I smile every time I see it.

  3. Well I am an Animaniacs fan, Tom. :)
    Merry Christmas, hope you and your family have a wonderfull holiday.

  4. Bambi's mom, Simba's Dad, Nemo's Mom... none of that makes me cry.

    2 cartoons make me cry or come close:
    Bart gets an F ("part of this D-minus belongs to God)

    & Little Drummer Warners!
    - also helps that I had just started to learn to play a drum set the first time I saw this.

  5. I also love Little Drummer Warners, but you wouldn't want to hear the singing in other languages than English... it's simply not comparable, the original performance is outstanding!

  6. In what other language have you heard this cartoon? How did it go wrong?

  7. That was a good segment. I actually found an online Superbook/Flying House comic parody; when Chris, Gizmo, Corkey and the others went to see the manger scene, they're accompanied by Yakko, Wakko and Dot. lol

  8. Hey JerRocks2day, can you tell me where this comic is? I'd love to read it.

  9. It's on Shortpacked!

    It actually features more characters than just the Animaniacs; there's McGee, Peabody and Sherman, Bill and Ted, etc.

    Still can't believe this comic inspired my Trouble Shooter project.

  10. first of all, I liked this short a lot, !impressive!, it couldn't be better! as for the language of this song, well in english the song has the original lyrics, but remember this show was dubbed in 14 diferent languages. And one last thing for tonight!, besides Rita and Runt and the Warners, ¿which other characters were candidates to be the hosts?, !let me guess: Slappy and Skippy!, so long, and by the way, !merry christmas!

  11. Hey JC: Merry Christmas to you too!!

    Slappy and Skippy were not candidates to host. Slappy was too grumpy to enlist in such a central role.

    I know that, for a while, we considered having a Tiny Toons character or two audition for the hosting duties...but once the Warner Bros. and Sister came into focus as zany cartoon characters who had been locked away in the Warner Bros. water tower since the 30's, we knew we had our hosts.

  12. I know the song in English and French (I learned both in school) and in German (my mother tongue).
    I also listened to it in a couple of other languages, but that's the languages I could understand.
    As for how it was wrong... I just felt it sounded way better in English.

    For instance in the German version the rhymes are sometimes a bit clumsy, making the lyrics less appealing, overall.
    Also some words are streched in an odd way to fit into the rhythm of the song.
    It's still enjoyable and nice but the Original simply is better...

    Well, I guess it's almost as difficult to translate a song without losing some of its wit and charm as to come up with the original lyrics, but I personally cannot tell. :)

  13. Tom Ruegger, if the Warners were a real species, would they be a cat (like Rita) or a dog (like Buttons or Runt)?

  14. Nebbie,
    Asked and answered earlier. The Warners are neither cat nor dog. They are a species of cartoon animal. They are fictional. If they were real, they would still be their own species of cartoon animal and would need protection under the endangered species act, since there are only three of them known to exist. (But they probably have relatives that they see during the holiday season.)

  15. wait... if the warners would be under the endangered species act... does that mean to save the species some zoo would try to get
    Dot & one of her bro...


  16. This sketch always warms my heart. I don't wait until Christmas to watch it, since I think it's good for any day. Thanks guys for this wonderful sketch.