Animaniacs: Slappy Squirrel

My top 10 favorite shorts involving that cranky old critter...
January 18, 2008

The crankiest of creatures in the whole wide world, my next article features Slappy the Squirrel, and the top 10 best Animaniacs shorts featuring her.

Slappy was created and voiced by Sherri Stoner, who was also a writer/producer of both Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs, as well as the model for Disney's Ariel and Belle. Slappy Squirrel in a way is the product of what would happen if cartoon stars of the past aged and became senile. She has vast knowledge of every cartoon cliche in the book, and has a tendency to break the fourth wall for the sake of delivering a cynical comment to the audience such as "This is sad," or "That was pointless." So without further ado, here we go...

10. Slappy Goes Walnuts

In this first ever Slappy cartoon, she and her nephew Skippy (voice of Nathan Ruegger, son of writer/producer Tom Ruegger) are out of walnuts and have to acquire some from the tree in Doug the Dog's yard. This was a great start for her character, featuring a call back to an old Looney Tunes gag involving the musical piece "Those Endearing Young Charms," only slightly tweaked.

9. Little Old Slappy From Pasadena

A music video featuring the classic 1964 hit "Little Old Lady From Pasadena" by Jan and Dean, featuring's Slappy's reckless journey to drop off some outgoing mail. It appropriately ends with her declaring "And I never took a lesson in my life" right before being confronted by several cop cars.

8. Branimaniacs

In this commercial spoof, Slappy and Skippy endorse a new cereal "For that get up and go feeling," and I think you can guess where exactly this is going, so moving along...

7. No Face Like Home

Slappy plans to make a comeback to Hollywood after getting plastic surgery, only her arch nemesis Walter Wolf intends to disguise himself as the surgeon and perform a botched surgery himself. Little does he know Slappy is well aware of his plans and slapstick ensues.

6. Gimmie a Break

Slappy is desperately trying to take a vacation from show business, only show business keeps following and interrupting her, not to mention causing inconvenient crashes and explosions. Full of amusing movie spoofs including Speed (Keanu: "Like, I'm looking for a bomb." Slappy: "Check out your performance in Dracula.") Die Hard, Forrest Gump and True Lies amongst others, and it's also worth noting that the recurring director character is an obvious model of Jan de Bont.

5. Buttermilk, It Makes a Body Bitter

A hilarious spoof of the "Milk, it Does a Body Good" commercials of the early 90's, only with buttermilk leading the protagonist on a cynical journey that ends with her taking explosive revenge on the guy who's ignored her all those years.

4. Bumbie's Mom

Slappy takes Skippy to the movies to see Bumbie the Dearest Deer, only when Bumbie's mother is shot and killed Skippy can't stop crying hysterically. So to prove to him she's not really dead, Slappy takes Skippy on a trip to meet the actress, Vina Walleen. Full of brilliant spoofs and "gratuitous cameos", this is definitely one of the funniest Slappy shorts ever.

3. Guardin' the Garden

In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve are about to be influenced by a snake to eat the apples from the Tree of Knowledge, but as it turns out Slappy just happens to be living in that particular tree and is on a mission to keep the apples untouched. Another of the funniest and quite possibly the most controversial Slappy cartoon by today's standards, as it's religious background subject matter would probably be deemed "too offensive". Not to mention the whole near nudity issue of Adam and Eve.

2. Baghdad Cafe

In this final segment of the Animaniacs Stew episode where many of the characters were swapped around the sketches, Slappy has replaced Dot in a sketch with Yakko and Wakko mistaking Sodarn Insane's headquarters for the "Baghdad Cafe." Only Slappy is completely unprepared for the sketch and is wielding the script the whole time. The best moment occurs when she has to say the line "Hello, Nurse!" and afterwords comments, "I don't get it, what does that mean?"

1. Woodstock Slappy

The best Slappy Squirrel short, and one of the best overall Animaniacs sketches, it's 1969 and Slappy has dragged Skippy off to her summer cottage tree in the country to get away from the hippy influence. Unfortunately she finds out the next morning her tree just happens to be in the middle of Woodstock, and she aspires to reach the stage to try and pull the plug on the festival for some peace and quiet. This sketch if no other proved how diverse an audience age-wise the writers sought out featuring impersonated cameos of many music artists the average child most likely wouldn't be able to identify. Best moment features Slappy and Skippy doing an Abbott and Costello routine:

"Skippy, what's the name of the band playing on stage?"
"The name of the band playing on stage."

"Skippy, Do you see the band playing on stage?"
"No, I don't see The Band, that's a different group entirely."

So, in closing, in the words of Slappy herself...

"Now THAT'S comedy!"
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