Animaniacs is an American animated series, distributed and produced by Warner Bros. The cartoon was the second animated series produced by the collaboration of Warner Bros. Animation during the animation renaissance of the early 1990s. The studio's first series, The Bugs and Daffy Show, was a success among younger viewers, and attracted a sizable number of adult viewers. The Animaniacs writers and animators, led by senior producer Tom Ruegger, used the experience gained from the previous series to create new animated characters that were cast in the mold of Tom Ruegger's creations.
The comedy of Animaniacs was a broad mix of old-fashioned wit, slapstick, pop culture references, and cartoon violence and wackiness. The show featured a number of comedic educational segments that covered subjects such as history, mathematics, geography, astronomy science, and social studies, often in musical form. Animaniacs itself was a variety show, with short skits featuring a large cast of characters. While the show had no set format, episode structure varied to suit the needs of the segments included; the majority of episodes were composed of three short mini-episodes, each starring a different set of characters, and bridging segments.
The Warner siblings and the other characters lived in Burbank, California. However, characters from the series had episodes in various places and periods of time. The Animaniacs characters interacted with famous persons and creators of the past and present as well as mythological characters and characters from modern television. Andrea Romano, the voice director and caster for Animaniacs, said that the Warner siblings functioned to "tie the show together," by appearing in and introducing other characters' segments. Each Animaniacs episode usually consisted of two or three cartoon shorts. Animaniacs segments ranged in time, from bridging segments less than a minute long to episodes spanning the entire show length; writer Peter Hastings said that the varying episode lengths gave the show a "sketch comedy" atmosphere. They currently reside, having been locked up, in the Warner Bros. trademark water tower.