|Full Name||Minerva Mink|
|First Episode||Hercule Yakko/Meet Minerva|
|Voice Actor||Julie Brown|
|Catchphrases||It's Not Pretty Being Me|
This article is about the character. For the segment, see Minerva Mink (segment).
Minerva Mink (originally called Marilyn Mink, after cinema bombshell Marilyn Monroe) is a character in the Warner Bros. animated television series, Animaniacs.
Minerva is an anthropomorphic mink created by Warner Bros. animation producers Paul Dini and Sherri Stoner. Her initial designs were handled by character artist Barry Caldwell, while her final design was done by Dan Haskett. Her voice actress is Julie Brown. She, much like Hello Nurse, is designed to be attractive (she also gets similar reactions from male characters as Hello Nurse). Her initial design had her naked, very much like Slappy Squirrel. Slappy's curvaceous design on her "Got Milk?"/Buttermilk parody skit is a close representation of this initial Minerva design. WBTA's management felt this "al fresco design" was inappropriate for family entertainment, with final designs and name change occurring prior to the first Minerva episode airing. Minerva has white fur with long blonde hair, an enormous soft blonde tail as well as a pretty face, pink nose and sweet big black eyes. Being a fashionable girl, she is rarely seen wearing the same outfit twice, though most production art shows her wearing a red jumpsuit. Her signature outfit is a red jumpsuit (seen in the theme song at We're Animan-y,Totally insane-y.) Her scale changes with the plot. In her first appearance she was shown to be the size of a normal mink (this is in relation to her size compared to Newt, who was shown earlier in that episode only coming up to his master's knee). However, she was most often shown the same size as human beings, only about a head shorter than Hello Nurse. Her appearance borrows from many famous sex symbols, most notably Veronica Lake, whose sheepdog haircut is similar to Minerva's style. Since her debut appearance, Yakko Warner has a crush on her. Her role was toned down for her sexual nature.
Black and white Test Sheets
Comparisons of Ink sheets to Colored sheets
Minerva was created with an initial thought of creating a female counterpart to Bugs Bunny's wit, cunning, and humor. However, her final concept was for her to drive every male, no matter their species, into wild take-filled Tex Avery-styled conniptions at her beauty. When she spots a sexy male, she goes into multiple lustful spasms of her own like the ones the males give her.
Personality-wise and despite her beauty and sexiness, Minerva can best be described as a "gold-digger", so to speak, being extremely vain and greedy. She typically was seen using men to do whatever she wanted, showing no interest in them whatsoever. As an example of poetic justice, episodes typically ended with her receiving a taste of her own medicine, as she chases after men with similar exacting standards who don't seem to find her attractive at all. Her personality, being fashion conscious, obsessed with beauty and money, resembles a valley girl - a stereotype typically mocked in the works of her voice actress, Julie Brown. Although Minerva is snobby, smug and sees no interest in those who seek her attention, deep down inside she has a sweet friendly side to her, if anybody's kind to her, it could be that they'll get the same in return. This is best shown when, toward the end of her debut short, she gives Newt a hug of genuine affection rather than manipulation, being actually surprised when he reacts in a sexually attracted way even when that wasn't her intent this time. She is shown to have a more friendly dynamic with Newt in the comics following this, as well.
Minerva starred in the least number of shorts of all the ensemble cast, allegedly on account that the content of her shorts was so overtly sexual that it was decided that it would be inappropriate for the intended predominantly children's audience. For example, on one occasion, Minerva was seen as a shapely, nude silhouette while bathing in a lake. Additionally, many of the zany wild-takes on part of the male cast members were filled with innuendo. Her second and last solo short, "Moon Over Minerva", was slightly edited for content before broadcast. Some shots of her abundant breasts were considered too voluptuous and erotic for a children's cartoon, and as a result, were air-brushed out. The intent was for her full cleavage to resemble a large puff of fur, but resulted in what fans tend to refer to as a "uni-boob". Only some shots of her breasts, mostly close-ups, were censored - others were left alone.
One of Minerva's more popular character traits, seen during zany wild-takes at the sight of attractive men, was her habit of melting into a puddle. This take appears In both of her solo cartoons. In "Meet Minerva", when she finally meets her friend's cousin, she explodes into fits of arousal, culminating in her melting (quite literally) in his arms. She promptly reforms herself into the form of an obnoxiously loud boat horn, broadcasting her passion, much to the male mink's irritation. In "Moon over Minerva", when she encounters Wilford Wolf's Fabio-like alter-ego for the second time, she melts into a creamy multi-colored puddle at his feet. She is reformed back to her original state only after Wilford picks her up and wrings her out like a wet towel. Though she only appears in two shorts of her own, she appears in the title screen and in cameo when the majority of the cast is present.
In episode 54, the dachshund, Newt, is sent by his master to hunt down a mink. Newt finds Minerva and intends to bring her back to his master. However, each caging attempt on his part backfires when Minerva uses her beauty to turn him into a more bumbling idiot. Newt attempts reverse psychology on her, runs beside her and says he is no longer interested in her "substandard" fur. They stop running and she smiles at him. She wraps her tail around him, playfully teases him a few times, calls him cute, and gives him a kiss on the nose. He falls in love and spins around. She lays out her tail under him so he falls softly onto it like a bed of fur and rests there as she comforts him. After he asks her about the wedding, she tosses him into a gopher hole. Minerva simply calls him a "Yutz" and takes the challenge in stride. By the end of the episode, Newt decides to just blow her to smithereens from a distance and plants dynamite all around her house. After striking the detonator, her home is blown into the air but lands overlooking a scenic pond. Minerva is overjoyed at seeing her home placed right where she wants it and gives Newt a big hug. Newt is overwhelmed, promptly self-destructs and falls into the hole left by the dynamite. Minerva is surprised at his reaction and asks "Was it something I said?", but then stumbles upon a gorgeous male mink, the cousin of her best friend. Minerva explodes in a string of wild-takes, finally collapsing into the same hole Newt fell in. The male mink rolls his eyes and calls her a "Yutz". Minerva again says "It's not pretty being me", and Newt answers saying he has her beat. Newt and Minerva are seen together again albeit it briefly, not only in the main credits, but also in the animated short "Gunga Dot".
In "Moon Over Minerva" (episode 30, H03), Minerva is courted by the stereotypical nerdy wolf named Wilford. Minerva wraps her tail around him, sarcastically flirts with him and then tells him off. After rejecting him several times, she hurts his feelings. A full moon then rises, causing Wilford to undergo a lycanthropic change; as it turns out Wilford's species of wolf is 'Werewolf'. But not just any werewolf; Wilford transforms into an extremely buff, Fabio-like hunk that causes all the female animals in the vicinity to engage in lustful wacky wild-takes of their own and Minerva is no exception. Minerva falls in love at first sight, and attempts to catch the attractive werewolf, but each time the full moon is obscured by clouds, he changes back into the dorky Wilford. Thinking Wilford has scared him off, she searches for the hunky werewolf, and at one point she sticks her head in a pond and yells, in a parody of a child's hide and seek game, "Oli oli oxygen-free!" Eventually, after planting a big kiss on him, Minerva puts two and two together. She asks Wilford when the next full moon is, to which he replies, "According to most lunar calendars, every 28 days." Apparently, Wilford is more intelligent than he appears to be. Minerva sighs "Good things are worth waiting for," and keeps her schedule open accordingly for Wilford in his enhanced form.
In addition to having her two solo shorts, Minerva appeared in many other shorts in Animaniacs. Typically, this is often as a cameo. Examples include Star Warners (as Flabby the Butt's slave girl) and No Face Like Home (on the cover of the magazine Slappy is holding as well as inside it when she reads it multiple times). Other shorts feature her more importantly with the other characters. She often, though not always, gets roles with no dialogue; an exception is the short "Hercule Yakko", playing a suspect, where she has several speaking lines. Yakko (parodying Hercule Poirot) attempts to interview Minerva, but she is shown clad in only a robe (see image above) with the robe hanging off one shoulder. Yakko declares his love for her, than passes out. Wakko tries as well, but also passes out. The two revive to shout "Hello Nurse". Dot and Minerva shake their heads over how "boys have no control", only to lose control themselves. Minerva is shown a picture of the missing diamond, is stricken by it, and beats herself on the head with an anchor. She is seen at the end of the short with the other suspects. In the "Macadamian Nut" short, she is seen with Dot and Hello Nurse doing the dance. Another short, "This Pun For Hire", features her as an antagonist attempting to take a bird statue. She makes cameo appearances as a violinist in the "Great Wakkorotti" sketch, as a guest at parties, and in the theme segments.She makes a cameo in "Mighty Wakko at the Bat" where Yakko says "There came a sudden noise from Minerva Mink and Hello Nurse who waltzed in and said 'Howdy Boys' to distract the other team from catching the baseball. Minerva's last official appearance, as well as the last appearance of numerous other Animaniacs characters, was in the straight-to-video movie, Wakko's Wish. In that movie she was seen as a background character attempting to reach the wishing-star before everyone else. She only received a few individual lines in the film, but received a rather grand credit after the film's conclusion.
- Main Title (nonspeaking)
While Minerva mostly appeared as a background character in the TV series, she was featured far more prominently in the comic book series. Over time the quality has change from a "so, so" to more of what is now beautiful Minerva Mink.
Minerva starred in the following issues:
- Paul Dini (producer/story editor on many of WBA's DC Comics projects and story editor/writer on Tiny Toon Adventures) was responsible for the initial conception of the character.
- Minerva is the only Animaniacs character who never had her own opening theme.
- However in both of her cartoons, she does sing a song that might be considered her theme song called "It's Not Pretty Being Me".
- She is the only featured character to have only 2 solo cartoons.
- She is considered by fans as one of the two most attractive female characters of the show, the other being Hello Nurse.
- Minerva once held the title for "Sexiest Female Animal with both fury and non-fury boys from the 90's", which originally belonged to Fifi La Fume from Tiny Toons Adventures until the title was retired.
- In the original version of "Moon Over Minerva", Minerva's cleavage line was a little too revealing in her close-up shots, so the cleavage line was whited out in close-ups. However, if you look really closely, you can see the spot where it was whited out.
- Among all the characters in Animaniacs, Minerva was never seen in any of the video games.
- Minerva's first appearance was in Hercule Yakko.
- Tom Ruegger August 24, 2011 at 11:42 PM
In a nutshell, Minerva was considered to be a little too sexy for our target audience. Our executive producer (Steven) and the President of Warner Bros. Animation (Jean MacCurdy) thought that Minerva was perhaps a bit too voluptuous and her storyline a bit too one-note in that she was very sexy and seemed to arouse the sexual interest of any and all males in her vicinity, no matter what their species. Since the show had a large kid audience, it was decided to tone down Minerva's romantic aggressiveness as well as her curviness. To that end, we wound up needing to remove cleavage lines from the McClenahan/Startoons Minerva episodes. Paul Dini came up with the initial concept for Minerva, and it was based on reversing the gender on the Tex Avery Wolf, who would go into extreme wild takes when he saw a particularly hot babe. Minerva was a female version of that sort of over-reacting, hot-to-trot character. Barry Caldwell helped design the lovely Minerva and he was extremely adept at getting great performances out of the girl characters in the Tiny Toons and Animaniacs casts.
It was a different time, back then. While our cartoons were targeted at kids, we did intentionally make them so (we hoped) they'd appeal to a large audience of almost any age. Today, animated shows are not made that way. The current shows being made for Nick and Disney and CN are carefully and clearly targeted at very specific kid age groups. Back in the 90's, Animaniacs, on Fox and the WB, attracted a more diverse age demographic.