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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, the majority of episodes were composed of three short mini-episodes, each starring a different set of characters, and bridging segments.
In 1990, amidst a variety of Bugs Bunny-themed ventures, George Daugherty conceived and pulled off a concert presentation based on the classic Bugs/Warner Brothers cartoons that took a cue from classical music, including one of the all-time acknowledged greats, "What's Opera, Doc."
Daugherty's idea was simple -- take the cartoons, strike new prints, set up sync tracks, and have a live fifty-piece orchestra perform the music tracks live on stage. That he was allowed to carry this idea through was astonishing enough. That it worked once is breathtaking. That they managed to pull it off, on Broadway, night after night, is a tribute to the people involved, because we're talking about precision timing here -- from an orchestra involved in complex scores played at breakneck speed with only a click track in one ear for tempo and no sight of the screen. The result was a massive hit both on tour and on Broadway.
Little Einsteins is an animated television series on Playhouse Disney that was designed to teach the target demographic art and music appreciation by integrating famous or culturally significant art works (usually, but not exclusively, paintings) and classical music (most typically from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods) into the scenery, plot, and soundtrack of each episode. The show is also designed to encourage viewer interaction (such as patting their legs, gesturing, or singing along to help the characters succeed on their "mission"). The educational preschool series was developed for television by Douglas Wood who created the concept and characters, and a subsequent team headed by Emmy Award-winning director Olexa Hewryk and Dora the Explorer co-creator Eric Weiner, and produced by Curious Pictures and The Baby Einstein Company.