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"Yakko's World" is a song from the second episode of Animaniacs, sung by Yakko Warner. It was the first Animaniacs song of many that had educational value. The song was written by Randy Rogel, directed by Rusty Mills (Storyboarded by Brian Mitchell), and animated by Tokyo Movie Shinsha. The melody of the song is set to a slightly varied tune of the Mexican Hat Dance. Yakko's World is featured on the musical album of the same name that Animaniacs released with the Rhino Records label.

The song starts with a map of the world and an announcer saying "And now, the nations of the world, brought to you by Yakko Warner!" Yakko then pops onto the screen and then starts a fast song, naming the nations of the world, save some irregularities (see below). As Yakko sings the name of a nation, he points to it so it glows.

At several conventions long after the end of Animaniacs' original run, actor Rob Paulsen, who provides Yakko's voice, could sing the entire song word-for-word without reading the lyrics and without accompanying music.

Missing countries

Yakko's World does not actually name all the countries of the world. Naturally, some did not exist at the time, such as East Timormarker and Palaumarker, or gained independence too recently, such as Eritreamarker; while some of the listed states broke up into smaller countries, such as Czechoslovakiamarker, which was to split into the Czech Republicmarker and Slovakiamarker shortly before the release of the song; and Yugoslavia, which subsequently broke up into Sloveniamarker, Macedoniamarker, Serbiamarker, Montenegromarker, Kosovomarker, Croatiamarker and Bosnia and Herzegovinamarker. Not only did countries split apart, but some joined together; Yakko refers to "both Yemens", but Northmarker and South Yemen have joined into The Republic of Yemenmarker.

The United Kingdommarker is not listed as such, but instead two of its constituent countries, Englandmarker and Scotlandmarker, are listed, and two are not − Walesmarker and Northern Irelandmarker.

In addition, some countries have changed their names, such as Zairemarker becoming Democratic Republic of the Congomarker. Russiamarker was shown as the Soviet Unionmarker which contains Russiamarker, Tajikistanmarker, Turkmenistanmarker, Kyrgyzstanmarker, Uzbekistanmarker, Kazakhstanmarker, Georgiamarker, Armeniamarker, Azerbaijanmarker, Latviamarker, Lithuaniamarker, Estoniamarker, Ukrainemarker, Belarusmarker, and Moldovamarker. However, the Soviet Union fell two years before the premiere of this song, and each republic became its own independent nation, including Russia.

Virtually all of the countries excluded, except the Central African Republicmarker, Singaporemarker, Côte d'Ivoiremarker and South Africa, have very small areas and populations. Many are isolated island nations whose legal status is ambiguous, and are surrounded by (or were once themselves) islands that are territories of other nations. The song excludes:

  • Estoniamarker
  • (although highlighted when England is sung)
  • Western Samoa (now )


Nations and/or countries mentioned that are not universally recognized as independent states

Several regions, territories, islands or cities are mentioned which are not actual countries:



Continents, Islands, seas, regions, etc.



Other irregularities

  • Northmarker and South Koreamarker are mentioned together simply as Koreamarker.
  • United Arab Emiratesmarker is not mentioned, although Abu Dhabimarker, one of the seven constituent Emirates, and not an independent state, is.
  • As mentioned above, Yakko refers to "both Yemensmarker"; the country was reunited in 1990, three years prior to the episode's release.
  • Burmamarker is mentioned, but the country had changed its name to Myanmar several years earlier.
  • Kampuchea was renamed, most recently to Kingdom of Cambodia in 1994.
  • Dahomey is also mentioned by its modern name, Beninmarker, with its territory highlighted both times.
  • The map has many mistakes, e.g., in addition to showing Russiamarker with all of the CIS states, Nepalmarker and Bhutanmarker were not shown on the map but flashed when it was mentioned. The Chinese province of Tibet was shown as Nepalmarker on the map. Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Seamarker, was not shown.
  • Israelmarker is misspelled as 'Isreal' in the sing-along version.
  • Sinai Peninsulamarker is highlighted when Jordanmarker is indicated though it's part of Egyptmarker.
  • Switzerlandmarker is shown larger than it really is on a map.
  • Malawimarker is mispronounced as .
  • The Dominican Republicmarker is listed as "Republic Dominican" in order to fit the rhyme scheme.
  • Yakko mentions the Spanish Sahara as being gone, but doesn't mention nor point to its modern day name of Western Saharamarker.
  • When Yakko says "New Guineamarker" he's really marking the Papua New Guineanmarker half of the island. New Guinea is highlighted before, when he says "Indonesiamarker", because that half of the island also belongs to this republic. New Guinea is not a nation, and Papua New Guinea includes other islands in addition to the eastern half of New Guinea.
  • At one point in the second verse, the Central African Republic is red. Surrounding countries, Chad and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire) are also red, making the 3 look like 1 nation.
  • During the third verse, Egypt and Madagascar are pink, but the rest of Africa is green. Then, when Yakko turns from the Asia shot to the Africa shot, all the countries are shown again.
  • When Yakko points out Chinamarker, the northeastern part is not highlighted.
  • In the Portuguese version of the song, Canadamarker isn't on it. Although Yakko points at it.
  • In the Portuguese version of the song, Taiwanmarker is covered by Philippines.


Geographical Irregularities

  • Iceland is round with a small head, rather than looking like a dragon.
  • German borders take over Luxembourg, and the Danish take over north Germany.
  • Austria should have a tail, but instead it looks round.
  • When Yakko begins the song, Australia and New Guinea are farther South than they should be.
  • In the beginning, Iceland and Greenland are too far away from each other, and it looks like there are two Icelands.
  • The Saudi Arabian border takes over half of Oman.
  • The western tip of Romaniamarker in the second verse sticks out too far, taking over the Yugoslavian border.
  • When the song begins, there is a non-existent red island shown under South America (this might be the tip of Antarcticamarker, though the rest of the continent is missing).


Countries sung



References in Animaniacs

  • In another episode, Yakko does the same thing with the same music and costume to say All The Words in the English Language, presented as buffers between shorts throughout the episode. These skits were intended as meta-humor, parodying Yakko's World and even showing Yakko growing tired as his song progressed and getting angry when he made a mistake. It had the same background music as Yakko's world, and even a similar rhyme sceme. At the end of this, announcer Dick Button asks the viewers to "join [them] next week when Yakko sings all the numbers above 0," which causes Yakko to faint.
  • In the Season 4 episode "Cutie and the Beast", when Yakko manages to say Dot's full name ("Princess Angelina Contessa Louisa Francesca Banana Fana Bo Besca the Third") without error, Dot comments, "Oh, thank you, Mr. United States-Canada-Mexico-Panama!" These are the first four countries in the song. Also, the background score plays the tune of Yakko's World for a few seconds during this exchange.
  • In the Pinky and the Brain episode "The Third Mouse", Pinky was asked, "What do you know?" He responds, "The lyrics to 'Yakko's World'." Yakko and Pinky are both voiced by Rob Paulsen. Also yet again, the background score plays the tune of Yakko's World for a few seconds during this exchange.
  • In the Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain episode "Squeeze Play", when the Brain mentions the United States and Canada, Pinky starts singing "Yakko's World".
  • In the episode "The Sound of Warners," as the Warners are sleeping in their bed, Yakko has a nightmare, stressing over missing a country, Panama (though he does not notice singing two other countries out of order): "United States... Canada... Mexico... Jamaica... Haiti... Peru... no, you left one ou! Left--one--out!!"
  • A classic bumper for Kids WB featured Tweety who welcomes the watchers back and tuning into Animaniacs, at the very end, he's briefly heard singing "Yakko's World".


In popular culture

  • In a Norwegianmarker radio and tv advert for the Norwegian scratchcard Flax the beginning of Yakko's World is sung as a response to a man saying "Hey, long time since last I saw you. Where have you been?".
  • On the popular Dutch television show: "Ik wed dat ik het kan" (I bet I can), a woman sang the entire song from memory and won a thousand euros. [210698]
  • Like some cartoon characters from World War 2, Yakko has been "drafted" as a mascot for the US Navy's intelligence officer school in Dam Neck, Virginia, which has a mandatory course in geography. The "Yakko's World" song is sometimes shown as a joke as to the needed knowledge to ace that course.


References

  1. Rob Paulsen: Voice of Yakko Warner, Youtube
  2. The song is introduced as the "Nations of the World" - nation differing from country.
  3. Reference for the spelling of the last "please"


See also



Yakko's World on YouTube


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