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SLAPPY SQUIRREL

Original medium: TV animation
Produced by: Amblin Entertainment & Warner Bros.
First Appeared: 1993
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Like The Warner Brothers (and Sister), Slappy Squirrel's back-story included having been a cartoon star back in the 1930s, despite the fact that (also, like them) she debuted in 1993. Unlike them, her cartoons had supposedly …

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… been released to theatres, even if nobody in the real world actually remembers them. Slappy was characterized as an old Hollywood floozy with a film career in her past.

Slappy was one of several rotating series that constituted the 1990s half-hour Animaniacs TV show. She wasn't in the first episode, which was first aired on Monday, September 13, 1993. Her debut was in the third, which aired on Wednesday the 15th. Other major segment stars included character pairs such as Rita & Runt, Pinky & the Brain and Buttons & Mindy. Slappy, too, had a co-star, her young nephew Skippy. He idolized his once-famous aunt, and was always an avid audience for her cartoon lore. For example, when (like many his age) he was traumatized by the death of Bambi's mother, Slappy took him to visit the aging star, who explained it was all special effects.

Slappy may have long-since retired from active cartooning, but her "real-life" persona was a lot like the one she portrayed on the screen. She was still in contact with her old antagonists, Sid the Squid, Walter the Wolf and Benny the Bison, and still treated them the same was she always did — i.e., about the way Bugs Bunny treated Elmer Fudd. She was never without a firecracker or two to hand them when they least expected it, which was always. She may have been tender and kind to Skippy, but that was the limit of her benevolence.

Slappy's voice was done by Sherri Stoner, who also wrote several episodes, and who served as the live-action model for Disney's Little Mermaid. Skippy's was by Nathan Reugger, who also played a juvenile version of Plucky Duck in a couple of episodes of Tiny Toon Adventures. Sid's was by Jack Burns (also heard occasionally in The Simpsons), Walter's was by Jess Harnell (Impossible Man in an episode of Fantastic Four), and Benny's was by Avery Schreiber (several voices in Smurfs).

Slappy was never spun off, so her fortunes were tied to those of the show itself. That is, she flourished during the 1990s, including appearances in the DC Comics adaptation of the show. But since 1998, like the rest, she's been seen only in reruns.

— DDM

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Text ©2006 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Warner Bros. and Amblin