Was there ever a chance for Slappy Sqiurrel to get a spin-off?
I say this because I was browsing through the Hub network programming and noticed a Slappy Squirrel themed episode of Animaniacs was on called "One Flew Over the Cuckoo Clock" and it even had it's own intro and ending theme. While I never cared much for Animaniacs, I did like the Warners and Slappy Squirrel the best.
I'm wondering why Slappy never got spun off, and yet Pinky and the Brain (Which I never found funny to begin with) did.
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No. People thought that was a pilot, but it was simply an experiment to try something different with Slappy.
I didn't particularly enjoy "One Flew Over the Cuckoo Clock", but I would've liked to have gotten a Slappy Squirrel spinoff if the writers were going to stick with the tried and true formula. I always felt that Slappy should have been the Animaniacs segment to get its' own show rather than Pinky & the Brain.
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Based on how they toned down Slappy following season 1 - as well as how lame later Slappy cartoons turned out - I'm fine with Pinky and the Brain getting the spin-off and not the squirrels.
I'd say that, with the possible exception of "The Sunshine Squirrels" in season 5, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo Clock" was the only really memorable post-FOX Slappy cartoon. And I find it more of a guilty pleasure than anything else. Yeah, it's not that kind of show and it has a tendency to be manipulative, but dang-it, I am a sucker for these kinds of stories. And I think it shows the relationship between the two at a very fine angle, especially with Slappy's escape in act 3.
I am actually one of those people who preferred the mice in the spin off rather than in Animaniacs. I just felt they were much better off on their own, and the stories got much more creative. That most of their later Animaniacs appearances felt phoned in (if anything, because of their removal from the theme - in most cases, at least) probably also played a part in my opinion.
The Pinky & the Brain spinoff was fine, until it fell victim to network executive meddling. When the WB tried to turn P&tB into their own equivalent to The Simpsons, the show suffered greatly to the point when even the shows' writers began making fun of the network's decisions to "improve" the show.
Getting back to Slappy Squirrel, I'll admit that most of the post FOX Slappy & Skippy shorts weren't all that great, but they still watchable. Slappy was and still is my 2nd favorite recurring character on A!, after the Warners, so I would've had no complaints whatsoever if Warner Brothers had decided to spin her off instead of P&tB.
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I think she would have fared well as a spin-off if you ask me. Some of her earlier sketches remain some of the funniest things Animaniacs had to offer, even giving the Warner siblings a run for their money. Some of the later stuff wasn't as good, but by that point the entire show was suffering to a degree, and really compared to some of the one trick ponies that made up a large number of the A! cast (Hip Hippos, I'm looking at you), Slappy was still great. My only concern would be if they tried toning her down a bit if she did indeed get her own show, since she relied on loads of good old fashioned cartoon violence with enough explosives to make Demoman look like a petty arsonist.
Pinky and the Brain made for a great spin-off, but Slappy would have done pretty well on her own too. Probably not to the success of the Mice, but still a decent enough effort.