" 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, 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
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 after the end of Animaniacs, voice actor Rob Paulsen could sing the entire song without reading the lyrics.
does not actually name all
the countries of the world. (It is important to note that the song is introduced as the "Nations of the World" - nation
differing from country
.) Naturally, some were non-existent at the time, such as East Timor
, or gained independence too recently, such as Eritrea
; while some states broke up into smaller countries, such as Czechoslovakia
, which was to split into the Czech Republic
shortly before the release of the song; and Yugoslavia
, which subsequently broke up into Slovenia
, Republic of Macedonia
and Bosnia and Herzegovina
. Not only did countries split apart, but they joined together; Yakko refers to "both Yemens," but currently North
and South Yemen
have joined into The Republic of Yemen
The United Kingdom is not listed as such, but instead two of its constituent countries, England and Scotland, are listed, and two are not--Wales and Northern Ireland.
In addition, some countries have changed their names, such as Zaire becoming Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Virtually all of the countries excluded, except the Central African Republic, Singapore 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:
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:
- Puerto Rico is a nation in the Caribbean; although it is not formally recognized as a totally self-governing state, it is currently a Commonwealth, which the United Nations (U.N.) Decolonization Committee describes as a colony of the United States.
- Tibet claims to be, but is not widely officially recognized as, independent from People's Republic of China.
- Taiwan is claimed as part of the People's Republic of China, but is governed by the Republic of China .
- Bermuda and Cayman are British colonies, as was Hong Kong at the time of broadcast, prior to its handover to People's Republic of China in 1997.
- Greenland is a self governed territory of Denmark.
- Guam is an island in the Pacific under U.S. sovereignty (American territory).
- Sumatra is an island of Indonesia
- Borneo is an island that includes Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, Brunei and Indonesian province of Kalimantan. Although this mistake is common in Western media in general.
- French Guiana is a "département" (administrative unit a bit bigger than a county) of France and Mahoré is a French oversea territory (T.O.M).
- Mahore is another name for Mayotte, which is an island in the Comoros. This is most likely why they weren't mentioned.
- Abu Dhabi is mentioned, but the United Arab Emirates as a whole is not.
- Algier is mentioned; this is an incorrect way of saying Algiers, the capital city of Algeria, which is also (correctly) mentioned.
- Palestine is not recognized by the UN as an independent state.
- Tobago is mentioned by itself, but the country is actually Trinidad and Tobago.
- United States, Denmark, Greece, Indonesia, China, Algeria and France are listed by both the country's name and by a region, city or overseas territory. The UK is not listed, but referenced in England, Scotland and Hong Kong.
Continents, Islands, seas, regions, etc.
- North and South Korea are mentioned together simply as Korea.
- United Arab Emirates is not mentioned, although Abu Dhabi, one of the seven constituent Emirates, and not an independent state, is.
- As mentioned above, Yakko refers to "both Yemens"; the country was reunited in 1990, three years prior to the episode's release.
- Kampuchea was renamed, most recently to Kingdom of Cambodia in 1994.
- Dahomey is also mentioned by its modern name, Benin, with its territory highlighted both times.
- The map has many mistakes, e.g., in addition to showing Russia with all of the CIS states, Nepal and Bhutan were not shown on the map but flashed when it was mentioned. The Chinese province of Tibet was shown as Nepal on the map. Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, was not shown.
- Israel is misspelled as 'Isreal' in the sing-along version.
- Sinai Peninsula is highlighted when Jordan is indicated though it's part of Egypt.
- Switzerland is shown larger than it really is on a map.
- Malawi is mispronounced as /'mæləwaɪ/.
- During the first verse, the camera is zoomed in on North and South America. In a (likely intentional) act of goofiness at the end of the verse, the camera quickly pans left as Yakko reaches across the Pacific to point to Guam, with eastern Asia visible beyond. When the entire map is viewed, however, the map is not continuous across the Pacific; Asia and Guam are on the viewer's right.
- The Dominican Republic 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 Sahara.
- When Yakko says "New Guinea" he's really marking the Papua New Guinean half of the island. New Guinea is highlighted before, when he says "Indonesia", 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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, "Thank you, Mr. United States-Canada-Mexico-Panama!" These are the first four countries in the song.
- 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.
- 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 in the song (Panama).
- In "The Senses Song" Yakko pulls out a global map and sings "A sense of direction for knowing the Earth!"
In popular culture
- In a Norwegian radio and tv advert for the Norwegian scratchcard Flax the beginnining 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 popular Dutch television show: "Wedden dat ik het kan?" (I bet I can), a woman who sang the entire song from memory won a thousand euros.
Yakko's World on YouTube