Message in a Bottle/Back in Style/Bones in the Body is the 91st episode of the original Animaniacs, and is the first episode of the show's fifth and final season. It originally premiered on September 8, 1997.
This is the final variable verse in the original series to feature new animation. The final new one in Episode 98 (97 in some listings), features a new lyric over re-used animation from the "Citizen Kane-y" verse.
A documentary sequence showing what happened after Warner Bros. closed its animation department in the '60s. Apparently, they loaned out the Warners to some limited animation television cartoons.
The main plot of this episode is loosely based off when Warner Bros. loaned out several of their Looney Tunes stars (with the notable exceptions of Bugs Bunny, the Road Runner, and Speedy Gonzales) to Filmation in 1972 for the "ABC Saturday Superstar Movie" installment Daffy Duck and Porky Pig Meet the Groovie Goolies. This explains why Filmation got the worst of the parodies in this episode, with Phlegmation's Obese Orson (a parody of Filmation's Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids cartoon show.)
When Bugs and Daffy leave the studio, Bugs says that there is a flavored drink commercial waiting for them. The Looney Tunes characters did, in fact, star in several ads for flavored drinks like Kool-Aid and Tang after the Warner Bros. animation department closed. Daffy then says, "Wait up, Tex!" This is a reference to director Tex Avery, who returned to Warner Bros. briefly to direct those ads.
Friz Freleng erases Bugs Bunny's head on a drawing and replaces it with that of a panther - and then rushes off to turn the drawing into a cartoon of his own, titled "The Gray Panther", leaving a frustrated Chuck Jones in the dust. This is a reference to Freleng co-creating the Pink Panther character alongside Hawley Pratt - initially for the opening credits of the 1963 Blake Edwards film of the same name, but the Panther would then star in a series of short films produced at DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, which Freleng co-founded with business partner David H. DePatie.
Treg Green's name is a reference to Treg Brown - who was perhaps best known for the development of nearly all of the sound effects used for Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies at Termite Terrace.
Freleng speaks exactly like Yosemite Sam, which Sam is happy to point out. Many people who worked with Freleng found him to be rather similar to Yosemite Sam.
This cartoon features parodies of Yogi Bear, Scooby-Doo, Underdog, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids and The Beatles TV shows (in the parodies of the first two aforementioned shows, Hanna-Barbera sound effects are used to a moderate extent, as Yogi Bear and Scooby-Doo were originally created by the latter studio; also by that time, H-B officially became part of Time Warner, as its parent company, Ted Turner's Turner Broadcasting has merged with the latter nearly a year ago, in turn leading to its various properties becoming part of Warner Bros.). Additionally, the following year Warner Bros. Animation would assume production of new Scooby-Doo material, starting with the direct-to-video movie Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island.
The band that parodies The Beatles sing a parody of the Beatles song, "Day Tripper" called "Night Traveler."
Despite the opening narration stating that Termite Terrace had shut down in 1962, in reality it shut down in 1963, with the final cartoons to be made by the studio being released theatrically a year later.
Frank Welker provides his Fred Jones voice for the Scooby-Doo parody and also does his Scooby impression. Welker would later become the official voice of Scooby following Don Messick's death and Scott Innes retiring from the role.
This segment reunites Rob Paulsen, Jim Cummings and Gail Matthius where Jim voices Mr. Bumpy, Rob voices Squishington, and Gail voices Molly in Bump in the Night.
This is the final originalAnimaniacs segement to be animated by Akom. Their overall final contribution to the franchise would later be Brainy Jack from the Pinky and the Brain spin-off series; which aired a few months later on November 1st.