- "Okay I love ya, buh-bye!"
- — Mindy
Mindy (surname unknown) is a curious toddler and a protagonist of the original Animaniacs television series, as one of the two leads in the Buttons and Mindy segments. She is a cheerful but oblivious girl who often wanders off chasing anything that catches her interest, only to unintentionally put her guard dog, Buttons, into danger as he attempts to protect her. She is voiced by Nancy Cartwright.
Mindy is a very small girl with short-cut platinum blonde hair that fluffs upwards with blue eyes. She has light skin, though it is darker than her hair, giving her a tanned appearance. In almost all of her appearances, she wears the same outfit; lilac overall shorts with a white short-sleeved shirt underneath, white socks and black mary jane shoes. She has puffy cheeks, a round nose, flipped bangs, and she is drawn with four-fingered hands.
While Mindy's age is never stated, her mother has mentioned wanting to get her into pre-school, of which attendees tend to be 3-5 years of age. Considering this mention, but the fact Mindy is still not enrolled in any schooling, she is likely about two or three years old.
Mindy's defining traits seem to be her curiosity and her obliviousness. Mindy likes to chase things that interest or intrigue her, and though she usually has a single-minded focus on her target, she will sometimes stop her chase to question passersby about what they are doing– one repeated joke is that she will ask people "Why?" until they give up on the conversation; usually this takes about three "why"s, and she will end the conversation with her customary "Okay, I love ya, buh-bye!"
While Mindy chases her target, she will often get herself into incredible danger that she will escape from either by sheer luck or through Buttons's interference. Despite this, at no point does she process the danger she's in, either completely missing it or seeing it as fun; this is likely due to her young age. At the same time, she often misses everyone else's negative emotions, such as her mother's disappointment or anger or the fear of people nearby that she will get herself hurt. Mindy herself is very rarely upset, and if so her mood won't last long before she is back to her optimistic, jovial self. Despite her lack of awareness, Mindy is very talented at escape artistry, being able to get out of her leash in new, inventive ways in order to start her chases, and has a great amount of endurance as she doesn't seem to get tired during her runs. She is also very playful and contended with simple things, such as playing in the dirt or sand.
Mindy has a great love for her dog, Buttons, though she doesn't quite understand how much trouble he gets into because of her. She will often call Buttons a "silly puppy," get excited when she sees him, and ends several of her sketches by hugging him tightly. In turn, he is very loyal to her and will do anything to save her from danger, though doing so puts him in harm's way. It has been shown, though, that this is not a trait unique to Buttons, as anyone who attempts to babysit her falls into the same unlucky slapstick incidents.
Mindy also shows herself to be very sweet and kind towards everyone she meets, such as freeing a trapped porpoise, returning an egg to its mother, saying hello to the mailman and garbageman, or quickly befriending and taking care of Toto. She is very polite, usually referring to people as "Mr." or "Mrs." Mindy also has a heart for things that other people disregard, such as loving her old, broken doll despite her mother's dislike of it.
The only people who don't seem to appreciate Mindy, in fact, are her parents, who consistently neglect and abandon her in the backyard under the presumption that Buttons will watch her as she is leashed to a tree. They almost always completely miss her little adventures, instead returning to find her in the backyard with the object of her desire and Buttons looking guilty of something they had told him not to do. One of the few times they noticed her going missing, they quickly blamed Buttons, believing that he was the one chasing the kitten that had led the two of them up a building. Their neglectful behavior goes completely unnoticed by anyone else, with Mindy's Mother often being given awards or accolades for her parenting. However, while Mindy herself is cordial to her parents, she also does not seem to acknowledge them as such, consistently calling her parents "Lady" and "Mr. Man," to their chagrin, specifically her mother's; this may be due to the fact they are rarely present in her life. The only time she referred to her mother by her preferred title was in Wakko's Wish, which served as the series finale and to which her mother reacted with great joy.
Mindy is an only child, born to an unnamed mother and father. Her family appears to be somewhat rich, living in a large house and having their own maid. Her parents usually leave her unattended in the backyard, leashed to a large tree and under the supervision of the family dog Buttons. However, Mindy is often able to escape the leash, and does so in order to chase something that catches her interest, whether it be a butterfly, bird or doll. She will then run throughout the surrounding area chasing her target, oblivious to the slapstick danger that Buttons gets into while trying to protect her. More often than not, she will end up returning to the yard, back in her leash, happy and content, while Buttons will get blamed for something inoccuous. However, she will usually then hug her dog and reassure him that she loves him.
Her cartoons tend to follow this formula, though on occasion she does not return home; once she and Buttons simply ran off, while another time her parents come to get her, only to blame Buttons for her disappearance. The segments also often happen in different points across time and space, such as in France or in a space colony. Running jokes include her going up to someone and asking them "Whatcha doin?", then asking them "Why?" three times when they respond, before leaving with an "Okay, I love ya, buh-bye!" which is her customary farewell. She will usually refer to someone as "Mr." or "Ms.", and the object of her desire will usually end with an "-y" sound. (ex: Lolly, Jelly)
A few times, Mindy has appeared outside her own segments; in the thirty-fifth episode, Buttons was replaced with the Brain, who attempted to corral Mindy into his world domination attempts, only for her to call him a "silly mousey" and dress him up. In "Lookit the Fuzzy Heads," the Warners intentionally set Mindy off on a chase after a wind-up toy in order to distract Elmyra Duff, who then followed her (calling her a "cute little girly head") and then became the recipient of the slapstick pain that tends to follow her, to Buttons's amusement. She also appears with the rest of the cast in "The Big Wrap Party Tonight," where she hugs Buttons as he is given "mutton" at the tower party before watching Sylvester chase Tweety, and in "Mighty Wakko at the Bat," in which they all played baseball, where she signs off the sketch with "Okay, I love ya, buh-bye!" Mindy also sometimes appears in the orchestra of The Great Wakkorotti segments, where she either plays the trumpet or the cymbals. In the final segment, "The Scoring Session," she plays either a violin or viola.
Mindy appears in the series finale of the Pinky and the Brain spin-off, a parody of Star Wars: A New Hope. Mindy takes the place of the Jawas, appearing as a "nomad" robot peddler on a desert planet. This is one of the very few times she appears without Buttons.
Mindy encounters 3-PinkEO and Brain2-Me2 in the desert, referring to the Brain as "funny vacuum cleaner man," which angers him. She finds them funny, and after asking "Why?" to Brain's every sentence, she proceeds to electrocute the two robots and bring them into her ship. She then arrives at Wakk Skylicker's sand farm and attempts to sell him her new robots. Wakko buys Brain under the assumption that he is a talking garbage can, and pays her in a pile of sand. She is confused, but shrugs this off and leaves.
It is unknown exactly how the events of Wakko's Wish fit into the continuity of the series; it is presumed to be a film that the Animaniacs cast worked on, as Spielberg is referenced in the script, and the film itself if referenced in the later reboot. However, it could also be considered an alternate universe, or some other unexplained event.
While Mindy is building a snowman, her mother asks her to take a fresh marionberry pie to her grandmother at the retirement village, chaperoned by Buttons. Her mother then leaves to bake cookies for the seven dwarfs, Mindy's "uncles," and as soon as she leaves, Mindy proceeds to give the pie to Buttons and return to her snowman. However, she is immediately distracted by Slappy and Skippy Squirrel traveling through the trees overhead. Delighted by the "funny squirrely-whirlies," she climbs up the trees and runs off after them, leading a horrified Buttons to follow her.
Mindy continues to follow the squirrels across the trees, and then across a breaking bridge, until the Acme Falls residents' wagons crash into each other, gathering them all together. Mindy then excitedly hugs Slappy, who hands her back off to Buttons. They are then captured along with the residents of Acme Falls by King Salazar and kept imprisoned until Wakko is able to reach the Wishing Star and wish for two ha'pennies to restimulate the economy; they leave with the rest of the Acme Falls residents.
Buttons and Mindy return home several days late, and after her mother expresses relief at her safety, Mindy finally refers to her as "mom" and is embraced warmly. Buttons is then rewarded with several steaks, and the two of them appear back in Acme Falls for the finale.
In the episode "Good Warner Hunting," Mindy and Buttons are imprisoned with the rest of the cast by a vengeful Chicken Boo after he is left out of the reboot. After Boo's defeat by the Warner siblings, she and the rest of the cast are freed, and her and Buttons join them in angrily chasing the chicken out of town.
|Wakko's Wish (1999)||Appears|
Mindy was voiced in the Original English recordings by Nancy Cartwright.
- Danish: Annevig Schelde Ebbe
- French: Marie Laure Beneston
- Japanese: Satomi Kōrogi
- Portuguese (European): Carla de Sá
- Romanian (Studio BTI): Iulia Tohotan
- Romanian (STS): Tatyana Bozhok, Lyudmila Gnilova
- Spanish: Elena Prieto
- Greek: Ρένα Καζάκου
- Buttons and Mindy's segment was originally going to be cut from the show during development; however, one of Steven Spielberg's daughters saw a drawing of them and loved them, which got them back into the show.
- She has been mistaken for a boy due to her short hair, clothing, and lack of eyelashes.
- The term Mindy uses for her father, "Mr. Man," would eventually be used coincidentally as a name for one of the Storypeople in the British preschool series Boohbah, which premiered 10 years after the original Animaniacs.
Animaniacs Wiki has a collection of images related to Mindy
- Episode 90: Pitter Patter of Little Feet/Mindy in Wonderland/Ralph's Wedding
- Episode 35: Very Special Opening/In the Garden of Mindy/No Place Like Homeless/Katie Ka-Boo/Baghdad Café
- Episode 64: Lookit the Fuzzy Heads/No Face Like Home
- Episode 63: With Three You Get Eggroll/Mermaid Mindy/Katie Ka-Boom: Call Waiting
- Episode 28: Moby or Not Moby/Mesozoic Mindy/The Good, the Boo, and the Ugly
- Episode 6: Temporary Insanity/Operation: Lollipop/What are We?
- Episode 43: Of Nice and Men/What a Dump!/Survey Ladies
- Episode 76: Gimme the Works/Buttons in Ows/Hercules Unwound
- Episode 14: La La Law/Cat on a Hot Steel Beam
- Episode 55: Gold Rush/A Gift of Gold/Dot's Quiet Time
- Episode 82: Wakko's 2-Note Song/Panama Canal/Hello Nurse/The Ballad of Magellan/The Return of the Great Wakkorotti/The Big Wrap Party Tonight
- Episode 79: My Mother the Squirrel/The Party/Oh! Say Can You See/The Twelve Days of Christmas Song