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Rita and Runt is an recurring original Animaniacs segment centring around Rita, a cat who sings songs (voiced by Bernadette Peters) and Runt, a dog who tags along with her (voiced by Frank Welker).

Description

Rita and Runt centers on Rita, a singing cat and Runt, a dumb dog on adventures across the world to find a permanent home after both animals escaped from the city pound.

Despite having a desire to find a nice permanent new home, the two manage to live quite comfortably by offering each other a close unbreakable friendship in defending one another for protection and giving moral support.

Segments

Animaniacs (Original Series)

Other

Animaniacs (Comic)

  • Mace Ventura Pet Hunter (Volume 15)
  • The Lunch Boat (Volume 42)

Trivia

  • Rita and Runt were, in early development of the original Animaniacs, originally going to be hosts of the show according to Tom Ruegger in 2007 before the idea was dropped.[1]
  • This segment was dropped after the first season. It was previously speculated that this was due to it becoming too difficult to create a new song for Rita to sing in each episode, as well as keeping Bernadette Peters on the payroll becoming too expensive. In an interview with Animanicast in 2020, Ruegger denied the reason for the segment's phasing out being due to the expense of Peters. He explained that it was instead the writers wanting to focus on other characters and the segment was never officially dropped. [2]
    • Her costar Frank Welker, however, remained a series regular, as he voiced multiple characters in addition to Runt. Although the sketch was discontinued, Rita and Runt would still appear in non-speaking cameos in the show (with "Gunga Dot", "Punchline (Part 1)", and "The Scoring Session" being exceptions). Even after the segment was dropped, Rita was still mentioned in the series' intro. Peters and Welker reunited once again as Rita and Runt for the film Wakko's Wish (1999).
  • Rita and Runt's story is similar to that of George and Lennie from John Steinbeck's novella Of Mice and Men. Runt and Lennie share their lack of intelligence, while Rita resembles George's shrewd personality, as well as his responsibility to care for his mentally challenged friend. In both stories, the characters travel from place to place, searching for a better life. In George and Lennie's case it's a farm of their own, while Rita and Runt are looking for a home, usually somewhere in California. The episode Of Nice and Men is a direct parody of the novella, indicating some level of resemblance was intentional.

Gallery

References

List of Segments
Animaniacs (1993-1998)
Yakko, Wakko, and Dot:
(Newsreel of the StarsWheel of MoralityThe Great WakkorottiDot's Poetry CornerTower Escapes, Chases, and ReturnsAnimator's AlleyUseless Facts)
Pinky and the BrainGoodfeathersSlappy SquirrelButtons and MindyRita and RuntChicken BooGood Idea, Bad Idea ("Skullhead Boneyhands") • Mime TimeMinerva MinkRandy BeamanThe Hip HipposThe FlameMiscellaneous (Stingers) • Ensemble shorts
Animaniacs (2020-2023)
Yakko, Wakko, and Dot (Math-Terpiece TheaterEveryday Safety) • Pinky and the BrainStarbox and CindyThe Incredible Gnome in People's MouthsSlappy SquirrelMiscellaneous
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