I’m currently watching one of my favorite movies from when I was a kid, the Animaniacs’ movie Wakko’s Wish. I just started it and in the exposition they say the land of “Warnerstock” was seized in a “hostile takeover” by “Ticktockia.” What I never realized as a child was that the writers are refering to the takeover of Warner Communications (Warner Brothers) by Time Inc., becoming Time Warner.
Let’s look at the script:
Narrator – Now this village was part of a peace-loving, picturesque little country called Warnerstock, which was ruled by a benevolent king, Sir William the Good. Everyone loved King William. Peace and prosperity covered the land, but then King William passed away and there was a struggle for control of the kingdom.
[Additional Voices – fighting ensues]
Narrator – And the struggle ended with Warnerstock being overthrown in a hostile takeover by the nation of Tictockia.
[Additional Voices – angry crowd]
Narrator – Now the new leader of Warnerstock was Salazar the Pushy, a ruthless corporate raider who vowed to rule with a tight fist. But the international community didn’t support his regime, and the country’s fortunes plummeted.
Additional Voice – [mumbling] We’re broke!
Narrator – Salazar’s treasury grew dangerously low, so he sent out an edict for the country to start turning a profit or perish. To fill the royal coffers, all cities and towns were to be taxed, and this included Acme Falls. There, the king sent his tax collector, Baron von Plotz, who was taxing to the extreme.
Ralph – Duh, that’s right, keep it moving! Please give ‘til it hurts! Next!
Plotz – [chewing] Well?
Additional Voice (Old Man) – Forgive me, Bron von Plotz, sir, but I’ve nothing to pay my taxes with. Why, you’ve taken my livestock, my land, my home, and left me with nothing to eat!
Plotz – Yes, yes, these are hard times. I can hardly keep the fire burning myself.
Additional Voice (Old Man) – Oof!
Plotz – Next!
[Additional Voices – man sobbing]
Narrator – The baron squeezed the life out of Acme Falls until the once prosperous town was crushed. And so our story begins, in the miserable little village of Acme Falls, with this pathetic band of downtrodden and destitute townsfolk – oh, and a mime, too. And three orphans who live on the street ever since the orphanage shut down; Yakko, Wakko, and Dot.