Minerva Mink (originally called Marilyn Mink, after cinema bombshell Marilyn Monroe) is a character in the Warner Bros. animated television series, Animaniacs. She will be a major protagonist in the revival of the same name.
Minerva was created with an initial thought of creating a female counterpart to the Tex Avery Wolf, who would go into extreme wild takes when he saw a particularly hot babe. . However, her final concept was for her to drive every male, no matter their species, into wild take-filled Tex Avery-styled conniptions at her beauty. When she spots a sexy male, she goes into multiple lustful spasms of her own like the ones the males give her.
Minerva is an anthropomorphic mink created by Warner Bros. animation producers Paul Dini and Sherri Stoner. Her initial designs were handled by character artist Barry Caldwell, while her final design was done by Dan Haskett. Her voice actress is Julie Brown. She, much like Hello Nurse, is designed to be attractive (she also gets similar reactions from male characters as Hello Nurse). Her initial design had her naked, very much like Slappy Squirrel. Slappy's curvaceous design on her "Got Milk?"/Buttermilk parody skit is a close representation of this initial Minerva design. WBTA's management felt this "al fresco design" was inappropriate for family entertainment, with final designs and name change occurring prior to the first Minerva episode airing. Minerva has white fur with long blonde hair, an enormous soft blonde tail as well as a pretty face, pink nose and sweet big black eyes. Being a fashionable girl, she is rarely seen wearing the same outfit twice, though most production art shows her wearing a red jumpsuit. Her signature outfit is a red jumpsuit (seen in the theme song at We're Animan-y,Totally insane-y.) Her scale changes with the plot. In her first appearance she was shown to be the size of a normal mink (this is in relation to her size compared to Newt, who was shown earlier in that episode only coming up to his master's knee). However, she was most often shown the same size as human beings, only about a head shorter than Hello Nurse. Her appearance borrows from many famous sex symbols, most notably Veronica Lake, whose sheepdog haircut is similar to Minerva's style. Since her debut appearance, Yakko Warner has had a crush on her. Her role was toned down for her sexual nature.
Personality-wise and despite her beauty and sexiness, Minerva can best be described as a "gold-digger", so to speak, being extremely vain and greedy. She typically was seen using men to do whatever she wanted, showing no interest in them whatsoever. As an example of poetic justice, the short "Meet Minerva" ended with her receiving a taste of her own medicine, as she fawns after a man with similar exacting standards who didn't seem to find her attractive at all. Her personality, being fashion conscious, obsessed with beauty and money, resembles a valley girl - a stereotype typically mocked in the works of her voice actress, Julie Brown. Although Minerva is snobby, smug and sees no interest in those who seek her attention, deep down inside she has a sweet friendly side to her, if anybody's kind to her, it could be that they'll get the same in return. This is best shown when, toward the end of her debut short, she gives Newt a hug and kiss of genuine affection rather than manipulation, being actually surprised when he reacts in a sexually attracted way even when that wasn't her intent this time. She is shown to have a more friendly dynamic with Newt in the comics following this, as well.
Minerva starred in the least number of shorts of all the ensemble cast, allegedly on account that the content of her shorts was so overtly sexual that it was decided that it would be inappropriate for the intended predominantly children's audience. For example, on one occasion, Minerva was seen as a shapely, nude silhouette while bathing in a lake. Additionally, many of the zany wild-takes on part of the male cast members were filled with innuendo. Her second and last solo short, "Moon Over Minerva", was slightly edited for content before broadcast. Some shots of her abundant breasts were considered too voluptuous and erotic for a children's cartoon, and as a result, were air-brushed out. The intent was for her full cleavage to resemble a large puff of fur, but resulted in what fans tend to refer to as a "uni-boob". Only some shots of her breasts, mostly close-ups, were censored - others were left alone.
- Paul Dini (producer/story editor on many of WBA's DC Comics projects and story editor/writer on Tiny Toon Adventures) was responsible for the initial conception of the character.
- Minerva is the only Animaniacs character who never had her own opening theme.
- However in both of her cartoons, she does sing a song that might be considered her theme song called "It's Not Pretty Being Me".
- She is the only featured character to have only 2 solo cartoons.
- She is considered by fans as one of the two most attractive female characters of the show, the other being Hello Nurse.
- In the original version of "Moon Over Minerva", Minerva's cleavage line was a little too revealing in her close-up shots, so the cleavage line was whited out in close-ups. However, if you look really closely, you can see the spot where it was whited out.
- Among all the characters in Animaniacs, Minerva was never seen in any of the video games.
- However, in the Animaniacs edition of Monopoly, Minerva, more accurately a screenshot of her from Moon Over Minerva, is shown on the space where Kentucky Avenue would be on a traditional Monopoly board.
- Minerva's first appearance was in Hercule Yakko.
- From Tom Ruegger August 24, 2011 at 11:42 PM "In a nutshell, Minerva was considered to be a little too sexy for our target audience. Our executive producer (Steven) and the President of Warner Bros. Animation (Jean MacCurdy) thought that Minerva was perhaps a bit too voluptuous and her storyline a bit too one-note in that she was very sexy and seemed to arouse the sexual interest of any and all males in her vicinity, no matter what their species. Since the show had a large kid audience, it was decided to tone down Minerva's romantic aggressiveness as well as her curviness. To that end, we wound up needing to remove cleavage lines from the McClenahan/Startoons Minerva episodes. Paul Dini came up with the initial concept for Minerva, and it was based on reversing the gender on the Tex Avery Wolf, who would go into extreme wild takes when he saw a particularly hot babe. Minerva was a female version of that sort of over-reacting, hot-to-trot character. Barry Caldwell helped design the lovely Minerva and he was extremely adept at getting great performances out of the girl characters in the Tiny Toons and Animaniacs casts."
- "It was a different time, back then. While our cartoons were targeted at kids, we did intentionally make them so (we hoped) they'd appeal to a large audience of almost any age. Today, animated shows are not made that way. The current shows being made for Nick and Disney and CN are carefully and clearly targeted at very specific kid age groups. Back in the 90's, Animaniacs, on Fox and the WB, attracted a more diverse age demographic."