It wasn't very long at all after that that the series started going downhill, sparked by network meddling and the subsequent departure of several key creative people. By the time it ended in 1998, it had lost a lot of the spark that made it great - although there were flashes of brilliance right up until the final episode.
I didn't stop to think about this until I sat down to edit some new ringtones for the Treo. Every cellphone I've had since I started carrying one full-time in 2000 has had the Animaniacs theme in one form or another as either its only ringtone, or else the one I use for family and friends, except for the one that I couldn't download ringtones to at all. The Kyocera could play MP3s, so I used a segment of The Animaniacs Suite, a fantastic rendering of the theme from the cartoon of the same name (part of that final episode) for that one. The Treo will play full MP3s instead of the downsampled and downmixed versions the Kyocera needs, so I decided to listen again.
Every time I hear The Animaniacs Suite, I get depressed: it ends with Ralph dropping the net over the Warners, and a cut to black. When I saw that, I knew the show had well and truly ended its run. I can't hear that whole piece without seeing that image, and I get choked up a bit over the 6:56 it takes to run.
One of these days, network executives will learn to stick to the good stuff, and get out of the way of the people who make it good. I'm not very hopeful that it'll happen anytime soon, though.