First Look at Animaniacs Reboot

We thought that Animaniacs was gone forever but, uh, nature finds a way.

Animaniacs Cold Open
Photo: Warner Bros.

We’re a month away from getting Animaniacs back and it’s not a moment too soon. Yakko, Wacko, and Dot have been missing since the late-90s and, honestly, it was probably more due to fatigue than anything else. Sometimes you need to rest a property, then bring it back down the line. Animaniacs is a very welcome return, but at the same time, we don’t want it to be too different. More specifically, it doesn’t need to be too different. Add a new splash of paint and modernize it without straying too far, but keep the soul the same.

Things were already on the right track with the news that they were bringing back all the original voice actors. Apparently, it was a situation where Steven Spielberg wanted all of them back or it wasn’t happening.

On Sunday, New York Comic Con had a panel about the new show featuring voice actors Rob Paulsen, Tress MacNeille, Jess Harnell, and Maurice LaMarche as well as executive producers Wellesley Wild and Gabe Swarr. Much was talked about in this half hour, including why the characters resonate so well and the several-year process of bringing the show back in its new form.

Talk is fine, but where’s the cream filling? We need some results and luckily, they tossed in a look at not just any Animaniacs clip, but the cold opening for the brand new season. Better yet, they play up the Steve Spielberg connection by parodying a certain movie he did about bringing back awesome things from the distant past.

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No, not Ready Player One. I mean a good movie. I mean Jurassic Park.

Ah, there’s so much to love here. The weird crank noise when Laura Dern’s head is forced to the side. The Jurassic Park lawyer being repurposed as a Hulu representative. The driver quietly removing Jeff Goldblum’s hand from his shoulder.

It’s most definitely a great start and sells what they’re going for. The Warner Siblings are still “zany to the max.” Pinky and the Brain will be returning and that news is treated as major as bringing back a tyrannosaurus rex from extinction. The only true differences are that the characters are drawn in a more updated style, the cartoons are in widescreen, and Spielberg fits a little TOO well as the elderly John Hammond.

Really, all we need now is Wayne Knight yelling that nobody cares that Rita and Runt aren’t back. Or a giant chicken dressed as Wayne Knight. Not to be confused with Wayne Knight dressing as a giant chicken in Toy Story 2. I’m getting off track here.

Not only is parodying Jurassic Park so perfect for what they’re going for, it really comes off way better than when Warner Bros. did that show Histeria! and introduced it with a cold open parody of the 1998 Godzilla movie. That’s…certainly a time capsule.

The new season of Animaniacs will debut on Hulu on November 20. Similarly, all the old episodes of Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain are available on the streaming service right now. This includes the unfortunate Elmyra season of Pinky and the Brain that we don’t talk about.