In the latest example of proving all shows from the 1990s will eventually make a return, Hulu is bringing back the Warner Brothers and their sister Dot. Steven Spielberg is also coming back to take on the role as executive producer of the series.
Animaniacs was a staple of the after-school programming on the old WB Network, and now the animated siblings are coming out of the WB water tower, making their long-awaited return to television on the revived Hulu series. Two new seasons have been ordered for production, with the intention of having new episodes to be available on Hulu’s streaming service beginning in 2020.
As part of the deal between Hulu, Warner Brothers and Amblin Television, Hulu has already begun making previous episodes of Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs, and Pinky and the Brian (which started out as a spinoff from Animaniacs) available. As of now, the only series getting a full revival will be Animaniacs, although we can hope that means Pinky and the Brian may get some airtime with a fresh coating as well.
Animaniacs was among the last great animated shows from the 1990s. It offered a unique twist on the Warner Brothers cartoons, presenting a modern take on Looney Tunes and was a step up from Tiny Toons in its writing and sophistication while still being entertaining for a younger audience in the same programming block.
To this day, the show still holds up with many of its segments. One of Animaniacs‘ most entertaining features were the musical acts. With the show going into production for a new series run in 2020, many fans will hope more of the musical theatrics are sprinkled in to go with some of the classics from the past. That certainly seems to be part of the plan, according to a Hulu executive.
“We cannot wait to work with Steven Spielberg and the entire Amblin and Warner Bros. teams to bring more sketches, catchphrases, songs and laughs from the Animaniacs to kids and adults everywhere,” Craig Erwich, Senior VP content at Hulu, said Thursday in a statement (according to The Hollywood Reporter). “Now one of the most beloved, inventive and funny animated franchises in history, Animaniacs and its cast of witty characters can live on, on Hulu. This marks yet another big move for us as we continue our efforts to be the No. 1 streaming destination for premium animated content.”
When you think back to the songs of Animaniacs, a handful quickly come to mind. First is the Presidents song, which could benefit from an update by the time 2020 rolls around. Well, actually, it might still be pretty spot on in today’s world…
Then there was the Nations of the World song, another bonafide classic…
Along those same lines was Wakko’s song about the 50 state capitals.
These are arguably the three most memorable parts of Animaniacs to those who watched the show from 1993 through 1998, and some fans can probably still recite some of these songs from memory. But the show also had a wide cast of new characters to the Warner Brothers animation cast.
Pinky and the Brain are the most popular duo outside of the main trio, but Slappy Squirrel was always one of the better characters too, especially when paired with her nephew, Skippy. Slappy was a cranky old squirrel who had no time to waste with various antics and antagonists and would spend her time educating her nephew how to outwit their foes with a hint of sarcasm.
Slappy and Skippy also recreated Abbott and Costello’s famous “Who’s On First” routine with a twist.
We may also see the return of Rita and Runt, the smart and witty cat and dumb dog tandem. Some fans liked this pairing more than others, but they were every bit a part of the show as others. Rita frequently offered more musical stylings to the show.
One character used primarily for short segments to go from one feature to another was the mime. In the segment titled Mime Time, a mime would perform various mime activities with comedic results. The return of Mime Time feels likely due to how short and swift they tend to be.
But of course, an Animaniacs revival would not be complete without the most famous duo from the show, Pinky and the Brain, as they continue to try and take over the world (the same thing they do every night).
How Animaniacs is updated will be fascinating to see. By the time 2020 comes around, there should be a wealth of material for the revived show and plenty more pop culture references to arm the scripts. If there is room for all of these characters to return to their familiar roles, Hulu may have an animated classic on its hands.