It’s been about three-and-a-half years since Warner Bros. and Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment announced they’d found another ‘90s IP to reboot: their much-loved cartoon show Animaniacs. Those who’ve been patient won’t have to be for much longer: The revival is set to hit Hulu right before Thanksgiving. And during this weekend’s New York Comic-Con, they dropped a first look at what the madcap show would look like in 2020.
Short answer: A bit more slick, a bit more widescreen, but generally the same. The clip is a pretty much shot-for-shot parody of an iconic scene in Jurassic Park, in which our scientist and mathematician heroes first espy the successfully revived dinosaurs of the titular isle. As Laura Dern’s Ellie Sattler (alas, not voiced by Laura Dern in the clip) holds up an old animated cel from the show — “This species of cartoon has been extinct since 1998!” — Sam Neill’s Dr. Alan Grant (ditto) grabs her head and directs it to the looming shadows of Warner brothers Yakko and Wakko and their Warner sister Dot.
And just to tie it all together in a neat little bow, in comes Steven Spielberg, director of Jurassic Park and Animaniacs executive producer, who’s returning to his old duties.
Running from 1993 through 1998, the original Animaniacs may have been aimed at kids, but its sense of humor and pop culture focus was distinctly older, or at least precocious. The show regularly parodied movies few kids were allowed to see, let alone even hear about, from Goodfellas and The Godfather to Apocalypse Now to Duck Soup and The Maltese Falcon. And, of course, there was one-half of the characters Pinky and the Brain, the latter voiced by first-rate Orson Welles impersonator Maurice LaMarche. Expect more parodies where this teaser came from.
The revival will be showrun by Wellesley Wild, a Seth MacFarlane regular, and Hulu were evidently so impressed with what he’s doing that they gave it a two-season straight-to-series run, right out of the gate. You can see how they did starting November 20.