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Animaniacs Reboot Hulu - What We Know So Far

It's time for (new) Animaniacs, who are zany to the max! 

'90s reboot fever has been high the past several years, but it was nonetheless a surprise that this particular franchise got the magic wand tap to return to production all the way back in 2017. The OG Animaniacs series' debut on Netflix in 2016 was so well-received that executive producer Steven Spielberg apparently felt it fitting to look into getting the animated band back together. It's taken time, but Wakko, Yakko, and Dot are just about ready to bust out of ye olde Warner Bros. Animation's water tower for the first time in literal decades and grace our screens again. 

Much has changed since the trio — already designed as a retro joke, being cartoon characters from the 1930s — last appeared on television. Their contemporary slapstick world was filled with Jerry Lewis jokes and was broadcast via cable on CRTs; today, it will be on QLEDs via Hulu streaming. There certainly won't be any lack of material to riff on and make new catchy musical numbers about — the only question is just what it will look like. Here's what you can expect from the Animaniacs reboot, based on everything we know about the project so far.

What's the release date for the Animaniacs reboot?

Though the Animaniacs reboot was greenlit as a direct-to-series a few years back, news only recently dropped about where the series would air and when it would premiere: on Hulu, and on November 20, 2020 (via Variety). The reboot will be joining the rest of the Amblin Entertainment back catalogue already on the streamer – Tiny Toon Adventures, Pinky and The Brain, Pinky, Elmyra, and The Brain, and the original Animaniacs – save for Freakazoid!, which is currently on Amazon Prime. The new Animaniacs series automatically scored two seasons (the second of which is scheduled for a 2021 debut), and each will have 13 episodes apiece. 

Hulu reportedly considers the reboot its first foray into its own natively produced children's content, so it's entirely possible that more seasons could be ordered provided an audience shows up for it. Animaniacs was arguably well ahead of its time for a kids' show, and there's never really been a better time than now in this modern renaissance of all-ages animated programming for its kind of comedy, so let's feel bullish and hope this means a whole new generation of kids get another hundred episodes or more of the series.

Who's in the voice cast of the Animaniacs reboot?

Authenticity is a big part of rebooted series' success; that kernel of the original needs to be there to justify bringing it back, no matter how fresh and new the material. In the case of the Animaniacs reboot, there's no cause for concern — all three original voice actors for our favorite characters of indeterminate evolutionary lineage are returning to reprise their roles

As of late 2019, Rob Paulsen (who voiced Wakko as well as Pinky), Jess Harnell (Yakko), and Tress MacNeille (Dot) were confirmed to return for the new Animaniacs. Along with them, Maurice LaMarche will also return as the Brain. All of these voice talents overlapped into other minor characters from the original series, so it's entirely possible some of those will make appearances on the reboot as well. It may also encourage you to know that two of the original scorers for the series (who also scored both Pinky and the Brain as well as Freakazoid!) will be returning to write music for the reboot, which means at least some of the original musical-comedy format will be retained on these new episodes.

What's the plot of the Animaniacs reboot?

Details on plot — if Animaniacs can ever be described as having a single cohesive one, past or present — are vague for now, but there's every reason to believe that the show's general sketch-comedy-esque format will be maintained. We do know that Pinky and the Brain will be featured on episodes of the reboot, and it sounds like they may be presented in the same bizarro Sherman & Peabody-parody vignettes we all first grew to love back in the '90s

The general summary for the series being shared around media outlets is thus: "The Warner brothers, Yakko and Wakko, and the Warner sister, Dot — three inseparable, irascible siblings — have a great time wreaking havoc and mayhem in the lives of everyone they meet. They have been locked away in the Warner Bros. water tower for a very long time, but they have found a way to escape. And escape they do — every day! Causing chaos and comic confusion, Yakko, Wakko and Dot run loose in the city, turning the world into their personal playground" (via Amblin.com). 

That sounds every bit like the original conceit, right down to living in the water tower. We can't wait to see how the three of them take the last 20-something years of pop culture and parody it as only Animaniacs ever could.