In 1993, Steven Spielberg’s Amblin teamed up with Warner Animation to produce “Animaniacs,” a comedy musical animated series mainly about three “forgotten” Warner cartoon characters (Yakko, Wakko and Dot) who routinely wreak havoc in the Warner Bros. Burbank studios. Also featured were the misadventures of would-be world conquering lab rats Pinky and the Brain, and parodies just about any pop media imaginable. While the original series ended in 1998, streaming service Hulu brought it back in late 2020, with a season 2 due next month and a third already green-lighted. Anticipation for Hulu’s “Animaniacs” was already high with an initial teaser last August. A second one just blew fans’ minds.
Polygon tells us that Hulu and Warner Animation just released a new teaser for revived “Animaniacs” season 2 on their platform, due to premiere on streaming in November. This was one of the trailers showcased during this year’s New York Comic Con (NYCC 2021), which ran though this past weekend. Where the preview from over a month ago was straightforward comedy, the second teaser delves into the parodying the franchise is well-known for. It was also a nice follow-up to the anime-inspired segment from the inaugural season of the Hulu revival, dubbed “Anime-niacs” by viewers.
Said teaser riffs on the opening sequence of “Thundercats,” a 1985 animated series produced by Rankin/Bass (now part of Warner). This show was notable for having animation outsourced to a Japanese studio. It essentially gave some western TV viewers of that decade their first taste of anime visuals. Here, the Warner Brothers (and Sister) get zapped by a magical energy that turns them into the “80’s Cats,” fighting a giant robot too. Another shout-out comes from the fact that the voices for Yakko and Dot (Rob Paulsen and Tress MacNeille) are both industry veterans who have notable 1980s animation voice-work.
The “Animaniacs” voice cast were also present on a virtual panel for the show in NYCC, discussing the return of the series via streaming on Hulu. They also shared their experiences with the “Animaniacs” fandom from the classic show, including the more off-the-wall portion such as tattoo freaks putting the series characters on their necks and such. Catch the second season of Animaniacs on Hulu this coming November 5, for more of that stuff above.
Image from Comic Book Resources