This image is the official promotional icon for Animaniacs.  According to IMDb’s official website under the article “Animaniacs ‘Company Credits’”, IMDb.com, Inc states that “the rights, as well as the credit for this franchise, belong to Amblin Television, Warner Brothers Animation, and Hulu Originals(1).   This image is on the official Animaniacs Facebook under the category, Photos.  

Over the Years, Reboots Have Been Either Good, Bad, and Very Ugly

Ah, the lovely concept of a reboot.  Many of us know what a reboot is.  Essentially, a reboot is a continuation of a show.  Generally, a reboot is a retelling of a story that is already available.  For some, reboots are good since reboots can get new viewers to the series.  Reboots can bring more content to a series.  However often, reboots are horrible.  In fact, reboots can kill a series for some viewers.  As a result, reboots are taken with a grain of salt.  This means that a lot of viewers are skeptical about the idea of a franchise reboot.  Trust me, there have been some bad reboots of films, television shows, and even videogames.  Then on November 20, 2020, Hulu release on its platform the reboot of a beloved show, Animaniacs.  Back in the early to late 1990s, Warner Brothers made a lot of cartoon animation shows. 

Some of which include Freakazoid, Batman: The Animated Series, and Animaniacs. Animaniacs is a skit type show with hilarious dialogue.  Anyone who grew up in the early to late 90s probably remembers the slapstick humor of Animaniacs.  Yet, many viewers love the show for its punch on history and parodies.  For some including myself, Animaniacs was one of the reasons we fell in love with animation.  Now, Hulu releases a reboot of a beloved series.  Is this reboot a key factor into what a reboot should be? Let’s find out together as we head back to the Warner Brothers Water Tower.  In this review, we’re analyzing how the new Animaniacs shows how reboots should be made by bringing familiar yet new content.

Strap In, Animaniacs is Back with Original As Well As New Stories

One of the things that makes this reboot work is the stories.  Now, the Animaniacs reboot follows the same formula as the original.  Animaniacs follows the same skit type formula as the original.  However, the stories are different.  As of right now, this series follows the following characters.  This includes Wakko, Yakko, Dot, Pinky, and the Brain.  Now, this may or may not change for the next season.  There are some one-off skits that are fine. One of them does have a lot of potential to be a continuation skit.  Mostly, the show does focus on the five main characters. Trust me, we’ll discuss in full detail the different characters of this reboot.  Anyways, the stories within season one of Animaniacs reminds me the love and humor of this show.  Sure, there’s some stories that aren’t best and that may be longer than they should be. 

However, there are more good stories than bad ones in my opinion.  Without a doubt, the writing is phenomenal.  The cast of characters talk about history, politics, and a bunch of entertainment references.  Much like the original Animaniacs did in the early to late 90s.  Sometimes, the stories as well as the characters break the fourth wall.  Essentially meaning that the characters are self-aware of what is going on.  With that said, this Animaniacs reboot doesn’t try to emulate the original.  If anything, the reboot brings familiar story formulas with new story elements to go with it.  Which is what a series reboot should be.  A reboot should bring in familiarity while new story elements as well.  While the stories have help with this reboot, so to have the characters. 

Without a Doubt, the Characters of Animaniacs are the Star of the Show

The characters within Animaniacs truly makes this reboot shine.  Much like the story, the characters follow the familiar yet new formula.  Previously, I state that this reboot follows Yakko, Wakko, Dot, Pinky, and the Brain.  Each one of these characters are familiar and inviting.  The fact that this show was able to get the original voice actors as well as actresses says something.  Even with the original voice actors back, the writing help develop these characters more.  Animaniacs is a character-driven show.  When someone mentions this show, the characters are the first thing viewers think of.  Now, this reboot doesn’t have a lot of the original cast.  However, that isn’t a bad thing.  As having too many characters might be a little bit jarring for a new audience. Especially since the original Animaniacs has a ton of recurring characters.

With the focus on five, this makes the show a lot more enjoyable.  Plus, this type of character-driven stories helps the audience who may not be familiar with the original series.  Hopefully, there will be some reoccurring characters coming back for a possible second season.  Each one of the characters are in their element.  There isn’t one point in the season where it feels like a character is out of place.  Each one of them have their own place and it works out beautifully.  If anything, the characters remind me how much humor this show has.  This is a perfect show for both adults and kids.  As the humor is more for the adults but children will love the characters.   The characters really help with this reboot as they all bring a familiar yet new taste to this beloved franchise.  Another factor that helps this reboot is the animation. 

The Animation of Animaniacs Brings a Nice Blend of Slapstick with Modern Animation

Within this reboot, the animation significantly helps with the new reboot along.  At first glance, the animation does look a little different. Originally, Animaniacs was done with 2D animation.  Since that was the animation standard back in the early to late 90s.  Then with the boom of digital art, many companies as well as artists made the change to digital.  So, the change from 2D to digital artwork is a little jarring in some instances.  However, not as different as some other reboot animations have been.  In fact, the animation fits incredibly well within the universe.  Yakko, Wakko, and Dot were made within the early 90s.  As such, their character designs are design in that way.  However, the universe still has the define shape that the original show had.  With shows made by Steven Spielberg and his team, the character designs tend to be base around basic shapes. 

Some of which include circles, triangles, and squares. This is seen within a lot of his works like Freakazoid, Pinky and the Brain, and Animaniacs.  Which can be seen in this reboot as well.  So, it brings the familiarity of the style and animation of the show.  At the same time, the animation is phenomenal.  While the animation does focus heavily on slapstick, there are some animation styles that the team does that is impressive.  Not a lot of shows nowadays have the type of animation style Animaniacs has.  Many reboot animated shows go straight into changing the style of their animation.  One example of this is the 2017 reboot of The Powerpuff Girls.  Instead, Animaniacs combines new animation styles with what they usually do.  Which makes the familiar yet brings new joy to the show.  While the animation does help this reboot transition, the music does as well. 

Animaniacs Is Known For Their Songs and This Reboot is No Exception

Finally, we must look at the music.  One of the things that’s eye or in this case ear catching is the theme song.  Without missing a beat, Animaniacs iconic theme song is back.  Now, the theme song did change a little bit.  Especially since the Bill Clinton joke thrown in there wouldn’t be relevant today.   As such, the writers did change minor elements. However, the move to make the theme the original is brilliant.  Additionally, there are other songs that this first season has.  The range from history songs, parodies, and even original songs.  Now, these types of songs aren’t new.  Since the original Animaniacs had the same formula of different songs.  Yet, the songs within the reboot work incredibly well.  Especially since the Warner siblings haven’t been around since the late 90s.  So, this concept works in favor for the characters.

Each one of the songs have a point.  Their songs help tell the story much like a musical or a Broadway show. Previously, I said that this show is gear towards adults and children.  Without a doubt, children would love most of the songs in this season.  At the same time, adults will love the songs for the meanings behind them.  Particularly the ones like the first song in the show gear more for the older demographics.  Regardless, the songs in this season do a phenomenal job with bringing original content.  There is so much content and things that these characters can sing about. Trust me, each character takes that opportunity.  So much to the point that Yakko, Wakko, and Dot talk about what they miss since 1998.  Defiantly check out that song.  All these songs help boost the effectiveness of this reboot so much more.

Without a Doubt, the new Animaniacs Shows What a Reboot Should Be

In this review, we demonstrate how the Animaniacs reboot shows how reboots should be.  Firstly, we took a look at the story.  Each of the stories fit within the define character driven story.  However, there’s so much content that this reboot brings to make the stories engaging.  The characters are back full of action and jokes.  While this reboot only focuses on five of the original, each one has their own uniqueness to them.  There wasn’t at one point the stories feel off or misplace.  At the same time, the animation significantly helps with this animation reboot.  The team behind Animaniacs did a combination of slapstick with modernize animation. So, it’s not too imputing while being familiar at the same time. Lastly, we took a look at the music. While having a similar format, the songs are there to serve to move the story along.

With all of these things Animaniacs has to offer, this animation reboot has so much content to offer. While at the same being inviting to viewers who remember the original series. With the holidays coming up, this show would be awesome to watch with friends and family. As this reboot has something for everyone.

Open for Discussion

Thank you for reading this review. Now, we want to hear from you guys. Have you seen the new Animaniacs? Do you want to watch this new reboot? Let us know in the comments below. 

Undoubtedly, Animaniacs will have another season.  To stay up to date on everything going on with this project, make sure and follow the following links.  This includes Animaniacs Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  Also, make sure to follow Hulu’s YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.  Especially since Animaniacs is currently streaming on Hulu. 

Actually, speaking of Hulu, viewers can watch this reboot by heading over to Hulu.  There’s a 7-day free trail to try.  Then, from there viewers will be charged for their membership.  On the other hand, there’s a deal with Disney Plus.  For $12.99 a month, viewers can get access to Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN +.  So, if you already have a Disney Plus subscription, it may not be a bad idea to check that deal out. 

Furthermore, if you like what you see here, make sure and check out this recap review of The Mandalorian Cassidy did.  In that review, Cassidy discusses the various episodes within season one of Disney Plus’s original show. 

Finally, if you want to receive any news regarding pop-culture, create an account today at Geek Street Society.  Make sure to check out our shop.  If you use the code ‘sparky’, it’ll save you 15% off on anything at our store.  Go check it out and get yourself some merch today.

Thank you once again and stay tuned for more news here on Geek Street Society.

Work Cited

IMDb.com, Inc. “Animaniacs ‘Company Credits’.” IMDb, IMDb.com.