'Animaniacs' Preview: Will the Warner Bros parody show be able to able to stay relevant, decades later?
It's been over 20 years since 'Wakko's Wish' released, the last piece of the 'Animaniacs' series to release on television, and the times have certainly changed since then - especially in regards to television. Streaming services dominate the market, binge-watching entire seasons in one go has become the norm, endless remakes and new spins on old ideas litter the television landscape, and most importantly, animated comedy has become a lot more crude.
Led by 'The Simpsons' but soon overtaking it, there are quite a large number of animated satire shows poking fun at everything from television to politics and all that lies in between. Shows like 'Family Guy', 'South Park', 'American Dad' and more have become so ubiquitous that shows of that ilk are even starting to venture into more niche territory, such as the science-fiction focused 'Rick & Morty'. All of these animated shows are loved for how much they cross the boundaries of what was once considered impossible to broadcast, featuring swearing, adult humor, and more often than not, crude visuals to go with it. In all of this, is there still room for a safe, family-friendly Warner Bros parody in modern times?
One thing that the show has got going for it is the nostalgia factor it's bringing back. Interest in the series was renewed when old episodes were released on Netflix. The show also introduced the world to 'Pinky & The Brain', a beloved animated series about two mice attempting nightly to take over the world, which will also be returning with 'Animaniacs'. However, as the recent 'Looney Toons' revival can attest, nostalgia alone can't make a series a hit. A show needs some punch of its own, though as far as the trailers are concerned, the Animaniacs just might have it.
The first official trailer announcing the series return was a perfect mix of nostalgia and tongue-in-cheek humor, recreating a scene from 'Jurassic Park' that positions the Warner Brothers Yakko (Rob Paulsen), Wakko (Jess Harnell) and Dot (Tress MacNeille) as dinosaurs from a bygone era, miraculously brought back for the modern age. The official trailer shows that they're just as willing to make fun of themselves as they ever were, showing off just enough self-awareness to admit that their return is a blatant nostalgia cash grab.
'Animaniacs' may not be the most daring, or the most shocking humor out there, but it looks like it might be hilarious all the same. The times being what they are, every laugh helps and the series looks like it may just have plenty of that in store.
'Animaniacs' releases on November 18 on Hulu.