It gives me great pleasure to finally and definitively say this: we’re getting new episodes of Animaniacs next month. WB has been working on a new version of the show for the past two years, and this morning’s virtual NYCC panel was the first we truly got to see of the project.
Special guests of the panel included new executive producer Wellesley Wild, co-executive producer Gabe Swarr, voice actors Rob Paulsen (Yakko, Pinky), Tress MacNeille (Dot), Jess Harnell(Wakko) and Maurice LaMarche (The Brain). For nearly thirty minutes, they discussed the impact of the series, the importance of keeping the classic formula intact, and what makes their characters tick.
I know what you’re thinking: they darn well have better provided a clip, right? They did. This is the cold open of the first episode — the first thing anyone will see when they hit “play.” Fittingly enough, they begin with another parody, and a familiar one at that.
There were no shortage of Jurassic Park spoofs during the original run, as it coincided with the release and subsequent popularity of the movie itself. Why not do something the original hadn’t covered already? On second thought, though, there’s no better allegory for seeing the Warners again after so many years than Alan Grant driving up in a Jeep and making his “gawk” face. They’ve been resurrected!
Spielberg himself in the Hammond role is the icing on the cake. According to the staff, he was personally involved in every step of the series and heard every pitch. That might even be him talking, something the Fox / WB run never got to have (he was too busy to voice himself). They also now apparently have a licensing budget; WB doesn’t own the Jurassic Park score and it’s something the original would have had to mimic instead.
The Animaniacs are loose again, and not a moment too soon. You’ll be able to catch them (if you can) starting November 20 on Hulu.