Given enough time, a lot can change about the world. The original Animaniacs premiered at a time when millions of children turned on the same TV channels and sat down at the same designated times every weekday — even sitting through ads (can you imagine). In those days you needed at least 65 episodes at launch to hold their attention, and while most ventures produced them as quickly and cheaply as possible, that wasn’t how it was done with Animaniacs. Each episode was top quality with fluid animation and orchestrated sound, and they still hold up to this day.
By the end of November, we’ll finally know if the Animaniacs reboot was worth it or not. The long-in development partnership between Hulu and WB, probably the only one of its kind now that every studio has their own streaming service, will at last produce its fruit a month from now.
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.
There will be plenty of events, announcements and trailers coming your way when New York City Comic-Con returns for another year this October….though, as with everything else, it will be a somewhat different experience. The panels will all be virtual, and you’ll have to supply your own bad vendor food,but the excitement will remain the same.
A look back at most of my articles for Pop Geeks, as well as my previous writing base of RetroJunk, will show you that I’m not really a 90s fan. I’ve often discussed all the pain and turmoil that I went through in the 90s, everything from my dad’s death in 1995 to extensive school bullying to time spent in a mental hospital to the diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome to multiple school transfers, and how I retreated into the pop culture of the 80s as both a form of escape and a coping mechanism for my troubles back then. There was some 90s pop culture that I liked, though, and so I wanted to do something a little different with my newest editorial.
We thought we would hear something about the Animaniacs revival at SDCC. We did not. Okay, then, we figured they must be saving that news for NYCC. That com just came and went without so much as a peep. The show debuts next year, but no one’s seen a single screenshot since its initial announcement in 2018. What is WB hiding in that water tower??
My next interview subject, Sherri Stoner, has easily been my biggest influence as a writer. I did not have a good personal life in the 90s, and because of all the troubles I had in the decade, I don’t have fond memories of a lot of the decade’s pop culture. There are some exceptions, though, and Sherri Stoner was involved with them. As the model for Belle in Beauty And The Beast, she helped create a character I found myself relating to as I made my way through a school system that didn’t understand the issues involved with Asperger’s Syndrome. As a writer for Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs, and with her voice work on the latter, she created cartoons that had me in hysterics and would help to fuel my early writing endeavors. As the co-writer of 1995’s Casper, she created a movie that was a very cathartic experience for me in the wake of my father’s passing.
My newest interview subject, Tom Ruegger, is an animation legend. Whether at Warner Brothers, Hanna-Barbera or Disney, Tom Ruegger has worked on some of the most memorable cartoons of the last 4 decades. On August 28th, I had the chance to speak to Mr. Ruegger about some of his most noted work, including three series that are celebrating anniversaries this year. 2018 marks the 30th anniversary of “A Pup Named Scooby-Doo”, which was produced at Hanna-Barbera as shown in the cover photo of Tom, William and Joe, the 25th anniversary of “Animaniacs”, e, and the 20th anniversary of “Histeria”. We discussed all that and more, so get set to spend some time with an animation superstar.
It seems just about everything is getting a TV revival these days, even classic cartoon shows from the 1990s. IndieWire reports that Amblin Television and Warner Bros. Animation are currently in talks to bring back Animaniacs to TV. Academy Award winning filmmaker Steven Spielberg, who helped develop the original animated series, is reportedly in talks to help craft the updated TV reboot of the Warner Brothers, Yakko and Wakko, and of course the Warner Sister, Dot.