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The comedic trio of 1998 has arrived just in time to make parodies of politics, poke fun at celebrities, and end this year of tragedy with a “good night everybody.”

That’s right! After 22 years, the Warner Brothers and their sister, Dot, have finally returned, and they plan on creating more chaos than ever before. Even better, these iconic characters are all being voiced by their original voice actors from 1998 (as if Rob Paulsen could ever be replaced).

In case you’re a 90’s kid who never watched Animaniacs mayhem, here’s a summary. Yakko (Rob Paulsen), Wakko (Jess Harnell), and Dot (Tress MacNeille) first escaped the Warner Studios water tower in 1993. Every time they escaped, the trio would run amok around the studio and beyond; they helped Michelangelo paint the Sistine chapel, made a parody of Beauty and the Beast with the Tasmanian Devil, and gambled with the grim reaper. When they weren’t ruining history or messing with society, the kids were seeing their psychiatrist (also voiced by Paulsen), or messing around with the CEO of Warner Bros. The animated show was iconic for its quick-witted dialogue and its ability to barely hover above cartoon censorship. If you’ve never seen Animaniacs, or have gone a decade or two without watching the show, I strongly recommend going to Hulu for a few episodes.

Along with the Warner Brothers and their sister, Animaniacs features a colorful cast of other characters. Occasionally, the trio would watch the Goodfeathers, Rita and Runt, Slappy Squirrel and her young nephew, Skippy Squirrel, as well as little Mindy and her loyal dog Buttons. However, it seems none of these characters are going to be making an appearance. As far as fans know, the Warner kids will only be paired with fan-favorites, Pinky and the Brain. Within this segment, two lab mice, the happy and stupid Pinky (Paulsen, again), and the evil and intelligent Brain (Maurice LaMarche) plot to take over the world through cell phones, country music, and other strange methods. Many fans were pleased to hear these two would be coming back in 2020.

The Warner kids seem to be up to the same mischief as they were 22 years ago. This is great to know, but I wonder how far they can take their humor and jokes—censorship regulations have adapted since the 90’s and can be a tricky tightrope. That being said, I hope Yakko, Wakko, and Dot continue to swing on that line with finesse and wit, and perhaps Hulu will give the trio more freedom and protection from censorship. Warner Bros. utilize the power of Steven Spielberg for parodies and jokes, and have already released a parody trailer of Jurassic Park, showing off their new looks and zany personalities. With careful viewing, another trailer shows a large cyclops with a blonde combover and a spray tan (we can only assume who this character references).

This highly-anticipated reboot of Animaniacs will be available on Hulu on November 20th, with 13 episodes available just in time for Thanksgiving. 

Katy Liester

UW Stout '24

Heya! My name is Katy and I'm a student at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Through a strange series of events, I found my passion in English and writing. For a career, I want to work for children's entertainment in the animation industry. Aside from writing, I also enjoy music (I play clarinet), volunteerism, comic books, video games, and cartoons!
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