22 years after its final episode aired, Warner Bros. Animation’s Animaniacs is finally coming back. Way back in January 2018, Hulu announced that Yakko, Wakko, Dot and their many co-stars would be returning for two new seasons. Since then, we’ve had to face a grueling wait, but (Coronavirus permitting), the new episodes will finally hit Hulu on September 14th, 2020.
As it’s been more than two decades since the show last aired though, many are curious whether it can capture the same freewheeling anarchic attitude that made it such a hit in the 90s. That remains to be seen, but one good sign is that the entire voice cast is returning for the series. Rob Paulsen (who voices Yakko) has confirmed in a recent interview that Jess Harnell and Tress MacNeille will be back as Wakko and Dot, respectively, and also revealed that Maurice LaMarche will join him in bringing back Pinky and the Brain.
In an interview with Comicbook.com, Paulsen talked about being asked to return to the show and said:
“It’s impossible to quantify what a compliment that is. “Moreover, to be able to do that again, with Maurice, with Tress, with Jess. Yakko, Wakko, and Dot are back and so are Pinky and the Brain. Moreover is that in this era of celebrities doing a lot of animated characters — and I get why the producers do it. I totally get it — but I also know that just having a movie star do the talking chicken doesn’t mean that the show’s going to be a hit. You’ve got to have a good script, great characters, and terrific actors, whether they’re celebrities or not.”
Of course, it’s not like the cast is out of practice with their roles. Animaniacs in Concert has been touring since 2016, with Paulsen, Harnell and MacNeille as the titular characters. It seems that the success of this show was a big reason why Steven Spielberg decided to bring Animaniacs back to Hulu in the first place, as Paulsen explained:
“He [Steven Spielberg] sees the fact that Randy and I have been travelling around the country, doing Animaniacs in Concert. He sees Maurice and I when we’re at a comedy festival, doing “Who’s On First “as Pinky and the Brain or are doing a Q&A with 3000 people, and he’s asking me,’Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering?’, and I say, [switches to Pinky voice] ‘I think so, Brian. But me and Pippi Longstocking? What would the children look like? Narf.'”
Would-be world-conquering mice Pinky and the Brain were always one of my favorite parts of Animaniacs (along with Goodfeathers) and it really wouldn’t have been a proper revival without the pair. And even if they did return, what would be the point if they didn’t also bring back Maurice LaMarche? Right now, September can’t come soon enough.