New ‘Animaniacs’ Reboot Is Popular With Fans – But Divisive With Critics
The first season of the 2020 Animaniacs reboot produced by Steven Spielberg was released on the streaming service Hulu this week. The first season consisted of 13 episodes, each of which contained three or four segments in a similar to the original show from 1993. Returning cast members included Rob Paulson, Jess Harnell, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche and Frank Welker. One of the main aspects that differentiates this revival from the original series is that none of the original writers were hired back and have been replaced by a completely new team. As a result of this, nearly all of the characters from the original show except Yakko, Wakko, Dot, Ralph the guard, Pinky and the Brain have disappeared in the reboot.
The basic premise of the Animaniacs reboot revolves around the Warner siblings Yakko (Paulson), Wakko (Harnell) and Dot (MacNeille) returning to Warner Bros. Studios in 2018 after a long absence away from the film lot. They soon find that much has changed since the 90s and decide to perform their classic hijinks of messing with unpleasant people in this updated environment. Many fans praised the reboot for its modern humor and biting satire.
However, critics were not as entertained by the new show. Several of them panned the lack of subtlety surrounding the political satire and leaning towards one side way too much. Criticism was also reserved for the show’s obvious attempt at being more politically correct, such as the theme song containing the line “no more mansplaining,” a young female studio executive being introduced to replace the original character Thaddeus Plotz (Welker) and Dot being made the leader of the Warner siblings instead of Yakko. Critics also complained about the removal of the other original characters from the show, which resulted in a lack of variety. Overall, many critics decided that it was not nearly as funny as the original Animaniacs.
The first full season of the Animaniacs reboot can be found on Hulu, where viewers can decide if it holds a candle to the original Animaniacs series from the 1990s.