|Also known as||Steven Spielberg Presents Animaniacs|
|Theme music composer|
|Opening theme||"Animaniacs Theme (2020)"|
|Ending theme||"Animaniacs End Title"|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||36 (125 segments)|
|Running time||23–27 minutes (3–9 minutes per segment)|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television Distribution|
|Picture format||4K UHD|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Original release||November 20, 2020 –|
February 17, 2023
|Preceded by||Animaniacs (1993–98)|
Animaniacs is an American animated comedy musical streaming television series developed by Wellesley Wild and Steven Spielberg for Hulu. A revival of the 1993–98 animated television series of the same name created by Tom Ruegger, the new series sees the return of the Warner siblings, Yakko, Wakko, and Dot (voiced respectively by their original voice actors, Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell, and Tress MacNeille), and Pinky and the Brain (voiced by their respective original voice actors Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche).
The series was first announced in January 2018 with a two-season order and Amblin Television and Warner Bros. Animation producing; the series premiered on Hulu on November 20, 2020. The second season premiered on November 5, 2021. The third and final season was released on February 17, 2023.
See also: Animaniacs § Background
Animaniacs continues to focus on the adventures of the Warner siblings, Yakko, Wakko, and Dot—three inseparable, irascible kids—as they embark on further adventures after being absent from television for 22 years, bringing with them the usual wackiness and mayhem they create while adapting to the changes and life of the 21st century. Episodes are composed of several shorts, with each episode consisting of segments following the adventures of Yakko, Wakko and Dot; the vast majority of episodes also include a segment featuring fan-favorite characters Pinky and the Brain—two lab mice, one of whom is intelligent and wants to take over the world, while the other is dim-witted and clumsy, often messing up his friend's plans. Recurring segments new to the revival include Starbox and Cindy, which follows a miniature alien who is part of a fleet who want to destroy the Earth that ends up in the hands of a young girl, The Incredible Gnome in People's Mouths, centered on the titular gnome who ventures into different people's mouths to speak for them, Math-terpiece Theater, which involves dramatized math lessons taught by Dot, and Everyday Safety, a parody of 1980's safety videos featuring the Warner siblings.
See also: List of Animaniacs characters
Early stages of developing the revival of Animaniacs at Amblin Television and Warner Bros. Animation began in May 2017. The interest in the revival was driven by a surge of popularity for the original show when it was made available on Netflix in 2016, plus numerous successful projects that have revived interest in older shows, such as Fuller House. The revival was officially announced by the streaming service Hulu in January 2018 in partnership with Spielberg and Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution. The broadcast rights for the new series also included rights for Hulu to stream all episodes of Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, and Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain. Hulu considered the show its first original series targeted for families.
Spielberg returned to serve as executive producer, alongside Sam Register, president of Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Digital Series, and Amblin Television co-presidents Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank. The show was produced by Amblin Television and Warner Bros. Animation. Wellesley Wild, a writer for Family Guy, was named the showrunner, while Gabe Swarr was named as co-executive producer. In addition to Wild and Swarr, Carl Faruolo served as supervising director.
Wild and Swarr developed the revival to be respectful of the original series as closely as possible. Wild stated "There's lightning in a bottle here and the first thing I'm going to do is keep that lightning in the bottle, vigilantly." In addition, with the show's 20-plus year hiatus, Wild and Swarr believed that a good portion of their audience would be parents who had watched the show as children themselves and were introducing their own children to the new show; they wanted to create a similar Jurassic World effect due to the similar gap from the original Jurassic Park film, and thus partially inspired the series' introductory short being a parody of Jurassic Park. Wild wanted to make sure to keep the same type of bi-level humor that the original show had, with more slapstick and visual comedy that would appeal to younger audiences, while having a higher level of humor that parents and adults would catch on to, often where some of the more risque humor could be included without evoking any censoring.
According to Wild, Spielberg was at every pitch meeting and insisted on maintaining most of the elements of the original show, including the original voice cast and orchestrated music, as well as producing the show as typical of most adult animated shows with a full writers' room in contrast to typical children's animated shows. Spielberg was also heavily involved throughout the storyboarding process to make sure that the show was heading in the right direction, according to Wild. Both Wild and Swarr stated that Spielberg wanted the revival to feature more political satire, and they found a middle ground between that and being a children's show.
The revival primarily features the returns of Yakko, Wakko and Dot, Dr. Scratchansniff, Ralph the Guard and Pinky and the Brain, with many of the numerous other supporting characters from the original show not included in their own segments, instead having their roles largely reduced to non-speaking cameos; in the case of Hello Nurse, this has been one of the first characters that the staff knew they could not bring back due to the changing sensibilities between the 1990s and 2020, according to Wild. Similarly, Thaddeus Plotz was confirmed to have departed Warner Bros. with a new Latina-American CEO named Nora Rita Norita in charge. For the rest of the extensive supporting cast from the original series (including characters such as Slappy Squirrel and Buttons and Mindy), though there were plans for them to return in their corresponding segments in early stages of development, they were discarded because, as in a similar manner to Hello Nurse and Thaddeus Plotz, they wanted to update the reboot with a new set of characters that were far more relevant; for example, in the case of the Goodfeathers, Wild felt that a parody of Goodfellas would be "so dated", thus giving them the opportunity to make spoofs of modern films, also due to that fact that in his opinion, some jokes will not be suitable for these segments; aside from making cameos throughout the revival, there hasn't been a word yet if these characters will return in the future. Similarly, Dot was presented to be more reliant on her wits than being cute, an aspect Wild also believed would resonate better with current attitudes. Similar to the DuckTales reboot, they also considered careful nods to other cartoon characters from related series or past Looney Tunes, but without losing the show's focus on the Warners or Pinky and the Brain. They had attempted to have a segment to feature Freakazoid from the show of the same name, but this fell through due to actor availability.
The revival features Yakko, Wakko, and Dot, as well as Pinky and the Brain; Paulsen (as Yakko, Pinky and Dr. Scratchansniff), Harnell (as Wakko), MacNeille (as Dot), and LaMarche (as the Brain) were confirmed to be reprising their voice roles in October 2019. Abby Trott was picked as a new voice artist on the team. Steven Bernstein, composing partner of the late Richard Stone, and his wife Julie Bernstein, composed underscore and songs during the show’s original run. The Bernsteins scored the revival with a 35-piece orchestra, recording remotely after the COVID-19 lockdown. A stable of songwriters, including Roddy Hart and Tommy Reilly, and Randy Rogel who wrote featured songs in the original series, compose songs in the revival. However, other key production personnel from the original series, like Tom Ruegger, were not asked upfront to help craft the series. Ruegger said he was later offered the opportunity to submit a script but declined, as "basically it would be like an audition and I just didn't feel comfortable auditioning for a show that I created". Original series writer and voice actress Sherri Stoner returned in 2023 as the voice of Slappy Squirrel for the revival's final episode.
WaterTower Music released the first season soundtrack album of the revival digitally on August 13, 2021. An album for season two was released on August 19, 2022.
|1.||"Main Title (Animaniacs)" (includes line "Execs must be crazy!" from Episode 7)||All episodes||1:09|
|2.||"Pinky & The Brain"||0:41|
|3.||"Reboot It"||"Suspended Animation: Part 2"||2:04|
|4.||"The Cutening"||"The Cutening"||2:28|
|5.||"Limbs Fall Off"||"Close Encounters of the Worst Kind"||1:04|
|6.||"Banana Hammock"||"Roadent Trip"||1:55|
|7.||"Be Like Me"||"Anima-Nyet"||1:14|
|9.||"The Catch-Up Song"||"Suspended Animation: Part 1"||2:04|
|10.||"Lakes Are Fun"||"Bride of Pinky"||0:59|
|11.||"Suffragette Song"||"Suffragette City"||3:04|
|12.||"I'm Gonna Eat'cha"||"Warners Unbound"||1:44|
|13.||"Rap Battle, Pt. 1"||"Gift Rapper"||0:43|
|14.||"Rap Battle, Pt. 2"||"Gift Rapper"||1:14|
|15.||"Main Title (Anima-Nyet)"||"Anima-Nyet"||0:41|
|16.||"Alien Chorus"||"Starbox and Cindy"||0:41|
|17.||"FLOTUS, FLOTUS, What Do You Know About Us?"||"FLOTUS, FLOTUS, What Do You Know About Us?"||2:09|
|1.||"A Brief History of History"||"A Brief History of History"||2:02|
|2.||"Warner's Ark"||"Warner's Ark"||2:00|
|3.||"Yakko's Big Idea"||"Yakko's Big Idea"||2:54|
|4.||"I Ate a Rock"||"Narf Over Troubled Water"||1:27|
|5.||"Coffee"||"The Flawed Couple"||1:07|
|6.||"Yakko's World in the 1880s"||"Wakkiver Twist: Part Two"||0:52|
|7.||"The Hamburg Tickler Song"||"The Hamburg Tickler"||1:23|
|8.||"Category 5"||"My Super Sour Sixteen"||1:01|
|9.||"Fresh Pinky"||"The Flawed Couple"||0:31|
|10.||"I Am the Very Model of an Ancient Roman Emperor"||"Rome Sweet Rome"||1:01|
|11.||"Magna Cartoon"||"Magna Cartoon"||1:26|
|12.||"Conceive of Yourself"||"Wakkiver Twist: Part Two"||0:49|
|13.||"Gruesome Ol' Gruel"||"Wakkiver Twist: Part One"||0:54|
|14.||"Sing a Song for Your Gruel"||"Wakkiver Twist: Part One"||1:00|
|15.||"The Bayeux Tapestry"||"Rug of War"||2:21|
|16.||"Christopher Columbus Song, Pt. II"||"Christopher Columbusted"||0:34|
|17.||"Flora Dora"||"23 and WB"||1:50|
|18.||"Narf Day Song with Pinky"||"Happy Narfday"||1:15|
|19.||"Narf Day Song with the Brain"||"Happy Narfday"||0:31|
Initial storyboarding work started around July 2018. Paulsen confirmed that voice recording had begun around May 2020. The music was recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Bernsteins coordinating with each musician individually from separate locations to assemble the final pieces.
Swarr said of the look for the series, they initially explored various different styles drawn by a variety of artists, but recognized that the original series had its own series of differences in how the Warners were drawn due to the different animation studios. In reviewing those, they found that the episodes produced by TMS Entertainment were generally considered the best and Swarr described their work as "The construction is so good; they have so much control." After doing a deep dive to identify the factors that made the TMS portrayals of the Warners work, the team behind the revival were introduced to Genevieve Tsai, an artist working on Warner Bros. and Netflix's Green Eggs and Ham series, who also had been a fan of the original show. Tsai helped to take the details from the TMS deep dive as well as other research into past works that had inspired the original show such as older Looney Tunes shorts, and developed the new look for the Warners, generally more angular and following the same approach TMS had used. They crafted a set of rules alongside the models for the revised characters that they then used when they sent the show off to be animated by seven different studios: Yowza! Animation in Toronto; Tonic DNA in Montreal; Titmouse, Inc. in Vancouver; Snipple Animation Studios in Manila, Philippines; and three studios in Seoul, South Korea: Digital eMation, Tiger Animation, and Saerom Animation. WB Animation in Burbank otherwise handled the pre- and post-production of all episodes. In additional to the character model updates, they wanted the background art to feel like paintings but avoiding some of the stylings of the 90s, like exaggerated curved features.
Paulsen said in an interview that, within the revival, the Warners are aware that they have been off the air for over 20 years. The episodes were prepared in 2019 and the writers had anticipated for events in 2020, but some ended up being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the planned 2020 Summer Olympics.
The first 13 episodes of the revival premiered on November 20, 2020. The second season of 13 episodes debuted on November 5, 2021. On October 11, a first-look clip was released during the Animaniacs panel at the 2020 New York Comic Con, parodying Spielberg's own Jurassic Park with a caricature of Spielberg in the role of John Hammond having "reanimated" the Warners. The clip was introduced as the cold open from the first episode of the revived show. On October 12, 2020, the names for the first episode segments were leaked. The trailer was released on October 21, 2020.
On October 10, 2021, a second season teaser was shown at the 2021 New York Comic Con, satirizing Saturday morning cartoons of the 1980s, specifically ThunderCats, Transformers, and G.I. Joe. Season 2 was initially released under a TV-14 rating; it was later fixed to TV-PG.
Hulu ordered a 10-episode third season in February 2021, bringing the series total up to 36 episodes. In December 2022, the third season was announced to be the show's last, with a premiere date of February 17, 2023.
The show also aired in Canada on Teletoon. It began with a four-episode marathon on the evening of November 20, 2020, before easing into a permanent time slot of Saturday mornings the following day. The show is available on Canadian streaming service Teletoon Plus.
The show became available to stream on HBO Max in Latin America on August 14, 2021.
In Australia, the show became available on Stan on September 1, 2021.
|1||42||13||November 20, 2020|
|2||44||13||November 5, 2021|
|3||39||10||February 17, 2023|
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|1||1||"Jurassic Lark"||Scott O'Brien||Lucas Crandles and Timothy Nash||November 20, 2020[b]|
|"Suspended Animation Part 1"||Scott O'Brien and Katie Rice||Jess Lacher and Andrew Barbot|
|"Of Mice and Memes"||Scott O'Brien||Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk|
|"Suspended Animation Part 2"||Scott O'Brien and Katie Rice||Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk|
(Cold opening.) Steven Spielberg reintroduces the "reanimated" Animaniacs with a spoof of one of his most famous films.|
(1.) After 22 years of being off the air, The Warners return to the Warner Bros. studio and see all the new changes that happened while they were gone. After singing about everything that happened in the past 22 years, the Warners are amazed by the new changes.
(2.) Brain tries to create a meme to take over the world.
(3.) The Warners find out lots of old shows have been rebooted and decide to sing a song about current reboots and the practice of rebooting. Despite this, they believe that reboots are shameful and think that it won't work for them, just before they get a sellout check from Hulu for the revival. The Warners then agree to enjoy their new life while it lasts.
|2||2||"Warners Unbound"||Katie Rice and Adriel Garcia||Jess Lacher and Andrew Barbot||November 20, 2020|
|"How to Brain Your Dragon"||Katie Rice and Adriel Garcia||Greg White and Wellesley Wild|
|"Suffragette City"||Katie Rice||Jess Lacher and Andrew Barbot|
(1.) The Warners play Greek gods and put Odysseus through the wringer after he ruins their relaxation from punishing people.|
(2.) In medieval times, Brain tries to conquer the kingdom by defeating a dragon.
(3.) On the anniversary of the 19th Amendment, Dot takes on Washington to ensure that cartoon characters have the right to vote.
|3||3||"Gold Meddlers"||Brett Varon||Greg White and Wellesley Wild||November 20, 2020|
|"Pinko and the Brain"||Brett Varon and Katie Rice||Story by : Jess Lacher and Andrew Barbot|
Teleplay by : Kathleen Chen, Brian Polk and Wellesley Wild
|"Math-terpiece Theater: Apples"||Adriel Garcia||Jess Lacher|
(1.) The Warners compete in the Olympic Games against egotistical athlete Nils Neidhart.|
(2.) In 1953, Brain disguises himself as a politician and attempts to blackmail all the others to ensure he is the only one remaining.
(3.) Dot dramatically teaches a math lesson involving apples and a thief named Nancy.
|4||4||"Bun Control"||Scott O'Brien and Adriel Garcia||Jess Lacher and Andrew Barbot||November 20, 2020|
|"Ex-Mousina"||Scott O'Brien||Greg White, Lucas Crandles and Timothy Nash|
|"Bloopf"||Erik Knutson||Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk|
(1.) The Warners deal with a bunny infestation on the studio lot, brought forth by their new neighbor, rabbit breeder Dwayne LaPistol.|
(2.) Brain invents a robot "son", to help him take over the world, who then turns on him with his suggestion: killing Pinky and Brain.
(3.) The Warners debut a new app.
|5||5||"Good Warner Hunting"||Katie Rice||Lucas Crandles and Timothy Nash||November 20, 2020|
|"No Brainer"||Katie Rice||Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk|
|"Ralph Cam"||Katie Rice, Dave Thomas and Adriel Garcia||Jordan Vandina|
(1.) The Warners are stalked by a deranged hunter (later revealed to be Chicken Boo, who got angered from being left out of the reboot) obsessed with collecting the characters of the original series.|
(2.) Pinky and Brain break into the National Security Agency to retrieve a phone message containing their latest plan to take over the world after Brain develops short-term amnesia and cannot remember it.
(3.) A typical work day for Ralph T. Guard is caught on camera by the Warners.
|6||6||"The Cutening"||Brett Varon||Jess Lacher and Andrew Barbot||November 20, 2020|
|"Close Encounters of the Worst Kind"||Greg White, Jess Lacher and Andrew Barbot|
|"Equal Time"||Jess Lacher, Andrew Barbot and Wellesley Wild|
(1.) Dot eats a super-cute cupcake, turning into a super-cute version of herself and gaining the ability to turn everything super-cute, which goes horribly wrong after 28 days. The Warners manage to do something gross by licking a pigeon to reverse the spell. It works, but they end up with half-pigeon bodies instead leaving them a whole new problem to deal with.|
(2.) Pinky and Brain attempt to gain the attention of alien life to have the aliens help them take over the world.[c]
(3.) The Warners present various ads for third party candidates, which ends horribly wrong as Russians take over the campaign, hijack the system, and somehow swap out Wakko with a drone.
|7||7||"Warner She Wrote"||Erik Knutson||Story by : Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk|
Teleplay by : Jess Lacher, Andrew Barbot and Wellesley Wild
|November 20, 2020|
|"France France Revolution"||Scott O'Brien and Adriel Garcia||Story by : Andrew Barbot|
Teleplay by : Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk
|"Gift Rapper"||Scott O'Brien||Lucas Crandles and Timothy Nash|
(1.) The Warners attempt to solve a dognapping on a train.|
(2.) In 18th-century France, the Warners unintentionally start the French Revolution while trying to stop their own hunger. After unintentionally convincing Marie Antoniette to say her rumored phrase, "Let them eat cake", the Warners, in the style of a game show, put Antoniette on house arrest in her palace until the monarchy is abolished and she is slated for execution at the Revolutionary Tribunal.
(3.) While preparing for another adventure, The Warners end up on a set for rapper Jay-Pac Le East's new music video; when Jay-Pac claims to be better than William Shakespeare, Yakko is prompted to school him in the hip-hop ways of the Bard.
|8||8||"WhoDonut"||Katie Rice||Greg White, Jess Lacher, and Andrew Barbot||November 20, 2020|
|"Mousechurian Candidate"||Story by : Jess Lacher and Andrew Barbot|
Teleplay by : Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk
|"Starbox and Cindy"||Jess Lacher|
(1.) Wakko attempts to find out who ate his donuts.|
(2.) Brain runs for president and genetically alters Julia to be the ideal First Lady.
(3.) Minuscule alien invader Starbox attempts to escape the grasp of a little girl named Cindy so he can send the signal for an invasion of Earth.
|9||9||"Here Comes Treble"||Brett Varon||Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk||November 20, 2020|
|"That's Not the Issue"||Brett Varon||Story by : Ben Warheit|
Teleplay by : Brad DePrima
|"Future Brain"||Brett Varon||Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk|
|"The Incredible Gnome in People's Mouths"||Adriel Garcia and Brett Varon||Andrew Barbot, Jess Lacher and Wellesley Wild|
(1.) While performing a sketch, the Warners butt heads with the music conductor, after the former insults the Warners.|
(2.) The Warners appear on a news show and get on the host's nerves.
(3.) Brain's future self arrives to aid him in taking over the world.
(4.) A man is transformed into a gnome and makes a living by hiding in people's mouths to speak for them, usually with disastrous results.
|10||10||"Anima-Nyet"||Scott O'Brien||Lucas Crandles, Timothy Nash and Wellesley Wild||November 20, 2020|
|"Babysitter's Flub"||Scott O'Brien||Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk|
|"The Warners' Press Conference"||Adriel Garcia||Jess Lacher, Ted Mulkerin and Wellesley Wild|
(1.) After discovering a Russian bootleg version of their show, the Warners head to Russia to complain.|
(2.) Brain must battle a toddler who has eaten a superpower-granting meteorite that consists of the rarest element in the world that is necessary for his latest plan to take over the world. They are successful at extraction, but they are caught and mistaken for mice that ran away from the science lab in the middle school next door, where they are tormented by the kids there.
(3.) The Warners have a press conference about the episode, which ends with Dot trying to give hints about season 2, to which the studio is furious with the press for trying to uncover classified information.
|11||11||"Phantomaniacs"||Katie Rice||Wellesley Wild||November 20, 2020|
|"Fear and Laughter in Burbank"||Greg White, Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk|
|"Bride of Pinky"||Greg White and Wellesley Wild|
|"Things That Go Bump in the Night"||Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk|
(Cold opening.) The Warners haunt a television set in a parody of Poltergeist.|
(1.) In a parody of It, the trick-or-treating Warners encounter and torment a spooky clown named Nickelwise, who tries and fails to capture their souls.
(2.) In a parody of Frankenstein, Brain fashions a monster to frighten a village into submission, but the monster and Pinky fall in love.
(3.) A group of monsters are huddled together in one pitch-black space.
|12||12||"A Zit!"||Brett Varon||Timothy Nash and Lucas Crandles||November 20, 2020|
|"1001 Narfs"||Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk|
|"Manny Manspreader"||Jess Lacher and Andrew Barbot|
(1.) Dot is horrified when she discovers a zit on her face, only to find that her zit has feelings and aspirations himself, despite zits like him only living for a mere week.|
(2.) In medieval Baghdad, Pinky and Brain attempt to steal the Sultana's stallions to take over the world, but end up telling stories to entertain her in a parody of One Thousand and One Nights.
(3.) While out to see a film, Yakko, Wakko, and Dot deal with a manspreader, whose lack of sense regarding personal space proves to be quite a nuisance. After seeing the film, the Warners head for home on the bus, but are confronted by the same manspreader again.
|13||13||"Hindenburg Cola"||Erik Knutson||Story by : Eric Branscum|
Teleplay by : Lucas Crandles and Timothy Nash
|November 20, 2020|
|"Roadent Trip"||Scott O'Brien||Story by : Joe Saunders|
Teleplay by : Lucas Crandles and Timothy Nash
|"FLOTUS, FLOTUS, What Do You Know About Us?"||Adriel Garcia and Dave Thomas||Jess Lacher|
(1.) The Warners go to find a can of the rare soda Hindenburg Cola for an ailing Dr. Scratchansniff. For that, they have to outsmart Nils Neidhart, who is after the soda as well.|
(2.) Brain constructs a self-driving car, but ends up getting trapped inside it.
(3.) Dot sings about First Ladies throughout history, but must frantically rush through the second half of the song due to time constraints with Yakko and Wakko's help. While Dot manages to scrape through, she ends up forgetting Bess Truman in the process.
|Title ||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|14||1||"Rome Sweet Rome"||Katie Rice||Lucas Crandles and Timothy Nash||November 5, 2021|
|"Backwards Pinky"||Katie Rice||Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk|
|"Wakko's Short Shorts: Now Loading"||Brett Varon||Timothy Nash and Lucas Crandles|
(1.) In Ancient Rome, the Warners tangle with Emperor Nero.|
(2.) Pinky and Brain attempt to use Brain's teleportation machine to travel to the National Museum of Natural History to steal the Hope Diamond, but Pinky accidentally causes the machine to malfunction, causing them to become conjoined together. They must find a way to return to normal before their minds merge as well. In the end, they are successful in separating themselves, unaware they've merged with the video on the phone that Pinky was watching.
(3.) Wakko waits endlessly for his new video game app to load.
|15||2||"Please Submit"||Brett Varon||Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk||November 5, 2021|
|"The Flawed Couple"||Adriel Garcia||James Butler|
|"Everyday Safety"||Brett Varon||Wellesley Wild and Ted Mulkerin|
(1.) The Warners are attempting to sign on to a suggestion page until a pop up shows they need to sign in the email. Not wanting to, they ignore it until the pop-up comes to life and annoys them until they finally give in and put their email in. However, multiple blue envelopes of spam attack them and after running into a graveyard, the spam shreds Wakko, runs over Dot with a car, and buries Yakko alive. The show ends with the now fine Warner siblings saying that spam is a serious threat and that the only safe website is their own.|
(2.) With Pinky and Brain missing, Nora must fill the time slot by showing failed, never before seen Pinky and the Brain pilots. After showing a few pilots that parody old sitcoms, Nora learns that Brain and Pinky have been found. However, Unbeknownst to Nora, it is actually their clones, who decided not to do today's episode. Unfortunately, much to Pinky and Brain's dismay, the clones soon melt and they are forced to compile with the producers' orders.
(3.) In a parody of 1980s safety videos, the Warners give advice on how to survive a tsunami of hot maple syrup by sculpting an igloo and staying inside. However, Wakko reveals that the syrup will cool down and encase the igloo in an amber like state leaving the three trapped for millions of years, so they try to entertain themselves but this fails. Wakko then accidentally lets the syrup in, melting the igloo and burning the Warners.
|16||3||"Rug of War"||Erik Knutson||Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk||November 5, 2021|
|"Run Pinky Run"||James Butler and Brad Deprima|
|"The Hamburg Tickler"||Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk|
(1.) After winning the contents of a storage locker in an auction, the Warners find the Bayeux Tapestry and travel inside it.|
(2.) In a parody of Run Lola Run, Pinky must acquire $100,000 to save Brain, who is being held hostage after the bag with the money he was going to use to buy a rare isotope to power his latest invention is mistakenly switched with a bag belonging to an old lady.
(3.) Dr. Scratchansniff tells the Warners a legend about a monster who kidnaps lairs in an attempt to discourage them from lying. It convinces the Warners to give all their stuff back. When Scratchnsniff leaves the water tower, it is revealed that the legend was a made-up story he, Ralph and Nora made to trick the Warners into giving their stolen stuff back, but to their shock, the monster is revealed to be real and chases them away.
|17||4||"Ralph World"||Katie Rice||Wellesley Wild||November 5, 2021[d]|
|"My Super Sour Sixteen"||Kathleen Chen, Brian Polk, Jordan Vandina and Wellesley Wild|
|"How to: Brain Takes Over the World"||James Butler and Brad DePrima|
(Cold opening.) A spoof of the opening to HBO's Westworld, featuring Ralph "under construction".|
(1.) Nora recruits the Warners to sing at her daughter Cora's 16th birthday party in exchange for fixing their leaky tower.
(2.) Pinky does a "how-to" livestream of Brain concocting his latest plan for world domination.
|18||5||"The Warners Are Present"||Brett Varon||Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk||November 5, 2021|
|"The Pinktator"||Brad DePrima|
|"Know Your Scroll"||James Butler|
(1.) While at an art museum, the Warners cross paths with a performance artist.|
(2.) Brain attempts to go undercover at a dinner party for world dictators to plant a listening device to gain access to their intel.
(3.) When the company picnic is cancelled due to the rain, the Warners try to find something to watch on a streaming service.
|19||6||"Yakko's Big Idea"||Erik Knutson||Lucas Crandles and Timothy Nash||November 5, 2021|
|"Mouse Congeniality"||Timothy Nash and Lucas Crandles|
|"Rejected Animaniacs Characters"||Wellesley Wild, Ted Mulkerin and Jordan Vandina|
(1.) In a parody of Shark Tank, Yakko gets an idea for a new invention and pitches it to his siblings.|
(2.) Brain has Pinky enter into the "Miss Everything Pageant", which is being held in the same building as a summit of world leaders, so Brain may infiltrate and spray them with a potent nerve agent that will render them susceptible to his commands. However, his plan fails when he switches it with Pinky's perfume by mistake.
(3.) The Warners revisit some rejected Animaniacs characters.
|20||7||"Yakko Amakko"||Brett Varon||Lucas Crandles and Timothy Nash||November 5, 2021|
|"The Longest Word"||Katie Rice||Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk|
|"Happy Narfday!"||Katie Rice||James Butler|
|"Magna Cartoon"||Katie Rice||Lucas Crandles and Timothy Nash|
(1.) Yakko is tormented by an unseen, mischievous animator in a homage to Duck Amuck and Rabbit Rampage.|
(2.) The Warners each explain what they believe to be the longest word in the English language.
(3.) Brain is forced to celebrate Pinky's birthday, the one day a year they do not try to take over the world, but when he finds a key ingredient for a plan, he must keep it a secret from Pinky.
(4.) The Warners sing a song about the Magna Carta while tormenting King John of England.
|21||8||"Wakkiver Twist Part One"||Brett Varon||Lucas Crandles and Timothy Nash||November 5, 2021|
|"Plight of Hand"||Kathleen Chen, Brian Polk and Wellesley Wild|
|"Wakkiver Twist Part Two"||Lucas Crandles and Timothy Nash|
(1.) In a two-part parody of Oliver Twist, the Warners reluctantly join a gang of juvenile delinquents led by the villainous Faginsniff (played by Dr. Scratchansniff).|
(2.) After being zapped with one of Brain's inventions, Pinky's hands are given a mind of their own.
(3.) The story continues when the Warners continue to work with Faginsniff, but end up betraying him and getting him arrested after being discovered during a heist and put on trial.
|22||9||"What Is That?"||Erik Knutson||Ted Mulkerin and Wellesley Wild||November 5, 2021|
|"Mouse Madness"||Erik Knutson||Lucas Crandles and Timothy Nash|
|"Christopher Columbusted"||Erik Knutson||Timothy Nash and Lucas Crandles|
|"Fake Medicines"||Brett Varon||Wellesley Wild, Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk|
(1.) The Warners find an object and try to figure out what it is.|
(2.) Brain uses a device to go back in time to accurately bet on the outcomes of basketball games, to raise enough money to buy an island lair.
(3.) The Warners question Christopher Columbus' discoveries.
(4.) Yakko and Dot review the side effects of Wakko's new prescription medication.
|23||10||"Exercise Minute"||Brett Varon||Wellesley Wild, Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk||November 5, 2021|
|"Reichenbrain Falls"||Katie Rice||Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk|
|"Targeted Ads"||Brett Varon||Wellesley Wild and Ted Mulkerin|
|"Bath Time"||Katie Rice||Greg White, Jess Lacher and Andrew Barbot|
(Cold opening.) The Warners lead a mandatory exercise break.|
(1.) In a sequel to Season 1's segment "Mousechurian Candidate", Brain attempts to infiltrate the International Space Station to turn it into a weapon, but is foiled by an old adversary.
(2.) The Warners use a computer to generate targeted ads for the viewers.
(3.) Starbox attempts to escape Cindy's clutches during bath time.
|24||11||"A Brief History of History"||Erik Knutson||Lucas Crandles and Timothy Nash||November 5, 2021|
|"Gerard"||Erik Knutson||Jess Lacher|
|"The Prisoners Dilemma"||Katie Rice||Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk|
|"Math-terpiece Theater: Beach Balls"||Brett Varon||Jess Lacher|
(1.) Yakko explains the history of the world to a race of aliens.|
(2.) The Gnome helps a senior citizen stand up for himself when his pudding is stolen.
(3.) Pinky and Brain are kidnapped and taken to an island to aid a group of supervillains in their plan, but all of them are accidentally killed by Pinky's antics, which the leader, the only survivor, chooses Pinky as his weapon, only to end up being a victim of Pinky's idiocy as well.
(4.) Dot teaches a dramatic math lesson involving beach balls.
|25||12||"Warner's Ark"||Brett Varon||Jess Lacher||November 5, 2021|
|"The Apology"||Brett Varon||Kathleen Chen, Brian Polk and Wellesley Wild|
|"Narf Over Troubled Water"||Katie Rice||Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk|
|"The Warner's Vault"||Katie Rice||Wellesley Wild and Jess Lacher|
(1.) During the time of Noah's Ark, the Warners pick up a bunch of stranded mythical creatures on their own ark.|
(2.) The Warners make a video to apologize to their viewers, but cannot remember what it is they did.
(3.) In 1965, Pinky and Brain attempt to create a chart-topping song, so they will be invited onto The Ed Sullivan Show, where Brain will use a special bowtie to neutralize the fathers of America, leaving the youth to turn to him for paternal guidance. It fails when Pinky becomes more popular than Brain and when the Brain realizes (to his shock) that the show has switched to TV color.
(4.) The Warners go into the Warner Bros. Studio to revisit some of their old cartoons.
|26||13||"80's Cats"||Katie Rice||Wellesley Wild and Ted Mulkerin||November 5, 2021|
|"All About the Benjamin"||Katie Rice||Matt Pabian|
|"23 and WB"||Katie Rice and Adriel Garcia||Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk|
(Cold opening.) The Warners star in a parody of the opening of the 1985 cartoon ThunderCats.|
(1.) In the 1700s, the Warners work as apprentices to Benjamin Franklin.
(2.) After taking a DNA test, the Warners discover they are related to the CEO. However, in the end, it is revealed that their DNA tests were accidentally swapped with Ralph T. Guard's, whom is revealed that he is related to Nora. Ralph is then promoted to Chairman, leaving Yakko, Wakko, and Dot to question the fate of the company as well as the fate of their own lives.
|Title ||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|27||1||"Previously On"||Brett Varon||Lucas Crandles and Timothy Nash||February 17, 2023|
|"Season 3 and WB Part 1"||Brett Varon||Lucas Crandles and Timothy Nash|
|"How to: Friendship"||Brett Varon||Justin Butler and Brad DePrima|
|"Season 3 and WB Part 2"||Brett Varon||Lucas Crandles and Timothy Nash|
(Cold opening.) A recap of the Season 2 finale is presented.|
(1. and 3.) Continuing after the Season 2 finale, with Ralph still acting as CEO of WB, Nora quits her job but returns as the new security guard and proves more efficient at catching the Warners, even giving them prison uniforms. The Warners then decide to help Nora get her job as CEO back in order to not get captured again and again by her. Ralph then prepares a test screening of WB's new film until the Warners steal his lunch, causing Ralph to return to his old self and chase them around the studio. After Nora saves his grandmother from the chaos, she gives the CEO job back to her while Nora, out of guilt, gives Ralph his old job back.
(2.) Pinky makes another "how-to" video about the importance of his and Brain's friendship.
|28||2||"Soda-pressed"||Katie Rice||Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk||February 17, 2023|
|"A Starbox is Born"||Katie Rice||Jess Lacher|
|"Royal Flush"||Katie Rice||Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk|
(1.) The Warners teach a kid-fluencer the importance of having fun and not growing up too fast.|
(2.) Cindy makes Starbox the star of her own puppet show.
(3.) Brain plans to rig a high stakes poker game to become the new King of England.
|29||3||"Planet Warner"||Brett Varon and Katie Rice||Lucas Crandles and Timothy Nash||February 17, 2023|
|"Talladega Mice: The Ballad of Pinky Brainy"||Matt Yang||Brad DePrima|
|"D.I.WHY?"||Matt Yang||Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk|
(1.) A documentary narrator takes us through a day on the Warner Bros. lot.|
(2.) Brain and Pinky break into the ACME Institute of Technology in order to steal a miniature car.
(3.) The Warners sing a song about the fun of D-l-Y home improvement activities.
|30||4||"Fantasy"||Brett Varon||Kathleen Chen, Brian Polk and Wellesley Wild||February 17, 2023|
|"Über Nachtmare"||Brett Varon||Brad DePrima|
|"Mad Mouse: Furry Road"||Brett Varon||Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk|
(Cold opening.) Pinky, Brain and the Warners experience a fantastical version of the lot.|
(1.) While on his way for a speech at the Psychiatrist Awards, Dr. Scratchansniff accidentally orders a carpool version on a rideshare app, forcing him to ride with the Warners, who are also going on the car for their own intentions.
(2.) Pinky and Brain head to a desert music festival to test Brain’s latest plan for world domination.
|31||5||"Teeniacs"||Katie Rice||Kathleen Chen, Brian Polk and Jordan Vandina||February 17, 2023|
|"Dog Days"||Katie Rice||Jess Lacher|
|"Groundmouse Day"||Katie Rice||Timothy Nash and Lucas Crandles|
(Cold opening.) The Warners are part of an overdramatic YA show.|
(1.) Starbox not only has to deal with Cindy, but also a dog.
(2.) Brain has managed to finally taken over the world, but unfortunately, they are somehow stuck in a time loop where the same day keeps repeating.
|32||6||"Animaliens"||Matt Yang||Lucas Crandles, Timothy Nash and Wellesley Wild||February 17, 2023|
|"Murder Pals 1"||Katie Rice||Story by : Katie Rice|
Teleplay by : James Butler
|"Groundmouse Day Again"||Matt Yang||Timothy Nash and Lucas Crandles|
|"Murder Pals 2"||Katie Rice||Story by : Katie Rice|
Teleplay by : James Butler
|"Island of Dr. Warnerau"||Matt Yang||Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk|
|"Murder Pals 3"||Katie Rice||Story by : Katie Rice|
Teleplay by : James Butler
(Cold opening.) Ralph, Nora and Scratchansniff encounter alien versions of the Warners.|
(1.) A Lassie-type dog murders her owners.
(2.) Continuing the plot from last episode, Brain tries to break the time loop that has him and Pinky repeating the same day over and over again.
(3.) The Warners find themselves on a remote island inhabited by creatures that slightly resemble them.
|33||7||"Global Warnering"||Brett Varon||Brad DePrima||February 17, 2023|
|"Lawn in Sixty Seconds"||Brett Varon||Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk|
|"All's Fair in Love and Door"||Brett Varon||Kathleen Chen and Brian Polk|
|"Cute Things That Can Kill You"||Katie Rice||Story by : Katie Rice|
Teleplay by : James Butler
(1.) The Warners take down a smooth talking polar bear developer.|
(2.) Mow your lawn in seconds!
(3.) Pinky finds Brain's alternate reality.
(4.) A video demonstrates how dangerous certain cute things can be.
|34||8||"WARnerGAMES"||Katie Rice||Timothy Nash and Lucas Crandles||February 17, 2023|
|"Bedtime"||Katie Rice||Jess Lacher|
|"WARnerGAMES 2"||Katie Rice||Timothy Nash and Lucas Crandles|
|"Crumbly's Moment"||Katie Rice||Story by : Katie Rice|
Teleplay by : James Butler
(1.) The Warners find themselves trapped inside a video game after accidentally entering a cheat code and must defeat their golden copies to escape from their video game. Unfortunately however, Ralph is controlling and doesn't know how to play games, and when he leaves for a bathroom break, the Warners don't know what to do.|
(2.) Cindy and Starbox have to get ready for bed.
(3.) Crumbly, an abused football mascot, dreams of attending dance school.
|35||9||"How the Brain Thieved Christmas Part One"||Matt Yang||Timothy Nash and Lucas Crandles||February 17, 2023|
|"Santamaniacs"||Matt Yang||Timothy Nash and Lucas Crandles|
|"How the Brain Thieved Christmas Part Two"||Matt Yang||Timothy Nash and Lucas Crandles|
(1.) Brain desperately tries to take over the world with a new Christmas toy: a robotic Pinky doll, in an attempt to destroy Christmas, but a gift from the real Pinky fills him with holiday cheer.|
(2.) The Warners helps Santa save Christmas.
|36||10||"International Mouse of Mystery"||Matt Yang||James Butler, Kathleen Chen, Lucas Crandles, Brad DePrima and Brian Polk||February 17, 2023|
|"Aliens Resurrected"||Brett Varon||Lucas Crandles and Timothy Nash|
|"Joe"||Katie Rice||Story by : Katie Rice|
Teleplay by : James Butler
|"The Stickening"||Brett Varon||Eric Branscum and Jess Lacher|
|"Slappy's Return"||Adriel Garcia||James Butler, Lucas Crandles and Timothy Nash|
|"Everyday Safety: Giant Adirondack Chair"||Brett Varon||Kathleen Chen, Brian Polk and Wellesley Wild|
(Cold opening.) Pinky and Brain plan to reboot the James Bond franchise so they can make money, but their idea is rejected, leaving Brain to have to find another franchise to reboot, with Pinky getting an idea by swiping away the rejection to reveal the Animaniacs intro.|
(1.) In a sequel to season 2's A Brief History of History, Yakko has to sing a song about why the Earth is worth saving.
(2.) Joe interrupts his mother's game of cards.
(3.) The Warners visit an amusement park and find themselves in a sticky situation.
(4.) Slappy Squirrel is bothered by her fans.
(5.) The Warners give the viewers another safety tip on how to survive on a giant Adirondack chair, all while trying to find a way to conclude their show after three seasons. In the end, while trying to think about their last lines after they "preview" their "next" safety tip on how to survive a meteor, Wakko suggests one, but is cut short when the meteor strikes, ending the episode and the series.
The first season was officially released on DVD on June 1, 2021, by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment through Studio Distribution Services. In April 2021, the first season of Animaniacs was released on iTunes and Amazon Prime Video. The DVD release of the reboot's second season released for June 21, 2022, with a digital release following on July 10, 2022.
The first season of the show received generally positive reviews from critics who praised the voice acting, musical score and animation. On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season received an 81% "Fresh" rating and an average 7.15 of 10 reviews score based on 37 reviews. The website's critics consensus reads, "Charming and chaotic, if slightly too caustic, Animaniacs is a delightful revitalization of a beloved series that's fun enough to make up for any early fumbles."
Some critics felt that the revival of the series lacked the same charm that the original show had, which was attributed to the lack of any of the original production staff on the new show, as well as the influence of more recent animated shows like Family Guy on the show's approach. Alan Sepinwall of Rolling Stone said that while the revival maintains the humor for the Pinky and the Brain shorts, the shorts with the Warners were not as well done as the original series. Sepinwall said, "Where their powers of exasperation once made them unstoppable, now they're the ones who seem impotent and irritated by the people and culture around them.", a factor he attributes to the lack of the original producers' involvement with the revival. Variety's Caroline Framke said that the series focused too much on trying to lampoon current and political events, a measure exacerbated by the fact that the forward-looking writing approach was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, instead of simply parodying the entertainment industry in general, and left the show "more of a sour aftertaste that keeps it from being as effervescent as it once was, and could be." The A.V. Club's Danette Chavez gave the first season a C+, stating that "when Animaniacs remembers to have fun, it makes for lively, occasionally impressive, viewing" but felt that the balance between satire and silliness was off, with many of the parodies that targeted modern issues lacking subtlety. Beth Elderkin of Gizmodo said that the revival did not have the same "biting" satire as the original, with some jokes having to be explained to some degree to the audience, and that the show felt that it held on to trying to be a product of the 90s, and thus did not have a clear target of what audience it was trying to please.
Paste's Joseph Staniclar spoke more highly of the show's take on political and contemporary topics, saying that while it may rely too heavily on modern references, "it's refreshing to see the show's satire actually take political stances instead of falling into the crowd-pleasing 'both sides'-isms many modern comedies now take." Ethan Anderton of Slashfilm also stated that the new show heavily references political commentary, but, as with the original series, praised that the show equally targeted aspects across partisan lines, and that "no one is safe from the buffoonery and mockery of Animaniacs." Jesse Schedeen, writing for IGN, gave the first season an 8 out of 10, writing, "Animaniacs is a mostly witty and faithful update to an old favorite. Despite the march of time and a flashier coat of paint, the new series plays remarkably similar to its predecessor. Yakko, Wakko, and Dot's misadventures are still a hoot, and the Pinky and the Brain segments help add just enough variety to keep each episode humming along. Some fans may lament the loss of so many classic supporting characters, but the emphasis on the big guns has its clear benefits. Animaniacs is a concentrated blast of cartoon nostalgia that any Fox Kids or Kids' WB veteran would do well to check out."
The Verge's Joshua Rivera stated that the show's approach to satire of the entertainment industry, political topics, and modern culture done in the same style as the original show did not hold up well, considering newer animated shows like Family Guy, BoJack Horseman and Rick and Morty that had more innovative ways to present such satire. Kate Cox of Ars Technica said that with some of the repetition of humor between episodes and the lack of cast variety, the show does not lend well to binge viewing typical of streaming services, but otherwise still has the original show's trademark comedy and that "it has the seeds of a great show in it."
Tom Ruegger, the creator of the original series who was not brought back to reboot, was also disappointed with the final product, stating in an interview with Rolling Stone that he found it "morally, ethically and professionally wrong", while at the same time, criticizing certain aspects of the reboot, most notably Warner Bros. not bringing back the original team and the absence of the other characters, stating about the former that the revival should not have used the title of Animaniacs, as he explains that it was an umbrella title for all of the characters, not only the Warners and Pinky and the Brain.
Reception of the second season of the show was far more positive, currently having on Rotten Tomatoes a rare 100% "Fresh" rating out of six reviews with no critical consensus; the second season was considered an improvement over the first season by various critics and fans, while more mixed reviews felt that most of segments should've been released as part of the previous season, something that was attributed to the fact that both seasons were produced simultaneously.
The show's first episode has attracted controversy for a background joke in the first episode. During the "Reboot It" song sequence, two posters are shown referencing the nursery rhyme and Internet meme "Johny Johny Yes Papa", Johnny 2: Telling Lies and Johnny: The Beginning, the former of which features Johnny Depp in the title role. The series had aired a few weeks after Depp lost in his lawsuit against The Sun related to publications of allegations of abusive treatment of his ex-wife Amber Heard, which led to Warner Bros. asking Depp to resign from the Fantastic Beasts franchise and replacing him with Mads Mikkelsen. People voiced their outrage on social media about the unfortunate juxtaposition of Depp's image and the "Telling Lies" subtitle, calling it an unfair jab at the allegations, leading to petitions and social media campaigns to boycott Animaniacs. According to Paulsen, the series had been animated before the legal battle among Depp, Heard, and The Sun had begun, and that the reference was only poking fun at the nursery rhyme.
|2021||Producers Guild of America Awards||Outstanding Children's Program||Nominated|
|Daytime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program||Tress MacNeille as Dot Warner||Nominated|
|Outstanding Voice Directing for a Animated Series||Sara Jane Sherman||Won|
|Outstanding Music Direction and Composition for a Preschool, Children's, or Animated Program||Steven Bernstein and Julie Bernstein||Nominated|
|Outstanding Original Song for a Preschool, Children's, or Animated Program||Jess Lacher, Andrew Barbot, Roddy Hart and Tommy Reilly "Suffragette City"||Won|
|Outstanding Editing for a Animated Program||Ryan Burkhard, Mark Jeffery Miller and Philip Malamuth (shared with Hilda)||Won|
|Outstanding Individual in Animation||Karl Hadrika||Won|
|Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards||Best Animated Series or Animated Television Movie||Nominated|
|2022||Producers Guild of America Awards||Outstanding Children's Program||Nominated|
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