Television’s zaniest siblings prove that you can teach an old dog new tricks, and with some style in Animaniacs.
Warning! Slight spoilers ahead!
1993 was when the original Animaniacs premiered, which makes the reboot 27 years removed from when this crazy and wonderful journey started. This review will not only discuss the merits of this latest reboot of a 90s property, but argue that it’s actually better version of the comedy the original provided to kids back then.
The modern era of cartoon is better suited for Animaniacs, mainly thanks to the original. They mock the same power structures as before, but with a kinder and more thoughtful edge compared to the Yakko, Wakko and Dot that you long nostalgically for from your childhood.
The year has needed a hilarious but tender remedy, and the Animaniacs are more than ready to give you the laughs you need. The topics that they lampoon during this season include Donald Trump, Russian surveillance and internet trolls; and that is just in the first few episodes, which tells you exactly how far this show is willing to go comically in the name of satirizing our current culture. “Political” is what trolls would complain this show’s becoming. Off the topics that would be deemed “PC”, though, I assume they’re sticks in the mud. Those segments are the problem, though?
The adventure that Yakko, Wakko and Dot go on in the first part of the premiere should hook any fan new and old before the end. Pinky and the Brain will surely convince you if you were still on the fence about the show’s modern comedic sensibilities.
Irreverent and scathing, or sentimental and heartwarming, the comedy segments are always guaranteed to leave you bawling with laughter for different reasons on each watch. Segments that leaned towards irreverent were usually my favorite, but I enjoyed the references to the original.
Hope that some of the lesser known characters would appear was mostly satisfied, but there are still a few holdouts who should appear in the forthcoming second season which I am glad this show was able to secure before it premiered. Slappy Squirrel deserves her own segment and this is the hill I will die on. The portions that these episodes get divided into ensures the comedy is digestible, and the punchlines land firmly.
Formulaic, perhaps, because it relies on the favorite characters from the original but it also gives the writers the opportunity to breathe new life into these dearly missed cartoon characters. The end of each episode always leaves you satisfied with it. The case for this reboot’s value lies within giving viewers all the beloved characters, but not being afraid to break a few of their own tropes.
Viewers mesmerized by the “Nations of the World” number, among the many other classic songs from the original will get the same joy from the reboot’s songs. An episode could range from one to three numbers on average. The value of these songs not only lie in their catchiness, but how biting the lyrics, like “Reboot It”.
A knock-off is what some people would call this reboot but the show writers embrace that perception, and turns it on itself. Good new songs are not the only thing this reboot is offering, with the animation taking full advantage of the two decades and change since the original air date. The table is ready for an amazing season in just the premiere, and every episode got better.
The style of the show had no problem shifting to fit whatever the Warners were now parodying. TRIGGER, who produces Kill La Kill, has a parody in one episode. The doses of nostalgia you feel balances out with everything that’s new. I do think that it’s difficult to quantify Animaniacs, because comedy is subjective. The good this reboot brings into the world is exactly what audiences need after the year we’ve had and, luckily, we will be getting a second season.
You can watch the new Animaniacs reboot on Hulu.
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