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Videos And Stories From The Faboo Animaniacs Panel


Today is the day, people….today is the day Animaniacs fans have been waiting for since 1998. We have ninety seconds of new footage of the Warner Brothers (and the Warner Sister) bouncing around, which is ninety seconds more than we had yesterday! And we also have a full 30-minute NYCC panel devoted to the Hulu revamp, with original VAs Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell, Tress MacNeille and Maurice LaMarche joined by showrunner Wellesley Wild and co-executive producer Gabe Swarr.

Through the panel, we learned a lot of new things about the show. Here are the facts:

SPIELBERG INSISTED ON THE ORIGINAL VOICE ACTORS Harnell revealed the biggest force behind his job retention was Steven himself. “From the beginning, Mr. Spielberg said, ‘Oh, no, no, no, this isn’t about getting, as Brain says, Peter Dinklage to be the Brain and Russell Brand to be Pinky.’ The King of Hollywood says, ‘If we do this, it’s with Tress, Jess, Maurice, and Rob.’ That’s not a small thing, and by the way, Mr. Spielberg went to every pitch himself.”

THEY TRIED TO GET AS CLOSE TO TMS AS POSSIBLE Tokyo Movie Shinsha was considered the greatest TV animation studio of the 80s and 90s, and though they still exist, they do not accept contracted American work anymore. According to Swarr, they tried to get as close as they could.

“We hired a bunch of artists and we got a bunch of looks together, and we took it to Steven and he didn’t like any of it. He said ‘make it look more like the original.’ So what we did was we went back and we looked at every single episode, and what was good, the best of the best…and we leaned in towards that. We found one specific animation studio called TMS, they were our favorites. So we actually contacted some people who worked on the original show [for TMS] and we asked them, ‘what was your process?’ and leaned all of our designs that way.”

However, this doesn’t mean the entirety of the series will look the same.

SOME OF THE SHORTS WILL USE DIFFERENT ANIMATION STYLES It was revealed a while back that there would be new shorts in the series (as opposed to just doing Buttons & Mindy again). We still don’t know what some of the new shorts will be, but we do know they may look visually different. “Wesley and I, we really like a lot of shows that are visually diverse, so we tried to bring that into the show,” said Swarr. “It felt like the original show was all drawn the same way, and our show really breaks that. We felt like that was the one thing we could really bring to the show.”

SATIRE IS STILL HARD WITH THE LONG LEAD TIME OF ANIMATION Though the original series would often comment on current events, they were the current events of a year or more before airdate. Wild said they tried to predict some events that would take place in 2020, like the Olympics, and obviously failed. But he says the characters are timeless enough that it should still be enjoyable. “What would the Warners say about DNA testing or Pinky and the Brain say about Internet privacy, or…we can just drop these familiar characters into these scenarios and see where it went.”

There were way more behind-the-scenes nuggets revealed than we have time to recount. If you just want the 90-second clip, it appears at 18:45, but Hulu has also uploaded it to their own channel by itself:

The first season of Animaniacs premieres on Hulu November 20.