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What We Learned From The NYCC Animaniacs Panel


Being diehard Animaniacs stans, we made sure to park our butts in front of the NYCC panel for Season 2 that took place this afternoon. We had our Wakko hats on and our pants were stuffed with salami (we were out of baloney).

This one opened with Gabe Swarr, co-executive producer of the new series, telling fans he had taken their comments and criticism about Season 1 to heart and “created a new opening main theme” based on their suggestions. Cue this:

Obviously a joke (we think…) We’re not sure of the context here — either it’s the opener to an entire short parodying the Thundercats or it’s a random cutaway. (Or maybe the entire season is like this!) Perhaps we’ll get a full trailer closer to the release date that will explain more.

The guests this time were the entire voice cast: Rob Paulsen, Tress MacNeille, Jess Harnell and Maurice LaMarche, with TV Guide’s Damian Holbrook moderating. The panel started with Rob expressing his astonishment that the series was a success again (the most searched show on Hulu, he says) and that he felt very grateful to be able to a part of the phenomenon twice. It’s not always a guarantee in Hollywood (just ask poor Tom).

LaMarche thought “if they ever brought this back, it’s gonna be Peter Dinklage as The Brain and Russell Brand as Pinky, it’s not gonna be US” but is glad to be wrong. Harnell says people often come up to him and say “Thank you for being a part of my childhood.” His response is usually “I can’t believe your parents let us into your house.”

All four VAs have a past in the industry reaching back decades. Rob mentions Tress and Maurice’s work on shows like The Simpsons and The Critic, among others, and says he’s known Tress nearly as long as any of his siblings: 42 years. “And I’m 43 years old now,” commented Tress without skipping a beat. “That’s so weird.”

LaMarche said the secret to The Brain — and all decent comedy acting — is to not treat it as a comedy, but as a drama, and that this has always been his approach to Brain (it’s advice, he says, he received from Get Smart’s Don Adams). Everyone knows by now The Brain’s voice was inspired by Orson Welles, but LaMarche revealed there is also a little bit of Vincent Price in there.

As for facts about the upcoming season, a “massive song in the third episode about William the Conqueror” was mentioned, but not by the cast, by Damian. He’s apparently seen it already, lucky dog. Harnell says the show will soon be parodying one of his favorite musicals. The Warners will bother Emperor Nero in one episode, and Jess hints of “cross-pollination between him and a certain controversial political figure.”

The second season of Animaniacs will premiere with 13 episodes at once on Hulu November 5.