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  • Recently, director Christopher Columbus complained about Disney's plans to remake HOME ALONE. He pointed out that when something has staying power, you cannot recapture that lightning in a bottle, no matter how much money you throw at it. That's kind of the way I feel about this reboot. While it often imitates the style of the original cult series, everything feels so much safer-- and dare I say it, a little more mean-spirited.

    Good things first: the Pinky and the Brain segments are amazing. They understand these characters and what made the original shorts so funny without saturating themselves in nostalgia. Also the animation is pretty good on the whole as is the orchestrated music in the style of the old Looney Tunes cartoons.

    Unfortunately, the rest of the show doesn't live up to the old one. Firstly, there's something off about this presentation of the Warner siblings. They seem to be going for a more "the 21st century is so insane that the Warners are the sane ones now" approach, which doesn't really work. These characters as originally presented were essentially the Marx Brothers filtered through classic cartoon logic: they spread anarchic madness wherever they went, to both the innocent and the not-so-innocent. The Variety review of the reboot is on point when it says that the Warners were agents of madness driving an uptight world insane, not "snarky pundits commenting on its flaws." To be fair, the Warners shorts do have good jokes and flashes of the old style-- it's not a total failure, but the smug attitude gets old fast, especially when they make the same jokes about being sellouts to Hulu.

    But the bigger problem is the lack of other characters beyond the Warners and the mice. I once read that ANIMANIACS was in a way THE MUPPET SHOW of its generation: a variety show that appealed to adults and kids with its vaudevillian sense of humor and willingness to take creative risks. The original series featured several reoccurring characters, ranging from the cartoony to the more dramatic. Not all of them stuck or worked, but the variety made the show interesting to watch. There was a willingness to play around that the reboot lacks-- making all the show's self-aware jokes about the creative bankruptcy of reboots hit a little more sourly.

    I seem to be in the minority, but that's fine. There is a lot to enjoy, but it doesn't work for me. Personally, I think the most successful modern reboot is still DUCKTALES 2017, which remembers what made the original series good while updating it in ways that add to its charms.
  • MarkoutTV20 November 2020
    They did it. Those crazy sons of guns actually did it.

    Thanks for the review, animated Goldblum.

    For real though, the writers have managed to keep the animaniacs spirit alive and proved that they can slide into modern society and remain relevant as ever. The first episode does its job showing the animaniacs acclimating to the modern world and riffing on the glut of Hollywood remakes. I LOVE that this episode exists and I also love that it's just one episode.

    From the second episode on, it's right to business as usual and it feels like the Warner Brothers, and the Warner Sister, never left.

    This is how you do a remake, people. Love it.
  • The Animaniacs have returned and the Warners have come back to wreak havoc in the 2020s. How does this make me feel?

    I was excited from day 1. As a loyal fan of the original, I loved the skits and satire that the original had and I'm glad it's been upgraded to poke fun at current events. I've seen 4 episodes so far and I've enjoyed every segment. The writing is still naughty as it was before, and the comedy is mostly solid. The only thing I dislike is that only the Warners and Pinky and the Brain are the only characters in it, so it does get a bit repetitive. I hope they introduce more in the future. Also, it's still funny, but not as funny as the original, but that's to be expected, since almost no reboot is as good as the original. But it's a reboot done right in my opinion, and we have too many failed ones (a.k.a. Teen Titans Go)

    The animation is quite nice to watch. Episode 4 had an anime sequence that really amped and hyped fans to watch the show, and man it did not dissappoint.

    With that said, I'll be giving the reboot an 8/10, or a solid B. I'll be watching the rest of the episodes and will give a proper youtube review on my channel too.
  • When I was in junior high school in the early to mid-1990s, nobody loved "Animaniacs" more than I did. It was tough getting picked on for liking a "kiddie" show, but I listened to my heart. Yakko Warner was one of my heroes, and I even dressed up as him for Halloween one year: white face, red nose, inky black bodysuit, the whole megillah. I adored him for having the wit, wisdom, and sassy attitude of Groucho Marx (who was also one of my heroes, and whom I likewise dressed up as). Well, Yakko's back now, and I'm happy to say that he's (mostly) still as lovable as I remember him. Unfortunately, "Animaniacs" is a package deal, and most of the stuff that has returned with Yakko just isn't as good as it used to be.

    I've noticed an unfortunate trend with most of these remakes, reboots, and "next-generation" updatings. The people resurrecting the shows and movies obviously love them, but they also seem to feel a bit ashamed of having been fans, and they sublimate this shame beneath a sort of smug, superior attitude. These conflicting feelings on the part of the (re)creators mean that the original property must be "improved" in some way: it must be made more flashy, more high-tech, more socially and politically relevant, more "adult." And if those options turn out to be unworkable, then the original version of the entertainment must be meta-analyzed - which is to say, dissected and brutally mocked. Of course, they'll often have the characters mock THEMSELVES (as Yakko, Wakko and Dot do here) in order to ease the pain of the sting, but sting it still does.

    The new "Animaniacs" gets most things wrong. It still delivers enough laughs to make it worth my while, and here and there I do see flashes of the old magic returning. But even so, too much has changed. I'm glad they've pared the cast back to just Yakko and his siblings, as well as Pinky and the Brain, but for the most part they're not using these characters correctly. The Warner Brothers (and their sister Dot) were always supposed to be 60-year-old (and now, 90-year-old) bratty man-children, but now their faux-innocence and faux-obnoxious cuteness have been buried beneath a crushing load of snarky self-deprecation; the writers have run away with the "precocious" part and forgotten the "child" part. It's a bit like finding out your local girl-next-door type, whom you used to swoon over for her adorable nerdiness, grew up to be a vulgar insult comic.

    And the rest of the Warners' universe has grown up too. The humor is no longer as kid-friendly as it used to be, with undercurrents of grime and cynicism. The characters spend so much time reminiscing - and thus, indulging in presentist snobbery and "we-were-such-dorks-back-then" jocular smugness - that they often forget to charge forward, which is supposed to be the essence of what they are. And even the artwork is not what it should be; I really loved the "cutesy" pastel shades and soft-focus glow of 1980s and early '90s animation, but these new adventures have been shot in a photography style as crisp and "up-to-date" as any episode of "The Simpsons" or "Family Guy."

    Tom Wolfe was right when he said, "You can't go home again." At least, where popular entertainment is concerned. I pity today's children, who are naturally going to be drawn to this "cool" and "new" show and whose parents will inevitably let them watch it (despite it being rated TV-PG instead of the TV-G of the original incarnation). Even sadder is that the paleo-"Animaniacs" is right there on the Hulu menu next to the neo-"Animaniacs" - and yet, if today's kids do happen to watch some of that classic material, most of them are sure to dismiss it as "old-fashioned," and I think it will be their loss.
  • I would say the first season of the reboot was... pretty good. Not perfect, definitely stuff I think they could improve upon, but there's plenty enough to enjoy for fans old and new alike.

    The show's strengths definitely lie with the hillarious animation, the top notch voice acting (Paulsen, Harnell and MacNeille still got it), the orchestral music and for sure, the writing is often more hit than miss. I could understand why some critics might believe the same charm isn't there -- mainly due to the original creators not being invited back -- but no doubt there is still a lot of effort being put into this by people who respect the source material. Nothing about it feels lazy.

    That being said, there are a few segments that could have been condensed down and this is especially where the lack of most of the original series' cast (the irreplacable Slappy Squirrel, the Goodfeathers, etc) is sorely felt -- whether this was a creative choice or the studio, one can't be sure. The first season's desire to be timely also runs the serious risk of some episodes and jokes being dated. It's widely agreed Animaniacs is at its best when it's being timeless and when they are here, it's a barrel of laughs. I just hope the writers tilt the scale more towards timeless going forward, and with any luck, maybe we'll see some of the old cast again. I mean, who doesn't miss 'Good Idea, Bad Idea'?

    I'm looking forward to Season 2 next year. There is definitely something of worth here and I'm interested in seeing what they do going forward.
  • So I've only watched two episodes and I gotta tell you.... It's just not as funny as it used to be. Maybe you have to be high to really laugh at it?

    See (puts on his grampa voice) In MY day Bugs and Daffy were funny.... AND they used REAL BULLETS... LOL. Plus they had opera and their stories were actually funny.

    The second episode was already POLITICAL!... With a Trump cyclops FFS! I don't remember the original Looney Tunes EVER using our president as a character in the show.... In fact one of the funniest episodes is when Bugs finds out that the bounty on a rabbit is only TWO CENTS!!! And he goes about trying to prove the rabbits AREN'T harmless.... Now THAT was funny.

    So I get it.... Hollywood still hasn't figured out what Ricky Gervais already knows. NOBODY in Hollywood has any right to lecture regular folks about politics. Come up here, accept your little award, thank your gods.... and F&#K OFF!

    That's my take.... Not sure if I'll bother with any more of it.... especially if it's going to keep up with political BS and we're a reboot gags. BTW.... I quit smoking in 2008 and I'm not going to start again so you'd better improve the writing if you want to keep an audience beyond season 1.
  • I really looked forward to seeing this in 2020 as I grew up on the old version as a kid (and I loved it), but this is clearly a political/woke garbage fest. You don't have to push past the lyrics in their new "intro" to know where this is going. How very disappointing.
  • joshuavoight21 November 2020
    Warning: Spoilers
    Back in the original series, the political jokes were more light hearted and in jest. The current form is more of a self-aware, annoying, and politically motivated disaster. They're 'woke' for those who love to be asleep. Whatever happened to the other characters like Slappy the Squirrel and the good feathers? Also, no more mime or wheel of morality?
  • DrReverb24 November 2020
    When you don't include the original creators in a reboot, you're bound to trip. While the animation is good and very entertaining, the writing is its biggest weakness. The show drags out the "hey, we're a reboot!" gag throughout the entire season. It's fine for the first two episodes, but beyond that is stale. I was also disappointed by the lack of time travel. Rather than visiting different events and cultures in history, we're stuck in current year. Lastly, there's way more partisan political jokes. The original made fun of everyone and was only a small portion of the humor. Bill Clinton only showed up a couple times in the original, while Trump shows up at least three times in the first season alone. The Animaniacs are basically anarchists, but the episode "Bun Control" was a very blunt message telling the audience what to believe. That's a good way to alienate half your audience.

    In conclusion, for a reboot it's all right. Warner Bros. leaving out Tom Reugger was a mistake. Tom's on the record saying his agent contacted them when he heard about the reboot and Warner said they didn't want him. Big mistake.
  • davorslistdepot5 December 2020
    Perhaps a month ago I thought - whatever happened to Animaniacs, and here they are. Woke as woke can be. Not funny, and barely watchable. All the good stuff from the old Animaniacs is reused, but toned down with a woke factor. RIP Animaniacs.
  • darealkash24 November 2020
    Warning: Spoilers
    Way too political & unenjoyable. Just a show to brain wash people into their views. They took a classic that was full of jokes & ruined one of my childhood favorites! What happened to "HELLLLLOOOOO NURSE" oh wait that's probably offensive now days smh. Hollywood needs to stop remaking old shows. Dear writers, please use some real creativity for once so you can write something else that can compare to the great 90s shows! Welcome to this fail year called 2020.
  • This series is at its best when it the irreverent, satirical, absurd comedy is getting shoved down your throat. This series is at its worst when it decides to instead shove its political opinions down your throat. I know I don't like Trump, I don't need cartoon characters telling me to not like him! It's stupid that they expect me to take a cartoon character's political opinion seriously...come on.

    This show is honestly really funny though.
  • I watched this show as a young teen and loved it. I was excited for the reboot. There are a few moments that feel like the original but overall it falls flat. The political jokes, the slapstick that just seems ridiculous, and occasional gross factor seem to be trying too hard to get the approval of a new demographic but comes up short. I'll continue to watch and hope it gets better, but so far -disappointing. Maybe I'm just too old for this type of humour. And if you're hoping to see the Goodfeathers, Buttons and Mindy or Slappy - no such luck so far as I've seen. Pinky and the Brain is beyond disappointing in this reboot. (Glad they didn't bring back the singing cat though).
  • The first episode was good. After that every episode feature some sort of left wing liberal B.s. plot point. The show is more "random" than the original series which makes it seem dumber. The original they made jokes about actors and movies not politics. Lame how everything has to have an agenda anymore. Everyone thinks they're going to be in a history book someday. Lol just have fun and don't try and shove your agendas down people's throats.
  • wmk871922 November 2020
    It turns out that refusing to bring back the original creator and writing staff and hiring one of those Family Guy manatees to run the show instead was a bad idea.
  • fanciesofbliss21 November 2020
    So far the show feels off. I know it was political in the past, but now it seems to be more in your face/contains an agenda in a few episodes. Dot is no longer cute but has wit... I guess go feminism? The show feels a little empty without some of the other characters. This animation does not look nearly as good as the 90's animation. Personally, it should have remained in the 90's like so many other reboots. Perhaps it will get better the next season.
  • A reboot is just that... a reboot. And I knew this wouldn't be as good as the original. But I didn't realize how much worse it would be. The brilliant writing of the Countries of the World Song or when the Warner's meet the Devil is totally gone. Now it's low-brow, pandering humor with dull dialogue and stale storylines. And of course the obvious political jabs which seem mundane and obtuse. My teens and preteen were bored, and I was left disappointed. Meh.
  • Where to being. Almost all of the original characters (love them or hate them) are gone. At least Pinky and the Brain is in it still, though since this show is terrible now, I'd prefer another P&B show instead.

    Now we move on to the humor. The show in the past had decades of material to work with. And yet in this new reboot they ignore the 22 years of pop culture that could have worked with and stick to the year or so before this reboot came out. Which really gets boring because they keep reusing the same jokes essentially. And because this was written after Trumps election, WAY to much of the jokes reference or have to do with Trump. Seriously? Every show on tv has political stuff, can't we just keep this politics free?

    The chaos of the Warners is no longer... well chaotic. They are a bit more tame and dull now. I didn't find myself laughing much and wondered if they remember how the old series format worked. And thanks to a more politically correct world, everything is tame now. They even make note of it in the new theme song.

    It felt like torture but I finished the first season and am relived to be done with it. If you are expecting the feelings you had in the 90s, think again. The ONLY thing even worth watching was Pinky and the Brain. Maybe they should ditch a second season of Animaniacs and stick with a reboot of Pinky and the Brain instead.
  • The original Animaniacs deserves at least eight stars. It is innovative, funny, and quirky. The perfect example of a classic cartoon.

    On the other hand, the new reboot is so awful that I have blood shooting out of my eyes. One star is too much for that version. I cannot imagine why anyone thought that a reboot was needed.

    What did the reboot bring to the show? Watching a few episodes, it was totally uninspired. They got talented people from the original to work on this reboot, but it seems as if they couldn't wait to cash the check and get the show out to the public. After watching the original, it really pales in comparison. If I were king for a day, one of the first edicts I would issue would be to banish the people responsible for the Animaniacs reboot and any traces of it from the face of the Earth.

    Then, I would bring in the studio weasels who green-lighted the reboot to personally accompany the masters of that awful version to make sure they never returned to our beautiful green and blue planet.
  • Obviously, the demographic is changed so the people who grew up on Animaniacs can enjoy it but it extremely indulges itself into woke culture to the point of extinction.
  • Bjr022220 November 2020
    Animaniacs was far and away the animated series that defined my childhood. It's very clear this was geared towards elder millennials such as myself and the reboot/continuation is interesting, timely, and hilarious. I hope it continues for several more seasons.
  • Better than I had imagined. Amazing the original character actor voices are back! Growing up watching the original series was like watching it again! Great job
  • I seriously could not stop smiling. Literally laugh out loud funny and has all the sophistication and level of clever humour of the original series. It's definitely met my expectations.
  • I had such high hopes from the trailers and the first 8 minutes of the show until the first song that updates us on the last 20 years... where they decided to tongue in cheek bash Trump... after that, I got extremely turned off.

    So sick and tired of the negativity... look if you're going to mock or make fun of people do it from a place of warmth and respect; not out of hatred.

    Not a fan anymore.

    Thanks for ruining the 90's!
  • 22 years later... the Animaniacs are finally back!

    I absolutely love the return of the voice cast (such as Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarchie, and more); the animation is very fascinating; the humor is the same as the original; Steven Spielberg makes a wonderful return as executive producer; and the characters are the same!

    For fans of the original series, the new revival makes a wonderful comeback to watch!
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