Hulu has given a two-season straight-to-series order to a brand-new version of the hit 1990s cartoon, set to premiere in 2020. “Animaniacs” is the first original series produced at Hulu for families.
Amblin Television and Warner Bros. Animation are behind the show, with Steven Spielberg back as executive producer. As part of the deal, Hulu has also signed on as the exclusive streaming home to all 99 episodes of the original “Animaniacs,” as well as spin-off series “Pinky and the Brain,” and “Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain.” Precursor series “Tiny Toon Adventures” is also part of the deal, which is effective immediately.
“I am so pleased and proud that Animaniacs will have a home at Hulu,” said Executive Producer Steven Spielberg. “Together with Warner Bros., we look to bring new audiences and longtime fans into this wild world of Yakko, Wakko, and Dot. I am also excited that the full library of ‘Animaniacs’ and ‘Tiny Toon Adventures’ episodes are included in the deal.”
IndieWire first reported in May that an “Animaniacs” reboot was being considered. The iconic series had experienced a new surge in popularity since arriving on Netflix last year.
Spielberg will executive produce with Sam Register, the president of Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Digital Series, and Amblin Television co-presidents Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank.
“Animaniacs” ran from 1993 to 1995 on Fox Kids, before moving to Kids’ WB from 1995 to 1998. Primetime spinoff “Pinky and the Brain” aired on The WB. “Animaniacs” won eight Daytime Emmy Awards during its run, as well as a Peabody Award.
The cartoon consisted of various segments (including “Pinky and the Brain”), all tied together by the Warner siblings Yakko, Wakoo, and Dot, who were said to have been trapped in the Warner Bros. lot water tower since the 1930s until their escape. Tom Ruegger, who oversaw the show’s creation, was inspired by his own three children in developing the characters. “Animaniacs” was popular with kids, but young adults also gravitated to its sophisticated humor and references.
“Yakko, Wakko, and Dot have been waiting impatiently inside the water tower, and now their hilarious brand of animated chaos will be unleashed again,” Register said. “Parents who grew up with the cartoon now have new episodes to share with their own families.”
Voice stars on the series included Rob Paulsen, Tress MacNeille, Jess Harnell, Sherri Stoner, and Maurice LaMarche. Each episode was also heavily scored with original songs and music. There is no word yet on which voice actors might be returning.
“We cannot wait to work with Steven Spielberg and the entire Amblin and Warner Bros. teams to bring more sketches, catchphrases, songs and laughs from the ‘Animaniacs’ to kids and adults everywhere,” said Craig Erwich, senior vice president of content at Hulu. “Now one of the most beloved, inventive and funny animated franchises in history, ‘Animaniacs’ and its cast of witty characters can live on, on Hulu. This marks yet another big move for us as we continue our efforts to be the No. 1 streaming destination for premium animated content.”