Remember last week when the amazing news came out of nowhere that Animaniacs was coming back? Did you notice something missing from that announcement?
Two new seasons of Animaniacs have been greenlit by Hulu and will appear sometime in 2020. Confirmed is the return of executive producer Steven Spielberg. Semi-confirmed is voice actor Maurice LaMarche, who suggested his involvement on Twitter. Unconfirmed: the involvement of producers Tom Ruegger, Sherri Stoner and Paul Rugg, writers Deanna Oliver, Gordon Bressack and Nicholas Hollander, or anybody else who was directly responsible for making those episodes so good.
Many of the former staff have not commented publicly about the apparent shutout, with the exception of Paul Rugg, who confirmed to a fan on Facebook that neither he nor any other talent behind the original series was told about the new show before its announcement. Without Rugg you don’t have Mister Director, as well as some of the funniest scripts the show ever aired.
Most other committee-driven shows of the 90s could be rewritten by anyone. But in many ways, the sensibility of Animaniacs was tied to its creators. Tom Ruegger based Yakko, Wakko and Dot on the personalities of his children. They’re literally his kids. No one else is going to have that personal connection or have the same instinct for what the Warners would and wouldn’t do.
Animaniacs was enough of a family production that Ruegger’s kids voiced several characters on the show, most prominently Slappy Squirrel’s nephew Skippy. Nate recently called attention to an online petition requesting that the heads at WB should at least have the courtesy of being offered positions in the new series, whether as advisors or as writers again. Nate wasn’t the one who wrote this petition, but he did sign it.
It’s important to keep in mind that as outsiders we don’t know exactly what is going on inside WB right now. It’s early enough that the task of finding writers for the series may not have even started yet. It’s also, we figure, early enough in development that the fans can make a difference if enough of them make it clear to WB how important the creators of Animaniacs‘ world are. Signing the petition is one way to do that. Let them know!
Discuss on the Toonzone Forums