Warner Bros. had a golden age of animation in the mid-90s when Tiny Toons, Animaniacs, and Batman: The Animated Series were all on television at the same time. My afternoons after school were entirely in the hands of WB, with the Disney Afternoon long forgotten (except for you, Gargoyles, I’ll always love you). In its effort to try to capture new audiences, Hulu is trying to bring that age back with two seasons’ worth of new episodes of Animaniacs, set to launch on the service in 2020. To get the hype train started, a whole pile of WB cartoons are available on Hulu right now.
Details on the new show are scarce. Steven Spielberg will come back to executive produce, and Hulu has ordered two seasons of the show.
Right now, you can hop onto Hulu to watch all 99 episodes of Animaniacs, as well as Pinky and the Brain, Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain, and Tiny Toon Adventures.
As someone who grew up with the original, I can’t help but be a little skeptical. Animaniacs was pretty subversive at the time. Particularly precocious fans will remember jokes like “finger prints,” “pianist,” and “dictator” among others. This was a show directed at kids, but packed with references for adults, with a skit based on the movie Goodfellas as a recurring element. If you drop in to re-watch some of these old episodes, you may be surprised at what you missed. It’s hard to imagine some of the show’s naughtier elements making it air today. This seems like a nostalgia revival that could have a tough time keeping its core intact.
Even if the new show doesn’t live up to the original, though, you can hop over to Hulu now for some of the best animated television out there. Go back and see how different the nations of the world have changed since the song was recorded back in the 1990s. And what they used to be able to put into kids shows. It’s pretty wild.