Here’s Hoping the Upcoming Animaniacs Reboot Stays True to Its Irreverent Roots

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And the 1990s nostalgia train just keeps on chuggin’. Next up in We Just Can’t Leave Our Childhoods Alone is a reboot of the popular animated series Animaniacs. This is both awesome and concerning, because the thought that always pops up for me whenever I talk about the original Animaniacs with friends is, I can’t believe grown-ups used to let us WATCH that! There’s no way they’d get away with most of those jokes today!

The show has experienced a surge in popularity thanks to its availability on Netflix, which is what has allowed Steven Spielberg and the folks at Amblin Television, as well as Warner Bros. Animation to think that it would be a great time for a reboot of the show. However, while Spielberg is currently helping to develop it the way he did the original as well as its predecessor, Tiny Toon Adventures, the new Animaniacs doesn’t yet have a home, and there’s no set plan yet as far as the show’s direction, how much will change, and how much will stay the same.

My hope? That I’m wrong when I say There’s no way they’d get away with most of those jokes today! A huge part of what made Animaniacs so brilliant was that, even moreso than Tiny Toons, its irreverent humor appealed to adults as well as children (as well as smarter, more mature children at the time like yours truly). My biggest fear with a reboot is that they would sanitize it too much.

After all, Spielberg went back and removed the guns from E.T. in subsequent home entertainment releases. A noble intention, to be sure, but something that robs the children in the film of a truly harrowing experience. What was wonderful about the original E.T.adults with guns and allwas that children were legitimately in danger … and they faced it and got through it. Spielberg has since regretted the digital tomfuckery shortly thereafter and pledged that the Blu-ray would feature the original 1982 version.

So, I hope he remembers that while developing this. Children and young adults should be respected, not condescended to and sheltered to the point of banality. Also, a large portion of the audience for this is going to be people like me who are coming back for nostalgia purposes, and we’re adults who will be coming to a new Animaniacs expecting stuff like this:

MWAH! Goodnight, everybody!

(via IndieWire, image: Warner Bros. Animation/Amblin Entertainment)

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Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.