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Reboot Review: Animaniacs — Still as Satirical and Hysterical as Ever

Sean McDermott

Posted on December 12, 2020 11:43

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The Animaniacs have returned after 22 years for another hysterical round of satirizing politicians, celebrities, and other ridiculous parts of American culture.

Wakko, Yakko, and Dot of the Animaniacs
Image by Rob Bulmahn (CC by 2.0)

It's been 22 years since three wild and animated characters found their way into the hearts of grade schoolers and pre-teens of the 90's. The lovable trio of two brothers and a sister, memorably named Wakko, Yakko, and Dot, are known as The Animaniacs. After two decades of pulling laugh-out-loud pranks on caricatures parodying numerous public figures, they have returned to Hulu to wreak havoc on even more vulnerable celebrities, politicians, and other ludicrous elements of the modern world.

The reboot wasted no time dropping satire on American politics either. 

The first episode includes a musical tribute telling of presidents elected since they last aired. The song starts with Gore's loss to Bush in 2000 and ends with "The country is cut in two, the red and the blue — Facebook's a toxic waste dump. The Fox Friends are doting, the Russians are voting — and now there's a President Trump!"

The song stops and Yakko fills in: "At least we think there's still a President Trump. You see, the writers are writing this in 2018."

The second episode features a rendition of Homer's Iliad, and Donald Trump is depicted as the Cyclops monster. He states he lives on the "finest" island in the world, he has a "great brain," and has "two very excellent eyes that I can see things very well with." 

Episode four satirizes the national gun lobby, Wayne LaPierre, and the NRA in an episode called "Bun Control." Dwayne LaPistol, a rabbit-faced breeder of rabbits, takes over the Warner Bros. studios to breed and distribute "buns." "People need buns in these uncertain times," he says. 

Episode six includes a comically political segment that places dialog hinting at a specific issue; a fundamental aspect of satire. Sitting in a pool float accompanying a beverage is a woman from the "American Freedom Pool Party." She wants to make all private pools public just so "I can swim in the Gustafson's pool." A man walks over understood as the neighbor/pool owner, Mr. Gustafson. "I thought you were at work," the woman says. "I was fired yesterday because my job has been fully automated by robots made in China … made by other robots, made in China," says Mr. Gustafson, "And now I don't have health insurance because the robots won't let us unionize."

Episode nine jabs at Tucker Carlson of Fox News ("Tuck Buckerson" of the "Faux News Channel".) The Animaniacs alter his teleprompter to make him say he's a giant baby who wears ladybug diapers causing an angry meltdown by "Buckerson" (a cut at Carlson's volatile on-air antics.)

Unfortunately, the reboot cut out old sketches like the three bickering, Italian-American pigeons in "Goodfeathers," "Good Idea, Bad Idea," and others. The opening theme song received a timely upgrade yet it stays in your head on constant loop. Altogether, an underrated trait remains about the Animaniacs: Underneath their loony humor is culturally educational content good for all ages.

Sean McDermott

Posted on December 12, 2020 11:43

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Source: NME

An episode of  Animaniacs was taken down temporarily after featuring a telephone number for a sex hotline. Episode six...

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