Everyone who grew up with Animaniacs is old now and that sucks. As a teacher, I once told a class full of high school kids about the legendary Yakko’s World and they all looked at me with blank expressions. One of them had the audacity to say, “What’s Animaniacs?”
When Animaniacs returned, I was delighted. The show hadn’t lost its step, it was every bit as looney as I remembered, and it had a little extra bite to it. Characters would say minor swear words like “hell,” Caricatures politicians and celebrities were a little more… grotesque. Despite the fact that some elements of the show were dropped to keep up with modern sensibilities (farewell, Hello Nurse, we barely knew you!), there was a little extra naughtiness to the show that wouldn’t have been allowed in the 90’s.
It wasn’t enough to be distracting or lewd, just a little more mischievous. Remember, this is the series that, in the 90’s, got away with the “fingerprints” joke, so Animaniacs being a little naughty isn’t new.
This season, the show is a little more daring with its innuendo. The audience has grown up and matured, and so has Animaniac’s humor. I have to admit, there were one or too times when a joke completely took me by surprise. When Nero was attacked by a tiger and repeated Trump’s infamous Access Hollywood pick up line? I died a little… but in a good way.
So, yes, the new season is just as funny as the second and a little more daring. The skits seem better thought out and they actually go for some solid character development with Pinky and The Brain, delving deeper into their relationship and showing that Brain sees Pinky as more than just an idiotic sidekick.
The meta humor does run a tad thin at times as the show is starting to reference itself more than I like. How many times are we going to bring up Yakko’s World? I swear they mentioned it once every episode.
I do miss the variety that the original series offered. When it came on television when I was younger, I never knew if it was going to feature Slappy Squirrel or Buttons and Mindy or the Goodfeathers and I honestly cannot conceive why these characters aren’t in the show anymore but Chicken Boo is. It was just a delightful thing to tune in and not know what you were going to get.
Still, I’d rather see Yakko, Wakko, and Dot in this format than none at all.