How The Animaniacs And Pinky And The Brain Casts Feel About Their Characters Appearing In A Live-Action Project
Should the Warner siblings and their colleagues enter the real world?
It’s probably fair to say that Animaniacs is one of the greatest animated series of all time and has produced some of the most recognizable characters in all of pop culture. The Warner siblings, along with Pinky and the Brain, are widely loved by TV aficionados and have been since they were introduced in 1993. Though as popular as they are, the eccentric bunch have yet to appear in a live-action project. A number of fans would surely love to see it, but one can’t help but wonder how the voice actors would feel. Well, thankfully, I was able to get their thoughts on the prospect.
Plenty of notable toons have made the jump to live-action, from Popeye and The Flinstones to Speed Racer and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And some have even appeared in hybrid productions that featured both animated and flesh-and-blood beings. With all of that in mind, there are a number of ways that producers could handle Animaniacs’ cast of characters. In celebration of the Hulu revival’s final season, I spoke with the core voice actors and asked about the notion of the Warners and the ACME Labs mice entering the real world. Wakko voice actor Jess Harnell likes the idea and believes that such a production should take inspiration from a certain classic movie:
The actor makes two good points here, one being that it would be difficult for audiences to buy real actors dressed up like the mischievous siblings. Also, Robert Zemeckis’ crime comedy is a perfect example of a mash-up movie done right. Even to this day, few films have managed to match Roger Rabbit, let alone surpass it. However, in 2022, there was a certain flick that did arguably capture the spirit of the 1988 romp. And Tress MacNeille evoked its name when arguing why the hybrid format would work for Animaniacs:
The idea of the Warners inhabiting the real world is just too delightful to deny. And considering what the producers have accomplished with the animated series, I think they could craft a truly unique project – one that maintains the clever nature of both animated shows. So that covers the fun-loving siblings, but what about Pinky and the Brain? Maurice LeMarche, who voices the latter mouse, is down with the duo leaping into our universe. Though unlike his co-stars, he’d like to take things a step further when it comes to how the characters could be designed:
I’m not sure what makes me chuckle more: the prospect of the mice traversing the real world or the simple thought of them interacting with Harry Styles.During the same interview, Maurice LeMarche and Rob Paulsen (Pinky) pitched an awesome idea for a Pinky and the Brain movie. They imagine the two going on a road trip together to find an item that’ll assist them in finally taking over the world. That could certainly serve as a fun plot for a live-action outing.
The future of Animaniacs is uncertain at this time, especially since the latest iteration of the show closed out its run after three seasons. However, I still believe we’ll see these characters again – and in a live-action setting, at that. Should it not happen though, the cast is “proud” of the show’s legacy as is. And as Rob Paulsen sweetly put it, he and his colleagues have already “won the lottery.” That’s totally true, but I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t want to see them hit the jackpot again by having their characters leap out of their animated parameters.
All three seasons of Animaniacs are available to stream (opens in new tab) using a Hulu subscription. You can also peep the 2023 TV schedule to learn about other major premieres that are set for the year.
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