Cuphead's Developers Pitched Goofy, Glorious Character Designs for the Animaniacs Reboot

Cuphead's Developers Pitched Goofy, Glorious Character Designs for the Animaniacs Reboot

It's time for Animaniacs. Cuphead style.

If you're a '90s kid, you're probably stocking up on Orbitz, 3D Doritos, and Ring Pops in preparation for the Animaniacs reboot coming next month. Yakko, Wakko, and Dot—a.k.a the Warner Brothers (and Warner Sister)—will even retain their old voice actors in the 26 new episodes set to hit Hulu.

Not everything about the Animaniacs reboot is being recycled, however. The animation has a freshened-up (but still familiar) look that was explored in detail at the Ottawa Int'l Animation Festival on Friday. The panelists recall how several different artists and studios were invited to contribute potential new designs for the Warners, including Studio MDHR, the makers of 2017's Cuphead.

"'Finger Prince?' I don't think so." | Studio MDHR/Warner Bros. Source

As you might expect, Studio MDHR's contributions are very expressive and rubbery, much like the character designs that make Cuphead so distinct (as well as the Max Fleischer cartoons that inspired the game). There are two exceptions: A submission in which the siblings are angular, and another wherein they're literally three cats with cartoon attributes drawn on their faces. No doubt a joke submission, but one I'd like to see come into realization, nonetheless.

Studio MDHR's bendy-squashy iteration on the Warners won't show up on the TV screen next month. The final designs are courtesy of animator Genevieve Tsai, whose work is inspired by Tokyo Movie Shinsha's (TMS) designs for the '90s Animaniacs characters.

TMS is still well-regarded for the quality animation it produced for many western (well, "western") cartoons in the '80s and '90s, including some eps of Animaniacs. TMS also produced several episodes of Inspector Gadget, The Real Ghostbusters, and Batman: The Animated Series. There are several famous anime movies under its label as well, such as the celebrated Lupin III movie, The Castle of Cagliostro. The Castle of Cagliostro was directed by the legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki before he left to form Studio Ghibli.

The new Animaniacs is being produced in several studios across Canada, the Philippines, and South Korea. Our friends at Studio MDHR never got its "in," but at least we know the new design for the Warners is inspired in all the right ways. Goodbyyyyyye, Nurse!

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

In other news

Facebook Expects "Some Games and Apps May No Longer Work" After it Sunsets Oculus Accounts

The Quest 2 now requires a Facebook account, but holding out without one on older gear might be doable.

Crystal Dynamics Is “Confident” Avengers Players Will Return Once New Content Arrives

Studio head Scot Amos wants to focus on the future, not today's low player counts.

For Honor Will Get a Free 60 FPS Update on PS5, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S

Beyond that, players can expect the same features already on PS4 Pro and Xbox One X.

Need help?

Apex Legends Vaults - Where to Find the Vaults and How to Open Them

Need to know how to find a Vault Key in Apex Legends to open one of the three vaults? We've got you covered.

Gears 5 Collectibles - How to Find All Collectible Locations

Here's our guide to the Gears 5 collectible locations, including Act 1, Act 2, Act 3, and Act 4 collectibles.

Devil May Cry 5 Devil Breakers - Devil Breaker Arm Abilities in Devil May Cry 5

Here's our complete breakdown of every Devil Breaker arm ability for Nero in Devil May Cry 5.

Sekiro Tips - How to Beat Every Boss and Survive in Sekiro Shadows Die Twice

This is our complete beginner's guide to surviving Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, including a list of essential tips and tricks.