Animaniacs Wiki

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Braincancelledreaction.png "Cancelled? How can it be cancelled!"
This article contains information about product(s) in the Animaniacs franchise that were cancelled and has never received an official release.
As the product(s) have never been released to the public or had been released officially, information may be inaccurate.


The following article documents scrapped projects and concepts within the Animaniacs franchise. These can range from episodes and songs, video games, or even entire movies. Please note that this list is subject to expansion and given the scrapped status of the projects and concepts, the information provided may also be subject to correction.

Animaniacs (Original Series)

Misc. Concepts and Character Alterations

Initially, Rita and Runt were going to be the hosts of the show in the vein of the The Abbott and Costello Show, and introduce each segment onstage.[1] The series bible also expressed a desire for Steven Spielberg's influence to bring in celebrity guest stars to voice their own caricatures, but these plans were presumably hindered by Spielberg filming Schindler's List in Europe.

Additionally, the Warner sibling stars were going to be ducks (based off Tom Ruegger's own short The Premiere of Platypus Duck) but this concept was scrapped as "ducks had been done to death" at that point. Throughout the next few weeks; Ruegger and Ken Boyer, Alfred Gimeno, Lynn Naylor, a few other artists retooled the ducks into "the generic 30's-style cartoon characters."

Ruegger decided they would be named "The Warner Brothers" after having an epiphany while staring at the WB Water Tower, and deduced that would be their home. The trio would've been named Yakky, Smakky and Wakky; and of course were inspired by Ruegger's own sons-- Nate, Luke and Cody. A female fourth sibling was also created. Yakky was inspired by Nate's own chattiness, Smakky was inspired by Luke's "slapping phase" at the time, and Wakky was presumably inspired by Cody's own energetic behavior, or perhaps all three of their own energetic behaviors.

Further retooling occurred where Yakky became Yakko, elements of both Smakky and Wakky were merged into Wakko, while the girl became Dot (and presumably gaining some of Cody's traits).[2] After gaining clearance from the Warner estate to use the Warner name, the characters further developed into the siblings we know today. [3]

An earlier drawing of Pinky and the Brain indicates that at one point the two would have skin cover their front torsos before they were retooled to have all-white fur bodies.

According to the series pitch bible for the original Animaniacs, Mr. Skullhead was listed as one of the main characters to lead his own segments.

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Cut Characters

Several characters were cut from the pre-production stages of the show and can be found mentioned in the series bible, with others being found in different stages of production. Some of the more well-documented characters include Bossy Beaver and Doyle, a beaver duo who, according to Tom Ruegger, desired to build "the best damn dam ever." Bossy was based on Ken Boyer, an artist and director on Tiny Toon Adventures who was well known and respected for his strong work ethic. Doyle would've been Bossy's lesser-intelligent sidekick who screwed up the plans. The characters were scrapped due to their similarities to Pinky and the Brain.

Other characters include The Fleas (presumably The Flea Family from Tiny Toon Adventures), a robot named Clyde (aka C.L.I.D.E.— also from Tiny Toons) who seemingly partnered with Egghead Jr. from Looney Tunes, a soap opera parody centered around microscopic organisms entitled As The Petri Dish Turns, the elusive La Tidga, and a raccoon duo named Nipsy and Russell, a pair of con-men raccoons that prowled the neighborhood at night who were presumably named after comedian Nipsey Russell. One reason given for their removal was that Spielberg decided that the show had enough comic duos.[2] [3] Production art and outlines for some of these characters have surfaced online overtime.

Notably, Clyde and Egghead Jr. would later make cameos in the Pinky and the Brain series finale "Star Warners" during the Mos Eisner cantina scene.

In 2022, an eBay listing (expanded upon in the next section) containing different Animaniacs production assets also included a list for potential antagonists for the characters to face, including Bob Hope (possibly explaining why he is in the xylophone section of the theme song with other antagonists from the show). In the series itself, a caricature of Hope did make some appearances but he was rarely out to antagonize the siblings.

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Misc. Scrapped Cartoons/Different Episode Titles

In 2022, an ebay listing for script outlines and other miscellaneous Animaniacs production assets surfaced. Notably, these papers contain listings for several Animaniacs cartoons that were either altered or scrapped entirely. A list of scrapped cartoons includes "Don't Take Me Out to the Ballgame" by John P. McCann (a Warners cartoon), "WB as caddies w/Bob Hope" (unfinalized title) by Paul Rugg (a Warners cartoon), "Bossy Builds A Dam" by Peter Hastings (a Bossy Beaver cartoon), and "Grandparents' Day" by Deanna Oliver (a Slappy Squirrel cartoon). Additional scrapped cartoons include "The Merchant of Venice Beach" where the Warners would encounter William Shakespeare, and "A Tale of Two Water Towers"-- where the Warners take on King Louis XVI. The title is a parody of the novel A Tale of Two Cities.

Initial proposed titles considered for cartoons that later made it into the series include "Slappy in the Garden of Eden" ("Guardin' the Garden"), "Warners at Traffic Court" ("La La Law"), "Prehistoric Peril" ("Mesozoic Mindy"), "Slappy & Skippy & Bumbi's Mom" ("Bumbie's Mom"), and "Warners at Carnegie Hall" ("Piano Rag").

Additionally, "Noah's Lark" is listed as a Warners cartoon, implying the siblings were going to be the ones joining Noah on his voyage instead of Flavio and Marita (though the siblings do get to make a cameo in the finalized version of the cartoon). A similar situation appears to have happened with "Critic Chaos"," where the Warners would face-off against Siskel and Ebert (this was most likely reworked into the Slappy Squirrel cartoon "Critical Condition").

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Dear Mister Gingrich

In this song, Dot would've sung about her love for politician Newt Gingrich. It was written by Randy Rogel, and would've been part of the show's 77th episode.[4] The song itself was referenced in the cartoon "The Sound of Warners."

Read here for more information

The Geologic Clock

In this song, Yakko would've sung about the history of "everything." It was written by Randy Rogel, and described by him to be the most difficult song he had ever written. A similar song later appears in the Animaniacs reboot entitled "A Brief History of History."

Read here for more information

Good Idea, Bad Idea Segments

Cel from an unused segment

An animation cel of an unused Good Idea, Bad Idea segment featuring Mr. Skullhead and Charlie Dog is known to exist. It's currently unknown what the "Good Idea" and "Bad Idea" would be, but it presumably has something to do with playing fetch.

Additionally, in a 2016 Reddit AMA,[5] Tom Ruegger shared the following unused Good Idea, Bad Idea which centered on Animaniacs' move from Fox Kids to Kids WB:

Good Idea: Airing on the Fox Kids Network.
Bad Idea: Airing on Kids' WB.

Pinky and the Brain

He's Mr. Pinky, He's Mr. Brain

In an interview with VO Buzz Weekly on February 2, 2020 (around the 17:38 mark), Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche confirmed the existence of this scrapped Pinky and the Brain cartoon. The one-off cartoon, conceived by Tom Ruegger, would've been a parody of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon series Pixie and Dixie and Mr. Jinks and feature the mice starring in a fictitious 1960's cartoon series. Brain would've worn a bow-tie and Pinky would've worn a vest, and the duo would have to avoid a cat character while scheming for world domination. Tom Ruegger wanted to twist the show's usual formula and have LaMarche play Mr. Pinky, with Paulsen playing Mr. Brain. The cartoon apparently never advanced past the recording stage.

Trivia

Animaniacs (Reboot)

Freakazoid! Appearance

According to Wellesley Wild and Gabe Swarr, Freakazoid was intended make an appearance early on in the reboot, but couldn't due to scheduling conflicts with Paul Rugg.[6]

ThunderCats Roar Joke

A rejected joke about ThunderCats Roar was pitched by storyboard artist Meg Syverud. It would've involved the Warners orchestrating the production of that show specifically to annoy people. [7]

Unused Pinky and the Brain Pitches

On May 28, 2022, series writer Jordan VanDina tweeted a drawing board of various Pinky and the Brain cartoon titles from his time working on the show. Most of these went unused, while some appear to have been reworked into other episodes. "Road-Mouse" may have been reworked into "Roadent Trip," while "The Brainy Bunch" was most likely reworked into "The Flawed Couple."

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Global Warnering

A song about global warming entitled "Global Warnering" was scrapped from the show's 24th episode. Information about it is scarce, but a model sheet can be found on series colorist Kasey Williams' website, and it is mentioned in the episode's description on HBO Max in Latin America.

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Scrapped Cartoon from Episode 34

On June 2, 2022, character designer Bryan Arnett posted three different posts on his Instagram account depicting character designs from a scrapped cartoon that would've been featured in the show's 34th episode.

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Movies

Winter Warner Land

In this film concept, the Warners would've taken a job at the North Pole and driven Santa's elves crazy.[8] The poster concept uses the same art as the "Helloooo, Holidays" VHS cover.

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The Road to Bohemia

Various elements from this film concept found their way into the movie Wakko's Wish.[9]

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Wandering Warners We

In this film concept, Yakko, Wakko and Dot play troubadours sent on a mission by the King to track down his heir, the princess, in order to save the kingdom. Most notably, the fourth Warner sibling would've been introduced: "Lakko Warner" (who is profoundly untalented), created by Paul Rugg[3]. Right before the middle of the film, Lakko would've been unceremoniously fired from the production by his siblings due to his lack of timing and charisma.[10]

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Little Orphan Warners

This movie would've been an Animaniacs-themed parody of the musical Oliver Twist starring the the Warners.[11]

Trivia

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Hooray for Hollywood

Much of the ideas from this film concept would later find their way into the Animaniacs two-parter, Hooray for North Hollywood.[12]

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Revolutionary Warners

In this film concept, the Warners would've participated in the American Revolution in an instrumental role. [13]

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This Means Warners

While details about this particular film concept are more scant than the others, Tom Ruegger has alluded that it would've been set during World War II. [14]

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Untitled Pinky and the Brain Movie

Russell Calabrese and Kirk Tingblad once proposed a live-action/animation-hybrid Pinky and the Brain movie, and outlined the idea in now-deleted Facebook comments (pictured below). In the movie, Brain decides that the reason why he and Pinky fail in their plans is because they are mice. To resolve this, the two turn into humans (still played by Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche, respectively). The experiment, apparently, is then considered a failure.

The two then embark on a worldwide adventure to find a device that Brain can use to fix their conversion machine (identified by Calabrese as the gene splicer), while coming into conflict with an unknown force. When they find the gizmo they need, they race to the lab to rebuild the device and revert them into mice. Just as they start up the device Pinky is shot with the bullet hitting his heart. The conversion happens and as Brain is sobbing the bullet rolls off his cartoon chest and Pinky is saved. It ends with them cleaning up the lab as Brain asks Pinky "Are you pondering what I'm pondering?" This pitch was ultimately rejected for being too expensive.

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Video Games

Pinky and The Brain (PlayStation/Sega Saturn)

In 1997, Konami was developing and planning to publish a Pinky and The Brain game for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn. In the game, Pinky and The Brain travel through various time periods in their quest for world domination. The game was scheduled for a January 1997 release, but was quietly cancelled due to project leadership issues.

Read here for more information

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Animaniacs Grand Prix

Developer Data Design Interactive pitched an Animaniacs-themed racing game to Warner Bros. in mid-1998. The project is assumed to have not been approved and was cancelled. The existence of the project emerged in 2020, through a discovery of company files from the Hidden Palace community.

Read here for more information

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Animaniacs: Hollywood Hypnotics

Developer Full Fat Games was developing a Game Boy Advance Animaniacs game titled Hollywood Hypnotics. The game would've seen the Warners attempt to destroy mind-controlling speakers hidden throughout the Warner Bros. Studio Lot by Pinky and The Brain. The game was planned to be published by SWING Entertainment in 2003, which was also planning to publish Warthog Games' Hollywood Hijinx (which would be renamed to The Great Edgar Hunt); the company became subject of an insolvency procedure around April 2003. Though Hollywood Hijinx would be transferred to Ignition Entertainment, Hollywood Hypnotics was cancelled.

Read here for more information

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References

  1. [citation needed]
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ron "Keeper1st" O'Dell - Animaniacs: In the Beginning. Retrieved July 20, 2022.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Lammle, Ron (01-04-2018) Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Animaniacs. Mental Floss. Retrieved July 20, 2022.
  4. Ron "Keeper1st" O'Dell - Lost Animaniacs Clips: "Dear Mister Gingrich." Retrieved July 8, 2022.
  5. Tom Ruegger Reddit AMA. Published April 12, 2016. Retrieved July 10, 2022.
  6. Taylor, Drew. (2020, November 20). Animaniacs’ Producers Say ‘Freakazoid’ Was Almost in the New Show. Collider. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  7. Tweet by Meg Syv. Published March 15, 2020. Retrieved July 29, 2022.
  8. Cartoonatics- Animaniacs Christmas Movie. By Tom Ruegger. Published November 30, 2010. Retrieved July 4, 2022
  9. Cartoonatics- Animaniacs Movie Poster #2 : "The Road to Bohemia." By Tom Ruegger. Published December 1, 2010. Retrieved July 4, 2022
  10. Cartoonatics- Animaniacs Movie Poster #3: "Wandering Warners We." By Tom Ruegger. Published December 2, 2010. Retrieved July 4, 2022
  11. Cartoonatics- Animaniacs Movie Poster #4: "Little Orphan Warners." By Tom Ruegger. Published December 3, 2010. Retrieved July 4, 2022
  12. Cartoonatics- Animaniacs Movie Poster #5: "Hooray for Hollywood." By Tom Ruegger. Published December 4, 2010. Retrieved July 4, 2022
  13. Cartoonatics- Animaniacs Movie Poster #6: "Revolutionary Warners." By Tom Ruegger. Published December 6, 2011. Retrieved July 4, 2022
  14. Cartoonatics- Animaniacs Movie Poster #7 "This Means Warners." By Tom Ruegger. Published January 6, 2011. Retrieved July 4, 2022
Animaniacs Media
Animaniacs (1993-1998)
Series OverviewEpisode Guide (Compilation Episodes) • Hooray for North HollywoodThe Ultimate Animaniacs Super SpecialSeries BibleSongsAlbumsCharactersSegmentsVideo GamesBooksDC Comic SeriesHome Media ReleasesGalleryBrain's Plans
Pinky and the Brain (1995-1998)
Series OverviewEpisode Guide (Compilation Episodes) • BrainwashedThe Ultimate Animaniacs Super SpecialSongsAlbumsCharactersVideo GamesDC Comic SeriesHome Media ReleasesGalleryBrain's Plans
Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain (1998-1999)
Series OverviewEpisode GuideSongsCharactersHome Media ReleasesGalleryBrain's Plans
Wakko's Wish (1999)
Movie OverviewSongsCharactersGalleryBrain's Plans
Animaniacs (2020-)
Series OverviewEpisode GuideTwitter Watch PartiesFriends With AnimaniacsSongsAlbumsCharactersSegmentsHome Media ReleasesGalleryBrain's Plans
Other
Kids' WB Brain Snacks (1998) • The Big Cartoonie Show (1999-2000) (Episode Guide) • Animaniacs Live!Scrapped/Unreleased ProjectsMerchandiseVideo GamesEventsPromotional SongsMiscellaneous SongsList of references to Animaniacs in popular culture
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