Animaniacs Wiki
Advertisement
Animaniacs Wiki
Braincancelledreaction "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

See also Animaniacs#Development

The series bible 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, Dan Haskett, Lynne Naylor, along with 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 yet-unnamed 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 un-named girl became Dot (and presumably gaining some of Cody's traits).[1] After gaining clearance from the Warner estate to use the Warner name, the characters further developed into the siblings we know today. [2]

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.

In a 2007 behind-the-scenes interview, Tom Ruegger revealed that Rita and Runt were originally going to be the hosts of the show, mirroring Abbott and Costello. The idea was scrapped because Tom Ruegger was looking for a different "energy."[3]

Gallery

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.[1] [2] 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.

Gallery

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").

On October 21, 2023, Paul Dini revealed in a tweet that there were numerous unused story pitches involving Minerva Mink teaming-up with Slappy Squirrel. Minerva would've looked up to Slappy as a "grandmotherly" role model, while Slappy would find her annoying.

Gallery

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

Charlie Dog

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 in 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

Proposed Primetime Revamp

In 1996, The WB proposed a very heavy retooling of Pinky and the Brain to be more primetime-friendly (and more sitcom-like). These included demands such as the duo each having children, being married to other characters, and living in the same neighborhood ala The Flintstones and The Simpsons. Besides the expanded families, more supporting characters were also requested. These requests resulted in episodes that both mocked and met the network's demands, including "Brinky," "Pinky and the Brain... And Larry," and a story by Peter Hastings for the retool's pilot that would later become "You'll Never Eat Food Pellets In This Town Again." [6] [7] [8] The network then backed-off from these demands and let the mice's adventures continue as normal (until the next show).

When "Food Pellets" finally went into production for season 3 of the regular series, it had to be reworked to remove more direct, apparent adult-themes than the show's usual fare such as alcohol consumption.[6]

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. Ruegger reportedly 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

Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain

Working Titles

Before the final title was decided, working titles included The Further Adventures of Pinky and The Brain[9] and Pinky and The Brain: The Elmyra Years.[10]

Animaniacs (Reboot)

Redesigns of the Warners

The Warners underwent a serious of drastic redesigns before the crew settled on streamlined TMS-inspired designs by Genevieve Tsai.[11]

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.[12]

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. [13]

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."

Gallery

Global Warnering (Season 2)

An earlier version of the episode 33 cartoon "Global Warnering" was originally produced for the second season of the series, but ended up unaired in the second season. The Latin American HBO Max listing, along with production sheets from the website of series colorist Kasey Williams indicated that the episode was originally intended to be shown in the series' 24th episode. Currently, it's unknown if there are any differences between the scrapped and final versions of the cartoon. Notably, "Global Warnering" was eventually repurposed to replace another scrapped cartoon from episode 33: "The Wrath of Khan."[14]

Gallery

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.

Gallery

Pinky and the Brain "Tunnel of Love" Cartoon

In a now deleted post from storyboard artist Lisa Vandenberg's "Geezerflakes" blog, a Pinky and the Brain cartoon set at a "Tunnel of Love" was scrapped from the third season of the Animaniacs reboot. A tag in Vandenberg's post described the episode as being "the best one." In late March 2023, a plot summary of the episode was later shared by Vandenberg in a message:

"Basically the episode was Brain goes into Pinky's mind (in the style of 'Psychonauts') and to get out he has to exit through a tunnel of love in Pinky's mind. He goes in and realizes the tunnel of love is 100% dedicated to Brain. Brain realizes how much he means to Pinky and makes an effort to be kinder to him once its over. It's really sweet."

Gallery

Po' Tate! (Scrapped "Variety Nuggets" cartoon)

On September 26, 2023, Gabe Swarr posted his pitch to Steven Spielberg for more one-shot cartoons in the series named "Variety Nuggets", around the production of the second and third seasons of the show. One of the stories in the pitch, "Murder Collie", would be used under the name "Murder Pals" in Episode 32.

Among the pitch was another cartoon named "Po' Tate!", a cartoon which was scrapped. Po' Tate! would've seen a anthropomorphic spud named Po' Tate, who is warned by an old radish living with him in the vegetable drawer of the dangers of a malicious being known as "The Hand", which removes the other vegetables in the drawer to viciously eat. Initially not believing the radish, the radish is removed by The Hand, which makes Po' Tate a full believer. Avoiding The Hand's selection by hiding under other vegetables for days, Po' Tate eventually begins to sprout and rot, which prompts The Hand to grab the rotting Po' Tate and put him in the trash can. Po' tate considers the trash can to be his safe place as he rejoices.

The pitch's storyline:

"Po 'Tate is an anthropomorphic spud who lives in the vegetable drawer of a refrigerator with other talking vegetables. An old radish, who preaches like a street corner evangelist, warns young Po 'Tate of the dangers of "THE HAND," which will reach into the drawer at any given moment and remove one of the vegetables to viciously eat. Po 'Tate doesn't believe the old radish until one day; THE HAND arrives and takes the old radish away. Po 'Tate, now a full-fledged "believer," hides under old spinach and other rotting vegetables in the drawer to avoid being selected by THE HAND. After avoiding the hand for days on end, Po 'Tate begins to sprout and rot. THE HAND opens the drawer and grabs Po 'Tate. He is placed into a trash bin, where he meets other uneaten and spoiled foods. Po 'Tate rejoices, as the trash feels like heaven to him, and he has finally made it to the promise land."

Gallery

The Wrath of Khan

A cartoon known as "The Wrath of Khan" was produced and intended to air in episode 33. The episode was even copyrighted with the segment on the Entertainment Identifier Registry in December 2022.[15] The cartoon would've followed the Warners going against the founder and first khagan of the Mongol Empire, Genghis Khan.[16]

The segment had been been deemed "problematic" by executive producer Gabe Swarr due to poor animation quality from one of the overseas studios and was scrapped from the show. "Global Warnering," a leftover cartoon from the previous season's production then took its place, as it would've taken more work in order for "The Wrath of Khan" to be in a more passable state compared to "Global Warnering."[14]

Other Unreleased Segments

In a tweet published on April 18, 2023, executive producer Gabe Swarr confirmed that there other unreleased/unfinished cartoons from the Animaniacs reboot series.

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.[17] The poster concept uses the same art as the "Helloooo, Holidays!" VHS cover.
Later, in 2023, cartoon with a similar premise would air in the penultimate episode of the Animaniacs reboot called "Santamaniacs."

Gallery

The Road to Bohemia

Various elements from this film concept found their way into the movie Wakko's Wish.[18]

Gallery

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[2]. 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.[19]

Gallery

Little Orphan Warners

This movie would've been an Animaniacs-themed parody of the musical Oliver Twist starring the Warners.[20]

Trivia

Gallery

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.[21]

Gallery

Revolutionary Warners

In this film concept, the Warners would've participated in the American Revolution in an instrumental role. [22]

Gallery

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. [23]

Gallery

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.

Gallery

Pinky and the Brain Odyssey Feature

Writer John P. McCann pitched a Pinky and the Brain-centric take on the epic poem Odyssey, which would've featured Brain giving Odysseus ideas while Pinky messes up their progress. However, it was rejected.[24]

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. Mentions of the game had appeared within game magazines while in development.

Read here for more information

Gallery

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 not developed into a game. The existence of the project emerged in 2020, through a discovery of company files from the preservation community Hidden Palace.

Read here for more information

Gallery

Animaniacs: Hollywood Hypnotics

Developer Full Fat Games developed 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 Animaniacs: Hollywood Hijinx (the pre-release name for The Great Edgar Hunt); the publisher became subject of an insolvency procedure around April 2003. Though publishing duties for Hollywood Hijinx would be transferred to Ignition Entertainment, Hollywood Hypnotics did not find a new publisher and was cancelled.

Read here for more information

Gallery

Game Re-Releases

Limited Run Games CEO John Fairhurst approached Warner Bros. Entertainment to license re-releases of Animaniacs games (alongside re-releases of the Konami-developed Tiny Toon Adventures games) from 2021 to 2024. While not directly stated which games would be re-released, the company had previously re-released several licensed titles from Konami (including a Felix the Cat Collection), likely alluding intentions to re-release the Konami-developed games for the Sega Genesis, Game Boy and Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The proposals were rejected by Warner Bros.' licensing department as they were not interested and did not expect enough revenue from the re-releases.[25]

See Also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Ron "Keeper1st" O'Dell - Animaniacs: In the Beginning. Retrieved July 20, 2022.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Lammle, Ron (01-04-2018) - Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Animaniacs. Mental Floss. Retrieved July 20, 2022.
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=um1_sT-Z_r4
  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. 6.0 6.1 Animanicast Episode #185 - PINKY AND THE BRAIN… AND LARRY (Featuring Charles M. Howell IV) (See 0:58:47 - 1:00:30)
  7. (CORRECTED, AGAIN, FEL) PatB as of 2/5/98. Published by EOCostello on alt.tv.animaniacs February 5, 1998. Retrieved September 1, 2022.
  8. Reply to P&B Win Primetime Emmy by Ron "Keeper" O'Dell on alt.tv.animaniacs. Published September 9, 1996. Retrieved September 1, 2022.
  9. Warner Bros. Press: Kids' WB! Unveils All-New Saturday Morning With Returning Favorites And Exciting New Series From Steven Spielberg And The Jim Henson Company For 1998-99 Season. Published January 12, 1998. Retrieved August 29, 2022.
  10. Moe here, with good news about P&B&E! - Maurice LaMarche. Published March 13, 1998, at alt.tv.animaniacs. August July 29, 2022.
  11. Amidi, Amid (10-05-2020) - How The Creators Of Hulu’s ‘Animaniacs’ Reboot Subtly Updated The Look Of The Series. Cartoon Brew. Retrieved August 18, 2022.
  12. Taylor, Drew. (2020, November 20). Animaniacs’ Producers Say ‘Freakazoid’ Was Almost in the New Show. Collider. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  13. Tweet by Meg Syv. Published March 15, 2020. Retrieved July 29, 2022.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Three Tweet Thread by Gabe Swarr. Published and Retrieved November 14, 2023.
  15. The Wrath of Khan/Lawn in Sixty Seconds/All's Fair in Love and Door. - EIDR.
  16. Tweet by Gabe Swarr. Published November 15, 2023. Retrieved November 16, 2023.
  17. Cartoonatics- Animaniacs Christmas Movie. By Tom Ruegger. Published November 30, 2010. Retrieved July 4, 2022
  18. Cartoonatics- Animaniacs Movie Poster #2 : "The Road to Bohemia." By Tom Ruegger. Published December 1, 2010. Retrieved July 4, 2022
  19. Cartoonatics- Animaniacs Movie Poster #3: "Wandering Warners We." By Tom Ruegger. Published December 2, 2010. Retrieved July 4, 2022
  20. Cartoonatics- Animaniacs Movie Poster #4: "Little Orphan Warners." By Tom Ruegger. Published December 3, 2010. Retrieved July 4, 2022
  21. Cartoonatics- Animaniacs Movie Poster #5: "Hooray for Hollywood." By Tom Ruegger. Published December 4, 2010. Retrieved July 4, 2022
  22. Cartoonatics- Animaniacs Movie Poster #6: "Revolutionary Warners." By Tom Ruegger. Published December 6, 2011. Retrieved July 4, 2022
  23. Cartoonatics- Animaniacs Movie Poster #7 "This Means Warners." By Tom Ruegger. Published January 6, 2011. Retrieved July 4, 2022
  24. Tweet by John P. McCann. Published and Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  25. Tweet by John Fairhurst. Published February 17, 2024. Retrieved June 18, 2024.
Animaniacs
Animaniacs (1993-1998)
Series OverviewEpisode Guide (Compilation Episodes) • Christmas Eve with Yakko, Wakko & Dot MarathonHooray for North HollywoodAnimaniac Attack! MarathonThe 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 SpecialWendy's CampaignSongsAlbumsCharactersVideo 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 (2020-2023)
Series OverviewEpisode Guide (The Brain Teaches World Domination mini-series) • Twitter Watch PartiesFriends With AnimaniacsSongsAlbumsCharactersSegmentsHome Media ReleasesGalleryBrain's Plans
Other
Brain Snacks (1998) • The Big Cartoonie Show (1999-2000) (Episode Guide) • Animaniacs Live!MultiVersus (2024) • Fictitious MediaScrapped/Unreleased Projects and ConceptsDeleted ScenesCommercialsFourth wallHidden InnuendosRimshot punsOft-spoken phrases ("Hello Nurse" • "The Same Thing We Do Every Night" • "Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?") • MerchandiseVideo GamesEventsPromotional SongsMiscellaneous SongsList of references to Animaniacs in popular culture
Advertisement