Animaniacs: Rob Paulsen, Maurice LaMarche talk Season 3

Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche sat down with Solzy at the Movies ahead of Animaniacs returning to Hulu for its third and final season.

Paulsen (Yakko Warner, Pinky) and LaMarche (Brain) reprise their roles alongside Jess Harnell (Wakko) and Tress MacNeille (Dot). All episodes of Animaniacs will premiere February 17 on Hulu.

Watch the interview or read the transcript below:

The synopsis for the new season is as follows:

Yakko, Wakko, and Dot return with an all-new season of laughs, songs, pop culture parodies, and enough zany antics to fill a water tower (or at least 10 episodes!). Pinky and Brain’s never ending plans to take over the world journey them to the ends of new lands, deserts, and even the space time continuum. And while new friends, Starbox and Cindy continue their play date, the Warner siblings must battle their way out of a video game, learn the secrets of being a teen influencer, and escape a mad scientist’s island all while finding time to teach us about the threat of global warming!

Steven Spielberg returns as executive producer of the series, with Sam Register, President, Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios, Amblin Television Co-Presidents Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey also serving as executive producers. Wellesley Wild and Gabe Swarr serves as co-showrunners and executive producers. Animaniacs is produced by Amblin Television in association with Warner Bros. Animation.

What are you gonna miss the most about voicing these characters?

Maurice LaMarche: I think I want to miss just getting to work directly alongside my partner over here. He’s been—it’s been magic to be able to recreate these characters with him and sometimes even in the same studio. Of course, after once we entered the height of the pandemic, we had to do it from our home studios. And then little by little, they let us back in the same building, but there had to be three layers of glass between us and we’re masking but the chemistry that we have is truly a joy for me to play. I think I echo my esteemed colleague, my esteemed mouse colleague’s feelings. That’s what I’m going to miss the most is not getting to be in studio doing brand new Pinky and the Brain scripts and going, Let’s see where we’re taking these guys.

Rob Paulsen: Yeah, Mo’s right. It is an utter privilege and when you get to work, you get to work with people whom you would choose to hang out with, Danielle, and when that happens, you’ve won the lottery. It just truly doesn’t get any better. That’s it. It’s fantastic.

Maurice LaMarche: Yeah, we crack each other up, both with the scripted dialogue and what we do in between takes and I’ll probably miss that the most.

Rob Paulsen: Yeah.

Maurice LaMarche: And you, scarecrow.

Rob Paulsen: (Laughs)

In all the years of voicing these characters, do you have a favorite sketch or song?

Rob Paulsen: Song? In terms of Pinky and the Brain, yes, there was an episode with a song where—it was A Star is Born episode. Instead of Norman Maine in A Star is Born, Brain is Norman Brain and I play the Judy Garland, Lady Gaga, Barbra Streisand, Janet Gaynor role.

Maurice LaMarche: “Broadway Malady” was the name of it.

Rob Paulsen: “Broadway Malady,” written by Gordon Bressack. I sing a song written by the wonderfully gifted Julie Bernstein and she and her husband Steve are the musical directors of the show now, after having worked with the original genius—

Maurice LaMarche: Richard Stone.

Rob Paulsen: Richard Stone. But Julie wrote a song that goes:

I’m Pinky, all alone and it’s stinky
On my own I’m so dinky
Since I’ve lost my best friend

It’s just adorable.

Maurice LaMarche: (Laughs)

Rob Paulsen: Look, it makes the Brain laugh. That song from the Pinky and the Brain episodes are great. And then, the new batch, there’s a song where I go:

I wanna dance. I wanna dance. I wanna dance, dance, dance until my limbs fall off. I wanna dance.

It’s just great fun.

Maurice LaMarche: Yeah, I like that. Gordon Bressack and Charlie Howell—

Rob Paulsen: Yeah.

Maurice LaMarche: That might be some of their finest work. I think they might have won an Emmy for that episode actually.

Rob Paulsen: Yeah.

Maurice LaMarche: Broadway Malady. Yeah, it was pretty brilliant.

Yeah. As soon as this interview wraps, I’m going to try and find that episode on Hulu. (Note: none of the earlier pre-2020 Animaniacs or Pinky and the Brain seasons are on Hulu. They’re only available to buy or rent through digital retailers.)

Rob Paulsen: Thank you! Yeah, you’ll dig it. It’s really good. Also, you see Brain dressed in a leotard and compecios (sp?), which in and of itself is very close to a crime against nature but it’so—

Maurice LaMarche: Yeah, true.

Rob Paulsen: Funny in the context of him doing performance art. It’s just fantastic. You will just love it.

Maurice LaMarche: That’s the same episode where I got to sing the “Schadenfreude Polka.”

Rob Paulsen: Yes!

Maurice LaMarche: And from the new series—from this series, it was probably the first season of this new series was “Bonding.”

Rob Paulsen: (Laughs)

Maurice LaMarche: That’s all I could—I just go there and I laugh. James Bonding.

Rob Paulsen: Yeah (Laughs)

Maurice LaMarche: Where I have a robot son. That was a brilliant episode. Lots of fun.

It’s been a pleasure talking with you all and I’d be remiss if I did not add that I just watched Murder, Anyone? and it was hysterical.

Rob Paulsen: Oh!

Maurice LaMarche: Thank you! Thank you so very much.

Rob Paulsen: I’m so glad you mentioned that, Danielle!

Maurice LaMarche: My return to live-action and I’m actually playing a version of Gordon Bressack in the film.

Rob Paulsen: Yes.

Maurice LaMarche: Charlie Howell is playing himself, more or less, in the film and yet a fictionalized version of himself. So yes, available on all the VOD so if you want to see more of live-action me, please download the film, Murder, Anyone?

Rob Paulsen: Danielle, he’s already won, what, two or three acting awards at various festivals around the country.

Maurice LaMarche: Three different best of fest awards so—

Rob Paulsen: Yeah, thank you for bringing it up, Danielle.

Thank you, Danielle. I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

I had to. I went to college with Galadriel.

Rob Paulsen: Oh?

Maurice LaMarche: Oh, really? Oh, no kidding. Oh, that’s great. Hey, yes, she was wonderful in the film. Absolutely wonderful in the film.

Rob Paulsen: Thanks for bringing that up.

Maurice LaMarche: Yeah.

Hulu will launch the third and final season of Animaniacs on February 17, 2023.

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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