While many fans of the classic 90s cartoon Animaniacs are ecstatic over the announcement of its upcoming reboot on Hulu, others are noticing some disappointing revelations from the show’s promotional material.
A lot of changes have been made in Hulu’s modernized version of Animaniacs. The animation is different. The character designs are different. And if the latest trailer is any indication, the writing is even a bit different. And arguably not for the better.
And perhaps the biggest change seems to be the glaring omission of some of the series’ most beloved and iconic characters. Namely, the Nurse.
The Nurse (aka Heloise Nerz) became a pop culture icon with the catchy phrase “Helloooo Nurse!” being one of the most quoted references among 90s kids. Despite having an IQ within the range of 157 and 192, winning the Nobel Prize in physics, and receiving a full scholarship to Yale in the original Animaniacs run, her character is considered a bad role model for children, particularly young girls, in modern America.
The controversy mainly stems from her voluptuous buxom appearance and frequent objectification from Yakko and Wacko Warner, who seem eternally smitten with her. Or rather, seemed smitten with her.
So far, she hasn’t been featured in any of the released trailers or clips from the new season. Any mention of her has apparently been scrubbed for what looks like a very sterile and sanitized reboot.
For some, this may come as a welcome change and a sign of progress. For others, it may seem a bit too heavy-handed of an approach or even unnecessary. Surely there could have been a creative compromise to keep the character around, but with less attention focused on her physical attractiveness.
The Nurse’s apparent exclusion from Animaniacs could be seen by some as confirmation of actress Joan Chen’s recent remarks that “political correctness is detrimental to art.”
Still, we should give the new Animaniacs show some credit for bringing back all of the primary voice actors from the original series, including Tress MacNeille (Dot), Rob Paulsen (Yakko, Pinky), Jess Harnell (Wacko) and Maurice LaMarche (The Brain).
Animaniacs debuts on Hulu on November 20th.