‘Animaniacs,’ ‘The Mighty Ones’ & More Animated Series on Our Radar This Fall

Fall Preview
Courtesy of the Everett Collection

Who knew isolation booths for recording would be so handy? While gathering cast and crew for live-action series has been difficult in recent months, resulting in a temporary shutdown, animators and voice talent kept on working.

As a result, the fall season is bursting with the bright colors and off-the-wall energy of animated series and specials, with something for everyone. We rounded up some exciting new toons.

Reboots of old favorites


Premieres Friday, November 20, Hulu

The Warner siblings are still zany to the max! In this family-friendly reboot, Yakko, Wakko and Dot are again wreaking havoc on the WB lot — for the first time since 1998! Also back: Acme lab mice, dim-witted Pinky and the Brain. That wannabe world conqueror, say coexec producers Wellesley Wild and Gabe Swarr, struggles to “come up with global domination plots that aren’t already in progress somewhere in the real world.” Narf!

The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse

Premieres Wednesday, November 18, Disney+

This short-form series (episodes run about seven minutes) showcases all-new tongue-in-cheek musical tales starring Mickey himself. In “Cheese Wranglers,” when Minnie hires him to transport a mass of cheese wheels, she calls him “the greatest wrangler in the West.” That’s before bandits give the yodeling cowboy trouble. But as you would expect with this timeless character, Mickey saves the day. Yeehaw!

Imaginative originals

The Mighty Ones

Premieres Monday, November 9, Hulu & Peacock

Though they be but little, they are fierce! A pebble, a strawberry, a twig and a leaf are the four adventuring friends at the center of this wacky DreamWorks Animation comedy from executive producers Sunil Hall (Pickle and Peanut) and Lynne Naylor-Reccardi (Samurai Jack). In the 10-episode season, brave leader Rocksy, fun-loving Verry Berry, nervous Twig and his confident, breezy brother, Leaf, fight to protect their backyard residence from intrusive items like a pane of glass and discarded gum — as well as the three human slackers who also call the property home.

Over the Moon (Credit: 2020 Netflix)

Over the Moon

Premieres Friday, October 23, Netflix

In this heartwarming and tuneful flick, young dreamer Fei Fei — who’s on the brink of gaining a new stepmom and stepbrother — goes on an epic adventure to prove that her favorite folklore about a moon goddess isn’t all legend. Putting her love of science and math to the test, she designs a rocket to take her all the way into space to visit the goddess Chang’e (voiced by Hamilton vet Phillipa Soo). Emotions run high, and the characters have a lot to sing about. Promises producer Peilin Chou: “With styles ranging from Broadway to K-pop to rap to folk — whatever your favorite genre of music is, chances are it’s in this film!”

For the little ones

Santiago of the Seas (Credit: Nickelodeon)

Santiago of the Seas

Premieres Friday, October 9, 12:30/11:30 a.m. c, Nickelodeon

Avast, ye preschoolers! Eight-year-old pirate Santiago “Santi” Montes sets sail in this musical series from the folks behind Dora the Explorer. While he and his crew — cousin Tomás, owner of a magic, wind-harnessing guitar, and mermaid Lorelai — hunt for treasure and stop baddies, they learn about “the richness of Latino-Caribbean culture — its music, language, cuisine, dances, architecture, customs, folklore — and celebrate it,” creator and co–executive producer Niki López says. Aboard the El Bravo, the trio “champion kindness and empathy while giving back to their community,” she adds. That’s right, Santi is a piratical role model.

The Monster at the End of This Story

Premieres, Fall, HBO Max

“We can all use a refresher on facing our fears,” says Kay Wilson Stallings, executive vice president of creative and production at Sesame Workshop. And Sesame Street‘s first animated special offers kids exactly that, delivering usable strategies to help them feel unafraid. Grover pushes through his phobia of seeing a monster thanks to pals Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Cookie Monster and Rosita, who share anecdotes (sometimes musical ones!) about acting brave when you’re anything but. “It’s an energetic take on our classic picture book [The Monster at the End of This Book], filled with laughs for the whole family,” Stallings notes.