In a matter of days, Hulu will be home to a fresh-new reboot of The Animaniacs. After two decades off-air, the streamer has revived the classic animated hit, bringing back the entire voice cast from the show's first outing, including Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell, Tress MacNeille, and Maurice LaMarche. In the weeks leading up to the reboot's release, we caught up with Paulsen, to chat all things Animaniacs, Jimmy Neutron, and life in general. Keep scrolling to see our full chat with the legendary voice actor!
As of now, the reboot's rocking a solid 86-percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with ComicBook.com's Rollin Bishop giving it 3 out of 5 stars, calling it a blast from the past.
"All told, the new Animaniacs is fine. Honestly, considering rebooting the franchise could have been a disaster, that itself is a triumph. Some bits are far better than others, but thanks to the brief runtime for any given segment, nothing ever truly overstays its welcome," Bishop wrote in his full review. "If the gang being extremely gross, then extremely cute, then extremely gross again doesn't sit right with you, all you need to do is wait another eight minutes for something else to come along. With a Season 2 already on the way for 2021, Season 1 lays out all of the necessary groundwork to get truly wet and wild with whatever comes next."
ComicBook.com: I'm not sure if you're on TikTok by any means but Carl Weezer is making a resurgence on all these TikToks.
Rob Paulsen: I am. In fact, check this out. If you feel like following, my TikTok handle is @RobPaulsen311. That just happens to be my birthday. My wife months ago said, "You know, I think you'd have a pretty good time on TikTok." Because a lot of these kids, it skews, as you know, a little bit younger.
A lot of these kids' parents know my work and so she mentioned Carl. She said, "Oh my God, there are like millions of Carl impressions." I didn't think that much about it because fortunately, I've been busy. So about a month ago, maybe six weeks ago I decided to join TikTok and so the first thing I put up there was Carl. My goodness. Adam, overnight a million something views. And so I've put up maybe 12 or 14 videos now of different characters, but Carl is without question the one that people resonate with the most. It's just amazing.
You mentioned Carl Weezer and how it's just perfect the situation between the writing and your acting. I don't want you to single any one project out if you don't want to, but as you're developing these voices, as you're developing these characters, how often do you end up pulling your hair out? Is there a specific role that you, just for whatever reason couldn't quite grasp?
That's a great question and the answer is no and no. That is to say I don't pull my hair out because I realize it is a very collaborative effort. Let me back up. Everyone in Hollywood, when they get a pile of someone else's money or their own money, starts out to make something they're proud of that will be a hit whatever that means. Sometimes a hit means just getting another job. But nobody starts out on purpose to make a piece of junk. However, I would never call anything I've ever been involved in junk because I had no problem taking their paycheck.
So shame on me if I look back and go, "Oh my God, that was awful." Well now wait a minute. You had no trouble cashing the check, did you junior? So, be careful because those people are going to still be working and it's hurtful. It takes a lot of guts to be an independent contractor. Go into show business not knowing anybody, all that stuff. It doesn't take as much courage as being in the military, but you see my point. You do it often because you can't not do it.
So, knowing that as I said earlier, I don't write them, I don't draw them, I don't produce them, I don't write the music. I've had more than my share one could argue of what could be considered iconic shows and characters. Pinky, Yakko, Raphael, Donatello, Carl. Even Snowball from Rick & Morty, one episode. People loved that little critter. Now, it isn't all me. It's a confluence of wonderful circumstances. There are other shows I've worked on in which I thought man, this is great. This is going to kill. Right in the dumper. And nobody worked any less hard on it. Often there was more money spent on it. It just didn't happen. So, I never pull my hair out as long as I know I've done my best. And I was reared by a mother from Iowa and a dad from Detroit to always do my best, especially when I'm getting paid by somebody who can choose anybody and they choose me.
If I'm lucky enough to get the gig, then my job is to give the writers and the animators, storyboard artists, musicians, composers an embarrassment of riches with which to work. If they have trouble deciding which take is the best one I've done my job. So, if I've done my job as well as the bar I've set for myself I don't pull my hair out. And as I also mentioned with respect to you, in the second part of your question I don't wish I had done anything differently. What I wish often is I'd get another crack at it because I'm better now and I might make a decision with respect to a character that might make it more interesting simply because I've had more experience. But I don't look back and go, "Boy, that was a mistake," or "I screwed that up." Because I don't feel I've ever done anything less than my best.
I am keenly aware and have been since I've been in my 20s and started really working a lot Adam, that I am a very fortunate fellow to have made my way out here from Michigan and found a way to make a living doing essentially what got me in trouble in high school. So I never took it for granted and every opportunity to work is another opportunity to remind myself how fricking lucky I am. And when I do a job at the level at which I expect myself to perform, the chances are good that that producer will use me again.prevnext
Cashing In on Reboots
As you know more than anyone, Hollywood is driven by nostalgia, reboots, relaunches, repurposings, and relaunches. Bringing back the Animaniacs isn't something that's decided overnight. But you get the call that says "You know up what? Lace up your shoes sir, or as the hockey player you are, lace up your skates and hit the rink. We're getting back to work."
What's your first impression? You get the call that the Animaniacs are coming back.
Well, as I know that you have people of varying ages read your wonderful words. I hesitate to use the actual phrase that came into my mind, but suffice to say it was are you "expletive" kidding me in the most glorious way. You are correct. I mean obviously, your background speaks for itself and you know what you're talking about. That's why it's such a gas to talk to people at your level because I'm grateful that anybody has any interest in what I have to say, Adam. But when somebody's a pro like you we're more peers. We're peers in different disciplines, but nonetheless you know what you're talking about. So, you're absolutely correct.
When you have the King of Hollywood and I don't think that's hyperbole. The King of Hollywood is what, 73 years old, who says, "Okay, here's the deal." Now you're right. It took years. We're on Steven time. That's fine and he's got plenty going on.
Randy Rogel and I, that is Randy who's been my genius pal who wrote United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Haiti, Jamaica, Peru and all. Not all but most of the songs that folks know from Animaniacs and is back writing on the new show. We're told by Sam Register, the head of Warner Brothers Animation, probably four years ago that "Okay, here are the rumblings. We should know something by the end of the year."
That was 2016 and nothing happened. Nothing happened. Phone call two months later. "Don't worry. No, no, we're still talking." Boom, boom, boom. A year later or so one thing leads to another. But the upshot is this. Check this out. I'm a journeyman actor. I'm very proud of what I do. I love what I do. But the characters are famous, I'm not. Thanks to nice people like you I'm becoming more famous and I'd be lying if I said I didn't like it. I love it because my gig is about joy.
It happens and I'm the one who gets to deliver that joy. So to the extent that my fame allows me to do that, "Are you f-cking kidding me?" I can't get enough of it, but I get that it's the characters. Here's Steven Spielberg who says not only are we going to bring Animaniacs back but I, that is Steven, is going to go to every pitch which they were four. They went to Apple, Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon. Steven went to pitch in person with his group and he made sure that he had poster-sized eight by 10s of yours truly, Tress, Jess, and Maurice. And again, the King of Hollywood because he is a nerd geek fan just like the rest of us. A protégé tangentially of guys like Chuck Jones and Bob McKimson, Bob Clampett, Hayao Miyazaki.
He goes to these places and says, "Just so you know, these characters are so deeply connected with millions around the world and the authenticity of these characters is vital to what we're doing. Tress, Jess, Rob and Moe want to do it. They're more than able to do it. They're better than they were 20 years ago."
He sees me singing "Nations of the Worl"d at 60 something years old and he says, "Whoever decides to do this, these guys are in."
I don't know what it's costing but I'll tell you this. It looks pretty God-damned good. And this is not an inexpensive proposition with a 35 piece orchestra for every half hour, et cetera, et cetera, all of which happens only as a result of Mr. Spielberg's involvement. And we know how high the bar is. So, for him to put that confidence in four competent actors, but not people who are going to move the needle in terms of our fame. He could have had Peter Dinklage and Russell Brand be Pinky or be the Brain and Pinky respectively and they would have done it in a heartbeat.prevnext
Voice Acting and Battling Cancer
You bring up Turtles, of course, and it only takes one look at the different properties throughout the years to notice the difference in animation and all that. Knowing that and then being approached for an Animaniacs reboot, was there any hesitation on your part because of the potential changes at hand?
You know, I never had any hesitation obviously because again, I'm just an actor and there are a zillion of us out here. I don't want to say l was ucky because I'm one of those people who believes that luck is when opportunity meets preparation and I worked really hard to put myself in a position in 19, when the hell was it? In 1993 or so when Animaniacs was cast. I had worked really hard to get to the point where I put myself in a position to get lucky. I was ready. It was my pitch, I killed it just like the other and I knew that it was, if Ninja Turtles had changed my career trajectory because I was involved in a bonafide iconic hit, then Animaniacs changed my life and that is God's truth.
But, knowing how Hollywood operates and knowing that while Steven Spielberg running a show is the dream of anybody who wants to work on a project in Hollywood, it also comes with certain expected challenges, one being literally Steven time. You can imagine when we were doing Pinky and the Brain, for instance, I think he was shooting Schindler's List and Jurassic Park at the same time or within a couple of months. Crazy schedule and still managed to edit stories, still managed to look at animation, et cetera, et cetera. So, we understand while the person running the show is going to give us everything we need, we have to work to screw this up. It also comes with the challenge of saying, "Well, we're just not ready yet." "When?" "I don't know. Maybe next month?" "I don't know." "How about six months?" "I don't know." And you've got to just deal with that. Now, I would do that with anybody simply because I can't hire myself. I want to work.
However, when it comes to a gentleman like Mr. Spielberg, whatever Steven time is, is fine. Never once did I even consider not being a part of it for two reasons. A, I'm not an idiot. It's a job and a good one, but B, I knew what happened on the last batch.
But I clearly was aptly cast as Yakko, but I love these opportunities to chat with someone like you because again, it's not faint praise. You're good at your gig so you understand what I'm talking about. If you look at it from a purely "logical" in quotes because we're talking about show business, here's a guy, and yours truly, who really hit the lottery a couple of times, not the least of which was Animaniacs and the spinoff Pinky and the Brain a generation ago.
Then, with all this technology, it has transpired since that show went off the air. For instance, the new platforms from which we all get our entertainment, Hulu specifically, none of that was around. I did my job. I got better and better. I worked on other projects which became successful. People your age had children. I would meet them at conventions and mom and dad might be 35, the kids are 10 and 12, and they're all losing their minds when I start singing the "Countries of the World" song. I mean literally. Sometimes the parents are tearful because as you suggested earlier the nostalgia vibe is really deep. It happens all the time, Adam. Literally almost every day if somebody knows how I am and I rip and Pink or Carl or whatever, they lose it in the most glorious way. Okay, so we've got that going here.
Then, Mr. Spielberg starts rumblings about doing it again about two weeks after I'm diagnosed with throat cancer. I was told at the beginning "We're pretty sure we can save you. Not sure about your voice but frankly, that's not our job. We don't have to cut on you, but we've got to bombard your body with chemo and radiation. And before we cure you we almost have to kill you." That was the phrase. I grasped it. I mean I glommed onto it. Never once did I feel sorry for myself. I had no reason to. The thing that concerned me was the fact that I knew that if Animaniacs were to go, the whole idea was to bring back the band as you suggested. So, there was a good opportunity, there was a good chance that if I couldn't do it for whatever reason, it wouldn't happen. Not about ego. It's about the authenticity of the characters. Steven didn't know about my cancer and there's no reason he should have. I didn't tell anybody except need to know basis.
So, I get through the cancer. "Steven time" quote, unquote, it turns up was the best thing that could have happened to me because the longer Steven took to get this thing rolling, the more time I had to get my shit together. There was a period of time for about two months where I couldn't speak. I lost 50 pounds. I couldn't eat food. I still don't taste food at all really anymore, but it's not a big deal. You adapt. Again, I got nothing, zero to feel sorry about. But look what happened to me. This gentleman not only said, "Oh, you're in. We'll get to it when we get to it." Had he pulled the trigger in the fall of 2006, as I mentioned earlier when we had gotten the word that looked like it was going to happen, I don't know that I could have done it. Certainly not the level to which I was able to do it when we started recording in 2018.
I was rocking and rolling and ready to do it. In fact, tie this with a nice little bow. The very first song I did for Animaniacs in the new episodes was a very complex song, not dissimilar interestingly to "Yakko's World" which was the first song I did for Animaniacs on the first go-round. Everything kind of came full circle for me. It was almost as though it was supposed to be that way because I get to do it again with people who are part of my family who have been to every one of my son's birthday parties. People I know as well as I know my own siblings who I get to do it again with them, with the King of Hollywood. I've gone through throat cancer. I get to sing again at a high level and after I got done singing that first song a year-and-a-half ago I took a moment and said, "You guys don't know this," because they're a bunch of young writers on the other side of the glass.
"And it's not for your sympathy because I don't need it. I'm done. I'm fine. But here's what happened. Please give me a minute to soak this in." If that was a year ago I couldn't have done this. And nobody knew that I had gone through throat cancer. Nobody. And moreover, they couldn't tell because I did it. And now not only am I able to do something at a high level with the best of the best in Hollywood, I have a story that thanks to people like you I get to tell that is way bigger than the reboot in terms of my personal story. But the inspiration that may come from that for others who hear my story via your talent dude, we never know when my story told with your talent is going to help someone. I mean literally help them go through the most difficult time of their life.
Having been all over the world to meet people who will tell me through tears what "fill in the blank" meant to them, it's way bigger than an action figure. Way bigger than a paycheck. Way bigger than a rating point. You're helping to spread that story because it is an interesting story because of what I do for a living. And it's remarkably wonderful for me, but long after I'm dead and gone it might serve to inspire somebody else to say, "Shit, I don't even know if I'm going to be able to swallow once I get done with this." Let me tell you, there's this guy Rob Paulsen, he does cartoon voices. Check out his story. Read his book. This guy was at the top of his game. He got throat cancer. Mr. Spielberg calls a few weeks later just after he starts treatment, but I'll be God-damned, he got through it. And the reboot turns out to be bigger than the first show because now the fan base is exponentially larger than the first time.
So, that's why I appreciate you letting me ramble because in my particular situation it really is a Hollywood story. Not only do I have a silver lining to cancer, but I also have a platinum lining because now my "celebrity" quote, unquote has an impact on people to literally help them through the darkest times of their lives. There's nothing that gets, I mean talk about a great way to go through the third act of your life. Holy shit. This is where I become speechless. I don't know how to make it any better, dude.
It's the perfect Hollywood story. It certainly makes a person think the universe gives back to the people that deserve it most. Obviously, I've talked to you a few times now.
And each time you're incredibly humble and thankful for the job you've been given. One, I'm glad you're doing better and everything's okay and two...man, you keep killing it no matter what you're doing, beloved reboot or not.
Thank you. And again, coming from you and having had the pleasure of speaking to you a couple of times it means, it always means something when people take the time to deliver a compliment and I accept it always, always with gratitude and the spirit in which it's delivered. Because people take time out of their own days to write me or sometimes my God, COVID time now but the general convention experience. If you go to a big show like Chicago or San Diego or New York, Dallas, whatever, it's a chore to go visit a favorite celebrity. If you go there with a couple of children, when I took my kid to Comic-Con I was always taken care of.
But I know a lot of people who took their kids. Dude, by the time you walk into C2E2 in Chicago, say you drive from Iowa. You go in there and you get a hotel for $400 a night that you would really think was a buck-and-a-half a night.
But it's Comic-Con so you go there, you're there for a couple of nights. Maybe three. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday or say Friday and Saturday, two nights. Food. By the time you walk in there with a couple of kids, you've dropped at least one large to get in, to stand in line to see some knucklehead from Flint who ended up being Pinky. And if I'm very fortunate it might take half an hour, 45 minutes for you to get up to me because you know me. I talk and I don't want to blow people off. I know what they've gone through. I've been in their position and they choose to be in my line. Sometimes knowing it may be one of two lines they're in all fricking day. And their kid's got to go to the bathroom. And they've got to buy him a six dollar hot dog.
They get up to me and through tears tell me that "Mr. Paulsen, I was part of the foster system and I never knew my parents. However, I was fortunately taken in by a family who loved me as long as they could keep me. Then they for some reason I had to go to another family. I did it four times between six months old and 18. And as long as there was a television, as long as I could watch Ninja Turtles, as long as I could watch Animaniacs, as long as I could watch The Pick, The Mask, Biker Mice From Mars, Jimmy Neutron, Mighty Max. I got to recognize you and "you" got me through it. I'm here now with my wife and my children. I'm fine. I keep in touch with the people who raised me, but the person who raised me the most is you, and here are my children and they're fans. We love you."
Now look, all I did was do my gig, Adam. And I was paid well for it. But these people go out of their way to drive hundreds of miles and this is not unusual to tell me this story through tears about how "I" quote, unquote got them through this. I know what they mean, but this happens all the time, man. So, shame on me if I'm not humble. How could I not be? People say, "Oh my God, I saw that you missed your plane flight back to LA so that you could sign a couple of extra autographs." Of course I did. Of course I did. It's just a plane.
Now if I'm getting back home to help my wife go through surgery that's a different story. But I get another flight paid for by somebody kind enough to bring me out. So I get back to LA and my groovy life in Hollywood eight hours later. So what? That young man or woman or the extra seven or eight people who were nice enough to stick around will never forget that experience. Never ever, ever, ever. And if I turn my back for whatever reason, it's got to be pretty significant. The young man or woman on whom I turn my back irrespective of the reason, even if it's logical and legitimate, it's not their business to know my personal business.
All they know is the guy they drove from Kentucky to meet could not wait an extra 25 minutes and I don't want to live like that. If it's a mistake I own up to it and I try to apologize if I find out about it. But my God, I've had too many people whom I know at this level, Adam, rather at the high level in Hollywood who could behave any way they want. They have the money and the power and the juice to behave any way they want. A guy like Mr. Spielberg and he is a kind, sweet, thoughtful, authentic gentleman. He can't behave, he can't move through his life like you and I, but he's Steven fricking Spielberg. But, you see my point. I've seen how the best of the best and the richest of the rich behave and they behave just like your parents and my parents would want us to behave. So that's what I'm about.
You're a good man, Rob Paulsen. You know that?
Thank you, Adam Barnhardt. As I said it means an awful lot coming from you and I hope one of these days we get a chance to do this in the real honest to God face-to-face because you've had to put up with my rambling I think three times now and I really appreciate it. Thanks, pal.prevnext
"Yakko's World," there's no denying it's iconic, an all-time great.
I agree with you. I think that, and I've said it before. At the risk of sounding utterly immodest, I think that "Yakko's World" because of Tom Ruegger, Steven Spielberg, Randy Rogel, and the late great Rusty Mills who directed that cartoon is a seminal piece of American animation art. It's a two-and-a-half-minute cartoon with a brilliant song, directed beautifully, relatively simple. A simple melody, utterly iconic and every bit as profound a piece of art as hello my baby, hello my honey from Chuck Jones, One Froggy Night. No dialogue, just Michigan J. Frog. And so I absolutely believe that. It is a beautiful piece of animated art. So I have to agree with you. I happen to be the lucky one who got to sing the song, but it just harkens back to the first, it's about speaking about my part in this.
Randy wrote a new stanza that updates the song so that it's more relevant the way the world is now. I think he did it because he had an extra eight minutes on a Tuesday. It's all Randy and he came to my rescue because he saw a video or somebody in a crowd, cheeky but it was very sweet. They said, "Hey, Mr. Paulsen. You know that's really great and everything, but the world's changed." Everybody laughed and I jokingly said, "Hey, come up to the stage. Let me just get close enough to smack you." Randy said, "You know, he's right." So a week later he says, "Hey, check this out. What do you think?" Jesus Christ, Adam. Yeah, I'm a lottery winner. I know it for many reasons not the least of which is having friends in the media like you who allow me to ramble on for another hour and thank you buddy. It's always a pleasure.
Maybe we'll get to that level again, but what can you tell us about this new batch of episodes? How integral is your singing, the music to this? What can you tell us about some of the songs that are coming up in this first batch of 13 episodes?
Well, I can tell you that music is every bit as integral to the equation as it was before and the other part of the team who's been brought back are Julie and Steve Bernstein who were peers of Richard, the late, great Richard Stone who was the lead composer on Animaniacs and got I don't know how many Emmys, but died of pancreatic cancer in 2001 I think.
But, here we are and Julie and Steve Bernstein who were with Richard every note of the way and they're back. And they're better than they were. And Richard's peers are back doing the music. Moreover, Randy is writing songs, but we have people literally all over the world contributing music and songs that I and Maurice and Tress and Jess get to sing our iconic characters because they were inspired by Steve, Julie, Richard, and Randy. In fact, the song that I remarked about earlier or referenced earlier is one such tune. Very complex, very Randy Rogelian if you will. And the two young men who wrote it live in Scotland and they live and work there. So, when I'm recording the song Wellesley Wild, our showrunner/exec is here in the studio with me as, of course, are the folks running the session. I'm in the studio by myself recording at this particular time. But the two young men who wrote it are in Scotland freaking out because Yakko is singing their song.
Then, because the next song is a Randy Rogel song. Randy shows up early and I say, "Hey, you guys. There's a guy who wants to say hi to you." And Randy says, "Hey, hi. It's Randy Rogel." Now all of a sudden the other side of the line is dead quiet because these two young men are schlitzing. They're losing their minds because the composer of "Yakko's World" and it's a great big universe and we're all really puny. We're just tiny little specks about the size of Mickey Rooney. That composer is there, he's there, he pounds it. He's their Ira Gershwin. He's their Steven Sondheim. And their words and they're freaking out. Randy then hears the song I'm singing, looks at me and he goes, "Holy shit, that's crazy isn't it." Randy Rogel says that about the song that's written by the young men in Scotland whom Randy inspired. It's amazing stuff. It is. And we're living because of the technology again we are really in this together. It's mind-blowing. The Animaniacs theme song, the melody's the same but immediately the lyrics have been tweaked to let the audience know that we're very self-aware.
In fact, the bit that everybody's flipping out over rightfully so because it looks and reads and sounds great. The first thing Yakko says is, "Hello, reboots are a blah, blah, blah, an example of not being very creative," or whatever it is. So we immediately take the piss out of ourselves. We know that the audience is sitting there twiddling their thumbs with their eyebrows raised going okay, impress me. We get it. We know that. So, the first thing we say is, "Boy, here we are. We're taking a pile of money to do this fricking reboot just because we can." And then we let it rip. How smart is that? It's very smart because it disarms the audience right away. It addresses the giant elephant in the room. Go ahead, folks. Can you guys really deliver?prevnext
The Jurassic Park teaser drops, then the trailer drops. Then, of course, both are incredibly well-received. I'm scrolling through Twitter mentions and replies, even though my therapist has warned time and time again to stay out of the mentions and comments.
Oh, dude. You're preaching to the choir.
I'm still reading on and one thing that keeps popping up is quite the obvious reference to a major political figure.
With a mention like that, what would you say to those people that are throwing the show under the bus for including something like that in this batch of episodes.
Well firstly, it's a joke. Secondly, if a guy like Donald Trump and his supporters can't take a punch then save up and buy a clue respectfully.
Come on. This irrespective of what you think or don't think about the president, he's not the first president to have taken a punch in political cartooning, often brutally. And it happens to everyone. Mr. Trump often touts his superpower.
Now, when you deal in hyperbole and your life and what you represent allows you to be unafraid to invoke the name of Abraham Lincoln with respect to your own presidency while you're in office, that is the very definition of hubris for me. If a joke in which the president is shown to be a chubby cyclops in a loincloth is too much for him and his followers to take, don't watch. I mean come on. That's all I have to say. I encourage people to vote. Vote your conscience. I know what I'm going to vote for. I can also tell you that Mr. Spielberg has in the past shied away from certain political things if he thought the shot was not a fair one. It happened with Newt Gingrich years ago during the first batch. Mr. Spielberg, I think one could argue is probably not a Republican, but he thought that this particular shot was a little over the top, so he kiboshed it.
However, I submit that the political zeitgeist is pretty much at a place where nobody living has ever seen anything like this, ever. I don't think that's hyperbole. So, if we got a gentleman like that running the show who is unafraid to comport himself in the way in which he has from day one and is no different than what he was 25 years before that. He's famous for saying, "You're fired." He's famous for being bigger than life, gold this, giant that. Okay, he arguably is a human cartoon because he is bigger than life. He wants to present himself that way so I believe that opens you up to being fair game. If someone says you've gone beyond the pail, well then the pail, the bar at which the pail has traditionally been hung is no longer anywhere to be found in my view. So if you can't stand the heat don't watch the cartoon. That's what I say.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Hulu's Animaniacs rebut debuts November 20th.
Cover photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Imagesprev