THE BRAIN, VOL. 3 (1995)
Pinky and the Brain, Vol. 3 (1995)
Actors: Corey Burton, Joe Lala, Richard Libertini, John Mariano, John
Directors: Russell Calabrese, Barry Caldwell
Format: AC-3, Animated, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby,
Number of discs: 4
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: June 19, 2007
Since television viewing has become ritualized, it only follows that certain
television shows have become ritualized as well.
In the same way that people would follow little rituals each time they plonk
down in front of their TVs
— the way
in which they switch off the lights, fetch the TV dinner trays, wriggle
around on couches, etc.
certain shows would also follow their own rituals in their theme songs,
plots, character arches, etc. Ten minutes before the end of the show, the
A-Team would start building contraptions for their bloodless final shoot-out
with the bad guys. Or MacGyver would start assembling the parts for an
impossible escape plan.
Few shows seem as aware of
perhaps people watch this sort of thing because of its very familiarity and
lack of surprises
than the mind- to late-1990s cartoon TV series, Pinky and the Brain.
Blessed with the catchiest TV theme song of all time (“They’re Pinky and the
Brain . . . Brain . . . Brain . . . .”), each Pinky and the Brain
show follow the series’ template closely: Pinky and the Brain are two
genetically altered lab mice (One is a genius, the other’s insane.”) who
each night hatch a plan with which to conquer the world. Inadvertently the
plan will go wrong
mostly because of some flaw in the planning, usually due to the diminutive
stature of our protagonists
and the next episode will focus on the next such plan.
All television shows have
their stock phrases
remember when Bart Simpson used to say “don’t have a cow, man”? Or the
Fonz’s “heeeyy . . .”? Few shows however so consciously (and satirically)
apply them as Pinky and the Brain. There’s “so what are we going to
do tonight, Brain?” followed “Same thing we do every night. Try to take over
the world!” And then there’s of course the ever reliable “Narf!” and “Zort!”
Your four-year old will love it even though some episodes are rather on the
What makes Pinky and the
Brain works though is the show is self-aware of its underlying
structure, it is the fun it has with that structure. Consisting of mild
social commentary, sprinkled with pop cultural references and droll humor,
Pinky and the Brain is sometimes more aimed at kids’ parents than
Thus we get jabs at the
crass commercialism of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway musicals, references
to Hamlet and Winnie the Pooh, attacks on the tobacco industry as well as
you name it. As the show was broadcast almost ten years ago, some of the
references are a bit dated by now. However, the show’s intelligence always
shines through . . . and did we mention that it has the catchiest theme song
in the entire universe?
THE DISCS: These
containing 22 twenty-minute or so episodes
finally wrap up the series. There is one special feature, namely a
featurette featuring the chief voice talents of the series. Image and sound
is pretty decent. Menus have a play all function.
WORTH IT? The
episodes on the first disc aren’t too impressive. However, things pick up
with the second disc as the episodes become more daring and take more
of the show would obviously want to complete their collections. If you’re
interest is of only a casual nature, then these discs are as good a place as
any other to start off. Yes, this is the sort of cartoon show you can safely
watch with your kids. Buy it
unless you want to suffer through more Barbie DVDs . . .