Pinky and the Brain, Vol. 3 (1995)

Actors: Corey Burton, Joe Lala, Richard Libertini, John Mariano, John Vernon
Russell Calabrese, Barry Caldwell
AC-3, Animated, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, NTSC
Number of discs:
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. so 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 this ritualizing 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 talky side.

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 anything else.

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 Congress 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 four discs 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 chances.

RECOMMENDATION: Fans 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 . . .


blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest Headlines

Most Popular

Copyright © 1997-forward James O'Ehley/The Sci-Fi Movie Page (unless where indicated otherwise).