Review by Michael Jacobson

Voices:  Maurice LaMarche, Rob Paulsen
Producer:  Steven Spielberg
Audio:  Dolby Digital 5.1
Video:  Full Frame 1.33:1
Studio:  Warner Bros.
Features:  Cast and Crew Featurette
Length:  471 Minutes
Release Date:  July 25, 2006

“Gee, Brain…what are we gonna do tonight?”

“The same thing we do every night, Pinky…TRY TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!”

Shows ***1/2

Pinky and the Brain were always my favorite part of Animaniacs, so I was most pleased when I found out the intrepid mice were launching out into a half hour show of their own.  With the venerable Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche voicing Pinky and the Brain respectively, Steven Spielberg as executive producer, and a never ending barrage of schemes for world conquest, how could it go wrong?

This set, containing 22 episodes of the show, proves it never really did.  What could have been a one-joke premise parlayed into funnier and wackier situations week after week.  Whether it was seeking the Titanic in a mini sub that only made right turns, squaring off against a rival, traveling the world in 80 days, or the Brain and Pinky switching out their IQs, there was always fun and frivolity to be had.

But perhaps best of all is the inclusion of “A Pinky and the Brain Christmas”, which for my money, is as terrific as any classic holiday special you can remember from your childhood.  It’s not only side-splittingly hilarious, but it packs a wonderful message of friendship, loyalty and the true meaning of Christmas as Pinky and the Brain attempt to pass themselves off as elves to use Santa’s workshop in order to…what’s the phrase?  Oh, yes… “TRY TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!”

It was an ingenious premise for a cartoon show, sharply written, crafted and executed.  The comedy, situations and music made for a perfect blend (yes, music…check out their song on the parts of the brain!).  But I think the true heart of Pinky and the Brain were Messers Paulsen and LaMarche (the latter even winning an Emmy for his work on the show!).  Injecting Pinky with sheer lunacy and the Brain with Wellesian pomp, the characters were instantly unforgettable on Animaniacs and even more so as stars of their own show.

I miss Pinky and the Brain.  I’m even sad that the Brain still isn’t out there trying to take over the world.  There are days when I think we might be better off with a mouse as our benevolent dictator. 

Video ***1/2

“One day we will live in a world where a mouse rules…and it’s the humans who will be forced into these humiliating diversions!”

“You mean Orlando?”

EGAD…brilliant, Brain!  This show fares even better on DVD than the first volume of Animaniacs.  Colors are bright, vivid and poppin’ throughout…animation on DVD rules!!

Audio ***1/2

“I sense life is about to take another sardonic turn…”

5.1 mixes for a cartoon show?  Gotta love it.  And I do…these energetic soundtracks are lively and dynamic, and aren’t afraid to make use of the rear stage or the subwoofer.  The zany music is a definitely plus.

Features **

“DARN!…we’re out of Fresca…”

Only one extra, but it’s quite enjoyable…a sit down with some of the people who made the show possible, including the illustriously talented Maurice LaMarche and Rob Paulsen!


If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.  The Brain may not have taken over the world yet, but you gotta admire his drive…and with Pinky at his side on this nice four disc set, the plans may go awry, but the laughter is in full global takeover mode.

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