Pinky And The Brain (1995-1999)
Warner Brothers really did have a lot of success with their great cartoons in the 90s. Recently I wrote about Animaniacs which launched in 1993. One of the segments in that show was so popular that a couple of years later it got its own spin-off show. Pinky and The Brain were two laboratory mice who wore seemingly intent on trying to take over the world however they could, and thought of increasingly outrageous plans to try and do so.
“They’re Pinky and The Brain, one is a genius, the other’s insane”, began the opening theme. But which one was which? This was a cartoon that stood out firstly because it had a few memorable catchphrases. Pinky, the dafter one, had something of a verbal tic, and he would often shout “narf!” or some such unusual thing at the end of his sentences. He also apparently had a Cockney accent, although I’m not so sure about that myself.
There would also be memorable exchanges between the two, when The Brain was working on another plan he would say “are you pondering what I’m pondering?”, to which Pinky would reply something like, “maybe, but if they called them Sad Meals people wouldn’t buy them”, so maybe not. Their plans always failed but they were never downtrodden though. Every episode ended with Pinky saying “what are we going to do tomorrow?”, and The Brain replying “same thing we do every night, Pinky, try to take over the world!”. You have to credit his commitment I suppose.
Pinky and The Brain was more witty and satirical than your average children’s cartoon. A lot of TV personalities and even a few politicians of the time were parodied, and there were also a few digs at the structure of TV itself. This led to a lot of memorable moments, one of my favourites was when The Brain performed a song which told us all of the names of the parts of the brain to the tune of “Camptown Races”, and it’s odd how you still remember things like that years later.
Pinky and The Brain was a very enjoyable spin-off which was shown as frequently on CITV as Animaniacs was for a while, it ran for 78 episodes and it was also shown on Cartoon Network, although I don’t think that it has been released on DVD in this country. However, some changes were made for the final series in 1998 when another regular character was introduced. Elmyra from Tiny Toon Adventures joined the show which was renamed Pinky, Elmyra and The Brain. I don’t remember this series myself, but a lot of viewers said that the show had lost its edge by this point which was a shame, but at its best it was great fun.