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The Movie:

Two of the biggest cult cartoons of the '90's, "Animaniacs" and its spin-off, "Pinky and the Brain" still have a strong following today thanks to the fact that they appealed to both adults and kids. This was especially true in the case of "Pinky and the Brain", a series that followed the adventures of two mice - one incredibly smart and interested in taking over the world, the other an absolute bumbling idiot ("One is a genius, the other insane") - who break out of their lab in order to impliment Brain's latest plan to take over the world.

It's interesting to watch "Pinky" after all these years, as the series only seems (at least for a cartoon show) sharper and funnier than it did when it first aired, likely because the series was geared a little more towards an older audience in the first place. The series is largely the same each week - Pinky and Brain break out of their cage in order to hatch another scheme, which results in over-the-top adventure and Pinky screwing things up. However, despite the formula, the show remained fresh and fun thanks to strong voice performances and clever plots, such as "You'll Never Eat Food Pellets in this Town Again!" (Pinky and the Brain quit when network executives keep trying to change their show), "Dangerous Brains" (Brain goes to work teaching misbehaving students), "To Russia With Lab Mice" (The mice plan to alter caviar) and "But, That's Not All Folks" (Pinky uses a military satellite system in order to broadcast his informercial, which leads the government to try and hunt him down.)

Overall, this is one of those great shows that makes one wish programming for kids was still as good as it was 10 or 20 years ago. The writing is consistently terrific, the characters are memorable and the situations are inspired. It's a great mixture of comedy with elements of action and adventure. Sadly, this is the end of the series, so no more sets after this one. Narf.

Episodes:
62 Leggo My Ego 11/7/1997
63 Big In Japan 11/7/1997
64 But, That's Not All Folks! 11/8/1997
65 Operation Sea Lion 11/14/1997
66 You Said a Mouseful 11/14/1997
67 The Tailor and The Mice 11/15/1997
68 Bah, Wilderness 11/15/1997
69 Pinky At The Bat 11/22/1997
70 Schpiel-Borg 2000 11/22/1997
71 Broadway Malady 1/3/1997
72 Brainie The Poo 2/7/1998
73 Melancholy Brain 2/7/1998
74 Inherit The Wheeze 2/14/1998
75 Brain's Night Off 2/21/1998
76 Beach Blanket Brain 2/21/1998
77 The Family That Poits Together, Narfs Together 2/21/1998
78 Pinky's Turn 2/28/1998
79 Your Friend: Global Domination 2/28/1998
80 You'll Never Eat Food Pellets In This Town, Again!
81 Dangerous Brains 5/2/1998
82 Whatever Happened To Baby Brain 5/9/1998
83 Just Say Narf 5/9/1998
84 The Pinky P.O.V. 5/16/1998
85 The Really Great Dictator 5/16/1998
86 Brain Food 5/16/1998
87 Brainwashed (1): Brain, Brain, Go Away 9/14/1998
88 Brainwashed (2): I Am Not a Hat 9/15/1998
89 Brainwashed (3): Wash Harder 9/16/1998
90 To Russia With Lab Mice 9/21/1998
91 Hickory Dickory Bonk 9/21/1998
92 The Pinky And The Brain Reunion Special
93 A Legendary Tail 9/28/1998
94 Project B.R.A.I.N. 9/28/1998

Although it's still got its share of fun moments, somewhat less appealing is "Animaniacs", which is also presented by Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment and Warner Brothers. The show focused on Dot, Yakko and Wakko Warner, who were locked up in the water tower on the studio lot when they caused too much trouble in the '30s. A little over 60 years later, the group is unleashed on the lot once again to cause problems for the nearest adults, including studio shrink Dr. Scratchnsniff. Although not as much for adults as "Pinky" was, the wacky series still has plenty of material to appeal to an older audience.

This "Animaniacs" set includes:
Brainimaniacs, The Warners & The Beanstalk, Frontier Slappy
Ups and Down, The Brave Little Trailer, Yes, Always
Drive-Insane, Girlfeathers, I'm Cute
Brain Meets Brawn, Meet Minerva
Gold Rush, A Gift Of Gold, Dot's Quiet Time
Schnitzelbank, Helpinki Formula, Le Bouton et le Ballon, Kung Boo
Of Course You Know This Mans Warners, Up A Tree, Wakko's Gizmo
Oh, Oh Ethel, Meet John Brain, Smell Ya Later, Spike
Ragamuffins, Woodstock Slappy
Karaoke Dokie, Crainial Crusader, The Chicken Who Loved Me
Baloney & Kids, Super Buttons, Katie Ka-Boom: The Driving Lesson
Scare Happy Slappy, Witch One, Macbeth
With 3 You Get Eggroll, Mermaid Mindy, Katie Ka-Boom: Call Waiting
Look At The Fuzzyheads, No face Like Home
The Warner's 65th Anniversary
Take My Siblings, Please, The Mindy 500, Morning Malaise
Miami Mama-Mia, Pigeon On The Roof
We're No Pigeons, Whistle-Stop Mindy, Katie Ka-Boom: The Broken Date
Randy Beamen: Guy Gets Lost, Mime Time: finding a Coin, Randy Beamen: Bath With Brother, GIBI Combine #2
Randy Beamen Scab Collection, I'm Mad!, Bad Moody Bobby, Katie Ka-Boom: The Blemish, Fake
Super Strong Warner Siblings, Nutcracker Slappy, Wakko's New Gookie, A Quake, A Quake
Variety Speak, Three Tenors and You're Out, Bingo, finale
Deduces Wild, rest In Pieces, U.N.Me
A Hard Days Warner, Gimme A Break, Please Get A Life Foundation
The Tiger Prince Cold Opening, All The Words In The English Language, The Kid In The Lid, Method To Her Madness
The Presidents Song, Don't Tread On Us, The Flame Returns


The DVD

VIDEO: Both shows are presented by Warner Brothers in their original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio. Picture quality is perfectly pleasing on both sets, as the animation looks crisp and detailed in both cases. Aside from a couple of minor instances of artifacting at times, both shows look crisp and clean, with no edge enhancement or print flaws. Colors remained bright and vibrant, with no smearing or other issues.

SOUND: Both shows are presented in repurposed Dolby Digital 5.1 by Warner Brothers. There's really not a great deal in the way of surround use, but the rear speakers do offer some minor ambience at times, as well as occasional reinforcement of the score. Audio quality is terrific, as the score sounded rich and dialogue remained crisp and clear.

EXTRAS: "Animaniacs" offers a pair of featurettes: one on the character designers, storyboard artists and art directors and the other a tribute to late composer Richard Stone. "Pinky" offers a featurette paying tribute to the show's fans.

Final Thoughts: Although both sets are light on extras, "Animaniacs" and "Pinky and the Brain" fans should be thrilled that the shows are presented with fine audio/video quality. Recommended.



DVD Information







Warner Brothers Home Entertainment
4 DVDs (Pinky)/5 DVDs (Animaniacs)
1.33:1
Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English
Rated NR
Dual Layer:Yes
Anamorphic:No
Region:1
Available At Amazon.com: Pinky and the Brain: Vol. 3 DVD,Animaniacs: Vol. 3 DVD