PINKY AND THE BRAIN, VOLUME 2
Pinky: Gee, Brain, what are
we going to do tonight?
Brain: Pinky, are you
pondering what I'm pondering?
For sheer animated cartoon delight that doesn't dwell in the realm of bad taste or gross out humor, there is nothing that beats an episode of PINKY AND THE BRAIN. The characters of Pinky and The Brain were the biggest highlight of the earliest ANIMANIACS episodes, something that was immediately recognized … with the duo quickly spun off into their own half hour series of animated misadventures. Although PINKY AND THE BRAIN came in the guise of an animated afternoon kids program, the level of sophistication to the show's humor, not to mention, the pop culture references and parodies were obviously aimed at an older demographic, who immediately responded to the series, which also found its way into prime time for additional showings. Of course, each episode of the show features its share of slapstick antics to keep the kiddies and less sophisticated viewers in stitches as well.
The basic premise of PINKY AND THE BRAIN follows a pair of laboratory mice on an endless quest for world domination. The Brain (voiced by Maurice LaMarche) is a super-intelligent mouse with an extra large head, a voice reminiscent of Orson Wells, and an unquenchable thirst to rule the world. The Brain’s sidekick is a pliable, good-natured fellow lab mouse named Pinky (voiced by Rob Paulsen), who is decidedly deficient on all intellectual levels, even for a rodent. Each adventure finds The Brain coming up with an elaborate scheme to take over the world, one which always manages to come undone at the last moment, generally due to Pinky’s assistance, or sometimes, lack thereof. Obviously a graduate of the Wyle E. Coyote school of Try and Try Again, The Brain is never deterred, despite countless failures and always ready to plot their next night’s activity, which is the same thing he and Pinky do every night… try and take over the world!
PINKY AND THE BRAIN, VOLUME 2 ($45) comes to DVD in a four-disc set that features the series next twenty-two episodes. The twenty-two episodes are as follows: Brain Of The Future, Brinky, Hoop Schemes, Leave It To Beavers / Cinebrania, Brain Noir, Pinky & The Brain And... Larry / Where The Deer And The Mousealopes Play, Brain's Bogie / Say What, Earth?, My Feldmans, My Friends / All You Need Is Narf, Pinky's Plan, This Old Mouse, Brain Storm, A Meticulous Analysis Of History / Funny, You Don't Look Rhennish, The Pinky Protocol, Brain Drained, Mice Don't Dance, Brain Acres, Pinky And The Brainmaker / Calvin Brain, Pinky Suavo / T.H.E.Y, The Real Life, Brain's Way, A Pinky And The Brain Halloween and Briany Jack.
Warner Home Video has made all the episodes that comprise PINKY AND THE BRAIN, VOLUME 2 available on DVD in the proper 4:3 full screen aspect ratios of their original television broadcasts. The episodes in this DVD collection are very similar in quality to the first set, with everything looking pretty darn good, although nothing here will be confused with demonstration material. Still, when one considered that this production originally intended to be broadcast to a juvenile audience, the presentations are pleasing. The Image pretty crisp for this type of 2D animated production. Colors are generally stable and pretty well saturated. Blacks are accurately rendered and the whites are stable. Owing to the fact that PINKY AND THE BRAIN was produced on film, the episodes do display film-based flaws. Occasional scratches and other blemishes crop up, pus a slight level of grain is also noticeable. Digital compression artifacts are never an issue.
For this release, all of the episodes contained in PINKY AND THE BRAIN, VOLUME 2 have been upgraded to a Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtracks. The 5.1 channel mix is surprisingly well done, with the outlying channels being well utilized for the sound effects, as well as the musical component. Fidelity is pretty strong with the music and effects coming across better than expected fashion for an animated kid’s show. Voices are very well recorded; plus the dialogue is easy to understandable. An English 2.0 surround track has also been included. Subtitles are available in French and Spanish.
Music underscores the basic interactive menus, which allow one access to the standard episode selection and set up features, as well as a fun extra. The Audition is a thirty-minute program that features Mark Hamill, Wayne Knight, Maurice LaMarche, and Rob Paulsen, as well as voice director Andrea Romano.
In the realm animated programming intended for a "juvenile" audience, PINKY AND THE BRAIN remains a personal favorite. The show’s humor is definitely beyond the target demographic and will appeal to those who grew up watching Looney Tunes on television. Warner does their usual solid job with the presentations, making PINKY AND THE BRAIN, VOLUME 2 another must have. Very highly recommended! Narf!
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