By animation standards, 'Pinky and the Brain' has always been one of my favourites. Just love everything about it, the animation, the two characters and especially the writing. Am a big fan of animation while not being afraid to admit that there are average to terrible ones out there. Won't say that every episode of the show is amazing and that it is a completely consistent show, at the same time it is one of the rare shows where there isn't a bad episode.
One of the best examples of a childhood favourite that has not only held up well but brilliantly, not every childhood favourite has so this has nothing to do with nostalgia. As a young adult, actually find it even better now, due to noticing and appreciating more things and the humour being funnier and easier to understand being more familiar with any references and such. Once again, don't fall for any misconception implying that animation is just for kids and exempt from criticism or to be shyed away from. 'Pinky and the Brain' has much for children and adults alike, young adults even are probably more likely to get the most enjoyment out of it, and there is much more to it than an animated show with two reasonably cute-looking mice.
While not one of the best episodes, it is still great and has everything that makes the show a favourite. All three segments work, "Brain Food" perhaps faring weakest as the episode has a big interest point and the other two segments show it a little bit better. This segment may not contain one of Brain's most innovative or most inspired plans, yet still entertains don't get me wrong because Brain is such a great character but the overall episode signals a not so common instance of it being shown through the eyes/perspective of Pinky. This makes for a nice change of pace and it's an entertaining one.
The animation is bright and colourful with nice attention to character and especially background detail, it's smoothly drawn too and expressive. Music is similarly blameless. The scoring is dynamic and composed in a way that is always adding to the actions, expressions and gestures and doing what good music scores in animation should do in enhancing them. The theme song is one of the catchiest in animation, have always felt that.
Have very rarely been let down by the writing in 'Pinky and the Brain'. Am still not. The typical zaniness and wit is there, as well as the intelligence. The references will delight adults especially as they are more likely to get them and get younger audiences, who will still find them funny most likely because the comic timing and visuals are timed so well, intrigued into being more familiar with what is being referenced. "The Really Great Dictator" achieves a perfect balance of never being too simplistic or too muddled, always trying while not trying too hard. Nothing feels repetitive or lazy. "The Pinky POV" is very clever and avoids being silly and annoying, instead it's pretty charming and very amusing.
Characterisation always was a major strength, it is here too especially in "The Really Great Dictator". Pinky and Brain were two of 'Animaniacs' best characters, Brain especially stole the show whenever he appeared and elevated already very good to great episodes to an even better level, and more than deserved their own show. For me they are even more interesting and defined here, appropriate seeing as they are the focus and lead characters here. Pinky is incredibly endearing and as ever amusing, stupid can mean obnoxious but not in the case of Pinky. Also still love Brain for his deadpan personality and dark sarcasm. Have always loved the relationship between the duo, with such different personalities one worries as to whether they would gel together or clash but 'Pinky and the Brain' was always a masterclass of how to contrast two completely different characters and their personalities harmoniously and with substance and complexity.
Rob Paulsen and especially Maurice LaMarche do splendidly with the voice work, they have always been two of the best and deservedly prolific voice actors today and their work on 'Pinky and the Brain' is among their best. Also feel a bond between them when hearing their voice work.
All in all, extremely well done and very interesting, even if it is not quite top-tier 'Pinky and the Brain'. 9/10
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