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STUDIO: Warner Home Video
RATED: Not Rated
RUNNING TIME: 478 minutes
SPECIAL FEATURE: "The Audition" featurette
"Are you thinking what I’m thinking?"
Rob (Pinky) Paulsen, Maurice (The Brain) LaMarche, and a host of other talented voice actors.
One of them is a mouse with a huge head filled with dreams of dictatorship, world domination, and hair brained schemes. The other one is a mouse with a smaller head filled with…not much. They’re Pinky and The Brain, and whether it be changing the very fabric of space or using hippies to their advantage, they’ll fail miserably every single time in their attempts to take over the world.
It had been a while since I’d seen an episode of Pinky and The Brain. I’d never watched an episode of the spin-off show, instead always catching them whenever they were on Animaniacs. I’d always thought it was a funny show, mainly for the too-large-for-their-own-good plans that Brain was always coming up with. But after watching the episodes on Pinky and the Brain – Volume 2, I realize that I hadn’t fully appreciated the show until now. More often then not, the jokes are aimed towards the adult crowd. They’re constantly making references to older films and now obscure actors and actresses. Like Charles Grodin, for one. Pinky and The Brain hateCharles Grodin…
…and apparently Pittsburgh.
The show actually feels a lot like the Shrek films, always referencing pop culture and icons, which shouldn’t be a good thing normally. What Pinky and The Brain has going for it though is the short running length of each episode, making it possible to stomach the constant barrage of obscure references, political jabs, Pinky’s constant non-sequitors, and "Narf’s!" (not the Bryce Dallas Howard kind)
The kids were understandably upset when The Brain got whacked…
Another thing the show takes advantage of is its time jumping. Sometimes it takes place in the present, other times it takes place in different periods of history, using the mice to influence real events in history. One episode has Pinky and The Brain helping the birth of cinema along. Another takes place in the 1940’s, aping old noir films.
…though not nearly as upset as they got during the Braveheart episode.
The animation quality has aged slightly. You can tell when they were trying to save on frames, getting noticeably jumpy now and then; nevertheless, it’s still better then most of the animated shows being produced today.
This is a great little set. Four discs contained in a sturdy, sleek case. Each disc contains five or six episodes, and each episode is either made up of one 20-minute story or two 10 minute stories. The only annoying thing about it is the discs are stacked on top of each other, like the Lost seasons or the recent Office – Season 2 release, though that’s hardly something to complain about. The sound and picture quality are of decent quality, also nothing to complain about.
There is one special feature on the set, called ‘The Audition’. It stars Wayne Knight and Mark Hamill as they try to audition for the roles of Pinky and The Brain for a feature length movie. They suck at doing the voices, so the voice talents behind the mice are brought in to give them some coaching tips. It starts out as sort of a fluff piece, but eventually it turns into a 25-minute interview of surprising substance. Knight, Hamill, Paulsen, and LaMarche sit around and give insights about the voice acting business, how they prepare for certain roles, and many other interesting subjects that are aimed more towards animation buffs then your average cartoon watcher.
This is definitely a set worth picking up. The jokes still work, the animation works, and watching two mice try to take over the world rarely gets old.
"Car le Francais dirait…Narf."
8 out of 10