Saturday, October 5, 2013

Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain

My opinion on this show is this: it sucks.


Alright, fine. There's more to it than that. The show came about because of executives who clearly didn't understand what made Pinky and the Brain (spinoff of Animaniacs) so hilariously brilliant and decided upon themselves to make a spinoff of a spinoff (Spin-ception...yeah, I know it's lame but I wanted to) by using one their favorite characters, Elmyra (a character from Tiny Toon Adventures) and merging them with the popular duo so they could be "hilariously" abused every week. The show itself was cancelled 5 episodes in, when it was supposed to be 13 episodes and the rest were used as segments for the compilation series, the Big Cartoonie Show.

The show had faded into obscurity until it started airing in different countries, like Australia and Russia and has recently been announced for a DVD release in January 2014:

People, I'm going to be very honest when I say this...I don't like this series. Shocker, eh? But seriously, this in my opinion, is probably one of my least favorite spinoffs I've come across. The writing feels generic and cliche, the characters they introduce aren't very likeable even with the voice talent this show has to offer, Elmyra is annoying as sin and is horribly abusive towards the mouse duo, Pinky and the Brain are nowhere near as funny as they are the original spinoff, most of the show's humor is either mean-spirited or just lame. Even the idea of Pinky and the Brain meeting the rest of the Tiny Toons cast and interacting while using the TTA cast for world domination (which in my opinion, would have made for a better show), is squandered over a newer school that's nowhere near is memorable as Acme Looniversity.

Elmyra doesn't even acknowledge her past experiences with other Tiny Toons characters which is a shame. Another thing I didn't like about this show was the changing of the running gag from 'Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?' to one where it's a setup for a joke but at the end, the punchlines just explains the joke in an unfunny way. Even though I have seen enough episodes to get the gist of the series, actually trying to watch it is a chore. Another joke I never found very funny was the use of Brain using a big word for an explanation, Elmyra hits him with something and washes his mouth out with soap. It's not very funny to me, it comes off as insulting to the intelligence of the viewers due to the dumbing down of this spinoff, which also happens to be a retooling (and not a very good one, either). The writing also felt like it was pandering to the youngest of audiences but then again, considering what they had to work with, I don't blame them.

But if there was anything I like about it was the theme song but not because of the tune (though that was pretty catchy). It was actually a glorious giant metaphorical middle finger that was the lyrics to the executives for coming up with what has to be one of the dumbest ideas for a TV show. Also, the animation was alright and some of the songs were passable, one of which was a parody of a Mary Poppins song which was nice. I mentioned the voice work before. Yeah, most for what they're given, they're at least trying to make to make this tolerable though others, not by much.

It was pretty clear looking at the finished product that Spielberg and the rest of the crew hated working on it. Peter Hastings left Warner Bros. to go work for Disney, Maurice LaMarche (voice of the Brain) has admitted to not enjoying working on it and it's also pretty clear that it was overall an embarrassing failure considering it didn't even air all it's 13 episodes.

The potential for a spin-off was there and I mean a TON of limitless possibilities for crossovers like villains teaming up or Pinky and the Brain verses superheroes with epic battles and great writing and animation for something so silly, it could have worked. Or any of the WB/Spielberg shows at the time would have been dandy but no, Elmyra abusing the poor duo...I just...don't know.

I've seen shows that have a cult following that don't even have a DVD release (or only a section of it on DVD). Like Road Rovers, Histeria, Wakko's Wish, the 2 Tiny Toons specials, lots of Disney show that have only had a part of their show released but nothing else, lots of Nickelodeon show not being released through Shout Factory, or many obscure shows and specials from the 80s and 90s (or even earlier) that still have an audience but have people owning them who couldn't be bothered to release them and THOSE would be better than the god-awful crap that's even getting a DVD release.

Seriously, I wouldn't recommend buying all unless you're a huge Spielberg fanatic and just really want to get everything he's ever made regardless of whether it was worth it or not, or you're a masochist. Just don't. I mean if they even do release extras, you can get them online without having to buy the series. Though if they did trash the show through the extras, that would be hilarious. But don't buy it.

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