Pinky and The Brain are two laboratory mice that were enhanced to be smart but only one ended up being a genius and one ended up, well, not insane as the intro to the show puts it, but definitely odd and hyperkinetic to boot. The show was, like The Animaniacs and Freakazoid, a creation of Executive Producer Steven Spielberg, which strongly suggests his love for really strange animated works as he also produced Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
The basic concept is that The Brain and Pinky escaped every night from their cage so that The Brain (who looks and sounds a lot like Orson Welles) could create and implement a plan to take over the world. The plots are always failures and each episode ends with Pinky asking what they’re going to do the next night and The Brain naturally saying they’ll be plotting to take over the world. They’ve entered popular culture, appearing in such places as This is Not a Game, a Walter Jon Williams novel that begins with ‘Plush dolls of Pinky and the Brain overhung Charlie’s Monitor’; the theme of world domination is the plot.
I recently sampled a few seasons and they hold up remarkably well in all facets, those being story, voice acting and animation. I won’t say the stories will win any literary prices but they’re fun and serve their purpose, which seems to be to place the mice in as many truly weird situations as possible.
Now comes the question that underlies this review: can animated characters be captured in a static sold form that keeps the characters being depicted intact? In this case, the answer is a resounding yes! The expression on both of their faces are spot on — The Brain concentrating on his next plan, which is full detailed — they’re standing on it. His face and body are exactly as they were in the series including his clenched fist.
Pinky is also concentrating on the plan and his size is also spot on in relationship to his companion. The hands behind his back belie that when The Brain describes tonight’s plan for world domination that he’ll say say something in response that has no relation whatever to the plan, such as ‘I think so, Brain, but me and Pippi Longstocking — I mean, what would the children look like?’
The plan itself is not the usual blank thing that appeared in series like Batman: The Animated Series but rather looks like one of The Brain’s plans, weird but somewhat plausible.
One last note. I can’t tell if the colors are painted on, or if the is a multi-piece creation as there’s no obvious seams nor is there any sloppy paint applications, something that haunts many such works in this size.