Peppa Pig

 

Peppa Pig

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Peppa Pig
Peppa Pig.png

Also known as Peppa Pig and Friends
Genre Animation
Created by Neville Astley
Mark Baker
Written by Neville Astley
Mark Baker
Phillip Hall
Directed by Neville Astley
Mark Baker
Phillip Hall (2011)
Joris van Hulzen (2011)
Starring Harley Bird (2009–present)
Cecily Bloom (2006–2007)
Lily Snowden-Fine (2004)
John Sparkes
Morwenna Banks
Richard Ridings
Oliver May
Alice May
David Graham
Frances White
David Rintoul
Hazel Rudd (2004)
Bethan Lindsay (2006–2007)
Meg Hall
George Woolford
Harrison Oldroyd
Daisy Rudd
Sian Taylor
Julia Moss
Eloise May
Dan Beazley
Emma Weston
Sarah Ann Kennedy
Andy Hamilton
Brian Blessed
Dominic Byrne
Alexander Armstrong
Emma Forbes
Narrated by John Sparkes
Theme music composer Julian Nott
Composer(s) Julian Nott
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 4
No. of episodes 212 (list of episodes)
Production
Producer(s) Phil Davies
Location(s) Animated in London
Running time 5 minutes (United Kingdom)
22 minutes (United States)
Production company(s) Astley Baker Davies Ltd
Distributor Contender Entertainment Group (2004)
Rubber Duck Entertainment (2006–2007)
E1 Kids (2009–2010)
eOne Family (2010–present)
Release
Original network Channel 5 and Nick Jr. UK (UK),
Cartoon Network
Picture format 16:9 High definition
Original release 31 May 2004 – present
External links
Website

Peppa Pig is a British preschool animated television series directed and produced by Astley Baker Davies, which originally aired on 31 May 2004, and is distributed by E1 Kids. To date, four series have been aired. It went on a hiatus for two years and two months before re-premiering on 14 February 2015. It is shown in 180 countries.[1]

Background[edit]

Peppa Pig is a children’s television programme broadcasting on Channel 5 and Nick Jr. in the UK, Nickelodeon/Nick Jr. in the USA, ABC 4 Kids and Nick Jr. in Australia and Discovery Kids in Latin America, including Brazil. Each episode is approximately 5 minutes long. The show revolves around Peppa, an anthropomorphic female pig, and her family and friends. Each of her friends is a different species of mammal. Peppa’s friends are the same age as she is, and Peppa’s younger brother George’s friends are the same age as him. Episodes tend to feature everyday activities such as attending playgroup, going swimming, visiting their grandparents, cousins, going to the playground or riding their bikes.

The characters wear clothes, live in houses, and drive cars, but still display some characteristics of the animals on which they are based. Peppa and her family snort like pigs during conversations in which they are speaking in English, the other animals make their respective noises when they talk, with some exhibiting other characteristics, such as the Rabbit family’s communications of squeaking sounds and their enjoyment of carrots. The Rabbits are also the sole exception to the rule of human-like habitation, in that they live in a burrow in a hill, although it does have windows and is furnished in the same way as the other houses. The characters also blush when embarrassed and their mouths are used to express other emotions such as sadness, happiness, irritation, bewilderment and confusion. Although the mammals are anthropomorphic, other animals are not, for example, the ducks, Tiddles the tortoise, and Polly Parrot. In addition, the narrator of the series John Sparkes reinforces the action and humour, saying things like “Oh, dear” when something unfortunate happens (such as George starts crying) or “Look out!” when a character is doing something unsafe (such as Peppa riding her bicycle without looking where she’s going).

The first series of 52 five-minute episodes started on Channel 5 on 31 May 2004, and had its American premiere as part of Cartoon Network‘s Tickle U preschool television programming block on 22 August 2005[2]; the show moved to Noggin in December 2007 and January 2008, being retained when that network changed names to Nick Jr. and currently continuing to be one of the network’s most popular programmes. The American version is edited into a 22-minute programme with five segments. In the United Kingdom, it can also be seen on Nick Jr. (to the point that Nick Jr. Too has taken on the temporary rebranding “Nick Jr. Peppa” when airing month-long marathons of the series, usually every October), the same with Portugal, Italy, Benelux, Scandinavia and Australia. In Taiwan, the show can be seen on Disney Junior. The second series of 52 episodes began on Channel 5 on Monday 4 September 2006, with Cecily Bloom replacing Lily Snowden-Fine as Peppa, amongst other cast changes. The third series started broadcasting on the Channel 5 kids block, Milkshake! on 4 May 2009 with Harley Bird replacing Cecily Bloom as Peppa.

Characters[edit]

Peppa Pig

George

Mummy Pig

Daddy Pig

The Pigs[edit]

  • Peppa Pig – A pig who is the main character. She enjoys jumping in muddy puddles, playing with her teddy bear who is called Teddy, going to playgroup, and dressing up. She lives with her little brother George and her parents.[3] She is voiced by Lily Snowden-Fine (series 1), Cecily Bloom (series 2), and Harley Bird (series 3-4). Peppa is four years old as shown in the episode My Birthday Party.
  • George Pig – He is Peppa’s little brother. He is in most episodes and often seen in possession of his toy dinosaur, which is named “Mr. Dinosaur.” He cries in many episodes with his trademark showers of tears and crying sound. Often when he cries it has to do with Peppa teasing him. George’s sounds are performed by Oliver and Alice May. George is two years old as shown in the episode George’s Birthday.
  • Mummy Pig – Mummy Pig is Peppa and George’s mother and Daddy Pig’s wife. She is voiced by Morwenna Banks. Mummy Pig does some work from home on a computer. She also worked as a firefighter in series 3.
  • Daddy Pig – Daddy Pig is Peppa and George’s father and Mummy Pig’s husband. He works as an architect, as shown in the episode The New House. He is voiced by Richard Ridings.
  • Grandpa Pig — Grandpa Pig is Mummy Pig’s father. He loves gardening and sailing. Although the two fight in a few episodes, he’s best friends with Granddad Dog. He has a trackless train named Gertrude. He is voiced by David Graham.
  • Granny Pig — Granny Pig is Mummy Pig’s mother. She is a fan of perfume. She grows apples in an orchard near her house along with vegetables in her own garden next to her house. She has four chickens, and she is voiced by Frances White.
  • Uncle Pig – Uncle Pig is Daddy Pig’s brother, and is Aunty Pig’s husband and Chloe and Baby Alexander’s father. He is voiced by John Sparkes who also narrates the series.
  • Auntie Pig – Auntie Pig is Uncle Pig’s wife and Chloe and Baby Alexander’s mother. She is voiced by Alison Snowden (series 1-2) and Judy Flynn (series 3-4).
  • Chloe Pig – Chloe Pig is Peppa and George’s cousin, she is also Baby Alexander’s sister. Her friends are Belinda Bear and Simon Squirrel, but they like to tease Peppa. She is 8 years old, and wears a yellow dress. She is voiced by Eloise May (series 1-2), Abigail Daniels (series 3-4) and Zara Siddiqi (series 4).
  • Alexander Pig – Baby Alexander Pig is Chloe’s baby brother. His first word was puddle. He is voiced by Oliver May (series 2), Harley Bird (series 3) and Minnie Driver (series 4).
  • Dottie Pig — Auntie Dottie is Peppa and George’s great-aunt who sent “Horsey Twinkle Toes”. It is unknown what she looks like and does not have a voice actor since she is never shown.

The Rabbits[edit]

  • Rebecca Rabbit – She is Peppa’s friend from playgroup. She is the big sister of Richard and their twin baby sister and brother, Rosie and Robbie. She turns red easily. She is voiced by Hazel Rudd (series 1), Bethan Lindsay (series 2) and Alice May (series 3-4).
  • Richard Rabbit – Rebecca’s younger brother and the twins’ big brother. He is George’s best friend, he has a fuss about things and cries a bit like George. In some episodes he is seen crying with George. He is voiced by Zoe Baker.
  • Miss Rabbit – Miss Rabbit appears to have many jobs at the same time, including bus driver, supermarket assistant, librarian, helicopter pilot, firefighter, ice cream seller, shoe shop assistant, nurse, car crusher, ticket seller, china shop worker and works on a moon shop, but she loves her jobs. She is Mummy Rabbit’s sister, she is Rebecca, Richard, Rosie, and Robby’s aunt. She is voiced by Sarah Ann Kennedy.
  • Mummy Rabbit – Rebecca’s, Richard’s, Rosie’s and Robbie’s mother. She is also Miss Rabbit’s twin sister. She is voiced by Morwenna Banks and Sarah Ann Kennedy.
  • Daddy Rabbit a.k.a. Mr Rabbit – Rebecca’s, Richard’s, and the twins’ father. He works with Daddy Pig and Mrs Cat in a top floor office. He appears to be a station master, manager of the museum and ice cream seller in some episodes. He is Daddy Pig’s best friend. He is voiced by John Sparkes.
  • Grampy Rabbit – Rebecca’s, Richard’s, and the twins’ maternal grandfather and Mummy Rabbit’s and Miss Rabbit’s father. He likes cheese. He is voiced by Brian Blessed. He likes cheese as shown in the episode where he gets stranded on an island.
  • Rosie Rabbit — Rebecca’s and Richard’s twin baby sister. She was born in “Mummy Rabbit’s Bump.”
  • Robbie Rabbit — Rebecca’s and Richard’s twin baby brother. He was born in “Mummy Rabbit’s Bump.”

The Sheep[edit]

  • Suzy Sheep – Suzy is a sheep and is Peppa’s very best friend. She wears a pink dress. She has an imaginary friend named Leo Lion. She dresses like a nurse. She’s allegedly bossy and keeps telling people what to do but she thinks Peppa is the one who is telling people what to do. Suzy is voiced by Meg Hall.
  • Mummy Sheep a.k.a. Mrs Sheep – Mummy Sheep is the mother of Suzy. She wears a dark pink dress. She is best friends with Mummy Pig. Mummy Sheep is voiced by Debbie MacDonald.

The Cats[edit]

  • Candy Cat – Candy is a cat and is one of Peppa’s friends. She wears a turquoise dress. Candy Cat is voiced by Daisy Rudd (series 1), Emma Weston (series 2) and Zara Siddiqi (series 3-4).
  • Mrs Cat a.k.a. Mummy Cat – Mrs Cat is the mother of Candy and a colleague of Daddy Pig. She is 33 according to the episode “Dr Hamster’s Tortoise”. She wears a light red dress, Mrs Cat is voiced by Morwenna Banks (series 2) and Leila Farzad (series 3-4).
  • Mr Cat a.k.a. Daddy Cat  – Mr Cat is the father of Candy. He is often seen in series 3 and 4. He wears an indigo shirt and has dark fur. He has whiskwhiskers

The Dogs[edit]

  • Danny Dog – Danny is one of Peppa’s friends. Danny is voiced by George Woolford (series 1-2) and Jadon Mills (series 3-4).
  • Mummy Dog a.k.a. Mrs Dog – Mummy Dog is the mother of Danny Dog. She is voiced by Debbie MacDonald (series 1) and Claire Waxler (series 2) and Judy Flynn (series 4).
  • Granddad Dog – Granddad Dog is the grandfather of Danny Dog. He is a mechanic and is very good at fixing cars. Even though they sometimes bicker about whose boat is better, Granddad Dog and Grandpa Pig are best friends. Granddad Dog is voiced by David Rintoul.
  • Daddy Dog a.k.a. Captain Dog — Daddy Dog is the father of Danny Dog and the son of Granddad Dog. Daddy Dog was one of the last characters make his debut on the show, not appearing until the middle of series four. Daddy Dog is voiced by Alexander Armstrong.

The Ponies[edit]

  • Pedro Pony – Pedro is a pony and is one of Peppa’s friends. He wears glasses and a yellow jacket. Pedro Pony is voiced by Harrison Oldroyd (series 1-2), Stanley Nickless (series 3-4), and in the episode “The Golden Boots” he was voiced by Sammy Price. Characterised by his love for sleep, Pedro can be occasionally forgetful or clumsy and slow to catch on but is otherwise knowledgeable in his areas of interest and always friendly. In many episodes he is late for playgroup. Peppa once kissed Pedro in her school’s play (from “School Play“). He is known for often wearing the wrong costume. Like in the episode “Gym Class” where he wears a superhero costume instead of his gym costume. He also is often found wearing a cowboy costume.
  • Mummy Pony a.k.a. Mrs Pony – Mummy Pony is the mother of Pedro. She wears a dark yellow dress. Mummy Pony is voiced by Kate Gribble (series 1), Madelyn Moore (series 2), Layla Lewis (series 2), Jemima Williams (series 3), Leila Farzad (series 4) and Judy Flynn (series 4).
  • Daddy Pony a.k.a. Mr Pony – Daddy Pony is the father of Pedro, and he is an optician. He wears glasses and also wears a green jacket. Daddy Pony is voiced by John Sparkes.

The Zebras[edit]

  • Zoe Zebra – Zoe is a zebra and is one of Peppa’s friends. She wears a light purple dress. In the episode “Teddy’s Day Out,” Zoe appears with her stuffed monkey who is named Monkey. Zoe Zebra is voiced by Sian Taylor.
  • Mummy Zebra a.k.a. Mrs Zebra – Mummy Zebra is the mother of Zoe, Zuzu and Zaza Zebra, she works with pottery, she wears a bright green dress. She is voiced by Morwenna Banks.
  • Daddy Zebra a.k.a. Mr Zebra – Daddy Zebra is the father of Zoe, Zuzu and Zaza; he is a postman. Daddy Zebra is voiced by David Graham.
  • Zuzu & Zaza Zebra – Zuzu and Zaza are zebras and are Zoe’s little identical twin sisters. They are also George’s friends. They wear light pink dresses. As a result of them being younger than George, Richard, and Edmond, they do not appear at playgroup, and instead often appear at Zoe’s house. Zuzu and Zaza Zebra are voiced by Alice May.

The Elephants[edit]

  • Emily Elephant – Peppa’s friend from playgroup. She made her first appearance in the episode “Emily Elephant“. Her brother is Edmond Elephant, her father is Doctor Elephant, and her mother is Mummy Elephant. She can make the loudest sound out of all the children and often uses her trunk as an extra hand. She also has a toy frog as seen in “The Sleepover“. She is voiced by Julia Moss.
  • Edmond Elephant – Edmond is George’s friend. His sister is Emily, his father is Doctor Elephant and his mother is Mummy Elephant. Unlike George, Richard, Zuzu, Zaza and Didier, Edmond is highly intelligent; his high intelligence comes from his father, Doctor Elephant. Because of this, Edmond is a self-proclaimed clever clogs. He is two years old. Unlike George, Richard, Zuzu, Zaza and Didier, he speaks in full sentences. He is voiced by Jonny Butler. Edmond’s voice appears on the Peppa Pig Rocket kiddie ride.
  • Doctor Elephant a.k.a. Mr Elephant – He is Emily’s and Edmond’s father and the husband of Mummy Elephant. He wears a white shirt and bowtie and is voiced by Andy Hamilton.
  • Mummy Elephant – She is Emily’s and Edmond’s mother and she is the wife of Doctor Elephant.

The Donkeys[edit]

  • Delphine Donkey — Delphine is a donkey who appeared in the episodes “Pen Pal” and “Delphine Donkey”. She is Peppa Pig’s friend and pen pal from France. She is voiced by Nzilani Franq.
  • Didier Donkey — Didier is Delphine’s little brother. In a similar manner to how George loves his dinosaur, Didier loves his toy dragon. He is George’s friend from France. He is voiced by Aurelie Charbonnier.
  • Mr Donkey a.k.a. Papa Donkey — Mr Donkey is Delphine and Didier’s father and is a husband of Mrs Donkey. He is voiced by Jerome Haupert.
  • Mrs Donkey — is Delphine and Didier’s mother and is a wife of Mr Donkey.

The Foxes[edit]

  • Freddy Fox — is a friend of Peppa who has a very good sense of smell. His first appearance was in the episode “Freddy Fox“. He is voiced by Max Miller (series 3) and Jamie Oram (series 3-4).
  • Mr Fox — is Freddy’s father and is the owner of a shop that sells everything, usually in boxes of five, but sometimes as matching sets of three. He is voiced by John Sparkes.
  • Mrs Fox — is Freddy’s mother and Mr Fox’s wife.

The Kangaroos[edit]

  • Kylie Kangaroo — Kylie Kangaroo is a friend of Peppa and appears in the episode of same name. She is voiced by Macey Danger.
  • Joey Kangaroo — Joey Kangaroo is Kylie’s younger brother. He stays in Mummy Kangaroo’s pouch.
  • Mummy Kangaroo a.k.a. Mrs Kangaroo — Mummy Kangaroo is Kylie and Joey’s mother. She is voiced by Morwenna Banks.
  • Daddy Kangaroo a.k.a. Mr Kangaroo — Daddy Kangaroo is Kylie and Joey’s father. He is voiced by Alexander Armstrong.

The Wolves[edit]

  • Mr. Wolf — is the father of Wendy Wolf and Mrs. Wolf’s husband. He is voiced by Alexander Armstrong.
  • Mrs. Wolf — is the mother of Wendy Wolf and Mr. Wolf’s wife.
  • Wendy Wolf — is Peppa’s friend after Daddy Pig designs a house for the Wolves and Mr. Bull builds it. She is voiced by Chaniya Mahon.

The Goats[edit]

  • Gabriella Goat — A friend of Peppa’s who lives in Italy. She gives The Pigs a tour of the village where she lives. She is voiced by Sonia Arapi.
  • Signor Goat — He takes care of the holiday house Peppa’s family stays for their holiday. He is the father of Gabriella Goat. He is voiced by Andrea Tran.
  • Uncle Goat — He bakes the pizza in Gabriella’s village. He is voiced by John Sparkes.
  • Auntie Goat — She runs a store in Gabriella’s town. She is voiced by Morwenna Banks.

The benefits[edit]

Other Characters[edit]

Peppa Pig at a personal appearance in the UK

  • Madame Gazelle — GiGi Gazelle is the teacher at Playgroup. She once played in a rock band called “The Rocking Gazelles” with two other gazelles who may be her sisters, as evidenced in “Madame Gazelle’s Leaving Party“. She taught all of the parents when they were children. She is voiced by Morwenna Banks.
  • Mr Bull— Mr Bull is a bull who is a garbage man, a builder, a nurse (as seen in “Mummy Rabbit’s Bump“) and a tuba player. Mr Bull is also a taxi driver (as seen in the “Flying on Holiday” episode). He is voiced by David Rintoul.
  • Mr Potato — Mr Potato is all the kids’ favorite character from a TV show. He’s not an animal in disguise. He’s a real potato. He encourages the kids to exercise and eat healthy. His friends are Mrs Carrot, Sweet Cranberry and Little Sprout who are also real fruit and vegetables, as evidenced in “Mr Potato’s Christmas Show“. There is also a Mrs Potato, appearing only on Peppa’s Television with Mr Potato from series one until the beginning of series three. He is voiced by John Sparkes.
  • Doctor Brown Bear — Doctor Brown Bear is the doctor. He is voiced by David Rintoul.
  • Doctor Hamster — Doctor Hamster is the vet. She is voiced by Morwenna Banks.
  • Mr Scarecrow — is Granny and Grandpa Pig’s scarecrow. He scares the birds who are trying to eat Grandpa’s seeds.
  • Snowman — is made by Peppa and George he\she is in the episode “snow”.
  • Mr Rhinoceros — Works with Mr Bull in the building/construction job.
  • Mr Labrador — Also works with Mr Bull in the building/construction job. He also runs the archery competition at the fair (as seen in “Funfair“).
  • Mrs Cow — A member of the “Mummies’ Fire Service”. She is voiced by Judy Flynn.
  • Mrs Potato — She is the wife of Mr Potato. Voiced by Morwenna Banks.
  • Captain Emergency — The pilot on the plane Peppa and her family fly on in the episode “Flying On Holiday”. Voiced by Dominic Byrne.
  • Belinda Bear — One of Chloe’s friends. In the episode “Chloe’s Big Friends“, she calls herself “B” for short. She is voiced by Zara Siddiqi.
  • Simon Squirrel — One of Chloe’s friends. In the episode “Chloe’s Big Friends“, he calls himself “Si” for short. He is voiced by Preston Nyman.
  • Policeman — He is voiced by Fernando Tiberini.
  • Father Christmas — One of the only two humans in the show. Shown in episodes “Peppa’s Christmas” “Santa’s Grotto”, “Santa’s Visit” and “Mr. Potato’s Christmas Show”
  • The Queen — One of the only two humans in the show. Shown in the episode “The Queen”

Pets[edit]

  • Tiddles the Tortoise; is Dr. Hamster’s pet tortoise. He is 33 as shown the episode “Dr. Hamster’s Tortoise”. He is known to climb trees as shown in “Miss Rabbit’s Helicopter” and “Naughty Tortoise”.
  • Steven the Stick Insect; is Pedro Pony’s pet stick insect and is shown in “The Pet Competition”.
  • Goldie the Goldfish; is Peppa Pig’s goldfish.
  • Hemydatulus Fanardus the Gecko; is Edmond Elephant’s pet gecko and is shown the episode “The Pet Competition”. His name is the scientific name for gecko. Edmond named him this since he is smart and a “clever clogs.”
  • Polly Parrot; Granny and Grandpa Pig’s parrot.

Episodes and DVD releases[edit]

Books[edit]

There is a line of Personalised books in which your child can be added into the story with Peppa and her friends.[4] There is also a series of books based on Peppa Pig, one of which, Peppa Meets the Queen was written to coincide with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Film[edit]

A 15-minute film called Peppa Pig: The Golden Boots[5] was released on 14 February 2015[6] alongside several episodes of the TV series.[7] To date, it has grossed £2,326,328.[8]

Peppa Pig World Theme Park[edit]

Peppa Pig World a family theme park located in the New Forest, Hampshire,[9] opened on 9 April 2011 at Paultons Park, Hampshire, UK with 7 rides, an indoor play zone, a muddy puddles water splash park, smaller play areas and themed buildings.

Merchandise[edit]

Peppa Pig, the Entertainment One (eOne) brand, grossed over £200 million in UK merchandise sales in 2010, far exceeding the 2009 figure of £100 million. Additionally, for the first time in the brand’s history, NPD figures for the year reveal that Peppa Pig was the number one pre-school property in the total toy market for 2010 – moving up four places from its previous position in 2009. Now in its seventh year, new licensees continue to join the Peppa Pig licensing programme, which currently has 63 licensees on board.[10]

In addition to episode DVDs, a variety of licensed Peppa Pig products are available, play including video games and other toys such as playsets, playing cards, vehicles, and stuffed toys. Merchandise has also been expanded to include household items such as bathroom products, stationery,[11] bed-linens, food, drink, clothing, and jewellery. Licensees include Holland Publishing in the United Kingdom.

Criticism, controversy, and safety concerns[edit]

Comparison of identical frame in original (top) and re-edited versions of the Series 1 episode “Bicycles“, with cycle helmets added.

Peppa and her family did not wear safety belts in automobile scenes the first two series. After receiving several complaints, Astley Baker Davies announced that all future animation would include characters wearing safety belts, and that the relevant scenes in the first two series would be re-animated to include them.[12] Similar changes were also made to early episodes with characters riding bicycles to add cycle helmets, which were not included in the original versions.[13]

In April 2010, during the UK General Election campaign, E1 Entertainment confirmed Peppa would not be attending the launch of the UK Labour Party‘s families manifesto “in the interests of avoiding any controversy or misunderstanding”. Peppa had previously been used to promote the Labour government’s Sure Start programme.[1]

In 2012, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation received a complaint that the episode “Mister Skinnylegs” was not appropriate for Australian audiences, since it encouraged befriending spiders. Given the toxicity and widespread distribution of some dangerous Australian spiders, notably the common Redback Spider, the complaint was upheld and the episode would no longer screen on the ABC.[14]

In late May 2014, the ABC’s Mark Scott expressed fears about the future of Peppa on Australian television, given Australian federal budget cuts to ABC funding that were said to affect its ability to pay for, and broadcast, overseas media products such as Peppa Pig. Australian media noted the character’s appeal to Australian toddlers and echoed concerns about the future of her Australian distribution rights. Australian Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce made reference to the character as a menu item at a Thai restaurant, while conservative columnist Piers Akerman thought that Peppa “pushes a weird feminist line”.[15] On 28 May 2014, then-Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull quelled fears about the future of Peppa Pig on Australian TV, by tweeting that: “Contrary to media rumours, Peppa’s is one snout we are happy to have in the ABC trough”.[16]

During September 2015, the cartoon once again entered the realm of political parody, as commentators referenced it when making light of the supposed Piggate scandal revolving around David Cameron.[17]

The Jetsons

The Jetsons

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the 1980s band, see The Jetzons. For the film, see Jetsons: The Movie.
The Jetsons
Jetsonslogo640x480.jpg
Genre Animated
Comic science fiction
Sitcom
Directed by William Hanna (1962–63)
Joseph Barbera (1962–63)
Ray Patterson (Supervising, 1985–87)
Arthur Davis (1985–87)
Oscar Dufau (1985–87)
Carl Urbano (1985)
Rudy Zamora (1985)
Alan Zaslove (1985)
Paul Sommer (1987)
Charlie Downs (1987)
Voices of George O’Hanlon
Penny Singleton
Janet Waldo
Daws Butler
Mel Blanc
Don Messick
Jean Vander Pyl
Theme music composer Hoyt Curtin
Composer(s) Hoyt Curtin
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 75 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) William Hanna (1985–87)
Joseph Barbera (1985–87)
Producer(s) William Hanna (1962–63)
Joseph Barbera (1962–63)
Bob Hathcock (1985)
Berny Wolf (1987)
Jeff Hall (1987)
Running time 22–30 minutes
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera Productions
Distributor Screen Gems (original)
Turner Program Services
Warner Bros. Television Distribution (current)
Release
Original network ABC (first season, 1962–1963)[1]
Syndication (second and third seasons, 1985–1987)
Audio format Mono
Original release Original series:
September 23, 1962 (1962-09-23) –
March 17, 1963 (1963-03-17)
Revival series:
September 16, 1985 (1985-09-16) – November 12, 1987 (1987-11-12)

The Jetsons is an American animated sitcom produced by Hanna-Barbera, originally airing in primetime from September 23, 1962, to March 17, 1963, then later in syndication, with new episodes in 1985 to 1987 as part of The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera block. It was Hanna-Barbera’s Space Age counterpart to The Flintstones.[2]

While the Flintstones live in a world with machines powered by birds and dinosaurs, the Jetsons live in a futuristic utopia of elaborate robotic contraptions, aliens, holograms, and whimsical inventions;[3][4] The original series comprised 24 episodes and aired on Sunday nights on ABC beginning September 23, 1962, with primetime reruns continuing through September 22, 1963. It debuted as the first program broadcast in color on ABC-TV.[5] (Only a handful of ABC-TV stations were capable of broadcasting in color in the early 1960s.) In contrast, The Flintstones, while always produced in color, was broadcast in black-and-white for its first two seasons.[6]

Following its primetime run, the show aired on Saturday mornings for decades, starting on ABC for the 1963–64 season and then on CBS and NBC.[7] New episodes were produced for syndication from 1985 to 1987. No further specials or episodes of the show were produced after 1989 due to the deaths of stars George O’Hanlon and Mel Blanc. The 1990 film Jetsons: The Movie serves as the series finale to the television show.

Premise[edit]

The Jetsons are a family residing in Orbit City.[8][9] The city’s architecture is rendered in the Googie style, and all homes and businesses are raised high above the ground on adjustable columns. George Jetson lives with his family in the Skypad Apartments: his wife Jane is a homemaker, their teenage daughter Judy attends Orbit High School, and their early-childhood son Elroy attends Little Dipper School. Housekeeping is seen to by a robot maid, Rosie, which handles chores not otherwise rendered trivial by the home’s numerous push-button Space Age-envisioned conveniences. The family has a dog named Astro, that talks with an initial consonant mutation in which every word begins with an “R”, as if speaking with a growl.

George Jetson’s workweek is typical of his era: an hour a day, two days a week.[10] His boss is Cosmo Spacely, the bombastic owner of Spacely Space Sprockets. Spacely has a competitor, Mr. Cogswell, owner of the rival company Cogswell Cogs (sometimes known as Cogswell’s Cosmic Cogs). Jetson commutes to work in an aerocar that resembles a flying saucer with a transparent bubble top. Daily life is leisurely, assisted by numerous labor-saving devices, which occasionally break down with humorous results. Despite this, everyone complains of exhausting hard labor and difficulties living with the remaining inconveniences.

Characters[edit]

The Jetson family (clockwise from upper left) — Rosie (robot), George, Jane, Judy, Elroy, and Astro the dog.

  • George Jetson: age 40,[11] is the main character and protagonist of the series. He is a loving family man who always seems to make the wrong decisions. He works at Spacely’s Sprockets turning the Referential Universal Digital Indexer (R.U.D.I.) on and off. He is married to Jane and together they have two kids, Judy and Elroy.
  • Jane Jetson: age 33,[12] is George’s wife, mother of their two children, and a homemaker (although it is Rosie who does most of the work). Jane is obsessed with fashion and new gadgetry. Her favorite store is Mooning Dales. She is a dutiful wife who always tries to make life as pleasant as possible for her family. Outside of the home, she is a member of the Galaxy Women Historical Society and is a fan of Leonardo de Venus and Picasso Pia.
  • Judy Jetson: age 15,[13] is the elder child in the Jetson family. A student at Orbit High School, she is a stereotypical teenage girl whose interests include clothes, hanging out with boys, and revealing secrets to her digital diary.
  • Elroy Jetson: age 6½,[14] is the younger of the two children in the Jetson family. He is highly intelligent and an expert in all space sciences. A mild-mannered and good child, Elroy attends Little Dipper School, where he studies space history, astrophysics, and star geometry. Elroy loves his dog Astro and is always there to support him when George loses his patience with the family pet.
  • Rosie: Rosie is the Jetsons’ household robot. She’s an outdated model but the Jetsons love her and would never trade her for a newer model. Rosie does all the housework and some of the parenting. She is a strong authoritarian and occasionally dispenses pills to the family. Excluding a scene from the closing credits, Rosie appears in only two episodes of the original 1960s show, but makes many appearances on the 1980s show.
  • Astro: Astro is the Jetsons’ family dog. Prior to being a Jetson his name was Tralfaz and he belonged to the fabulously rich Mr. J.P. Gottrockets. Astro is one of George’s best friends (next to his work computer, R.U.D.I.) as well as Elroy’s best buddy. He is able to speak in a rough sounding English resembling dog barks and growls, a manner of speaking which voice actor Don Messick would later reuse for the role of Scooby-Doo.
  • Orbitty: is an alien with spring-like legs who was the second pet of the Jetson family. He has the ability to express his emotions by changing color. This character was introduced in the 1980s version of the series, but didn’t appear for the third season (except for one cameo) or any of the movies.
  • Mr. Spacely: is George’s boss and owner of Spacely Space Sprockets. His company was founded in Newfoundland in 1937, where it continued to prosper until massive surface pollution necessitated a move to the elevated platforms seen in the series. He is a small man with thinning black hair and a bad temper, and is the main antagonist of the series. Spacely always comes up with ideas to bring in more business, but they backfire. George, whom Spacely has known since childhood,[15] gets blamed for most things that go wrong. A series’ running gag involves his kicking George out of his office shouting, “Jetson! You’re fired!”, however Spacely would later give George his job back in the end of the episode, and if he was very happy with George, promote him to vice-president of the company. Mr. Spacely is sometimes helped out by Uniblab, the company’s robot assistant.
  • Mr. Cogswell: is Spacely’s big competitor. He owns Cogswell Cogs company and causes a lot of trouble for Spacely and George. To a lesser extent Cogswell is another of the series’ antagonists. He and Spacely are always finding ways to bring each other’s businesses down. Cogswell has often tried to steal Spacely’s ideas and make them his own to gain an advantage (only for it to backfire on both bosses). He’s also not above firing his employees when any little thing goes wrong. Mr. Cogswell’s first name, “Spencer”, is revealed in the 1980s version of The Jetsons. Cogswell slightly resembles Mr. Slate of The Flintstones.
  • R.U.D.I.: is George’s work computer and one of his best friends, next to his dog, Astro. His name is an acronym for Referential Universal Differential Indexer. He has a human personality and is a member of the Society for Preventing Cruelty to Humans. [In the episode “Family Fallout” (originally aired September 22, 1985), the Jetsons win a TV game show after George Jetson correctly states what the initials “R.U.D.I.” stand for.]
  • Henry Orbit: is the Jetsons’ apartment’s building superintendent. He is always helpful and always in a good mood. He built a robot named Mac who has a crush on Rosie.

Recurring characters[edit]

  • Montague Jetson, George Jetson’s kindly but eccentric grandfather, who constantly annoys the cop every time he meets him—Howard Morris
  • Mrs. Stella Spacely, Cosmo Spacely’s overbearing and snobbish wife and Arthur Spacely’s mother—Jean Vander Pyl
  • Arthur Spacely, Mr. Spacely’s son—Dick Beals
  • Uniblab, George’s mortal enemy—an obnoxious robot who was also his supervisor at work. Appeared in two 1960s episodes, “Uniblab”, where he becomes George’s supervisor, and “G.I. Jetson”, where he becomes the Sergeant of George’s platoon. (“Cost the government millions … enough for two officers’ clubs,” said General McMissile, nicknamed “Old Blast Off”); and a 1980s episode. Referenced in the 1994 hit by Craig Mack, “Flava in Ya Ear“. His name is a pun of UNIVAC;- Don Messick.
  • DiDi, Judy’s digital diary—Selma Diamond in 1980s TV series and by Brenda Vaccaro in The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones.
  • Miss Galaxy, secretary at Spaceley Sprockets—Jean Vander Pyl

Voice cast[edit]

In later productions, Jeff Bergman has voiced George, Elroy, and Mr. Spacely. Bergman completed voice work as George and Spacely for Jetsons: The Movie (1990) after George O’Hanlon and Mel Blanc died during production. Controversially, Janet Waldo was replaced—after recording all of her dialogue—by then-popular singer Tiffany for Jetsons: The Movie. Lori Frazier has provided the voice of Jane Jetson in television commercials for Radio Shack.

Production[edit]

The first season for the series was produced and directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, When the Warner Bros. Cartoons studio closed in May 1961, several of its animators, including Gerry Chiniquy and Ken Harris, also joined Hanna-Barbera to work on the first season.

Morey Amsterdam and Pat Carroll controversy[edit]

In 1963, Morey Amsterdam and Pat Carroll filed a $12,000 suit each, against Hanna-Barbera for breach of contract.[17][18] Both claimed they had been cast and signed to the roles of George Jetson and Jane Jetson respectively. Their contracts stipulated they would be paid US$500 an episode with a guarantee of 24 episodes’ work (a full season). However, they recorded only one episode, after which they were replaced.[17] Several sources claimed the change had occurred as a result of sponsor conflict between Amsterdam’s commitment to The Dick Van Dyke Show and Carroll’s to Make Room For Daddy.[19][20] The case had been closed by early 1965.[21] In a 2013 interview, Pat Carroll indicated that the court had ruled in favor of Hanna-Barbera.[17]

Episodes[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired
Season premiere Season finale
1 24 September 23, 1962 (1962-09-23) March 17, 1963 (1963-03-17)
2 41 September 16, 1985 (1985-09-16) December 13, 1985 (1985-12-13)
3 10 October 19, 1987 (1987-10-19) November 12, 1987 (1987-11-12)

The show’s original run consisted of 24 episodes that first aired on ABC from September 23, 1962, to March 17, 1963. In 1984, Hanna-Barbera began producing new episodes specifically for syndication; by September 1985, the 24 episodes from the first season were combined with 41 new episodes and began airing in late afternoon time slots in 80 U.S. media markets, including the 30 largest.[22] The 41 new episodes were produced at a cost of $300,000 each, and featured all of the voice actors from the 1962–1963 show.[22] During 1987, 10 additional “season 3” episodes were also made available for syndication.[23]

Broadcast history[edit]

Following its primetime cancellation, ABC placed reruns of The Jetsons on its Saturday morning schedule for the 1963–1964 season. The program would spend the next two decades on Saturday mornings, with subsequent runs on CBS (1964-65 and 1969-71) and NBC (1965-67; 1971-76; 1979-81 and 1982-83). Beginning in the late 1960s, The Jetsons also began airing simultaneously in syndication. Along with fellow Hanna-Barbera production Jonny Quest and Warner Bros.Looney Tunes shorts, The Jetsons is one of the few series to have aired on each of the Big Three television networks in the United States.

Theme song[edit]

The series’ theme song, by composer Hoyt Curtin, became a pop hit in 1986.[24]

Reception[edit]

After the announcement of the fall 1962 network television schedule Time magazine characterized The Jetsons as one of several new situation comedies (along with The Beverly Hillbillies, I’m Dickens… He’s Fenster, and Our Man Higgins) that was “stretching further than ever for their situations”;[9] after all the season’s new shows had premiered—a season “responding to Minow’s exhortations“—the magazine called the series “silly and unpretentious, corny and clever, now and then quite funny.”[25]

Thirty years later, Time said: “In an age of working mothers, single parents and gay matrimony, George Jetson and his clan already seem quaint even to the baby boomers who grew up with them.”[26] Conversely, Jeffrey Tucker of the Ludwig von Mises Institute has argued that “The whole scene—which anticipated so much of the technology we have today but, strangely, not email or texting—reflected the ethos of time: a love of progress and a vision of a future that stayed on course … The Jetsons’ world is our world: explosive technological advances, entrenched bourgeois culture, a culture of enterprise that is very fond of the good life.”[27]

Differences between versions[edit]

Added Characters:

  • In the first episode of the 1980s episodes, an alien named Orbitty joined the family after Elroy discovered him on a field trip to an asteroid. Orbitty speaks in his own garbled dialect, has coil springs for legs, and changes colors according to his mood.
  • Various appliances appear in the 1980s episodes such as Memo-Minder and Di-Di, Judy’s diary, which is shaped like a giant pair of wax lips.

Other differences include the following:

  • The original 1960s episodes are distinguished by 1960s design motifs, music, and references (similar to The Flintstones and other Hanna-Barbera shows of that period). The 1980s version had a custom soundtrack with new sound-effects created by synthesizer.
  • Whereas the 1960s stories were basically 1950s sitcom plots in a futuristic setting, the 1980s stories delved into fantastic, sci-fi cartoon territory.
  • The 1960s version was more adult oriented than the 1980s version, which was aimed at younger viewers.
  • The 1980s opening credits contain a re-recorded version of the original Jetsons theme song, which features the use of synthesized drums and synth lead tracks typical of 1980s music.
  • The 1960s closing credits were similar to the closing credits scenes from The Flintstones, which feature the family getting ready for bed as well as a disaster with their pets. In The Jetsons, George is walking Astro on a treadmill, Astro chases a cat, and then both animals jumping off after the treadmill malfunctions leaving Jetson running for his life. The 1980s version had to accommodate a larger production staff, including dozens of voice actors, and this closing credits segment was replaced with static multicolored backgrounds with pictures of The Jetsons arranged next to numerous credits. The 1960s episodes were rereleased with the redesigned closing segment (containing fewer production staff credits than the 1980s episodes, but has more names than the original closing scene which left several people uncredited) but are usually seen rebroadcast with their original credits segment.
  • The 1960s episodes do not contain title cards. When the 1980s episodes were made, title cards were also made for the 1960s episodes, which explains the appearance of Orbitty in the title cards of the 1960s episodes. (Orbitty also appears in the 1980s closing credits, which style was also used for the 1960s episodes.)
  • Many of the 1980s episodes were colored and composited using computer animation technology including digital ink and paint, rather than the more traditional ink and paint on cels.
  • The backgrounds in the 1980s version contain vivid colors, and are more detailed than the 1960s version.
  • While the 1960s episodes referenced rockets and other “space age” theme devices, reflective of the real-life U.S. space program which fascinated America, the 1980s episodes leaned more towards how computers would influence life in the future.
  • In the 1980s version, Rosie the Robot appears more often than in the 1960s (when she only appeared in two episodes). Astro is also featured more prominently.
  • The original spelling of Rosie’s name is “Rosey”, as featured in the 1962 premiere “Rosey the Robot”. Her spelling was modified to “Rosie”, as featured in the 1985 episode “Rosie Come Home”.
  • Instead of the buttons, knobs, dials, and switches in the 1960s version, the 1980s version uses flat buttons and brightly lit consoles.
  • The 1960s episodes were fitted with a laugh track (as was The Flintstones); the 1980s episodes were not.

Specials and film adaptations[edit]

Television films[edit]

Television specials[edit]

Theatrical releases[edit]

Direct-to-video films[edit]

Planned film[edit]

Paramount Pictures first tried to film a live-action version of The Jetsons in 1985, which was to be executive produced by Gary Nardino, but failed to do so.[30] In the late 1980s Universal Studios purchased the film rights for The Flintstones and The Jetsons from Hanna-Barbera Productions. The result was Jetsons: The Movie, which was released in 1990. In November 2001, screenwriting duo Paul Foley and Dan Forman were brought onboard to revise a screenplay, with Rob Minkoff attached as director and Denise Di Novi as producer.[31]

On March 18, 2003, it was announced that the script was again being reworked,[32] with Adam Shankman entering negotiations to direct and co-write the film.[33] In June 2004, with Shankman still onboard as director, Di Novi confirmed that the latest draft was penned by Sam Harper.[34] By May 2006, the project was re-launched with Adam F. Goldberg confirmed as the new screenwriter, and Donald De Line was added as producer alongside Di Novi.[35]

In May 2007, director Robert Rodriguez entered talks with Universal Studios and Warner Bros. to film a CGI film adaptation of The Jetsons for a potential 2009 theatrical release, having at the time discussed directing a film adaptation of Land of the Lost with Universal. Rodriguez was uncertain which project he would pursue next, though the latest script draft for The Jetsons by Goldberg was further along in development.[36]

In January 2012, recording artist Kanye West was mistakenly reported as creative director over the project, though West clarified on social media that “I was just discussing becoming the creative director for the Jetson [sic] movie and someone on the call yelled out.. you should do a Jetsons tour!”[37] Longtime producer Denise Di Novi denied the confirmed involvement stating negotiations with West via conference call was merely “preliminary and exploratory and introductory”.[38] In February 2012, Warner Bros. hired Van Robichaux and Evan Susser to rewrite the script.[39][40]

On January 23, 2015, it was announced that Warner Bros. planned a new animated Jetsons feature film, with Matt Lieberman of SourceFed to provide the screenplay.[41][42]

Further appearances[edit]

Hanna-Barbera related[edit]

Other projects[edit]

  • The Jetsons: Father & Son Day (Spümcø, Macromedia Flash)
  • The Jetsons: The Best Son (Spümcø, Macromedia Flash)
  • Some characters appeared in commercials for Electrasol and Tums.
  • In the late 1990s, George, Jane, and Astro appeared in Christmas Radio Shack commercials. Judy, Elroy and Rosie were mentioned.
  • In 2003, New Zealand ISP Xtra used The Jetsons as part of an advertising campaign with George Jetson promoting the benefits of broadband Internet. The advert ended with George saying, “Broadband is the way, but some people will never get used to progress”, and an image of Fred Flintstone using a stone shaped computer with a real mouse.[43]
  • The Jetsons have appeared three times in Family Guy.
  • The Jetsons were seen in a Cartoon Network Rap in 1995.
  • The Jetsons characters were main characters in a parody of I, Robot done on Robot Chicken where Rosie is accused of murdering George.

Comics[edit]

  • The Jetsons #1–36 (Gold Key Comics, January 1963 – October 1970)
  • March of Comics #276 (1965), #330 (1969), #348
  • The Jetsons #1–20 (Charlton Comics, November 1970 – December 1973); 100-page no-number issue
  • Spotlight #3 (Marvel Comics, 197x)
  • The Jetsons #1–5 (Harvey Comics, September 1992 – November 1993); Big Book #1–3, Giant Size #1–3
  • The Jetsons #1–17 (Archie Comics, September 1995 – August 1996)
  • The Flintstones and the Jetsons #1–21 (DC Comics, August 1997 – April 1999)

Video games[edit]

Home video releases[edit]

On June 28, 1990, Hanna-Barbera released six episodes from the show on home video.[citation needed] Warner Home Video released season 1 on DVD in Region 1 on May 11, 2004; upon its release, James Poniewozik wrote it’s “as much about New Frontier 1962 as about the distant future. Its ditzy slapstick is like the peanut-butter-and-jelly mix Goober Grape—if you didn’t love it as a kid, you’re not going to acquire the taste as an adult—and the pop-culture gags … have not aged well. But the animation is still a classic of gee-whiz atomic-age modernism.”[44]

The review of the DVD release from Entertainment Weekly said the show “trots through surprisingly dated sitcom plots about blustery bosses, bad lady drivers, and Elvis Presleyesque teen idols, all greeted with laugh tracks” but points out “it’s the appeal of the retro-prescient gadgets (recliner massagers, big-screen TVs, two-way monitors) that still carries the show.”[45] Season 1 was released on DVD in Region 4 on July 5, 2006.[46] Season Two, Volume 1 was released on DVD almost three years later, on June 2, 2009 for Region 1.[47]

On November 8, 2011, Warner Archive released The Jetsons: Season 2, Volume 2 on DVD in Region 1 as part of their Hanna–Barbera Classics Collection. This is a Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) release, available exclusively through Warner’s online store and Amazon.com.[48] Warner Archive followed up by releasing Season 3 in the same way on May 13, 2014.[49]

DVD Name Ep # Release date
Season 1 24 October 15, 2004
Season 2, Volume 1 21 June 2, 2009
Season 2, Volume 2 20 November 8, 2011
Season 3 10 May 13, 2014

Legacy[edit]

Pinky and the Brain

Pinky and the Brain

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pinky and the Brain
Pinky and the Brain vol1.jpg  
Genre Comedy-drama
Created by Tom Ruegger
Voices of Maurice LaMarche
Rob Paulsen
Theme music composer Richard Stone
Opening theme “Pinky and the Brain” performed by
Jess Harnell
Dorian Harewood
Jim Cummings and
Rob Paulsen[1]
Composer(s) Richard Stone
Steve Bernstein
Julie Bernstein
Gordon Goodwin
Carl Johnson
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 65 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Steven Spielberg
Producer(s) Tom Ruegger
(Senior producer)
Barbara J. Gerard
(Associate Producer)
Liz Holzman
Charles M. Howell IV.
Peter Hastings
Rusty Mills
Running time 7, 11, or 22 min
(depending on the episode)
Production company(s) Amblin Television
Warner Bros. Television Animation
Release
Original network The WB
Audio format Dolby Digital
Original release September 9, 1995 (1995-09-09) – November 14, 1998 (1998-11-14)
Chronology
Preceded by Tiny Toon Adventures
The Plucky Duck Show
Animaniacs
Freakazoid!
Followed by Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain

Pinky & the Brain is an American animated television series. It was the first animated television series to be presented in Dolby Surround and the fourth collaboration of Steven Spielberg with his production company, Amblin Television, and produced by Warner Bros. Animation. The characters first appeared in 1993 as a recurring segment on Animaniacs. It was later picked up as a series due to its popularity, with 65 episodes produced. Later, they appeared in the series, Steven Spielberg Presents Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain.

Pinky and Brain are genetically enhanced laboratory mice who reside in a cage in the Acme Labs research facility. Brain is self-centered and scheming; Pinky is good-natured but feebleminded. In each episode, Brain devises a new plan to take over the world which ultimately ends in failure: usually due to Pinky’s idiocy, the impossibility of Brain’s plan, Brain’s own arrogance, or just circumstances beyond their control. In common with many other Animaniacs shorts, many episodes are in some way a parody of something else, usually a film or novel. The spin off of this show is Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain.

Background[edit]

Premise[edit]

Many of the Pinky and the Brain episodes occur in the 1990s at Acme Labs, located in some large American city underneath a suspension bridge. Several episodes take place in historical times, with Pinky and the Brain in the laboratory of some scientifically-minded person, including Merlin,[2] H.G. Wells,[3] and Ivan Pavlov.[4] There is very little continuity between episodes outside of the common fixtures of the mice, though some plans for world domination from early episodes are subsequently referred to in later seasons (for example, Brain’s “human suit” used in “Win Big”[5] reappears when Brain faces his rival Snowball in “Snowball”).[6]

The bulk of every episode involves one of Brain’s plans for world domination with Pinky’s assistance and the ultimate failure of that plan, with some exceptions. One centers on Snowball’s plan to take over the world using Microsponge (a parody of Microsoft).[6] Another episode features Brain’s single day where he tries to do anything but take over the world: in the end, a group of people vote that he should take over the world on the one day he does not want to.[7]

Both Pinky and the Brain, white mice kept as part of Acme Labs’ experimentation, have undergone significant genetic alteration; per the show’s title lyrics, “their genes have been spliced” which gives the two mice amplified intelligence over that of a typical mouse, the ability to talk to humans, and anthropomorphism. “Project B.R.A.I.N.” suggests that the gene splicing occurred on September 9, 1995,[8] which is coincident to the first full episode of Pinky and the Brain. The episode “Brainwashed” states that the gene splicing was done by Dr. Mordough, along with Snowball the hamster and Precious the cat, using the Acme “Gene Splicer, Bagel Warmer, and Hot Dog Steamer.”[9]

Although Pinky and the Brain plan to conquer the world, they do not show much animosity. In a Christmas special Pinky even wrote to Santa that Brain had the world’s best interests at heart.[10]

Characters[edit]

The Brain[edit]

The Brain (voiced by Maurice LaMarche) looks and sounds a little like Orson Welles. In “What Ever Happened to Baby Brain”, Brain actually crosses paths with Welles, who is working as a busboy in a Hollywood restaurant; they find themselves inadvertently yelling in unison, “Things will be different when I take over the world!” In “Project B.R.A.I.N.” Brain’s name is the backronym for the eponymous project: “Biological Recombinant Algorithmic Intelligence Nexus”.[8] His tail is bent like a staircase—he often uses it to pick the lock of the cage—and his head is large and wide, housing his abnormally large brain. He is highly intelligent and develops complex plans for global domination using politics, cultural references, and his own inventions toward his goal. He seems coldly unemotional, speaking in a snarky deadpan. Nevertheless, Brain has a subtle sense of humor and has even fallen in love; with Trudie in the episode “The Third Mouse” and with Billie in “The World Can Wait”.[11] Due to his stature and megalomania, Brain has been compared to Don Quixote[12] and (inaccurate) pop culture depictions of Napoleon Bonaparte.[13]

Brain sees his inevitable rise to power as good for the world, and not mere megalomania. In Wakko’s Wish, he said to Pinky “We’re on our way to fame, fortune and a world that’s a better place for all.” Many of the Brain’s plots had the endgame of winning over the people’s hearts and having them make him their ruler. However, his motives are not pure. In one episode, Brain finds himself hypnotized by a psychologist he had planned to manipulate for one of his schemes, who turns out to be none other than Sigmund Freud. There Brain reveals that he originally lived with his parents in a tin can at the base of a tree in a large field. When he was young, ACME researchers captured Brain and took him from his home, and the last he saw of it was a picture of the world on the side of the can. Dr. Freud speculates that Brain’s hunger to take over the world is misplaced, and that all he really wants is to go back home to his parents.[14] According to the creators, Brain wants to take over the world not for the sake of being a dictator, like his rival Snowball, but because he believes that he could do a much better job of it than the people currently in charge. Brain has even helped save the world by doing everything in his power to prevent Snowball’s evil schemes, knowing that a world under Snowball’s rule would be the worst case scenario.

Pinky[edit]

Pinky (voiced by Rob Paulsen) is another genetically modified mouse who shares the same cage as Brain at Acme Labs. Although intelligent in his own right, Pinky is an extremely unstable and hyperactive mouse. He has several verbal tics, such as “narf”, “zort”, “poit”, and “troz” (the last of which he started saying after noticing it was “zort in the mirror”). Pinky’s appearance is the complete opposite of Brain’s—while Brain is short, has a crooked tail and pink eyes, and speaks in a deeper, more eloquent manner, Pinky has a straight tail, blue eyes, and a severe overbite, is taller than the Brain, and speaks in a higher pitched voice with a Cockney accent. Pinky’s name was inadvertently given to him by Brain himself: when insulting the two scientists responsible for their gene splicing while talking to himself, Brain claimed the scientists had “less knowledge in both their heads than I do in my… pinky!” Pinky then responded with “Yes?”, believing Brain was referring to him.[8]

Pinky is more open-minded, kinder, and happier than the Brain. Troubles never ruin his day, arguably because he is too scatter-brained to notice them. He steadfastly helps Brain toward world domination, even though Brain usually berates, belittles, and abuses him. Pinky actually seems to enjoy this, laughing after he is hit. He is obsessed with trivia, spending a lot of time watching television in the lab and following popular culture fads. Sometimes Pinky even finds non-rational solutions to problems. An entire episode (entitled “The Pinky P.O.V.”) even shows a typical night of attempted world domination from his point of view, showing his thought process and how he comes to the strange, seemingly nonsensical responses to the Brain’s famous question, “Are you pondering what I’m pondering?” Pinky often points out flaws in the Brain’s plans, which the Brain consistently ignores. The issues Pinky brings up can ironically lead to the downfall of the given night’s plot.

He is also arguably Brain’s moral compass and only real friend. When Pinky sold his soul to get Brain the world in “A Pinky and the Brain Halloween”, Brain saved him because he missed him and the world was not worth ruling without him. Pinky also has shown signs of intelligence despite his supposed childish stupidity. In “Welcome to the Jungle”, Pinky was able to survive using his instincts and become a leader to Brain, who, despite his intelligence, could not survive in the wild on his own. And in “The Pink Candidate”, when Pinky became President, he later began citing various constitutional amendments and legal problems that would bar Brain from his latest plot to take over the world. When Brain attempted to pressure him into helping, Pinky refused, claiming that the plan “goes against everything I’ve come to stand for.”

Other recurring characters[edit]

  • Snowball the hamster (voiced by Roddy McDowall) is Brain’s former friend who was also made intelligent by gene splicing and has a similar desire for world conquest (though far more malevolent than Brain’s) which Pinky and the Brain are sometimes forced to stop.[6]
  • Billie (voiced by Tress MacNeille) is a female mouse and another result of gene splicing. She is smarter than Brain and also has the goal of world domination.[11] Though Brain loves her, she fancies Pinky. In the episode “You’ll Never Eat Food Pellets In This Town Again”, it is revealed that Brain is married to Billie (who in real life is Sheila, and hates playing Billie), who pretty much only agreed because he’s famous, and eventually kicks him out and makes Brain live in his restaurant. It is later revealed that the events were just a dream.
  • Pharfignewton (voiced by Frank Welker) is a racing mare, with whom Pinky falls in love.[15]
  • Larry (voiced by Billy West) is a white mouse[16][17] who was created as a response to demands from Kids WB executives to include additional characters on the show.[18] His presence is sporadic as the writers of the show believed that including an additional character would ruin the chemistry between Pinky and The Brain, as they worked best as a comedy duo, and a third character would therefore be out of place and unnecessary to the plot. To further drive this point home, Larry’s first appearance was marked by a modified version of the theme song with the name “Larry!” shoehorned in between existing lyrics.

Other characters that have appeared on the show have included both of Brain’s[19] and Pinky’s parents[20] and the pair’s “child”, “Roman Numeral I” (Romy for short) who was a result of a cloning mistake. Episodes also include recurring caricatures of celebrities, including both Bill and Hillary Clinton, David Letterman, Dick Clark, Drew Carey, Ryan Stiles, Kathy Kinney, J. D. Wilkes, Paul Gilmartin, Annabelle Gurwitch, Don Rickles, Michael Keaton and Christopher Walken, as was common on other Animaniacs cartoons.

Creation and inspiration[edit]

Caricatures of Minton (left) and Fitzgerald from “The Pinky and the Brain Reunion Special”

Pinky and the Brain was inspired by the peculiar personalities of two producers of Tom Ruegger’s Tiny Toon Adventures colleagues, artist Eddie Fitzgerald and Tom Minton, respectively.[21] Ruegger wondered what would happen if Minton and Fitzgerald tried to take over the world. Fitzgerald (who has also worked on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and The Ren and Stimpy Show) is said to have constantly said “Narf” and “Egad” around the Tiny Toons production office.[21] The gag credit for the Tiny Toon Adventures episode “You Asked For It” credits Eddie Fitzgerald as “Guy Who Says ‘Narf'”.[22] Series producer Peter Hastings described Eddie by saying, “He always greeted you like you were wearing a funny hat – and he liked it.”[23] The Fitzgerald/Minton connection to Pinky and the Brain is shown in the episode “The Pinky and the Brain Reunion Special”.[17] Two characters shown as writers for Pinky and the Brain cartoons within the short are caricatures of Fitzgerald and Minton.[24]

While Ruegger initially based The Brain after Minton, the Welles connection came from Maurice LaMarche, a big fan of the actor/director, who had supplied the voice for Orson Welles in the 1994 movie Ed Wood. LaMarche describes Brain’s voice as “65% Orson Welles, 35% Vincent Price“.[25] Brain’s similarity to Orson Welles was made explicit in the Animaniacs episode “Yes, Always”, which was based upon an outtake from one of Welles’ television commercials, colloquially known as Frozen Peas, in which he ranted about the poor quality of the script. This cartoon was described by writer Peter Hastings as “a $250,000 inside joke”: LaMarche used excerpts from it as sound check material before recording episodes, and Hastings took it to its logical conclusion.[26] The series also alluded to Welles with an episode in which Brain took on the mind-clouding powers of a radio character called “The Fog”: a parody of The Shadow, a popular radio character for which Welles once provided the voice.[27] Other Welles allusions included the episode “The Third Mouse”, a parody of The Third Man in which the Brain played the part of Welles’ character Harry Lime (with Pinky as Holly Martins),[28] and “Battle for the Planet”, in which Brain, inspired by Welles’ infamous War of the Worlds radio broadcast and the hysteria it provoked, stages an alien invasion on television. A caricature of Orson Welles appears in a late episode of the series (“What Ever Happened to Baby Brain”), echoing a rant of the Brain’s and introducing himself afterwards.[29]

The episode “Win Big”[5] was the very first Pinky and the Brain segment. It was developed for Animaniacs, written by Ruegger with a script by Peter Hastings, and directed by Rusty Mills. According to Ruegger, most of the elements that would become part of Pinky and the Brain can be found in Hastings’s original script. It held many dialog bits that became conventions of the entire series,[21] including Brain’s “Are you pondering what I’m pondering?”, Pinky’s “Oh…wait no” in response to a plan, and Pinky’s final question, “What are we doing tomorrow night?”

Production[edit]

Producers[edit]

As with Animaniacs, Steven Spielberg was the executive producer during the entire run, Tom Ruegger was the senior producer, Jean MacCurdy was the executive in charge of production, and Andrea Romano was the voice director. Peter Hastings, Rusty Mills and Liz Holzman produced the show when it was spun off from Animaniacs, as well as the season it ran primetime on the WB. After the first season Hastings left the show and Mills took over as the supervising producer.

Writing[edit]

The original Pinky and the Brain shorts on Animaniacs were written primarily by Peter Hastings. Upon moving into its own show, the writing staff included Gordon Bressack, Charles M. Howell IV, Earl Kress, Wendell Morris, and Tom Sheppard. Comedienne Alex Borstein was also a staff writer, years before her fame on MADTV and Family Guy. Classic Warner Bros. cartoon director Norm McCabe also wrote for the show.

Voice actors[edit]

Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche together at the 34th Annie Awards red carpet.

Pinky and the Brain were voiced by Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche, respectively. The series also used the work of many of the same voice actors for Animaniacs including Tress MacNeille, Jess Harnell, Frank Welker, Nancy Cartwright, and Jeff Bennett, as well as Paul Rugg, Billy West, Jim Cummings, Dan Castellaneta, Kevin Michael Richardson, Grey DeLisle, Dwight Schultz, Tara Strong, Carlos Alazraqui, Tom Kenny, Dee Bradley Baker, Phil LaMarr, Quinton Flynn, James Arnold Taylor, Charlie Adler, David Kaufman, Alanna Ubach, Tasia Valenza, April Winchell, Candi Milo, Nika Futterman, Jennifer Hale, Will Friedle, Jason Marsden, Pat Fraley, S. Scott Bullock, Jack Angel, Daran Norris, Susan Blakeslee, Corey Burton, Janice Kawaye, Patrick Warburton, Howie Mandel, John DiMaggio, Dana Snyder, Audrey Wasilewski, Fred Tatasciore, Leslie Carrara-Rudolph, Keone Young, Rodger Bumpass, Richard McGonagle, Bruce Campbell, Bill Fagerbakke, Brian Doyle-Murray, George Lowe, Chuck McCann, Roz Ryan, Kath Soucie, Don Messick, Susan Silo, Danny Cooksey, Chris Edgerly, Eddie Deezen, Pamela S. Adlon, Keith Ferguson, David Warner, Clancy Brown, Mindy Sterling, Joe Alaskey, Christine Cavanaugh, Roger L. Jackson, Sean Marquette, Bob Bergen, E.G. Daily, René Auberjonois, Tom Kane, Cathy Cavadini, and Charlie Schlatter. Celebrities such as Roddy McDowall, Nora Dunn, Townsend Coleman, Ernest Borgnine, Eric Idle, Dick Clark, Ed McMahon, Steve Allen, Joyce Brothers, Gavin MacLeod, John Tesh, Michael McKean, Garry Marshall, Mark Hamill, James Belushi and Steven Spielberg have all performed guest voice work for the series as well.[30] Cree Summer has also voiced characters in Pinky and the Brain and reprised her role as Elmyra during Pinky, Elmyra, and The Brain.

Music[edit]

As with Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain was scored by a team of talented composers, led by Emmy-Award winning composer Richard Stone. This team included Steve and Julie Bernstein, who also orchestrated and sometimes conducted the 40-piece orchestra. The recordings were done on Stage A on the Warner Bros lot, the same stage (and with the same piano) where Carl Stalling recorded his Looney Tunes music. The theme music for Pinky and the Brain was composed by Richard Stone with lyrics by Tom Ruegger.[21]

Two versions of the opening sequence and theme, with slightly different lyrics, were used during Animaniacs shorts. In the first version, Yakko, Wakko, and Dot (voiced respectively by Paulsen, Harnell, and MacNeille) popped up in the lab and sang the theme while letting the two mice out of their cage. The second, later version had the singers off-camera as the Brain picked the lock on the cage door with a small needle to free himself and Pinky. On the Pinky and the Brain show, the theme gained an additional two verses and was sung by Gene Paul, mind and others.[citation needed]

The score sometimes includes references to classical music. For example, in the episode where the Brain builds a new Papier-mâché Earth, the theme from the 2nd and 4th movements of Dvořák‘s ‘New World Symphony‘ can be heard throughout the episode.[31] The episode Napoleon Brainaparte makes frequent reference to the French anthem, La Marseillaise,[13] while in the episode in which Pinky becomes the artist “Pinkasso” Mussorgsky‘s Pictures at an Exhibition can be heard.[32]

Animation[edit]

Like Animaniacs, most of the original Pinky and the Brain shorts used a variety of animation studios, including Tokyo Movie Shinsha, StarToons, Wang Film Productions, Freelance Animators New Zealand, and AKOM. The bulk of the episodes created outside of Animaniacs (seasons 2 and beyond) were produced by Rough Draft Studios, Wang Film Productions and AKOM. The only episode that was animated by Tokyo Movie Shinsha on the spin-off was A Pinky and the Brain Christmas.

Humor[edit]

Like Animaniacs, much of the humor in Pinky and the Brain was aimed at adult audiences. Parodies of pop culture icons were quite common on the series, more so during the original episodes developed for the WB prime time slot. In addition to previously mentioned political and actor caricatures, some episodes included complete parodies like those in Animaniacs. The episode “The Megalomaniacal Adventures of Brainie the Poo” parodies Winnie The Pooh. “Cameos” include Jagger instead of Tigger and Al Gore instead of Eeyore. Al Gore is “full of hot air”, floating like a balloon. Other parodic elements include Christopher Walken in place of Christopher Robin and the “Brainie the Poo” book appears to have been authored by “A.A. Meeting.”[33] The three-part “Brainwashed” episode included several allusions to The Prisoner television show, though everyone in The Village was identified by the hat they wore, and not by number.[34][35]

Three songs resemble the musical skits in Animaniacs, matching existing music with new lyrics. Pinky sings “Cheese Roll Call” to John Philip Sousa‘s march “Semper Fidelis” praising his love for all cheeses from around the world.[36] To the music of “Camptown Races“, Brain lists the major parts of the human brain, with Pinky jumping in at the chorus to shout “Brainstem! Brainstem!”.[37] “A Meticulous Analysis of History” is set to “When I Was a Lad” from Gilbert and Sullivan‘s H.M.S. Pinafore, and sung by both Brain and Pinky, with Brain reciting the rise to power of such historical leaders as Napoleon and Cleopatra, while Pinky mentions how they all fell.[38] In addition, “Brainwashed” featured a song called the Schmëerskåhøvên, a parody of the Macarena, which would brainwash you if done correctly. The song include such odd lyrics as “Put your fingers in your ears then stick them in your belly” and “Bop yourself on the head and cross your eyes.”

Like Animaniacs, there was a gag credit in the closing credits: each show featured an English word appropriate for the episode with its definition. For example, “Around the World in 80 Narfs”, where the mice are foiled by trying to speak “cabbie” and end up going in circles, the gag credit word was “anophelosis” defined as “morbid state due to extreme frustration.”[39]

Another common element in nearly each episode is the following exchange (often referred to by the acronym “AYPWIP”):

Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering?
Pinky: I think so, Brain, but…

Pinky’s response ends with a non-sequitur such as, “we’re already naked”, “isn’t a cucumber that small called a gherkin?” or “if they called them sad meals, kids wouldn’t buy them.” Brain would then become furious, often bashing Pinky over the head. A few times in the series Pinky and Brain indeed pondered the same thing, though in one of these Pinky dismissed his idea as being too stupid. Just one time the answer was “Yes!”, when Pinky’s intelligence is elevated to match Brain’s. In another episode, it turns out that what Pinky was pondering was that he and Brain never ponder the same thing, which turned out to be part of what Brain was pondering as well. In a short episode (Pinky’s POV) the spectator sees everything Pinky sees (including his imaginations) and hears his thoughts.

Response[edit]

Popularity[edit]

Pinky and the Brain were popular on Animaniacs, and the popularity continued into their own series. It attracted many of the same fans as Animaniacs and Internet outreach attracted more. Maurice LaMarche and Rob Paulsen appeared on voice actor tours around the Warner Bros. Studio Stores.

In an interview on the third DVD volume, LaMarche and Paulsen noted that Roy Langbord (vice-president of Showtime), Al Franken, and Barenaked Ladies are fans of the shows.[40] Jason Rubin, the co-founder of Naughty Dog, was also fond of the series; the character of the Brain served as an influence in the creation of Doctor Neo Cortex, the main antagonist of the Crash Bandicoot series of video games.[41]

Nominations and awards[edit]

Pinky and the Brain won several Emmy and Annie Awards.[42] In 1996, the series won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program for the episode “A Pinky and the Brain Christmas”.[10] Paulsen won the Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for “Voice Acting by a Male Performer in an Animated Television Program Production” in 1996 and 1997, while LaMarche won the same in 1998. Paulsen also won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program for his role as Pinky subsequently in 1999. The series itself won the 1999 Daytime Emmy for “Outstanding Special Class Animated Program”.

The episode “Inherit the Wheeze”,[43] in which Brain was subject to the effects of smoking by a tobacco company, won a PRISM Award for its anti-smoking message.[44]

References in other media[edit]

  • The Rice University Neologism dictionary[45] includes not only “narf” as a random sound or nonce word, but also “narfed” as a verb to mean “to be struck completely” with some embarrassment or folly, much as Pinky would be hit on the head by Brain after his follies ruined Brain’s plan. The International Dictionary of Neologisms[46] includes the word “narfistic” as “an idea or concept that works fine when you think about it – but is very difficult to express to someone else”, as a result of Pinky only saying “Narf!” after Brain elaborates on one of his extensive plans.
  • In the post-apocalyptic role-playing game Fallout 2 by Interplay, a couple of mutant albino mole rats appear. One creature is utterly insane, muttering intentions of taking rulership. The other is a highly intelligent cult leader who has intricate plans to claim domination of the post-apocalyptic world; he also has a taste for cheezy poofs.
  • Pinky and the Brain were alluded to in The Incredible Hulk #438 as two white mice, kept by Omnibus. One of the realistically drawn mice had an enlarged cranium, and when their cage was destroyed the sound “narf” is indicated. Also when Jailbait asked what they would do during the night Hotshot replied “The same thing they do every night… whatever that is”.
  • The Virgin New Adventures Doctor Who novel, Death and Diplomacy by Dave Stone includes two characters repeating the “Are you pondering…” lines, and near the end, two of the fallen villains in the story recover, one telling his comrade that they must prepare for tomorrow night when they will take over the universe.
  • This is Not a Game, a novel by Walter Jon Williams begins “Plush dolls of Pinky and the Brain overhung Charlie’s Monitor…” and the theme of world domination is central to the plot.
  • In the game Destroy All Humans, during the final boss battle against Silhouette when you read her mind one of the things she says is “What do I do? The same thing I do every night. Try and take over the world!”
  • In the Robot Chicken episode “Kramer Vs. Showgirls”, a segment has Michael Moore interviewing cartoon characters from the 1990s including Pinky and the Brain. Pinky had an ear growing on his back and Brain was moved to another cage, as it turned out his large head was a result of Paget’s disease, and he had been rendered blind and had arthritis as a result of the disease. Alan Tudyk voiced Pinky and Seth Green voiced Brain.
  • In another Robot Chicken episode, LaMarche reprises his role of Brain in “Eviscerated Post-Coital by a Six Foot Mantis” where Pinky and the Brain get sent on a psychedelic trip after being injected with phencyclidine.
  • In the MAD episode “Spy vs. Spy Kids / The Superhero Millionaire Matchmaker,” Mickey Mouse captures Pinky and the Brain in a cage.
  • The opening conversation between Pinky and Brain (“Gee Brain…”) that is shown in every episode is sampled in “Joey Bada$$“‘s “World Domination.”
  • In 2014, at the end of Nostalgia Critic’s review of The Purge, Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche reprised their roles as Pinky and The Brain respectively, in animated form, at the very end of the episode. The segment involves Brain spewing profanity-laced insults toward Pinky, which then cuts to live-action footage of LaMarche and Paulsen recording their lines with The Critic behind them. LaMarche asks if this is for a kid’s show to which Critic says, “Just say it, people have been wanting to hear this for years.”[47]

History[edit]

On Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain[edit]

Pinky and the Brain first appeared as a recurring segment on the animated series Animaniacs, another show produced by Steven Spielberg. On September 3, 1993, Pinky and the Brain premiered on television in the episode Win Big, which aired on the ABC network.

On September 9, 1995, Pinky and the Brain were spun off onto their own half-hour series on Kids’ WB!, with each episode consisting of one or more segments, including some of the segments from Animaniacs. The first season of the show was scheduled in a prime-time slot from September 10, 1995 through July 21, 1996 as part of the new WB network lineup, and as a result, tended to have more jokes and humor aimed to adults rather than children. Due to poor ratings following the first season, subsequent seasons were moved to Saturday mornings as part of the Kids’ WB! programming block.

Even though they had their own show, they still had several shorts in Animaniacs after they got the show, they still appeared in the shows intro, and often appeared in cameo appearances.

On Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain[edit]

Around 1997, the overall structure within the WB Network changed, including the placement of Jamie Kellner as head of the Kids WB programming. Along with this came pressure on the writers of the show to back off on the idea of world domination and to include more characters on the show.[18] The episode “Pinky & the Brain … and Larry”[16] was a response to this pressure, attempting to show the heads that the show was fine as it was and that Pinky and the Brain worked together as a comedy duo– each balancing each other out with their flaws and personalities- and a third character (or any extra characters at all) would be out of place and unnecessary to the plot.[18] At this point, Peter Hastings, a key writer for the series, decided to quit the show out of anger and protest, with his last script being, “You’ll Never Eat Food Pellets In This Town, Again!” directly addressing the issue of networks trying to retool shows that otherwise work already.[18][48]

With increased pressure from the WB network, the series was retooled on September 19, 1998 into Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain, in which Pinky and the Brain were owned by Tiny Toon Adventures character Elmyra Duff; the unusual change in format was even sarcastically noted in the altered title song, with lyrics such as “It’s what the network wants, why bother to complain?”. The show lasted for 13 episodes, 6 of which were shown whole and 7 of which were chopped into segments and aired as part of The Cat&Birdy Warneroonie PinkyBrainy Big Cartoonie Show.

The characters’ final appearance was in Wakko’s Wish.

Cancellation and syndication[edit]

After Pinky and the Brain were canceled from Kids’ WB!, Then the show aired on Cartoon Network from January 1998 to December 2007 because Time Warner acquired Turner Broadcasting, and later the show returns to Kids’ WB! from January 6, 2001 to May 17, 2008. While the episodes’ content aired unchanged, Nickelodeon altered the opening sequence, masking various items such as beakers with the orange Nickelodeon logo in the same shape and the Acme Labs sign changing into a Nickelodeon logo (this garnered a lot of negative criticism from fans). It continued to air on Nicktoons Network until 2005 when it was taken off the channel. It was later aired on Toon Disney‘s Jetix block from October 2007 until September 2008. On February 15, 2009, Pinky and the Brain was returned on weekend late nights at 3:00AM ET/2:00AM CT on Disney XD, but was taken off the channel on June 15, 2009. Pinky and the Brain was returned on weekend late nights at 3:00AM ET/2:00AM CT on Boomerang.[citation needed]

During 2006, Pinky and the Brain, among other Kids’ WB! shows, was broadcast on the AOL broadband channel, In2TV.[49] As of 2007, Pinky and the Brain is no longer a featured series on the site.

In Canada, Pinky and the Brain aired on YTV starting from 1996 to 1999 and again on September 3, 2007, then on Teletoon from 2002 to 2005.

Also in Australia, Pinky and the Brain had aired on GO! from 21 December 2009 – 18 June 2010. The series had returned to GO! and had started airing again from August 2011 to March 2012.[50]

Merchandise[edit]

Pinky and the Brain, along with Animaniacs, aired coincident with the formation of The Warner Bros. Studio Store chain across the United States, and, as a result, numerous t-shirts, coffee mugs, stuffed animals, animation cels, and original artwork from the show were available through these outlets. Other merchandise included comic books, computer games, and video tapes. When Warner Brothers acquired the Hanna-Barbera animation properties in 1998, there was a significant decrease with such merchandise through the store. By the time the series was canceled, very little merchandise was available.

VHS releases[edit]

Two VHS collections of Pinky and the Brain episodes were released from 1996: A Pinky and the Brain Christmas and World Domination Tour, each with approximately 2 episodes and 4 episodes that including both Pinky and the Brain shorts from Animaniacs and their own show. These collections are now out of print.

DVD releases[edit]

Warner Home Video has released all 65 episodes on DVD in Region 1 in 3 volume sets.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date Additional Information
Volume 1 22 July 25, 2006 (2006-07-25)[51] This four-disk box set includes the first 22 episodes from the series. Contains “Pinky and the Brain: Are You Pondering What I’m Pondering?” — Featurette with Tom Ruegger, Peter Hastings, Rob Paulsen, Maurice LaMarche, Andrea Romano as they discuss why they had so much fun working on the show.
Volume 2 22 December 5, 2006 (2006-12-05)[52] This four-disk box set contains the next 21 episodes from the series. Contains “The Return of World Dominating Extras” – Featurette with Mark Hamill and Wayne Knight as they answer a casting call to do the voices of Pinky and The Brain and get coached by Maurice LaMarche and Rob Paulsen.
Volume 3 22 June 19, 2007 (2007-06-19)[53] This four-disk box set contains the last 22 episodes of the series. Contains the featurette, “It’s All About the Fans” – Rob Paulsen (Voice of Pinky) and Maurice LaMarche (Voice of the Brain) pay tribute to their fans.

Print[edit]

Pinky and the Brain were also regulars in the Animaniacs comic book published by DC Comics. From July 1996 through November 1998, they starred in their own comic book also published by DC Comics, which ran for 27 issues before cancellation. Following the cancellation of the Pinky and the Brain comic, the mice later starred in stories that took up half of the later Animaniacs issues, which, starting at issue #43, was retitled Animaniacs featuring Pinky and the Brain, and ran for another 16 issues before cancellation.

Computer games[edit]

There are a couple of computer games dedicated to Pinky and the Brain, called Pinky and the Brain: World Conquest for the PC, produced by SouthPeak Interactive and distributed by Warner Bros. The characters have also appeared in several of the Animaniacs games, such as Animaniacs: The Great Edgar Hunt.

Pinky and the Brain also star in their own Game Boy Advance game, Pinky and the Brain: The Master Plan. The game was produced by Warthog, and distributed by SWING! Entertainment in 2002.

In the computer game Fallout 2 the character may encounter an albino mole-rat that calls himself “The Brain”.[54] “The Brain” created a cult that attempts to restore the humanity of the ghoul characters (humans that were badly damaged by radiation), by a process referred to as “Renewal”. By doing so “The Brain” hopes to take over the world. The player can engage in dialogue with “The Brain”, with one of the dialogue possibilities being, “Big plans for an oversized rat”.

Music[edit]

While Pinky and the Brain does not feature as many songs as Animaniacs, some of the music from the show can be found across the three Animaniacs CDs. An expanded version of the episode “Bubba Bo Bob Brain” presented in a radio drama or audiobook fashion was released as a CD in 1997 by Rhino Entertainment.

 CAST:

FRED FLINSTONE

  BARNEY RUBBLE

  WILMA FLINESTONE

BETTY RUBBLE

  PEBBLES

  BAM BAM

  DINO

  MR. SLATE