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Warner Home Video presents
Pinky And The Brain: Vol. 3 (1997-1998)

Pinky: What are they doing in there, Brain?
Brain: Playing baseball, Pinky. A sport rooted deep in American culture. Our national pastime. The field of dreams. The house that Ruth built.
Pinky: Oh! Ruth Buzzi?
Brain: Yes, Pinky. That famous player Ruth Buzzi. She's right there in Cooperstown next to that other great ballplayer JoAnn Worley.
Pinky: Well, at least she has company.

- (Rob Paulsen, Maurice LaMarche)

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: August 30, 2007

Stars: Mauriche LaMarche, Rob Paulsen
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 07h:50m:00s
Release Date: June 19, 2007
UPC: 085391122449
Genre: television


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ A-B-A- C+

DVD Review

Here lies the final 22 episodes of Pinky & The Brain, stretched across four discs, spanning the 1997-1998 season.

With this third volume, that's a whole lot of potential world domination going on, and thankfully the writing continued to offer up fresh comedic twists on what was essentially the same setup ep after ep. Yes, I said writing. And before you discount something like Pinky & The Brain as simple kid stuff, I want to remind you that like the Animaniacs, each episode was filthy rich with subtle adult references (not dirty, mind you, just playing to the older crowd), the kind that youngsters won't get but us more mature types will get a good chuckle out of.

The gist of the show didn't vary much, with genetically altered lab mice Brain (Maurice LaMarche) and Pinky (Rob Paulsen) attempting to take over the world through a series of intricate, nonsensical plans, such as unleashing a leather repellent so people won't be able to get money out of their wallets or setting permanent snooze on all clock radios. The devious plans invariably fail in grand fashion, but the episodes were all filled with clever pop culture references, like having a female spy named Mousy Galore in the Bond-inspired To Russia With Lab Mice. That's the same episode where a mouse-sized car chase takes place on a Hot Wheels track (nice old school nod) and there's a quick throwaway joke about hair-eating Cabbage Patch dolls, pulled from the headlines of the late 1990s.

It's not often a series theoretically made for children will include a pod-person-Donald-Sutherland-from-Invasion-Of-The-Body-Snatchers reference (repeatedly during the three-part Brainwashed), jokes about Eleanor Roosevelt (What Ever Happened To Baby Brain?) or feature The Love Boat's Gavin MacLeod (The Pinky & The Brain Reunion Special), but that's the degree of hey-this-isn't-just-for-kids nonsense that takes place on a regular basis. And as a reminder that they're lab mice—a concept probably not the most kid-friendly—Inherit The Wheeze features a strapped-down Brain being forced to smoke from a wheel of cigarettes, which is strange from a number of angles.

There's the occasional variation in the setup and delivery, as in Pinky's Turn, which has the supposed "insane" one getting a chance to come up with his own plan for world domination (an oyster petting zoo), or Pinky P.O.V., where the entire ep is shot from Pinky's perspective. It is these kind of little alterations that made this series fun, and I suppose one of the biggest variances in this particular set is that the final short on disc four (Star Warners) is actually an Animaniacs episode that does an elaborate Star Wars parody, with Brain as R2 and Pinky as 3P0.

As a final block of episodes, this Volume 3 set probably has enough wackiness to still hold the interest of a child. And that's as it should be, but I know that deep down Pinky & The Brain was really made for me, an adult who loves cartoons and appreciates a steady stream of obscure cultural references.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: A-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: All episodes are presented in their original 1.33:1 fullframe, and like previous volumes, there's a fair amount of dirt present. Colors tend to look bright, though edges often lack consistent sharpness. A variance in color boldness is evident across the set, with some shorts appearing brighter and more defined than others.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The principle audio track is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround, and it's a pleasantly aggressive mix. Music cues and sound effects give each episode a theatrically spacious feel. Voice quality is clear at all times.

Long gone is the Portuguese dub found on Volume 1, but there is a modest 2.0 English mix also included.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 40 cues and remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
5 Other Trailer(s) featuring Superman: Doomsday, Classic Cartoons From The Vaults, Animaniacs Vol. 3, Popeye The Sailor 1933-1938 Vol. 1, Wait Till Your Father Gets Home
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Scanavo 4-pack gatefold
Picture Disc
4 Discs
4-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: As a finale to the series, the extras on this 4-disc are a bit light. Aside from a few trailers, the only supplement is found on disc four, in the form of It's All About The Fans (11m:14s), hosted by Maurice LaMarche and Rob Paulsen. There's footage of them appearing at a comic convention panel discussion, comments from fans as well as LaMarche and Paulsen's brief recollections about their fondest memories about connecting with fans of the show.

The foldout packaging matches the look and feel of the other two volumes, and that always makes me very happy.

Extras Grade: C+

 

Final Comments

As the final volume sendoff to Pinky & The Brain, this 4-disc set has its share of weirdly funny material, with plenty of obscure "grownup" references to make this much more than a kid's cartoon. The extras are a little thin, and the transfers just so-so, but the gags and jokes are right on.

Recommended.

 


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