The program, which first ran in syndication during the mid to late 1990s, follows the adventures of two escaped lab mice, one a genius and the other insane, who are on a mission to take over the world, planned and led by the genius one, the Brain. The show was a spinoff of the Steven Spielberg-produced Animaniacs, and was a good deal better than its parent program.
What made Pinky and the Brain so effective was its superior writing. The program was full of satire and parodies, and the scripts were top-notch. The show’s puckish mockery of schemes to run other people’s lives gives it a nice, understated political and social relevance, and the absurdity of Brain’s schemes for doing so points up the emptiness of his ambitions. Instead of achieving success by doing some good for people (or at least for other lab mice), Brain simply craves power. In this, Brain is a part of ourselves exaggerated to highly comic proportions. Pinky and the Brain is a funny show that actually manages to remind us of some basic truths about ourselves.
But above all, it’s funny.