Pinky and the Brain (1995–1998)
7.8/10
67
1 user

A Little Off the Top/Megalomaniacs Anonymous 

In "A LITTLE OFF THE TOP," Brain tries to discover the source of Samson's strength. In "MEGALOMANIACS ANONYMOUS," Brain joins a support group for those obsessed with the notion of taking over the world.
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Maurice LaMarche ... The Brain (voice)
Rob Paulsen ... Pinky (voice)
Jeff Bennett ... Sampson (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jim Cummings ... Saran
Julia Duffy ... Delilah (voice)
Tress MacNeille ... Female Rock Star
Paul Rugg ... Dr. Belvadere (voice)
Frank Welker ... Ross Perot (voice)
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Storyline

In "A LITTLE OFF THE TOP," Brain tries to discover the source of Samson's strength. In "MEGALOMANIACS ANONYMOUS," Brain joins a support group for those obsessed with the notion of taking over the world.

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Trivia

"A Little Off the Top" drops Pinky and the Brain into the biblical story of 'Samson and Delilah.' In particular, it seems to be a takeoff of the 1949 movie version starring Victor Mature and Hedy Lamar. The Saran confirms this when ranting, "I, who won an Oscar for 'All About Eve,' and survived marriage with two out of three Gabor sisters, defeated by the jawbone of an ass?!" These traits describe George Sanders who appeared in the 1949 film. See more »

Connections

References All About Eve (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

Pinky and the Brain Theme - Dutch Version
Performed by Edward Reekers with Marcel Jonker and Reinder van der Naalt
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User Reviews

 
Samsom and Brain
26 October 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Love animation to bits. It was a big part of my life as a child, especially Disney, Looney Tunes, Hanna Barbera and Tom and Jerry (with tastes broadening further getting older with Pixar, Studio Ghibli and some of the more mature animations out there), and still love it to this day as a young adult whether it's film, television or cartoons. Actually appreciate it even more now, with more knowledge of the different animation styles, directors, studios and what work went into them.

'Animaniacs' always was one of my favourite animated shows. So is its spin off 'Pinky and the Brain', which is on the same level and almost surpasses it. Found it brilliant, extremely well made, cute at times and very funny and actually hilarious frequently as a child. Still think all of that as an adult, and even more so with more knowledge of animation and understanding the humour more. 'Pinky and the Brain' is like 'Animaniacs', it has something for everybody and children and adults alike will love it, it is so much more than "just another kiddie show" and should never be dismissed as such.

Yet another episode to show the show's brilliance and indicative at how well things settled so soon and kept going stronger and stronger and quickly hitting its stride. Lots of shows take a while to find their feet but 'Pinky and the Brain' found it straight away and generally was very consistent and the consistency shows here.

The animation quality is terrific, at this very early stage the animation is actually better than it was when 'Animaniacs' first started with the character designs being more attractive here. The setting is an atmospheric one, credit is due making a quite confined setting interesting which this, and the whole of 'Pinky and the Brain' for that matter, does really well. The characters designs are smooth and not stiff at all, the backgrounds are very rich in detail and the colours are a mix of vibrant and atmospheric (having been throwing this word a lot recently but can't help it).

Similarly great is the music. The scoring is dynamic and cleverly composed, adding to the actions, expressions and gestures and doing what good music scores in animation should do in enhancing them. Then there is the theme tune, which is hard not to forget.

'Pinky and the Brain' throughout its too short run was always superbly written. It is such smart writing, at its worst it's very funny, at its best it's not just hilarious but riotous. Both segments but especially "A Little Off the Top" are full of zaniness, wit and surprising intelligence and has references that will delight adults especially as they are more likely to get them, while having some educational parts for children. The exchanges between Pinky and Brain are masterpieces of how their personalities and way of speaking contrast so well with each other. Just as genius is the ranting of the Saran with great references to the 1949 'Samson and Delilah' and the description actor George Sanders, though familiarity with what is being referenced is perhaps needed to get them.

While somewhat formulaic (all the stories in 'Pinky and the Brain' are, but in structure, the concept was actually very original), this and all the show's episodes is a not so common example of formulaic not being a bad thing and not mattering at all, because of the cleverness, creativity and idea variety of the writing and storytelling which are nowhere near as silly as one would think looking at the premise. One worries about repetition, no worries are needed because there is a lot of freshness and variety to stop that from happening. Some of the content here is outrageous, but endearingly so (the outrageousness and creativity of Brain's plan was part of the show's charm and intentional, as is not being surprised by the outcome of Brain's plan), but it is from start to finish very engaging, lively in pace, clever and always structured coherently, being not being too complicated for children and not too simplistic for adults. Although "Megalomaniacs Anonymous" features a scenario more suited to Brain's personality, "A Little Off the Top" is funnier, cleverer and more entertaining.

Other than the writing, especially good are the characters. Pinky and Brain were two of the best characters on 'Animaniacs', Brain stole the show whenever he appeared, and more than deserved their own show. For me they are even more interesting and defined and one can see that here already. It is hard not to endear to Pinky and his inane comments and actions, he is very stupid and one can see why he frustrates Brain. But he is one of the finest examples of stupid not falling into the trap of being obnoxious, a trap often fallen into, Pinky instead is very funny and often hysterically so and simply adorable, one has to admire his spirit and perseverance.

Brain is slightly more interesting, he is the infinitely smarter one of the two, a genius in fact, although also the meaner and more intricate one, a very large contrast. Somehow though he is still very lovable, it is impossible not to fall in love with his scheme here and how he goes about it, nor is it impossible not to love his deadpan personality and dark sarcasm. The two have such compellingly real personalities and one can see here even early on some development and there is more to them under the surface. The chemistry between the two is just a delight, fun and sometimes antagonistic but there is more substance to it than that, being essentially the heart of the episode and the show it was important for it to work and it has always been one of the greatest assets. The biblical setting is very well realised and one is hard pressed to find a more entertaining depiction of Samson.

Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche, two of the best and most prolific voice actors around that time and in the voice acting business overall, are flawless providing Pinky and Brain's voices. They sound like they were having a lot of fun and give Pinky and Brain so much life and also surprising depth, their voices suiting the characters and their personalities perfectly. If they recorded the voices together, one can really feel the bond between them. Jeff Bennett stands out as Samson.

Overall, terrific stuff. 10/10 Bethany Cox


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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 November 1996 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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