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"It's what the network wants, why bother to complain!?"
Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain Theme Song

Pinky, Elmyra and The Brain is a retooling of the Animaniacs spin-off series Pinky and the Brain, produced under collaboration with Warner Bros. and Amblin. The show, like the original, features Pinky and the Brain plotting to take over the world, but however now reside with Elmyra Duff from Tiny Toon Adventures and must also endure Elmyra's affection. The show aired from 1998 to 1999.

Pinky, Elmyra and The Brain was created as result of The WB Network executives demanding to change Pinky and the Brain to have less focus on world domination and adding another main character. The cast and crew were not happy with these demands.

The series lasted for one 13 episode season due to bad ratings, with the later episodes airing as part of The Big Cartoonie Show. In total, the thirteen episodes of this spin-off plus the sixty-five episodes of the main series add up to 78 total episodes of Pinky and the Brain isolated from both Animaniacs incarnations.

The show has been considered non-canon by staff members of the show including series creator Tom Ruegger. It has been alluded by Ruegger that the series is set in a mirror-universe where the events of the prior series occurred, but a series of different events render the show “non-canon” to the main universe.[3] To further hit the nail in the coffin, the first Pinky and the Brain segment of the Animaniacs reboot, "Of Mice and Memes", renders the series officially non-canon. In the time period where Elmyra initially took place, Brain begins a 22-year long plan at his home of a gradually-updating Acme Labs.

Premise[]

Pinky Elmyra and the Brain promo art

Promotional art for the series.

This short-lived series continued the exploits of Pinky and The Brain, who had now been evicted from the now-burned-down Acme Labs (one promo provides contradictory information that it went bankrupt), which was revealed in "The Ravin!" to have been turned into a Dissy Store. The duo is on the run from the psychotic Wally Faust (a parody of actor Christopher Walken, who had been parodied on the show several times before). Their life on the lam (as explained in the theme song) eventually leads to them hiding out in a pet store and being purchased by Elmyra Duff while adopting a discount turtle.

Now living in Elmyra's bedroom, Brain continues to work on his schemes of world domination, but Elmyra proves to be quite a distraction, to the point that in some episodes, Brain never actually gets around to enacting any part of his plans. The Tiny Toon Adventures characters, including Elmyra's own family, are oddly absent from this series. In place of Furrball and Byron the Basset, Elmyra's pets include a new cat named Mr. Pussy-Wussy and a turtle named Mr. Shellbutt. Elmyra now goes to Chuck Norris Grammar School instead of Acme Looniversity, and she now had a crush on a thickheaded slob named Rudy Mookich, with absolutely no explanation as to what happened to Montana Max.

History[]

Development[]

During the original Pinky and the Brain series, The WB had attempted to meddle with the show's production and retool it to being more "sitcom"-like, which was meant with resistance from the cast and crew. One of these retooling attempts requested an additional character to be thrown-into the mix, which was shut-down with "Pinky and the Brain... And Larry."

Eventually, the original Pinky and the Brain was cancelled, but an executive proposed a last-minute "save" for the program by adding Elmyra Duff into the series. The idea was pitched with the mice becoming her pets (which Brain despised), and was applauded by the executives. As the idea progressed, the network demanded more "kid-friendly" subjects be tackled in the series, as they had issues with the original series' skew towards older audiences with episodes such as "Brain's Way." This demand made this series even more "family-friendly" than other shows in the Animaniacs franchise at times. Despite this, the crew continued to work in jokes aimed at older audiences (such as hidden innuendos).[4] The series was later publicly unveiled on January 12, 1998 with other then-upcoming Kids' WB! shows.[1]

Launch and Cancellation[]

The retool launched in September of 1998 to mixed to negative reviews. The "last-minute save" proved to be for naught, as it had much lower viewership than the prior series. As a result, the show was swiftly cancelled after 6 episodes in the 1998 holiday season, with episode 7 being the last to air before it was removed from the schedule. From January-April 1999, the remaining episodes of the series were burned-off in The Cat & Birdy Warneroonie Pinky Brainy Big Cartoonie Show, a compilation program consisting of episodes from various other cartoons (including the original Pinky and the Brain and Animaniacs).

The series saw a slow international roll-out from 1998-2001, airing on channels such as YTV in Canada, Cartoon Network in Latin America, and in 2001 in the United Kingdom on CITV.[5]

Post-Series[]

After its short-lived run, the series faded into relative obscurity, and was commonly regarded as the "black sheep" of the franchise. It has not aired on broadcast TV in the United States since 1999. Even though it was included in the Pinky and the Brain syndication package, it was left ignored by channels such as Nickelodeon/Nicktoons and Toon Disney/Disney XD.[6]

In addition, volume 3 of the 1995 Pinky and the Brain series, released in 2007, appears to mock Elmyra in its description on the back of the case by purposefully ignoring its existence. The description bills the volume as the final collection of the mice's original run. It has such lines as "The final, must-see Volume Three. This is it, the end of the line; the fat lady is warmed up and ready to sing. It's the last dance, the last roundup, the last train to a place called Clarkville. Pinky and the Brain Vol. 3 - 4 discs and 22 world-conquering, never-before-on-DVD episodes strong - is the last release in the series."

Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain itself didn't receive a home media release until 2014, with the launch of a complete series collection on DVD and digital outlets; nor was it available to stream until Hulu acquired streaming rights to the Animaniacs franchise in the United States in January 2018, and HBO Max for Latin American territories in 2022. Even with its more readily-available means of viewing and purchasing, it is still the least-popular entry in the franchise, and so far hasn't been referenced in any capacity in any further Animaniacs media including the 2020 Animaniacs reboot; with "Of Mice and Memes" retconning the events of the series by having Brain work on his plan of modern internet in a 22-year time skip montage with Acme Labs still intact, with a new sign being built after the time skip.

Following HBO Max's rebrand to just "Max" in Latin America on February 27, 2024, the series made the jump to that channel... somewhat. Its episodes temporarily vanished, while episodes of the 1995 Pinky and the Brain series confusingly took up its menu space. The problem was eventually rectified in May 2024, with the two shows regaining separate listings.

The series is briefly referenced in the 2024 Tiny Toons Looniversity episode "Whatever Happened to Babsy Bunny?." That show's incarnation of Elmyra is an animal model photographer, and two of her clients are shown to be the mice on an old calendar she discards.

Episodes[]

PinkyElmyraBrain

Brain deeply resenting the changes the executives have done to their show

See Episode Guide (Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain)

Season

# of
Episodes
Original Airdate
Season 1 13 1998-1999



Awards and Nominations[]

Year Association Award category Nominee Result
1999 26th Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Children's Animated Program Steven Spielberg (executive producer)
Tom Ruegger (senior producer)
Rusty Mills (supervising producer/director)
Liz Holzman (producer/director)
Charles M. Howell IV (producer/writer)
John P. McCann (producer/writer)
Wendell Morris (writer)
Tom Sheppard (writer)
Gordon Bressack (writer)
• Doug Langdale (writer)
• Kate Donahue (writer)
• Scott Kreamer (writer)
Andrea Romano (voice director)
Nelson Recinos (director)
Russell Calabrese (director)
Bob Davies (director)
Nominated
Outstanding Sound Mixing - Special Class Tom Maydeck (re-recording mixer) and Patrick Rodman (re-recording mixer) Nominated
27th Annie Awards Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production Rob Paulsen for playing Pinky Won
Outstanding Individual Achievement for Directing in an Animated Television Production Nelson Recinos for episode "How I Spent My Weekend" Nominated
Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production Cree Summer for playing Elmyra Duff Nominated
2000 27th Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Children's Animated Program Steven Spielberg (executive producer)
Tom Ruegger (senior producer)
Rusty Mills (supervising producer)
John P. McCann (producer/writer)
Charles M. Howell IV (producer)
Tom Sheppard (writer)
Wendell Morris (writer)
Gordon Bressack (writer)
Earl Kress (writer)
Andrea Romano (voice director)
Bob Davies (director)
Nelson Recinos (director)
Won

Home Media[]

For more information, see the Home Media Releases page
Currently, the series is available in its entirety on DVD and digital outlets. From January 2018-January 2022, it was also available on Hulu. In Latin America, the show streamed on HBO Max from June 3, 2022[7] [8], until its closure in February 2024. Since May 2024, the show has been streaming in Latin America on the successor channel Max.

Gallery[]

Animaniacs Wiki has a collection of images related to Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain.

Trivia[]

  • The show had two working titles during production: The Further Adventures of Pinky and The Brain,[1] and Pinky and The Brain: The Elmyra Years [2]
    • Despite Maurice LaMarche initially describing the show as "hilarious" and hyping up the new dynamic with the characters[2], he would later acknowledge the flaws and state "These characters all vibrated at a different level. To bring in Elmyra, who was a Tiny Toons character, seemed odd and it also seemed that, here we were, in the Larry predicament again. As great a character as Elmyra was, she was now more annoying and clueless than Pinky, and that left Pinky as… well, the Larry. Brain was the extreme, the intelligent, the obsessed. Elmyra was the annoying and stupid, and Pinky became the voice of reason, heaven help us, and that was not the chemistry that made those two guys work. So we kind of knew that this was about it. This was the end of Pinky and the Brain because this was, clearly, not the original show."[9]
  • This is the first Animaniacs-related production to not have an official VHS release.
  • Nickelodeon held syndication rights to Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain as part of their purchase of the Pinky and the Brain Syndication Package but there is no record of the show airing on either Nickelodeon or Nicktoons, suggesting that not even they wanted to air it.[6]
  • Pinky, Elmyra and The Brain:
    • is the shortest lived Animaniacs spin-off series, lasting only 13 episodes and airing for only a year.
    • is the final Animaniacs-related production to use cel animation. The next Animaniacs project, Wakko's Wish, would be animated digitally; with all following productions using digital animation.
    • was the final television collaboration between Warner Bros. and Amblin until the reboot in 2020.
    • has the shortest amount of animation studios working for any Animaniacs-related series, with only 2 studios providing animation for the show (Wang Film Productions and Rough Draft Studios).

See Also[]

References[]

External links[]

Animaniacs
Animaniacs (1993-1998)
Series OverviewEpisode Guide (Compilation Episodes) • Christmas Eve with Yakko, Wakko & Dot MarathonHooray for North HollywoodAnimaniac Attack! MarathonThe Ultimate Animaniacs Super SpecialSeries BibleSongsAlbumsCharactersSegmentsVideo GamesBooksDC Comic SeriesHome Media ReleasesGalleryBrain's Plans
Pinky and the Brain (1995-1998)
Series OverviewEpisode Guide (Compilation Episodes) • BrainwashedThe Ultimate Animaniacs Super SpecialWendy's CampaignSongsAlbumsCharactersVideo GamesDC Comic SeriesHome Media ReleasesGalleryBrain's Plans
Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain (1998-1999)
Series OverviewEpisode GuideSongsCharactersHome Media ReleasesGalleryBrain's Plans
Wakko's Wish (1999)
Movie OverviewSongsCharactersGalleryBrain's Plans
Animaniacs (2020-2023)
Series OverviewEpisode Guide (The Brain Teaches World Domination mini-series) • Twitter Watch PartiesFriends With AnimaniacsSongsAlbumsCharactersSegmentsHome Media ReleasesGalleryBrain's Plans
Other
Brain Snacks (1998) • The Big Cartoonie Show (1999-2000) (Episode Guide) • Animaniacs Live!MultiVersus (2024) • Fictitious MediaScrapped/Unreleased Projects and ConceptsDeleted ScenesCommercialsFourth wallHidden InnuendosRimshot punsOft-spoken phrases ("Hello Nurse" • "The Same Thing We Do Every Night" • "Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?") • MerchandiseVideo GamesEventsPromotional SongsMiscellaneous SongsList of references to Animaniacs in popular culture
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