|“Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering?”
“I think so, Brain, but how will we get the Spice Girls into the paella?”
One is a genius, the other’s insane, and in 1995 those two lab rats from Steven Spielberg’s Animaniacs got a show of their own. The premise was beautifully summed up by the mice themselves:
Pinky: “Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?”
Brain: “The same thing we do every night, Pinky… Try to take over the world.”
In each episode, mad genius Brain came up with some diabolical way of conquering he wold, and often an equally mad method of financing it. One example: “First we establish a bogus nation, then we dupe the State Department out of a huge foreign aid loan. The average American's knowledge of geography is pitiful. They'll think we're part of the former Soviet Union or Canada. We'll create our own nation right here on Island X, strategically located between Quadalene and Lamotrek. Its remote location will be perfect for our clothes dryer." (The clothes dryer was necessary to harness the power of static electricity, trapping earth’s helpless population in its own garments).
The plans were naturally doomed to failure, but the joy came in seeing how hard they tried and how close they came. Co-stars included rival evil genius Snowball, female lab rat Billie, and Roman Numeral One (or “Romy”), the cloned “son” of both Pinky and the Brain. The show struggled in primetime on the fledgling WB network, but daytime showings built on the fame the two had earned on Animaniacs.
In 1998, the program became Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain with the addition of precocious little girl Elmyra, who just wanted to squeeze and cuddle the cute little mousies. The new theme song poked fun at the inexplicable team-up: “It's what the network wants. Why bother to complain?” Now the Brain’s plans consisted of escaping Elymra, then taking over the world.
The new episodes eventually stopped production, but the would-be dominating duo wasn't done yet. In 1999, the show merged with other Warner Bros. properties to form what was possibly the longest title in cartoon history, The Cat & Birdy Warneroonie Pinky Brainy Big Cartoonie Show.