Fans of my Volume 1 reviews, stand at attention, rejoice, and testify, for we are here with reviews for Volume 2 of “Animaniacs” and “Pinky and the Brain,” the gorgeous collections for animations fans, and fans of the series. Guilty on both counts, suckas. So, for this time around, “Animaniacs” and its spin-off really seem to come into their own. Where as the first volume was more of them feeling their oats, the writing team really exercises the comedy for this go around, particularly with “Animaniacs.”
For all the grief animation gets, “Animaniacs” is both a show for adults and children. While we have mallets, and anvils, we also have funny one-liners set to a “Moby Dick” spoof, and inside jokes referencing the likes of Groucho Marx, Milton Berle, and the great Madeline Khan whose own personality is reflected in an episode of Rita and Runt as they stumble on a Frankenstein scientist who looks an awful lot like the late comedienne a la Mel Brooks.
The writing team at “Animaniacs” would make the folks at Termite Terrace proud with shows that are so off the wall and frantic, yet so cogent, and hysterical proving prime entertainment for all audiences without destroying their credibility. Though the series does indeed show its chinks in the end of the set with episodes revolving around educational skits for the kiddies, the shows sharp wit, and maturity shines through without fault. “Animaniacs: Volume 2” features five discs of twenty five episodes, featuring a wonderful special where the great Maurice LaMarche leads a round table discussion with the writers of the show as they discuss their favorite episodes.
“Pinky and the Brain,” the more cerebral of the two series, is featured in the four disc twenty-two episode set, is much of a cogent and cohesive series with wacky jokes, yet priceless exchanges and chemistry between Pinky the mental defect, and Brain his brilliant partner. Thanks to all around top notch voice work from Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche, this is one of the more under-appreciated spin-offs.
Within the utterly hilarious dialogue (“Are You thinking what I’m thinking?”, “Sure Brain, calling it Poo Poo platter? What were they thinking?”), with elaborate plots of Brain attempting to take over the world are a worthy combination with rather humorous plots. One episode involves Brain entering a golf competition with celebrities and masquerading as Cher, while another episode involves Brain turning the Earth into a servant which then proceeds to bond with Pinky, and attack Brain.
One of the funnier episodes involves Brain trying to get his hands on a Red Rubber Nub that’s accidentally sent to a haunted house. “Pinky and the Brain” is an entertaining spin off with brutally funny sequences of the Brain dispensing his dignity for the sake of his plots, while Pinky is always more than happy to dress up as the woman and screw things up. And any series that insists on a sprawling “Beatles” spoof is aces with me. “All you need is Love,” as “All you Eat is Lunch”? Brilliant! “Animaniacs: Volume 2,” and “Pinky and the Brain: Volume 2,” both of which have never been on DVD, are available for purchase now. Get them while you still can.