Steven Spielberg Presents Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain, or Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain for short, is the retooling of the American spin-off animated television series Pinky and the Brain, with the title characters being joined by Elmyra from their other show Tiny Toon Adventures. Executive Produced by Steven Spielberg, the series was produced by Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Animation, and aired from 1998 to 1999 on The WB Television Network, running for 13 episodes. This was the last animated television series produced by Amblin Entertainment until 2007's The Land Before Time, which is based on The Land Before Time films.
The story of the series starts with Pinky and The Brain's home, Acme Labs, gone (due to the Brain blowing it up in an experiment):
- "The situation's changed/For Pinky and the Brain/No laboratory, alone in the rain,/And someone's looking 'round for where they might be found ..../It's stinky for Pinky and the Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain,/Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain ..."
Pinky and The Brain end up in a pet store, where Elmyra Duff purchases a turtle which is accidentally carrying Pinky and The Brain in its shell:
- "Trapped inside a store,/A girl ran in the door./She bought a discount turtle,/but ended up with more."
Pinky and the Brain go through new methods of trying to take over the world, sometimes with the useless help of Elmyra.
The decision to put Pinky and the Brain
with Elmyra was controversial from the beginning. Warner Bros. network executives had wanted Pinky and the Brain to be part of a sitcom "more like The Simpsons". In a press release, Warner called the move "a fresh approach to popular favorites [Pinky and The Brain]." The idea, however, was panned by animation fans and even the producers of the series. Writer and producer Peter Hastings had even left Warner Bros. for Disney over the decision.
Dissatisfaction shown in work
Dissatisfaction with Warner Bros. decision to change Pinky and the Brain
even showed up in the actual cartoons of Pinky and the Brain
and Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain
. On Pinky and the Brain
, the last script Peter Hastings wrote before leaving Warner Bros. was the cartoon, "You'll Never Eat Food Pellets In This Town Again," in which the demise of Pinky and the Brain are caused by network decisions to change the show.
Pinky Elmyra & the Brain had also shown dissatisfaction towards Warner Bros.; the theme song for the series had said: "Now Pinky and the Brain, share a new domain, it's what the network wants, why bother to complain?" A clip during the theme showed Pinky and The Brain getting kicked out of the Warner Bros. office during that line. Furthermore, a spoken line by The Brain towards the end of the theme adds "I deeply resent this."
Nominations and awards
During its short run Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain
received critical acclaim, winning major animation awards. The series won an Annie Award
, in 1999, for "Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production." Both Rob Paulsen
for his voicing of Pinky, and Cree Summer
for her voicing of Elmyra, were nominated in the category, with Paulsen winning the award. That same year Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain
was nominated for another Annie Award
, "Outstanding Individual Achievement for Directing in an Animated Television Production," as well as being nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award
, "Outstanding Children's Animated Program." The series also won a Daytime Emmy Award
, in 2000, for "Outstanding Children's Animated Program."
The series initial run was from 1998 until 1999; the series ended up being very unsuccessful with only 5 episodes being shown before the series was cancelled. The rest of the episodes were chopped up into segments as part of The Cat&Birdy Warneroonie PinkyBrainy Big Cartoonie Show
along with segments from other Warner Brothers cartoons. The show's part in the Big Cartoonie Show lasted from 1999 until 2000.
Many Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain
episodes had been split into two parts and aired at different times. The split sections of these episodes were only 10 to 11 minutes long, versus the standard 22 minutes for most animated cartoon series.
Unlike the original Pinky and the Brain
series, this series has not been released on either VHS or DVD as of 2008.
offered a collection of four Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain
toys with meals.