Review: ‘Pinky & the Brain of Mouse & Man’

References one way or another to Gerald Ford pardoning Richard Nixon, Michael Eisner, lawyer teleblurbs, O.J. Simpson trial Judge Lance Ito, Court TV, "American Gladiators" make no dent; the target audience -- kids or adults -- won't find them funny.

References one way or another to Gerald Ford pardoning Richard Nixon, Michael Eisner, lawyer teleblurbs, O.J. Simpson trial Judge Lance Ito, Court TV, “American Gladiators” make no dent; the target audience — kids or adults — won’t find them funny.

Spinoff from “Steven Spielberg Presents Animaniacs,” first episode plays twice — once in primetime — as part of the Warner Bros. Network as seen locally on Channel 5. It’s a frail debut. “Pinky & the Brain” reach for yuks, but they’re not forthcoming — so far. LaMarche and Paulsen are strong as the voices, but the plot, the in jokes andthe overall concept need retooling.

Pinky & the Brain of Mouse & Man

(Sat. (9), 9:30-10 a.m.; Sun. (10), 7-7:30 p.m., WB Net)

Production

Filmed by Amblin Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation. Exec producer, Steven Spielberg; senior producer, Tom Ruegger; producers, Peter Hastings, Rusty Miller; director, Audu Paden; head writer, Hastings; animation directors, Barry Caldwell, Liz Holzman, Jon McClenahan, Rusty Mills, Paden, Charles Visser, Al Zegler; voice director, Andrea Romano; music, Richard Stone. #Voices: Rob Paulsen, Maurice LaMarche. Opener for Steven Spielberg's animated cartoon series about lab mice, the Brain (voiced by Maurice LaMarche), and his well-meant stupe of a sidekick Pinky (Rob Paulsen), kicks off with a number that's above kids, beneath adults, and not very funny. The animation's flat (except for shadows under the characters), but the action's fast; maybe it'll latch on. The Brain plans to take over the world by redirecting all global telephone communications into an endless voice mail system that will tie up the planet. His fiendish concept doesn't matter, as this is kiddy cartoonland, but a few guffaws wouldn't hurt.
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