Spun off from a recurring segment on Warner Bros. Animation's daily series Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain focused on a pair of genetically engineered mice who lived in their own cage at ACME labs. The tall, babbling Pinky was a genial lunatic, whose favorite expression was "Narf!"; the short, dome-browed Brain sounded like Orson Welles, and spent his waking hours cooking up sinister schemes to take over the world. In each episode, Brain would hatch a master plan to realize his megalomanic goal, only to be foiled by his own ineptitude, or by the monumental stupidity of his partner-in-crime Pinky. It was not surprising that the two mice were trustees of the ACME company, inasmuch as the same firm was principal supplier of the malfunctioning devices purchased by a similarly misguided and foredoomed cartoon villain, Wile E. Coyote. Disregarding such niceties as logic and chronology, Pinky and the Brain showed up in a variety of historical timeframes in hopes of carrying out Brain's latest crackpot schemes, invariably ending up back in their own cage in their own time. In typical Warner Bros. fashion, the boys' adventures were festooned with pop-culture gags and celebrity takeoffs, not to mention quickie parodies of movies ranging from La Dolce Vita to Apocalypse Now. Officially titled Steven Spielberg Presents Pinky and the Brain, the half-hour animated series began its weekly Saturday-morning WB network run on September 9, 1995, making occasional forays into prime time and yielding a handful of special episodes like the Emmy-winning A Pinky & the Brain: Christmas. The series also aired as part of WB's daytime schedule, and was seen on Cartoon Network and Nicktoons. In the fall of 1998, the series was succeeded by Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain, which teamed the two rodent protagonists with Elmyra Duff, a peculiarly obnoxious character previously seen on another Warner Bros. Animation effort, Tiny Toon Adventures.
by Hal Erickson synopsis