A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show is intended to entertain rather than educate, but some episodes/storylines do rely on parodies of literature, politics, and culture.
The show revolves around elaborate plans for world domination, through whatever means necessary. That said, it's clear that Brain's schemes aren't intended to be admirable.
Positive Role Models
Brain is smart, educated, and ambitious, but he's not motivated by benevolence -- he wants to rule the world. Pinky is sweeter and definitely loyal, though not exactly the brightest bulb. Episodes often introduce a villain of some sort, but they're usually so absurd (a brain-eating alien, for example) and so easily outsmarted that kids aren't likely to be frightened by them.
Violence & Scariness
Standard cartoon-style violence, including explosions, dramatic falls, collisions, and crashes -- but none of it results in lasting injury, and it's all laden with plenty of humor and absurdity to keep the mood light.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that, as cartoon series go, Pinky and the Brain has plenty of substance to entertain both kids and adults. The show's physical humor and absurd characters (the main characters are mice bent on world domination) will appeal to grade-schoolers, and its clever, sophisticated parodies of literature, politics, and culture will be applauded by astute adults. There's some recurring fantasy violence of the over-the-top cartoon kind, but most kids won't be upset by the pratfalls and unlikely scenarios (long-distance falls, explosions, collisions) that never leave a lasting effect.
Is It Any Good?
Despite its relatively brief run, this emmy-winning cartoon series' outrageously funny cast of characters, superb writing, and clever use of parody gained it a devoted fan base of both kids and adults. PINKY AND THE BRAIN offers plenty of humor for the 7- to 10-year-old set, who will enjoy the show's physical comedy, as well as some of its subtle satirical tones and tongue-in-cheek writing style. But it's teens and adults who will fully appreciate the series for the gem that it is: a clever combination of character-based humor (Pinky and Brain are mousy versions of the quintessential odd couple), witty writing, and underlying parodies of everything from politics to classic literature to pop culture.
The show does contain a fair amount of cartoon violence (explosions, exaggerated collisions, that sort of thing), but it's all so rooted in fantasy and absurdity that there's not much chance that grade-schoolers will be upset by it. So if you're looking for a show you can enjoy with your kids, this is a great pick.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.