Pinky and the Brain (1995–1998)
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Mice Don't Dance/Brain Drained 

In the 1930s, The Brain notes the popularity of tap dance and constructs a pair of steam-powered legs to send a subtle Morse code message of world domination. Bereft of ideas to take over ... See full summary »


Russell Calabrese


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Episode credited cast:
Maurice LaMarche ... The Brain (voice)
Rob Paulsen ... Pinky (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John Astin ... Grover Whalen
Bojangles Bojangles ... Dorian Harewood
Tress MacNeille ... Old Woman
Gail Matthius ... Wendy
Michael McKean ... Ponytail (voice)
Peter Scolari ... Weird Guy


In the 1930s, The Brain notes the popularity of tap dance and constructs a pair of steam-powered legs to send a subtle Morse code message of world domination. Bereft of ideas to take over the world, The Brain travels to Hollywood to get plots from screenwriters. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

26 September 1997 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

Quercetin: A yellow dye found in lemons See more »


References Tough Guys Don't Dance (1987) See more »


Pinnacle of Wits
Performed by Maurice LaMarche
[Plays in "Mice Don't Dance".]
See more »

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User Reviews

Tap messaging and Hollywood scripts
3 December 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Have simply adored animation from a very early age, with Disney, Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry being the earliest and among the biggest influences/examples, it was a great way of helping me relax which was sorely needed in school. Love it even more so actually as a young adult with a better and broader understanding of it and my horizons being stretched

As has been said many times, will always be a fan of 'Animaniacs' but 'Pinky and the Brain' has always had the slight edge. It has all the things that makes 'Animaniacs' such a great show while making them even better and having even more merits on its own. It is extremely well made, cute at times and very funny and actually hilarious frequently as a child. It is still the same through young adult eyes, and even more so with more knowledge of animation and understanding the humour more. Same with animation in general. 'Pinky and the Brain' is like 'Animaniacs', it has something for everybody and children and adults alike will love it, it is so much more than "just another kiddie show" and should never be dismissed as such.

Both segments comprising this episode are wonderful. Especially "Mice Don't Dance", though "Brain Drained" is both witty and nostalgic.

Have no qualms with the animation. The setting is an atmospheric one, credit is due making a quite confined setting interesting which this, and the whole of 'Pinky and the Brain' for that matter, does really well in this respect. The characters designs have no stiffness and instead move smoothly and fluidly, the backgrounds are very detailed and the colours are a mix of vibrant and atmospheric.

On a musical level, the scoring is dynamic and cleverly composed, adding to the actions, expressions and gestures and doing what good music scores in animation should do in enhancing them. One cannot not mention the wonderfully catchy "Pinnacle of Wits".

'Pinky and the Brain' throughout its too short run was always superbly written. In both segments, especially in "Mice Don't Dance" the writing is extremely clever and well structured, at its worst it's very funny, at its best it's not just hilarious but riotous. It is zany, witty, smart and intelligence, with beautifully incorporated references that will delight adults especially. Will always love Brain's character writing and dialogue and the exchanges between him and Pinky.

While somewhat formulaic (all the stories in 'Pinky and the Brain' are, but in structure, the concept was actually very original), this is a not so common example of formulaic not being a bad thing and not mattering at all, because of the cleverness, creativity and idea variety of the writing and storytelling. A lot is packed in, but it doesn't feel too much and it never gets repetitive. Some of the content here is outrageous, but endearingly so (the outrageousness and creativity of Brain's plan was part of the show's charm and intentional, as is not being surprised by the outcomes, but it is from start to finish very engaging, lively in pace, clever and always structured coherently, being not being too complicated for children and not too simplistic for adults. 'Pinky and the Brain' always excelled when it came to references and spoofs, and the references to 'The Gay Divorcee' and 'Tough Guys Don't Dance' are witty and affectionate.

Other than the writing, especially good are the characters. Pinky and Brain were two of the best characters on 'Animaniacs', Brain stole the show whenever he appeared, and more than deserved their own show. For me they are even more interesting and defined in this show and one can see that here, especially with Brain which for an episode centred around him that was important. It is hard though not to endear to Pinky and his inane comments and actions, he is very stupid and one can see why he frustrates Brain. But he is one of the finest examples of stupid not falling into the trap of being obnoxious, a trap often fallen into, Pinky instead is very funny and often hysterically so and simply adorable, as well as spirited.

Brain is slightly more interesting in the show and being another episode centred around him he is much more interesting actually here with more to do, he is the infinitely smarter one of the two (obvious in his exchanges and how he is the educator in the touring of history), a genius in fact, although also the meaner and more intricate one, a very large contrast. Somehow though he is still very lovable, it is impossible not to fall in love with his very clever scheme in "Mice Don't Dance", nor is it impossible not to love his deadpan personality and dark sarcasm in particularly "Mice Don't Dance".

Of 'Pinky and the Brain's' endless amount of strengths, one of the biggest has always been the relationship/chemistry between Pinky and Brain and that is obvious throughout, though as it's a Brain-centric episode it doesn't quite feature as prominently as in other episodes. The two have such compelling personalities that feel real and there is more to them under the surface than one might think. The chemistry between the two is just a delight, fun and sometimes antagonistic but there has always been a lot of substance. It is essentially the heart of the show, it was important for it to work and it has always been one of the greatest assets of 'Pinky and the Brain'.

Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche, two of the best and deservedly most prolific voice actors around that time and in the voice acting business overall, cannot be complained about as Pinky and Brain's voices. LaMarche as Brain has always blown me away. Absolutely love, and always have loved, the life and depth they bring to the characters, their voices suiting the characters and their personalities perfectly. There has always been such an obvious bond between them which plays a large part of the show's appeal.

The rest of the voice actors fare very well, with the most colourful contribution coming from John Astin.

Summarising, another wonderful episode of a personal favourite animated show of mine 10/10 Bethany Cox

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