"A Pinky and the Brain Christmas" is a special half-hour Christmas episode of the Warner Bros. animated television series Pinky and the Brain, originally aired as a prime-time special on The WB on December 13, 1995. In September 1996, the episode won the Primetime Emmy Award for "Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour)".
At Acme Labs, Pinky is busy writing a letter to Santa Claus, when Brain tries out his new invention on him - a doll in Brain's likeness, which broadcasts hypnotic orders from him. After finishing the demonstration, Brain explains that the doll, which he has named "Noodle Noggin", is part of his current scheme for world domination. Despite Pinky questioning him if it is really a good idea to try to take over the world at Christmastime, Brain explains that he plans to distribute a Noodle Noggin doll into every home on the planet. Then, once everyone has gotten the dolls, he will broadcast a hypnotic suggestion to everyone that he should be their ruler. However, the plan requires to have 1,000,000,000 Noodle Noggin dolls built, a task that would take too long for the mice to accomplish on their own, so Brain needs to find a huge group of workers who can make that many dolls in a short amount of time. Brain then notices a want ad in the newspaper, saying that Santa is looking to employ new elves. He explains to Pinky that they shall get jobs at the North Pole and get Santa's elves to make the Noodle Noggin dolls, and then Santa will distribute the dolls to everyone. Pinky is especially pleased by this plan, because it means he will be able to bring his letter to Santa in person.
Pinky and Brain get transportation by building a humanoid dummy, disguising it as someone who is trying to get to the North Pole, bringing along a cage with them in it. While on the private charter plane, Pinky continues working on his letter to Santa. However, when the pilot gets up to go to the back of the plane, the mice's dummy is unable to take the wheel, and when the pilot tries to get the plane back on track, the mice and their dummy accidentally unlock the door and fall out. Pinky and Brain manage to parachute down using the dummy's now-loose head, and then continue onward using a sled and dog team.
Upon finally reaching Santa's workshop, Pinky and the Brain put on their elf costumes. They go inside for their job interview, conducted by an elf named Schotzie, who assigns them to work in the mail room. Once there, Brain adds a Noodle Noggin doll to everyone's wish lists. When Santa is given a spreadsheet listing what all the kids in the world want, he is curious as to what Noodle Noggin is and tells Schotzie to go look for the blueprints. Pinky, meanwhile, wants to process his own letter, but Brain tells him that there is no time for them to do that, since now they have to secretly place the Noodle Noggin blueprints in the design office. However, while trying to sneak there, Schotzie catches them in the act and then chases after them, during which he pulls off their fake elf ears and beards.
After catching them, Schotzie begins to interrogate the mice when one of the other elves takes a look at the Noodle Noggin blueprints Brain was carrying. Although Schotzie suspects Pinky and Brain of being spies sent by another holiday spirit to steal the blueprints, Brain goes along with Schotzie's accusation and says that the elves should get started on making the dolls. He and Pinky then escape while Schotzie is not looking and hide in the elves' toy manufacturing plant, where they see that the elves have already begun working on the Noodle Noggin dolls.
After making it out of the toy manufacturing plant, the two mice see that Santa is getting ready to take off in his sleigh. Pinky still wants to bring his letter to Santa, but again Brain exasperatedly stops him from doing so. The mice disguise themselves as two of Santa's reindeer and fly alongside the actual reindeer until they fly over Acme Labs, at which point they detach themselves and crash-land through the roof, accidentally breaking Brain's hypnotic transmitting equipment. While Santa continues distributing the Noodle Noggin dolls all over the world, Brain frantically gets to work repairing his device. But as he is doing so, Pinky finds his letter to Santa in his backpack and realizes he never got the chance to give it to him. He cries about this to Brain, but his companion is still too occupied with getting his transmitter fixed to care much about his problem.
After he has finished fixing his hypnotic transmitter, Brain orders Pinky, who is still sobbing about having failed to give his letter to Santa, to activate the power switch when the meter hits the red level. While waiting for the meter to go up, Brain takes a look at Pinky's letter and reads it:
|“|| Dear Santa,
Hello. Ha-ha, narf! This year, Santa, I ask for nothing, but I wish to tell you about my dear friend, the Brain. He is honest and very hard-working, and only wants what's best for the world. But he gets no reward. He's only greeted with defeat. He never gives up, but I know it must be very hard. So, please, take anything that you have for me and give it to my best friend in the whole world, the Brain.
P.S. By any chance, do you have in that big old bag of yours, the world?
Upon reading these touching words, Brain is overwhelmed with remorse for his behavior towards his best pal; he breaks down in silent tears and, when the time comes to broadcast his hypnotic message, simply commands everyone in the world to have a merry Christmas, and afterwards destroys his broadcasting machine. Later that day, Pinky and Brain exchange gifts; Brain gives Pinky a spellchecker, and Pinky gives Brain a key-chain with a small globe attached to it.
- This is notably the only episode of Pinky and the Brain that was animated by the Japanese animation studio TMS Entertainment.
- Brain's doll being named "Noodle Noggin" is likely a call-back to one of Pinky and the Brain's segments on Animaniacs, titled "Puppet Rulers"; in that episode, Pinky and Brain starred as characters on a Beany and Cecil parody, with Brain's character being called Noodle Noggin.
- Pinky has a flashback to a previous plan of Brain's in which they tried marketing themselves as popular toys that could be attached to car windows with suction cups. This is a reference to the Garfield plush toys that were often seen placed on car windows in the 1980s.
- Pinky tells Brain that he wants to be a dentist instead of an elf, a reference to Hermey from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
- Pinky and Brain's voice actors, Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche, said that they were in tears while recording the scene where Brain reads Pinky's letter.
- Earl Boen, who voiced Santa Claus in this episode, would reprise the role in the Buzz Lightyear of Star Command episode "Holiday Time" and the Johnny Bravo episode "A Johnny Bravo Christmas".
The special was made available on VHS by Warner Home Video on August 13, 1996. The VHS release also included another episode from the show's first season, "That Smarts". The special was later included on the Pinky and the Brain: Volume 1 DVD set, released by Warner Home Video on July 25, 2006. It has also been made available on iTunes and Amazon Instant Video.
Following its 1995 premiere, A Pinky and the Brain Christmas continued to be annually broadcast on The WB through 1999. Afterwards, it was aired on Nickelodeon and the Nicktoons Network from 2000 to 2004, and then on Toon Disney's Jetix programming block in 2007 and 2008.
|Maurice LaMarche||The Brain|
|Tress MacNeille||Dave Burl|
|Frank Welker||Bill Clinton|
|Earl Boen||Santa Claus|
- "A Pinky and the Brain Christmas" at TV.com
- "A Pinky and the Brain Christmas" at the Internet Movie Database
- "A Pinky and the Brain Christmas" at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- Platypus Comix's review