Welcome back to Halloween Specials Week here on Richard’s Weekly Journal! What would you do to fulfill your fondest dreams? How far would you go? Would you sell your soul to the devil for a single wish? The Faustian deal is a familiar story and a lot of cartoons have done it. It’s even more common, however, for someone to try to renegotiate with the Devil once he’s finished his part of the bargain. This episode has a familiar megalomaniacal mouse going up against Beelzebub himself. It’s the Pinky and the Brain Halloween special.
It’s Halloween and another of Brain’s world domination schemes has gone down the tubes thanks to Pinky. A strange man, however, comes along saying he can give Brain the world for the small payment of his soul. Brain doesn’t buy it but Pinky, feeling unwanted, decides to give himself as collateral instead. Brain becomes a king and Pinky’s taken to Hell. It’s everything the Brain always wanted. But he’s starting to rethink his deal. He wants his friend back.
Pinky and the Brain is one of those cartoons that was made for a single joke: Mice trying to take over the world. Given that I’ve said before that I hate repetitive jokes, you’d think I wouldn’t like this show very much. In this case, however, you’d be wrong. This show worked well because not only was it funny but they always found new ways to make the joke work. Their plans were different enough to all be interesting and the way those plans are foiled also are handled differently each time. (Then Elmyra joined the crew later and don’t even get me started on that. But I digress.)
This Halloween special was handled really well. As I said before, I do love a good “outsmarting the devil” story and this one was done in an interesting way. I love that it was Pinky, not the Brain, who decided to sell his soul for his friend. I thought it was hilarious when Brain kept saying that he didn’t want Pinky back but Pinky was the only one who knew where the food was. When it looks like they’ve lost, the cartoon actually manages to have a touching and heart wrenching moment. All of it was done perfectly… Except, however, for the prince of darkness himself.
I simply didn’t like the Devil’s design in this. (Or as he’s called in the show, Mr. Itch.) He’s just a guy with a mustache and tux. He was actually kind of boring for the most part except for his magic powers. The only time I really liked him is when he turned demonic for the last 2 minutes of his appearance. I wanted more of a demon-ish Devil, but we just didn’t get it. We’re left with a thoroughly uninteresting to look at guy in a suit.
Disappointing Devil aside, this was a good episode. It had really good jokes (including a hilarious running gag where Pinky likes the torture in Hell), a good premise, and at least one genuinely touching moment. It’s probably one of the best Halloween specials I’ve seen this week. I recommend giving it a watch even if you don’t remember anything about these two cartoon mice. It’ll get you in a devilishly good mood.