|“||Pinky: Gee Brain, what do you want to do tonight?
Brain: The same thing we do every night, Pinky: Try to take over the world!
|~ The Brain to Pinky almost every episode, and also their most famous lines.|
|“||Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?||„|
|~ The Brain asking Pinky if they are thinking the same thing, only to always get an idiotic response)|
The Brain (also known as Brain) is the main antagonist of Animaniacs, as well as the deuteragonist of its spinoff Pinky and the Brain and Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain.
The Brain is a lab-mouse who, upon being mutated in an experiment, gained superhuman intelligence and a desire to take over the world in order to make it a better place. However, despite his numerous claims of success, Brain never ends up succeeding at his end goals, both due to his idiotic partner Pinky and, in some ways, himself.
In the original series and the 2020 reboot, he is voiced by Maurice LaMarche, who also played Lrrr, Morbo and The Big Brain in Futurama, Father in Codename: Kids Next Door, Alec Baldwin in Team America: World Police, Mr. Big in Zootopia, Mortimer Mouse in the Mickey Mouse franchise and sometimes Yosemite Sam in the Looney Tunes franchise.
Brain is a manipulative genius with a calm and overconfident personality. He almost never loses his cool: when Pinky's clumsiness spoils his plans completely, Brain's only reaction is a brief annoyance. He also seems to be egocentric and arrogant in nature. Despite his desire to conquer the world, he truly believes he is doing it so he can make it a better place, and will never resort to murder to accomplish his goals. He does care about Pinky, even though he abuses and threatens him constantly.
There are some world domination plans he refuses to attempt: for instance, he was unwilling to use a plan selling cigarettes to children. Brain's good intentions are emphasized by his rivalry with Snowball, a hamster who also planned to conquer the world, but proved far more cruel. Brain is disgusted by Snowball's methods and goes so far as to save the world from him.
He also loves Billie, a female mouse who loves Pinky more than Brain.
Both Brain and Pinky are laboratory mice who underwent an experiment to make them rational. The experiment had different results on each of them, turning Brain into a super genius, while Pinky also becomes sentient but incredibly stupid. Brain then decided he would use his superior knowledge to take over the world and make it a better place using his intellect. He convinced Pinky to aid him in his plans, and the two of them try a new plan to achieve world domination every night, only for every one of them to fail either because of Pinky's idiocy or some other factor that Brain didn't account for.
In the 2020 series episode, "Roadent Trip", it is revealed that the reason Brain wants to take over the world was due to the cruel experiments inflicted upon him by humans when he was young, giving him a desire to be in total control of his surroundings.
- Brain's voice and character were largely inspired by famous actor/director Orson Welles, whom his voice actor, Maurice LaMarche, would often listen to while warming up. In fact, the Animaniacs short "Yes, Always", in which Brain and Pinky were hired to provide voice work for an episode of Animaniacs, was a direct parody of an infamous audio recording in which Welles heavily criticized the mediocre writing and directing of several commercials he was to voice over, with Brain quoting his complaints word for word.
- Only one of Brain's plans in the original series succeeded. He used time travel to provide Fire to Mousekind before Mankind could discover it.
- The reasoning is that Fire is the First One advantage Man had which placed them at the top of the Food Chain. Upon returning to the "present", Mousekind was indeed the dominant species on the planet. The drawback was each and everyone they saw were just like Pinky, right down to the "Narf!" catchphrase, forcing Brain to remove the changes he made to history, as, although he could rule the world, he did not want to.
- Brain eventually was successful with another plan in the reboot, having successfully brainwashed the entire world using the internet with a video of himself getting hurt, successfully taking over the world for once. However, said victory ends up being short lived as Pinky ends up sharing another video while adding Brain's mind control filter to it resulting in the duo being back where they started.