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Dexter's Laboratory poster.jpg

Original Promo Poster for Dexter's Laboratory (1995)

Logo-dexter

The shows logo.

Dexter's Laboratory is an Emmy award-winning American animated television series created by Genndy Tartakovsky and produced by Cartoon Network Studios (also co-produced with Hanna-Barbera from 1996–2001). The show is about a boy named Dexter who has an enormous secret laboratory filled with an endless collection of his inventions. The series premiered in the United States on Cartoon Network on April 28, 1996; the last new episode premiered in 2006. As of 2006, Cartoon Network's sister channel Boomerang has also been airing the series.

The series initially debuted on the What A Cartoon! show as a cartoon short and later became the first of said program to be adapted into its own series. Each 22-minute episode consists of two to three segments (with the exception of the initial series finale). Dexter's Laboratory originally ended in 1998 after 52 episodes, but it was later revived for a TV movie, and, even later, 4 more seasons featuring a different production team.

As of March 30, 2012, the series has returned to Cartoon Network in re-runs on the revived block, Cartoon Planet. The series originally aired on YTV in Canada. As of May 5, 2012, Dexter's Laboratory will be moved to Teletoon, airing Saturdays at 12:30PM ET, in favor of the launch of Cartoon Network.

Production

Dexter's Laboratory was inspired by one of Genndy Tartakovsky's drawings of a ballerina. After drawing her tall and thin shape, he decided to pair her with a short and blocky opposite, Dexter. In 1991, he made his first "Dexter" short. On February 20, 1995, Dexter's Laboratory made its first run on the What a Cartoon! Show. In March 1996, the first season began airing. Directors and writers on the series included Genndy Tartakovsky, Rumen Petkov, Craig McCracken, Seth MacFarlane, Butch Hartman, Rob Renzetti, Paul Rudish, Mark O'Hare, John McIntyre and Chris Savino.

Dexter's Laboratory ended its initial run in 1999, with the series finale being the episode "Last But Not Beast," but re-entered production in 2001. The new episodes, which ran for two more seasons, had a different production team than the originals, since Genndy Tartakovsky was busy working on Samurai Jack and Star Wars: Clone Wars. The second series featured new character and background designs, alternative storyline and character backgrounds, and different sound effects (which were mostly all classic Hanna-Barbera sound effects) and featured the transition from traditional cel animation to digital ink-and-paint. Also, Dexter's voice actress changed from Christine Cavanaugh to Candi Milo.

In the United States, the show currently airs on Cartoon Network's sister, Boomerang, every night at 8pm (Eastern Standard Time). It aired on Cartoon Network on June 8, 2008 on the That's Nacho Chip Marathon on 12:30 P.M, and aired again on June 22, 2008 at 1:15pm during the You Big Baby Marathon.

Premise

The series revolves around a boy genius named Dexter, who has a secret laboratory filled with highly advanced equipment hidden behind a bookshelf in his bedroom. Access to this never-ending laboratory is achieved by speaking various passwords or by activating hidden switches on the bookcase (such as pulling out a specific book). Dexter is normally in conflict with his ditzy older sister, Dee Dee, who has an uncanny talent for gaining access to Dexter's lab despite his best efforts to keep her out. Dee Dee eludes all manner of security and, once inside, delights in playing in the lab, often destroying his inventions and creations. For reasons left unexplained, Dexter manages to keep the lab a secret from his clueless, cheerful parents, and in the beginning of the show, Dee Dee is the only other character to know about his lab. In several episodes, however, he is forced to reveal his lab to his parents, although such episodes always end with his parent's memories being wiped.

Dexter has an arch-nemesis, a boy named Susan "Mandark" Astronomonov. Often Mandark, through fraud or (rarely) by coincidence, attempts to take credit for Dexter's achievements. Mandark is also secretly in love with Dee Dee. In the later seasons, after the revamp, Mandark becomes significantly more evil, his laboratory dark-looking and spiky (instead of the bright, cartoony lab featuring a Death Star from earlier seasons) and his plans more diabolical and nasty. It was shown in an episode that when Mandark was referred to as "Susan" Dexter mocked Mandark for looking like a girl and this sparked his hatred toward Dexter.

The show's humor derives in part from Dexter's essentially one-sided and intense rivalry with his sister (in which Dexter, although brilliant, never gets the upper hand) and from exaggerated stereotyping of his high intelligence and social awkwardness. Much absurd and surreal humour is used as well. Dexter also speaks with a Russian accent while his parents speak with distinctive American accents.

The show breaks the time-honored TV rule of returning the characters and situation to the status quo at the end of each episode; most episodes end in an unresolved state with no easy solution offered for returning the characters to normal; e.g. Dexter is a mutated mass of protoplasm , a large tentacled monster attacks the house, there are multiple clones of Dexter and Dee Dee running around, the entire lab self-destructs and is completely gone, Dexter destroys the lab and is later turned into a sandwich, etc. However, each episode always begins from the accepted "normal" premise of the program.

An hour-long special, Ego Trip, aired on Cartoon Network in 1999, in which Dexter travels through time and meets several of his future selves. Ego Trip was originally supposed to conclude the series, but two additional seasons followed.

Backup Segments

Two short segments ran in between episodes during 21-minute slots called "Dial M for Monkey" and "The Justice Friends". These segments existed within the Dexter's Laboratory universe and main characters from either "show" appeared in actual episodes regularly. The episodes of the first half of Season 1 of the Dexter's Laboratory included the Dial M for Monkey segment in between two of the Dexter's Laboratory episodes. The last half of Season 1 included a Justice Friends segment in between the two Dexter's Laboratory episodes. Monkey often appeared in the Justice Friends segments and vice versa, teaming with his fellow superheroes.

Dial M for Monkey

The Dial M for Monkey shorts feature Dexter's lab monkey, Monkey (played by Frank Welker), who (unknown to Dexter) has superpowers and fights evil with his partners. One episode, "Barbequor," caused a controversy and eventually led to that episode's banishment because of its portrayal of gay stereotypes. "Barbequor" was the second Dexter's Laboratory episode to be banned, first one being "Dexter Dodgeball." Monkey revealed his secret to Dexter in the all-star episode Last But Not Beast, only to erase his memories afterward. The segment's title derives from Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder . It may also reflect the DC Comics' backup feature "Dial H for Hero ."

The Justice Friends

Justice Friends intro

The Justice Friends intro card.

Major Glory, Valhallen, and Krunk are all room mates who live in an apartment complex. Most of the adventures of the Justice Friends deal with the three trying to balance out their superhero adventures while just trying to keep their composure living in the house. They have also appeared on at least one episode of The Powerpuff Girls, thereby tying the "universes" of those two shows together. Most of these adventures play out like a sitcom along with a laugh track, used in a satirical manner. The segment's title likely derives from the DC Comics superhero organization The Justice League and its sanitized animated cartoon version, Super Friends. The three main characters are based on the Marvel Comics characters of Captain America, Thor, and Hulk. Valhallen's name comes from "Valhalla," the spiritual plane of Norse mythology (Valhallen frequently refers to himself as the "Viking God of Rock") and Eddie Van Halen.

Both of these segments crossed over into episodes of Dial M For Monkey. In addition to Agent Honeydew and Monkey, The three superheroes are seen in action along with additional superheroes, similar to the large amount of Justice League members in "Challenge of the Superfriends".

The Puppet Pals Show

A TV series seen in the apartment of Major Glory, Valhallen, and Krunk called "The Puppet Pals Show" (or simply "TV Puppet Pals") is seen as a few small segments with live-action puppets. One of the cartoons featuring Dom DeLuise's character Koosalagoopagoop has an opening similar to the two main back up segments.

Mini-Segments

Mini-Segments are short segments of the show that will appear after some episodes. They will have short joke that is about a few seconds long that features Dexter and Dee Dee doing somthing funny.

Characters

Main Characters

Dexter - The Main Protagonist of the series. He is a boy genius who has a secret laboratory that he keeps a secret from his parents. He is always working in his laboratory making a new invention and going on wild adventures every time he makes a cereation.

Dee Dee - Dexter's high-spirited ditzy older sister who is always breaking into his laboratory and destroying all of his inventions. She is always messing up his inventions and ruining his plans. Dee Dee enjoys doing frilly girly things and she is also a ballerina.

Mandark - Dexter's worst enemy. He is also a boy genius with his own secret laboratory. Mandark is jealous of Dexter for being smarter than him and they are always getting into fights. 

Mom - Dexter's Mother. Dexter is usually running into trouble with keeping his laboratory a secret from her and he always has to create diversions and think of plans to keep her away from finding out.

Dad - Dexter's happy-go-lucky father who is always loking on the bright side of things. His stupidity is what keeps him oblivious to Dexter's Laboratory.

Recurring Characters

Douglas E. Mordecai III - Dexter's best friend. He is a nerd just like him who shares the same interests as he does. The two of them do nerdy things together. They will also go on adventures and will usually have struggles along the way and will try to get their way out of trouble. Douglas and Dexter are often times getting bullied because they are nerds and sometimes they prove to the bullies that they are really cool.

Koosalagoopagoop - Koosalagoopagoop also known as Koosy or Koss is Dee Dee's imaginary friend who is a stupid and annoying rainbow happy imaginary dragon who lives in an imaginary land called Koosland. Dee Dee is sometimes going to Koosland and playing around with him in there going on adventures of her own. Sometimes, she brings him out into the real world and he annoys Dexter. Dee Dee kepps Koosalagoopagoop a secret from her parents the same way Dexter does with his laboratory.

Lee Lee and Mee Mee - Dee Dee's two best friends who are almost exactly like her. They go to the same dance class as her and are always playing with her and doing girly things. Sometimes, Lee Lee and Mee Mee tend to be as dumb as Dee Dee and they annoy Dexter by coming into his lab too, but other times, they seem to be smarter than Dee Dee.

Oceabird and Windbear - Oceanbird and Windbear are Mandark's Mom and Dad. The two of them are stereotypical hippies who do not understand Mandark's craving for evil and science or even his love for Dee Dee. They are always making Mandark do hippie rituals along which annoys him and alot of the time, gets in the way of his plans to destroy Dexter.

Episodes

Main Article: List of Episodes

Media

Ego Trip

Main article: Ego Trip

Ego Trip is an Annie Award -winning one-hour animated television special spawned from the Cartoon Network  animated television series Dexter's Laboratory, produced by Hanna-Barbera (now Cartoon Network Studios) for Cartoon Network, and aired in 1999.

Music videos

see also|Groovies Four music videos were made in 2002 and had occasional airings between shows on Cartoon Network. One was a mock-anime video sung by They Might Be Giants called Dee Dee and Dexter.

The other three were rap songs which were released on a compilation album:

  • Back to the Lab (by Prince Paul) A pop art video highlighting the walkway sequence of a stern Dexter, marching presumably back to his lab. The video consisted of various clips and animation derived from the series' later seasons.
  • Secrets (by will.i.am): will.i.am singing/rapping within a color-tinged record studio, with Dexter bumping his head and mixing up beats on a turntable in the background.
  • Dexter (What's His Name) (by Coolio): A pseudo "live" performance, essentially Coolio freestyle-rapping beside Dexter on an animated stage before a large cheering crowd composed of a host of Cartoon Network characters.

Dexter's Laboratory: The Hip Hop Experiment

Infobox Album | Name = Dexter's Laboratory: The Hip Hop Experiment | Type = Compilation album | Artist = Various artists | Cover = Dexterslabhiphopexperiment.jpg | Released = August 20 2002 | Recorded = | Genre = Hip hop music|Hip hop | Length = | Label = Cartoon Network | Producer = | Reviews = | Last album = | This album = | Next album =

Dexter's Laboratory: The Hip Hop Experiment, a complintation album featuring songs by various hip hop artists inspired by the series, was released on August 20, 2002. The track listing for the CD are as follows:

  1. "Dexter's Laboratory Opening Theme"
  2. "Secrets" - will.i.am
  3. "Dexter (What's His Name?)" - Coolio
  4. "Love According to Dexter" - Phife Dawg, introducing Slick E. Rose
  5. "Sibling Rivalries" - De La Soul
  6. "Mandark's Plan" - YZ
  7. "Back to the Lab" - Prince Paul

Video games

Four games were released to tie in with the series, Dexter's Laboratory: Robot Rampage for the Nintendo Game Boy Color, Dexter's Laboratory: Chess Challenge for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance, Dexter's Laboratory: Deesaster Strikes! for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance, and Dexter's Laboratory: Mandark's Laboratory? for the Sony Playstation all developed and produced by the now defunct[1] publisher BAM! Entertainment.

DVD Release

Title Release date Episodes
The Complete Season 1 February 19, 2008[2] (AUS) 1-13
This two-disc release includes all thirteen episodes from the first season and contains the two pilot episodes "Changes" and "Big Sister," as well as a limited edition door hanger.
Title Release date Episodes
Season 2 (Part 1) June 11, 2008[3] (AUS) 14-32
This two-disc release includes the first half of episodes from the second season.
Title Release date Episodes
Season 2 (Part 2) October, 2008 (AUS) 33-52
This two-disc release includes the second half of episodes from the second season.

Note: No US or UK release has yet been announced. -

References

  1. {{
  2. Cartoon Network on DVD - Dexter's Laboratory Season 1 (2 Disc Set)
  3. Cartoon Network on DVD - Dexter's Laboratory Season 2 Part 1 (2 Disc Set)

External links

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