Cartoon King #3: Dexter's Lab

So many cartoons do this, but why did Dexter have to do it too?
March 23, 2011
Welcome to the 3rd article of "Cartoon King on Retro Junk". This time the review is on a very popular Cartoon Network show. A show that helped start the careers of a few well-known cartoonists. This show is:

Dexter's Laboratory

Dexter's Laboratory (or Dexter's Lab as it is usually called) is Cartoon Network's 3rd original animated series. It started off as a series of short-films on Cartoon Network's animation variety show What A Cartoon! in 1995. Then in 1996 it became a full thirty-minute animated series. The creator Genndy Tartakovsky produced, directed, and/or wrote most of the episodes in both seasons, and in 1999 a made-for-television-movie Dexter's Laboratory: Ego Trip premiered. I think "Ego Trip" is one of the greatest animated TV specials of all time. If it was just a little bit longer, I think it could've been released in theaters. Even though it was a shame that the series has been ended, at least it went out with a bang. Or so we thought. In 2001 Cartoon Network revived Dexter's Lab!!! HAPPY HAPPY... JOY JOY!

The new Dexter was a stinky, horrid, disgusting, nasty pile of CRAP!!!!! Now I know some people are gonna say "Change isn't always bad" or "Your gonna say it sucks just because they changed it?" well that's not the whole story with Dexter. You see these new episodes were awful, and the series really went downhill. Genndy no longer worked on the series, beacause he was busy working on his new show Samurai Jack, and because he wanted the series to end after "Ego Trip", and it really should have. The new season changed the character models, the look of everything was different, the jokes weren't as funny, and it was most likely non-canon to the original episodes due to them changing the way things happened, like the way Dexter met Mandark. Most of the episodes were just plain stupid. The only one I liked was the one with the boy band germs in everyone's ears and it made them sing. Luckily the new version of Dexter only lasted two seasons and 26 episodes. Then in 2003 the show was put out of it's misery, and it ended, like it was supposed to in 1999. Anyway, let's get to the characters:


Dexter is very smart for his age. He would even be considered a genius. But despite his skills at math and science, he is still pretty much a normal kid (unlike Jimmy Neutron). He doesn't like vegetables, he gets annoyed by his sister, and he doesn't undersatnd a lot of adult things. Dexter was voiced by Christine Cavanaugh (Chuckie from Rugrats, Gosalyn from Darkwing Duck, Oblina from Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, and Bunnie Rabbot from Sonic The Hedgehog) in the first two seasons, the movie, and the first few season 3 episodes. And by Candi Milo (Madame Foster, and Cheese from Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends, Nick from Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, and Snap from ChalkZone) for the rest of the series run.

Dee Dee:

Dee Dee is Dexter's hyper-active, annoying older sister. She is always trying to get into Dexter's lab and destroy his stuff. But whenever Dee Dee makes up some kind of crazy story, Dexter believes her. Dee Dee is remembered for her catchphrases "Hiiiii Dexter!" and "Ooooo! What does this button do?" She also had an imaginary friend named Koosy. Koosy is of a species Dee Dee made up called a koos-a-la-goop-a-goop. Dee Dee was first voiced by Alison Moore in season 1, then by Kathryn Cressida in season 2 and 3, then Alison Moore returned for the fourth, final season.


Dad is Dexter and Dee Dee's somewhat childish father. It is never revealed what his real name is, so that's why I'm just gonna call him Dad. He loves watching golf on TV. In fact, one episode was about him trying to watch a game of golf, but always having some sort of distraction. Dad is a great, and really funny character. Dee Dee sort of seems to be Dad's favorite, of course he'll never admit that, but it's pretty obvious. It is revealed in The Muffin King that the only reason he married Mom is because of the muffins she makes. Dad is voiced by Jeff Bennet (the voice of the title character on Johnny Bravo, Raj, Samson, and Commander Hoo-Ha on Camp Lazlo, Peter Puppy, and the narrator on Earthworm Jim, and Cave Guy, and Candlejack on Freakazoid!)


More of Mom's personality can be seen in Dexter than Dee Dee. Such as her being sort of a perfectionist, and how just like Mom is smarter than Dad, Dexter is smarter than Dee Dee. Mom is always seen wearing her yellow rubber gloves, and in one episode she freaks out when they're missing. Just like Dad, Mom's real name is never said. Mom is voiced by Kath Soucie (Phil, Lil and Betty DeVille on Rugrats, Sally Acorn on Sonic The Hedgehog, Miriam Pataki on Hey Arnold! and Princess What's-Her-Name on Earthworm Jim)


Mandark is Dexter's arch-rival. First appearing in the episode Dexter's Rival, Mandark is as smart, and mabye even smarter than Dexter. He also has a lab similar to Dexter's except it looks more like an evil lair. Mandark isn't in every episode, he is more of a reccuring character than a main character. Mandark also has a huge crush on Dexter's sister Dee Dee. Something Dexter really takes advantage of. Mandark is voiced by Eddie Deezen.

There are also back-up segments like "Dial M For Monkey" and "The Justice Friends"

I liked these segments, but they weren't as good as the Dexter cartoons, and I don't think they would've worked out as shows by their-selves.

As I mentioned earlier this show launched the career of a few well-known cartoonists. It didn't completely start their animation careers, but it was one of the first full animated TV shows they worked on. Some of these cartoonists are:

Seth MacFarlane, (creator of Family Guy, American Dad!, and The Cleveland Show)
Rob Renzetti, (creator of My Life As A Teenage Robot)
Butch Hartman, (creator of The Fairly Odd Parents, Danny Phantom, and T.U.F.F. Puppy)
and Craig McCracken (creator of The Power Puff Girls, and Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends). Even Genndy himself later created Samurai Jack, Star Wars: Clone Wars, and more recently Sym-Bionic Titan.

The first two seasons of this show were brilliant. If it stayed the way it was, I would say it's one of my favorite cartoons of all time, but sadly Chris Savino's episodes are unforgivable. They're really that bad. The first two seasons were very well-written, the animation looked a lot better, and Christine Cavanaugh was a better Dexter. But that doesn't mean the show isn't still overall a good show, because it is. The greatness of the old ones over-power the new ones. And there were more episodes of the original Dexter than the crappy new Dexter. So now time for the good things, bad things and the rating.

1.Very good characters. I love all the characters in this show. I love how even though Dexter is a genius, he is still very gullible. And I like how Dee Dee is pretty much a parody of how most young girls act. Great characters that sadly weren't as good in the newer episodes.

2.Very clever, very funny jokes, and parodies. This show is FULL of pop-culture references. It parody's everything from Anime to Dungeons & Dragons, from Chuck E. Cheese to Star Trek. And the jokes that aren't parodies are great too, but remember this is just the 1996-1998 episodes. Those ones are always fun to watch.

3.Great voice acting. Christine Cavanaugh, Kath Soucie, and Jeff Bennet are some of my favorite voice actors / actresses, and I think this show is some of their best work. An other one of my favorite voice actors, Rob Paulsen plays Major Glory on the Justice Friends segments. And he does great. Sadly in 2001 Christine Cavanaugh quit voice acting.

4.Ego Trip. Dexter's Laboratory: Ego Trip is the greatest TV movie I've ever seen. And it was a great way to end the series.... until Chris Savino came in and ruined it.... AAAAGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!

5.The animation. Now I'm a fan of Genndy's animation style, I don't know why, but there's something about it that I like. Anyway in this show everything moves nicely, and the character models look good too. I've never found an animation mistake yet, but when Chris Savino came in he changed the way all the characters looked, and it just didn't feel the same with the new way everything looked.


1.The Chris Savino era. His episodes SUCKED! They weren't funny, they removed the back-up segments, the charcters looked all-wrong, and the plots were just weak and stupid. Luckily after only two seasons this awful abomination to the original Dexter's Lab was canceled, and the show was finally put out of it's misery.

So there you have it! 5 really good, good points, and 1 horrible bad point.

I would rank Dexter's Lab a 100%, but the Chris Savino era happened, and it was awful, so.....

I rank Dexter's Laboratory an:
83% "Great"

Good-bye, I hope you liked the article.


Earthworm Jim
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