Dexter's Laboratory: The Complete Series... Reviewed!

Before I jump in, I have to give a thanks to WB for supplying a copy of this show for the review. My opinions are my own.

Dexter's Laboratory takes me back in time. I remember when it premiered on Cartoon Network under the "What a Cartoon!" line-up... along with Powerpuff Girls and Cow & Chicken. There may have been another show but I can't recall. Dexter's Laboratory was interesting. How interesting? Well... let's dive into the complete series and find out. Wait wait wait, before we jump in, I can't speak on interesting... without speaking on the case. I like the way they wrapped it with a cover that looks like Dexter... allowing you to see the case through his glasses. Slide it up just right, and you can see his sister sneaking through his lab. Okay, now let's... proceed!

 Story: When it comes to the story of Dexter's Lab(oratory), it revolves around... Dexter (duh of the day), who's basically Einstein in a third graders body trying to keep his lab a secret (though his sister always finds a way in).

His genius doesn't eliminate the fact that he's still a little boy, and it shows throughout the various scenarios he finds himself in on a daily basis. Speaking of his sister, Dee Dee, is definitely given the role of a complete airhead, but... she's a lot more free spirited and enjoy's childhood a lot more than Dexter. She flexes her brain power at times. He give's me the vibe of a cranky old man to a degree, with the voice of a villain. It's part of his charm though, especially when taking on different challenges that are caused by his own creations most of the time. Outside of the lab, you get to see more of those reactions and remarks, and his human side shows. One prime example is the episode when the babysitter comes over to watch him and Dee Dee. He clearly likes her, but there's an obvious age difference.

He's still Dexter, so he used his skills in a few ways in this episode when he became jealous of her boyfriend. One tactic worked out to a degree to get her and her boyfriend to temporarily split, but... he's still a small kid. So when he went to comfort the babysitter, she said "If only you were 10 years older". He did what Dexter would do, made that a reality... but he didn't take into account that his face would be covered in acne. Another example is when he was sitting on the couch watching Action Hank, he was in full kid-mode. He even hid when the antagonist appeared.

Anyway, you get 3 mini episodes packed into each episode (for the most part), and they're quite the easy watch with the comedic charm. One of the downsides to the mini episodes is the desire to see more of a particular mini episode, but... the variety is cool.  Speaking of variety, you will see scenarios like Dee Dee being transformed into Dexter's mom, a T-Rex/Pet Dog (aka Jurassic Pooch), episodes involving super heroes, etc. The episodes involving the heroes, definitely changes up the pace... it gives you a break from Dexter and Dee Dee. While reviewing the show, something dawned on me. Dexter's a little boy taking on grown men like Santa and even the freaking Janitor who throws forks at him, and literally gets into a fist fight. The janitor would totally be under the jail if that were reality, but looking at the show back then... I didn't think much of it. Crazy.

Before I speak on one of my favorite features in the show, I have to say that Mandark is the perfect villain for Dexter but I don't really care for the episodes he appears in for the most part. He's necessary though, afterall... he's the official antagonist, but... there were other go to episodes that I'd much rather watch (is all), like... Dial M for Monkey. Monkey is a bad ass super hero that Dexter believes is just a typical monkey he was unable to successfully experiment on. He has super speed, super strength, telekenisis, heat vision, telepathy, he can fly, use his mouth as a sonic ray, etc. Outside of Dee Dee and Dexter, he's one of my faves, along with Valhallen, and a few of the other Justice Friends. You will see the "Dial M for Monkey" segments tucked in here and there.

The show is well rounded with a unique premise, diverse characters, I love the superhero elements, the humor (some of which is rated PG), and the relatable themes, plus Mandark provides story progression so that there aren't just random scenarios by way of the mini episodes. On top of the episodes, Dexter's Laboratory: The Complete Series... also includes the Ego Trip movie.  Not to give it away, but... "Dexter's Laboratory: Ego Trip" is a movie that aired back on December 10, 1999. Do you remember those times? It's crazy, because it seems like it's a different world from today's time.

Anyway, the story follows Dexter as he discovers how he saved... the future, so it certainly involves time travel. He will be taking on Mandark, and there will be different Dexter's he comes in contact with. There's the young adult version of Dexter being treated like crap by his boss, Mandark. The middle-aged Dexter who is dealing with Mandark in his own way, as well as grandpa Dexter. They went hard with this film, but... I don't want to spoil it for you but it has humor, suspense, etc.

 Visuals: Visually speaking, the art style of Dexter's Lab is... on the wonky side. Their shapes are very exaggerated. Dexter is bite sized, while Dee Dee is elongated and you can see the bold lines and vibrant colors throughout the Dexterverse. The characters are easily recognizable as well, making Dexter's Lab one of the more eye catching shows from the "What a Cartoon!" lineup. You definitely get classic toon + anime look here.

The character's aren't the only vibrant things you see on the screen, the environment's fit the theme and don't fall flat. The movie's quality is enhanced, so you will see improved visuals without the art style being compromised. You get a cinematic feel from the movie, the different Dexter's stand out... along with the environments in their future setting.

 Audio: Sound wise... the show and movie are delivered in standard Dolby Digital, but... you will get enhanced audio in the film. It's more detailed and the audio effects are more immersive.

 Price: Pricewise... you can get Dexter's Laboratory: The Complete Series + Dexter's Laboratory: Ego Trip for $69.99. Solid price, no complaints... I like what they did with the box art, but (but but but... yes there is a but) I would've totally included a Dexter's Lab poster with all main and reoccuring characters. If fans are buying this... adding a poster is how you make this a steal. Speaking of steal, you can get it here for... $49.96!

Overall, Dexter's Laboratory: The Complete Series... serves as a delightful trip down memory lane, reminding us of a different era in animation while still maintaining its charm and humor for modern audiences. It's a solid show that doesn't feel outdated.

Story 5

Visuals 5

Audio 5

Price 5

5 out of 5 Cool Points