Dexter's Laboratory is an Annie-award winning cartoon. Dexter's Lab originally ran from 1996-2001, but then had one of the worst comebacks in Cartoon Network history, which issued in the New Dexter's Lab, which ran from 2001-2003. The show is basically about this kid - 8 years old, it seems - named Dexter, who has this HUGE laboratory, but his sister Dee Dee often comes in and ruins everything in a very humorous manner.
From The Start EditThe first two episodes, Dexter's Laboratory (Pilot), and The Big Sister, aired on Cartoon Network's What-a-Cartoon show. It got popular and so, it had its own TV Show. Other shows such as The Powerpuff Girls, and Cow and Chicken also had their beginning on What-a-Cartoon. You know, lots of shows start out as small segments on another show and then they become their own show. It should also be noted that Dexter's Lab and Powerpuff Girls were quite similar, and they could be noted as "sister shows." But enough about that. In Marach 1996, the first season aired. It was quite good, it was. The second season was even BETTER. And in those times of CN, they had a block called Cartoon Cartoon Fridays. Oh Gosh, how I loved Cartoon Cartoon Fridays! Well, you can guess what day of the week it fell on, and on that day they showed episodes of the good ol' shows. Of those new episodes came a new episode of Dexter's Lab. Yessir, Dexter was so popular. There could of been no end in sight. But, as usual, no one wanted to listen to MY suggestions, so they went and cancelled the show.
From The End Edit
The last episode was "Last But Not Least", which included every single character from the show. Well, the major ones anyway. The official series finale was the movie Dexter's Laboratory: Ego Trip (for more info see below). Well, we all thought that the legend was over... and we were right! But after a brief hiatus, what looked like Dexter's Lab showed on CN in 2001, but everyone knew that it couldn't be. Everything looked all different, and Dexter even had a different translator - the great Christine Cavanaugh was replaced by the lesser-liked Candi Milo. Well, we thought this was some imposter but CN assured us that this was the real Dexter's Lab. I must of gone into a coma and didn't wake up until the next week. Well, if this was Dexter's Laboratory, then I'd have to give it a try, even if it killed me. Well, it wasn't horrible but it sure as heck wasn't the best. I myself liked the early seasons and I'm sure lots of others did too. The new Dexter's Lab didn't last as long as the Old Dexter's Lab and got cancelled, just like its predecessor. During New Dexter's run, a soundtrack was released, not to mention some video games. Well, no Newer-New Dexter's Lab followed so that OFFICIALLY ended it. The show stopped running on CN after its cancellation in 2003, like the other shows, and it was adopted by Boomerang, CN's sister network which showed old shows (Flintstones, Jetsons, e.t.c.), and currently runs at 9:30 PM every night in the U.S.
From the Film Edit
Dexter's Laboratory: Ego Trip is a 1999 hour-long movie that pretty much concluded the Old Dexter's Lab. The movie sometimes airs on Boomerang as part of "Boomerang Theater".
After routinely chasing Mandark out of his lab when he tries to steal the "Neurotomic Protocore", Dexter is confronted with a group of robots that have appeared from his time machine. They declare that they are here to destroy the one who saved the future, and make ready to attack Dexter. Dexter easily destroys them with the use of various tools and gadgets from his lab (though it should be noted the robots didn't do anything except stand there while Dexter was fighting them). However, news that he is "The One Who Saved the Future" intrigues him, and he decides to travel through time to discover how cool he is.
In the first time period he visits, Dexter finds a tall, skinny, weak version of himself working in office-designing cubicles, with Mandark as his rich, successful boss. The child Dexter unwittingly reveals the existence of blueprints regarding the Neurotomic Protocore from before in his own lab, and Mandark steals it after the two Dexters move forward in time.
In the second time period, the two Dexters meet their much older self, a wizened senior citizen Dexter about the same height as the child Dexter (and Mandark's brain in a vat who cannot do anything other than complain about his situation). All the technology from the blueprints has been implemented, creating a utopian society where anything can be materialized with the power of the mind. The old Dexter can't remember how he saved the world, so they travel back in time to find out.
In the third time period, which appears to take place between the first and second time periods, they find a dystopic world where everyone is stupid and fire and technology are forbidden, controlled by Mandark thanks to the Neurotomic Protocore. They meet action hero Dexter, who is tall, muscular and bald (senior citizen Dexter, it turns out, wears a wig), having grown the large beard and huge muscles while digging underground after Mandark stole the plans. They go back to Dexter's laboratory and build a giant robot to invade Mandark's fortress. Reaching there, they are faced by the monstrously corpulent dystopian Mandark, who has summoned versions of himself from other time periods to oppose the Dexters. A battle royale ensues, with each Dexter fighting the Mandark of his own time period.
After a battle between the Dexters and Mandarks, Dee Dee saves the world by wandering in from the open time gate and pressing the button to reverse the waves of the Neurotomic Protocore, thus creating the utopian world. The Dexters, overcome with rage, create a group of robots and tell them to "destroy the one who saved the future", and send them back through the time machine to take care of Dee Dee, unwittingly setting the whole series of events in motion. When Dexter notices this fact, he decides to ignore it and goes to eat lunch.
From the Home ReleaseEdit
Dexter's Laboratory has been released on VHS numerous times, yet has never gotten a modern DVD release like the Powerpuff Girls which had two (first season, complete series). This all changes on October 12, 2010, when CN releases a 2-Disc Season One set of the show as part of their "Cartoon Network Hall of Fame" line, which had previously released Johnny Bravo and Courage the Cowardly Dog. Take out your wallets folks and save up for this box set of a classic show!