Comic science fiction
|Created by||Genndy Tartakovsky|
|Opening theme||"Dexter's Laboratory (Main Title)"|
|Ending theme||"Dexter's Laboratory (End Title)"|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||78 (221 segments) (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Genndy Tartakovsky
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Cartoon Network Studios (as a division of Hanna-Barbera)
Cartoon Network Studios (season 3-4)
|Original channel||Cartoon Network|
|Picture format||NTSC (480i)
|Audio format||Mono (season 1-3)
Dolby Surround (season 1)
Dolby Digital (season 2-4)
|Original run||April 27, 1996– November 20, 2003|
|Related shows||What a Cartoon!|
Dexter's Laboratory (commonly abbreviated as Dexter's Lab) is an American comic science fiction animated children's television series created by Genndy Tartakovsky for Cartoon Network. The series follows Dexter, a boy-genius with a secret laboratory filled with his inventions. He constantly battles his sister Dee Dee, who always gains access despite his best efforts to keep her out, as well as his arch-rival and neighbor, Mandark. The series' first two seasons contain additional segments: Dial M for Monkey, which focuses on Dexter's pet lab-monkey-turned-superhero, and The Justice Friends, about a trio of superheroes who share an apartment.
Tartakovsky first pitched the series to Hanna-Barbera's animated shorts showcase World Premiere Toons, basing it on student films he produced while attending the California Institute of the Arts. A pilot aired on Cartoon Network in February 1995, and in August viewer approval ratings convinced the network to order a half-hour series, which premiered on April 27, 1996. By 1999, 52 episodes and a television movie had been produced, and Tartakovsky then left the series to begin work on his other projects, Samurai Jack and Star Wars: Clone Wars. In 2001, the network revived the series under a different production team at Cartoon Network Studios, and after 26 more episodes, the series ended on November 20, 2003.
Dexter's Laboratory received high ratings and became one of Cartoon Network's most popular and successful original series. During its run, the series was nominated for 4 Primetime Emmy Awards, 4 Golden Reel Awards, and 9 Annie Awards, winning 3 additional Annie Awards. The series is notable for helping launch the careers of several cartoonists, such as Craig McCracken (The Powerpuff Girls, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends and Wander Over Yonder), Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, American Dad! and The Cleveland Show), Butch Hartman (The Fairly OddParents, Danny Phantom and T.U.F.F. Puppy), and Rob Renzetti (My Life as a Teenage Robot, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, and Gravity Falls). Spin-off media include comic books, DVD and VHS releases, music albums, collectible toys, and video games.
- 1 Series overview
- 2 History
- 3 Episodes
- 4 Reception
- 5 Merchandise
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 Bibliography
- 9 External links
The series revolves around Dexter (voiced by Christine Cavanaugh in Seasons 1 & 2, and later Candi Milo in Seasons 3 & 4), a boy-genius with a secret laboratory filled with highly advanced equipment hidden behind a bookcase in his bedroom. Access to the laboratory is achieved by speaking various passwords or by activating hidden switches on his bookshelf (e.g. pulling out a specific book). Though highly intelligent, Dexter often fails at what he has set out to do when he becomes overexcited and makes careless choices. He manages to keep the lab a secret from his clueless, cheerful parents (voiced by Jeff Bennett and Kath Soucie), who never notice any evidence of the laboratory. Although he comes from a typical all-American family, Dexter speaks with a thick accent of indeterminate origin. Cavanaugh described it as "an affectation, some kind of accent, we're not quite sure. A small Peter Lorre, but not. Perhaps he's Latino, perhaps he's French. He's a scientist; he knows he needs some kind of accent." Genndy Tartakovsky explained, "He considers himself a very serious scientist, and all well-known scientists have accents."
Dexter is frequently in conflict with his hyperactive older sister, Dee Dee (voiced by Allison Moore in Seasons 1 & 3, and later by Kathryn Cressida in Seasons 2 & 4), as well as a rival boy-genius from his school named Susan "Mandark" Astronomonov (voiced by Eddie Deezen). In spite of Dexter's advanced technology, Dee Dee eludes all manner of security and, once inside, delights in playing in his laboratory, often wreaking havoc with his inventions. Though usually destructive, Dee Dee occasionally outsmarts her brother and even gives him helpful advice. For his part, Dexter, though annoyed by his intrusive sibling, feels a reluctant affection for her and will come to her defense if she is imperiled. Mandark, Dexter's nemesis, also has his own laboratory, but his schemes are generally evil and designed to gain power while downplaying or destroying Dexter's accomplishments. As the series progresses, Mandark becomes significantly more evil, with his laboratory darker-looking, industrial, and angular in contrast to his original brightly lit lab with rounded features. Because Dexter's inventions are often better than his, Mandark tries to make up for this by stealing Dexter's plans. Mandark's weakness is his love for Dee Dee, though she ignores him and never returns his affections.
Most episodes of Dexter's Laboratory are divided into three different stories or segments, each one being approximately seven minutes in length. Occasionally, the middle segment centered around characters from the Dexter's Laboratory universe other than Dexter and his family. Two of these segments were shown, primarily during the first season: Dial M for Monkey and The Justice Friends. Dial M for Monkey was the middle segment for the first six episodes of season one, and The Justice Friends took its place for the rest of the season.
The Dial M for Monkey shorts feature Dexter's pet laboratory monkey, Monkey (vocal effects by Frank Welker), whom Dexter believes is an ordinary monkey and nothing more. In contrast, Monkey secretly has superpowers and fights evil as the superhero Monkey. Monkey is joined by his partner Agent Honeydew (voiced by Kath Soucie), the Commander General (voiced by originally by Robert Ridgely and later Earl Boen), and a team of assembled superheroes. Dial M for Monkey was created by Genndy Tartakovsky, Craig McCracken, and Paul Rudish.
The Justice Friends consists of Major Glory (voiced by Rob Paulsen), Valhallen (voiced by Tom Kenny), and the Infraggable Krunk (voiced by Frank Welker), a team of superheroes who are all roommates living in an apartment complex called Muscular Arms. Most of the adventures of the trio deal less with their lives as superheroes and more with their inability to get along as roommates; it is presented as a sitcom, including a laugh track. Genndy Tartakovsky's inspiration for The Justice Friends came from reading Marvel Comics when he was learning how to speak English. Tartakovsky stated in an interview with IGN that he was somewhat disappointed with how The Justice Friends turned out, saying, "it could have been funnier and the characters could have been fleshed out more."
Between the three main segments in seasons one and two are brief mini-segments, many of which feature only Dexter and Dee Dee. Other characters from the series may star in them also, such as "The Puppet Pals", two live-action puppets named Puppet Pal Mitch (voiced by Rob Paulsen) and Puppet Pal Clem (voiced by Tom Kenny).
Influences and design
Dexter's Laboratory was inspired by one of Genndy Tartakovsky's drawings of a ballerina. After drawing Dee Dee's tall, thin shape, he decided to pair her with a short and blocky opposite, Dexter, inspired by Tartakovsky's older brother Alex. The series was animated in a stylized way, which Tartakovsky says was influenced by the Merrie Melodies cartoon The Dover Boys at Pimento University. Dexter's Laboratory, however, was staged in a cinematic way, rather than flat and close to the screen, to leave space and depth for the action and gags. Tartakovsky was also influenced by other Warner Bros. cartoons, Hanna-Barbera, Japanese mecha anime, and the UPA shorts. Tartakovsky has said the character Dexter was designed "as an icon"—his body is short and squat and his design is simple, with a black outline and relatively little detail. Since he knew that he was designing the show for television, he purposely limited the design to a certain degree, designing the nose and mouth, for instance, in a Hanna-Barbera style to animate easily.
Dexter's Laboratory, along with Cow and Chicken, Johnny Bravo, The Powerpuff Girls, and Courage the Cowardly Dog, became responsible for pushing Cartoon Network in a new direction focusing on original programming and "character-driven" cartoons. After enrolling at the California Institute of the Arts in 1990 to study animation, Tartakovsky wrote, directed, animated, and produced two short films that would become the basis for the series. Dexter's Laboratory was then made into a seven-minute pilot as a part of Cartoon Network's What a Cartoon! project, promoted as World Premiere Toons, which debuted on February 26, 1995. Viewers worldwide voted through phone lines, the Internet, focus groups, and consumer promotions for their favorite short cartoons; the first of 16 animated shorts to earn that vote of approval was Dexter's Laboratory. In August 1995, Turner ordered six half-hours of the series, which would include two cartoons around one spin-off segment titled Dial M for Monkey. The show premiered as a half-hour series on TNT on April 27, 1996, and on April 28 on Cartoon Network and TBS Superstation. Mike Lazzo, then-head of programming for the network, said that Dexter's Laboratory was his favorite of the 48 shorts, commenting "We all loved the humor in brother-versus-sister relationship".
A second season premiered on Cartoon Network on July 16, 1997. Allison Moore, the voice of Dee Dee and a college friend of Genndy Tartakovsky, left the show after the first season because she was no longer interested in voice acting. The role was subsequently recast with Kathryn Cressida. Dexter's Laboratory ended its initial run in 1998 after two seasons, with the second season lasting 39 episodes, a notable record for a single TV production season on Cartoon Network. The initial series finale was "Last But Not Beast", which differed from the format of the other episodes in that it was not a collection of cartoon shorts, but was a single 25-minute episode. In 1999, Tartakovsky returned to direct Dexter's Laboratory: Ego Trip, an hour-long television movie. This was the last Dexter's Laboratory production that Tartakovsky was involved with and was originally intended to be the final conclusion to the series. The special was hand-animated, though the character and setting designs were subtly altered. The plot follows Dexter on a quest through time as he finds out his future triumphs. Christine Cavanaugh won an Annie Award for her voice performance as Dexter in Ego Trip for "Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting By a Female Performer in an Animated Television Production".
On February 21, 2001, Cartoon Network announced the series had been picked up for a 13-episode third season. The new episodes, which ran for two more seasons, had a different production team than the originals due to Genndy Tartakovsky working on Samurai Jack and Star Wars: Clone Wars. MacFarlane and Hartman had left Time Warner altogether at this point, focusing on Family Guy and The Fairly OddParents, respectively. Beginning with season three, Chris Savino took over as the creative director for the show in the absence of Tartakovsky. Later in season four, Savino was also promoted to producer giving him further control over the show, such as the budget. This second line of episodes featured noticeably different visual designs, minor inconsistencies with the original episodes both in storyline and in visuals, and different sound effects. Christine Cavanaugh retired from voice acting in 2001 for personal reasons and was replaced by Candi Milo as the voice of Dexter for the majority of these new episodes, though Cavanaugh still voiced Dexter for the first few episodes of the third season. In addition, Allison Moore briefly returned as Dee Dee's voice before Cressida once again assumed the role.
Directors and writers on the series included Genndy Tartakovsky, Craig McCracken, Seth MacFarlane, Butch Hartman, Rob Renzetti, Paul Rudish, John McIntyre, and Chris Savino.
|Season||Episodes / (segments)||Originally aired||DVD release dates|
|Season premiere||Season finale||Region 1||Region 4|
|Pilots||(4)||February 26, 1995||April 14, 1996||October 12, 2010 (with Season 1)||February 13, 2008 (with Season 1)|
|1||13 / (39)||April 28, 1996||January 1, 1997||October 12, 2010||February 13, 2008|
|2||39 / (108)||July 16, 1997||June 15, 1998||N/A||June 11, 2008|
|3||13 / (36)||November 16, 2001||September 20, 2002||N/A||N/A|
|4||13 / (38)||November 22, 2002||November 20, 2003||N/A||N/A|
|TV movie||1||December 10, 1999||N/A||N/A|
Dexter's Laboratory broadcast 78 half-hour episodes over 4 seasons during its 7-year run. Two pilot shorts were produced for World Premiere Toons that aired in 1995 and 1996 and were subsequently fused into the series' first season. Fifty-two episodes were produced over the original run from 1996 to 1998, which was followed by the TV movie Ego Trip in 1999. An additional 26 episodes were produced and broadcast from 2001 to 2003. The short "Chicken Scratch" debuted theatrically with The Powerpuff Girls Movie in 2002 and was later broadcast as a segment in the series' fourth and final season.
On November 16, 2001, Cartoon Network aired the 12-hour "Dexter Goes Global" marathon in 96 countries and 12 languages. The marathon featured fan-selected episodes of Dexter's Laboratory and culminated with the premiere of the first two episodes of season 3. On January 16, 2006, the series began airing in reruns on Cartoon Network's sister channel Boomerang; the occasion was marked by a 12-hour Martin Luther King, Jr. Day marathon. On March 30, 2012, the series returned to Cartoon Network in the United States in reruns on the revived block, Cartoon Planet. The Canadian version of Cartoon Network airs reruns as well, with the series being featured on the channel's launch on July 4, 2012. The launch was commemorated by parent network Teletoon, which aired Cartoon Network-related programming blocks and promotions in the weeks leading up to the event, including episodes of Dexter's Laboratory.
"Dial M for Monkey: Barbequor"
The segment "Dial M for Monkey: Barbequor" aired as part of the fourth episode of the first season, but was removed from rotation after a few years of being broadcast in the United States. The short features a character named the Silver Spooner (a spoof of the Silver Surfer), which was perceived by Cartoon Network as a stereotype of gay men. In later broadcasts and on the Season One DVD (Region 1), the banned segment has been replaced with "Dexter's Lab: A Story", an episode from season two.
During the initial run of Dexter's Lab, a segment titled "Rude Removal" was produced. The short involves Dexter creating a "rude removal system" to diminish Dee Dee's rudeness; however, it instead creates highly rude clones of both siblings. The episode was only shown during certain animation festivals and was never aired on Cartoon Network due to the characters swearing, even though the swear words were censored. Tartakovsky commented that "standards didn't like it." Linda Simensky, then-vice president of original programming for Cartoon Network, said "I still think it's very funny. It probably would air better late at night." Fred Seibert, president of Hanna-Barbera Cartoons from 1992 to 1996, has attested to the existence of the short.
In October 2012, Genndy Tartakovsky was asked about the episode during an AMA on Reddit, and he replied "Next time I do a public appearance I'll bring it with me!". Adult Swim later asked fans on Twitter if there was still any interest in the episode, and the response was "overwhelming". The episode was finally uploaded on YouTube and AdultSwim.com on January 22, 2013, although it was removed after a few days.
Since its debut, Dexter's Laboratory has been one of Cartoon Network's most successful original series, being the network's highest-rated original series in both 1996 and 1997. Internationally, the series garnered a special mention for best script at the 1997 Cartoons on the Bay animation festival in Italy. In 1998 and 1999, a Dexter balloon was featured in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade alongside many other iconic characters, including the titular piglet from the movie Babe whom Christine Cavanaugh also voiced. The show was also part of the reason for Cartoon Network's 20% ratings surge over the summer of 1999. The series' July 7, 2000, telecast was the network's highest-rated original telecast of all time among households (3.1), kids 2–11 (7.8), and kids 6–11 (8.4), with a delivery of almost 2 million homes. On July 31, 2001, it scored the highest household rating (2.9) and delivery (2,166,000 homes) of any Cartoon Network telecast for that year. Dexter's Laboratory was also one of the network's highest-rated original series of 2002.
One of Cartoon Network president Betty Cohen's favorite animated shows was Dexter's Laboratory. Rapper Coolio has also said that he is a fan of the show and was happy to do a song for the show's soundtrack at Cartoon Network's request, stating, "I watch a lot of cartoons because I have kids. I actually watch more cartoons than movies." In a 2012 top 10 list by Entertainment Weekly, Dexter's Laboratory was ranked as the fourth best Cartoon Network show. In 2009 Dexter's Laboratory was named the 72nd best animated series by IGN, with editors remarking, "While aimed at and immediately accessible to children, Dexter's Laboratory was part of a new generation of animated series that played on two levels, simultaneously fun for both kids and adults."
Awards and nominations
|1995||Annie Awards||Best Animated Short Subject||Hanna-Barbera
|Best Individual Achievement: Storyboarding in the Field of Animation||Genndy Tartakovsky||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmys||Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less)||Buzz Potamkin, Genndy Tartakovsky, and Larry Huber
|1996||Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less)||Larry Huber, Genndy Tartakovsky, Craig McCracken, and Paul Rudish
for "The Big Sister"
|1997||Annie Awards||Best Individual Achievement: Writing in a TV Production||Jason Butler Rote and Paul Rudish
for "Beard to Be Feared"
|Best Animated TV Program||Hanna-Barbera||Nominated|
|Best Individual Achievement: Music in a TV Production||Thomas Chase and Steve Rucker||Nominated|
|Best Individual Achievement: Producing in a TV Production||Genndy Tartakovsky
for "Ham Hocks and Arm Locks"
|Best Individual Achievement: Voice Acting by a Female Performer in a TV Production||Christine Cavanaugh
|Primetime Emmys||Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less)||Sherry Gunther, Larry Huber, Craig McCracken, Genndy Tartakovsky, and Jason Butler Rote
for "Star Spangled Sidekicks", "T.V. Superpals", and "Game Over"
|1998||Annie Awards||Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Primetime or Late Night Television Program||Hanna-Barbera||Nominated|
|Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Television Production||Christine Cavanaugh
|Outstanding Individual Achievement for Music in an Animated Television Production||David Smith, Thomas Chase, and Steve Rucker
|Primetime Emmys||Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less)||Davis Doi, Genndy Tartakovsky, Jason Butler Rote, and Michael Ryan
for "Dyno-might" and "LABretto"
|Golden Reel Award||Best Sound Editing in Television Animation — Music||Dexter's Laboratory||Nominated|
|2000||Annie Awards||Outstanding Achievement in a Primetime or Late Night Animated Television Program||Hanna-Barbera||Nominated|
|Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Television Production||Christine Cavanaugh
as Dexter in "Ego Trip"
|2002||Golden Reel Award||Best Sound Editing in Television — Music, Episodic Animation||Roy Braverman and William Griggs
for "Momdark", "Quackor", and "Mind Over Chatter"
|2004||Best Sound Editing in Television Animation — Music||Brian F. Mars and Roy Braverman
for "Dexter's Wacky Races"
Characters from Dexter's Laboratory appeared in a 150,000-print magazine called Cartoon Network, published by Burghley Publishing and released in the United Kingdom on August 27, 1998. DC Comics printed four comic book volumes featuring Dexter's Laboratory. It first appeared in Cartoon Network Presents, a 24-issue volume showcasing the network's premiere animated programming at the time, which was produced from 1997 to 1999. In 1999, DC gave the show its own 34-issue comic volume, which ran until 2003. DC also ran a Cartoon Cartoons comic book from 2001 to 2004 that frequently contained Dexter's Laboratory stories. This was superseded by Cartoon Network Block Party, the final issue of which was released in September 2009. In February 2013, IDW Publishing announced a partnership with Cartoon Network to produce comics based on its properties. Dexter's Laboratory was one of the titles announced to be published. The first issue is due in April 2014.
Home media releases
Dexter's Laboratory first appeared in home media on three VHS tapes made widely available in the early 2000s. Episodes had not been officially released prior to this, with the exception of a complete series DVD collection given as a contest prize. Warner Brothers stated in a 2006 interview that they were "...in conversations with Cartoon Network" for DVD collections of various cartoons, among which was Dexter's Laboratory. Madman Entertainment released the complete first season and the first part of the second season in Region 4 in 2008. A Region 1 release of the first season was released by Warner Home Video on October 12, 2010. The release was the third in an official release of several Cartoon Cartoons on DVD, under the "Cartoon Network Hall of Fame" name. The complete series with the exception of the Ego Trip TV movie and the unaired "Rude Removal" segment became available on iTunes in 2010. The first two seasons of Dexter's Laboratory have been released on Netflix.
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|"Dexter's Super Computer Giveaway" DVD set||52||1999||N/A||N/A||The grand prize of a Subway promotion, this DVD includes every episode of the series as of 1999.|
|Volume 1||12||N/A||March 27, 2000||N/A||VHS includes the episodes "Dee Deemensional", "Maternal Combat", "Dexter Dodgeball", "Dexter's Assistant", "Dexter's Rival", "Old Man Dexter", "Double Trouble", "Changes", "Jurassic Pooch", "Dimwit Dexter", "Dee Dee's Room", "Big Sister", "Star Spangled Sidekicks", and "Game Over."|
|Ego Trip||1||November 7, 2000||July 23, 2001||N/A||VHS includes the made-for-TV special "Ego Trip" along with "The Justice Friends: Krunk's Date" and "Dial M for Monkey: Rasslor".|
|Greatest Adventures||8||July 3, 2001||N/A||N/A||VHS includes Genndy Tartakovsky's eight favorite episodes: "Changes", "Dexter's Rival", "Old Man Dexter", "Dexter Dodgeball", "Picture Day", "Quiet Riot", "Last But Not Beast", and "Dexter's Lab: A Story"; as well as a preview of Samurai Jack and a bonus Ed, Edd n Eddy episode: "Stop, Look and Ed".|
|Season 1||13 (episodes 1-13)||October 12, 2010||N/A||February 13, 2008||The two-disc DVD includes all episodes from season one with the exception of "Dial M for Monkey: Barbequor", which is replaced by "Dexter's Lab: A Story" on the Region 1 release. The Region 4 release includes all episodes.|
|Season 2 (Part 1)||19 (episodes 14-32)||N/A||N/A||June 11, 2008||The two-disc DVD includes the first half of episodes from season two.|
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|The Powerpuff Girls: Twisted Sister||1||April 3, 2001||N/A||N/A||"Dexter's Lab: A Story"|
|The Powerpuff Girls Movie||1||November 5, 2002||N/A||N/A||"Chicken Scratch"|
|The Powerpuff Girls:
'Twas the Fight Before Christmas
|1||October 7, 2003||N/A||November 8, 2005||"Dexter vs. Santa's Claws"|
|Scooby-Doo and the Toon Tour of Mysteries||3||June 2004||N/A||N/A||"Trick or Treehouse", "Unfortunate Cookie", and "Photo Finish"|
|Cartoon Network Halloween:
9 Cartoon Capers
|1||August 10, 2004||N/A||N/A||"Picture Day"|
|Cartoon Network Christmas:
|1||October 5, 2004||N/A||N/A||"Snowdown"|
|Toon Foolery—Laugh Your 'Ed Off!||1||N/A||Unknown||N/A||"Opposites Attract"|
|Toon Foolery—Fool About Laughing!||1||N/A||Unknown||N/A||"Blonde Leading the Blonde"|
|Cartoon Network Halloween 2:
Grossest Halloween Ever
|1||August 9, 2005||N/A||N/A||"Dee Dee's Room"|
|Cartoon Network Christmas 2:
|1||October 4, 2005||N/A||N/A||"Dexter vs. Santa's Claws"|
|Cartoon Network: Christmas Rocks||1||N/A||October 18, 2010||N/A||"Dexter vs. Santa's Claws/Pain in the Mouth/Dexter and Computress Get Mandark!"|
|4 Kid Favorites: The Hall of Fame Collection||8 (episodes 1-8)||March 13, 2012||N/A||N/A||4-disc compilation set includes Dexter's Laboratory: Season One, Disc One|
The series has spawned two music albums, Dexter's Laboratory: The Musical Time Machine and Dexter's Laboratory: The Hip-Hop Experiment, three hip hop music videos, and a fourth music video by the band They Might Be Giants for their song "Dee Dee and Dexter", which features Japanese-style animation. Three Dexter's Laboratory tracks were also featured on the Cartoon Network compilation album Cartoon Medley.
Toys and promotions
In November 1997, Wendy's promoted Dexter's Laboratory with six collectible toys in their kids' meals. A Subway promotion lasted from August 23 to October 3, 1999, and included "Dexter's Super Computer Giveaway", in which a computer, monitor, games, software, and an exclusive set of Dexter's Laboratory DVDs were given out to the winner. Discovery Zone sponsored Cartoon Network's eight-week-long "Dexter's Duplication Summer" in 1998 to promote the show's new schedule. Toy company Trendmasters released a series of Dexter's Lab figures and playsets in 2001. A set of six kids' meal toys was available as part of a May 2001 Dairy Queen promotion. That same month, Cartoon Network and Perfetti Van Melle launched the "Out of Control" promotion, which included on-air marketing and a sweepstakes to win an "Air Dextron" entertainment center. The following April, a similar promotion featured Dexter's Laboratory-themed AirHeads packs and an online sweepstakes. Subway promoted the series a second time from April 1 to May 15, 2002, with four kids' meal toys. In September 2003, Burger King sponsored Dexter's Laboratory toys with kids' meals as part of a larger promotion featuring online games, Cartoon Orbit codes, and new episodes of the series.
Six video games based on the series have been released: 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!, also for the Game Boy Advance, Dexter's Laboratory: Mandark's Lab? for the Sony PlayStation, Dexter's Laboratory: Science Ain't Fair for PC, and Dexter's Laboratory: Security Alert! for mobile phones. On February 15, 2005, Midway Games announced plans to develop and produce a new Dexter's Laboratory video game for multiple consoles, but the game never saw the light of day. Dexter, Mandark, Dee Dee, Dexter's computer, and Major Glory, along with many items, areas, and inventions from the show were featured in the MMORPG FusionFall. Various characters from the series were also featured in Cartoon Network Racing and Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion. Punch Time Explosion featured different voice talent for Dexter (Tara Strong instead of Christine Cavanaugh or Candi Milo) and Monkey (Fred Tatasciore instead of Frank Welker).
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