Dexter's Laboratory: Ego Trip
|Dexter's Laboratory: Ego Trip|
|Created by||Genndy Tartakovsky|
|Directed by||Genndy Tartakovsky|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Producer(s)||Genndy Tartakovsky (supervising)|
|Running time||48 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Hanna-Barbera Cartoons|
|Original network||Cartoon Network|
|Original release||December 10, 1999|
Dexter's Laboratory: Ego Trip is an animated film based on the Cartoon Network animated television series Dexter's Laboratory. It was produced by Hanna-Barbera Cartoons for Cartoon Network and originally aired on December 10, 1999. The special follows Dexter, the series' protagonist, as he travels forward through time and meets futuristic versions of himself and his rival Mandark.
Originally intended to conclude the series, the film maintained successful ratings for the channel, despite mixed reviews from critics; it led to Cartoon Network reviving the show for two more seasons in 2001, which began that year and concluded in November 2003.
This is the final installment of Dexter's Laboratory to be animated using traditional cel animation, before switching to digital ink-and-paint beginning with the first episode of season 3, entitled "Streaky Clean", which aired on November 16, 2001.
After routinely chasing the evil Mandark (Eddie Deezen) out of his lab when he tries to steal the "Neurotomic Protocore", Dexter (Christine Cavanaugh) asks Dee Dee (Kat Cressida) to leave the lab, where she unintentionally enters a time machine stored near the entrance. Suddenly, Dexter is confronted with a group of robots that have appeared from this 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, as the robots don't attack at all. 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.
However, in the first time period he visits, Dexter finds a tall, skinny, weak version of himself (known only as "Number Twelve") working in an office designing cubicles- and Mandark is his rich, successful and abusive boss. The child Dexter berates his older self for allowing Mandark to bully him around and manages to convince him to come along to see how cool they become, but unwittingly leaves blueprints regarding the Neurotomic Protocore out in his cubicle, and Mandark steals the core 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 (Old Man 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 of science and knowledge where anything can be materialized with the power of the mind. Due to his age, Old Man Dexter can't remember how he saved the world, so they travel back in time to find out.
In the third time period, which takes 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 (Jeff Bennett), who is tall, muscular and bald, fighting Mandark's evil. Action Hero Dexter explains that he and Mandark had been employed as corporate research scientists many years ago, where a jealous Mandark had stolen many of Dexter's ideas and used them to rise through the ranks, eventually taking over the company in a coup-reducing Dexter to the weakened cubicle designing employee from the first time period. Eventually, Mandark got a hold of the Neurotomic Protocore (the kid Dexter slaps the young adult Dexter for leaving it out in the open). Mandark tried to employ the core's power, but set the core's positive flow to negative due to his incompetence, twisting his already evil mind as its now negative energies swept over the world, numbing the minds of the population and allowing him to take over the world, hoarding all science and knowledge for himself.
Dexter, no longer able to stand being enslaved and determined to stop Mandark, spent years digging underground to escape Mandark's tower, growing a large beard and huge muscles in the process. By the time he emerged, the world was in its current state. The four Dexters go back to their ruined laboratory and use its resources to build a giant robot to invade Mandark's fortress. They manage to fight their way in (thought the robot is destroyed in the process) and confront Mandark, now morbidly obese with brain matter, with his only form of locomotion being carried around his lair by a hook-and-winch. Outnumbered, Mandark summons versions of himself from the other three time periods to oppose the Dexters. A battle royal ensues, with each Dexter fighting the Mandark of their respective time period.
The fight ends with the Dexters and Mandarks stuck in a row and the child Dexter almost reaching the button to save the world; however, Dee Dee emerges from the time machine and unintentionally saves the world by pressing the button herself, reversing the waves of the Neurotomic Protocore and restoring the world’s intelligence. This causes Mandark's fortress to collapse, his head to burst open with only his brain intact, and the remaining three Mandarks to be sent back to their own time periods. The Dexters, overcome with jealous rage at having their thunder stolen by Dee Dee, create a group of five robots from the rubble to get revenge on her. The child Dexter commands them to "destroy the one who saved the future" before sending them back to the past- unwittingly setting the whole series of events in motion.
The Dexters return to their original time periods. The child Dexter returns right before he originally left, and sees himself fighting the robots he just built with his other selves. Realizing the time loop he’s created, Dexter becomes confused when he attempts to wrap his head around it all, but ultimately decides to ignore it and goes to eat a sandwich. When Dee Dee shows up, Dexter gathers up his food and walks away, still angry. Dee Dee, unaware of what she did, is left confused
Ego Trip first aired on Cartoon Network on December 10, 1999, and re-aired on New Year's Day 2000. The special was released on VHS in Region 1 on November 7, 2000, and in Region 2 on July 23, 2001. The VHS also includes the episodes "The Justice Friends: Krunk's Date" and "Dial M for Monkey: Rasslor".
Marc Bernardin of Entertainment Weekly called Ego Trip "drawn-out", saying that Dexter's Laboratory does not do as well in an hour-long format as it does in normal television episodes. Christine Cavanaugh, the voice actor for Dexter, received an Annie Award in 2000 for the category "Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Television Production" for her role in the movie.
- DeMott, Rick (December 1, 1999). "Cartoon Network to air Dexter's Lab Special". Animation World Network. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
- "Dexter's Laboratory — Ego Trip [VHS] (1996)". Amazon.com. ISBN 1560396474.
- "Dexter's Laboratory: Dexter's Ego [VHS]". Amazon.co.uk. ASIN B000059RK5.
- Bernardin, Marc (November 24, 2000). "Dexter's Laboratory: Ego Trip Review". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved 2013-01-22.
- "28th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (2000)". AnnieAwards.org. ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
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