Dexter's Laboratory (1996–2003)

TV Series  |  TV-G  |   |  Animation, Comedy, Family
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The misadventures of a boy genius and his annoying sister.

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5   4   3   2   1   Unknown  
2003   2002   2001   1998   1997   1996  
Nominated for 4 Primetime Emmys. Another 2 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »



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Series cast summary:
 Mom / ... (78 episodes, 1996-2003)
 Dad / ... (66 episodes, 1996-2003)
 Dexter / ... (58 episodes, 1996-2003)
 Monkey / ... (52 episodes, 1996-2003)
 Valhallen / ... (47 episodes, 1996-2003)
 Dee Dee / ... (36 episodes, 1997-2003)
Allison Moore ...
 Dee Dee / ... (35 episodes, 1996-2003)


Dexter is a Boy Genius Who has a secret lab in his room his Mom and Dad don't now about it, but his older sister Dee Dee Does and they go on wacky (yet Sci-fi) Capers Written by hailey

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He skips grades. She just skips. See more »


TV-G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 April 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dexter's Lab  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the episode "Sdrawkcab", Dexter speaks backwards a few times in the show. Here are some things he says backwards: In the scene which Dexter keeps falling up and down, he says "That was close" in reverse. After Mom yells at Dexter about how she thought he was taking out the trash, he says "I did!" backwards. See more »


In the episode where Dexter is learning piano, the professor says they'll start on C, but they clearly start on F. See more »


Dee Dee: Sassy? What are your dreams?
Sasquatch: WAH!
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the credits of the 2001 season, Dexter and Dee-Dee are inside the Cartoon Network logo, Dee-Dee presses a button that makes Dexter explode. See more »


Featured in Animation Lookback: Hanna-Barbera Part 4 (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

Wonderful Show, Waning Franchise
27 November 2002 | by (Buffalo, NY) – See all my reviews

Dexter's Lab is one of Cartoon Network's best shows ever. I saw this as far back as when the pilot debuted in February 1995 on The World Premiere Toon Show (later known as The What a Cartoon Show, now The Cartoon Cartoon Show), and I remember seeing the series premiere on TNT in April 1996 (back when CN's shows were being shared on TNT & TBS). At the time the cartooning industry was making a comeback, this was one of Cartoon Network's best programs ever.

Dexter is a boy-genius who lives in the depths of suburbia, and often works in his secret laboratory (pretty big place for such a small house). But his quest for ultimate knowledge (on par with Einstein, Newton, etc.) is often squandered by his sometimes annoying sister, Dee Dee. Other characters include Mom & Dad (no real names, thus no last name for the family), Mandark (Dexter's worst enemy), plus Mee Mee and Lee Lee (Dee Dee's friends), and several more.

There are two sub-cartoons to this series. The first was Dial "M" for Monkey, a cartoon about Dexter's lab monkey, who's actually a superhero (unknown to Dexter) who saves the world from intergalactic villains. The second (and better) sub-toon is The Justice Friends. It was a cartoon about three (of total eight) superheroes living together. They were Major Glory, Valhallen, and Krunk. Both of these sub-toon were funny and cool, but I think The Justice Friends was better.

Back to Dexter's Lab, it marked the start of this "Cal-Arts" style, in where, unlike previous Cal-Arts graduates, the artists create cartoons with UPA-esque drawings (most of which are okay on their own level), mixed with emotionally compelling stories, complete with endless action movie spoofs. All thanks to Genndy Tartakovsky's brilliant supervision, and the excellent artwork of Craig McCracken & Paul Rudish. I think this show was at its best between late 1996 and late 1997, in where its art, writing, and humor was at its peak.

However, Dexter's Lab joins the list of several cartoons with a waning franchise. Its original run was from 1996 to 1998, but its new run began in November 2001.

Tartakovsky is now the executive producer, with Chris Savino now running the show. Sorry to say, but Savino is a better artist than director. These new episodes have some of the cheapest designs; unlike the older episodes, they actually look as if they've been cribbed from Kindergarden drawings! David Smith is Chris Savino's unofficial assistant, but he also makes a better artist than art director. Sorry, but even for a beginner, his designs are terrible. Plus, aside from the major character re-designs, a lot of the minor character designs are horrible. Smith has just recently been replaced by Paul Stec, whose designs are better, but not as good as the likes of McCracken or Rudish. The stories are mostly reworks of much of the classic episodes, and the jokes are few and far between. And the sub-cartoons are, if ever seldom mentioned. But some of them thankfully pick up on several concepts originally left untouched in the classic series.

Dexter's Lab had a TV movie released in December 1999, which was fine, except that its artistic quality could've/should've been better. Overall, Dexter's Lab joins Rugrats and Johnny Bravo in the list in where a cartoon had a solid run, but made an unnecessary revival, which ruins the franchise on a whole. To be fair, the new episodes did cover some lost concepts (as I said earlier). But the generally stellar material of the older episodes is sadly missing in the new Dexter's Lab episodes. Probably because most of the original artists are hard at work on the series' sister toon, The Powerpuff Girls.

The new episodes are weakening what was once a clean production. But I still enjoy watching the classic episodes of Dexter's Laboratory.

34 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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