Dexter’s Lab Ego Trip

1999 was part of my adult life, when looking back, seems wistfully magical. I was 26 years old, married for 5 years and the father of a 5 and 2 year old (and at the airing of the film I’m writing about, was still in a renewed love affair with all things Star Wars because of the “The Phantom Menace”, but more on that soon). I had more hair on my head, WAY less on my face and my waist line was still in the low 30’s. We were all still two years from an event that definitely changed me as well as most people I know, and upon re-watching “Dexter’s Laboratory: Ego Trip” on YouTube recently, I realized just how sweet a time the late 90’s were. Never released in any format except for VHS, “Ego Trip” is a traditional hand drawn 2D animation epic that foreshadowed further greatness from the singularly genius mind of Genndy Tartakovsky, greatness that would culminate in two of my favorite TV shows of all time, Samurai Jack (2001-04) and the original Star Wars Clone Wars shorts (2003-05). With his knack for pastiche homages to every kind of animation that had come before, Tartakovsky created a kinetic tale where Dexter tries to thwart his nemesis Mandark in not just one timeline but FOUR. While the regular Dexter’s Laboratory television show was awesome in its own right with the addition of “Dial ‘M’ For Monkey” and “Justice Friends” backup cartoons, “Ego Trip” was something above and beyond the normal Dexter plot. I will always look back on this film with great fondness and a remember a time in my life when my boys and I would drop everything, pop up some Reddenbacher’s (Who am I kidding? We always got store brand popcorn!) and enjoy a thoughtful animated masterpiece.

Dexter’s Lab Ego Trip Part 1

Dexter’s Lab Ego Trip Part 2

Dexter’s Lab Ego Trip Part 3

Dexter’s Lab Ego Trip Part 4

Sean Hartter

Hartter wishes he was the love child of R. Crumb and Jack Kirby.

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