The Ren & Stimpy Show (seasons 1 & 2)

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The Ren And Stimpy Show
R&S Season 1.jpeg
R&S Season 2.jpeg
Happy Happy Joy Joy!
Genre: Comedy
Surreal comedy
Slapstick
Dark comedy
Running Time: 11 or 22 Minutes
Country: United States
Release Date: August 11, 1991 - February 23, 1992 (Season 1)
August 15, 1992 - July 23, 1993 (Season 2)
Network(s): Nickelodeon
Created by: John Kricfalusi
Distributed by: Nickelodeon
MTV Networks
Starring: John Kricfalusi
Billy West
Seasons: 2
Episodes: 30


The Ren & Stimpy Show is an American animated series created by Canadian cartoonist John Kricfalusi for Nickelodeon. The series follows the adventures of the title characters Ren, an emotionally unstable chihuahua, and Stimpy, a good-natured, dimwitted cat. It premiered on August 11, 1991, as one of the original three Nicktoons, along with Rugrats and Doug. Throughout its run, the show was controversial for its off-color humor, sexual innuendos, dark humor, adult jokes, violence, and shock value. This controversy contributed to the production staff's altercations with Nickelodeon's Standards and Practices department. The show originally ended on October 20, 1996, when the final episode aired on MTV, with a total of five seasons and 52 episodes, However on August 5th, 2020 it was announced that a revival of the beloved cat and dog duo would return on Comedy Central with no release date as of now, due to slow production, being delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic and scarce of news.

Why These Seasons Are Full of Happy Happy Joy Joy!

  1. Being one of the first three Nicktoons, it is also the very first surreal Nicktoon in Nickelodeon history.
  2. It helped forever change the scope of television animation, influencing its future and starting trends that continue to be used today such as:
    • Episode title cards at the beginning of each episode.
    • Bright harmonious color palettes.
    • Strong and well-developed reliance on gross-out humor that was done right in this show, especially when you compare this to how it was always done wrong afterward, MrEnter explains this in two of his videos, the Top 10 Worst Cartoons of the 1990s and his review of this show.
    • Fantastically grotesque close-up shots that SpongeBob SquarePants would be influenced from.
    • Strong inspiration from the Golden Age of Animation.
    • Being creator-driven instead of merchandise-driven.
  3. Great, unique characters such as Ren, Stimpy, Mr. Horse, The Fire Chief, George Liquor, Sven Hoek, Powdered Toast Man, Waffle Woman, Mr. and Mrs. Pipe, Jasper, and others.
  4. The episode plots are creative.
    • Not to mention that the show can seem dumb and mindless, they put a smart way with its nonsense that it challenges the viewers' brain.
  5. Great music, especially the catchy theme song.
  6. Smooth animation, particularly in the episodes animated by Rough Draft Studios/Rough Draft Korea (The Korean-American Glendale-based animation studio that also did Nickelodeon's other and more prominent shows besides Spongebob Squarepants such as My Life as a Teenage Robot, The short-lived Catscratch, The Mighty B!, Angry Beavers, Invader Zim and Danny Phantom and Disney and their acquired 20th Century Fox's own animated popular shows and franchises such as The Simpsons, The Lion King's Timon and Pumbaa, The Owl House, Star Wars Clone Wars (2003) (Despite this show made by and premiered on Cartoon Network), The Legend of Tarzan (2001 - 2003), Gravity Falls, Amphibia, Big City Greens, Futurama, King of the Hill, Star vs. the Forces of Evil (seasons 3 & 4) (Although this show when it was first premiered in early 2015, Star vs. the Forces of Evil was at first animated by the Canadian Ottawa-based animation studio Mercury Filmworks and the Filipino-based animation studio Toon City who also did the animation for Disney's other popular shows such as Tangled: The Series, The Ghost & Molly McGee, Jake and the Neverland Pirates and Legend of the Three Caballeros and Disney's hit-or-miss show The Lion Guard and Netflix's own shows such as Hilda, Kid Cosmic and Centaurworld as well as Teletoon and Cartoon Network's 6Teen (seasons 1 & 2), Cookie Jar Entertainment and Cartoon Network's Gerald McBoing Boing and National Geographic and Noggin's Toot & Puddle before the creator/showrunner Daron Necfy and the writers passed on to Rough Draft Studios starting with season 2), Kim Possible, DuckTales (2017), Phineas and Ferb, American Dragon Jake Long, The Replacements, Milo Murphy's Law, The Critic, Dilbert, Napoleon Dynamite and recently Hailey's On It, Primos and Chibiverse and even Disney's not-so good, abysmal and obscured animated show Billy Dilley's Super-Duper Subterranean Summer (Even though this show was cringe while Rough Draft Studios was getting involved with this cartoon). Outside of Disney, 20th Century (Fox) Studios and Nickelodeon, Rough Draft Studios also did animation for WB's Cartoon Network shows including The Powerpuff Girls, Adventure Time, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Whatever Happened to Robot Jones, Squirrel Boy, Samurai Jack, Johnny Bravo (Season 3 & 4), (Although this show was originally animated by Sunwoo Entertainment before its shutdown in 2001), Sym-Biontic Titan, Camp Lazlo, The Life and Times of Juniper Lee, Codename: Kids Next Door, Steven Universe, We Bare Bears, Dexter's Laboratory and The Looney Tunes Show as well as PBS Kid's only animated show done by them so far was Dragon Tales, including MTV's Clone High (Season 1 only, before season 2 is animated recently by Canadian Toronto-based animation studio Jam-filled Entertainment (The animation studio who also did the animation for Nickeldeon's The Loud House, Netflix's cancelled cult adult-animated show Inside Job and Freeform's first and new adult-animation show Praise Petey), Shadow Machine and Atomic Cartoons (The Canadian Vancouver-based studio who did the animation for Netflix's The Last Kids on Earth, Atomic Betty, FX's Little Demon, providing additional animation for Netflix's Hilda and Disney's Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again and 101 Dalmatian Street) and even Comedy Central's short-lived adult-animated show Drawn Together) and Carbunkle Cartoons and even further animation in the revival would be done by the Philippines-based animation studio Snipple Animation (Who did the animation for Warner Bros Animation and Netflix's Green Eggs & Ham, The Proud Familly:Louder & Prouder, Warner Bros Animation and Hulu's revival of The Animaniacs, HBO Max's Jellystone!, The Boys Presents:Diabolical, Wacky Races and Disney's Hamster & Gretal), despite not being a good choice due to Snipple mistreating their former employees according to former employees' reports against the studio.
    • This was due to John Kricfalusi's policy to "draw expressively, not well" and to never draw the same expression twice, which allowed the show to stay highly fluid.
  7. Awesome voice acting. Billy West, who voices Stimpy and Ren (Seasons 3-5 only), is one example.
  8. The Last Temptation was an okay finale.
  9. It can also have heartwarming and emotional moments, not only wacky and hilarious moments.
  10. Speaking of humor, it is very enjoyable, and in good spirits.
  11. Had so many amazing songs, including the "Happy Happy, Joy Joy" song.
  12. All of the episodes remained to exist on DVD sets and internet video sites, as of 2020.
    • Also, the clips of the show returned to NickRewind's YouTube channel in October 2018, and the rest of them in February 2019. Later the show itself returned to Amazon Prime Video on March 18, 2020.
  13. Awesome and unforgettable catchphrases like "YOU EEDIOT!", "You sick little monkey!", "Oh Joy!", "You fat bloated eediot!" and more.
  14. Great homage to many animators from the Golden Age of Animation, especially Bob Clampett and Tex Avery.
  15. Many memorable episodes, such as:
    1. Big House Blues (the series' pilot, kick-starting the franchise well enough)
    2. Stimpy's Big Day
    3. The Big Shot
    4. Space Madness
    5. Fire Dogs
    6. Untamed World
    7. Stimpy's Invention (a fantastic way to end season 1)
    8. In The Army (which started season 2 on a nice manner)
    9. Man's Best Friend (the banned episode)
    10. Powdered Toast Man
    11. Rubber Nipples Salesmen
    12. Sven Höek
    13. Ren's Toothache
    14. Haunted House
    15. Mad Dog Hoek
    16. Son of Stimpy (arguably the best episode of the show)
    17. Stimpy's Fan Club
    18. A Visit to Anthony
    19. The Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen (a good way to end these seasons; and the show if it didn't continue past that)
  16. The German DVD of the complete series released in 2013 by Turbine Classics, is the first and truly uncensored DVD of the series, unlike the American DVDs released from 2004-2005, which had a lot of scenes cut out.

Eediot Qualities

  1. Even though this is one of the most beloved Nicktoons, not only of the 1990s but out of them all, it started a bad trend of gross-out shows that are still there to this day (although they are rare now). On top of that, the animation can sometimes look pretty bad.
    1. Fil-Cartoons' animation is considered the worst, due to having various animation errors, with the infamous scene of Stimpy having black eye dots in Stimpy's Breakfast Tips (though John Kricfalusi kept that in because he thought it was funny even though most thought that it isn't). Even Bob Jaques hated working with the studio (calling working with them "damage control" and had to fight tooth-and-nail for them to submit passable animation for the episode Stimpy's Invention) and caused John Kricfalusi to be credited as Raymond Spüm in Nurse Stimpy, due to the horrible quality of the animation of the episode.
    2. In some cases, both Ren & Stimpy's heights are inconsistent.
  2. Some scenes are extremely disturbing, like the notorious bedroom scene in Stimpy's Fan Club.
  3. There are many inappropriate jokes here and there, which got the show banned in Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Kenya, and so on.
  4. Ren can be unlikable at times. He even tried to execute Stimpy twice. Though thankfully, he is not as unlikable as he is in the Adult Party Cartoon" series.
  5. Due to the gross-out humor, the show often suffers from many censorship issues.
  6. The show slightly went downhill in the Games Animation era (1993-1996) after John Kricfalusi got fired from Nickelodeon for infamous things in 1992 and Bob Camp replaced him in the control of the series as creative director and supervising director. Due to this, the show suffers from more restricted animation and less clever plots and writing, as well as spawning some bad episodes. However, this era can still be enjoyable and it's not as bad as all of the episodes from Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon".
  7. Even before the Games era, the good seasons do have a fair share of bad episodes, such as:
    1. Nurse Stimpy (the first bad episode from the show)
    2. The Littlest Giant
    3. Marooned
    4. Out West
    5. Monkey See, Monkey Don't!
    6. The Cat That Laid the Golden Hairball (a lousy way to end the normal episodes in these seasons)

Reception

The Ren & Stimpy Show received widespread critical Acclaim. Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons, praised the show for its outrageousness and called it "the only good cartoon on TV" other than The Simpsons. Terry Thoren, former CEO and president of Klasky Csupo, said that Kricfalusi "tapped into an audience that was a lot hipper than anybody thought. He went where no man wanted to know before–the caca, booger humor". Jonathan Valania of The Morning Call called it "high voltage yuks and industrial-strength weirdness", John Little of the Independent described it as "a gooey media meltdown, absolutely grotesque and instantly recognisable" and did not consider it a children's cartoon".

The first season of the show currently holds a rare 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 12 reviews from critics, though the remaining seasons have not been rated.

Legacy and influence

Main article:Ren and Stimpy#Legacy and influence.

Revivals/reboots

Main article:[1].

Comedy Central reboot

Main article:The Ren and Stimpy Show#Comedy Central reboot.

Videos

Trivia

  • John Kricfalusi was very good friends with Danny Antonucci, the creator behind Cartoon Network's Ed, Edd n Eddy.
  • John Kricfalusi was accused of sexual allegations towards Katie Price and Robyn Byrd and of having child porn on his computer in 2018, which was heard from BuzzFeed to Cartoon Brew.
  • The pilot Big House Blues was in production from 1989 and finished either in the same year or 1990 before its release on cinemas and Nickelodeon's debut of the show.
  • In 2002, Ren and Stimpy were both ranked #31 in TV Guide's Top 50 Greatest Cartoon Characters list (which also included Angelica Pickles at #7 and SpongeBob SquarePants at #9). SpongeBob was notably the most recently created character to be featured on the list at the time of its publication.
  • Nickelodeon banned "Man's Best Friend" due to one scene where Ren beats up George Liquor with an oar and the cigarette reference.
  • The show has a documentary about the show called Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story, directed by Ron Cicero and Kimo Easterwood, interviewing the writers and animators of the show, Stimpy's voice actor, Billy West, John K. and Bob Camp themselves and the executive producer of The Ren & Stimpy Show, Vanessa Coffey, the documentary was made in a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo with $100.000 earned. Was released on January 28, 2020, at the Sundance Film Festival.
    • The scene where Ren expects a kiss of Stimpy on the mistletoe of this episode was originally removed by Nickelodeon, This caused a homosexual Spümcø artist to be irritated by the censorship of this episode's scene, and because of that, Nickelodeon put the scene back in this episode.
  • John was originally going to have a revival cinematic short to SpongeBob SquarePants' second movie, Sponge Out Of Water in 2014. Unfortunately, it was canceled by Paramount Pictures, due to Adult Party Cartoon's failure. The animatic of the short was released in the Cans Without Labels DVD in late May 2019 as a hidden easter egg.
  • The song "The Lord Loves a Hangin'" from the episode Out West of Season 2 was censored in the first and second seasons of DVD in the United Kingdom, because according to the British Board of Film Censors: "The subject of hanging is presented as comedic, fun, and risk-free, on the grounds of potential harm to the likely audience and by the Video Recordings Act 1984".
  • The real reason why Ren & Stimpy was canceled by Nickelodeon, was due to a budget freeze in 1995 at Viacom, which resulted in the series being canceled in the same year.
  • In 1990, the late lead singer of Nirvana, Kurt Cobain visited Spümcø and wanted to write a song for the series, but the crew thought it was awful and threw it away. Later believed their decision was a mistake due to the success of Nevermind. Existence is unconfirmed since he committed suicide in 1994.
  • Carbunkle animator and founder Bob Jaques almost died working on "Stimpy's Invention". Yes really!
  • The relationship between Ren and Stimpy was inspired by the relationship between Sourpuss and Gandy Goose from Terrytoons.
  • One of the inspirations of Stimpy, was Lynne Naylor (John K's ex-girlfriend).
  • The only episodes from Seasons 3-5 that credited John's involvement as a writer for episode scripts he wrote are "Stimpy's Cartoon Show", "A Yard Too Far", "Ren's Brain", "Bass Masters" (premise only along with Richard Pursel), and "Lair of the Lummox".
  • Seasons 3-5 had eight episodes written by John Kricfalusi (only three remained to have him uncredited), and only thirteen where he is a producer (albeit uncredited, either they were the same episodes that were written by him or episodes he was only producer before or after his termination from Nickelodeon). Therefore, only thirteen of his scripts were picked up during Games Animation's run for the series from 1993 to 1995.
  • "Magical Golden Singing Cheeses" was originally going to be in Season 1, but was canceled and rejected by Nickelodeon for reasons unknown. However, after Seasons 1-3, it was reworked into Season 4 and was heavily reworked with John K. remaining uncredited due to his firing from Nickelodeon in 1992. According to John himself, it was "mostly the same except it was "slower" than preferred, plus the giant underground was originally going to be a Lummox that was mostly cramped in space instead".
    • To date, that was the only episode made for Season 4 written by John Kricfalusi despite his termination.

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