The Ren & Stimpy Show (Seasons 1-3)
The Ren & Stimpy Show is an American animated series created by John Kricfalusi for Nickelodeon. The series follows the adventures of 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 innuendo, dark humor, adult jokes, and violence. This controversy contributed to the production staff's altercations with Nickelodeon's Standards and Practices department. The show ended on October 20, 1996, when the final episode aired on MTV, with a total of five seasons and 52 episodes.
Why These Seasons Rock
- It helped to forever change the scope of television animation, influencing the future of it and starting trends that are continued 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 would be influenced from.
- Strong inspiration from the Golden Age of Animation.
- Being creator-driven instead of merchandise-driven.
- Great, unique characters such as Ren, Stimpy, and Mr. Horse.
- The episode plots are creative.
- Great music, especially the catchy theme song.
- Smooth animation, particularly in the episodes animated by Rough Draft Studios and Carbunkle Cartoons.
- 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.
- Awesome voice acting. Billy West, who voices Stimpy and Ren (Seasons 3-5 only), is one example.
- "The Last Temptation" was an okay finale.
- It can also have heartwarming and emotional moments, not only the wacky and hilarious moments.
- Speaking of humor, it is very enjoyable and in good spirits.
- Had so many amazing songs, including the "Happy Happy, Joy Joy" song.
- All of the episodes remained to exist on DVD sets and internet video sites, as of 2020.
- Also, the clips of the show returned in 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.
- Awesome catchphrases like YOU EEDIOT!, You sick little monkey!, Oh Joy!, You fat bloated eediot! and more.
- Great homage to many animators from the Golden Age of Animation, especially Bob Clampett and Tex Avery.
- Many memorable episodes, such as:
- "Big House Blues" (the series' pilot)
- "Stimpy's Big Day"
- "The Big Shot"
- "Space Madness"
- "Fire Dogs"
- "Untamed World"
- "Stimpy's Invention"
- "Man's Best Friend" (the banned episode)
- "Powdered Toast Man"
- "Out West"
- "Rubber Nipples Salesmen"
- "Sven Hoek"
- "Haunted House"
- "Mad Dog Hoek"
- "Son of Stimpy"
- "Stimpy's Fan Club"
- "A Visit to Anthony"
- "The Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen"
- "To Salve and Salve Not"
- "A Yard Too Far"
- "Circus Midgets"
- "Ren's Pecs"
- "An Abe Divided"
- "Stimpy's Cartoon Show"
- "Jimminy Lummox"
- "Ren's Bitter Half"
- "Powdered Toast Man Vs. Waffle Woman"
- "My Shiny Friend"
- "Ren Needs Help!"
- "Ol' Blue Nose"
- "Bell Hops"
- 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 in the 2000s, which had a lot of scenes cut out.
- The animation can sometimes look pretty bad.
- 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 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 being credited as Raymond Spüm in "Nurse Stimpy", due to the horrible quality of the animation of the episode.
- Some scenes are EXTREMELY disturbing like this one.
- Many of the jokes are inappropriate for their target audience.
- The infamous "It's a Dog's Life" and "Aloha Höek" episodes.
- Ren can be unlikable at times. He even tried to execute Stimpy twice.
- Some episodes have some scenes cut from the original episodes either for censorship by unfair reasons or were cut out to keep up the time slot.
- The show went downhill in the Games Animation era (1993-1996) after John Kricfalusi got fired from Nickelodeon for infamous things in 1992 and Bob Camp replacing 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 horrible episodes.
Episodes With Their Own Pages
- 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 TTSW and for 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.
- Nickelodeon banned "Man's Best Friend" due to one scene where Ren beats up George Liquor with an oar.
- 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.
- Originally was going to have a revival cinematic short to SpongeBob SquarePants' third movie, Sponge on the Run (previously It's a Wonderful Sponge) in 2020. But 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.
- Nickelodeon almost banned the "Son of Stimpy" episode, but Vanessa Coffey loved the episode so much, decided to keep the episode instead.
- The scene where Ren expects a kiss of Stimpy on the mistletoe of this episode was originally being removed by Nickelodeon, this caused a homosexual Spümcø artist to be irritated by the censorship of this episode's scene, because of that, Nickelodeon put the scene back in this episode.
- In an interview in 2004 to the DVD of the first and second seasons, when John Kricfalusi was asked about Ren & Stimpy are gay, he said: "I don't know they are gay or not. That's their own business." However, he confirmed Ren & Stimpy are gay in an interview with San Francisco Examiner in 1997: "Totally. In Ren's case, it's not completely by choice. He'd rather have a beautiful human woman if he could get away with it. Since he can't, Stimpy's easy. Stimpy's madly in love with Ren."
- The song "The Lord Loves a Hangin'" from the episode "Out West" of Season 2 was censored in the first and second seasons 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 cancelled by Nickelodeon, was due to a budget freeze in 1995 at Viacom, which resulted in the series being cancelled in the same year.
- In 1990, 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.