Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon" (a.k.a. "Ren & Stimpy's All New Adult Party Cartoon") is an animated television series created by Canadian animator John Kricfalusi for the cable network Spike (formerly TNN). The series was an adults-only-revival and spin-off of the original animated series, The Ren & Stimpy Show, which had previously aired on the American children's cable network Nickelodeon. It aired from June 23, 2003 to August 14, 2003, when Spike's entire animation block was discontinued. The series is rated TV-MA for explicit sexual dialogue.
The original series was known to be controversial, and its creator had been known for disputing content with censors. When Nickelodeon fired Kricfalusi in 1992, Nickelodeon's studio Games Animation took over the series, leading many animators to quit the series. The Ren and Stimpy Show was canceled in 1996. In 2002, Viacom hired John Kricfalusi to produce a new version of his series for an updated version of the TNN network devoted specifically to programming for male audiences. Kricfalusi said that TNN wanted an "extreme" version of The Ren & Stimpy Show. TNN gave Kricfalusi greater control of the writing and contents of the episodes than the control given by Nickelodeon. Kricfalusi produced seven new cartoons aimed at adult audiences. A few of the head storyboard artists, screenwriters, and animators returned from the original Ren and Stimpy series, such as Vincent Waller, Eddie Fitzgerald, and Jim Smith, but most of the animation and writing team were a new team of artists, specifically instructed and headed by Kricfalusi himself.
Many of the original voice cast members returned with the exception of Billy West, who said the new series wasn't funny and he believed being in it would hurt his career.Eric Bauza was hired to replace West as Stimpy. West had previously shared the role of Stimpy with Bauza for one episode of the original series, "Man's Best Friend", produced during the Spümcø era on Nickelodeon. Cast members Harris Peet and Cheryl Chase also returned, and Kricfalusi's father Mike Kricfalusi and long-time childhood friend Tom Hay provided some voices.
All of the episodes were animated at Carbunkle Cartoons, in association with Big Star Productions. Kricfalusi had previously relied upon Carbunkle during the Nickelodeon years, and he subcontracted animation of many original series episodes (including "Space Madness", "Black Hole" and "The Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen") to that studio.
In June 2003, the new series began airing as part of an animation block also featuring Gary the Rat, This Just In, Stripperella, and digitally remastered episodes of the original Ren and Stimpy series, subtitled "Digitally Remastered Classics". Kricfalusi wrote the first episode, "Onward and Upward", based on requests from fans from the Nickelodeon era. The episode portrayed the characters as bisexual: In one scene, Ren informs Stimpy, "I'm the pitcher, you're the catcher." Advertisers objected to some of the new show's content, particularly that of the risqué episode "Naked Beach Frenzy" which did not air in the show's original run, causing trouble with scheduling. The show stopped airing when Spike's animation block was "put on hold", but it was only officially canceled around November 2004.
Kricfalusi shut down his studio in Canada shortly thereafter following a lawsuit filed by Carbunkle against Spümcø in the Canadian court system.[original research?] In 2005, Kricfalusi announced that all of the Adult Party Cartoon cartoons were coming to DVD, and that the possibility exists for new The Ren & Stimpy Show episodes to be produced if DVD sales are successful.
"Man's Best Friend" was originally going to air in the second season, but the episode was banned by Nickelodeon for excessive violence, reference to tobacco, and several scatological jokes. The episode did not see airtime until Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon". Spike's official episode lineup on their website seemed to suggest that they consider "Man's Best Friend" a part of the Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon" series, but this episode in general is not counted as one of the three episodes from this series that did not air in the U.S.
"Naked Beach Frenzy" and the episodes "Altruists" and "Stimpy's Pregnant" were not aired on television in the United States (although "Onward and Upward", "Ren Seeks Help", and "Fire Dogs 2" did air), but are finished episodes released on the Ren and Stimpy: The Lost Episodes (a collection of the episodes of Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon") DVD set. Despite this, the complete series aired on various networks in other countries.
Details of the series on several sites online list various numbers of episodes. Some state that the series has nine episodes, including "Man's Best Friend" and the two parts of "Fire Dogs 2" and "Altruists". Officially, however, the series is regarded as having seven episodes.
Ren and Stimpy learn the true meaning of obedience when George Liquor takes them home with him and swears to make them "champions"; Ren and Stimpy get caught by the dogcatcher and are sent to the pound and their lives seem to be on a thin thread until a sweet girl adopts them both. (First Ren, since he looked like a poodle when Stimpy "wharfed" hairballs on him, and then Stimpy when Ren says he refuses to be adopted without him.)
"Onward and Upward"
June 26, 2003 (2003-06-26)
Tired of living inside a homeless man's mouth, Ren and Stimpy move to classy new digs: the inside of a spittoon.
^The cartoon "Man's Best Friend" was produced in 1992 but did not air until June 26, 2003 on TNN. "Big House Blues" was the classic series' original pilot. This episode does not appear on the Lost Episodes DVD set, but the separate segments appear instead on the The Ren & Stimpy Show: The First and Second Season (Uncut). When this episode aired on Spike TV, it was given a TV-MA rating.
^This is a sequel to "Fire Dogs" episode, making this a two-part episode. The second part aired on July 24, 2003. The DVD version differs from the broadcast version. In the broadcast version, the first episode features black & white live action segments with Ralph Bakshi in a Honeymooners-style framing device, the classic "Fire Dogs" cartoon, and the first several minutes of the new cartoon. The second episode is the remainder of the new cartoon. The Lost Episodes DVD set presents the new cartoon all by itself.