Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon"

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Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon"
Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon" title-card.jpg
Created by John Kricfalusi
Directed by John Kricfalusi
Voices of John Kricfalusi
Eric Bauza
Cheryl Chase
Harris Peet
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 6 (list of episodes)
Production
Running time 22–30 minutes
Production company(s) Spümcø
Spike Animation Studios
Release
Original network Spike
Audio format Dolby Digital 5.1
Original release June 26 (2003-06-26) – August 14, 2003 (2003-08-14)
Chronology
Preceded by The Ren & Stimpy Show

Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon" (a.k.a. "Ren & Stimpy's All New Adult Party Cartoon") was an animated television series created by Canadian animator John Kricfalusi for the cable network Spike (previously known as 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 26, 2003 to August 14, 2003, when Spike's entire animation block was discontinued. The series is rated TV-MA for explicit sexual dialogue and sexual references. The series was produced by Spümcø and Spike Animation Studios.[citation needed]

History[edit]

The original Ren & Stimpy Show aired from 1991 to 1995 on the children's network Nickelodeon. The show's creator, John Kricfalusi, had many altercations with the network,[1] eventually culminating in his termination. Nickelodeon took it upon its newly-formed animation studio to continue the series for the rest of its run.[2] About a decade after Kricfalusi's termination, in 2002, Viacom contracted him to produce a new version of his series for an updated version of the TNN network devoted to programming for male audiences. Kricfalusi said that TNN wanted an "extreme" version of The Ren & Stimpy Show.[3] 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.[4] Some 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.

Some of the original voice cast members returned, with the notable exception of Billy West, original voice of Stimpy, who said the new series wasn't funny and that participating in it would damage his career.[5] 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.

The new series began airing in June 2003 as part of an animation block also featuring Gary the Rat, 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.[4] 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.[6] The show stopped airing after three episodes when Spike's animation block was "put on hold".[7]

Kricfalusi shut down his studio in Canada shortly thereafter following a lawsuit filed by Carbunkle against Spümcø in the Canadian court system.[original research?][8] 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.[9]

Episodes[edit]

No. Title Directed By Story by Original air date Production code
1 "Onward and Upward" John Kricfalusi Vincent Waller June 26, 2003 (2003-06-26) 606
Tired of living inside a homeless man's mouth, Ren and Stimpy move to classy new digs: the inside of a spittoon after Stimpy pools his secret stash of money into it.
2 "Ren Seeks Help" John Kricfalusi John Kricfalusi & Richard D. Pursel July 3, 2003 (2003-07-03) 604
During a huge (off-screen) argument with his housemate Stimpy, Ren realizes how cruel he can be to his beloved pal and was tried to help something out for him, but Stimpy refused to get help and wanted Ren to help himself, seriously. After a depressing walk from places to places, he walks to the "help" apartment and seeks psychiatric help from Dr. Mr. Horse, to whom he tells his traumatic past, and the roots of his desire to inflict pain upon others.
3 "Fire Dogs 2" John Kricfalusi John Kricfalusi, Richard D. Pursel, Eddie Fitzgerald, Vincent Waller, & Jim Smith July 17, 2003 (2003-07-17) 605
The fire chief was so impressed with Ren and Stimpy's heroic deeds from the first "Fire Dogs" cartoon that he decides to become Ralph Bakshi and move in with them, and to also go out on a bachelor's life to eat pizza; however, Ren and Stimpy are disgusted by his habits.
4 "Naked Beach Frenzy" John Kricfalusi John Kricfalusi, Mike Kim, Jeff Amey, & Caroline J. Alvarez July 31, 2003 (2003-07-31) 601
Ren and Stimpy enjoy a day at the beach. Ren shows his respect to the superiority of the female form, forcing Stimpy to find succor in the bosom of a large foreign huckster, due to feeling offended by Ren showing attraction to a nearby female. The girls at the beach, however, seem to prefer Stimpy, causing jealousy to rage within Ren.
5 "Altruists" John Kricfalusi Vincent Waller, John Kricfalusi, Mike Kerr, Eric Bauza, Jeff Amey, & Richard Pursel August 7, 2003 (2003-08-07) 603
Ren Hoek, renowned lover of humanity, and his friend Stimpy decide that they must do everything in their power to help a couple of misfortunates; a woman and her handicapped (headless) son, by building a house for them.
6 "Stimpy's Pregnant" John Kricfalusi John Kricfalusi, Jeff Amey, Richard Pursel, Matt Roach, Steve Stefanelli, & Warren Leonheardt August 14, 2003 (2003-08-14) 602
Stimpy becomes pregnant with Ren's baby, causing Ren to at first abuse, and then respect Stimpy as a partner. Ren is at first disgusted with Stimpy's pregnancy, as he is forced to deal with his incessant loving moments with his child, such as attempting to explicitly eat for two. When Stimpy goes into labour, Ren is forced to start a driveby with other people on the highway. With help from the police, Ren and Stimpy successfully get to the hospital, where their child is delivered by Dr. Horse, only to learn that Stimpy was just constipated, although Mr. Horse does not have the heart to tell the anticipated 'parents' this and so the waste is made to behave like an infant male, and was named "Ricky".

Cancelled episodes[edit]

Because of the criticism the series had, only 6 episodes were fully produced, but these episodes were never produced. Like "Ren Seeks Help", certain episodes were based off scripts written for the Spümcø era of the original series.

  • Life Sucks (despite never being completed, the first third of the episode's storyboard and some voice work was completed) - Ren explains to Stimpy that life sucks, much to his horror. After that, they have an extensive look at life's past sufferings like the Children's Crusade.
  • The Big Switch - Stimpy can't tolerate Ren's abuse any longer and the two argue over which is better: to be an idiot or a "psychotic asshole". They finally settle the argument by making a bet that they can switch roles for a day. The episode's basic premise was loosely made in the Games Animation era (Season 5's "Who's Stupid Now?").
  • Fishing Trip - Ren & Stimpy go on a fishing trip in search of the elusive foul-mouthed bass. The episode's basic premise is loosely related to the season 3 episode "Bass Masters" and the unproduced Spümcø episode "The Wilderness Adventure."
  • The Wilderness Adventure - George Liquor takes Ren & Stimpy hunting in the deep woods. The episode was originally written for Nickelodeon, but was rejected several times. Michael Pataki was to reprise his role as George Liquor.
  • My Little Ass - Fake commercial. The script was written during when John Kricfalusi was working on the new episodes for Spike TV, but it was never made. (Source: John K. Interview - 08/19/03, WGN Radio)

Broadcast and DVD release[edit]

"Man's Best Friend" was originally set to air in the original series' second season, but the episode was rejected by Nickelodeon.[10] The episode did not air on television 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 air in the US. "Naked Beach Frenzy", "Altruists", and "Stimpy's Pregnant" did not originally air on Spike TV, though they did air on other networks overseas, including Fox in Italy. They were also released on the Ren and Stimpy: The Lost Episodes DVD set.

Reception[edit]

Adult Party Cartoon received negative reception from critics. DVD Talk wrote that "the animation and character designs show that John K. and company really have a passion for animation, but the weak stories epitomize empty, heavy-handed shock value. [...] All in all, only a few of these six uneven adventures show sparks of promise, while others fall victim to the same problems that arose when Games Animation took over: the balance between sick humor and controlled chaos just wasn't treated with respect. [...] Even with a few bright spots," the website called it "a mostly dismal affair that will sharply divide fans of the series. It's nice to know that creators can occasionally give their twisted imaginations free reign, but these six misadventures offer sufficient proof that a little restraint can go a long way."[11] PopMatters was more favorable, writing: "With snot as side dishes and vomit as gravy, the foulness is overwhelming, yet also clever. Kricfalusi's satire may be obvious, but he's not just making puke jokes for nausea's sake."[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jonathan Valania (December 18, 1992), "Ren & Stimpy Creator Isn't Laughing At Comic Book", The Morning Call 
  2. ^ "'Ren & Stimpy' go on without their creator", USA Today, September 25, 1992
  3. ^ "John K Stuff: Bio In Progress". Johnkstuff.blogspot.com. 2007-11-10. Retrieved 2015-11-08. 
  4. ^ a b Lenburg, Jeff (2006). Who's who in Animated Cartoons: An International Guide to Film & Television's Award-winning and Legendary Animators. New York: Applause Theatre & Cinema Books. pp. 187–188. ISBN 9781557836717. Retrieved 8 November 2015. 
  5. ^ "Billy West Interview". UnderGroundOnline. Archived from the original on March 4, 2008. 
  6. ^ http://archive.wgnradio.com:8080/ramgen/wgnam/shows/digilio_nick/audio/kricfalusi030819nd.rm
  7. ^ James Hibberd (November 2003). "Spike Retooling Its Toon Strategy". TelevisionWeek. Archived from the original on June 3, 2004. Retrieved 2010-12-21. 
  8. ^ "ottawabusinessjournal.com". Archive.ottawabusinessjournal.com. Retrieved 2015-11-08. 
  9. ^ "The Ren and Stimpy Show DVD news: John K. chats: talks about APC & other show DVDs, says R&SS to get 'Ultimate' DVDs with more extras!". TVShowsOnDVD.com. 2005-04-24. Retrieved 2015-11-08. 
  10. ^ Mangels, Andy (January 1993). "Hollywood Heroes". Wizard. Wizard Entertainment (17): 32. 
  11. ^ Miller III, Randy (July 17, 2006). "Ren & Stimpy: The Lost Episodes : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video". DVD Talk. Retrieved May 8, 2016. 
  12. ^ Gibron, Bill (August 4, 2006). "Ren & Stimpy: The Lost Episodes | PopMatters". PopMatters. Retrieved May 8, 2016. 

External links[edit]