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Ren & Stimpy: Adult Party Cartoon
Ren & Stimpy Have Grown Up!
For those who remember the good old days before cartoons started to become watered down, then you might remember an old T.V. show called "Ren & Stimpy." Indeed, it seems our lovable mismatched pair of a cranky, smart mouthed and highly short tempered Chihuaha is back along with his pal Stimpy, who plays the lovable idiot. At times, the show was gross and vulgar in it's style of humor.....often border lining between gross to surprisingly brilliant.
However, if you thought those earlier episodes were a tad controversial, then you ain't seen anything yet until you've watched the lost episodes of "Ren & Stimpy", previously aired on SPIKE T.V. Like yourselves, Ren and Stimpy too have grown up over the years as well. Feeling more comfortable in terms of who they are, and exploring their sexuality.
For those who don't know, John Kricfalusi, the creator of "Ren & Stimpy", used to do animation work on such cartoons as "Tiny Toons", "Smurfs", "Snorks", "Super Friends" and many others. However, he was never quite content with the originality of most of the shows he's worked on, as he felt most cartoons generically were too limited to what they were allowed to do. As he wanted to make cartoons that literally pushed the envelope in terms of comedy. Thus, he got his chance when he directed the new, "Mighty Mouse" show which aired in 1987 to 1988. However, he didn't really get to flex his creative mind until he took on the infamous cartoon, "Ren & Stimpy." Where he not only directed the T.V. show, but he also wrote many of their episodes. Often border lining between too controversial, like the "Space Madness" episode, to the not so much "Powder Toast Man" bit. However, as controversial as some may have thought those episodes were, they were nothing to what Nickelodeon didn't allow John Kricfalusi to create, as the studio deemed them too adult oriented for Nickelodeon's target audience. Thus, they were never made.
However, years later it seems that SPIKE T.V., dedicated solely to the entertainment of men (at least that's what they claim), asked John Kricfalusi for permission to run his old "Ren & Stimpy" cartoons in syndication on there, which he happily agreed. In fact, they even wanted him to finish some of the lost episodes that Nickelodeon deemed too adult oriented for kids, at the time. Which again he agreed to it. Now many of these lost episodes were inspired by fans too, as John Kricfalusi admits that he used to receive fan mail all the time for ideas on new episodes.
One of them was the "Naked Beach Frenzy." This cartoon was inspired by the famous "Powder Toast Man" cartoon, as one of fans liked John Kricfalusi's drawings of the sexy cartoon girls in that episode. Thus, the fan requested to make an entire episode filled with sexy girls like that. Therefore, John Kricfalusi came up with the concept of what if Ren and Stimpy were at the beach. Stimpy being the lovable moron would only want to be there for the clean air and exercise. Whereas Ren, would be fixated on seeing naked girls and possibly groping them. John even wanted to show nudity on this proposed cartoon geared towards kids at the time, while using bubbles or something to cover the girls....ahem....naughty parts. Needless to say, Nickelodeon didn't like the idea and turned it down. However, SPIKE T.V. loved it, and they didn't bother telling John to have the naughty parts covered, as this episode shows full on nude cartoon girls in this. Yeah, I can see why Nickelodeon wouldn't want this episode, but it's great for adults and can be very funny as it shows off Ren's exploits in his attempt to chase girls.
Then there's the episode, "Ren Seeks Help", requested by one fan who wanted to know the origins of why Ren is so freaking crazy. As John Kricfalusi goes on to say some fans couldn't get enough of the "psycho drama" he invented with the classic episode, "Space Madness." Therefore, John creates an episode not only showing Ren's true horrific nature, but he also goes over his entire past. I know from reading this, it doesn't sound too controversial, but you'd be wrong if you thought that. Even though this episode was funny, it was also contains some of the most graphic images you'll ever see in any cartoon. Ranging from having a toad's guts spilled everywhere to a dog eating a man's hand off. Yeah, it's that violent, but it's pretty funny if you're into the whole "psycho drama", John invented back in the day like I am. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a violent person or anything. I just don't often associate reality with cartoons and/or movies. Sure, it would be disturbing if it was real life but in cartoons/movies, not so much.
Then there's the alleged rumors of Ren & Stimpy's sexuality, as some fans (especially gay right activists) assumed the characters were gay due to their close friendship. Although in the early cartoons, they never showed signs of being anything more than friends, but it seems there were some that thought they were anyway. As John quoted one of his fans saying, "I love how Ren and Stimpy would fight, but they'd always end up in the sack together!" Indeed, even though there were never any signs of homosexuality in the earlier cartoons with the exception of them sleeping in the same bed, but it seems many fans thought they were. To be honest, I never assume cartoon characters are gay, as they're not even real. However, this inspired John to create a number of lost episodes for SPIKE, where it would exploit Ren and Stimpy's alleged gay love affair such as "Stimpy's Pregnant", where Stimpy ends up carrying Ren's love child. Then there's the sequel to "Firehouse Dogs" along with the three stooges inspired, "Altruists." Oh lets not forget the episode, "Onward and Upward", where there are a few questionable adult oriented scenes involving their alleged affair with colorful metaphors, such as pitcher and catcher. (I won't go into detail over what that means as I don't want to get in trouble, but I think many of you will be able to figure that out).
Sure, the lost episodes might bother those who might be homophobic, but they're actually pretty funny if you look past that. In fact, I loved all the lost episodes, as they were just too funny to watch. When I was a kid, my brother used to say I was so weird for laughing at the earlier "Ren & Stimpy Show's" antics, but I didn't care. As it seems like the new lost episodes do just the same thing to me, while appealing to it's audiences that grew up watching them with new adult oriented humor.
Sadly, If you're looking to buy the DVD/Blue-Ray of the "Ren & Stimpy: Adult Party Cartoons", then I should tell you that it doesn't contain too many special features outside of the trailers. However, it does contain a lot of behind the scenes stuff for those who are like me, that yearn to know where these guys get their ideas. If not, then you'll be disappointed by the DVD's lack of features then.
All I can say is for those true "Ren & Stimpy" fans out there, you'll definitely love the new lost episodes. Sure, some might be offended by it's controversial violence, nude girls and homo-erotic humor, but it's pretty funny. As John Kricfalusi continues to push the boundary of humor in cartoons. Sure, many might say it all started with "Beavis and Butt-Head" when they started to push the envelope of cartoons, but they were on MTV, a network geared toward teens and young adults. However, "Ren & Stimpy" not only defined and pushed the boundaries of humor within a kid oriented network back in the day, but they also pushed the envelope even further once SPIKE allowed John's creative juices to really let loose. All I can say is, the new lost episodes were definitely worth the wait.