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Ren & Stimpy: The Lost Episodes
DVD disk
Aug 1, 2006 By: Quigles
Ren & Stimpy: The Lost Episodes order
Director:
John Kricfalusi

Actors:
John Kricfalusi
Eric Bauza

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
This new DVD set contains 6 "lost" episodes (3 of which previously appeared on Spike TV under the label of "Ren & Stimpy 'Adult Party Cartoon"). This time though, the series is back to its roots, with John Kricfalusi back in control as the director.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Woah... As excited as I was to check out these brand-spanking new "lost" episodes, I probably should've taken better note of the "Adult Party Cartoon" label on the packaging. The 6 episodes featured here are as excessively gross and raunchy as they can be, loaded to the brim with non-stop gay jokes, gross-out humor (lots of it involving vomit, poo, snot, etc.), cursing, nudity, and just plain insanity. The insanity I love, but to be honest, maybe it was better that John Kricfalusi was toned down for the show's run on Nickelodeon. I once thought of this man as a genius, but now... I'm not sure. I mean, his philosophy on these episodes seems simply to be, "More more more!!!" That may sound good at first, but once you see it on-screen, it becomes obvious that much of the genius from original REN & STIMPY series (sans anything after seasons 1 and 2) came from its' subtleties, as well as it not being as intensely "in-your-face" as possible. That's not to say there is nothing of quality in these more recent installments. In fact, these episodes are loaded with some terrific and downright classic moments... It's just that, in between all the jokes involving Ren and Stimpy having sex with each other (and other humor of that nature), it was sort of hard to appreciate them on the same level as before.

If you were one of those people who watched the original series' first two seasons and wished that the creators would just be as outrageous as possible with their episodes, then you will probably be 100% satisfied with these. As much as I enjoy offensive and raunchy humor, the way it was done here just didn't do much for me. Here's a little about each of the six episodes:
  • Naked Beach Frenzy: (a.k.a the "nudity-filled" episode) The wacky pair go the beach where Ren has a good time admiring the "view", so to speak. There are a few funny and worthwhile moments here ("SHAMPOO MASTER!!!"), but overall, this is a pretty lousy episode. Most of the jokes simply involve chicks taking their tops off... Not that I have a problem with that, but c'mon - it's a friggin cartoon. It's sort of hard to get enjoyment out of watching cartoon females get naked (unless of course you're a fan of hentai).
  • Stimpy's Pregnant: (a.k.a. the "gay-jokes-abound" episode) There are a slew of hilarious moments to be found here, although the second half of the episode goes rather downhill. Also, the gay jokes got old fast. Still, this is one of the better episodes of the six.
  • The Altruist: (a.k.a. the "gag-a-second" episode) My favorite episode of the six, featuring Three Stooges-esque gags and tons of wackiness. A few of the jokes fall very flat, but overall, I was definitely happiest with this installment, which feels a lot like the original series.
  • Ren Seeks Help: (a.k.a. the "Ren-to-the-extreme" episode) This is my second favorite episode, partially because it feels a lot like the original series, and partially because it just has some of the best jokes of the bunch (many of which involve Ren being one demented puppy).
  • Firedogs 2: (a.k.a. the "Ralph Bakshi" episode) This "sequel" has Ralph Bakshi as the fire chief taking control of most of the episode, while Ren and Stimpy take a back seat for many of the scenes. To be honest, I think I was sitting uncomfortably for about half of it, and only mildly chuckling through the rest. Not a great episode at all.
  • Onward & Upward: (a.k.a. the "gross-out" episode) There was plenty of stuff presented here that I simply loved, but once the scenes involving the spittoon finally kicked it, I sort of stopped laughing. This episode is just sort of gross for the sake of being gross, and that doesn't exactly equal funny unless you find a way to make it so... they didn't find one.
Overall, these episodes just try too hard to go "all out", and in the end, it just leaves some very awkwardly unfunny instances. I did rather enjoy watching them anyway though, partly for the classic humor that was hidden within the grossness, partly for the memories it brought back, and partly for the kickass animation (it's even better now!). If you're a big fan and have a high tolerance for all things "extreme", then you should enjoy this set.
THE EXTRAS
There are some nice quality special features here, most of which don't need much explanation. Just keep in mind that each episode comes complete with an introduction by John Kricfalusi lasting between 5 to 10 minutes, as well as interviews discussing different aspects of that particular episode.

Weird Al / John Kricfalusi Introduction (9:19): The DVD starts off with Weird Al discussing the raunchiness of these new episode, and then follows with John K. giving a little background on how these episodes came to be. Cool.
    Naked Beach Party
  • Introduction
  • Interview
  • Animatics
  • Pencil Tests
  • Storyboards and Episode Side-by-Side
  • Character Drawings
    Stimpy's Pregnant
  • Introduction
  • Interview
    Altruists
  • Introduction
  • Interview
    Ren Seeks Help
  • Introduction
  • Pencil Test & Episode Side-by-Side
  • "Frog Torture" Animatic
  • Interview
  • Character Drawings
    Firedogs 2
  • Introduction
  • Interview
    Onwards & Upwards
  • Introduction
  • Interview

Miscellaneous:

DVD Insert: On one side, John K. is surrounded by cartoon characters, and on the other is a message directed to the fans. Very nice. It's also worth mentioning here that the actual cover art for the DVD is also pretty slick looking - it's obvious people really put a lot of effort into this set.

Also included are a number of DVD Previews.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
These episodes aren't terrible by any means, but personally, I still feel they are light-years behind anything from seasons 1 and 2 of the original REN & STIMPY series. I'm very glad to have watched them, and it was pretty damn cool to see my favorite cartoon duo updated with beautiful animation, but I really could've done without the excessiveness of it all. Regardless, dedicated fans should check this 2-disc set out anyway, as there are still some worthy moments within each episode.
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