The Ren & Stimpy Show (S4 and S5)
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Ren Höek, a miserable chihuahua with the world’s worst case of neurosis, and Stimpson J. Cat, the feline equivalent of a six year-old with ADD, are a mix between The Odd Couple and an old married couple. With Ren’s lunatic outbursts and Stimpy’s optimistic stupidity, the two endure various misadventures—horrendous jobs, get-rich-quick schemes, and the occasional bout of complete insanity.
It’s been 10 years since THE REN AND STIMPY SHOW went off the air and I still can’t believe they actually showed this on Nickelodeon.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
In the early 90’s, creator John Kricfalusi and his animation team, SpumCo, cultivated their own brand of irreverent, wacky, random and gross animation. Most episodes of REN AND STIMPY devolve in to complete mindless nonsense and the majority of the laughs are derived from a consistent stream of fart jokes, rampant animal nudity, and every bodily function imaginable. If you ever wanted to see a buffalo shit out an igloo, you’re in luck. (Now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write).
When I was a kid, REN AND STIMPY was just starting out and I watched it religiously. (The Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen anthem was recited every day in my fourth grade class.) I would howl with laughter whenever something nasty and painful happened on the show. And now, years later, my tastes may have broadened, but I sadly admit to still finding this kind of ridiculous humor funny. That being said, I don’t think this set, comprised of the second half of Season Four and all of Season Five, is quite as good as I remember. In 1993, Nickelodeon fired Kricfalusi after two seasons and the show gradually went downhill. A lot of the jokes are less humorous, merely weird and random for the sake of being really weird and really random. Some of the cartoons feel like they go on a bit long on a thin premise . And somehow, after watching 30+ episodes, Ren’s hyper-spastic screaming got on my nerves a bit more than it used to.
Nevertheless, you can’t accuse SpumCo of lacking creativity, a quality I can definitely appreciate in comparison to the current wave of crappy children’s cartoons. This DVD set is filled with some of the series’ best characters, including Powdered Toast Man, the Angry Scotsman, Chef Chicken (who cooks himself whilst giving instructions), and my personal favorite—Stinky Whizzleteats!
Long live Stinky Whizzleteats!
The 33 episodes are broken up on to three DVDs. The only major extra on all the discs is Commentary on 13 episodes, most featuring creator John Kricfalusi and various directors and animators. While I wish they had done more, the commentaries we do get are pretty great. Kricfalusi is hilarious and tells tons of great behind-the-scenes stories. He also isn’t afraid to call out the morons who fired him from his own show, often making remarks about how the animation in later seasons doesn’t look as good, as well as offering advice on how he would’ve made these episodes better and funnier. There is also one commentary track featuring Ren and Stimpy themselves, coming to terms with the fact that they’re on a TV show.
In addition, we also get Previews for SOUTH PARK and CHAPPELLE's SHOW DVDs.
This collection is still entertaining and somewhat funny, but it’s not quite the same Ren and Stimpy I remember. The commentaries are all kinds of awesome, but I suspect they could've sprung for a few more special features. However, if you’re heavy on the nostalgic side, or weird and vulgar humor desperately appeals to you, then THE REN AND STIMPY SHOW might just bring a little happy, happy, joy, joy to your hairy SpumCo ass. You eediot!