The Ren & Stimpy Show (1991-96): Gone But Not Forgotten

In this episode of Gone But Not Forgotten, we take a look at the complicated legacy behind The Ren & Stimpy Show.

I’m pretty lucky; I have lived through some major pop culture events: the Tim Burton Batman films changed comic book media, the birth of Image comics, seeing how Star Trek The Next Generation birthed a new fandom, etc. But one of the biggest events was seeing how animation wouldin a few short years change forever. The Simpsons is one example of how cartoons started to break new ground. Yet, there was one cartoon that broke the world of American animation. It was gross, it was crass, it was unlike anything we had ever seen. If the Simpsons were an explosion, Ren & Stimpy were the atomic bomb. Today many popular cartoons can all trace their origins back to an insane Chihuahua and a stupid big-nosed cat. It is undeniable Ren & Stimpy changed the face of animation. However, the story behind the show’s genesis is full of rebellion, arrogance, and sadly…. pain.

Before we can learn about the creation of Ren & Stimpy we have to delve into the life of their creator John Kricfalusi. Kricfalusi was born Michael John Kricfalusi on September 9, 1955, in Quebec, Canada. John became passionate about cartoons at an early age. He was a fan of Hanna-Barbera shows and drew them constantly. As his career progressed, he was inspired by the golden age of animation, such as the classic Looney Tunes cartoons. He formed a friendship with legendary animator Bob Clampet, and he landed his first job at Filmation through this friendship. While there, he worked on classic cartoons like Fat Albert, Superfriends, and The Jetsons, but he hated it, as he felt it was creatively bankrupt. In his opinion, he was witnessing the death of animation. 

In this special episode of Gone But Not Forgotten, we take a look at how Kricfalusi’s show revolutionized animation, paving the way for shows like Rick & Morty, but how the show eventually collapsed under the legacy of its compllicated creator, with it’s legacy somewhat spoiled in retrospect. It’s a long and fascinating tale, so put on your Stupamatron helmet and get ready to learn about the origins of Ren & Stimpy.

Do you think Ren & Stimpy holds up? Let us know in the comments.

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