Cartoon King #2: Ren & Stimpy

March 03, 2011
Hello everybody, welcome to the second Cartoon King article. This time I will be reviewing a cartoon series that was very popular in the 90's, and it has influenced many other cartoons over the years.

The Ren & Stimpy Show
is an animated television show created by John Kricfalusi (or John K. as he is usually called). The show premiered on Nickelodeon in August 11th, 1991 (along with Doug and Rugrats), and is the third Nicktoon. The show ran for 5 seasons, and lasted from 1991-1996. It was produced by John K's animation team "Spumco" from 1991-1993, and by Nickelodeon's "Games Animation" from 1993-1996. The characters in this show are:

Ren Hoek:

Ren is a scrawny, short-tempered, insane, asthma-hound chihuahua. He isn't very nice, he's extremely greedy, he's constantly calling Stimpy names, and he hurts Stimpy whenever he messes something up, or does something stupid. Sometimes Ren squeezes Stimpy's neck, sometimes he thinks about killing him, sometimes he threatens to tear his lips off, pull his arms out of the sockets, gouge his eyes out, and laugh when he falls down. But as mean as Ren is to Stimpy, he really does care about him, and they really are best friends. Ren was voiced by John Kricfalusi in the "Spumco era", and by Billy West in the "Games era".

Stimpson "Stimpy" J. Cat

Stimpy is a fat, incredibly stupid, good-natured cat. As I have mentioned already Stimpy isn't very smart. In the episode Sven Hoek it is revealed that Stimpy's brain is about the size of a peanut. Stimpy loves Gritty Kitty Litter, and The Muddy Mudskipper Show. Despite Stimpy being stupid he does have some talents such as cooking, and inventing. Stimpy makes lots of weird inventions like the cheese-o-phone, stay-put-socks, and the happy helmet. Stimpy is voiced by Billy West (the voice of Doug Funnie, and Roger Klotz on Doug, Philip J. Fry, Professor Hubert Farnsworth, and Dr. John Zoidberg on Futurama, Rancid Rabbit, and Mr. Sunshine on CatDog, Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd on Space Jam, and Red on the M&M's commercials).

Powdered Toast Man:

Powdered Toast Man is a superhero and the spokesman for Powdered Toast. Powdered Toast Man had two episodes all about him, he has had lot's of commercials throughout the show, and has made cameo appearances in various episodes. Powdered Toast Man is voiced by Gary Owens (Space Ghost on Space Ghost and Dino Boy, and Birdman on Birdman and The Galaxy Trio)

Mr. Horse:

Mr. Horse's appearances are all just cameos. And most of them are only there so he can say his catchphrase "No sir, I don't like it". Mr. Horse is in lots of episodes and is something different in every episode. He's been a dog show judge, a spokesman for The United Nations, a tester for Gritty Kitty Litter, and a crazy guy hiding from the FBI. Mr. Horse was voiced by John Kricfalusi in the "Spumco era" and by Billy West in the "Games era".

Muddy Mudskipper:

Muddy is the star of The Muddy Mudskipper Show. Wich is Stimpy's favorite cartoon. Muddy seems to be nice on his cartoon, but in real life he is a very mean, grumpy, greedy person. And he calls almost everyone he meets a lousy bum. Muddy Mudskipper is voiced by Harris Peet

Haggis McHaggis:

Haggis is a short scottish man who is the star of a popular cartoon show. His show was the most popular cartoon, until Ren & Stimpy's popularity beat his. Haggis didn't appear until the Games Animation era, and ever since his first appearance he became one of the most common reccuring characters. Haggis McHaggis is voiced by Alan Young (Scrooge McDuck on DuckTales).

Wilbur Cobb:

Wilbur Cobb is Stimpy's favorite cartoonist. He didn't appear until the 1994 episode Stimpy's Cartoon Show, but after that episode he started to appear very often. He is a very big, very old man, and his body parts are always falling off. Wilbur Cobb is voiced by Jack Carter.

George Liquor:

George is Ren and Stimpy's master. He appeared as a main character in the 1992 episode Dog Show and in the banned episode Man's Best Friend. He also made a cameo appearance in the episode The Boy Who Cried Rat. George Liquor is voiced by Michael Pataki.

I have been a fan of this show for a long time. It has always been, and will always be one of my favorite cartoons of all time. It's definately in my top 10. This was just an amazing show. The animation was some of the best I've ever seen. The voice acting was great. And it managed to be reminicent of the classic cartoons by Chuck Jones, Bob Clampett, and Tex Avery, while at the same time being something completely new. The show was just hilarious! It was very entertaining for kids and adults. In fact, some of the humor was specifically aimed at adults.

But there is something about this show that really annoys me. It's not nothing that was actually in the show. It was something that people who watched the show did. And that was. Exaggerating about the gross-out humor. Yeah this show did have gross moments, I will admit that. Sometimes there was really sick moments, like the detailed close-ups. But people still exaggerate about it. For one thing, SpongeBob SquarePants does those gross close-ups too, and most people I've seen who exaggerated about Ren & Stimpy's grossness are SpongeBob fans. I also don't like it when people say Ren & Stimpy is gross, but Rugrats, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, Invader ZIM, and Rocko's Modern Life aren't. Even though, those shows can be just as gross, if not grosser. Now I have nothing against those shows. In fact, Rocko and SpongeBob are some of my favorite cartoons, and I liked Rugrats, Zim, and Real Monsters as well. I just don't like it when people say Ren & Stimpy is gross, and these shows aren't. When they are just as gross, and sometimes grosser than Ren & Stimpy.

Now I know most people know this story already, but I'm gonna tell it anyway. The Story Of Why John Kricfalusi Was Fired. Now what started it was an episode called Man's Best Friend. That episode was about George Liquor buying Ren and Stimpy, and training them to be champions. George was already featured in the episode Dog Show where he entered Ren and Stimpy in The All Breed Dog Show. Nickelodeon didn't like George Liquor to begin with. They hated his last name being Liquor. They hated his name so much that in the Dog Show episode you just heard him say "George ...... American!" because Nickelodeon censored it.

But that's not why John K. was fired. The reason Man's Best Friend got him fired was because of the ending wich featured Ren violently beating George with an oar. Nickelodeon banned the episode from ever airing. And that lead to Nickelodeon firing John Kricfalusi in 1993, and his last episode was The Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen wich is considered by many people (including myself) to be one of the show's best episodes.

In 1993 Nickelodeon continued making The Ren & Stimpy Show, but without John Kricfalusi. Nickelodeon made their own animation studio called "Games Animation" and the first Ren & Stimpy episode by this company was "To Salve, And Salve Not". The Games Animation episodes were mostly directed by Bob Camp. Who was one of the few people who worked on the show in the Spumco era, and stayed in the Games era. His episodes were a lot darker, grosser, they removed all Looney Tunes like settings, and there wasn't as much adult humor. Most people consider this to be the downfall of The Ren & Stimpy Show. And while I do kind of agree, I don't consider them to be bad. I think they were good, but they were inferior to the originals. Nickelodeon produced new episodes of Ren & Stimpy until 1996. The last episode was A Scooter For Yaksmas it was episode 52, and counting the shorts as individual episodes it was the 94th. So there was in all 94 Ren & Stimpy shorts, and 52 episodes. Man's Best Friend didn't air until 2003 on Spike TV.

Now it's time to fully judge The Ren & Stimpy Show. Time to say the good, and bad things about the show, and give it's rating on the scale of 100%.

1.Great animation. Some of the best I've ever seen, especially on the episode Sven Hoek. Nickelodeon was mad that it took John Kricfalusi such a long time to make an episode, but it takes time to make great animation.

2.The humor. This show had a great sense of humor. Sometimes it was crazy, surreal humor, sometimes it was gross humor, sometimes it was Tom and Jerry-style slapstick, sometimes it was very smart, and clever satire. This show was always funny, and had some of the best writers in cartoon history.

3.The characters. Ren and Stimpy have become one of the most memorable duos in cartoon history. They're up there with Tom and Jerry, Bugs and Daffy, Yogi and Boo Boo, and SpongeBob and Patrick. The supporting characters like Mr. Horse and Powdered Toast Man were great too.

4.Good music. I liked how this show mostly used classical music. There was original music too, and it was good as well, like the famous Happy Happy Joy Joy Song from the episode Stimpy's Invention, or the intro theme. The Ren & Stimpy Show had a great soundtrack.

5.Great re-watch value. Most of the Ren & Stimpy cartoons are fun to watch more than once. Now I don't reccomend watching the same episode over and over, but what I'm saying is: when you watch an episode for a second time you'll notice a joke you didn't notice before. I highly reccomend buying the DVD sets of this show.

6.Great for all ages. Now this doesn't go for every episode, as I thought Sammy and Me would most likely be frightening to younger kids. But most episodes are funny for kids and adults. Because it has the crazy humor that most kids like, and it has adult humor that most kids won't get. I'd reccomend this show for anyone who is at least over 7 years old. Or has a sense of humor.

7.Excellent voice acting. John Kricfalusi and Billy West are very talented voice actors. And most Billy West fans that know him as Fry from Futurama should remember that it was The Ren & Stimpy Show and Doug that launched his career. And let's not forget Gary Owens as Powdered Toast Man, and how many geust stars this show had.

8.It was reminicent of classic cartoons, and something completely new at the same time. Sometimes Ren and Stimpy were yaksmen in the 1800's, sometimes the were Commander Hoek, and Cadet Stimpy in the year four-hundred-billion, sometimes they were homeless bums trying to make money and get food, but most of the time they were just two best friends living in a house together. That element was something started in the golden age of cartoons, in the days of Bugs Bunny, Tom and Jerry, Mickey Mouse, and Popeye. But there was new stuff too. Never before did we see cartoon characters who actually had to go to the bathroom, actually got sick, and actually had a character who was half-toast/half-man. Ren and Stimpy is one of the most original cartoon shows of all time.

9.This show was very influental. Think of how many cartoons were influenced by this one. SpongeBob SquarePants used the same close-ups that this show started. Cow and Chicken, CatDog, 2 Stupid Dogs, Timon and Pumbaa, The Schnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show, and Catscratch are often considered to be Ren & Stimpy rip-offs. Lots of people comapare Zim and Gir from Invader ZIM, and Billy and Mandy from The Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy to Ren and Stimpy. This show has influenced lots of other cartoons. And it's influence can still be seen in cartoons today.

10.The back-up segments, By back-up segments I mean the commercials. This show had these real funny commercials that advertise fake products. The advertisements for crazy things like Log, Sugar Sod Pops, Powdered Toast, Dog Water, Sugar Frosted Milk, and Cheese Fist, were some of the funniest parts in the show.


Nope. None. Zero bad things about this awesome show. There are a very few episodes that I felt were a little lacking, but there's only a small amount of those, and I wouldn't consider that to be a flaw.

So that's it. Ten good things, zero bad things. Now time for the rating.

The Ren & Stimpy Show gets a rating of:
100% "Amazing" .
"The Ren & Stimpy Show" is a cartoon classic, it is one of the best examples of how great the Nicktoons were in the 90's, and it's one of my favorite cartoons of all time. It would for sure be in my top 10.

I highly reccomend it to anyone who likes animation, or has a sense of humor. I also reccomend buying the DVDs of this show, the DVD sets are called The Ren & Stimpy Show UNCUT: The First And Second Seasons, The Ren & Stimpy Show: Seasons Three and a Half-ish, and The Ren & Stimpy Show: Season Five and Some More of Four. Together that makes all 94 Ren & Stimpy cartoons, including the banned episode Man's Best Firend. You'll most likely be able to find them on eBay, or

So that's the end everyone. See you later.

Next time on Cartoon King, I will review Dexter's Laboratory.
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