REN& STIMPY: THE LOST EPISODES
Review by Gordon Justesen
Voices: John Kricfalusi
Creators: John Kricfalusi, Jim Smith
Audio: Dolby Surround
Video: Full Screen 1.33:1
Features: See Review
Length: 169 Minutes
Release Date: July 18, 2006
“WHO’S THE PITCHER AND WHO’S THE CATCHER?!”
When I first gazed upon The Ren & Stimpy show in the early 90s on Nickelodeon, I would’ve never imagined that over a decade later that creator John Kricfalusi had something totally different in mind when he created the show. His original plans for the show pretty much included every extreme element possible. Thus, it would be less than fitting to any animated series that was to be airing on Nickelodeon in the early 90s.
But John K. bit the bullet and delivered the series that satisfied network standards for its five year run. Having grown up on the show I can honestly say that, looking back, I’m glad that he made the show he made back then. Had it been made any other way, I wouldn’t have had so many classic cartoon memories such as The Happy Helmet and the precious board game Don’t Whiz on the Electric Fence.
But thanks to the debut of that cable channel Spike TV in the summer of 2003, John K. was finally able to unleash what he considered to be his true vision of Ren Hoek and Stimpson J. Cat. The new series, Ren & Stimpy’s Adult Party Cartoon, aired late at night and with good reason. It was basically more slapstick stupidity involving the psychotic Chihuahua and hefty cat…only elevated to near X-rated extremes.
Maybe when it all comes down to it, I might be a bit biased. However, and nothing against what John K. had originally envisioned (after all…he is the creator), but when I look back on my memories of Ren and Stimpy, I prefer remembering the edgy and crude envelope series that aired on Nickelodeon rather than the exceedingly vulgar and tasteless shenanigans that plagued these “Lost Episodes”.
Here’s a complete listing of the animated shorts included:
"Naked Beach Frenzy"
Each of these episodes are ones that have never aired on TV
"Ren Seeks Help"
"Fire Dogs, Part 2"
"Onward and Upward"
The DVD format continues to be the top presentation form for our animated heroes. The full screen presentation is as dynamic as it gets, with the animation looking ever so colorful and ever so striking. Some nice detail in many individual shots.
The same can be said of the audio presentation. The 2.0 mix provides frequent moments of dynamic sound and nice music playback. Dialogue delivery is terrifically clear as well.
Each episode features an introduction from John Kricfalusi and some members of the creative team, as well as accompanying interviews. Also featured are Animatic Tests, Pencil Tests and a glance at the storyboards. There’s even an introduction at the beginning with Weird Al Yankovic and John K.
In the end, I guess it all depends on one's perspective. If you don’t object to seeing Ren and Stimpy engaging in some extreme behavior, then these Lost Episodes may amuse you. However, if you’re like me, you’re simply better off sticking to the classic shorts from the 90s.