REN & STIMPY
Seasons 3 and a Half-ish
Review by Gordon Justesen
John Kricfalusi, Billy West, Gary Owens
Creator: John Kricfalusi
Audio: Dolby Surround
Video: Full Screen 1.33:1
Features: See Review
Length: 373 Minutes
Release Date: June 28, 2005
REN, GUESS WHAT.”
going to have to…KEEL YOU?”
The psychopathic Chihuahua
and dim bulb fat cat are back for more mischief and mayhem in The
Ren & Stimpy Show: Seasons Three and a Half-ish. No other TV show has
merited a better title for a DVD package. I’ve already been informed that the
already titled Season 5 and more of 4 has been slated for release later this year.
What’s even more
interesting is the back story on these episodes, mostly regarding series creator
John Kricfalusi. As it turns out, John K., along with his company, Spumco, left
the series in late 1993 over a disagreement with network Nickelodeon over the
direction the show was going in. With the network owning all of the rights to
the show, the company Games Animation, headed by new series head Bob Camp, was
the new production company, and Billy West was doing double duty as the voices
of both Ren and Stimpy.
possible that John K. wasn’t too satisfied about his show losing its edgy
quality that the first two seasons delivered, in addition to it belonging to the
top network for kids, the question remained, had The
Ren & Stimpy Show lost any of its appeal by Season Three? By no means
whatsoever—in fact, it managed to be just as funny as its preceding seasons,
despite the wacky elements of the show having been replaced by more stupidity
and gross out gags.
Another new element
of the show was a somewhat upgraded look in the animation field. You could
clearly tell that this wasn’t the direction of Kricfalusi. The episodes had
garnered a flashy, more contemporary animated look; a look that was more at the
level of such other Nickelodeon shows as Rugrats
and Doug. While I had high
admiration for the style that John K. had brought to the show, the new look
never took away any qualities from the show.
And Ren and Stimpy
themselves were as insane and as mismatched as ever, and many of the episodes in
Seasons 3 and ˝-ish are to be forever regarded as classics. Take the very first
episode, which features the short To Salve
or Not to Salve, where in which Stimpy is persuaded by a hyper salesman to
purchase cans of a product named simply Salve, which has a solution for just
about any and every problem. Ren warns the salesman off, but he keeps popping up
at every possible turn.
Another classic is An
Abe Divided, where our two heroes take a job guarding the Lincoln Memorial,
a job that they mistook for guarding a living president. When the scheming Ren
gets word of a rumor that a treasure may be located inside Lincoln’s head, he
throws everybody out just two minutes after opening the place, determined to see
if the riches lay underneath the stone head of Lincoln, or as he’s called in
the episode, President Willard J. Fillmore.
highlights include Eat My Cookies,
which features a guest voice appearance by Rosie O’Donnell. In this one, Ren
and Stimpy become girl scouts just to enjoy a simple life of selling cookies,
but Stimpy’s obsession with getting merit badges drives Ren up the wall. Then
there’s Ren’s Bitter Half, where
in which Ren, after being zapped by Stimpy’s science experiment machine, is
split into two different personalities, his evil side and his indifferent side.
mention the weird but truly memorable I
Love Chicken, where Stimpy inexplicably falls in love with a chicken Ren has
just bought from the store. They end up getting married, though Ren hatches a
scheme to have his chicken dinner once and for all. In the world of deranged
humor, this particular episode is a landmark one.
And as a bonus,
Powdered Toast Man, voiced by the irreplaceable Gary Owens, makes a return in Powdered
Toastman vs. Waffle Woman.
Disc 1 contains
To Salve And Salve
No Pants Today
A Yard Too Far
An Abe Divided
Stimpy's Cartoon Show
Disc 2 contains episodes:
Jerry The Bellybutton Elf
Hard Times For Haggis
Eat My Cookies
Ren's Bitter Half
Lair Of The Lummox
Disc 3 contains episodes
House Of Next Tuesday
A Friend In Your Face!
Magical Golden Singing Cheeses
A Hard Day's Luck
I Love Chicken
Powdered Toast Man vs. Waffle Woman
It's A Dog's Life
While many may feel
that the first two seasons represent the true form of The Ren & Stimpy Show, I truly think that Seasons 3 and a Half-ish
contain many classic episodes to emerge from the legacy of Ren Hoek and Stimpson
J. Cat. True die-hard fans, like myself, can attest to this, and if you are such
a fan, then you owe it to yourself to pick up this superb episode collection.
Presented in its
original format, Season 3 and a Half-ish boasts the same kind of surprising
visual qualities that was seen in the Season 1 & 2 package. The animation
looks as tremendous as the format can allow it. Many distinct shots, mostly
close ups, provide some impressive visual detail. Colors are nothing short of
amazing. As was the case with the first release, this is a presentation that
fans will certainly appreciate.
The 2.0 Dolby mix,
though a limited sound format, adds up to the absolute best sound presentation
for this series that one will ever hope to find. Again, the opening theme of the
show sounds most fantastic, and additional music cues fare extraordinarily well.
Spoken words are also a big plus. Paramount has done this series very well with
Basically, the only
bonus provided is that of commentary tracks, but there are plenty of them; 11 to
be exact, and can be found on selected episodes. Not only can you hear the
comments of series creator John K. and members of the original animation team,
but on a couple of episodes, Ren & Stimpy themselves can be heard with
perhaps the most insightful commentary ever!
animated menus are extremely well done, and are in true Ren & Stimpy