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REN & STIMPY
Season Five and More of Four

Review by Gordon Justesen

Voices: Billy West
Creator: John Kricfalusi
Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo
Video: Full Screen 1.33:1
Studio: Paramount
Features: See Review
Length: 390 Minutes
Release Date: September 20, 2005

“I DON’T WANNA GO TO URSA MINOR! WHAT DID I DO WRONG?!”

“WELL…I…JUST DON’T LIKE YOU.”

Shows ***1/2

As The Ren & Stimpy Show progressed since its debut in 1991, the show seem to become more about how much it could top itself in regards to gross-out humor with every episode. Midway through the second season, series creator John Kricfalusi had departed after differences between him and Nickelodeon had ignited. The show was now in the hands of Kricfalusi’s long time friend, Bob Camp, who in the final seasons went to extreme lengths to keep the stupidity and crude humor priorities number one and one.

The third Ren & Stimpy DVD package, cleverly titled Season Five and More of Four, showcases the final season and a half of the show that was no doubt the Nickelodeon network’s most edgy animated show. After its legacy with Nick, the show would soon find itself in temporary repeats on sister channels MTV and VH1. The duo would enjoy a brief return in 2003 in the form of Ren & Stimpy’s Adult Party Cartoon, which, despite having John K. in full creative control, took the show into a completely unnecessary direction.

But anyway, I’m getting way ahead of myself. Season Five and More of Four is a dynamite final DVD collection for the series, and it features many classic moments of the series entire run. About every cartoon short in the collection consists of truly bizarre storylines or, if we’re lucky, any strange excuse for a storyline. Take the first cartoon in the collection, “Double Header”, where Ren and Stimpy are hit by a bus and are brought back to life through a surgical procedure that forces the two to be Siamese twins.

And the madness doesn’t stop there. Other classic shorts in the final season and a half include “Insomniac Ren”, where Ren displays the most intense form of sleep-deprivation prior to Al Pacino in a certain detective mystery.  Insanity can also be found in the episodes, “Ren’s Brain”, “Space Dogged” and “Ren Needs Help!”.

Perhaps my single favorite short in the package is one of the final ones, titled “Big Flakes”, where Ren and Stimpy take an eager winter vacation to a log cabin in the snow-covered country. The vacation goes off the deep end almost immediately, as their station wagon crashes into the cabin upon arrival, barricading it completely with snow. This one opens with one of the funniest sight gags; a simple one with Ren driving the station wagon with his feet nowhere near the gas pedal.

Though many die-hard fans feel that the true Ren & Stimpy legacy ended when John Kricfalusi left the series, I’ve always found many classic moments of pure hilarity in about every season of The Ren & Stimpy Show. When I was a hooked viewer, I was too young to be concerned about what was going on behind the scenes of a simply cartoon. I simply watched what was given me and laughed my head off.

Though it may seem as if this will be the last we will hear from our favorite maniac Chihuahua and dumb fat cat, fans all over the world can relive every moment of the show through the miracle of DVD. Season Five and More of Four is a must have  set to cap off any fan’s complete collection of one of the most inventive and eccentric animated shows to ever be created.

Disc One features episodes:

1. Double Header / The Scotsman in Space
2. Pixie King / Aloha Hoek
3. Insomniac Ren / My Shiny Friend
4. Cheese Rush Days / Wiener Barons
5. Galoot Wranglers / Ren Needs Help!

Disc Two features episodes:

6. Ol' Blue Nose / Stupid Sidekick Union
7. Superstitious Stimpy/ Travelogue
8. Space Dogged / Feud for Sale
9. Hair of the Cat / City Hicks
10. Stimpy's Pet / Ren's Brain
11. Bellhops / Dog Tags

Disc Three features episodes:

12. I Was A Teenage Stimpy / Who's Stupid Now?
13. Schoolmates / Dinner Party
14. Pen Pals / Big Flakes
15. Terminal Stimpy/ Reverend Jack Cheese
16. A Scooter for Yaksmas
17. Sammy and Me / The Last Temptation of Ren

Video ***

As with the previous two collector’s sets, the format is the original televised Full Frame 1.33:1. And just as the past releases showcased, the video quality continues to impress as it is rendered to it’s most crisp and clear form. The distinctive animation style continues to boast the eye-catching visuals, as well as a tremendous level of color. The video quality remains one of the more surprising elements of this series release on DVD.

Audio ***

Once again, the supplied 2.0 mix does most nicely with the animated series at hand. Most of the strength in the sound performance is the use of odd music selections on the soundtrack, including the opening theme. Dialogue is heard terrifically and given the sound form, the overall presentation is a rare as-good-as-it-gets form of sound quality.

Features **1/2

Basically, the only feature supplied is commentary, but there does happen to be 13 individual commentary tracks over selected episodes. You will hear comments from the animation team at Spumco, as well as Ren and Stimpy themselves who have been kind enough to give us some of their much demanding time to comment on a few shorts.

Summary:

Ren & Stimpy make their final mark on DVD with their third 3-disc set. Season Five and More of Four brings the diabolical duo’s adventures to an unfortunate but memorable end. Any fan of the show who’s looking to collect up on each release should not hesitate to complete their collection now!

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