Created by John Kricfalusi
Ren & Stimpy: The Lost Episodes was a horrible DVD, plain and simple.
Back in the early 90s, the exploits of Ren Höek, a chihuahua, and his best 'friend' Stimpson J. Cat (a.k.a Stimpy), a car, were a big deal on Nickelodeon. Ren is fairly psychotic, and Stimpy is a simpleton who generally backs his way into good fortune. Ren enjoys beating on Stimpy at any chance and the two of them love to yell. Created by John Kricfalusi the show was definitely an original, but a highly controversial one. After a very short time, Nickelodeon fired Kricfalusi and the show quickly fell apart. Years later, Kricfalusi is back with the kinds of episodes he couldn't have shown on television.
I was a fan of the original Ren & Stimpy. I found the show to be rather ridiculous but also fairly funny. It was rather obvious when Kricfalusi was fired because the episodes went downhill. The original season was very entertaining but with all the behind the scenes stuff, the show sadly never went anywhere. But as it turns out, those behind the scenes squabbles actually made the show better. With Nickelodeon breathing down his neck, Kricfalusi was forced to somehow get the risqué humor in through subtle means. It's a lot harder but ultimately, more rewarding. What we see in The Lost Episodes is so obvious it's boring.
The first episode is entitled 'Naked Beach Frenzy' and has more cartoon nudity than I've ever seen before. But none of it is funny. Ren likes staring at naked women, gets into trouble, and gets continually harassed by a very hairy lifeguard. Not one did I find myself laughing at what I was seeing. It was almost like Kricfalusi was so happy that he could do whatever he now wanted, he decided to throw in as much cartoon sex as possible. But for what purpose? Just because he could? It wasn't funny! I thought the point of the show was to be entertaining, not stupid. But it was just scene after scene of brainless visual jokes without the wit and charm of the original series. Then I thought, maybe, that episode was an aberration. Maybe Kricfalusi just needed to get it all out of his system. But I was mistaken.
The second episode (of the six on the 2-disc set) was called 'Stimpy's Pregnant' and it wasn't any better. The episode was all about how Ren treated Stimpy like crap while Stimpy was pregnant with their love child. Only, it turns out, Stimpy wasn't really pregnant, he was just constipated. But the doctor doesn't want them to be disappointed, so Stimpy gives birth to... well, I won't get into it. Let's just say it's rather tasteless. Again, I'm a big fan of tasteless, when it's actually funny! Again, an entire episode where I didn't find myself laughing at all. So fast forward to disc 2, where the first episode is all about Ren's past. Could have been mined for humor but again, no such luck. Instead we get to see an entire episode centered around Ren being completely psychotic and torturing anything he can get his hands on. How is that funny? I realize these episodes aren't for kids, but even as an adult I didn't find the humor in it. The rest of the episodes all follow suit.
Visually, the animation is rather nice and very sharp. It looks very good. Unfortunately it's all for naught since everything else about the collection is horrible. With most DVDs these days, there are previews that load as soon as you put the DVD in. Most of the time, you can just hit the 'menu' button on your remote and skip ahead. Not so with this DVD. You have to fast forward through all the previews, plus two long, and highly boring introductions, one of which is done by Weird Al for some reason. It's annoying to have to fast forward through all that nonsense. Then again, had I known what I was getting myself into, I might have stayed with the intros. Oh yeah, and each episode has their own introduction as well. Most of which is uninformative and boring. John Kricfalusi seems a little full of himself in my opinion. Then again, this is all just my opinion. There are probably a lot of you out there who'll enjoy this DVD. I just don't want to meet any of you.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, if you couldn't guess, I hated Ren & Stimpy: The Lost Episodes. There is nothing worthwhile about this DVD. The original Ren & Stimpy episodes were fun, but these are a waste of time.
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