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Author Topic: New Ren & Stimpy !!
lead jelly
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Totally, I think people right now are looking into things way too much. Once they see the other episodes...then let the criticism begin.
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tourdeforce
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My opinion was that the entire episode was knee-slappin' funny. KNEE SLAPPIN'.
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New Wil Order
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On a scale of 1 - 10, I give "Onward & Upward" a 5.

"Firedogs II", on the other hand, gets a solid 11!

The hypocrite post intrigues me...

"Bastardization"? It's been a long time since I read those articles in Animation Magazine, but I seem to remember that term being used to describe derivative shows like "Baby Loony Toons", etc. I could be wrong.

If that's the case, then the new show isn't bastardization so much as it is "Amplification". That is to say that it's the same characters, the same show, the same director, etc., all free from the constraints originally placed on them. Ironically, whether or not this new formula will yield a success on a par with the original's is the matter in question. Was the original R&S funny BECAUSE it was subversive? Or will the new one be funnier because it ISN'T?

At the very least, it will be a learning experience as nothing like it has ever been tried before. My personal feeling is that, with or without network imposed censorship, society imposes it's own. If the new show is to be successful, it has to subvert THE AUDIENCE'S hang-ups, rather than the network's.

So far, so good...

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HBlover
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New Wil Order - if Firedogs II gets an 11 then Ren Seeks Help gets a 15. I was rolling on the floor after seeing it today. Holy Crap.
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New Wil Order
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quote:
Originally posted by HBlover:
New Wil Order - if Firedogs II gets an 11 then Ren Seeks Help gets a 15. I was rolling on the floor after seeing it today. Holy Crap.

Fair Enough! I guess I just have a soft spot for "the Chief".
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J. J. Hunsecker
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I thought the clips were funny and the animation excellent. I look forward to the show.
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Fooksie
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I get it...Stimpy's nose and upper lip segments become a penis and testicles while looking at Ren in a baseball uniform.
Genius! [snore]

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" Every move a picture! "
Buddy Love

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Matt Wilson
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Hm. That was vapid.

I agree about the constraints/creativity issue. When a cartoon isn't allowed to say or do certain things, but finds a creative alternative solution, it usually ends up a lot funnier.

It's like Invader Zim. The reason it's such a good show is because it's nothing like Jhonen Vasquez's comic books, which glorified violence, profanity, and gore over humor. Since Jhonen's staff wasn't able to do that with Zim, they came up with other funny and disturbing things. I don't think Invader Zim would have been such a good show if Zim was killing people with lots of blood squirting out of them, and all the characters cursed.. I mean maybe it would still be funny if it's the same writers, but it just wouldn't be the same show.

Er anyway... Ren and Stimpy.. well it wasn't even that great originally, but at least it was clever and unique.. I can't think of any other cartoon with a Robin Hood parody that contains a moat filled with rabid pirahna MONKS.

But I see nothing clever with the uvula joke, or the baseball reference, which apparently will be used over and over again in the episode.

That's not to say I won't watch Not-Spike-Lee TV, but I'm not going to watch it for long. I guess Spike TV isn't confident in the block either, since they're removing a couple of timeslots from the block in July. And when Ren and Stimpy and Stripperella run out of new material, will Gary the Rat really be enough to carry the block on its own? I already know the answer is no, but I figured it was worth proposing.

Zilch to Zero sounds like a blatant Clerks ripoff, btw.

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bigshot
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quote:
Originally posted by Matt Wilson:
I agree about the constraints/creativity issue. When a cartoon isn't allowed to say or do certain things, but finds a creative alternative solution, it usually ends up a lot funnier.

Forgive me if I'm wrongg, but that sounds an awful lot like the comment of someone who has never worked in the animation business, but thinks they know it because they read Chuck Jones's book.

Animators don't generally work under constraints... it's a full on straight jacket most of the time.

See ya
Steve

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Matt Wilson
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Sorry, can't stand Chuck Jones. I'm more of a Tex Avery guy. Clampett a close second. I don't care for Jones' designs... or the way he turned Tom and Jerry into Wile E. Cat and Mouserunner. I mean there are some LTs I hate way more than Jones (the Sevenarts years), but Jones isn't on my favorites list. I'm probably the only person that hates Now Hear This too.

The straightjacket thing, yeah, obviously. I don't think that changes my statement though. Maybe it doesn't necessarily apply to Ren & Stimpy. But I'm seriously hoping Ren & Stimpy retains some subtlety in the other episodes. I obviously can't judge those yet. A sequel to Firedogs sounds fun.

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bigshot
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You kinda missed my point, but that's OK...

As for subtlety... You mean "subtle" like the paintings of Ren's rotted out mouth in "Ren's Toothache" or "subtle" like Ren's psychotic episode in "Space Madness"? How about the subtleness of Ren taking a "whiz on the electric fence"?

Ren & Stimpy was never subtle. It's a balls out, shockingly expressive cartoon, and it always has been. If you're looking for subtlety, you're looking in the wrong place. You might prefer Dreamworks's "Spirit".

See ya
Steve

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Matt Wilson
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Hah. No thanks. I've given up on Dreamworks.
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Matt Wilson
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Whoa. Speaking of TNN. I just turned it on and the black bar is gone! It's now just a regular floating bug. Awesome.
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Inkan
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quote:
Ren & Stimpy was never subtle. It's a balls out, shockingly expressive cartoon, and it always has been. If you're looking for subtlety, you're looking in the wrong place. You might prefer Dreamworks's "Spirit"
Hmm. Do you mean that subtlety is a bad thing for a cartoon?
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bigshot
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Subtlety is fine for subtle forms of entertainment, but I wouldn't ask the Three Stooges, Sam Peckinpah or the WWF to try to be more subtle... Animation in general (and Ren & Stimpy in particular) is based on caricature. Caricature is usually a lot better when it's pushed. At best, subtlety produces a mild chuckle. At worst, it can lead to blandness.

Usually the people calling for John K to be more subtle are the ones who don't like his stuff in the first place. But they really don't matter... There are plenty of folks ready for John to take the show to the next level... or maybe one or two levels beyond that. There's always a risk in pushing the envelope, but the past has shown that every time John K does it, the rest of the industry reaps the benefits.

John's always instilled extreme emotions into his cartoons. As time has gone by, his ability to put across the extreme situations has grown, as he's grown as an artist. Some people are honestly disturbed by the force of the depiction and react emotionally. That's exactly the reaction John's going for.. a cartoon that grabs you by the throat, shocks you and makes you think.

Some people love horror and suspense movies, and others are too disturbed by them to enjoy them. But you don't make horror and suspense better by blanding it down for the folks who aren't comfortable with the style in the first place. You make them better by making them MORE horrifying and suspenseful.

Not everything that comes out of Spumco works, because we're taking chances. But I've seen some amazing things from the upcoming R&S shows that I've never seen animated before. That's more exciting for me than all of the subtle eyebrow arching and lip pursing from recent animated features put together.

See ya
Steve

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Hockey Frog
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I agree with Bigshot's opinion here, but with one exception: the difference between broad humour that is good and broad humour that is bad is ENTIRELY a matter of infinite subtlety. Even if a character is pulling a cat out of his a**, the difference between funny and stupid is within subtleties in the timing and nuances in the expressions that even a pencil thickness's error would destroy. This was the same for Tex Avery or the Stooges.

R&S in it's first seasons were to me the pinnacle of sublety in this context, but I think many were/are blinded by puritanical tastes and miss the beauty of it.

It's all very relative. To me, the LEAST subtle shows on now are things like Caillou and Postman Pat. They're as subtle as leg irons and a straightjacket. Get me outta there.

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bigshot
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I don't disagree with you on that... but they were talking about the emotions and situations, not the technique. When it comes to technique, there are subtle layers in John's animation that continue to unfold on third and fourth viewing.

See ya
Steve

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Fooksie
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Hey...No Ren and Stimpt tonight? What gives? [Gary]

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" Every move a picture! "
Buddy Love

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Vincent
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It airs the 26th.
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Marcus Moore
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quote:
Originally posted by bigshot:
Forgive me if I'm wrongg, but that sounds an awful lot like the comment of someone who has never worked in the animation business, but thinks they know it because they read Chuck Jones's book.[/QB]

That's a fairly broad assumption. And I'd tend to disagree, as much as we hate them, artists tend to work better under constraints (be they money, time, subject, audience), and compromise can be your best friend. I'm an artist, and I haven't read Jones' book. Nah nah...

I haven't seen these new R&S episodes, so I obviously can't comment on them directly; but my experience is that the easiest joke probably isn't the funniest one.

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bigshot
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quote:
Originally posted by Marcus Moore:
as much as we hate them, artists tend to work better under constraints (be they money, time, subject, audience), and compromise can be your best friend.

Well, then... the animation business as it stands today is custom designed for your productivity. You must really be hitting balls out of the park with all of the compromising you've been doing!

See ya
Steve

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gergley
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quote:
Originally posted by bigshot:
I don't disagree with you on that... but they were talking about the emotions and situations, not the technique. When it comes to technique, there are subtle layers in John's animation that continue to unfold on third and fourth viewing.

See ya
Steve

I haven't seen any of the episodes either but on what Marcus wrote about the easiest joke and based on what you wrote prior (quoted above) the jokes/gags aren't easy ones?
From the clips that are linked on this thread it is kind of obvious that some thought went into it. But, are you saying that this R and S series is even richer with subtlety? Or is it apparent in other ways?
I ask cuz I've had conversations with cartoonists about the appropriateness of the subtle in cartoons and comics.
just curious.

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J. J. Hunsecker
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quote:
Originally posted by Marcus Moore:
That's a fairly broad assumption. And I'd tend to disagree, as much as we hate them, artists tend to work better under constraints (be they money, time, subject, audience), and compromise can be your best friend.

Kricfalusi has always worked under the first two constraints you mentioned; time and money. He's had to work on a tv time schedule with a tight budget, yet he's managed to make some rich looking shows.

In terms of audiences, he has had to work around contraints to those as well. His type of cartoon would never be greenlighted on the three big networks. Kricfalusi has had to make due with producing shows for smaller cable companies, which don't reach the same mass audience as the networks do. The trade off is that the cable companies allow more artistic freedom than the networks would to the creators of the shows.

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Hockey Frog
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quote:
Originally posted by bigshot:
I don't disagree with you on that... but they were talking about the emotions and situations, not the technique.

I think we're both on the same page here. However, in animation, when I think of emotions and situations, I think of technique; and vice versa. I don't see how they can be separated. R&S provides, in my eyes, countless examples of this.

Perhaps the term "subtlety" is incorrect in the case of that "eyebrow lifting" Disneyesque coyness, and all the other examples we've raised, and should be replaced with the description "lame-ass animation". Let's not make subtlety the bad guy. [Smile]

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"I was obliged to work hard. Anyone who works equally hard will succeed, equally."
Johann Sebastian Bach

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Marcus Moore
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quote:
Originally posted by bigshot:
[QUOTE]Well, then... the animation business as it stands today is custom designed for your productivity. You must really be hitting balls out of the park with all of the compromising you've been doing!

It is what you make of it. John K. has done very well for himself. I hope I can make out half as well.

One only needs to look at the unconstrained artistry of the new STAR WARS films to illustrate that sometimes NOT getting everything you want is good.

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Coffee Cat
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Well, then... the animation business as it stands today is custom designed for your productivity. You must really be hitting balls out of the park with all of the compromising you've been doing!

I think the point is: Necessity is the mother of invention, basically - except applied to creativity. Sometimes coming up with something creative is aided by an obstacle or requirement. A perfect example is the famous South Park line - changed from something like F-- God - to God is the biggest bitch of them all. Not particularly subtle- and the censorship there is a joke - but the final line IS a better one - the first be SO simplistically obvious that, despite both being equally offensive - it has less subtle flavor to it.

I also think thats where people are vearing off the road when it comes to "subtly" in Ren and Stimpy - we're not saying the content should be extreme - but creativity and subtly in the execution can help alot.

Another example: Happy Tree Friends! They could have easily made even the character designs more obvious and simple/generic - but they add all sorts of gags - anything from the heart shaped noses rather than round ones - to the other little things like bunny slippers on the bunny - and a car freshener around the neck of the skunk.... the situations are still horridly extreme - but those extra little things help out alot.

Peeing on an electric fence is actually a good example. Isn't that SOOO much better than having a character just plain pissing? Its more than just gross out humor - it has something else going on there - the electric fence.

The new Ren and Stimpy APPEARS ( I say this because I don't know yet, and am certainly hoping for the best, being one of the biggest John K fans, and Ren and Stimpy fans out there) that they were given such freedom that all they needed to do was have someone piss. Thats gross. Har har. Having to have the character turn around (away from us) and urinate on a fence and get zapped is no longer necissary.

This too, isn't really a criticism - because IF they can fullfill the creativity WITHOUT the obstacle and challenge of restraint - then he's all the more brilliant for it.

I'm hoping for the best - and I actually hope the entire line up succedes - I think it'll be a big nice bulging fallic feather in John K's cap - and in the animation industry's cap - and in reminding people yet again that adult animation is out there - not just kiddie stuff.

Go Go Spumco.

BTW, why is the spumco site down? I'd love to see some of the old webtoons and such. Whats the dilly?

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bigshot
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quote:
Originally posted by Hockey Frog:
I think we're both on the same page here. However, in animation, when I think of emotions and situations, I think of technique; and vice versa. I don't see how they can be separated.

Well, maybe I should say it this way... We don't always bat a thousand when it comes to technical stuff. It's hard to do that with TV schedules. But you're going to get to see plenty of effective technique. I guess you could call it subtle in a detailed, thought-out sense.

But the emotions depicted in some of the shows aren't at all subtle. They're totally extreme, while being motivated and in character at the same time. John is animating situations that no cartoon has ever dared to approach before. The original R&S started to do that, and the Yogi Bear special had moments that came close... but the pencil test I just watched from Ren Seeks Help includes some of the most intense stuff that I've ever seen, whether in cartoon or live action. It's going to scare a lot of people who don't expect angry, brutal honesty in cartoons. Ren Seeks Help is not a restrained, subtle, polite cartoon by any means, but by your definition, the animation is among the most subtle and well drawn I've ever seen for TV.

There were people who thought the original R&S was just fart and gross out gags. I'm sure those same people will be just as clueless about what's going on in front of their faces in the new R&S.

See ya
Steve

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gergley
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so "subtle" was just the wrong word to use. that makes more sense. Thanks, Hockey Frog.
layered or complex (not stupidly simple) might have been a better way to describe an aired production of any R and S cartoon. The ones I've seen were more stark than not. And, hey, that's a cartoon for ya. Going over the top.

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