Thursday, June 15, 2006

Ren And Stimpy Return...Again

Animated Discussions
by Rudy Panucci and Melanie Larch

Next month (July 18, to be exact), the lost episodes of Ren and Stimpy finally hit DVD! These are the "Adult Party Cartoon" shows that were produced for Spike TV a few years ago by Ren and Stimpy's creator, John Kricfalusi, who had been reunited with his perverted cat and dog after being booted off the series by Nickelodeon back in 1992. Spike only aired a few of these new Ren and Stimpy cartoons before the winds changed and they decided to drop their animation programming. This DVD will contain all the uncensored, adult-oriented, Ren and Stimpy cartoons that John K. produced. That includes three full episodes that have never aired. These have only been screened at events where John K. has spoken, although there are lots of clips circulating on the internet. The three un-aired shows are "Naked Beach Frenzy," "Altruists," and "Stimpy's Pregnant."

You can see a nearly five-minute trailer for "Stimpy's Pregnant" here, at John K's blog.

Here's a clip from "Naked Beach Frenzy," where Ren has been mistaken for a crab by the extremely hairy lifeguard.

Below are two short clips from "The Altruists."

We've always had a soft spot for Ren and Stimpy. If not for them, we never would have started writing about animation for the Gazette all those years ago. It was nice to see John K. vindicated when he got to go back and revisit his babies in 2003. Now we'll finally get to see the second half of his triumphant return to the show that launched his career.

"Ren and Stimpy: The Lost Episodes" is going to be one killer DVD that any adult animation fan should rush out and buy. Parents will want to think twice, or even three or four times, before letting children watch this DVD. They contain nudity, profanity, and enough twisted situations to cause a parent to have to explain delicate things long before they expect to. These will be good, dirty fun. If this DVD set sells as well as we expect, Paramount may be knocking on John's door, asking for more new Ren and Stimpy cartoons.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Song Of The Week: Christmas In June...

....For Beatles Fan, at least.

This week's Song Of The Week is a rare treat. PopCult is bringing you the 1967 Beatles Fan Club Christmas record. Each year the Fab Four would go into the studio and record a little "thank you" for their fans. This was sent out free to every member in good standing of their fan club. These were fun little collages of music and comedy skits, with the guys just goofing around and displaying their trademark senses of humor. On this record, recorded after Sgt. Pepper, but before The White Album, we get to hear snippets of "Christmas Time Is Here Again," a song that was not released intact until nearly 30 years later as part of the Beatles Anthology project. Mixed in with that happy little tune are several minutes of goofiness that display a major influence on the Beatles--the classic radio comedy, The Goon Show.

Error Of Omission

Last week, I wrote a little post about the renaissance of professional wrestling. I meant to mention that one of the major components of this resurgence was the upcoming movie "Nacho Libre", starring Jack Black as a humble Monk who turns to the high-flying world of the masked Lucha Libre to earn money for an orphanage. This foray into the world of Mexican wrestling is written and directed by Jared Hess, the mastermind behind "Napoleon Dynamite". It opens this Friday. I've been a fan of Jack Black since the second episode of "Mr. Show with Bob and David" over ten years ago, and I've been looking forward to this film since I first heard about it last year. It opens Friday.

And I forgot to mention it. I had it in my notes and everything.

Bad Rudy.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Monday Morning Art: Brawley Walkway

This week brings another subtle digitally assaulted photograph. It's a shot of a deserted Brawley Walkway in downtown Charleston. I messed with the sky, airbushed out the people, and made one lampost red.

It's another study of minor league surrealism.

click to enlarge

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Cool Toy Of the Week: CARS Playsets

In honor of our mile-long review of Disney/Pixar's CARS, the toy of the week this week is a tie-in to the movie. Specifically, the playsets based on the town of Radiator Springs. Mattel has rolled out a full assortment of toy cars in all sizes based on the characters from the movie, but the really cool item that they're creating are the playsets. These are plastic play environments that replicate the buildings and scenery from this brilliantly-designed cartoon. There is a full assortment of cool, interlocking playsets. You can find detailed models of Luigi's Casa Della Tires, Lizzie's Curio Shop, Ramon's Custom House of Body Art, and the biggie, Flo's V8 Cafe. Flo's opens to reveal a detailed interior with lights and other cool features. These sets connect to the Mountain Challenge Playset, which features a shaking mountain road with sharp curves and constant motion. This set comes with an exclusive version of Lightning McQueen. These playsets hearken back to the glory days, when toy cars came with giant garage and service station playsets. With the nostalgic designs from the movie and the obvious kid-appeal, these toys can easily bring generations together. You'll be able to find these anywhere toys are sold, and probably in a few places where they aren't. Prices range from ten bucks for the smaller sets to over thirty for the Mountain Challenge.