A new documentary called 'Happy Happy Joy Joy - The Ren and Stimpy Story' will celebrate the cult 1990s pop-cultural cartoon, which ended in 1996, with a total of five seasons, and talk to artists who worked on the animation. The project is by industry veterans, Los Angeles producer Ron Cicero and director Kimo Easterwood.
The pair have teamed up to tell the story of this much-loved and controversial Nickelodeon series, which was created 25 years ago by John Kricfalusi, and featured a manic chihuahua, a dumb cat, a talking horse, and a superhero made from toast. If you're a fan of the Ren and Stimpy show then you'll remember how dark and edgy it could be. And while it was presented as a kids cartoon it was really much more aimed at adults.
Not only was that because of the show's crass jokes and black humor, but it was littered with sexual innuendo too. The latter even led the show's production staff to have some altercations with Nickelodeon's Standards and Practices department. The show also gave the world the 'Happy Happy Joy Joy' song which has given the documentary its name and was written in the show by the Santa Claus-esque character Stinky Whizzleteats.
And now, if you are a fan, you can now help get involved in helping to tell this cult and influential TV show's story. You can do that by helping fund the documentary. Cicero and Easterwood have started an Indiegogo campaign to raise money to help with the film's postproduction.
Making Ren And Stimpy 'Happy Happy Joy Joy'
Writing on 'Happy Happy Joy Joy - The Ren And Stimpy Story's Indiegogo page the filmmakers say they've shot over 70 hours of footage, talking with 45 of the original artists, actors and execs, including Bob Camp, Vincent Waller, Billy West, Chris Reccardi, Jim Gomez, Vanessa Coffey and more. They've also spoken with celebrity fans of the show, like Weird Al, and superfans too.
The documentary will also feature archival art work, network notes and storyboards that have been locked away for the last 25 years, and will talk about how influential the series was, inspiring everyone from Jack Black to Pixar. The filmmakers call it a "celebrated work of pop-art."
Speaking about getting 'Happy Happy Joy Joy - The Ren And Stimpy Story' made and the much spoken of leaving of the show's creator, Cicero and Eastwood note, “The departure of John K, the show’s creator, caused a lot of bitterness amongst the show staff, many of whom had known each other since they were in their teens. It really was like a divorce. So the hardest part of getting the doc up and running was getting those on the show to agree to speak about it. It was like calling up and saying, ‘I know you haven’t spoken about the destruction of your family in the 25 years since it happened, but what do you say, time to talk about it on camera?’ Fortunately, once we gained the trust of one or two of the show’s artists, others started calling us — almost as if it had been bottled up for decades and it was time to let it out.”
You can help the 'Happy Happy Joy Joy - The Ren And Stimpy Story' out by donating on their Indiegogo page.