Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren and Stimpy Story
It was the cartoon parents grew to hate. It was violent at times, and contained scenes that could be downright gross. Although the show was infamous for injecting lewd adult humor into what was meant to be a kid-friendly series, Ren and Stimpy contained an artistic genius that was hard to ignore. Powered by a talented staff of artists, writers, producers, and executives, Ren and Stimpy pushed the boundaries of animation and went on to become a celebrated work of pop art for decades to come.
A superfan posing with his Ren and Stimpy collection. (Photo: Ladies and Gentlemen, Inc.)
THE BIRTH OF HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY
On December 16, 1995 the controversial run of Ren and Stimpy came to an end. Since that time, super-fans and non-supporters alike have taken to numerous forums to promote their theories on why the series was cut short. In spite of the cartoon being one of the most popular shows in the U.S. at one point, the backstory of Ren and Stimpy has been left untold by those involved in its creation. For that reason, production industry veterans Ron Cicero and Kimo Easterwood decided to join forces to create “Happy Happy, Joy Joy: The Ren and Stimpy Story”.
“With the explosion of reality – based content, finding a compelling documentary subject that
hasn’t been done before is really difficult. Especially one on pop culture,” said Cicero. “When a mutual friend of ours suggested Ren & Stimpy, we were both shocked and thrilled to see how little of the story had been told considering the series’ incredible impact across television, film, comedy, and 90’s art & culture.”
To this day, Ren and Stimpy still receives mixed reviews. Check out the video clip below to see what we mean.
When John Kricfalusi, the show’s creator, separated from the show it not only made news headlines, but also generated discontent from his fellow colleagues. “The departure of John K. 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,” said Easterwood. “The hardest part of getting the doc up and running was getting those on the show to agree to speak about it. 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.”
Bob Camp, co-creator of Ren and Stimpy. (Photo: Ladies and Gentlemen, Inc.)
Supporters and hard-core fans of the show are anxiously awaiting the documentary that will provide a little more insight into the demise of the spastic chihuahua and his goofy cat buddy. “Neither of us were big fans of the series prior to diving into the film. And NOT being big fans allowed us to approach the story from a much more objective point of view,” said Cicero. Fans of the show include multiple celebrity admirers, including Billy F. Gibbons of legendary band ZZ Top.
Billy F. Graham interviewing for the Happy Happy Joy Joy documentary. (Photo: Ladies and Gentlemen, Inc.)
You can currently help fund the documentary over on Indiegogo. It’s a really cool way to score exclusive merch and support a project highlighting a true cult classic of the 90’s.
One of our favorite features of the show was the opening theme. What did you like/dislike about the show? Tell us in the comments!