There is an absolute wealth of incredible behind-the-scenes stories, images, and trivia here for animation fans and Ren & Stimpy fanatics, but it's all tainted with the hard truth of Kricfalusi's difficult upbringing, abrasive personality, and abusive tendencies. The quote that says it all: Grappling with Kricfalusi’s influence and his abusive behavior, Robyn Byrd tells the documentarians, “Pain does create great art, but you don’t have to keep inflicting pain to create great art.”. It’s not all positive; Coffey offers powerful insight into how Kricfalusi’s perfectionism and blue humor led to his firing and the implosion of the show. Dozens of talented people worked on Ren & Stimpy, so is it fair to demonize its brilliance and artistry because of the personal failings of its core creative influence? Michael John Kricfalusi (/ ˌ k r ɪ s f ə ˈ l uː s i /; born September 9, 1955), known professionally as John K., is a Canadian blogger, former animator and voice actor.He is best known for creating the Nickelodeon animated television series The Ren & Stimpy Show, voicing Ren in the show.He was born in Chicoutimi, Quebec.. More than a celebration, Happy Happy Joy Joy - The Ren & Stimpy Story forces us to consider the role of media creators and how we reckon with the reality of who they are versus what we see on the screen. The documentary spends a good chunk of time in the weeds on the animation process, showing how Kricfalusi and his Spumco Studios crew pushed the limits in every frame. And trust me, your evaluation of and feelings towards Mr. K. will change when watching this documentary, especially when the people who were on the receiving ends of his actions are given an opportunity to speak. To those who’ve heard about, read about, or otherwise … To put Ren & Stimpy into context for our younger readers out there, it was basically the Rick and Morty of the early 1990s. That unspoken, authorial comment feels like the easy answer, and ultimately prevents the film from finding a bigger picture. Ron Cicero and Kimo Easterwood's documentary covers the rise and fall of 'The Ren & Stimpy Show' and of creator John Kricfalusi. The crowd-funded documentary delivers a balanced, earnest look at the smash-hit Nickelodeon series and its problematic creator, John Kricfalusi. Chronicling the broad strokes of BuzzFeed News’ report from 2018, Cicero and Easterwood hear from both Byrd and Kricfalusi on how the Ren & Stimpy creator leveraged his standing in the industry to establish a romantic relationship. The animator walks Cicero and Easterwood through his childhood inspirations, early ideas for shows, character breakdowns of his infamous dog and cat (“Stimpy was an abject retard with a good heart”), and his philosophies on art, which range from the value of time-consuming caricature work to the importance of sneaking pieces of poop into frames where the censors would never catch them. Whether it's due to the medical reasons he gives or due to intrinsic character defects is left up to the viewer. By Chad Denton Jul 29, 2020 People who crave the true stories behind their '90s nostalgia are in luck. 'Ren & Stimpy' Documentary Gets Answers from John Kricfalusi [Sundance] Posted on 25/01/2020. And though John K … Filmmakers Cicero and Easterwood push Kricfalusi harder on their questions than they do his co-workers, who say they were surprised to learn that the artist's inclination towards young, underage girls was more truth than just simple locker room talk. Creator John Kricfalusi was celebrated as a visionary, but even though his personality suffused the show, dozens of artists and network executives were just as responsible for the show’s meteoric rise. Gravitas Ventures will soon be releasing the documentary Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story, which covers the history of the show, its influence on animation as well as the tumultuous career of its creator John Kricfalusi. John Kricfalusi, often shortened to "John K." because of his complicated name, is a Canadian animation director. This story is about a group of ragtag artists who, through talent and dedication, brought to life two of the most beloved characters of all time--Ren & Stimpy--but it's also balanced by a cautionary tale about the artistic genius of the series' creator. The first third of the runtime is dedicated to the crazy team of artists and animators who bucked traditions and overcame long adds to bring a punk-rock approach to kids animation. But that's exactly what happened to Ren & Stimpy. He is best known as the creator of The Ren & Stimpy Show. People who crave the true stories behind their '90s nostalgia are in luck. Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story tells of the sudden rise and spectacular fall of one of the most influential animated series in television history. John Kricfalusi's accuser, Robyn Byrd, said that Kricfalusi "used 'Ren & Stimpy' to lure young people to his studio and into his confidence, only to abuse them, stunt their careers, and molest young From 1979 to the mid-1980s, Kricfalusi worked for Filmation and l… Mad Magazine, Don Martin, and Marvel Comics – Jack Kirby especially. Happy Happy Joy Joy joins the crowd, interviewing animators who recall the exhilaration of working on the rebellious toon, and admirers, like Jack Black and Mad TV’s Bobby Lee, who were mesmerized by Ren & Stimpy’s painted close-ups of nipples. The mournful Sundance documentary ‘Happy Happy Joy Joy’ illustrates how cartoonist John Kricfalusi poured his misanthropy into his brilliant kids’ program — and then tainted his creation forever because of his penchant for grooming teen girls John Kricfalusi in “Happy Happy Joy Joy.” Robyn Byrd, one of the two accusers in the Buzzfeed article, recounts her teenage relationship with him and its traumatic effect on her. Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story, is a 2020 documentary that focuses on the success of the Ren and Stimpy Show and the rise and fall of the career of John Kricfalusi, which includes his interviews from his co-workers and friends that go into detail on him and his infamous behavior. For the man who holds the "Created by" stamp--itself a matter of contention since Nickelodeon executive Vanessa Coffey actually pulled those two specific characters out of Kricfalusi's Our Gang pitch for development--his actions and behavior going forward will speak volumes and his full story has yet to be written. John Kricfalusi has something wrong with him. and Why Does it Matter? Meant as a documentary focused in part on creator John Kricfalusi, the documentary also featured Robyn Byrd, a former animator and ex-teenaged girlfriend of John K. She and Katie Rice both revealed that John K had groomed and sexually abused them as teens in a blockbuster 2018 Buzzfeed report. I applaud the filmmakers who tackled this sensitive subject head-on, as I do both Byrd for telling her story on the documentary itself and Kricfalusi for addressing it. Here’s what you need to know before these indie films make their way to theaters, streaming services, and the cinematic zeitgeist. Gray was working for Filmation at the time, and soon Kricfalusi found work there as well, getting his start on shows like Super Friends and The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show. Logline: Happy Happy Joy Joy - The Ren & Stimpy Story looks back at the making of the influential cartoon and the career of creator John Kricfalusi, who multiple women formally accused of sexual misconduct in 2018. That synopsis does a grand job of laying the groundwork for what you should expect with this Ren & Stimpy documentary. The crowd-funded documentary delivers a balanced, earnest look at the smash-hit Nickelodeon series and its problematic creator, John Kricfalusi. As Kricfalusi’s worst impulses were let loose at the workplace and new allegations about even more disturbing behavior have surfaced, his reputation now threatens to taint the show forever. Cicero and Easterwood leave the details of Byrd’s story, and the stories of his other accuser Katie Rice, out of the picture. John Kricfalusi, creator of the Ren & Stimpy show that gained a cult and influenced many 1990’s TV cartoons, is subject of a report about grooming and sexual abuse of young girls.They were taken under his wing as aspiring artists. With clips recognizable to any Ren & Stimpy fan and interviews with Kricfalusi and his fellow creators whose work has been both elevated and denigrated by their connection to him, this film is a complex look at a show that influenced the history of television, animation, and comedy. It tells, in detail, how Ren & Stimpy became a victim of its own success, specifically calling out Kricfalusi's controlling, abusive practices in both the Spümcø studio and in Nickelodeon's own production offices. Ren & Stimpy Documentary Trailer Celebrates the Show, Hints at John Kricfalusi's Predatory Allegations A new documentary will cover the story behind The Ren & Stimpy Show and the troubled career of creator John Kricfalusi. Aimed at fans, the film grapples with the art-vs.-artist debate. in August, documentary Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren and Stimpy Story will detail the fall from grace of the weird cartoon's creator, John Kricfalusi. There is not a happy ending for John Kricfalusi, the cartoonist and animator behind the wildly original, somewhat disgusting, and often quite beautiful Ren & Stimpy Show, which ran on cable television for five years in the 1990s. To paraphrase Byrd: Just because pain has brought art into your life as a way of coping with it, that doesn't give you the right to impose pain on others. As close collaborators testify in Ron Cicero and Kimo Easterwood’s feature documentary debut, there was no one more visionary or idiosyncratic than John Kricfalusi. Of creator John Kricfalusi abuse charges creator, John Kricfalusi at the smash-hit Nickelodeon series and controversial! Feels like the desperate crash after a breathtaking high `` Raymond Spum '', he... 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