Happy Happy Joy Joy - Ren and Stimpy Documentary

Looking back at the history of cartoons that Nickelodeon has brought to television over the years, by far the strangest and most perplexing is Ren and Stimpy. The animated series created by John Kricfalusi was part of Nickelodeon’s line-up when the network for kids was just taking off in the early 1990s, but if the show would have been put on Nickelodeon today, there’s no way it would have survived parental backlash and criticism. So how did it come to be all those years ago?

A new feature-length documentary is in the works called Happy Happy, Joy Joy – The Ren & Stimpy Story, which chronicles the rise and fall of the animated series and takes a look at hows its influence still resonates through the world of animation today. The documentary is now in post-production, but it needs your help to get finished. Get a sneak peek at the Ren and Stimpy documentary below.

Ren and Stimpy is undoubtedly one of the strangest cartoons I’ve ever seen. Even as a child during the 1990s, there was something unsettling about the show, even as it brought laughs from the goofy slapstick nature of Ren and Stimpy’s relationship, not to mention great bits like the musical commercial for Log (from Blammo). It’s a miracle that it made it to air, and without the show, we might never have gotten series like South Park or Rick and Morty.

The documentary features interviews key talents who worked on the show, including Bob CampVincent Waller, Billy West, Chris Reccardi, Jim Gomez, and Vanessa Coffey. Commentary about the influence of the show also comes from celebrity fans such as Jack Black, “Weird” Al Yankovic, Bobby Lee, Iliza Shlesinger and more. But the real treasure trove will be the “mountains of archival art work, network notes and storyboards that have been locked away for the past 25 years” that we’ll see in the documentary.

So what will a contribution by you help these filmmakers accomplish? Here’s a breakdown of where the money is going:

  • Clip Licensing & Legal – (55%) – We have the initial OK from Nickelodeon to license Ren & Stimpy art work and scenes from the series. A huge coupe! We’ve also cut in archival footage from the 90’s.  All of this will need to be paid for. The more we raise, the more R&S footage we can use!
  • Color Grading – (10%) – We shot the entire film in 4K. The raw footage looks amazing but to make it shine after assembly, we’ll need a final color grade .
  • Main Titles & Interstitials – (15%) – We have some killer ideas on how to visually present the archival material. Simon Clowes, who is the motion graphics genius behind the title sequences for Superman Returns, Sherlock Holmes, and Xmen: First Class is doing us a huge favor but we still need to pay his team.
  • The Rewards – (30%) Yup, all those great looking items are high quality and cost dough….some of which is going directly to the original R & S artists.

Plus, depending on how much you’re willing to give, there’s a bunch of cool Ren and Stimpy swag you’ll be sent, including some original drawings from the series and more. Head on over to the Indiegogo page to find out everything you need to know about the project.

This looks like it will be the definitive chronicle of the rise and fall of one of the most unique programs to ever hit Nickelodeon, the likes of which will probably never be seen again on a networked geared towards children. As soon as Happy Happy, Joy Joy – The Ren & Stimpy Story is available for you to watch, we’ll let you know.

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