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John K.’s Toon Review Tonight
The American Cinematheque’s tribute to maverick animator John Kricfalusi continues tonight at the historic Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, Calif. as the creator of Ren and Stimpy showcases some of his major influences. Starting at 8 p.m., Kricfalusi will screen his favorite animated shorts from the 1930s to the 1950s, a period he considers the glory days of Warner Bros., Fleischer Studios, MGM, Terrytoons, Walter Lantz and more.
“I don’t think anyone’s done it better than artists from that period,” says Kricfalusi, who was on hand at the Egyptian Tuesday night to premiere three new episodes of Spike TV’s Ren & Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon, as well as classic shorts from the Spumco library. Enthusiastic animation fans filled the house for the rare opportunity to see Ren and Stimpy on the big screen in "Naked Beach Frenzy," "Stimpy’s Pregnant" and "The Altruists."
Also screened last night were “Mighty’s Benefit Plan” from Ralph Bakshi’s 1980s Mighty Mouse series, an episode of the Flash series Weekend Pussy Hunt, an "educational" short titled “What Pee Boners Are For,” the Cartoon Network Yogi Bear spoof Boo Boo Runs Wild, a Björk music video animated by Spumco and a handful of Old Navy commercials the toon studio produced. While "Naked Beach Frenzy" stole the show, another highlight was the classic Ren and Stimpy episode that introduced the character George Liquor and got Kricfalusi fired from his own show by Nickelodeon.
On tap for tonight’s event are vintage adventures of Betty Boop, Bimbo, Sylvester & Tweety, Mickey Mouse and Popeye, including a restored print of the famed Popeye Sinbad short. Kricfalusi will also screen lesser-known early cartoons from legendary Warner Bros. animators Tex Avery and Chuck Jones, as well as some of his favorite works by his personal idol, Bob Clampett.
"In the ’40s, Bob Clampett ruled and everybody else was imitating him," Kricfalusi tells Animation Magazine Online. "We’re going to show some of the wildest cartoons ever made, in my opinion. They’re the most creative, best animated and have the sickest jokes."
Among the Clampett shorts Kricfalusi hopes to run is Kitty Kornered, Sylvester cartoon that Kricfalusi says has the best Sylvester ever. "He’s a caricature of Sylvester–more spit. He’s what you wish Sylvester would have been."
For Mickey Mouse fans, the event will include a screening of Minnie’s Yoohoo. "It’s the one where Mickey Mouse sings and he’s got [vagina] lips," says Kricfalusi. "It’s the weirdest Mickey Mouse ever. Walt must have been out of town when they did that one. Most Mickey Mouse pictures, even the ones from that period, are super generic but with this one, some crazy animator got a hold of him and animated the craziest lipsync. It’s so funny."
Kricfalusi says it was hard to pick a handful of animated shorts that represent the "cartoonist cartoons," and says there were some that he wanted to include but couldn’t get. He notes, "I really wanted to show Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs [(1943)], but Warner Bros. won’t let me, which I don’t understand because they run Gone With the Wind and restore the hell out of it every couple years."
Between films, Kricfalusi will discuss their brilliance and why they still inspire his work. He will then stick around to answer questions from the audience. You can also catch Kricfalusi on Saturday, Sept. 11, at the Golden Apple comic bookstore in Hollywood (7711 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046). The shop is hosting a special “petition signing” event beginning at 3 p.m. at which fans can sign a petition asking Spike TV to air more new episodes of Ren & Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon. For more info, visit www.goldenapplecomics.com or call (323) 658-6047.