First Grand Juror Selected: John Kricfalusi

Okay, artists, here’s your chance to get your work under the nose of one of the industry’s most out-spoken, out-there creators of all-time, Mr. John Kricfalusi. Here at The Nicktoons Film Festival we’re proud to announce that John K. is onboard as one of our three Grand Jurors and will be helping award our $10,000 Grand Prize for best short. Although you probably have his resume memorized, here’s the scoop on John’s career. (Note: If you’re a Los Angeleno, don’t forget that John will be appearing in person at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood for a two-night mini-tribute, Sept. 7 & 8. For info go to www.egyptiantheatre.com.)

John Kricfalusi is one of the most influential pioneers of the modern cartoon scene. With his landmark 1991 TV series Ren & Stimpy, featuring the demented, wildly anti-social and hilariously inappropriate antics of the two title characters, Canadian-born animator John Kricfalusi kicked cartooning in its underpants, starting a myriad of trends: the gross-out subversive cartoon (Beavis and Butthead, South Park), the thick-lined flat retro cartoon (Dexter’s Laboratory, Fairly OddParents, etc.), the caricatured revival of classic characters cartoon (Boo Boo Runs Wild, The Flintstones On The Rocks).

As a consultant for Fred Seibert and Hanna-Barbera, he helped found the shorts program that introduced Dexter’s Laboratory, Cow and Chicken, Powerpuff Girls and many other popular series. After revolutionizing TV cartoons, Kricfalusi followed up by inventing internet cartoons in 1996 with The Goddamn George Liquor Program and developed the pipeline techniques for Flash animation that are used at practically every studio today.

Kricfalusi started his career during the dark ages of cartoons. In the 1980s he worked on such ‘crap,’ as he calls it, as The Smurfs, Laverne and Shirley in the Army and other Saturday Morning Cartoons being churned out by animation factories. During this depressing period he and other disgruntled cartoonists developed and pitched his own cartoon creations. His frantic and extremely sweaty pitches terrified network executives.

Luckily for Kricfalusi and the animation world, Ralph Bakshi discovered John in 1987 and hired him to direct CBS’ Bakshi’s Mighty Mouse. This was the cartoon that started the so-called ‘creator-driven’ revolution. Kricfalusi hired a crew of artists that, like him, were dissatisfied with the formula cartoons they were forced to work on at other studios. Kricfalusi developed a production system based on the classic cartoon system of the 1940s but adapted it to the realities of TV production.

Bakshi’s Mighty Mouse became the foundation of not only the creative revolution that followed, but also gave the industry the mechanism that would allow it to happen. It put the artists back in charge for the first time in 30 years. Two years later, Ren and Stimpy debuted and the revolution was in full swing. Kricfalusi’s legendary series continues, in a totally unleashed adult-fashion, today on Spike TV.

We’re thrilled to welcome animator John Kricfalusi to the Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre at the Egyptian for a special two-night mini-tribute. The first night is a retrospective of Kricfalusi’s work, including an uncensored episode of Bakshi’s Mighty Mouse, Boo Boo Runs Wild, commercials, webtoons and some brand new no-holds-barred Ren & Stimpy cartoons with NAKED GIRLS made for Spike TV. This will be followed by a question-and-answer period, and you will meet some of John’s co-horts.

Also you will see the birth of Ren and Stimpy’s first child in "Stimpy’s Pregnant"! The second night, Kricfalusi presents the classic cartoons that inspired him. These are some of the greatest, most twisted cartoons ever made! Clampett, Fleischers, Jones, Avery, Lantz and Terrytoons. John will introduce the films and tell how they inspired him. You will laugh! This screening is also followed by a question-and- answer session.