‘Happy Happy Joy Joy’ Film Review: ‘Ren & Stimpy’ Doc Celebrates Animation But Shies Away From Darker Subjects

  • The Wrap
‘Happy Happy Joy Joy’ Film Review: ‘Ren & Stimpy’ Doc Celebrates Animation But Shies Away From Darker Subjects
Don’t be fooled by the title: “Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story” may be the story of “Ren & Stimpy,” but it’s not a happy, happy story documentary, nor does it evoke joy or joy.

Ron Cicero and Kimo Easterwood’s film about the smash hit Nickelodeon animated series and its many artists, and series creator John Kricfalusi in particular, features interesting behind-the-scenes stories but pads the running time with redundancies. Worse, it never adequately engages with the most horrifying elements of this tale.

To watch cartoons in the early 1990s was to watch “Ren & Stimpy,” a trailblazing series about an emotionally abusive chihuahua named Ren, a good-natured doormat of a cat named Stimpy, and their gross, non-sensical, censorship-defying adventures. “Ren & Stimpy” was a critical and commercial success, crass in its subject matter but beautiful in its execution. It smashed expectations of TV animation,
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