Marsupilami, Ren&Stimpy, etc.

Jamal Hannah jamal at
Sun Mar 7 01:04:19 CET 1993

> While I really like Mars, and hope to soon own a plush version of him, I think
> Maurice is wonderfully disgusting.  Maurice is about as close to Ren & Stimpy
> as I would guess Disney will ever get.  Maurice is constantly in "stimpy-mode"
> acting extremely stupid and disgusting at the same time.  Just lovely. ;-)
> In fact the cartoon makes me wonder if Marsupilami & Maurice is Disney's
> subtle attempt to capitolize on the running gags of Ren & Stimpy without
> getting as vulgar as that show tends to be.  In fact, from what I understand,
> Disney is adding two characters, Snookums & Meat, to their showcase features
> for Raw Toonage.  An with names like that they are probably going to further
> exploit the realm of the disgusting.  I like that...something that should be
> done with Raw Toonage's current lack-luster feature called "Totally Tasteless
> Videos."  That segment has rarely had anything of the "tasteless" realm, and
> usually tends toward the "totally boring" side.
> If anyone can vouch for the creator of Mars being the same as the Smurfs I
> think that would be a worthwhile peice of info.  I thought the "Smurfs" were
> far to saccharine for my tastes, but the trivia would be interesting.
> -Rich

The appeal of Ren & Stimpy was, I think, spacific to the idiosyncratic
talents of the creator/director John Kricfilusi [sp], who's work was somehow
somewhat subliminally bizzare, touching a nerve with it's timing &
satire of life in general.  The newer episodes, directed by Bob Camp,
are just as "discusting", but just not as good as the older shows..
call me a purist, but for the most part I think it's the director who
makes the flavor of a story or characters enjoyable or not.  I mean,
Carl Barks and Walt Kelly were enjoyable not just because of the artwork
or characters alone, but the writing and "attitude" of the comics they did
as well, I think, had appeal for people.  (strips like Lil' Abner &
Ally Oop had pretty good artwork, but dont seem quite as popular as
the others.)

Every time something artistically ground-breaking comes out, I see
companies scrambling to imitate aspects of said comic or animation
such as the violence or "grossness" content, number of futuristic
weapons, glossy look, recognizable characters, and so on.  I'm still
wondering when companies like Disney will get it through their heads that
it's the creator/director that is pretty much the key element.  If
Disney pulls off a success with some characters resembling Ren & Stimpy,
I dont think it will be because they resemble them in some direct way..
more likly because the stories are engauging, topical, and the characters
believable.  I suppose "formulas" work to the extent that there may be
a market created for a spacific topic that is "hot" at the time, but
a really good, origional writer/director cant really be created from
thin air.  They are somewhat rare.

To give an example,
I like Don Rosa as a "Barks imitator" considerably more than Freddie Milton,
mostly because Don clearly puts something of himself into his work that
ads a sort of adventersome spice to it.  Freddie's "Gnuff" stories
just didnt strike me as being as engauging, even though they were both
people heavily inspired by Barks.  Anyone else share that impression?

As for who created the Smurfs, it was some guy named "Peyo" who also made
some characters called the "Swoofs" I think.. the may have been French,
and I think he died just this last December.  (I used to read smurf
graphic novels years ago.. they were a heck of a lot more interesting than
the TV show, which actualy had it's moments, however few..)


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