Gravitas Ventures has revealed a new trailer for Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story. The Upcoming documentary is set to take a look at the classic Nickelodeon animated series. But this won’t be a simple, nostalgic look back at the inappropriate misadventures of the cat and dog duo. Instead, it will examine the show’s legacy but, more importantly, the legacy left behind by series creator John Kricfalusi, aka John K. Per the studio, the movie will show viewers “what it’s like capturing lightning in a bottle, and the overlooked secret to true artistic genius.”
The trailer opens up with clips of the series, interlaced with various people within the industry explaining its vast sphere of influence. The revolutionary series was the brainchild of John K., with the trailer suggesting that he could have been “the next Walt Disney.” But that’s not how things went down. As we can see, things started getting chaotic behind the scenes, with Kricfalusi’s behavior becoming more erratic and damaging. Kricfalusi, for example, was accused of sexual harassment by two different women in 2018, who said they were underage at the time.
Bob Camp, Vincent Waller, Billy West, Chris Reccardi, Jim Gomez, Vanessa Coffey and more appear in the documentary. They share their surprising insights into the true cost of creating a pop culture classic. Ren & Stimpy was one of the three original Nicktoons on Nickelodeon alongside Rugrats and Doug. The series received widespread critical acclaim at the time and has maintained a cult following in the years since it went off the air. Spike TV attempted to revive the show in 2003 as the Adult Party Cartoon, but the revival was short-lived.
Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story picks up in the early 1990s, when The Ren and Stimpy Show broke ratings records and was a touchstone for a generation of fans and artists. Creator John Kricfalusi was celebrated as a visionary, but even though his personality permeated the show, dozens of artists and network executives were just as responsible for its meteoric rise in the pop culture landscape. As Kricfalusi’s worst impulses were let loose at the workplace and new allegations about even more disturbing behavior have surfaced, his reputation now threatens to taint the show forever. The movie held its premiere at Sundance earlier this year.
Ren & Stimpy originally debuted on Nickelodeon in 1991, airing five seasons and 52 episodes before concluding its initial run in 1995. Failure to deliver episodes on time led to a clash between John K. and the network, with the creator ultimately departing the series in 1992. The series was also adapted into a series of video games and comic books over the years. There have been attempts to get a movie going, but they have failed to come to fruition. Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story is set to arrive on VOD and Digital HD on August 14 from Gravitas Ventures. Be sure to check out the new trailer for yourself.