John Kricfalusi

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John Kricfalusi
( San Francisco , July 2006)

Michael John Kricfalusi (born September 9, 1955 in Chicoutimi ) is a Canadian artist . He is known as John Kricfalusi or John K.

John Kricfalusi is the inventor of the cartoon series Ren and Stimpy, which was broadcast in Germany from 1996-1998 . Kricfalusi sold his show in 1991 to the American children's TV station Nickelodeon . However, only the first nineteen of the total of fifty-five episodes are from himself, as he was dismissed by Nickelodeon after a dispute. The reason given by Nickelodeon was that it had failed to meet production schedules. Kricfalusi himself claims that the real reason was that Nickelodeon thought his ideas were tasteless and unsuitable for children. Nickelodeon continued production of the series without Kricfalusi.

Style and work

John Kricfalusi cultivates a pronounced retro style in his work , as he is particularly interested in the classic Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoons of the 1930s to 1960s and, according to his own admission, was strongly influenced by animation directors such as Robert "Bob" Clampett . He is mostly categorically hostile to the more modern animation film productions from the 1970s to the present day and criticizes their style and content extensively in his weblog. Many animators attest John Kricfalusi's extraordinary talent and the initial success of the Ren and Stimpy Show led to a return to the virtues of classic cartoons in the early 1990s.

In 2001 The Ripping Friends premiered on the American broadcaster FOX . This was a garish superhero parody, the style and content of which tied to Ren and Stimpy. However, the series was discontinued after only thirteen episodes and was never shown on German television. A new edition of the Ren & Stimpy cartoons was produced from 2003 to 2004 by the American broadcaster Spike TV , a subsidiary of MTV . Kricfalusi were given greater creative freedom in production than Nickelodeon did , which resulted in considerably more controversial content. However, as a result of internal disputes with the donors, production was stopped again, and various episodes have not been broadcast to this day.

Kricfalusi's animations also appear in music videos by Björk , Tenacious D, and Weird Al Yankovic .


Film historian Michael Barrier criticized Kricfalusi's recurring theme of disgusting scenarios and images in order to make stories seem grotesquely funny. Barrier also accuses Kricfalusi of being able to neither understand nor exploit the full potential of the animation medium due to his one-sided taste.

Billy West , a well-known American voice actor, accused Kricfalusi of compelling him to give up his speaking roles on the Ren & Stimpy Show after his release by Nickelodeon. According to West, Kricfalusi wanted to put pressure on the Nickelodeon management, but West did not agree. Due to persistent differences, West also refused to take over his old roles in the new edition of the Ren & Stimpy cartoons.

In 2012, Kricfalusi started a campaign on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter to finance the production of an approximately ten-minute animated film. The cartoon with the working title "Cans Without Labels" contained characters that were more or less loosely linked to the Ren & Stimpy cosmos. Thanks to Kricfalusi's reputation among his fan base and the promise of generous additional rewards, the campaign surpassed the fundraising goal of $ 110,000 and raised over $ 135,000. After initially regular updates on the progress of production, the communication with the donors gradually ebbed and the release date of the film in February 2013 was soon significantly exceeded. In the meantime, Kricfalusi presented rough versions of the film, which were a compilation of the majority of unfinished scenes, storyboards and sketches, but the pressing questions about the completion were almost completely ignored over time. The promised rewards for donations were only partially processed. Kickstarter began distributing DVDs with the finished version of the film to supporters in May 2019.

On March 29, 2018, the American media portal BuzzFeed published an article with detailed interviews between two former employees of Kricfalusi's production company Spumco. The women stated that they were brought to his studio as interns by Kricfalusi at the end of the nineties with the promise of promoting their careers as illustrators. At the time, one of the women was still a minor under California law. In addition to employment in his company, personal relationships developed between them and their patrons, which both of them viewed in retrospect as sexually abusive.

Individual evidence

  1. Discussion between film historian Michael Barrier and John Kricfalusi (English)
  2. Interview with Billy West (English)
  3. Website of the crowdfunding campaign "Cans Without Labels" (English)
  4. ^ Creator Of "Ren & Stimpy" Accused Of Preying On Underage Girls Who Wanted Animation Careers . In: BuzzFeed . ( [accessed March 30, 2018]).

Web links