July 19, 2006

Ren and Stimpy Lost Episodes: Not the Cartoons

This is on everything about the Ren and Stimpy Lost Episodes except for the cartoons themselves...

Love:


The intro/interview contents. There were lots of things that were interesting that wouldn't necessarily fit into a commentary track. Wonderful horrible stories.

The cover art. It's high time pretty girls were alerted to the dangers of tanning to their woman hides, and the horrific epidermis on the redhead on the cover is an object lesson in this. The many lines on Ren and Stimpy are cool too, and Ren's torso looks like it was carved out of a tiki head, which seems odd, but looks really good in the art.

Nice DVD case. It has locks on the side, and a hinged wing type dealie in the case for the first disc. Unless these locks are about to break off; there's white plastic visible on the hinges already; if they tend to break off, changes this to hate.

Pleasant paintings from Ren Seeks Help on the discs. The discs look good.



Shot composition on the Naked Beach Frenzy interview with a beer bottle right between Katie Rice's legs. Fatty Arbuckle would be pleased, altho he would likely deny it to the authorities.

The side by side animatic and normal episode of all of Ren Seeks Help. Much more satisfying than the short snippets we normally get. The other episodes should have had this as well.

Hate:


No explanation: nothing in the packaging or labeling tells you where the cartoons are. Instead of an insert that tells you where things are, you get a pointless note from John K. and a picture of him with his hands in his pockets and clip art that doesn't quite go along with the picture. Great. Hope you remember where things are; not even the disc art helps, since each disc has a different painting from Ren Seeks Help...

No direction to the text. The back cover is full of inconsistent text direction; so the snippets about the cartoons are not readable in a flow.

Lies. The front cover says "this unit contains only official John K. product", and yet the first thing you are compelled to watch on the first disc, even before the standard forced legal warning, is ads for South Park. You have to avoid them repeatedly using whatever it is you use to hit your remote buttons.

No option for playing episodes while completely avoiding introductory comments. If you want to smoothly watch the episodes, you don't get that option; it's like cutting from the girl to Ron Jeremy all the time...

Bad image quality on the extras. It looks cheaply shot and cheaply lit.

Even worse sound quality on the extras. It sounds like the interviewees are not mic'ed; probably just a single mic on or near the camera. Probably a good assumption based on the constant sound of the tiny dog walking around (when he scratches himself, it sounds like the camera operator is engaging in self abuse; I really hope it was the dog, anyway), or the calamitous din of what sounded like a pyramid of Heineken bottles falling over. As opposed to people's comments, which often could not be heard.




Katie Rice trying to tear off her fingers in the Naked Beach Frenzy opening. I either acclimated to it later or she stopped doing it, but in that first opening it seemed like she was going to pop one of her digits off of her hand, throw it at the camera, and run screaming from the shot.

No followup on John K going to Katie Rice's 15th birthday party.




The physical composition for the intro to Stimpy's Pregnant. Ann Marie's pretty head is a tangent to John K's body initially, and her placement continues to be irritating/harrowing as the piece goes on, as she naturally turns towards John and away from the camera to answer his questions.

Weird Al. He didn't have much to say, but the piece went on. This could have been fixed with editing. The bit about his wife hating the cartoons (X3) was good, so were a couple of other things. But on balance, not good as presented.

Lack of case unity with the previous releases. While the case and art are (largely) good, it doesn't match the three previous recent Ren and Stimpy box sets in style or execution.

No commentary tracks (or if there is, the packaging didn't bother telling me where that was). I manually checked several of the episodes; no dice. I like the interviews just fine, but it's no substitute for commentary tracks.

Easter eggs. Nothing wrong with easter eggs, but most of them should have been explicitly findable extras, especially the cut bit from Onward and Upward.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The plastic snap parts on the case are actually security tag devices, which should come off with a little prising :) I found the DVD to be good, the extras are just that as extra after all. the video interview pieces did tend to run slightly overtime though.