The Masters of Animation: Vol. 1
The history of John Kricfalusi is and forever shall be intertwined with that of the great Billy West. In fact when I was trying to figure out how to spell this guy's name I just ended up googling Billy West and there it was.
John K. is one of those old school cartoon guys that never really made it big. As a lover of wacky cartoons, his style was basically Loony Toons but with more cursing and homo-erotic nonsense. John was a visionary that dared to push the boundaries of a children's cable network.
He is best known for the Ren & Stimpy Show, a series whose history is wrought with controversy and censorship. In retrospect that censorship was a blessing in disguise. I'm so glad that John K. finally got to bring his vision of Ren & Stimpy fucking each other in the ass to life. Damn those Nickelodeon censors for denying us this vision so many years ago.
The biggest blow to John came when Nickelodeon fired him in 1993. Billy West, who John expected to quit and come with him, continued to not only do the voice of Stimpy the Cat, but also did the voice of John's character, Ren. It was the biggest fuck you in the history of pointless cartoon shows. While Kricfalusi cites creative differences for his firing, he also failed to deliver episodes on time and was a giant pain in the ass otherwise. BUT IT WAS THE CENSORSHIP OH GOD THE HORRIBLE CENSORSHIP!!!
Billy West contends that he was simply hired to do voice work and had no duty to be loyal to John. Kricfalusi eventually fulfilled his vision of a faggot Ren & Stimpy and ended up being canceled by Spike TV after only a month, which is amazing because they'll air any piece of shit.
John K. is the perfect example of what happens to you when you don't sell out. Let that be a lesson to you kids. Sell out and sell out hard, and betray someone else in the process if you can. The worst that could happen is that you become the voice of Bugs Bunny and that Cheerios honey bee and get paid millions of dollars for the privilege of doing so.
John Kricfalusi currently spends his days drawing The Flash Tub at Something Awful, a popular humor web site.
Hayao Miyazaki is often refereed to in the western world as the "Walt Disney of Japan", although that's not an entirely apt analogy. Walt Disney could barely draw Mickey Mouse and this Japanese son of a bitch prefers to draw almost every single key frame of his films himself because nobody else in Japan knows how to draw apparently. Miyazaki couldn't give two shits about Walt Disney. He's more like the Michael Jordan of Japan, threatening to retire, and coming back, and threatening to retire again in addition to being unstoppable in the paint.
His films have broken Japanese box office records and have made at least 11 dollars in America, the most for a Japanese animated movie studio. The Studio Ghibli films are actually quite good and while they haven't exactly made a splash at the American box office they are generally regarded as wonderful movies by mainstream American critics.
John Lasseter, who is the head of Pixar Studios and has this weird crush on Miyazaki, has been instrumental in bringing the great director's films to America. On every DVD release Lasseter includes a short segment where he gushes about how great Miyazaki is and how everybody at Pixar is inspired by his films. Studio Ghibli has responded to Lasseter's kindness and generosity by creating a short film entitled "Thank You Mr. Lasseter, We're Flattered, but Not Interested: Please Stay Away or We Are Calling the Police, For Reals This Time".
An unfortunate side effect of the success of Miyazaki in America is that it opens the door for all the other crap animes that are not only embarrassing to the nation they come from, but to humanity as a whole. Anime fans are not only misguided and naive, they are downright stupid. Anime is far becoming mainstream in America. It isn't even close. Just because Roger Ebert regarded My Neighbor Totoro as one of his "Great Movies" doesn't mean your copy of Super Battle Angel Taisen Schoolgirl X suddenly has any relevance.
And it isn't like Japan is all gung-ho for these cartoons with panty shots and thinly veiled pedophilia either. Japanese citizens hate anime fans as much as we do in the US. Sure there are some prime-time anime shows in Japan but most of that crap is shown late at night, when most of the normals don't have to deal with it.
Hayao Miyazaki currently spends his days being shamed by his son for following in his footsteps with the whole animation thing. Miyazaki's son's first film flopped and according to Japanese law the execution will take place on Friday.
Thank you for joining me in this closer look at the masters of animation. To be honest it was really just an excuse to talk about how much Matt Groening sucks. Man I hate that guy.
No, there will not be a volume 2.