Ren and Stimpy will be rebooted with a new creative team, but Nickelodeon already tried to revive the series in the 2000s - and it failed miserably.
Ren & Stimpy hasn’t been on the air for nearly two decades, but there is still a great appreciation for the show to this day. The continued interest is understandable considering how popular the show was during its original run. This is why the recent news of Comedy Central developing a Ren & Stimpy reboot shouldn’t come as a surprise. So far, there are not many confirmed details about how Ren & Stimpy will be reimagined, but it will be done with a brand new creative team. Whenever the reboot does arrive, it will be the second attempt to revive the series.
Kricfalusi previously had the chance to reboot Ren & Stimpy in the early 2000s with Ren & Stimpy “Adult Party Cartoon." He was tasked with bringing back the hit characters to help launch Spike TV, and six episodes were ordered at first. Some of the original animators and voice cast returned, but Billy West declined a return to voice Stimpy since he thought the new material wasn’t funny. It turned out that audiences mostly felt the same way. Adult Party Cartoon mainly received negative reviews and was pulled from canceled after airing just three episodes.
The response to Ren & Stimpy “Adult Party Cartoon” came after Kricfalusi was given more creative control over the series. He pushed Ren & Stimpy’s latest adventures to the extreme, focusing more on the gross-out and raunchy humor intended to shock audiences rather than the odd charm of Ren and Stimpy’s relationship. The more adult take on the beloved characters divided fans, but Kricfalusi’s work behavior didn’t do the show any favors either. He routinely missed deadlines to turn in new episodes during his time working on Ren & Stimpy and the spinoff. This created animosity between Kricfalusi and the networks, and that was long before Kricfalusi was accused of sexual abuse.
Since Kircfalusi isn’t expected to be involved in the new Ren & Stimpy reboot, hopefully, the latest take on these characters can succeed. Members of the new creative team have yet to be revealed, but they can learn a lot about what not to do by looking at Adult Party Cartoon. Those who first became fans of Ren and Stimpy are much older now. However, the reboot is the perfect opportunity to introduce them to a new audience, while still making something that original viewers can enjoy. While Adult Party Cartoon went too far in its attempt to grow the show’s contents along with the viewers, the reboot of The Ren & Stimpy Show could succeed by striking a better balance.