Creator / John Kricfalusi
John K with his two most famous creations.

"Everybody's ugly in real life. You just have to look close. Look inside anybody's nose."
John K, "Film Threat #7".

John Kricfalusi (pronounced as kris-fa-LOO-see) is a well-known animator, the creator of such series as The Ren & Stimpy Show and The Ripping Friends. He worked on Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures with his friend and mentor Ralph Bakshi, as well as the very short lived revival of Beany and Cecil, with the offspring of his hero and mentor Bob Clampett. He has also dabbled in webtooning with "The George Liquor Show" and "Weekend Pussy Hunt", being a pioneer of Flash-based cartoons. He was the founder of the now-defunct animation studio Spümcø.John K is a fan of “classic” cartoons from The Golden Age of Animation, such as Looney Tunes. He is a controversial figure in animation history, with some seeing him as the man who brought back “cartoony” cartoons to television, while others see him as Small Name, Big Ego. (This is not the place to debate either of those things.)

He maintains a blog, John K Stuff, wherein he posts information on classic cartoons and practical knowledge for aspiring animators. There is also a more distilled version with advice and lessons on cartooning and animation, John K Curriculum. Note that both are home to John K’s notoriously controversial opinions regarding animation, including his belief that good drawings are the back-bone of a cartoon's success (rather than it being the story, which is the common contemporary belief). He is very opinionated, and some rants may be a little overwhelming. However, if you're willing to look past his opinions, you can find some pretty useful information about animation technique and history that's sure to interest any budding animator.

Shows He Has Worked On / Works Of His Include:

This animator's work provides examples of:

  • Alternate DVD Commentary: He did commentary for the Ren and Stimpy DVDs, including some episodes after he was fired from the show.
  • Alan Smithee: John once did this to an episode of Ren and Stimpy. See Creator Backlash in the Trivia tab.
  • Animated Music Video: Made several, as listed above.
  • Art Evolution: While he has always drawn and animated with his trademark style, moving to 2D computer animation with Flash clearly had an effect on it, as he was recreating the same type of cartoons with a set of tools not at all intended for it. Once ToonBoom came along, allowing him to do "tradigital" stuff, he vowed never to animate on paper again.
  • Author Appeal: Kirk Douglas
  • Born in the Wrong Century: He absolutely loves old stuff before 1970: cartoons, comic strips, toys, music, films,... He would probably be more at ease in the 1940s than nowadays, seeing that he despises most of the stuff created after 1970 as "crap". He has also described himself as being "out of touch" with modern pop culture for the most part.
  • Broke the Rating Scale: He reviewed Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs on his blog, giving it a rating of "zero" despite liking a few things about it, such as the visuals. He said this was actually a good score, as he usually gives negative numbers to recent animated films.
  • Canada, Eh?: A native of Ottawa, he poked fun at Canadian stereotypes in pieces like "The Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen".
  • Cast of Snowflakes: His cartoons are full of them, almost all based on people or actors John has observed throughout his life.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: The characters in his work all seem pretty insane.
  • Color Contrast: He has written many blog posts detailing how to properly use Color Contrast in animation. He's also noted how anime is brimming with good color mixers (an unusual break from his general dislike for modern animation).
  • Darker and Edgier: His cartoons in contrast to what else was coming out in the 90's—what other cartoon of the early 90's can you name where characters go through nightmarish psychodramas, brutally beat up someone for playing mind games with them, or pluck the roots of teeth from their gums? His work after the original Ren and Stimpy tends to crank up the vulgarity and adult subject matter even more, and far more than even most modern adult cartoons are willing to go.
  • Depending on the Artist: John took this trope Up to Eleven, allowing his artists to experiment with their own individual styles on the show, as a callback to how Bob Clampett allowed his animators to deviate from the characters model sheets to make a specific pose or expression. Also see Off Model below.
  • Deranged Animation: He considers this to be the main appeal of cartoons - pretty much the biggest reason he got into the animation industry was to bring this back to what he considered the less interesting cartoons of the '80s.
  • Digital Destruction: Trope Namer is one of his articles which goes into how the "restorations" of older cartoons are actually making them worse than before. He apparently wrote the articles in response to poor "restorations" of the Ren and Stimpy DVD boxsets brought on by DVNR.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Whether you love him or hate him, you have to give Kricfalusi credit for reviving the kind of edge and audacity that makes censors cry and has been lacking in cartoons since the late 1960s. The very name of his old company, Spumco, is this.note 
  • Grossout Show: Trope Maker is The Ren & Stimpy Show. He took this Up to Eleven in Adult Party Cartoon. Nowadays, he's become tired of gross-out gags and wishes to focus more on personality and acting in his cartoons.
  • Growing with the Audience: He tried this with Ren and Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon, and didn't exactly get a positive response.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: A John K trademark. Used all over his cartoons, especially Ren & Stimpy. He's also a specialist on finding such content in other cartoons, particularly Disney films.
  • Later Installment Weirdness: His recent cartoons from around the 2010s and on abandoned the famous pose to pose Limited Animation and gross out humor style of Ren and Stimpy in favor of a very loose, downright surrealistic style of animation and humor. He claims after he got to watch a ton of early 1930s cartoons, he had simply grown bored with his old style and decided to go in a different direction.
  • Off Model: John took this trope to the extreme — he never used model sheets, and made it a literal rule to never, EVER draw a character the same way, or with the same expression or pose more than once. He believes that characters ought to have just a few general rules on how they appear, and the rest should be up to the artists to exaggerate them as they see fit. Note that he does not mean "Draw Badly" — he still has his artists use essential skills like construction and line of action, because as he pointed out, something about the drawing has to make sense, or the artist will have no control over their work.
  • The Renaissance Age of Animation: Was a significant contributor with his work on Ralph Bakshi's Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures and with his own series, The Ren & Stimpy Show. Specifically, he was one of the first to promote the return of wild, anarchistic humor to modern cartoons, as well as the higher-quality animation it required.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: His works land on the Cynicism end of the scale, especially in Ren and Stimpy: Adult Party Cartoon. Heck, one of the unfinished episodes for it was called "Life Sucks".
  • Sliding Scale of Realistic Versus Fantastic: All of his works land on the Surreal end of the scale, especially his cartoons from 2010 and on.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Bob Clampett, one of the original masters of Deranged Animation and one of John's mentors.
  • The Twelve Principles of Animation: He feels only the first five (Solid Drawing, Appeal, Exaggeration, Staging and Timing) are truly essential principles, pointing to shows like Roger Ramjet to prove that no matter how low budget your animation is, you can still make a great cartoon using these principles alone. With that said, he has been experimenting with full animation in the name of funny movement, due to now being bored with pose-to-pose animation like he did on Ren and Stimpy.
  • Vulgar Humor: Very, very much in favor of this and playing shocking, un-politically correct subjects for laughs. Ren and Stimpy is most famous for this due to its Grossout Show nature, but his work after that cranks it up even further.