John Kricfalusi (pronounced as kris-fa-LOO-see) is a well-known animator, the creator of such series as Ren and Stimpy
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:
- The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse and Heckle & Jeckle: Storyboard artist.
- The Smurfs Christmas Special: Layout artist.
- The Snorks: Layout artist on the first season. He was apparently kicked off for "drawing too flat." (This coming from Hanna-Barbera.)
- Richie Rich: Layout artist for the second season.
- Pac-Man: Layout artist.
- The Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/Fonz Hour: Layout artist for Laverne & Shirley with the Fonz segments.
- The Jetsons: Layout supervisor. He made his directorial debut with "Hi-Tech Wreck".
- ''Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats: Character designer during the first season. He stated that the only fun part was coming up with new character designs.
- Galaxy High: Graphics.
- Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures: Senior director during the first season, and directed eight episodes himself.
- The Thing What Lurked in The Tub (short)
- Bobby's Girl: A proposed animated feature which he would have been made with his mentor Ralph Bakshi. It never got off the ground, unfortunately.
- Troop Beverly Hills: designed the Animated Credits Opening.
- The New Adventures of Beany And Cecil: Producer/Director
- Tiny Toon Adventures: Did some early design work while the show was in Development Hell. Credited as a model designer in "Who Bopped Bugs Bunny?"
- Harlem Shuffle, a music video by The Rolling Stones from their album Dirty Work.
- The Ren & Stimpy Show: Creator.
- Two Stupid Dogs: Provided "tidbits of bad taste" for the "Red" episodes spoofing Little Red Riding Hood.
- The Goddamn George Liquor Program: Notable for being the very first cartoon series to be made entirely using Adobe Flash.
- Weekend Pussy Hunt: A Spin-Off of the George Liquor program, being another early Adobe Flash cartoon.
- Fuck Her Gently: An Animated Music Video he worked on for Tenacious D.
- The Ripping Friends: intended to be a Spiritual Successor to The Ren & Stimpy Show but Canadian television standards forced him to keep the characters on-model and recycle drawings, two things he is very much against, and he hates what it became.
- Yoake no Mariko (PS2 JPN): Designed and animated the characters in the intro, although he dismissed his work on it as "pretty bland."
- Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon"
- I Miss You: Music video for Björk, from her album Post.
- Three made-for-tv Yogi Bear shorts.
- At least One Made-for-tv short based on The Jetsons. He made his directorial debut while working on the '80s revival.
- Heartaches: A flash series in the works of his.
- He Hog The Atomic Pig: A animated feature idea that he is attempting to pitch.
- One particularly deranged Simpsons couch gag (A link on his blog about making it.)
- "Close, but No Cigar" music video for "Weird Al" Yankovic.
- "Cans Without Labels": An animated short he has in the works, but is using Kickstarter to fund.
- Free Birds: Did preproduction work on the film, and posted much of his art for it on his blog.
- Doing art for Miley Cyrus's Bangerz tour.
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 Toon Boom 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.
- 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 anime).
- The Dark Age of Animation: When he started working.
- 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.
- DVD Commentary: Did several interesting commentaries for Vol. 2 and Vol. 3 the Looney Tunes Golden Collection series, but refused to do any more of them due to his complaints about the Digital Destruction in those sets. Strangely, he supplied one more commentary for Vol. 5. He also supplied some commentaries for the official Popeye The Sailor DVD sets, and Thunderbean's Wartime Cartoon sets. Obviously, he also provided commentaries for the Ren and Stimpy DVD sets.
- 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 Golden Age of Animation: While not a full-fledged historian, he is a huge nut for this era, and is very knowledgeable about it as a result, helped by collaborating with some historians such as Steve Worth.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.