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Paramount Home Video presents
The Ren and Stimpy Show: Season Five and Some More of Four (1995)

"Alright Stimpy, I've got a 6am tee-off time tomorrow, so let's get to bed."
- Ren (Billy West)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: September 21, 2005

Stars: Billy West
Other Stars: Alan Young
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (adult language and situations)
Run Time: 06h:30m:00s
Release Date: September 20, 2005
UPC: 097368881242
Genre: television


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C- CB-C B

DVD Review

Ah, the saga that is Ren & Stimpy. Things started off so well and promising for this series, which began on Nickelodeon in 1991. It was actually only the third cartoon to have aired on the network at the time, and the ratings were stellar right out of the box. Creator John Kricfalusi engaged in creative battles with the network after the first season and eventually left the show. Bob Camp and Billy West remained, creating the Games animation company to continue producing the show through its fifth and final season.

The Ren & Stimpy Show: Season Five and Some More of Four chronicles the series' last stand. This boxed set has a total of 17 episodes, including the second half of Season Four and all of Season Five. Unfortunately, the pure hilarity from the first season is a distant memory now, as these episodes are only concerned with being as gross as they possibly can.

The nastiness begins in the middle of Season Four with Double Header. This warped look at Ren and Stimpy's conversion into Siamese twins sets the tone immediately, as the former's attempts at permanent separation only makes things worse. Aloha Höek takes the grue to the next level when Ren decides that Stimpy's newly discovered tropical paradise isn't as appealing as living in the rotting, smelly carcass of a fish. Those of you who have always wondered what the inside of a dead fish might be like can rest easy now, as you'll get much more than you bargained for in this episode.

Disc 1 continues down the road to animated debauchery with Insomniac Ren, where Stimpy devises the cruelest of remedies to cure his buddy's sleep depravation problems, Cheese Rush Days, which will keep me away from numerous dairy products for weeks, and Wiener Barons, a title which pretty much speaks for itself. There are a couple installments on this disc that harken back to the glory days of the show. Galoot Wranglers just has that old-school Ren & Stimpy feel and even some of the old wit as well, while Ren Needs Help! has its charm in the appearance of Muddy Mudskipper and Mr. Yak.

Just when you thought it couldn't get any more demented, on we go to Disc 2. Here Stimpy emulates Frank Sinatra in Ol' Blue Nose, (he has a similar affection for fictional lounge singer Sammy Mantis in a later episode) Stimpy realizing his place in life in Stupid Sidekick Union, and the ultra-creepy Space Dogged, when the dastardly duo get involved in the space wars between the US and Russia. My cats' hairballs look tame compared to what we see in Hair of the Cat, which is actually one of the funnier entries in the set. City Hicks is a fish-out-of-water tale, taking Ren and Stimpy to the big city, while Ren's Brain is just plain disgusting and very difficult to watch.

Don't throw your barf bags away just yet, because we've still got to go through Disc 3. No time is wasted getting to the sickness, when Stimpy reaches puberty (I Was a Teenage Stimpy) and develops pimples that we are given completely unnecessary close-up shots of. Dinner Party completely loses its way during the titular event, Reverend Jack Cheese which introduces us to the gospel of meat, and A Skooter For Yaksmas, an interesting take on one of Ren and Stimpy's holiday celebrations. A couple of highlights on this disc include Who's Stupid Now? where the pair swap intellects and The Last Temptation of Ren, a fitting end to not only Season Five, but to the series itself.

Again, I'm all for weird demented humor, but there has to be some substance and wit behind it. Such qualities were what the early days of Ren & Stimpy were all about, and to see the show suffer from such a great decrease in quality is a huge disappointment. There are very few of these episodes that kids should even catch a fleeting glimpse of. Fortunately, Paramount Home Video has put a parental advisory on the back of this box, because if kids see these shows they might swear off cartoons forever.

Rating for Style: C-
Rating for Substance: C

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: The shows come to us in their original full-frame aspect ratio, and they are fairly impressive, visually. The colors aren't as bright as we've grown accustomed to in more recent cartoons, but they are a bit more vivid than in earlier seasons of the show. The frequency of grain has been improved upon from earlier seasons as well, and there really aren't many blemishes or other glaring flaws here.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: There's nothing special at all about the Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. Everything stays up front, including the music, but the overall mix is impressive given that the dialogue is always easy to understand, no matter what sound effects can be heard simultaneously.

Audio Transfer Grade: C

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 17 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring South Park: The Complete Sixth Season, Chappelle's Show: Season 2 Uncensored, The Ren & Stimpy Show: The First and Second Seasons Uncut
14 Feature/Episode commentaries by 1. "Aloha Höek" - John K. & Bill Wray2. "My Shiny Friend" - John K. & Bill Wray3. "Ren Needs Help!" - Eddie Fitzgerald, John K., Richard Pursel, & Jim Smith4. "Superstitious Stimpy" (Spumco) - Eddie Fitzgerald, Richard Pursel, & Vincent Waller
Packaging: Nexpak
Picture Disc
3 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: There are a few previews, but the only real valuable extras are fourteen audio commentaries. These tracks feature a variety of participants, both from the Spumco and Games animation teams. John K. is on board as well and there are even a few episodes with more than one commentary track, offering a pair of unique perspectives for these.

Extras Grade: B

 

Final Comments

It looks like The Ren & Stimpy Show: Season Five and Some More of Four will be the last DVD release for this troubled show. Maybe one day John K. will have the urge to capture the show's magic from when it first hit the airwaves, but, despite the mediocre quality of these final episodes, at least fans can finally complete their collection. The audio and video are nothing special, but they don't really have to be for the material to be effective, and the extras could have been better.

 


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