Artist/animator, Ren and Stimpy
Canadian-born animator John Kricfalusi is the animated cartoon’s modern pioneer. He started his career in the 1980s working on show such as The Smurfs, Laverne and Shirley in the Army and other Saturday morning cartoons. Ralph Bakshi discovered John in 1987 and hired him to direct CBS’s Ralph Bakshi’s Mighty Mouse Show. Kricfalusi hired a crew of artists that, like him, were dissatisfied with the formula cartoons they were forced to work on at other studios. John not only revolutionized the style and content of modern cartoons, he created a new production system that allowed it to happen.
He first introduced the director-unit system on Mighty Mouse, and then went on to refine it for his own Spumco studio and The Ren and Stimpy Show. With that landmark 1991 TV series featuring the demented, wildly anti-social and hilariously inappropriate antics of the two title characters, Kricfalusi kicked modern cartooning in its underpants, starting a myriad of trends including the gross-out subversive cartoon and the thick-lined flat retro cartoon.