Part of SFFILM Festival
Happy Happy Joy Joy – The Ren & Stimpy Story
The controversial show Ren & Stimpy (1991-95) was ostensibly for kids but quickly found an appreciative older audience and initiated the wave of adult animation programs that continues today. Though the program is remembered fondly, less is known of the behind-the-scenes crises and conflicts that this wide-ranging documentary dives into. Through interviews with producers, animators, fans, and controversial creator John Kricfalusi himself, the filmmakers present the show’s undeniable achievements while also presenting the grime behind the curtain.
“Happy Happy Joy Joy is both an homage to an inspired endeavor and a cautionary tale illustrating how even the greatest popular success can be brought down by unchecked ego, perfectionism, and ‘artistic temperament’ at the top. Feature debutants Ron Cicerl and Kimo Easterwood’s documentary is a very entertaining recap that grows more disturbing as it wades into the dysfunctional behavior that doomed the show, and still somewhat taints its legacy.” –Dennis Harvey, Variety
Ron Cicero has been a member of the camera and electrical crews on films, including working as a grip, gaffer, lighting designer, and electrician. He makes his feature writing/directing debut with Happy Happy Joy Joy – The Ren & Stimpy Story.
After getting his start as a grip and electrician, Kimo Easterwood moved into cinematography with Christopher Titus: Love Is Evol (2009) and Special Unit (2017). Happy Happy Joy Joy – The Ren & Stimpy Story is his first film as a director.
Director Ron Cicero, Kimo Easterwood
Producer Ron Cicero
Editor Sean Jarrett, Christina Burchard, Kevin Klauber, Ron Cicero, Kimo Easterwood
Cinematographer Kimo Easterwood