Sunday, February 19, 2012

Inspiration & a Despised Cult Classic

Anyone remembers "Ren & Stimpy"?
If you do, G*d help you, and if you don't, I won't remind you further.

I considered "Ren & Stimpy" a tasteless, crass piece of junk.
The spastic animation, garish use of colors, the very potty humor, I found grating to the brain, ears and eyes..but I digress.

Why do I mention a cartoon I didn't give a flying fig about then or now?

Let me explain, the animation studio that created "Ren & Stimpy" actually did produce a little gem about pet dogs.
Though this standalone picture had the same above pet-peeves, it actually did not turn my stomach so much as my head.

Let me see if my memory serves me:
A new dog arrives in the neighborhood. He is young, quite scrawny, and with bugged-out eyes. Immediately, he is approached and sized up by the local canine Casanova, who looks like a muscular white Husky type.
This new rival is better-looking than our pencil-thin hero. The rival lets it be known to the Scrawny Dog he is king-of-the-hill, the Top Dog.

But it does not end there.
A poodle, stereotypically of wealthy owners, arrives in town and becomes the target of the amorous top dog.

While Top Dog sets his sights on the Poodle, and in a sequence I believe also inspired by the spaghetti-eating scene from 'Lady & the Tramp' (read previous post), he wines and dines the Poodle.

The Poodle does not seem impressed and is a bit worldly, however, she is befriended by a heavy-set, Mama-type dog.
This same Mama-type constantly accuses, at the top of her lungs, that the Top Dog is the father to her own puppies.

When the Top Dog confronts her at her owner's fence to deny the accusation: "Those pups don't look anything like me!" he rages, the puppies all begin to jump up and down behind the fence.
Each and everyone of them LOOK EXACTLY like him! The top dog's mouth drops and he is rendered speechless.

The scene is both poignant but also side-splitting hilarious. Why poignant? Well, the Mama-type has put on weight since having the litter. She tells the Poodle that at one point, the Top Dog found her attractive (and throughout the film, she is still trying to get the Top Dog back while still beating him down to help take care of his kids).

The Mama-type warns the Poodle not to let the Top Dog trap her, that he will get her pregnant and leave.

In the meantime, I don't remember what the overall plot to the story, but I also remember the Poodle was not at all perfect, but had either an eating disorder/addiction (who comes up with this stuff?). Whenever she smelled and saw a certain food (forgot what it was), she would gorge herself to the point that she would be sick and immobile for days.

Yet when she divulges this to the scrawny dog, they find acceptance and understanding for their flaws.
(I know the Scrawny Dog had some self-confidence issues. Some adventure ensues but I'll be darned if I remember it.)

At the end of the film, Scrawny Dog proves himself to the bully/Top Dog.
Poodle had also rejected Top Dog.
Mama-type, for a time, has the Top Dog taking responsibility with the puppies.
Poodle and Scrawny Dog end up a couple. END.

Now, don't ask if this was part of the 'Ren & Stimpy' feature, or was a separate project from the animation company.
I don't remember the title, the characters' names, or even what the story was about, just certain scenes.

All I know is the cartoon made a huge impact when I first viewed it, even though I wasn't a fan of the animation studio's body of work.

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