Saturday, August 8, 2015

Rein-Toon-Ation: The New Adventures of Beany & Cecil (1988)

John Kricfalusi hasn't had the greatest of luck on Saturday mornings.

In 1987, Kricfalusi was on Ralph Bakshi's staff for the ill-fated Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures, which, if not for some misguided criticism from Rev. Don Wildmon's American Family Association, would've actually succeeded. The next year, Kricfalusi was chosen by the family of Beany & Cecil creator Bob Clampett to work on a revival of the show, which DIC was producing for ABC.

Kricfalusi thought he could get away with some, ah, subversive humor, but network censors and suits had other ideas. As a result, the revival died stillborn, cancelled after barely a month on the air, with four episodes unaired. Only 9 were produced because production started late due to issues between Kricfalusi and ABC.

As you'll see, the hallmarks of Kricfalusi's later work on Ren & Stimpy, which bowed on Nickelodeon three years later, are present. Here's "Bad Guy Flu".

I tried watching this show once. Something felt wrong, and I never looked back.

Kricfalusi would give Saturday mornings another try with Fox's Ripping Friends in 2001. Unfortunately, that show wore out its welcome rather quickly as well, and was cancelled, only to be picked up by [adult swim], which didn't hang on to it for very long, either. Kricfalusi's subsequent reboot of Ren & Stimpy as a late night cartoon for Spike in 2003 was also a bust.

Rating: D.

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