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Disney’s Ren & Stimpy Ripoff Cartoon Didn’t Last Very Long

Disney's Ren & Stimpy Ripoff Cartoon Didn't Last Very Long


  • Disney’s
    Shnookums & Meat
    show lacked edgy humor and faced limitations, making it seem like a lesser version of
    Ren and Stimpy
  • Supporting characters Tex Tinstar & Pith Possum overshadowed the main duo due to strong voice acting, leading to dull moments for
    Shnookums & Meat
  • The lack of originality in
    Shnookums & Meat
    , with rip-offs from other shows, contributed to its cancelation after only 13 episodes.

Airing on Nickelodeon for over four years and releasing a total of 52 episodes in the ‘90s, John Kricfalusi’s Ren and Stimpy quickly became a staple for the children’s television channel. It’s no surprise why this show grew so quickly with the younger audience – it’s quite hard to look away from the wacky and wild adventures surrounding a skinny, neurotic chihuahua and a giant, brainless cat. Their weekly skirmishes involved getting into tussles with psychotic circus workers, thinking that they gave birth (when it was actually just flatulence), and trying to sell rubber nipples to the local firehouse.

As much as these shock-value storylines created a negative fervor among Nick executives and parents alike, these dream fever situations combined with quality animation helped to make Ren and Stimpy a great success among critics and audiences alike. Even with this controversy standing in the shadows of the show, Disney could not take the fact that Nickelodeon was racing ahead, and they were in dire need of a similarly animated show.

Premiering on The Disney Afternoon programming block a month after Ren and Stimpy concluded its final season, Bill Kopp’s The Shnookums & Meat Funny Cartoon Show came to have a very similar dynamic. This was actually a spin-off of 1993’s Marsupilami, which sprang out of CBS’s Raw Toonage from 1992 (neither of which had great episode runs). Shnookums & Meat also presented viewers with a cat named—you guessed it—Shnookums and a big but inept dog named Meat. This duo had equally crazy outings, like being harshly judged in limbo after getting hit by a truck and creating unhinged monsters with a brain-altering device, so why was this seemingly fine series canceled after only 13 episodes? What was so wrong with Shnookums and Meat that made people change the channel?

Disney Couldn’t Be Edgy Like Nickelodeon

First, audiences should realize that Disney obviously has stricter regulations than Nickelodeon. The underlying dark and adult humor that made Ren and Stimpy enjoyable for all ages is non-existent in Shnookums and Meat. Kopp surely had the ability – look at his work on the final episode of Tales from the Crypt.

However, Disney would never have let him go with that much violence and black comedy in this animated series. As the creator mentioned in an interview with a former website, Animato, imagine if this show was on a less restricted network like Fox Kids. But because of this tight grip on the content they distribute, people will always consider Kopp’s creation to be a lighter, almost bargain-version of Ren and Stimpy and nothing more.


Why Nobody Remembers Disney’s First Animated TV Series

The Wuzzles gave us something that ’80s TV was lacking: a good dose of Disney’s original animation genius.

As aforementioned in the introduction, The Shnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show only ran for 13 episodes before being axed. In this short period, the featured dog and cat were surprisingly overshadowed by the two supporting shorts in the episodes – Pith Possum and Tex Tinstar: The Best In The West. While they were indeed parodies in and of themselves (Pith was a play on Batman, and Tex was a satire of old-time cowboy protagonists), these side stories inevitably shined because the phenomenal Jeff Bennett stepped in for both leading roles.

With over 600 animated productions under his belt, Bennett could make anything entertaining. Unfortunately, this unbalanced casting was a detriment to the Ren and Stimpy counterparts. When reviewing the show, Scott Moore from the Washington Post said that Shnookums and Meat were the weakest of all three cartoons shown in the half-hour time slot.

Tex Tinstar and Pith Possum Stole the Show From Shnookums and Meat

Aside from looking at the other segments, Shnookums and Meat was just plain awkward with its pacing at times and thus was never comparable to the original animated duo of Ren and Stimpy. For example, many chase sequences (such as when Meat tries to hit Shnookums with a stove) or comedic windups (like when a baseball goes through too many shenanigans before hitting Meat square in the head) go on for too long. When the title of the show is based around characters who share the screen with two other segments, a quick pace is always needed. Maybe it was a creative choice or a decision that was forced by Disney, but this slower story-telling will inevitably signal viewers to the other, more entertaining animated faces in your program.


10 Scenes That Were Cut from Disney Movies Because They Were too Dark

How much pain did Disney spare its audience or characters? These are 10 times Disney cut scenes or storylines because they were too dark.

Let’s face it – Bill Kopp’s collaboration with Disney was marred by a lack of originality. Even though some may still argue to this day that Tex Tinstar deserves to be given a second chance, all three segments were rip-offs of something else. We all know what Shnookums and Meat were based on. But Pith Possum’s riff of Batman came right off of the heels of Darkwing Duck, another play on the caped crusader. Even though Bennett’s lively depiction helped, the premise of Pith was tiresome at this point. While Tex (the Johnny Bravo-cowboy hybrid) undoubtedly had a charm and copied cartoons of old with its weekly cliffhanger ending, most viewers never stayed long enough to see how it played out.

While The Shnookums & Meat Funny Cartoon Show has not been made available on Disney+ or any sort of television since 2007, it can be watched on YouTube for free.

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