Directed by: John K. & Jim Smith.
Storyboards by: Jim Smith
Animation by: Rough Draft.
Music used in the episode.
“Fake Dad” parodies the big brother/big sister programs, with Ren and Stimpy taking on the dangerous prisoner Kowalski (who was imprisoned for crimes against humanity- always a good sign). Stimpy’s thrilled, but Ren’s irritated that such a towering giant readily wrecks his prized possessions, like his favorite chair and TV.
The plot’s pretty thin in this episode; it’s essentially a series of sequences where Kowalski pisses off Ren, while Stimpy persuades Ren to be loving and understanding to the behemoth. After numerous annoyances, though (including taking months to burp, and finally unleashing so hard on Ren that it blows his skin off), Ren threatens to spank Kowalski. But something on Kowalski’s ass causes Ren to change his mind. Literally in the next scene, Ren and Stimpy’s time with Kowalski is up, and Kowalski is shipped back to prison, now suddenly affectionate towards Ren (he repeatedly and sadly shouts “Goodbye, daddy!” from the paddy wagon). Um, how abrupt. If there was a scene of Ren and Kowalski bonding, I missed it.
It makes sense why that crucial detail is absent; according to an old article in Cinfantastique, “Fake Dad” was supposed to be a full-length episode, but somewhere along the line (reportedly at the conceptual stage) was trimmed to 11 minutes. I’m assuming the character development was part of what was never fully realized, because as it stands, Kowalski’s and Ren’s attitude changes are so out of left field. That, combined with the relatively slow pacing and Kowalski having not much dialog except grunts and groans (thereby not having much chemistry with Ren and Stimpy), make this one underwhelming. That said, it’s enjoyable in spots, particularly where Kowalski orders a “meat on meat” sandwich and wants to wash it down with… you guessed it, MEAT. The timing on Kowalski barking out his requests is just perfect, and the meat smoothie is a funny visual.
Trivia: This is one of many season 2 episodes finished at Games after Spumco’s firing; John K. still did Ren’s voice, and layouts were done by Spumco, but Games had layout control and did the post-production. Source.
It’s a small miracle to make a drawing of an obese, grizzled criminal look beautiful.
This episode encapsulates so well why I hate it when people lick their fingers before turning a page. It’s disgusting.
This drawing of an irritated Ren is weird. He looks more like a wrinkled old man than angry.
Kowalski crushes stuff after Ren smacks him on the head with a spoon. The crushing animation is nicely done. Strangely, this is pretty much the main instance where we see Kowalski’s brute strength; he spends most of the cartoon stationary. Sadly.
The rough lips on Kowalski are a funny detail.
I think he’s got Jay Sherman beat.
“Pull ‘em up.”