Spümcø Inc. is an animation company that lead to the creation of 90s show Ren and Stimpy. The show’s creator John Kricfalusi /ˌkrɪsfəˈluːsi/ (better known as John K) gave us this detailed, comical and insanely grotesque art style.
Changing animation forever, the Spümcø / John K style needs a bit appreciation for what it’s done. So here’s some examples to show how this art style has inspired some of the most well-known cartoons when they want to emphasize a moment of total bizarreness.
Star vs the Forces of Evil
The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy
The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack
Sanjay and Craig
Things to Note about the John K. Stylistic Influence in Cartoons
- usually a close-up on one character’s face
- extra lines around the mouth and chin
- eyes of the character are not typical for that character (usually extremely expressive)
- certain facial features (like hair and/or teeth) are detailed / more pronounced
- the animation with the John K art style is notably different from the rest of the animation in the show
- lasts for only a few seconds at most
- gives the impression of intense strain/stress
- usually accompanied by what is considered to be unhygienic bodily functions (such as snot, tooth decay, sweat, etc.)
- if it’s likely for the character to have facial hair but does not regularly appear to have it, stubble/scruff shows up in these moments