Ren & Stimpy Redux

It won’t take long for anyone familiar with the seminal cartoon series Ren & Stimpy to get a sense of dƒjˆ vu while watching Old Navy’s new animated, kid-targeted ads.
The retro-themed spots, produced in-house, were directed by John Kricfalusi, creator of the Ren & Stimpy series, which spawned a thousand imitators, and owner of the Glendale, Calif.-based production house Spumco.
The ads start where Ren & Stimpy’s commercial parodies left off. For its new Flare line of jeans for girls, a sweet young thing skipping down the street gets plucked from the sidewalk and transported into outer space to head the rock combo “The Flares,” a cross between The Jetsons’ “Jet Screamer” and Josie and the Pussycats.
The characters in “Big Pockets” (shown here), set to cheery ’50s pop music, look as if they were borrowed from an old Silly Putty package. After two campers are tormented with tent troubles, a better-prepared boy saves the day by yanking an all-equipped camper out of his Big Pocket jeans.
–Becky Ebenkamp