Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Long before Beavis and Butthead were heh-hehing on MTV, they were playing frog baseball in Spike and Mike’s Sick and Twisted Animation Festival, an annual touring anthology of the sickest, most twisted cartoons.

While they may certainly be the most famous, Beavis and Butthead aren’t the only animated asswipes to have been launched by the promotional blitzkreig of Craig "Spike" Decker and Mike Gribble. Beginning with their prestigious and very un-sick-and-twisted Classic Festival of Animation, Spike and Mike premiered shorts by Tim Burton, Toy Story-director John Lassiter, Wallace and Gromit-creator Nick Parks, Will Vinton of California Raisins fame, Bob and Margaret’s David Fine and Allison Snowden and fellow MTVer Bill Plympton.

As more and more films were submitted that were just too disgusting, disturbing or dirty for the tasteful festival, Spike and Mike realized they had wealthspring of material, enough for a festival of its own. And thus Spike and Mike’s Sick and Twisted Animation Festival was born.

The tournee featured the gruesome and the grotesque, the scatological and the scathing, and acquainted fans of subversive comedy to Beavis and Butthead, No Neck Joe, Bambi Meets Godzilla, Horndog and the work of Mike Johnson and DNA Productions. Since 1990, Spike has been exposing fans of animation to wildly inventive animated wonderments. (Mike, unfortunately, moved on to the Sick and Twisted Festival in the Sky in 1994.)

Outside of the two famous buttmunches, the most memorable cartoons were produced by Bill Plympton whose surrealistic Plymptoons were in heavy rotation on MTV and MTV’s Liquid Television. His ultra-violent, sexually explicit and downright weird shorts, including the classic How To Make Love To A Woman, have been compiled on Plymptoons and Mondo Plympton. Not to be missed is the feature I Married A Strange Person, Plympton’s heartwarming tale of a young married couple coping with the husband’s supernatural powers.

Beavis and Butthead were MTV-ized quickly. Their moment in the sun lasted about as long as anything does on MTV. The movie Beavis and Butthead Do America was to be their swan song, but like all good farewells, they will come out of retirement for this years’ sequel.

In the meantime, Spike and Mike’s marches on in full-force. Last year, the Sick and Twisted Festival featured the classic Spirit of Christmas short that introduced the world to Cartman, Stan, Kyle and Kenny and the town of South Park. Sick and twisted highlights include Monica Banana which introduced a famous intern to her favorite fruit and the perennial favorite from Miles Thompson Hut Sluts, featuring the slutty exploits of Summer and Tiffany.

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