A Brief History of the Festival


   Mellow Manor Productions, Inc. was founded by Craig ‘Spike’ Decker and Mike Gribble, popularly known as “Spike & Mike®.” Mellow Manor is named after the famed Victorian house in Riverside where Spike, Mike and many others lived in a communal setting. This was an ‘Animal House‘ before National Lampoon made theirs famous. Although Mike Gribble passed away in August of 1994, Spike continues to produce touring theatrical festivals of animated short film collections with the highest standards of artistic and subversive excellence.
   The original mission of Mellow Manor Productions was to promote underground bands with retro animated short films. In the early 70’s Spike and Mike began promoting local band “Sterno and the Flames,” a band in which Spike sang bass vocals. Later, they presented special shows such as all-night horror-thons, an evening of Star Trek bloopers and Midnight rock & roll films such as Jimmy Plays Berkeley and Quadraphenia. They would also present full-length films like Slaughterhouse 5 and King of Hearts. At those shows, they would open with Betty Boop and Superman animated shorts. They also picked up other shorts that became cult favorites such as Bambi Meets Godzilla by Marv Newland. The demand to see the shorts soon eclipsed the popularity of the band and the other films. Spike and Mike knew they were onto an unfulfilled niche and in 1977 they began promoting animated shorts full-time.
   Spike and Mike premiered works in the Classic Festival of Animation by Tim Burton (Vincent), John Lasseter of Pixar & Disney (First screened his student films Lady and the Lamp and Nightmare. Additional Pixar titles screened include Luxo Jr., Red’s Dream, Nick Nack, Tin Toy, Geri’s Game, For the Birds, The Adventures of Andre & Wally B.), Nick Park (A Close Shave, Wrong Trousers and A Grand Day Out), Will Vinton (Closed Mondays) David Fine and Allison Snowden (Bob’s Birthday), Bill Plympton (Nose Hair, Your Face) and many others. Spike and Mike produced the student films of Pixar’s Pete Docter (Monster’s Inc., Toy Story I & II) We produced & premiered the first 3 films (Winter, Next Door & Palm Springs), and Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, Monster’s Inc., Toy Story I & II and A Bug’s Life) We produced his 1st 2 films (A Story & Somewhere in the Arctic), we screened Brad Bird’s Family Dog, Frederic Back’s Crac, Chris Wedges (Ice Age) Bunny, Mike Johnson (Corpse Bride) The Devil went down to Georgia, Danny Antonucci (Ed, Ed & Eddie) Lupo The Butcher and Marv Newland’s Bambi Meets Godzilla.
   The Sick and Twisted Festival began in 1990 as a home for animated pieces which are simply too revolting or adult in nature for the prestigious and tasteful Classic show. The Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation is the birthplace of Beavis and Butthead (Mike Judge, creator of King of the Hill) - Spike and Mike also produced the first two Beavis and Butthead shorts long before the characters debuted on MTV. Spike and Mike also theatrically premiered Spirit of Christmas, the original uncensored South Park short by Matt Stone and Trey Parker and Mutilator by Eric Fogel (creator of MTV’s Celebrity Death match) as well as Whoop Ass Stew by Craig McCracken, the first short film featuring the Powerpuff Girls (No Neck Joe is a staple of the show) we also premiered Na Na & Lil puss from DNA studios the people responsible for Jimmy Neutron. Least we forget Breehn Burns & Jason Johnson’s Beyond Grandpa, Dr. Tran & Roybertito’s as well as Happy Tree Friends by Mondo Media.
   The Sundance Film Festival, Cannes International Film Festival, Australia’s Flickerfest Short Film Festival, and the International Festival of Animation in Annecy, France, Slamdance and San Diego Comic-Con have hosted Spike and Mike shows over the past years. In the spring of 2000, Spike and Mike’s Sick & Twisted animations were featured on tour with the rock band KORN. Abrams Books have recently released an in- depth book on the history and evolution of Spike and Mike entitled “Outlaw Animation: Cutting-Edge Cartoons from the Spike and Mike Festivals” by Jerry Beck, now available in bookstores. Spike and Mike have teamed up with Shout Factory to release “Full Frontal” and “Unprotected”, two brand new DVD’s now available, featuring the very best ‘toons of the 2001, 2002 and 2003 festivals. Contagious (2006) is the newest edition to the Spike & Mike collection and Caught in the Act (2005) just came out a few months before. We are hoping to screen some new pieces from Weird Al next year and Fox International will be including Spike and Mike on their channel in the U.K.
   Currently, Spike and Mike’s premieres a new Sick and Twisted show every summer at the San Diego Comic-Con. Each Festival plays in over 50 cities across the United States and Canada.


“And on the 13th day, God created Spike and Mike, so sayeth the D.”
   -Jack Black of Tenacious D

“Spike and Mike were really the match makers directly for John Lasseter and I finding out about one another.”
   -Andrew Stanton, “Outlaw Animation”-Abrams

“Spike & Mike have the incredible ability to recognize talent and films that entertain and they put on an amazing show.”
   -John Lasseter, “Outlaw Animation”-Abrams

“Spike and Mike gave Wallace & Gromit the launch they needed… and gave me the lunch I needed.”
   -Nick Park, “Outlaw Animation”-Abrams

“Spike & Mike are like Disney with tits!”
   -Robbin Williams, Starbucks at Sundance Film Festival

“If the animation world ever had a Rock Star, Spike would be it.”
   -Kenn Navarro - co-creator of Happy Tree Friends

“Spike & I have paid more dues than a union hall”
   -Mike Gribble of Spike & Mike’s Festival of Animation

“Content, we got your content!”
   -Spike of Spike & Mike’s Festival of Animation

“Rev. share, you can take your rev. share & shove it!”
   -Spike of Spike & Mike’s Festival of Animation

Highlight: When the Simpson’s went to the Sick & Twisted f’d up Animation Festival.


Mellow Manor Productions, Inc.
7488 La Jolla Blvd
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 459-8707 FAX (858) 459-8722





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