Fans of the cartoon have been known to wear costumes, re-enact their favorite scenes in fan films, and some have had tattoos made of their favorite characters. Public screenings of the short often become a "Rocky Horror Picture Show-esque feedback loop" of fans reciting favorite lines back at the screen.
The short's enduring popularity has led the film to be described as "this generation's A Hard Day's Night".
After all these adverts are rejected, the animator's mental state breaks down and the world he created for the adverts falls apart.
Rejected world-premiered at the San Diego Comic Convention in 2000. Between hundreds of film festival appearances since then, Rejected also toured North American theaters in 2000, 2001, and 2002 with Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation; in 2001 and 2002 again with a retrospective touring program of Hertzfeldt's and animator Bill Plympton's films called "The Don and Bill Show"; and returned to theaters once again in 2003 and 2004 with Hertzfeldt's own the Animation Show tour.
In 2003, two of the "Fluffy Guy" characters reappeared in three Hertzfeldt cartoons created to introduce and book-end the first year of the Animation Show: Welcome to the Show, Intermission in the Third Dimension, and the End of the Show.
Rejected was scheduled to air on Adult Swim in 2001 but was delayed for unknown reasons - it was rescheduled to air in November 2002 "uncut and commercial free", and was heavily promoted on the network that week. However, the short was pulled from the schedule at the last minute, for unknown reasons. Rumors about the reasons behind this highly unusual action have included: the film's brief use of the phrase, "Sweet Jesus" ("Jesus" being a word allegedly not allowed on a Turner Network), and an anonymous high-ranking network executive simply not finding the short to be funny. Rejected has since aired without incident on the Cartoon Network in other countries as well as on other international television networks, but has to date never been broadcast on American television.
Rejected most recently returned to movie theaters in 2006 as part of the Sundance Institute's 25th anniversary "Art House Project", a special screening series of Sundance films for local audiences nationwide. 'Rejected' was one of 5 shorts and 25 features from Sundance's history selected as "essential" and representative of the spirit of the Sundance Film Festival.
Ever since its original theatrical run, the film has been a very popular target for Internet bootlegs, and in 2001 Bitter Films released a limited edition DVD "single" to give fans a proper alternative. Hertzfeldt has stated on the Bitter Films website that his concern with bootlegs has always been over quality control issues, and never a financial one. The DVD "single" featured a deleted scene as well as an audio commentary, and is now out of print.
In 2006, Rejected was remastered and restored in high definition for inclusion on the DVD, "Bitter Films Volume 1", a compilation of Don Hertzfeldt's short films from 1995-2005. Special features on this DVD relating to Rejected include a new text commentary by Hertzfeldt (via closed-caption boxes), footage from the abandoned cartoon "the Spanky the Bear Show" that later evolved into a central scene in the film, original pencil tests, the 2001 audio commentary, and dozens of pages devoted to Hertzfeldt's original sketches, storyboards, notes, and deleted ideas from the film. The DVD is available exclusively from the Bitter Films website, http://www.bitterfilms.com.
A 35 second deleted scene from Rejected was only released on the 2001 DVD "single". In it, a father inquires into his son's desire to drink goat's blood. The scene appears to fit in with the "Johnson & Mills" portion of the original film, and is revealed to be an advertisement for cotton-swabs at the end.
Hertzfeldt has never accepted "real" commercial work and has stated numerous times on his website and in public appearances that he never will, as he feels they are "lies" and does not want to lie to his audience.
Rejected voters have their day; On Day 2 of the recount trial, Norm Coleman's camp brought several people to court to insist their votes should have counted.(NEWS)
Jan 28, 2009; Byline: PAT DOYLE; MIKE KASZUBA; STAFF WRITERS For Norm Coleman, real live voters succeeded Tuesday where photocopied ballot...
Valid Ballots Were Rejected, Expert Says; Ramsey County Elections Director's Testimony Bolsters Norm Coleman's Argument That Absentee-Ballot Counting Was Flawed
Jan 31, 2009; Byline: PAT DOYLE; STAFF WRITER Confusion over election rules and the crush of Election Day business caused local officials to...
COURT: COUNT ALL BALLOTS; The state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that improperly rejected absentee ballots must be tallied, but there were major stipulations.(NEWS)
Dec 19, 2008; Byline: PAT DOYLE; STAFF WRITER Al Franken and Sen. Norm Coleman each got good news and bad news Thursday, as one of the wildest...