Flashback Review: Rugrats In Paris

After the commercial success of “The Rugrats Movie,” a follow up is set after the introduction of Tommy’s brother Dil. This time Tommy’s best friend Chuckie, is designated as the main protagonist of the sequel called “Rugrats In Paris.” The premise is about Tommy’s dad Stu, (Tommy’s father) who gets a call from a businesswoman name Coco Lebouche, (voiced by Susan Sarandon) to repair an animatronic Reptar. He decides to take his entire family and friends to Paris where the robotic Reptar is located. During their stay at Reptarland, Chuckie goes on a quest to gain a new mother after his biological mother passed away prior to the events of the show.

Chuckie sadly misses his mom. Like I’ve never seen that before. “Cough” Batman, “cough” James Bond, “cough” Darth Vader, “cough” Harry Potter, “cough” Star-Lord, “cough” Aelita from “Code Lyoko.” Just kidding.

Rugrats In Paris: The Movie was released in 2000. (same year Gladiator came out) It received warm reception from critics, fans and movie goers alike. In addition to good reviews, Rugrats In Paris: The Movie made enough money at the box office. Three Years Later, a crossover film with “The Wild Thornberrys” known as “Rugrats Go Wild” came out in 2003.

Let me breakdown the pros and cons of the second film, shall we? For the first time in a Rugrats film, this article contains no SPOILERS so feel free to read it. I’ll have you know, some SPOILERS are light.

Positive & Negative Aspects

Positive: Chuckie is now the main character. Tommy has a supporting role, he already had his character arc from the previous installment.

The Main Cast from the series including Elizabeth “E.G. Daily,” Cheryl Chase, Katie Soucie & Tara Strong all did a good job for their respective voiceover performances.

Susan Sarandon & John Lithgow both did a great job for their respective voiceover performances as the main villains. I’ll give this movie Bonus Points for hiring the late Mako (Aku’s voice actor in Samurai Jack) as Coco’s supervisor, plus Susan’s performance as Coco.

The film opens with a parody of “The Godfather.” If Nickelodeon makes another film in the future or bring back the show, I want the group to reenact a scene from “The Wolf Of Wall Street.” The part when Matthew McConaughey pounds his chest while humming. I would rather watch a Rugrats parody of The Godfather than “The Godfather Part III.”

Similar to the first film, a newcomer to the series is introduced as the latest member of the gang.

Angelica sings a karaoke version of the song “Bad Girls.” The song is also available on the soundtrack. Bad Girls was also used in “The Replacements” which came out the exact same year as Rugrats In Paris.

The film manages to give me a couple of laughs like a few fart jokes, Coco having a hard time wooing Chaz as the gang keeps distracting her & Angelica singing Bad Girls.

The Climax becomes a race against the clock for the group.

Instead of a Reptar Wagon from the first movie, this time the gang use a robotic Kaiju size version of Reptar. Meaning that the stakes have escalated.

The sequel finally adds decent villains with proper motivation. Coco is probably the best villain of the whole series as a scene stealer. Every time you see her, you know you want to slap her in the face.

Coco’s color motive is purple, possibly inspired by The Joker. Samuel L. Jackson’s character, Mr. Glass from “Unbreakable” also spots purple related thread. I have a theory that Coco keeps changing her looks to conceal her true nature. If she wears something purple, she’s up to something. I guess Coco is the equivalent of Joker in Rugrats.

A wedding minister looks like film critic, Leonard Maltin. He’s one of my idols who inspired me to become a film critic.

Character Development involving Chuckie. He goes from an adorable coward to a brave lil’ kid facing his fears.

Chuckie gets his moments such as saying, “A baby’s gotta do what a baby’s gotta do!” I’m giving him an Extra Point for quoting John Wayne’s “A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do!” John Wayne is one of my favorite actors. I remember watching his work with my dad back when I was growing up.

The Goofy Yell (similar to The Wilhelm Scream) is heard during a fight scene. Speaking of which, “An Extremely Goofy Movie “also came out in 2000.

One of the main characters said the word, “NOOOOO!” Guess who?

I’m gonna give this movie credit for introducing me to “Who Let The Dogs Out?” It was also used in “Rat Race,” “Bubble Boy,” “Men In Black II,” “The Shaggy Dog” & of course, “The Hangover.”

Lil’ said, “You can’t handle the button!” A parody of the infamous line from “A Few Good Men.” Tom Cruise’s “Mission Impossible II” was the highest grossing film of 2000.

Like the first film, this movie adds some dramatic moments. As Ron Burgundy from “Anchorman” once said, “I’m in a glass case of emotion!”

Primary Themes are Bravery, Family, & Confidence. All three of them relate to Chuckie’s character arc.

Negative: Similar to its predecessor, the poorly written dialogue returns involving the babies. Again, like my review from The Rugrats Movie, how are they mostly speaking proper English?

Kimi, who is the newcomer to the series, never displayed a unique personality. She’s just a carbon copy of Tommy. As the animators mentioned that she’s a female Tommy. I find Kimi as a generic character.

Without giving anything away, nobody isn’t aware that an important character from the series is missing until he reunites near the end of the film. Didn’t the adults ever learn their lesson from the last film?

A bizarre dream sequence showing one of the lead characters as a muscle-bound fighter. The late Isaac Hayes (Chef from South Park) sings in the background for no apparent reason. Did the animators & writers ingest some “mushrooms” during production?

The Final Verdict: B-

The sequel actually improved. Despite a few flaws, I thought it was better than the first movie. Susan Sarandon stole the show as the villain. I hope one day Nickelodeon reintroduces the series to a new generation of viewers. It’s possible. “Hey Arnold” is getting a sequel after 15 years, let’s give Rugrats a comeback as they’re the ones who sparked a beacon for Nicktoons alongside “Ren & Stimpy.” If they make a fourth Rugrats movie, I want Coco to return.

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