After the success of both Rugrats In Paris and The Wild Thornberrys Movie. Nickelodeon decided it was time to develop a crossover between those two cartooons in an attempt to expand their original animated shows into fully developed feature length films, starting with a third entry to The Rugrats Trilogy and second entry to The Wild Thornberrys Movie. What we got is Rugrats Go Wild.
Rugrats Go Wild came out in 2003. (same year Teen Titans first aired on Cartoon Network) It received mixed reviews from critics and it was also a modest box office success, earning less than its predecessors. To put salt in the wound, Rugrats officially ended it’s run in 2004, right next to fellow cartoon series, Hey Arnold. What have you done Nickelodeon, you just made a fool of yourself!
With Hey Arnold The Jungle Movie, airing this November, I want to spread the word on what to do and what not to do, when you develop a follow up.
The following article contains big SPOILERS. If you never ever seen this movie, read at your very own risk.
Clean & Poopie Aspects
Clean: Original Cast Members from both shows, reprise their roles. If you’re a Red Hot Chili Peppers fan, Flea provides the voice of Donnie. I’m not kidding look it up, you’ll be surprised as I am!
Bruce Willis provides the voice of Spike The Dog. I think he decided to co-star for his kids (most notably Rumer) who were perhaps fans of Rugrats/Thornberrys, growing up.
Fun Fact: Bruce Willis, who plays Spike, also voiced another animal in Over The Hedge as a raccoon named R.J.
Animation looks brighter and more smoother than its predecessors.
Angelica’s arch-rival, Susie, finally has a bigger role, rather than a small one from the last two movies.
I believe that the best part of this film is when Angelica & Debbie sing The Clash’s “Should I Stay Or Should I Go.” I’ll have to give this movie Bonus Points for introducing me to this song, way before Will Byers from Stranger Things got hooked into The Clash. By the way, The Clash’s song was also featured in Iron Man 2 and Far Cry 4.
When Chuckie first meets Donnie. They both recreate Groucho Marx’s infamous mirror scene.
A Plot Point with Nigel Thornberry losing his memory, is a callback to Stu Pickles who lost his memory after accidentally hitting his head causing him to act like a three-year-old. I would’ve given it Bonus Points if they went with a Memento parody.
Poopie: Similar to previous films, The Dialogue is poorly written, lots of improper grammar. Did the writers forgot to activate their auto-correction? Screenwriting 101, make sure you use an auto-check on your computer or use Google to help you auto-spell.
The title of the movie sounds like a Girls Gone Wild parody. They should’ve called it ”Rugrats Meet The Wild Thornberrys.” That’s the original title.
Not a single main character never had any Character Development. The first film focused on Tommy’s Character Arc. Chuckie had his in the second one. In the third one, not a selected character never had a proper arc. If Captain Hindsight from South Park existed, he’ll proabaly say that Angelica should’ve been the main focus. It could’ve worked out effectively! I can’t believe Nickelodeon wasted a golden opportunity to flesh out Angelica as the main protagonist.
For the sake of the children, I am totally not making this up. There’s a character named Dr. Lipschitz. That name has been used on the actual series.
The parents failed to learn from their mistake to look after their children yet again. Last time in Paris, they’ve learned their lesson. Gonna have to Double Down points this con because of every single parent instantly became more stupider than almost the entire cast of Idiocracy minus Luke Wilson & Maya Rudolph.
When Angelica’s mom, Charlotte, (who kinda resembles Iggy Azalea) unnecessarily rips her skirt off. Howard, who is Phil & Lil’s dad, begins to check out her rear. Did that just happened in a family film? Dude your wife (who reminds me of my aunt) is on board the same ship!
After Donnie steals Chuckie’s clothes, he encounters Tommy’s crew. They mistake him for Chuckie. They didn’t notice his hair looks different. Clark Kent’s disguise is more effective than Donnie’s!
Tommy and his friends never realized that Nigel lost his memory. Good lord! They made the babies incompetent without using their brains!
The Villain was never used prominently as an actual force to push emotional investment towards our beloved characters. She only appeared in two scenes. Jared Leto’s Joker in Suicide Squad, had more screen time! If you’re gonna feature an intimidating villain, include him/her to show us viewers how important a villain really is and show us his/her fate during a Climatic Scene. Imagine if the shark from Jaws only had two scenes? Once again, I’ll have to Double Down more Points, because I have instantly gotten bored!
The Final Verdict: C-
My real thought about Rugrats Go Wild, has got to be one of the most disappointing third installments right next to Spider-Man 3. I advise you to not watch this movie. If you’re a longtime fan of Rugrats or The Wild Thornberrys, you’re gonna be very disappointed like me. I hope a proper crossover featuring 90’s Nickelodeon characters will one day do justice for us 90’s kids and 90’s babies. Please Nickelodeon, learn from your mistakes and return to your roots. Dan Schneider has manipulated you like Emperor Palpatine!
If you wanna watch a proper third installment, I strongly recommend good ones like The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King or The Dark Knight Rises. Those are the films that’ll emotionally invest your time as a viewer.