The Rugrats Movie is a 1998 American animated adventure film, produced by Nickelodeon Movies and Klasky Csupo. The film was distributed by Paramount Pictures and first released in theaters in the United States on November 27, 1998. The film marks the first film made by Nickelodeon Movies to be based on a Nicktoon.

Based on the popular 1990s animated Nickelodeon series, Rugrats, this film introduced Tommy's baby brother Dil Pickles, who appeared on the original series the next year. The film features the voices of E.G. Daily, Christine Cavanaugh, Kath Soucie, Cheryl Chase, Cree Summer, Tara Charendoff, and Charlie Adler, along with guest stars David Spade, Whoopi Goldberg, Margaret Cho, Busta Rhymes, and Tim Curry.

Plot[edit | edit source]

The film starts with a parody of the 1981 Indiana Jones action film Raiders of the Lost Ark. Afterwards, the babies are chased out of the temple by a boulder, which is revealed to be Didi Pickles who is at the baby shower at the Pickles' house, where Didi is pregnant with her and Stu's second child, which everyone believes will be a girl. Tommy is at first enthusiastic about having a younger sibling, although Angelica warns him that once the sibling is born, Stu and Didi will forget him. During a song that Susie is singing Didi goes into labor and her friends rush her to the hospital (although, according to her doctor, she wasn't due until next week.) when the baby is finally born, it turns out to be a boy, and they name him Dil, after Didi's cousin. Unfortunately, Angelica's words appear to be true when Dil quickly becomes a very selfish baby, crying non-stop for attention, keeping all of the babies' toys for himself, and refusing to share with Tommy. He also takes the attention of Didi and Stu, leading Tommy to feel ignored. Later, Stu has a conversation with Tommy about being a big brother and the responsibility he now has and assures him that one day he'll be happy to have Dil as his little brother. He also gives Tommy a musical locket with a picture of Tommy and Dil taped together and a watch inside which he calls his (Tommy's) "sponsitility" (responsibility).

When Dil pushes the other babies too far, they decide to take him back to the hospital despite Tommy's disapproval and end up driving recklessly through the streets in a Reptar Wagon (voiced by Busta Rhymes) Stu had built until they crash in the woods. As Dil had secretly pinched Angelica's Cynthia doll, Angelica and Spike embark on a mission to find the babies—but Angelica only wants to get back her Cynthia doll. Around the same time, a circus train suffers an accident in the same woods and a troop of wild monkeys all survive the accident and escape from the wreckage, while the monkeys' owners, the Banana Brothers, attempt to search for them. The parents soon discover their children's absence, and call the police and rangers for help, and the news leaks out and reporters come to interview them.

As the babies attempt to find their way back home with Tommy using his locket as a compass and trying to reach the woods ranger station which they believe is the home of a wizard that can grant their wish to get home, the Reptar Wagon goes into the river and enters its water mode, and for a time, Tommy and the babies pretend to be pirates sailing the open seas. After the boat goes over a waterfall, they are forced to trail back onto land. The babies soon encounter the circus monkeys lurking nearby. They steal the diaper bag with their supplies forcing Tommy to retrieve it and some of the monkeys try to steal Dil. Although Chuckie attempts to rescue him, Phil and Lil refuse to help since he is not very well liked and is stolen from the group as a result. Chuckie, Phil and Lil disguise a baby monkey as Dil to fool Tommy, but when Tommy resolves to use the wizards wish to return "Dill" to human, they accidentally slip of what really happened, and Tommy gets angry at them leaving Dil to the monkeys. However, they still refuse to help Tommy to find Dil (including Chuckie, who feels that Tommy has been neglectful as a best friend since Dil came along) and declare he no longer has friends and his brother is all he has now, prompting a depressed and disheartened Tommy to search for Dil on his own and leave the group.

Eventually, Tommy finds Dil and they find shelter underneath a tree. Tommy tries to look after Dil, but when Dil selfishly drinks all of their milk and refuses to share the big blanket with Tommy in the cold weather, Tommy finally reaches his breaking point, snaps at Dil, throws away the locket, and decides to abandon him for the monkeys to take him away. Tommy's rage frightens Dil, who then starts to cower. Feeling guilty, Tommy realizes his mistake and apologizes to his brother, taking him back under the tree and retrieving the locket. Dil, who finally shrugs off his selfishness, willingly shares the torn blanket with Tommy. After the thunderstorm is over, Phil, Lil and Chuckie catch up and reconcile with Tommy and Dil and save them from the monkeys, and are eventually reunited with Angelica (who has finally regained her Cynthia doll) and Spike.

As the babies make it to a bridge over by the ranger station followed by the monkeys, they are confronted by a lone wolf that has been stalking them all day. The babies start to panic while the monkeys run away screaming in fear of the wolf. Just as the wolf is about to attack them, Spike comes to their rescue and pounces on top of the wolf stopping it from harming the babies. The two animals fight as the babies cheer Spike on. However, the wolf almost knocks Spike over the bridge, but Angelica calls out to the wolf distracting it from finishing Spike off. The wolf tries to attack Angelica, but Spike bites its tail, dragging them both off the bridge to their apparent deaths. The babies weep over the apparent loss of their beloved pet.

Luckily, Stu finally finds the babies and crash lands through the ranger station. Emerging from the wreckage stuck under his Dactar glide, the babies mistake him for the "Wizard" and wish for Spike's life instead of returning home. Stu falls through the bridge, finding Spike alive and unharmed. Simultaneously, the parents arrive and are reunited with the children. As for the monkeys, they are finally reunited with their arriving owners.

In the final scene, the babies having the same imaginary adventure when the movie began with Dil and are successful this time with his help, finally accepting him as one of them.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Guest stars

Baby singers (Musical number – "This World Is Something New To Me!")

Production[edit | edit source]

Two songs were cut from the film during production in order to bring the film to 81 minutes from the original 84 minutes. The first sequence revolved around Stu and Didi in a nightmare sequence where Dr. Lipschitz berates their parenting through song. The other sequence occurs as the Rugrats are pushing the Reptar Wagon through the woods, debating what to do about Dil in army chant style. These two scenes were cut from the theatrical version and the VHS and DVD releases. However, they were already animated at the time, and the scenes are shown on CBS and Nickelodeon TV airings of the film as the uncut version is only available on TV. These scenes were present in the print novelization.

The film was released in theaters with a CatDog short titled "Fetch". This short was later broadcast in CatDog animated special. However, the VHS and DVD releases of the film contained a different CatDog short, "Winslow's Home Videos".

Media[edit | edit source]

Soundtrack[edit | edit source]

The Rugrats Movie: Music From the Motion Picture was released on November 3, 1998. The enhanced soundtrack contained 13 tracks, bonus CD-ROM demos and commercials.'s Richard Gehr praised the CD for "[bridging] demographics as nimbly as the [original] show itself [did]" and for songs "fans of all ages will love". Entertainment Weekly's David Browne rated the Music From the Motion Picture with a C. Browne noted that, while the soundtrack is enjoyable for children and does "[make] concessions" for parents, adults may dislike the amount of rap. Allmusic's William Ruhlmann reviewed the soundtrack positively, saying "the result" of the singers and songs "is a romp in keeping with the tone of the show and the film". Music From the Motion Picture spent 26 weeks on Billboard 200, peaking at number 19.

The Rugrats Movie
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
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Entertainment Weekly C link
No. TitleArtist Length
1. "Take Me There"  Blackstreet & Mýa featuring Mase & Blinky Blink 4:04
2. "I Throw My Toys Around"  Elvis Costello featuring No Doubt 3:02
3. "This World Is Something New To Me"  Dawn Robinson, Lisa Loeb, B Real, Patti Smith, Lou Rawls, Laurie Anderson, Gordon Gano, Fred Schneider, Kate Pierson, Cindy Wilson, Phife Dawg, Lenny Kravitz, Beck, Jakob Dylan and Iggy Pop 1:59
4. "All Day"  Lisa Loeb 3:30
5. "Dil-A-Bye"  E.G. Daily 3:44
6. "A Baby Is A Gift From Bob"  Cree Summer & Cheryl Chase 1:57
7. "One Way or Another"  Cheryl Chase 3:17
8. "Wild Ride"  Kevi featuring Lisa Stone 2:43
9. "On Your Marks, Get Set, Ready, Go!"  Busta Rhymes 3:41
10. "Witch Doctor"  Devo 3:33
11. "Take The Train"  Rakim and Danny Saber 4:06
12. "Yo Ho Ho And A Bottle Of Yum"  E.G. Daily, Christine Cavanaugh & Kath Soucie 2:19
13. "Take Me There (Remix)"  Blackstreet & Mýa featuring Mase & Blinky Blink 4:02

Video games[edit | edit source]

Video games were released for Game Boy and Game Boy Color titled The Rugrats Movie and Rugrats: The Movie respectively, with the former being released on June 19, 1998 and the latter on March 12, 1999. Both games were developed by Software Creations and released by THQ. They were side-scrolling video games and featured 8 levels, with the plot revolving around finding a replacement for Dil after he disappears. IGN's Peer Schneider graded the Game Boy Color game with an overall score of 5 out of 10. Schneider states that the game doesn't have much "to hold the attention of older game", but that "kids will love the easy gameplay, recognizable characters and memorable Rugrats tunes". He closes with saying that "unless you're looking for something to entertain and challenge at the same time, parents can't go wrong in buying the game for their kids." Writing for GameSpot, Cameron Davis gave the Rugrats: The Movie a mixed review, stating that it wasn't "groundbreaking or innovative", but that the game "does what it sets out to do well". Davis noted that the game was aimed at children and praised the "difficulty level" as being "set just right", so that "younger players can explore the levels in comfort thanks to the good collision detection and responsive controls, while those with a bit more Game Boy experience can use the generous time limits to ferret out hidden objects". The game overall was given a 6.2 by the critic. On aggregator site GameRankings, The Rugrats Movie is rated as a 55% while Rugrats: The Movie earned a 61.75%.

A computer game inspired by the film entitled The Rugrats Movie: Activity Challenge was developed and published by Brøderbund and released on September 14, 1998. It features six games and a bonus level that can be attained if a certain item is obtained in a game.

Books[edit | edit source]

Several books were released by Simon & Schuster's Simon Spotlight branch and Nickelodeon inspired by The Rugrats Movie. Tommy's New Playmate and The Rugrats Versus the Monkeys were also released on October 1, 1998, authored by Luke David and illustrated by John Kurtz and Sandrina Kurtz. The Rugrats Movie Storybook, released on the same date and using the same illustrators and publishers, was written by Sarah Wilson. The same date saw the release of The Rugrats Movie: Hang On To Your Diapies, Babies, We're Going In!: Trivia from the Hit Movie!, a trivia book written by Kitty Richards.

A novelization of the film written by Cathy East Dubowski was published on October 1, 1998, by Tandem Library. The following month, a 144-page guidebook, The Making of The Rugrats Movie: Behind the Scenes at Klasky Csupo, was released on November 1, 1998, by MSG. In May 1999, Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation released a book titled The Rugrats Movie.

Reception[edit | edit source]

Box office[edit | edit source]

The Rugrats Movie was released on November 20, 1998, and made US$27,321,470 in its opening weekend,[1] from 2,782 theaters, averaging about $9,821 per venue and ranking as the #1 movie that weekend.[2] In total, The Rugrats Movie made US$140,894,675, $100,494,675 from the domestic market and $40,400,000 from its foreign release.[1] It also debuted #1 at the UK box office.[3][4][5]

Critical reception[edit | edit source]

The Rugrats Movie was met with mixed to positive reactions from critics. It received a 59% on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, with 29 "Fresh" reviews and 20 "Rotten" reviews, certifying it as "Rotten".[6] Roger Ebert gave the film 2 stars out of 4.[7] Ebert noted that the film's target audience was more for younger children, and that, while he as an adult disliked it, he "might have" liked it if he were younger and would recommend it for children.[7] The New York Times's Janet Maslin reviewed The Rugrats Movie positively, calling it a "delight thats sure to become a classic as a story".[8] Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly graded the film with a B.[9] Schwarzbaum praised the movie for its appeal to both adult and child audiences, "juxtaposing the blithely self-absorbed parallel universes of small, diapered children and their large, Dockered parents".[9] However, other Entertainment Weekly reviewer Ty Burr gave The Rugrats Movie a B−, criticizing that the film's issues sprung from it being "bigger" than the original series, thus it having more cultural references, out-of-place CGI scenes, and "[going] into scary territory".[10] Despite these faults, Burr did praise the "escaped circus monkeys" for being "scary in a good way", as well as a joke that was accessible to younger audiences.[10]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 THE RUGRATS MOVIE. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved on December 22, 2009.
  2. FABRIKANT, Geraldine. "'Prince of Egypt' Is No King at the Box-Office", The New York Times, December 28, 1998. Retrieved on December 24, 2009. 
  3. "Rugrats top UK box office", BBC, April 10, 2001. Retrieved on 2010-11-13. 
  4. Natale, Richard. "Rugrats' Outruns 'Enemy'", The Los Angeles Times, November 23, 1998. Retrieved on 2010-11-10. 
  5. Welkos, Robert W.. "Weekend Box Office : 'Rugrats' Has Kid Power", The Los Angeles Times, November 24, 1998. Retrieved on 2010-11-10. 
  6. The Rugrats Movie (1998). Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved on December 22, 2009.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Ebert, Roger. "The Rugrats Movie (G)", Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved on December 24, 2009. 
  8. Gates, Anita. "FILM REVIEW; A Sibling Takes a New Rival for a Ride", The New York Times, November 20, 1998. Retrieved on December 24, 2009. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 Schwarzbaum, Lisa (November 27, 1998). The Rugrats Movie (1998). Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on December 24, 2009.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Burr, Ty (April 2, 1999). The Rugrats Movie (1999). Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on December 24, 2009.

External links[edit | edit source]

Template:Nickelodeon Movies Template:Rugrats

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