Last week, I achieved the milestone of receiving 15 followers! As usual, I am reviewing a movie that, in 2018, is turning the same age as the number of followers I have on 18 Cinema Lane. When thinking about which movie I would review next, I realized that the five and ten follower dedication reviews were about films that were more serious in tone (Saving Mr. Banks was a drama and The Dark Knight is a darker superhero film). To change things up a little bit, I’ve chosen Rugrats Go Wild as the film I would review in honor of 18 Cinema Lane’s fifteen followers! Besides picking a film that was more light-hearted, I decided to review Rugrats Go Wild because:
- I’ve never reviewed an animated film on my blog before
- This is the only Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys movie I haven’t seen
- I talked about the upcoming Rugrats television show and movie in a Word on the Street post last month
- On September 1st, The Wild Thornberrys will be celebrating its 20th anniversary
- Rugrats Go Wild was released 15 years ago (in 2003)
I am a fan of both Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys, but I haven’t seen an episode of either show in several years. Though I have seen The Wild Thornberrys Movie, The Rugrats Movie, and Rugrats in Paris: The Movie, I haven’t watched those movies in a number of years. Despite all this, was I able to find any enjoyment in this movie? Pack your bags and take a trip to my review of Rugrats Go Wild to find out!
Things I liked about the film:
The voice acting: I liked how the creative team behind this movie cast most of the original voice actors from both shows to star in this movie. It helped keep the continuity alive not only for the characters, but also for each show. The only character that had to be recast was Chuckie Finster, but Nancy Cartwright’s (the voice actress who was cast as Chuckie in Rugrats Go Wild) voice acting performance sounded pretty close to how Chuckie normally sounded on the show that, at least for me, didn’t seem to make a difference. I was also pleasantly surprised by Bruce Willis’ voice performance as Spike (the Pickles’ family dog from Rugrats)
The character interactions: As I’ve mentioned earlier, I’m a fan of both Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys. With that in mind, it was nice to see the different character interaction combinations that took place in this film. One interesting example was having Nigel Thornberry supervise Tommy and his friends on their adventure. From what I remember, Nigel wasn’t really portrayed as being a silly, humorous character on The Wild Thornberrys. Having him interact with Tommy and his friends showed fans of the show a different side to the character that we’ve rarely seen. My favorite character interaction moment was when Angelica (my favorite Rugrats character) and Debbie (my favorite character from The Wild Thornberrys) sang their duet of “Should I Stay or Should I Go” by The Clash! It just brought such a huge smile on my face and made me so happy!
The humor: More often than not, both Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys are known for being light-hearted shows. The humor in Rugrats Go Wild felt on-par with both shows, having the film’s comedic elements compliment each show. Never did it feel like the comedy from Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys clashed with each other. While watching this movie, I noticed a few movie and pop culture references that I not only thought were funny, but that I was able to understand.
What I didn’t like about the film:
Some of the musical numbers: There are about six musical moments that are featured within Rugrats Go Wild’s 80-minute run-time. Out of those six moments, there were two musical pieces that I was not a fan of: when Tommy and his friends sing “It’s a Jungle Out Here” and Spike’s musical number. These musical pieces were, to me, too long and they felt like material that was created just to fill time. Rugrats Go Wild is not an animated musical like some other beloved animated films (example: The Lion King). With that said, the aforementioned musical pieces didn’t add anything to the movie, as well as feel unnecessary and random.
Too many subplots: Rugrats Go Wild has two main plots, one given to each show. Along with those main plots, there are about seven subplots that were written into this film. While all of these plots were resolved relatively well, it still felt like there was a little too much going on in the story overall. In this film, there were interesting and creative story elements that were brought up, but never revisited. A good example of this is when Lil doesn’t want to eat bugs anymore and Phil is shocked by Lil’s refusal to participate in the same activities like before. The idea of Phil and Lil, who are known in the Rugrats world for sticking together as siblings and twins, having different interests despite being twins sounds interesting for their character development and from a story-telling perspective. However, because of how many stories were told in this movie, those concepts seemed to be forgotten.
The movie not feeling like a movie: With the combination of two of Nickelodeon’s most beloved shows, at that time, Rugrats Go Wild sounds like it could have been an “event film” (an example of this is Avengers: Infinity War or Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2). The longer I watched the movie, the more it felt like a glorified television show episode. When I think about theatrically released films, what comes to mind are stories that are too great in scope to be told on television. The stories that were told in Rugrats Go Wild didn’t feel any different from what would have taken place in an episode of either Rugrats or The Wild Thornberrys. The only notable difference is having most of the characters from both shows sharing the big screen.
My overall impression:
For an animated movie, as well as a Rugrats/The Wild Thornberrys production, I thought this was a good movie! I think that fans of both shows will enjoy this movie, especially since the movie keeps the continuity of Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys. But, as I fan myself, I am willing to point out the flaws this movie has. I respect the ambitious and creative ideas that the creative team behind this movie were trying to incorporate in Rugrats Go Wild. However, because of how many stories were featured in this movie and because this movie felt more like a TV show episode, I feel that Rugrats Go Wild should have been a two to three-part crossover episode. That way, if each part were one hour, the stories could be fleshed out more and interesting story elements could be further explored. To me, this sounds better than having nine plots stuffed into an 80-minute movie. As I wrap up this review, I’d like to take a moment to thank all of my followers. You are one of the reasons why this review exists and why this blog is becoming successful.
Overall score: 7.5-7.6 out of 10
Have you seen any of the Rugrats and/or The Wild Thornberrys movies? Which animated shows would you like to see in a crossover movie or television show episode? Let me know in the comment section!
Have fun at the movies!