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The Rugrats Movie

Rated G, 85 minutes
Voices by E.G. Daily, Christine Cavanaugh, Kath Soucie, Melanie Chartoff and Cheryl Chase
Written by David N. Weiss & J. David Stem
Directed by Norton Virgien and Igor Kovalyov
Website: www.rugratsmovie.com

IN SHORT: Devo is back!!!! Yea!!!!

I'll get back to Devo in a couple of 'graphs. The Rugrats Movie is aimed squarely at those for whom dirty diapers are a fond memory . . . like Cranky's nephew, who is 6 years old and has been writhing in anticipation of the coming of this flick. If you don't have kids you may not know of Nickelodeon's Rugrats cartoon. If you do, this movie is a lot more than three times the teevee show. Even with the added 3D CGI effects that are a welcome visual addition, The Rugrats Movie does not seek to push the boundaries of animation any further than the torrent of diaper, and other biodegradable, jokes that litter its landscape. Cranky knew that was part of the muck when he sat down, minus the nephew (who was sick) to try and fathom out what the fuss is all about.

Yeah, this brave reviewer headed straight for the protection of the roped off "press" section. He figured he was safe . . . until the other reviewers moved in with their kidlets in tow. The excited 3 year old in front of Cranky was jumping up and down on her seat before, during and after the flick. Cranky's tall enough that the bouncing kid posed no problem. The four year old boy behind me, on the other hand, was so pumped he kept kicking the back of my seat. Within 30 minutes, my surgically restored spine was screaming for the Percocet which, of course, I had left home. Which was about the time the babies on screen started singing a Devo-ized version of Alvin and the Chipmunks' "Witch Doctor," which made it all better.

Yeah, all right, Cranky was going "oo ee oo ah ah" just like all the other adults. Blink twice and the toons were doing a new version of Blondie's "One Way Or Another". The Rugrats Movie is so perfectly attuned to the kidlets, meaning that moves at such a frenetic pace that a) Cranky really felt old and b) I was confounded enough that I have no doubt that it is time to start breeding. Perfectly attuned Kid stuff is supposed to bewilder adults. Cranky was hanging on for dear life.

The toddlers among us already recognize on sight the stars of the animated teevee show, Tommy (voiced by E.G. Daily), Chuckie (Christine Cavanaugh), twins Phil and Lil (Kath Soucie), Didi (Melanie Chartoff) and bratty Angelica (Cheryl Chase). Newly added to the Pickle clan is baby Dylan . . . Dill . . . which leads to an envious older brother and a plan by his friends to take the kid back to the Baby Store to get his money back.

On the way, they get lost in the woods of "out-there space" where trained monkeys are running wild after a train wreck, and a big bad wolf is waiting to eat 'em up. Not to mention an unwanted overnighter while the rain pours down and baby Tommy learning the meaning of "sponsitivity" (baby speak for responsibility).

Puree up a heapin' helpin' of "aww"'s and "ooo"'s folks. The Rugrats Movie is perfect kidlet fare, right down to the Busby Berkely inspired arcs of pee that punctuate one of the many, many musical numbers. Mark Mothersbaugh did the score, which explains the return of Devo, dontcha know. David Spade provides a prominent voice (that means Cranky didn't have to check the notes) and Whoopi Goldberg and Tim Curry do cameos (which means I did).

Cranky doesn't put dollar ratings on kid flicks but I have no doubt that, had I a copy of The Rugrats Movie on videotape, no one in my sister's household would ever have gotten near the VCR again.

For once in my career, it's a good thing that an 85 minute movie felt like two hours. Any longer and Cranky would have keeled over from exhaustion.

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The Cranky Critic® is a Registered Trademark of, and his website is Copyright © 1995  -  2015   by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.