The Rugrats Movie, as the title says, is the first of three movies based on the Klasky-Csupo-produced Nickelodeon cartoon Rugrats. Released to theaters in November of 1998, it was the third theatrical film released by Nickelodeon Movies and also their first animated one. It would also be the first non-Disney animated feature to gross $100 million (a record later shattered by Shrek in 2001).Released between the show's fifth and sixth seasons, the plot concerns the Rugrats having to deal with an unhappy amount of changes that have come as a result of the birth of Tommy's new baby brother, Dil (who for some reason can't talk like the rest of them). Tommy feels he's being neglected by his parents in favor of Dil, and the other babies feel he's an obnoxious clingy twit. Things get worse when the babies get stranded in the forest with Stu's new toy, the Reptar Wagon, and a bunch of monkeys who have escaped from a traveling circus. Will the babies learn to cope with Dil and make it back home?Click here for more information on this movie. See also Rugrats in Paris and Rugrats Go Wild! for the sequels.
This film contains examples of:
Accidental Misnaming: When Rex Pester lists the babies that have gone missing he gets all their names wrong.
Adult Fear: Your children (including a newborn) are lost in a forest, where they're in danger of the elements, rogue circus animals, and each other.
Creator Backlash: Former co-creator Paul Germain (Who, at the time, had already left Nickelodeon to work forDisney) has mixed feelings for the film, thinking that some moments, such as Stu giving the watch to Tommy, didn't work, as the babies and adults weren't supposed to communicate, and that he was upset that now Dil was introduced at the beginning, as Tommy is supposed to be the youngest (One of his proposed ideas for the movie back in the early `90s when 20th Century Fox wanted Nicktoon movies (and never got off the ground) was for Tommy to get a younger sibling at the very end).
Darker and Edgier: All the great memories of Rugrats are on display here; life-threatening situations, murderous animals, psychological tension tearing the group apart, the works.
Deleted Scenes: The CBS broadcast included two scenes that were cut from the theatrical and video releases - the first one is about Stu and Didi having a nightmare about Dr. Lipschitz, and the second had the Rugrats dragging the Reptar Wagon up a hill while singing to an army chant (the latter scene was included in the print novelization). Unfortunately, very few people watched the CBS broadcast, and these scenes are also not included on the DVD release, but they have been retained in Nickelodeon's broadcasts of the film.
Description Cut: Didi explains that Stu and Drew are brothers and they get along wonderfully. Cut to them fighting.
Determinator: Pretty much all the main cast. The babies searching for "the Lizard", Angelica searching for Cynthia, and the adults searching for the kids.
Disney Death: Spike. And for a brief second Phil, as Lil thinks a tree fell on him.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: The song sung by the babies in the maternity ward is chock full of dick jokes — including one baby staring down his diaper and singing "so THAT'S what that thing looks like!" — as well as one baby commenting that her cord's been cut, which causes a male one to look in his diaper and exclaim "Consider yourself lucky!". Or Lil's expression when Dil pulls the strap on Tommy's diaper and it falls.
When the mothers are discussing how Dr. Lipschitz has predicted that Dil will be a girl, Charlotte starts to say "Born under Venus, look for a—" before her phone cuts her off.
Dr. Lipschitz, who is revealed in one episode to be a borderline quack, has a name that sounds like "lip shits".
Gross Out Show: Dil pees on the other Rugrats as they attempt to change his diaper at one point.
Heel Realization: When Tommy is about to pour Dil's banana baby food on him and let the monkeys take him, Dil realizes that he's been a real brat and hugs his brother to apologize. Dil spends the rest of the movie being nice to Tommy and helping the rest of the babies escape the monkeys. It's the closest thing to a heel realization in this series.
Heroic Dog : As (ironically) the wolf realized, Spike is more than ready to go Papa Wolf to protect the children.