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Western Animation / Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie

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"I haven't seen my parents since I was a baby. I wish I could see them again."

"Pure of heart, that's Arnold. And that's why he deserves to win the trip to San Lorenzo. Because he's done so much for others."

Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie, also known as just The Jungle Movie, is a Made-for-TV Movie based on the 1996-2004 animated series Hey Arnold!. The film premiered simultaneously on Nickelodeon, Nicktoons and NickRewind on November 24, 2017, and serves as both the sequel to 2002's Hey Arnold! The Movie and the Grand Finale of the series as a whole.

It takes place roughly one year after "The Journal"note , with Arnold and his classmates just finishing the fifth grade. Mr. Simmons informs his pupils of a contest in which the prize is a class trip to San Lorenzo, Central America, which, coincidentally, is the last place Arnold’s long-missing parents were seen. With the help of Helga, Gerald, and many others, Arnold and his class win the contest and go on vacation to San Lorenzo. Arnold, of course, has a different motive in mind: to achieve his ultimate dream and finally find his parents.

Their trip takes a turn for the worst when a river pirate known as "Lasombra" kidnaps Arnold and his friends. Lasombra knows of Arnold's status as The Chosen One of the fabled Green-Eyed people and intends to use Arnold to steal the sacred Corazón from them. From there it’s one jungle hazard after another, and the gang must put their heads together to get out of danger. As the leader of the journey, Arnold must make sure he and his friends survive safely, all while working towards a reunion he’s dreamed of his whole life.

WARNING: This a very spoiler-heavy movie, and while some are marked, others may not be. Proceed at your own risk.


  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: The city, the ships, the airplane, the Corazón, and the first shot of the lost city are in fairly obvious CGI.
  • Accidental Truth: When Rhonda asks Lasombra if he has Wi-Fi in his compound, he confirms that he does, but he's not gonna tell her the password. It leads to this exchange:
    Rhonda: You Monster!
    Lasombra: (Beat) How did you guess? (to a crew member) Go change it to the other password! And don't forget to write it down this time!
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: The daughter of the king and queen of the Green-Eyed village took command of the children while her parents were also affected by the sleeping sickness. Once her parents wake up, she relinquishes the throne back to them.
  • Adults Are Useless: Only in the case of Mr. Simmons. The rest of the adults are surprisingly on the ball in this story. Before the big fight sequence, Mr. Simmons absolutely loses his mind in the prison and begins making a makeshift classroom, with a bunch of monkeys as his students. Lampshaded by Phoebe:
    Phoebe: Well, so much for adult supervision.
  • All Just a Dream: The movie begins with Arnold seemingly finding his parents at long last, only to reveal that it was only a dream. The movie's ending makes it appear as though all the events of the movie were also just a dream, only to subvert it and reveal that Arnold really did find and rescue his parents. From the way things look, Arnold had been going through the exact same routine over and over again up until the trip was announced.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: The film was updated to be less of a '90s-centric Unintentional Period Piece.note  That said, the characters are only slightly older than back when the show was explicitly set in the '90s.
  • And the Adventure Continues: Although the film absolutely provides a definitive resolution to the two most persistent plotlines of the series (the mystery of Arnold's missing parents and the Arnold/Helga relationship), to the point that the catchphrase among the production team was "closure happens," it still ends in such a way that the show could easily resume production without missing a beat.
  • Animation Bump: This film is even more crisp and smooth than the first film and the final two episodes.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Lasombra kidnaps Arnold and his class, holds everyone hostage, and refuses to give Rhonda the Wi-Fi password. Then when she accidentally guesses it, he has one of his cronies change it.
  • Art Evolution: The natural result of the long gap between the series and the film. What's more surprising is how conservative the changes are; before they were unveiled, many fans were worried that the basic art or animation styles would be drastically overhauled to reflect changes in technology and production during the 15-year gap. To the great relief of many, the biggest visible change was many of the characters simply getting new wardrobes and some of them looking slightly older to account for the beginnings of puberty (including most of the girls now having visible breasts):
    • Arnold now wears a dark blue jacket over his outfit, the plaid shirt no longer resembles a kilt and he appears slightly taller.
    • Gerald's sweater has been replaced with an otherwise identical hoodie, his hi-top fade is shorter and has a more angled look to it. He also looks and sounds much younger than before.
    • Helga's nose is smaller, her ears and pigtails are more rounded, her skin is lighter, her dress is a lighter shade of pink with a darker pink stripe over the red one (which is now at the very bottom).
    • Phoebe is the most drastically changed; her hair is longer, her top knot is larger and her baggy sweater has been replaced with a white top with a light blue collar, blue jacket and light blue skirt.
    • Sid's undershirt is now a green v-neck and his nose is now the same color as the rest of his head.
    • Stinky wears a brown and mustard yellow bowling shirt.
    • Harold's outfit looks the same (apart from his shoes), but on the trip itself, he wears a different hat and flip-flops. Plus, he and Abner appear to have put on a few more pounds.
    • Rhonda's top has changed from red to indigo and she now wears a red jacket over it. And on the trip itself, she wears a green and yellow striped dress and hat.
    • Eugene has thicker eyebrows.
    • Brainy started getting traces of a mustache.
    • Lila's formerly green shoes are now brown cowboy boots.
    • Nadine has visible eyelashes, her hairpins are blue instead of pink, and her shirt hangs farther down.
    • Grandpa Phil now has a cardigan sweater, and his head, especially his chin, was made less phallic.
    • Grandma Gertie's formerly green dress is now teal.
    • Mr. Simmons now wears a green bow tie.
    • Stoop Kid now wears earrings.
    • Big Bob's hair is changed back to gray after it was colored brown in Hey Arnold! The Movie and he now has a bald spot. He also now wears white shoes instead of black ones.
    • While Curly's wardrobe has not changed, he seems to have shaved the back of his head.
    • Though only a seen in a brief cameo, Gerald's sister Timberly appears to have darker skin to match her brother.
    • In addition to wearing a new outfit for the trip, Olga's breasts seem to have gotten larger.
  • Artistic License – Biology: The Green-Eyed People must have amazing preservation abilities, because, otherwise, all the adults (including Arnold's parents) should've wasted away by now. Or, maybe the sleeping sickness turns the victim into a Rip Van Winkle.
  • Audience Shift: When the series aired, it was rated TV-Y7. The movie is rated TV-PG and is geared to the adults who watched the original back then in 1996 (though it was also meant to introduce the series to a new audience for a potential revival). Naturally, it features a lot of onscreen deaths, among other things.
  • Back for the Finale: A number of one shot minor characters returned for this film, such as Stoop Kid and the Pigeon Man. Then there were others who fell victim to Chuck Cunningham Syndrome, such as Ruth, Torvald, Mai Hyunh and Tucker Wittenberg, who also returned for this film.
  • Bad Boss: Lasombra. He doesn't hesitate to sacrifice his own men in order to get to the Corazón.
  • Bat Signal: Helga has an Arnold-shaped one; in a variation, it's not to call Arnold, but Phoebe, as a way for Helga to ask for her help in Arnold-related issues.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Abner's trip back home to alert Arnold's grandparents about the predicament they got in is so convenient for him: starting from swimming upstream a river and somehow getting to ride a plane that was also heading home...and going in first class.
  • Big Bad: Lasombra, who was initially disguised as Eduardo.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Phil, Gertie, Bob, and Miriam parachute in Lasombra's camp to rescue the children, Olga, and Mr. Simmons.
  • Big Damn Movie: Even bigger than the last one, featuring no less than a trip to the uncharted jungles of San Lorenzo to find the titular character's long-lost parents while facing a vicious crew of river pirates, and encountering the mysterious Green-Eyed people. Also, Arnold and Helga finally get together and officially become canon.
  • Black Comedy: Towards the middle of the film, Lasombra uses himself as shield from his own traps by having his henchmen killed...and it's all Played for Laughs too.
  • Bloodless Carnage: The mook who was shot by the arrows has his body shown at angles that would have blood be offscreen. When Lasombra is hit with a poison dart in the head, and pulls it out, no blood is visible.
  • Booby Trap: The box containing La Corazón; unless you're The Chosen One, you'll be shot by a poison dart, as Lasombra finds out.
  • Book Ends:
    • The closing shot of the movie, of Miles and Stella on the stairs at the entrance of P.S. 118, directly mirrors a shot earlier in the film. See here.
    • The movie starts and ends the same way with Arnold waking up after dreaming about his parents, having breakfast with the boarders, and then walking to school with Gerald where they bump into Helga and Phoebe. The end differs in that now his parents are home and accompany him to school and he and Helga are a couple now.
    • At the end of the movie, Arnold, Helga, Gerald, and Phoebe are all in sixth grade and dating. At the start of the series, Arnold and Gerald looked up to sixth graders and Arnold was even interested in one (Ruth) for a time. Phoebe also once skipped ahead to sixth grade and is now officially there the normal way.
  • But Not Too Gay: While the special makes their relationship less ambiguous than it was in the series proper, Mr. Simmons still doesn't show any greater affection for his partner Peter than a hug. The little girl who's with them as they see Mr. Simmons off is all but stated to be their adoptive daughter.
  • Butt-Monkey: Anyone who gets captured by Lasombra outside of the main cast goes through a lot of abuse, with Harold (for ''hours''), Sid (his Beatle boots ripped to shreds), and Mr. Simmons (went mad from captivity) being standout examples. But especially Rhonda, who loses her sunbonnet hat and has her hair ruined and later slashed down to the point she's half-bald, has a designer shoe washed away, and her stylish new smartphone smashed by Phoebe so she can cannibalize it for spare parts. Arnold gets constantly dope smacked by Helga.
  • Call-Back: As shown by just the first teaser clip released for it, The Jungle Movie has a lot:
    • A number of the scenes in the video made for the contest to go to San Lorenzo in The Jungle Movie are (remastered) scenes from the show's original run. In order, we have Arnold and Grandma cleaning Lockjaw in "Field Trip", Arnold and Gerald helping Mrs. Vitello in "Part-Time Friends", Arnold tutoring Torvald in "Tutoring Torvald", Arnold and the kids cleaning up "The Vacant Lot", Arnold getting Nadine and Rhonda to reconcile with each other in "Best Friends", Arnold going to comfort Mickey Kaline in "The Baseball", Arnold giving Eugene a bike in "Eugene's Birthday", Harold giving up Thurston the kitten in "Harold's Kitty", Arnold running off some muggers in "Mugged", Arnold dressed as a banana for the school play in "Downtown as Fruits", Arnold being crazy in "24 Hours to Live," and Arnold running with Grandpa Phil in "Steely Phil." The video also finishes with Harold and Stinky mooning to the camera, referencing the episode "Full Moon".
    • Helga's shrine of Arnold made from his used bubblegum as seen in "Arnold's Hat" is briefly seen in her secret lair.
    • Curly once again releases caged animals just like in “Geek Party," only these animals belong to Lasombra, instead of a zoo.
    • Just like in Hey Arnold! The Movie, one sequence involves stealing a key from someone who is asleep. This time, it involves a Mook rather than Nick Vermicelli.
    • Again, just like Hey Arnold! The Movie, there's a big fight in which one of the participants turns green and goes ballistic. In the first movie, it's Big Bob after getting pickle juice spilled on him, in The Jungle Movie, it's Lasombra after being shot with the poison dart.
  • Catchphrase: Gerald says "Mm-mm-mm" a lot in this film just as he frequently did in the original series.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The stapler that Phil gives Arnold to take on his trip. He uses it to snag the keys to his cell off of one of Lasombra's Mooks. Helga also uses it as an Improvised Weapon when the mook, who they were trying not to wake, still wakes up.
    • The beepers Bob gives Helga. The class uses them to send an SOS / "505" message.
    • Helga's locket, which acts as a perfect substitute for the lost corazón and winds up saving the Green-Eyed People from the sleeping sickness.
  • The Chosen One: Arnold's the fabled "Child of the Volcano" revered by the Green-Eyed People.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: During the scenes at the boarding house: Ernie, Oskar, and Mr. Hyunh are shown, but Suzie is nowhere to be seen. Craig Bartlett revealed on a Reddit AMA that she divorced Oskar and moved out of the boarding house before the events of this movie.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Helga, doi! She gets jealous when the Princess of The Green Eyes takes Arnold's hand and not-to-subtly tells her to back off.
  • Comic-Book Time: An odd case when you compare character ages and the technology present. Big Bob is still selling beepers, but is clearly struggling, with everything being on sale, and everyone pointing out that nobody uses beepers anymore now that cell phones are around. With that said, though, Rhonda has a cell phone that looks very much like one found today, a far cry from the '90s looking cell phone that Lorenzo, another rich kid, had in the series. The characters are only supposed to be about a year older, so it's not like technology would have advanced that much.
  • Composite Character: Arnold's personality changed slightly in the cartoons each time he was given a new voice actor, but The Jungle Movie's version of Arnold tries to mix and match the best parts of each one, particularly Philip Van Dyke and Spencer Klein's versions. He's back to being (mostly) serious but he's less of a goody-goody (probably because he's too busy with his own plot to meddle in everyone else's) than Klein's take. He has the Van Dyke childlike innocence to him, but also definitely has the most determination of them all. Although freaked out by Helga's advances at first, he eventually comes to terms with them and reciprocates, completely dropping the bizarre trolling-flirting combination he briefly employed when Alex D. Linz voiced him. Despite returning her feelings, he's still more tentative with Helga than Klein's Arnold would have been - letting Helga initiate the kiss instead of kissing her himself, although he leans in and closes his eyes to make his intention clear.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: A scene in The Jungle Movie features the neighborhood throwing Arnold a surprise party with many of the characters that he's helped over the years either attending and/or appearing in a video shown at the party, including folks like Pigeon Man, Stoop Kid, Mr. Hynuh's daughter, Coach Wittenburg and his family (yes, even Tucker), Dino Spumoni, Lila and Ruth
  • Continuity Porn: Features heavy call backs to previous Hey Arnold! episodes.
  • Cry into Chest: Arnold cries on a comatose Miles when he realizes that the Corazón, which had been lost, was needed to cure his parents of their sleeping sickness.
  • Darker and Edgier: The film is the darkest entry in the franchise since it involves characters getting into perilous situations where they almost get killed, kidnapping and the Big Bad and his mooks getting killed off on-screen. The TV-PG rating is definitely earned here.
  • Death Trap: The Green Eyes' village is protected by several VERY effective ones. Arnold, Helga and Gerald barely manage to get past them thanks to Miles' journal. Lasombra's men aren't so lucky.
  • Distracted by the Sexy:
    • Parodied with Gertrude, who uses a fake puppet leg for this purpose.
    • Olga does this on purpose by distracting two guards in order to make them fight each other, as part of Phoebe's escape plan.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Mr. Simmons says to Arnold, "You've gone Benedict, Arnold" and attempts to use that comment as a "teachable moment" to educate his class about the infamous traitor. But, it comes off as this, as evidenced by the class's reaction that they all know who Benedict Arnold is.
  • Door-Closes Ending: The movie ends with P.S. 118's doors closing, symbolizing that Arnold's journey has finally concluded.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending:
    • Arnold goes through a lot of trouble in this movie, including learning the school trip to San Lorenzo was just to rope him in for the villain his parents warned him about to steal a precious artifact, and having nearly everyone erroneously turn his back on him. But he soon after regains all his friends and peers, and most of all, reunites with his parents.
    • Helga finally confesses her love towards Arnold. While this happened before in the previous movie, there, Arnold gave her an out by them both agreeing to act as though the moment never happened. Here, Arnold admits that he's ready to give her a proper response and makes it clear her feelings are very much requited.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Olga fawns over Che like crazy. Even after he turns out to be on the villains' team- and for a moment, Che seems to reconsider his loyalties because he knows Olga fancies him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Played for Laughs. After the group gets captured, Curly offers to be Lasombra's prison snitch, but Lasombra refuses because Curly is too loco even for them.
  • Everybody Cries: When Eduardo breaks the news to the Green-Eyed Girl Queen that the Corazón, which was needed to cure Arnold's parents and the Green-Eyed adults of their sleeping sickness, had been lost during the battle with Lasombra, she reacts by crying, which causes the other Green-Eyed children to cry as well. Moments later, not even Arnold can hold back from crying.
  • Everybody Knew Already: Not exactly everybody, but Phoebe and Gerald are shown to obviously know about Helga's secret love for Arnold. And then near the end we learn Arnold also Knew It All Along, especially after the events of the first movie.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Abner screeches like crazy when he sees Lasombra’s boat heading towards the boat that Arnold & his classmates are on. He also acts this way around "Eduardo", an early hint that he's up to no good.
  • Everyone Can See It: Not everyone, but presumably thanks to knowing them so well, Gerald has clearly figured out that Helga is in love with Arnold between the show and the movie despite her attempts to hide it, and joins Phoebe in good-naturedly teasing her about it. His reaction to their first real kiss isn't so much "Whoa, you two like each other now?" and more like "It's about time."
  • Failed a Spot Check: During the climax, Helga and Gerald chase Lasombra (who has the stolen Corazon and captive Arnold) across a rickety rope bridge, which collapses under them. After they're saved by Eduardo and Lasombra falls to his death, it's shown that there's actually a solid stone bridge only a few feet away.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Lasombra might have a good sense of humor, but he is rotten to the core.
  • Finale Movie: The Jungle Movie serves as the final conclusion to the series, bringing an end to Arnold's journey in finding his lost parents.
  • Flashback with the Other Darrin: While Helga searches through her video collection, Helga comes across the (reanimated) scene of Arnold and his Grandma cleaning up Lockjaw the Turtle in "Field Trip", complete with dialogue from Mason Vale Cotton.
  • Foot Popping: Helga does this during The Big Damn Kiss with Arnold.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • After Mr. Simmons announces the contest, Gerald says that it seems tailor made for Arnold. It turns out it is as it's actually a trap Lasombra set up to lure Arnold to San Lorenzo so he could use Arnold to get the corazón.
    • When Arnold and Gerald visit Eduardo's apartment, a picture with Arnold's parents has a corner ripped out, subtly hinting that Eduardo is not who he seems.
    • Abner sniffing at Eduardo and knowing something is not exactly right with him.
    • It seems a bit strange that Lasombra's ship is very modern and sleek while Helpers for Humanity's is older and worn out doesn't it? It's because Lasombra and his pirates are actually posing as the humanitarian group and the group attacking the ship is the real organization trying to save the class.
    • During the pirate attack, Arnold shows concern for his classmates' safety, but Eduardo tells him to "Forget about them", which is weird for someone like Eduardo to say.
  • Frameup: Lasombra has some Kick the Dog fun with Arnold, telling his friends that they were working together the whole time and that the boy put them in danger on purpose, obviously leaving out how Arnold was tricked the whole time.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Phoebe, who uses several beepers, Rhonda's cell phone, and random junk to send a distress signal.
  • Good All Along: Those "pirates" that attacked the boat with Arnold and company? Turns out that they were working with Eduardo, and they were there to rescue them from Lasombra (disguised as Eduardo) and his goons.
  • Growing with the Audience: While not as extreme as Samurai Jack's revival, this movie has a lot of Darker and Edgier moments due to it being tailored to the now-adult fans, earning it a PG rating. note 
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Helga, as usual, has both the literal and metaphorical ones; and both are the key to save the Green Eyes' adults and Arnold's parents after La Corazon (another literal example) is gone. Arnold even lampshades it, giving a double meaning comment to Helga that her "heart is more pure than she thinks" when she hands him her locket.
  • His Name Really Is "Barkeep": Phil's nickname for Arnold, Shortman, turns out to be his (Arnold's) last name.
  • Hitchhiker's Leg: Grandma Gertie uses a fake one to get a ride to get back to San Lorenzo.
  • Identity Concealment Disposal: Throughout the entire run of the show, Arnold's last name was never revealed to the audience, leaving anguish and speculation amongst fans. But when Arnold gets his new passport, what does he sign his name as? "Arnold Shortman." That's right. Phil always calling Arnold "short man" wasn't just a nickname; it was his actual name.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: After Arnold touches Helga's shoulder during the party, she says she has to leave to "go wash [her] socks."
  • Ignored Confession: In The Jungle Movie, Helga attempted to confess her feelings to Arnold again, to which Arnold blew off as the boat they were on was attacked. At the end of the film, Arnold stated he wasn't ready to hear what she was saying until he reunited with his parents.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Abner has a taste for bacon, which Arnold has no problem feeding him. Mr. Hyunh finds it very creepy.
  • Jerkass Ball: Everyone, including Gerald and Mr. Simmons, turn their backs on Arnold who was framed by Lasombra for refind the Corazon and getting them captured by the river pirates even though he had no way of knowing that the video contest was a setup to lure Arnold to San Lorenzo, or that "Eduardo" was actually Lasombra in disguise. They do eventually come around and forgive him, though Gerald says Arnold will be doing his chores for weeks to make up for it.
  • Jerkass Realization: After Arnold breaks down in his cell in Lasombra's camp, Helga realizes how selfish she was being and decides to help him find his parents for the simple sake of his happiness, convincing Gerald and Phoebe to help as well.
  • Killed Off for Real: Lasombra and many of his goons.
  • Lampshade Hanging: During the video Arnold's friends made for him for the San Lorenzo contest, Harold tells the camera he was a one-dimensional bully before Arnold influenced him to become more sensitive.note 
  • Liar Revealed: While he doesn't exactly lie to anyone, when Arnold learns that he's being hunted by Lasombra and subsequently putting everyone else in danger he keeps it a secret. When Lasombra reveals himself he outs Arnold to the others for keeping this knowledge secret, causing everyone to turn against him.
  • Mayincatec: The green-eyed ones' temple is located in San Lorenzo, which according to the fictional map, is located near Guatemala and Belize, with their hidden village possibly based on Mayan or Olmec design.
  • Mooning: Harold and Stinky do this at the end of the video that shows all the good deeds Arnold has done for everyone in the past.
  • Not So Above It All: Even Mr. Simmons got angry at Arnold for getting them locked up in jail.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • After Arnold refuses to listen to Helga's second attempt at a Love Confession (following her first one in Hey Arnold! The Movie), she rips her picture of Arnold to shreds before tossing it along with her locket into the river. Considering how deep Helga's crush goes, you know Arnold absolutely screwed up to warrant that kind of reaction. Luckily Brainy, who sees the event, instantly dives in to get it back and tapes it back together before returning it to Helga. She's so overjoyed at getting it back that she kisses him in a quick moment of gratitude!
    • The fact that Arnold actually starts crying (something he never did before in the series) after the group is imprisoned by Lasombra and he feels like he'll never find his parents shows just how far past the Despair Event Horizon he is. It's what makes Helga have her Jerkass Realization and decision to help him.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: One moment, Grandma is in her nightdress hearing Abner's distress call, the next, she's dressed in a military uniform driving Grandpa's Packard.
  • Open the Iris: Arnold's reaction when he sees his parents in the boarding house and realizes that he didn't just wake up from another dream about finding them.
  • Papa Wolf: In the original show, Bob was almost always an extremely shitty parent, but in the movie, when he and Miriam realize that Helga and Olga are in trouble in San Lorenzo, they immediately spring to action and rent a plane to go help them. Once he, Miriam, Phil, and Getrude land in the camp, Olga points to Che and says that he was mean to her, to which Bob goes absolutely apeshit and pounces on him like a feral lion.
    Bob: You and me are gonna go round and round!
  • Parents Know Their Children: Miles and Stella instantly recognize Arnold despite the fact he was an infant the last time they saw him. Then again there aren't a whole lot of children with football-shaped heads.
  • Potty Emergency: Harold constantly has to use the toilet due to a large amount of food he eats throughout the trip.
  • Real After All: The ending is proof that Arnold is not dreaming; he finally found his parents at long last. What makes this so striking is that he's still dealing with fears this isn't the case, as he keeps having nightmares about not finding them.
  • Retcon:
    • The film reveals that several of Arnold's greatest triumphs from the TV series had been filmed by Helga so that she could use them to make the video for the contest. Yet several of these happened when Helga was right there but clearly wasn't filming anything. (Some of the clips, however, clearly show signs of being filmed from a hiding place.)
    • The danger of the Sleeping Sickness. In the series, it was portrayed as being certain death since Stella mentioned the death of the butterflies. In the movie, it was changed to causing a coma-like state.
  • The Reveal:
    • Helga has secretly filmed Arnold for several years and has a secret room filled with tapes and monitors of all his little adventures in the city. (Gerald even wonders how she managed to do all that.)
    • Miles and Stella's fate, along with all the adult Green Eyes'.
    • Arnold's last name is explicitly used for the first time: Shortman.
    • Mr. Simmons really is gay and his partner actually is Peter.
    • Rhonda has eyebrows hidden under her bangs.
    • Arnold and his friends meet the notorious river pirate Lasombra.
    • Gertie's full name is "Gertrude", as said by Bob Pataki in a rare moment of sincerity.
    • Arnold finally discovers Helga's secret gold-plated locket of him (or rather, discovers the locket, which he saw before in an episode, is hers), which finally causes a Relationship Upgrade between them. Although she confessed to him before in Hey Arnold! The Movie, the two agreed to act as though it never happened. This time, the Love Confession sticks and is indeed requited.
  • Riches to Rags: In the original series, the Pataki family, while not rich, were at least upper-middle class. But since Bob's business rested solely in beepers, the family fortunes have waned due to the rise of cellphones. As such, the family is forced to live in the beeper store. Though Helga points out that this is due to Bob being a stubborn idiot who refuses to change with the times and continues to sell obsolete technology, when he could easily switch over to cellphones ("The Beeper Queen" even confirming that they were at least considering switching to cellphones at one point).
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • Phoebe clearly ships Arnold and Helga together, just as she did throughout the series.
    • When Gerald sees Arnold and Helga kissing, his reaction is all but saying it's about time. Likewise, Arnold's parents reaction is just to smile and coo.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The shot in Arnold's dream of him ducking Eduardo's plane is a nod to the shot from North By Northwest.
    • As mentioned above, Helga has a Bat Signal, that she uses to call for Phoebe's help in Arnold-related issues.
    • Olga and Che recreate the iconic "flying" shot from Titanic. Olga also says, "I'm queen of the world!"
    • Curly creates a diversion by riding Olga like a horse and shouting, "Hi-ho, Silver!"
    • To take out Lasombra's goons, the kids roll Eugene, who's puffed up into a ball due to an allergic reaction, down the stairs like the boulder in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Eugene even lampshades it.
    • When jumping out of the plane to save the kids, Grandma yells "Geronimo!" and then Grandpa yells "Sacagawea!" which also counts as an Actor Allusion.
  • Rule of Symbolism: To cure the sleeping sickness, a mechanism has to be powered by the sacred Corazon (Spanish for "heart"). The Corazon is lost after a fall and Helga hands over her locket to Arnold, so it can take it's place (despite it being her most precious possession). In other words, she is symbolically giving him her heart and Arnold's parents wake up through The Power of Love, with everyone being saved by Helga revealing her Hidden Heart of Gold.
  • String Theory: The movie begins with photo of Arnold's parents connected to drawings and newspaper clippings of their possible whereabouts.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Big Bob's Beepers goes out of business due to the rise of cellphones and Big Bob's utter refusal to switch to selling cell phones, causing the Pataki family to move into the building it's sold at. This is Truth in Television for anyone who's owned a business, especially one focused on electronics.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Helga, as usual. She takes it up to eleven with hundreds of hours of video footage of Arnold, that she has secretly filmed for years. She even filmed him while she wasn't clearly around in the previous episodes!
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Helga's not the only one who makes larger-than-life shrines to Arnold. The Green-Eyed People do too, making Helga feel like she's been put to shame.
  • Technology Marches On: invoked Thanks to the rise of cellphones and the advancement of technology in general, Bob's beeper business goes down the drain and he and his family are forced to live in what's left of his beeper store.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Arnold realizes that during the whole trip, Helga's been doing everything in her power to help Arnold, and even sacrificed her cherished locket to spread the sleeping sickness cure and wake up Miles and Stella. He tells her that he's always suspected that she was mean to him because she loved him, and kisses her sweetly. The moment that every fan of the show finally came, and it was fucking perfect.
  • That Poor Cat: Wouldn't be a Hey Arnold! film without one. It is heard when Harold throws the deli platter away at the airport.
  • Time Skip: The Jungle Movie's story takes place during the summer between Arnold's fifth and sixth grade year, when Arnold was previously a fourth grader.
  • Title Drop: This moment:
    Arnold's Parents: *waking up from their sleeping sickness* Hey, Arnold.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Whereas in the show Miriam was a dazed alcoholic who couldn't stand half the time, she's able to hold her own in the mass fight against Lasombra's men, and even clocks one of them with a frying pan.
  • Trampoline Tummy: Due to Eugene's allergy, it caused him to puff up into a ball, and he was used for the kids to bounce out of the compound and escape.
  • Traumatic Haircut: Rhonda gets her hair shaven off in the climax of the movie.
  • Uncertain Doom: Aside from the mook who had a really long fall and was never shown actually dying, some of Lasombra's men are heard moaning from underneath the collapsed rubble of Spikes of Doom. That's horrifying. And we got a PG rating!?!
  • Undying Loyalty: While Gerald, Helga, and the others have every right to be angry with Arnold, they've nonetheless helped him throughout the film.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Lasombra is a greedy river pirate who abducts Arnold and his entire class, lets his own men get killed in booby traps and nearly leaves Helga and Gerald to fall off the edge of a cliff. He does it all in the name of achieving the Green Eyes' gold artifact the Corazon. He takes immense glee in being evil and is willing to threaten or dispose of any threat in the way of getting what he wants. Once he sees only the children in the tribe are unaffected by the sleeping sickness, he plans to steal all their treasure, leave the adults all in eternal rest and when the Corazon falls off a cliff, he violently picks Arnold up and tries to throw him off said cliff.
  • Villain Ball: Lasombra's impatience was his own undoing. Had he waited until Arnold removed the Corazón from its casing, he wouldn't have been shot by the toxic dart.
  • Vocal Evolution: The majority of the returning cast members from the original series' run sound at least slightly different than how they did before, to the point that untrained ears might think they've been recast. Aging, lack of practice, and updated recording equipment are likely why, and the kids are supposed to be older anyway.
  • Wham Shot: The shot that reveals Arnold's parents are still alive, but have been immobilized for years due to sleeping sickness. Not only that, but it turns out, every adult in the Green-Eyed people's city has fallen victim of the sleeping sickness.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Brainy has a crush on Helga, who just had her heart broken, and threw away her locket (as well as destroyed the picture of Arnold inside). He could've just ignored it, or even tried to capitalize on it, but, because he thought "I Want My Beloved to Be Happy," he dives in to fetch it for her. Luckily, fate decides to Throw the Dog a Bone, and, since he hit the Karmic Jackpot, Helga becomes so happy that she kisses him.
  • Where It All Began: Arnold's story began in San Lorenzo, and it's where his story ends.

Alternative Title(s): The Jungle Movie