Making the Grades
"We gotta go oui oui..." adequately captures the culture clash rampant throughout The Rugrats In Paris (2000). While I understand the marketing motives behind this animated sequel may be easy, believing any parent would actually transport fourteen members of their neighborhood (consisting mostly of loud-mouthed juveniles) into a foreign country, is not.
Yet that is what Stu Pickles, father of little Tommy and Dyl, does after receiving a frantic phone call at 2 a.m. Since the last movie, Stu has graduated from basement toy-maker to creator of the premiere attraction in Euroreptarland, a huge Paris amusement park. Being only half awake during the urgent summons to come and fix his giant robotic-controlled dinosaur that has somehow gone berserk, Stu mistakes the request as an invitation to come to France with his friends and celebrate his technical achievement.
Meanwhile, the kids have an agenda of their own. Two-year-old Chuckie doesn't have a mother. As Paris is the city of love, mischievous Angelica (Tommy and Dyl's cousin) figures picking up a mom for her young neighbor should be as easy as souvenir shopping. But Angelica's intentions turn Chuckie's father into easy prey for Coco, the career driven manager of Euroreptarland, who is desperately looking for a pushover guy with a child whom she can marry, in order to qualify for a promotion her boss will only give to a "family woman."
While The Rugrats certainly depicts life with children as akin to a three-ring circus, the film still manages to demonstrate the importance of mothers and fathers in a family (even if the adults are obsessive over their kids). Consideration for the parents in the audience appears the most likely reason for including witticisms from notable films such as The Graduate (little Chuckie re-enacts Hoffman's wedding-stopper moment) and The Godfather (with Angelica in the lead role). With much of the last movie's toilet talk flushed from this outing, leaving just a few moments of diaper debris and bare bottoms; parents who can muster the remaining stupidities and mundane script, may survive having to come along on this trip.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Rugrats In Paris: The Movie.
How do the Rugrats provide support for Chuckie as he deals with his feelings of loss? How can you play a positive role in the life of your friends?
Within the world created by the animators, the Rugrats (and their parents) do many impossible and reckless things. While these stunts are obviously played for laughs, what behaviors do they depict that would be impossible or dangerous to attempt in reality?
The Rugrats have a very hard time staying close to parents when they are traveling. If you followed their example, what are some of the consequences you might experience?