Making the Grades
The Rugrats are the latest Nickelodeon Network program to hit the big screen. Tiny toddlers that communicate with each other long before they can converse with adults; they work, play, and fight together while they explore their adult orientated world.
Their first feature movie begins with one year old Tommy Pickles (E.G. Daily) fretting about his new baby brother Dylan ("We'll call him Dil," says his mom... recheck the last name readers...). During his first few weeks of life, Dil decides to keep mom and dad up all night, and Tommy is feeling lost and ignored. His best friend Chuckie (Christine Cavanaugh) and his other Rugrat buddies decide Dil must be "broked" and the best thing for him would be a trip back to the "hop-sickle" where he came from.
Fortunately Tommy's father is a toy inventor, and has a Raptor Wagon parked and waiting to be shipped to Japan. The half-dinosaur half-dragon vehicle fits all the little Ruggies perfectly and the adults are too tired to notice they're leaving, but as they head down the street it's obvious that nobody knows how to drive. The vehicle finally comes to rest in a forest, leaving the toddlers with just their diapers and keen wit to help them return home.
Squarely aimed at a young audience, the writers make a feeble attempt to entertain the adults with gags about delivering babies, the pains of parenting young children, and determining the sex of your unborn child. Meanwhile, the lost toddlers are either cracking remarks about diaper debris or are running from a fierce wolf and a bunch of obnoxious circus monkeys.
But the real concern with this so-called "family" movie is the hyperactivity of these children, and the almost random nonsense that the writers use to fill the last half of the script. A small lesson about working together is there for those who search, and all the children come from two parent families (very rare in films today), but after watching The Rugrats Movie, I'm seriously considering a new grading category... Stupidity!