Rugrats Go Wild


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Rating: PG for mild crude humor

Michael Bell as Drew Pickles/Chaz Finster
Jodi Carlisle as Marianne Thornberry
Nancy Cartwright as Chuckie Finster
Lacey Chabert as Eliza Thornberry
Melanie Chartoff as Didi Pickles
Cheryl Chase as Angelica C. Pickles
Tim Curry as Sir Nigel Thornberry
Elizabeth Daily as Tommy Pickles
Flea as Donnie Thornberry
Danielle Harris as Debbie Thornberry
Tom Kane as Darwin
Julia Kato as Kira Finster
LL Cool J as Piki
Tress MacNeille as Charlotte Pickles
Philip Proctor as Howard DeVille
Dionne Quan as Kimi Finster
Jack Riley as Stu Pickles
Kath Soucie as Phil DeVille/Lil DeVille/Betty DeVille
Tara Strong as Dil Pickles
Cree Summer as Susie Carmichael
Bruce Willis as Spike the Dog
Chrissie Hynde as The Leopard

If you’re a fan of The Rugrats or The Wild Thornberrys, you’ll enjoy Rugrats Go Wild.

In this cartoon, the characters from the Nickelodeon cartoon series The Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys meet for the first time.

When the families of The Rugrats go on vacation, they believe that they are going on a luxury cruise. Little do they know that Stu Pickles has rented a small, rickety fishing boat to go to sea on. The families aren’t happy, but things get worse when a storm maroons them on an island. They believe that they are trapped with no way off.

Little do they know that on the other side of the island, the Thornberrys have set up camp. They are on the island trying to film a rare leopard for their TV show. Tommy Pickles, a fan of Nigel Thornberry’s show, knows they are on the island as well, so he leads an expedition of the babies in search of his hero. Unfortunately, the leopard everyone’s looking for just might find the babies to be a nice snack. Can Eliza and Spike save them before disaster strikes?

What Worked:
If you’re a fan of either the Rugrats or The Wild Thornberrys, you’ll want to see this film. Kids will get a big kick out of seeing the characters meet for the first time. While the movie doesn’t offer anything special beyond this, you get the same content you would in an episode of either TV show. That may be good enough for you to check it out or dump the kids at the theater to view it.

The animation isn’t much better than what you see on TV. The characters look and move the same. About the only difference is the more elaborate background plates and some CG animation used on the ocean. They do add one neat trick, though – smells. You can get a scratch and sniff card going into the film. When a number appears on the screen, you sniff the card. Unfortunately, the packaging made all the smells blend together and none of them were distinct. Still, it’s a fun idea for children.

One of the more noteworthy things about this movie is the voice cast. As they have heavily promoted, Bruce Willis is the voice of Spike. He does a good job, but the truth is that anyone could have really done this voice. Willis does sing in a couple of songs in the film along with Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders during a duet between the dog and leopard. The notable voice cast includes Nancy Cartwright as Chuckie Finster (who you may also know as Bart Simpson), Lacey Chabert as Eliza Thornberry, Tim Curry as Sir Nigel Thornberry, Flea as Donnie Thornberry, and Cree Summer as Susie Carmichael. They all do a wonderful job in adding uniqueness to their characters.

The music in the movie isn’t that bad, either. Angelica has a funny song about her being a princess. She also sings along with Debbie Thornberry on “Should I Stay Or Should I Go”. One of the highlights, though, is Aerosmith singing Lizard Love in the credits. I never thought I’d hear Steve Tyler in a movie like this, but then again Flea is in it as well.

Like the other Rugrats movies, this one is filled with references to other films. Look for jokes relating to Titanic, Jaws, Star Wars, Lord Of The Flies, and more.

What Didn’t Work:
There are parts in the film that may be a bit scary for small children. In one scene, the parents frantically secure the children in the boat before a massive tidal wave hits. In a scene reminiscent of The Perfect Storm, the boat slowly sinks with everyone, including the babies, heading for a horrible death. The kids are shown giggling, oblivious to the situation, but it doesn’t make it any less intense. I thought it was a bit much for this kind of movie.

There are also a lot of booger and poop jokes in this movie. It thoroughly amused the children, but adults might get weary of it, especially if kids start imitating it.

The Bottom Line:
Rugrats Go Wild is good entertainment for children. If you’re a parent that needs to entertain a child, this one won’t drive you nuts.