Rugrats Go Wild!

It was only a matter of time before Nickelodeon properties The Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys met. Both are wildly popular television shows that moved into films, and more importantly, both have the same style of animation from Klasky Csupo studios. The animation isn't great, but it isn't about the animation. For Rugrats, it is about the precocious way that children see the world of adults. The Wild Thornberrys is a little more ambitious, more about a girl who can talk to animals. Moviewise, The Wild Thornberrys Movie was a more satisfying experience than the Rugrats ones, and Rugrats Go Wild! benefits from their inclusion. The main fault of both movies is that they gear themselves primarily towards children, with no thought about what adults may think. This results in a movie that is boring for parents, and entertaining to only smaller children.

So how do these two groups of people meet? Writer Kate Boutilier (The Wild Thornberrys Movie, Rugrats in Paris) has all the families of the Rugrats go on vacation. However, they end up stranded on a deserted island that just happens to be where the Wild Thornberrys are trying to film some white leopards. The kids are separated from their parents, and Tommy (voiced by Elizabeth Daily, The Country Bears, The Powerpuff Girls) decides to lead them back. He is a huge fan of Nigel Thornberry, and believes that Nigel is somewhere on the Island. Angelica (voiced by Nancy Cartwright, Timber Wolf, Wakko's Wish) sets off to find them, and runs into the snooty Debbie Thornberry (voiced by Danielle Harris, The Wild Thornberrys Movie, Killer Bud). The two are like twins. The 'new' character is actually an old one. Spike meets Eliza (voiced by Lacey Chabert, Daddy Day Care, The Wild Thornberrys Movie), who can speak with animals. And newly voiced Spike (voiced by Bruce Willis, Tears of the Sun, Hart's War), with Eliza, go off in search of the children.

It's basically a bunch of stories that slowly converge together, with lots of Rugrats-type observations and cutesy language mispronunciations. It wears thin quickly, which probably explains co-directors John Eng and Norton Virigen (The Rugrats Movie) keep the running time quickly. Because there are at least two dozen characters, nobody gets much screen time, making this a movie mainly for fans. Casual viewers will not get a sense of any individual character, just a jumble of a bunch of kids. There is a moral here somewhere, but Rugrats Go Wild! is dull enough that it quickly leaves the memory of any children watching. It's harmless fun for small children that is sometimes a little heavy on the poop jokes (hence the PG rating) but nothing special.

Haro Rates It: Okay.
1 hour, 22 minutes, Rated PG for mild crude humor.

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