You show me one person who doesn’t like Rugrats and I’ll show you a communist. The second of the three original Nick Toons (behind Doug), Rugrats was something special, outlasting nearly every show that followed . Everyone could easily relate to Tommy’s adventures because we were all kids once.
Rugrats had a simple, but original concept. The show centered on Tommy Pickles, a one year old toddler and his friends, Chucky, Phil, Lil, Susie, and Angelica. The babies would often have adventures involving their imaginations and misinterpretations of concepts or idioms they’d hear from adults. The babies could talk to each other, and the adults couldn’t understand them. Susie and Angelica could talk to the babies and adults as they were both three years old.
Each character was unique, allowing the writers to tell a multitude of stories. Tommy was the fearless leader, perpetually in diapers and a t-shirt, while his best friend Chucky Finster was a scaredy cat. Phil and Lil were gross twins who would eat insects and the like. Angelica was the antagonist, constantly teasing the babies, lying to them, or generally trying to get them in trouble. Susie would appear occasionally, balancing out Angelica. The parents were just as crucial to the show. Didi and Stu Pickles, Chas Finster, Drew and Charlotte Pickles each contributed one way or another.
After finishing it’s initial 65 episode run in 1994, the show went on hiatus. Two Jewish holiday themed episodes released, one in ’95, and the other in ’96 before the show came back into full production in 1997. With the show on an upswing, the first movie, The Rugrats Movie, was released in 1998. This introduced Tommy’s little brother, baby Dil, to the show. The sequel in 2000, Rugarts in Paris: The Movie, saw Chucky’s dad remarry, introduction two new characters, Kira and her daughter Kimi. Ethnic diversity! The third movie, Rugrats Go Wild, was a crossover with The Wild Thornberrys, but it was terrible.
For it’s tenth anniversary, the show aired a full episode (as each normal episode was comprised of two segments) called All Grown Up. This showed the cast ten years older as preteens. This acted as a backdoor pilot. As Rugrats ended in 2004, All Grown Up! took over, running through 2008.
While the Rugrats has seen a pretty extensive cast, no one can argue that the true star of the show was Reptar. The monstrous, green, Tyrannosaurus Rex could be seen throughout the show on all manner of merchandise. From action figures to cereal, he even had his own ice show. Busta Rhymes voiced him in the second movie. There is a severe lack of Reptar in my life.
I watched the crap out of the first batch of Rugrats episodes. By the time the newer episodes started with Dil, I was too old to be watching stupid cartoons. Younger me was an idiot. My favorite part of the show was the misquotations or altered lines. “When life hands you lemons, make apple sauce.” “If the tooth fits, wear it.” “You dumb babies, monsters are just frigments of your infactuation.” “Everything’s back to Norman.” And of course, “A baby’s got to do what a baby’s got to do.”
I put Rugrats in the same category as Ducktales or Animaniacs: fun for kids of any generation to watch. This is easily one of the best shows Nickelodeon has produced. Plus, they had a pretty neat rap song. It’s a rug rat rap!
The N64 game was terrible.