The Rugrats Movie (1998)
The Rugrats Movie is a 1998 American animated adventure comedy-drama film based on the popular Nickelodeon series, Rugrats.
The film introduced Tommy Pickles' baby brother Dil Pickles, who appeared on the original series the next year. The film features the voices of E.G. Daily, Tara Strong, Christine Cavanaugh, Kath Soucie, Cheryl Chase, Cree Summer, and Charlie Adler, along with guest stars David Spade, Whoopi Goldberg, Margaret Cho, Busta Rhymes, and Tim Curry.
The film was the first animated film from Nickelodeon Movies.
Didi Pickles is pregnant with a second baby, which everyone believes will be a girl. Didi goes into labor during the baby shower and her friends rush her to the hospital. While this is happening, the kids crawl off and explore a nursery area before being found by the other parents. When the baby is finally born after a montage of past lives, it is actually a boy and they name him Dil.
Dil quickly becomes a very spoiled baby, crying non-stop for attention, keeping all of the toys for himself, and refusing to share with Tommy. After a nasty fight between Tommy and Dil over Tommy's teddy bear, Tommy's father, Stu has a conversation with him about being a big brother and the responsibility he now has, assuring him that one day he will be happy to have Dil as his little brother. He also gives Tommy a locket with a picture of Tommy and Dil taped together and a watch inside, which he calls his "sponsitility" (his term for responsibility).
When Dil pushes the other babies too far, they decide to take him back to the hospital despite Tommy's disapproval, and end up driving recklessly through the streets in a Reptar Wagon which Stu had built for a contest. Along the way, Dil secretly steals Angelica's Cynthia doll, which prompts her to take the family dog, Spike and they embark on a quest to find the babies.
The babies eventually crash in the woods, where they realize that they are lost. They spot a ranger's cabin where they believe a "lizard" (a mispronunciation of wizard) lives, and decide to go there, believing that it can take them home. After an encounter with a gang of runaway circus monkeys, Dil is taken away by them. Tommy vows to find Dil by himself, after Chuckie, Phil and Lil agree they are better off without him.
Meanwhile, the parents find out that the babies are missing and try to find them. However, it becomes a media sensation with numerous news reporters constantly asking the adults questions and intentionally enrages Stu's brother Drew into attacking Stu by telling him he lost Angelica.
Tommy eventually finds Dil during a storm, and are forced to take shelter under a tree. But as Tommy tries to take care of him, Dil selfishly drinks all of the milk and keeps the large blanket for himself, which leads to the blanket tearing in half and Tommy falling into a puddle of mud. Tommy finally snaps and nearly pours banana baby food on Dil for the monkeys to take him away, but Tommy's rage and the storm's lightning and thunder scare Dil so much that he sees the error of his ways. They reconcile and sleep peacefully.
After the storm, the other babies find Tommy and Dil, and after running into Angelica and Spike they make their way to the "lizard". While on a bridge, they are confronted by the monkeys, but are then scared off by a wolf, who's been hunting down the babies since they arrived in the woods. Spike intervenes and fights the wolf until they both fall from the bridge. Meanwhile, Stu, who has been looking for the babies via a pterodactyl-like aircraft he made, finally finds them, but crash lands into the ranger's cabin. Believing he is the "lizard," the babies wish for Spike back instead of going home. Stu falls through the bridge and finds Spike, who actually survived the fall. The babies are then reunited with their families, and the monkeys with their circus owners. The monkeys attack Rex Pester, much to Betty's amusement. The families return home and the babies accept Dil as one of the group.
In a post-credits scene, Grandpa Pickles is sleeping in the Reptar Wagon when Grandpa Boris' goat kicks it, sending both the wagon and Grandpa down the street, presumably starting another adventure all over again.
Why It Rocks
- It was the very first feature-length Nicktoon!
- The film introduces us to Tommy's baby brother, Dil Pickles, and serves as his very first appearance.
- Splendid animation, just like the TV series. In fact, it's even better than the animation from the show.
- Talented voice acting, both from the voice actors in the TV series and from guest stars like Tim Curry, Whoopi Goldberg, and David Spade.
- The songs are great, most notably Take Me There (which is played during the end credits).
- Funny and hilarious moments and jokes.
- Heartwarming moments too, like where Tommy reconciles with Dil after he says that he hates being a big brother to him.
- Excellent writing with an engaging plot that fits well with the series' standard humor while adding extra material for a movie.
- Great soundtrack.
- Angelica gained a little bit of likability for trying to rescue the babies.
The Only Bad Qualities
- The crying scenes can be really annoying for some people.
- The story can be predictable at times.
- It was the first non-Disney animated film to gross $100 million dollars in the box office.