by Graham Pierrepoint
In the 1990s – for those of you even old enough to remember – TV animation was arguably in the middle of a massive boom, at least in the US. Thanks to creative teams working on shows for the likes of network channels Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, a number of memorable characters, series and episodes came our way every Saturday morning – and into the week – but now that the Saturday morning cartoon has all but vanished, we’re looking at a different type of animation landscape. Big shows from the 90s such as Hey Arnold and Duck Tales have seen recent revivals to critical acclaim – and the announcement that one of Nickelodeon’s biggest shows – if not their biggest – will be coming back to our screens has been met with praise and trepidation in equal measure.
Rugrats, created by Arlene Klasky and Gabor Csupo, is perhaps one of the most iconic cartoon series of the 1990s, sitting just behind the likes of The Simpsons in terms of quite how all-encompassing it was. Who would have thought that the adventures of eccentric talking babies and toddlers – Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil and Angelica, among others – would run for well over a decade, and would spawn three movies in theaters? It had an incredible run, and even spawned a spin-off or two. However, it now seems that it’s the latest franchise from times gone by that’s set to get the reboot treatment, with 26 new episodes having been ordered for the near future, and that’s not all – another movie is supposedly in the works.
▶ Start stocking up on Reptar bars — Nickelodeon is reviving Rugrats for a new TV show and movie
A new Rugrats movie has been mooted for a 2020 release, and it will reportedly be a mixture of live action and CG animation – and it’s this which is making some long-time fans of the show a little uneasy. How will the hybrid approach work with Rugrats? Will the same characters and situations appeal to a modern audience? It will be interesting to see what the studio comes up with – after all, most remakes and revamps have worked very well indeed so far – you only have to look at critical reception for Disney’s revamp of Duck Tales and Netflix’s wildly successful Voltron remake to see that remaking and rebooting isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Notice how we’re dodging around talking about that controversial upcoming Thundercats reboot, however… let’s wait and see the results.