Let’s be real, we all know that films based on TV series are usually just glorified episodes of the show with a higher budget. There’s usually not much innovation or excitement, just the same old characters and storylines that we’ve seen a million times before. Unless we’re talking about Twin Peaks with David Lynch’s genius taking center stage, these spin-off movies often have no heart, no soul, and no clear purpose. They’re just a way to make a quick buck off of a beloved franchise, without actually adding anything new or exciting to the mix. And unfortunately, The Rugrats Movie falls squarely into this category.
How to Download The Rugrats Movie
You can download or stream the film from a digital platform. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice. If you’re interested in animated movies based on TV shows, check out also The Simpsons Movie.
The Movie Review
The Rugrats Movie follows the adventures of the lovable diaper-wearing babies that we all know and love: Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil, and Angelica.
When Tommy’s little brother Dil is born, the Rugrats gang must navigate the ups and downs of having a new addition to the family. But when the babies accidentally get lost in the wilderness on a family vacation, they must work together to find their way back home and save the day. Along the way, they encounter new friends, face dangerous obstacles, and learn the true meaning of friendship and family.
Sounds like a recipe for success, right? Wrong. The story feels like a retread of many other Rugrats episodes, with no real stakes or tension to keep us invested. The concept is fun and there is a lot of potential in this particular story, but the execution is extremely flawed, from the unoriginal plot beats and twists to the bland pacing which is all over the place. There are moments in the film where I was actually bored, and that’s something I’ve never felt while watching the Rugrats show.
The main reason for this staleness is perhaps due to the screenplay, which relies too heavily on the same tired tropes that made up most of Rugrats. However, when you’re making something completely new based on an existing IP, you have to ensure there is innovation otherwise it would just bore the viewers due to its repetitive nature.
That’s what happened here, there’s no real depth or nuance to the characters, the dialogue is forgettable at best, and the direction is similarly lackluster, with nothing to set it apart from any other TV episode of Rugrats other than its length.
Thankfully, the animation quality is much higher than you would have seen in a regular Rugrats episode. This might be because the film had higher budget, and that meant the creators could go all out with their whacky design ideas with no restraints.
They use that phenomenally here, as the film’s art style is so much better than the show itself, and is a massive upgrade in every way. Moreover, the animation quality is much smoother and has a much nicer flow to it. Though in terms of something being brought, nothing particularly memorable to recall. There’s no real wow factor to the visuals.
Moreso than that, the talented voice actors return and bring their characters to life with a ton of personality and charm. Elizabeth Daily does an excellent job as the voice of Tommy Pickles, Christine Cavanaugh is back as Chuckie Finster, Kath Soucie shines as both Phil and Lil, bringing a distinct and unique voice to both of them and Cheryl Chase brings Angela Pickles to life.
The supporting cast is also great, and the voice acting in this film is overall one of its strongest points.
The music is forgettable at best, and actively annoying at worst. It feels like a lazy attempt to cash in on the pop music of the time, rather than actually adding anything to the movie. There isn’t a good clear soundtrack here, it is just a bunch of songs, sound effects, and jingle-sounding tunes that make up most of this film. One of these tunes ends up becoming particularly annoying to hear, because it is so overutilized.
The Rugrats Movie is just another forgettable entry in a long line of TV-based movies. It’s a lazy, uninspired cash grab that fails to add anything new or exciting to the Rugrats franchise. While it may keep the kids entertained for an hour and a half, there’s nothing here for adults or anyone looking for a truly satisfying movie experience. Save your memories of the show being great, and stick to the TV show.
- Strong voice acting, bringing characters to life with charm
- Higher-budget animation, with more creative designs
- Potential for a compelling and nuanced story
- Unoriginal story, lacking depth
- Relying on tired tropes
- Lackluster direction
- Forgettable and annoying music