Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Old School Lane's Nickelodeon Tribute: All Grown Up!

The year is 2003. The last Lord of the Rings movie Return of the King, The Last Samurai, Finding Nemo, and Big Fish were released in theaters. Chappelle's Show, TMNT, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, and Reno 911! debuted on TV. As we mentioned in our last review, Klasky Csupo was the top animation company for Nickelodeon. They had created and/or produced 5 Nicktoons, released 3 critically and financially movies, and had a pristine reputation of quality, creativity, and unique animation. Around July 21, 2001,Rugrats had released a special called Rugrats 10th Anniversary: All Growed Up!

It was a 1 hour special featuring the Rugrats characters as pre-teens. The story was about Tommy borrowing Stu's lucky medallion to give to Angelica after she bragged to her friends that she had it. It turns out that Stu has the same mediallion as Emica, a famous pop star who is going to have a concert in her town. Tommy makes a fake mediallion to confuse Stu and Spike steals it. It's up to Tommy and the gang to find the mediallion before Stu needs it for a disco competition. For many people, it was amazing to see the same babies that they've seen for 10 years grown into pre-teens. The same characters that people saw as kids were already teenagers like they were. It was such a huge success. It was so successful that over 70% of children from 2-11 watched the special. It had ratings that Nickelodeon had never seen before."The ratings compared to Superbowl shares, and I remember I cried,'' said Cyma Zarghami, then executive vice president and general manager of Nickelodeon. "We have to make that show.'' Even Arlene Klasky and Gabor Csupo wanted to create a spin-off show based on that idea. "It was always in the back of our minds that we would love to see what these characters were like as they grew," replied Arlene Klasky. 

There were also talks from the producers from Nickelodeon that they were excited for a new spinoff on Rugrats. Zarghami approved of it and the people who grew up with the original will love this new show. "''I think the exciting thing about this series is that we'll have the opportunity to tell more individual stories,'' Ms. Zarghami said. ''The greatest thing about aging up is that characters' personalities just get more developed. You can ask a 13-year-old if they still watch 'Rugrats' and in public they say no, but the research shows many of them still do." On April 12, 2003, All Grown Up! debuted on TV.

The show takes place 9 years after Rugrats, but before the Rugrats 10th Anniversary Special. The same characters Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil, Dil, Susie, Kimi, and Angelica are living their regular lives as middle school students dealing with everyday problems and solving it. There were many changes that the characters went through besides them getting older. Tommy had a love for film and wanted to be a filmmaker, Chuckie was struggling with talking to girls, Phil and Lil loved soccer and were trying to be their own person as oppose to a twin, Angelica is trying to be popular, Susie wants to be a singer, and Kimi is...well, not much went with her that stood out. But the one person who changed for the...weider was Dil. Dil dressed in a very strange getup with a hat with chattering teeth hanging on the side, mismatched clothing and having strange hobbies from speaking with dolphins to looking for aliens. If people thought that Dil was annoying when he was a baby, he's certainly more stranger as a kid.

Not only were there the characters we knew from the original show, there were new characters introduced in All Grown Up! There was Savannah, Angelica's popular friend, Harold, Angelica's goofy friend that knew her since preschool, Rachel, Tommy's on-and-off again Jewish girlfriend, and Z, a "bad" boy that Kimi has a crush on. While there were some new things that were introduced in the Rugrats universe, there were some old things that were brought into the show such as flashbacks from when they were babies and toddlers to bringing back characters such as Boris and Minka to Reptar. 

The show lasted for 5 seasons until it ended its run on August 17, 2008. When the show first came out, it had received positive feedback from both critics and viewers alike. For people who grew up with Rugrats, it was an incredible concept for characters that they've known for a decade to be grown up. Very rarely do we see cartoon characters age and develop, but Rugrats was willing to take that risk. For kids who were introduced to the newer episodes of Rugrats, they were able to see All Grown Up! as well and it became one of the most popular cartoons in Nickelodeon. However, just like ChalkZone, it had received a ton of hate over the years. Many people who grew up with the original Rugrats hated All Grown Up! due to the many changes that the show went through.

As for me, I didn't really care for All Grown Up! The majority of the episodes were very boring and very forgettable. The great thing about Rugrats was that it was a very creative concept with talking babies going through many adventures involving with imagination. With All Grown Up!, it lacked the charm and creativity that the original Rugrats had. Also the new characters introduced to the show weren't very interesting. They were very 1 dimensional and bland. Klasky Csupo already had a very well done show about teenager problems with As Told by Ginger and we already had the 10th anniversary special to answer the big question of what the babies would look like if they were older. This was the first indication that Rugrats was growing stale on viewers and the beginning of the end for Klasky Csupo as Nickelodeon's #1 animation company. SpongeBob SquarePants, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, ChalkZone, and The Fairly Oddparents were already gaining popularity and viewers. As of recently, Arlene Klasky and Gabor Csupo had officially retconned All Grown Up! from the Rugrats universe. However, the show still has a huge cult following, but it didn't impress me or many other Rugrats fans. I don't recommend checking it out.

That's all for now. Tune in next time as we see Klasky Csupo try to get back on track with their 4 feature film Rugrats Go Wild.

Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading.


No comments:

Post a Comment