The Rugrats Movie

Bomb Rating: 

This was my first experience with the Rugrats and having this filmcome on the heels of "Babe: Pig in the City" and "A Bug's Life," I was ready to start playing Rugby with every screechy, snot-nosed kid in the theater. There's nothing like a good scrum with a two-year-old -- good for the ol' self-esteem.

This movie is proof of the demise of civilization. When the Rugrats aren't commenting about bodily functions in this film, they're trying to get back home after finding themselves lost in the forest. Tommy Pickles (voice of E.G. Daily) is trying to figure out how to deal with his new little brother, Dylan (Tara Charendoff), while leading Chuckie (Christine Cavanaugh) and twins Philip and Lillian Deville (Kath Soucie) to safety. Meanwhile their mother, Didi (Melanie Chartoff), and father, Stu (Jack Riley), try to find them. Chartoff's voice talents prove that former, lesser SNL stars do not, in fact, fall off the face of the Earth.

If generations are now defined by the cartoons they watch, it's a scary thought to flash forward and imagine this generation in its twenties, immobilized in the Freudian anal stage. At least Bugs Bunny never tried to pee on anyone.

The really sad thing about this film is the concessions made to the parents. It opens with a parody of "Raiders of the Lost Ark." If you don't have kids, you'll gradually realize that nobody in the theater who isn't a parent has even seen the film. Add to that kid's songs by Mark Mothersbaugh (founder of Devo), No Doubt with Elvis Costello, and a song called "This World is Something New to Me" that includes vocals by Patti Smith, Iggy Pop and Laurie Anderson, and suddenly your own mortality comes clearly and blindingly in to focus.

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