The Rugrats Movie

The Rugrats Movie

Theatrical release poster
Directed by
  • Igor Kovalyov
  • Norton Virgien
Produced by
Written by
Based on Rugrats
by Arlene Klasky
Gabor Csupo
Paul Germain
Music by Mark Mothersbaugh[1]
Edited by
  • John Bryant
  • Kimberly Rettberg
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • November 20, 1998 (1998-11-20)[2]
Running time
80 minutes[3]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $24 million
Box office $140.9 million

The Rugrats Movie is a 1998 American animated adventurecomedy film, produced by Paramount Pictures Corporation, and co-produced with Nickelodeon Movies and Klasky Csupo. The film was distributed by Paramount Pictures and first released theatrically in the United States on November 20, 1998.[2] The film marks the first film made by Nickelodeon Movies to be based on a Nicktoon.

Based on the popular 1990s animated Nickelodeon series, Rugrats, this film was the first in the Rugrats film trilogy, and 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 directed by Igor Kovalyov & Norton Virgien and written by David N. Weiss & J. David Stem.[4]


Didi Pickles is pregnant with her and Stu's second baby, which everyone at her baby shower believes will be a girl. Didi goes into labor during the baby shower and her friends rush her to the hospital, even though she wasn't due until the following week. While this is happening, the kids crawl off. When the baby is finally born after a montage of various wildlife and science adventures, it is actually a second boy. As a result, both Stu and Didi name him Dylan Prescott Pickles (or "Dil", for short), after a relative of Didi's. Then, in the hospital room with her family and friends, Didi introduces Dil to Tommy, who was overjoyed to see his new little brother. Unfortunately, while both Tommy and Dil meet each other, Dil grabs Tommy by the nose, leading Tommy to start crying. Then, a few seconds later, Tommy's crying causes Dil to drop his pacifier out of his mouth and start crying in return, to which Betty comments, "That's a start".

As four weeks went by, Dil (who barely stopped crying since being brought home) 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 Stu witnesses a particularly nasty fight between Tommy and Dil over Tommy's teddy bear, he has a conversation with Tommy about being a big brother and the responsibility he now has. He finishes it by 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. They all end up driving recklessly through the streets in a Reptar Wagon which Stu had built for a contest. Along the way, Dil had secretly stolen Angelica's Cynthia doll, which prompts her to take Spike along 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 runaway circus monkeys, Dil is taken away by the monkeys. Tommy vows to find Dil by himself, because Chuckie, Phil, and Lil all agree that they are better off without him. Tommy eventually finds Dil (who was crying for rescue) during a storm, and they are both forced to take shelter under a tree. Unfortunately, while Tommy tries to take care of him, Dil selfishly drinks up the whole bottle of milk and keeps the whole large blanket for himself, which leads both Tommy and Dil to fight over it in a tug-of-war fashion. This brotherly-style argument not only causes the blanket to tear in half, but also causes Tommy to fall into a puddle of mud. This angers Tommy, who gradually realizes that his friends were right about his younger brother and finally snaps at Dil for his misbehavior in a furious manner. Then, in rage, Tommy very nearly pours banana-flavored baby food on Dil for the monkeys to take him away as punishment. However, both Tommy's rage and harsh words, along with the storm's lightning and thunder frighten Dil so much that leads him to see the error of his ways and turn over a new leaf. As a result, the boys reconcile and sleep peacefully, beginning their newfound bond as a second-generation set of brothers.

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 has been hunting down the babies since they arrived in the woods. Spike intervenes and fights the wolf until they both fall from the bridge to their apparent deaths. Meanwhile, Stu, who has been looking for the babies via aircraft, finally finds them. However, he 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.




Guest stars

Baby singers


Rumors about a possible Rugrats film started since the beginning of the series. The first attempt of bring Rugrats to the big screen, was in 1993, when Nickelodeon made a deal with Twentieth Century Fox to make films based on Rugrats, Doug and The Ren & Stimpy Show,[5] but the contract expired in 1995 with no movies produced.

Two months before the release of the movie, in September, an episode prequel entitled "The Family Tree" was aired as the final episode of the fifth season. The film's beginning and final is a parody to the Indiana Jones film series. This would later inspire the second segment of the episode "A Tale of Two Puppies / Okey-Dokey Jones and the Ring of the Sunbeams", that aired during the show's eight season.

Two songs were cut from the film during production. The first sequence revolved around Stu and Didi in a nightmare sequence where Dr. Lipschitz criticizes their parenting through song. The other sequence occurs as the Rugrats are pushing the Reptar Wagon through the woods, debating what to do about Dil in army chant style. These two scenes were cut from the theatrical version and the VHS and DVD releases. However, they were already animated at the time, and the scenes are shown on CBS and Nickelodeon TV airings of the film as the uncut version is only available on TV. These scenes were present in the print novelization.

The film was released in theaters with a CatDog short titled "Fetch", in which Cat wins a radio contest and attempts to answer the phone as Dog chases down his tennis ball. This short was later broadcast in CatDog episode 21. However, the home video VHS and DVD release contains a different CatDog short, "Winslow's Home Videos".


Home video

The Rugrats Movie was released on VHS and DVD on March 30, 1999, by Paramount Pictures; Paramount Home Video also released the film on Laserdisc. In 2011, the film was re-released in a 3-disc trilogy set alongside its sequels in honor of Rugrats' 20th anniversary.[6][7]


The Rugrats Movie: Music From the Motion Picture
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Released November 3, 1998
Recorded 1998
Genre R&B, hip hop, pop
Length 41:51
Label Interscope Records
Rugrats soundtrack chronology
The Rugrats Movie: Music From the Motion Picture
Rugrats in Paris: Music From the Motion Picture
Singles from The Rugrats Movie: Music From the Motion Picture
  1. "Take Me There"
    Released: February 2, 1999
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic link
Entertainment WeeklyC link

The Rugrats Movie: Music From the Motion Picture was released on November 3, 1998.[8] The enhanced soundtrack contained 13 tracks, bonus CD-ROM demos and commercials.[8]'s Richard Gehr praised the CD for "[bridging] demographics as nimbly as the [original] show itself [did]" and for songs "fans of all ages will love".[8]

Entertainment Weekly's David Browne rated the Music From the Motion Picture with a C.[9]

Browne noted that, while the soundtrack is enjoyable for children and does "[make] concessions" for parents, adults may dislike the amount of rap.[9] Allmusic's William Ruhlmann reviewed the soundtrack positively, saying "the result" of the singers and songs "is a romp in keeping with the tone of the show and the film".[10]

Music From the Motion Picture spent 26 weeks on Billboard 200, peaking at number 19.[11]

Track listing

No. TitleArtist(s) Length
1. "Take Me There"  Blackstreet & Mýa featuring Mase & Blinky Blink 4:04
2. "I Throw My Toys Around"  No Doubt featuring Elvis Costello 3:02
3. "This World Is Something New To Me"  Dawn Robinson, Lisa Loeb, B-Real, Patti Smith, Lou Rawls, Laurie Anderson, Gordon Gano, Fred Schneider, Kate Pierson, Cindy Wilson, Phife Dawg, Lenny Kravitz, Beck, Jakob Dylan and Iggy Pop 1:59
4. "All Day"  Lisa Loeb 3:30
5. "Dil-A-Bye"  E.G. Daily 3:43
6. "A Baby Is A Gift From Bob"  Cree Summer & Cheryl Chase 1:57
7. "One Way or Another"  Chase 3:17
8. "Wild Ride"  Kevi featuring Lisa Stone 2:43
9. "On Your Marks, Get Set, Ready, Go!"  Busta Rhymes 3:41
10. "Witch Doctor"  Devo 3:33
11. "Take The Train"  Rakim and Danny Saber 4:05
12. "Yo Ho Ho And A Bottle Of Yum"  E.G. Daily, Christine Cavanaugh & Kath Soucie 2:18
13. "Take Me There (Want U Back Mix)"  Blackstreet & Mýa featuring Mase & Blinky Blink 3:59
Total length:


Video games

Video games were released for Game Boy and Game Boy Color titled The Rugrats Movie and Rugrats: The Movie respectively, with the former being released on June 19, 1998[13] and the latter on March 12, 1999.[14] Both games were developed by Software Creations and released by THQ.[14][15] They were side-scrolling video games and featured 8 levels, with the plot revolving around finding a replacement for Dil after he disappears.[16] IGN's Peer Schneider graded the Game Boy Color game with an overall score of 5 out of 10.[17]

Schneider states that the game doesn't have much "to hold the attention of older gamers", but that "kids will love the easy gameplay, recognizable characters and memorable Rugrats tunes". He closes with saying that "unless you're looking for something to entertain and challenge at the same time, parents can't go wrong in buying the game for their kids."[17] Writing for GameSpot, Cameron Davis gave the Rugrats: The Movie a mixed review, stating that it wasn't "groundbreaking or innovative", but that the game "does what it sets out to do well".[18]

Davis noted that the game was aimed at children and praised the "difficulty level" as being "set just right", so that "younger players can explore the levels in comfort thanks to the good collision detection and responsive controls, while those with a bit more Game Boy experience can use the generous time limits to ferret out hidden objects". The game overall was given a 6.2 by the critic.[18] On aggregator site GameRankings, The Rugrats Movie is rated as a 55%[15] while Rugrats: The Movie earned a 61.75%.[19]

A computer game inspired by the film entitled The Rugrats Movie: Activity Challenge was developed and published by Brøderbund and released on September 14, 1998. It features six games and a bonus level that can be attained if a certain item is obtained in a game.[20]


Several books were released by Simon & Schuster's Simon Spotlight branch and Nickelodeon inspired by The Rugrats Movie. Tommy's New Playmate and The Rugrats Versus the Monkeys were also released on October 1, 1998, authored by Luke David and illustrated by John Kurtz and Sandrina Kurtz.[21][22]

The Rugrats Movie Storybook, released on the same date and using the same illustrators and publishers, was written by Sarah Wilson.[23] The same date saw the release of The Rugrats Movie: Hang On To Your Diapies, Babies, We're Going In!: Trivia from the Hit Movie!, a trivia book written by Kitty Richards.[24]

A novelization of the film written by Cathy East Dubowski was published on October 1, 1998, by Tandem Library.[25] The following month, a 144-page guidebook, The Making of The Rugrats Movie: Behind the Scenes at Klasky Csupo, was released on November 1, 1998, by MSG.[26] In May 1999, Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation released a book titled The Rugrats Movie.[27]


Box office

The film was released on November 20, 1998, and made US$27,321,470 in its opening weekend,[28] from 2,782 theaters, averaging about $9,821 per venue and ranking as the #1 movie that weekend.[29] In total, The Rugrats Movie made US$140,894,675, $100,494,675 from the domestic market and $40,400,000 from its foreign release.[28]

It also debuted #1 at the UK box office.[30][31][32]

Critical reception

The Rugrats Movie holds a 59% rating on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes: 29 positive reviews and 20 negative reviews. The consensus is: "Charming characters; loads of fun for kids and adults."[7]

Roger Ebert gave the film 2 stars out of 4.[33] Ebert wrote that the film's target audience was more for younger children, and that, while he as an adult disliked it, he "might have" liked it if he were younger and would recommend it for children.[33] The New York Times's Anita Gates reviewed The Rugrats Movie positively, calling it a "delight".[34]

Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly graded the film with a B.[35] Schwarzbaum praised the movie for its appeal to both adult and child audiences, "juxtaposing the blithely self-absorbed parallel universes of small, diapered children and their large, Dockered parents".[35] However, other Entertainment Weekly reviewer Ty Burr gave The Rugrats Movie a B−, criticizing that the film's issues sprung from it being "bigger" than the original series, thus it having more cultural references, out-of-place CGI scenes, and "[going] into scary territory".[36] Despite these faults, Burr did praise the "escaped circus monkeys" for being "scary in a good way", as well as a joke that was accessible to younger audiences.[36]


Two sequels have been released: Rugrats in Paris: The Movie, which was released on November 17, 2000,[37] and Rugrats Go Wild, which was released on June 13, 2003.[38]

See also


  1. "Detail view of Movies Page". Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  2. 1 2 "The Rugrats Movie". November 20, 1998. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  3. "The Rugrats Movie (U)". British Board of Film Classification. December 16, 1998. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
  4. "The Rugrats Movie". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  6. Goldstein, Seth (January 23, 1999). Paramount Preps For 'Rugrats' Vid. Billboard. p. 6. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  7. 1 2 "The Rugrats Movie (1998)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 22, 2009.
  8. 1 2 3 "The Rugrats Movie: Music From The Motion Picture [Enhanced CD] [ENHANCED] [SOUNDTRACK]". Retrieved December 25, 2009.
  9. 1 2 Browne, David (January 8, 1999). "The Rugrats Movie: Music From the Motion Picture (1998)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 25, 2009.
  10. "Rugrats: The Movie Original Soundtrack". Allmusic. Retrieved December 29, 2009.
  11. "Rugrats: The Movie – Original...". Retrieved December 29, 2009.
  13. "The Rubrats Movie". IGN. Retrieved December 22, 2009.
  14. 1 2 "Rugrats: The Movie". IGN. Retrieved December 22, 2009.
  15. 1 2 "The Rugrats Movie". GameRankings. Retrieved December 24, 2009.
  16. "The Rugrats Movie". MobyGames. Retrieved December 24, 2009.
  17. 1 2 Schneider, Peer. "Rugrats: The Movie". IGN. Retrieved December 22, 2009.
  18. 1 2 Davis, Cameron. "Rugrats: The Movie Review". GameSpot. Retrieved December 24, 2009.
  19. "Rugrats: The Movie". GameRankings. Retrieved December 24, 2009.
  20. "The Rugrats Movie: Activity Challenge". MobyGames. Retrieved December 24, 2009.
  21. "The Rugrats Movie Tommys New Playmate (The Rugrats Movie 8 X 8) (Paperback)". ISBN 0689821417.
  22. "The Rugrats Movie: The Rugrats Versus the Monkeys (The Rugrats Movie 8 X 8) (Paperback)". ISBN 0689821425.
  23. "The Rugrats Movie Storybook (Paperback)". ISBN 068982128X.
  24. "Rugrats Movie, The: Hang On To Your Diapies, Babies, We're Going In!: Trivia from the Hit Movie! (Paperback)". ISBN 0689822766.
  25. "Rugrats Movie (Hardcover)". ISBN 0613872681.
  26. "The making of the Rugrats movie : behind the scenes at Klasky Csupo". Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  27. "The Rugrats Movie (Paperback)". ISBN 0634005146.
  28. 1 2 "THE RUGRATS MOVIE". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 22, 2009.
  29. FABRIKANT, Geraldine (December 28, 1998). "'Prince of Egypt' Is No King at the Box-Office". The New York Times. Retrieved December 24, 2009.
  30. "Rugrats top UK box office". BBC. April 10, 2001. Retrieved November 13, 2010.
  31. Natale, Richard (November 23, 1998). "Rugrats' Outruns 'Enemy'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  32. Welkos, Robert W. (November 24, 1998). "Weekend Box Office : 'Rugrats' Has Kid Power". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  33. 1 2 Ebert, Roger. "The Rugrats Movie (G)". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved December 24, 2009.
  34. Gates, Anita (November 20, 1998). "FILM REVIEW; A Sibling Takes a New Rival for a Ride". The New York Times. Retrieved December 24, 2009.
  35. 1 2 Schwarzbaum, Lisa (November 27, 1998). "The Rugrats Movie (1998)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 24, 2009.
  36. 1 2 Burr, Ty (April 2, 1999). "The Rugrats Movie (1999)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 24, 2009.
  37. "Rugrats in Paris - The Movie". November 17, 2000. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  38. "Rugrats Go Wild". June 13, 2003. Retrieved May 16, 2015.

External links

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