Rugrats Go Wild

on June 13, 2003 by Kim Williamson
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Given that their characters share a sort of warpedness--here the way they're drawn, there in their inner humanity--it makes a sort of sense that "Rugrats Go Wild's" use of "Odorama" scratch-and-sniff cards, distributed to audience members, has drawn the copyright attention of filmmaker John Waters, who says he trademarked the term for his 1981 "Polyester," which also used the smelly technology. Yet, however much the "Rugrats" filmmakers were inspired by Waters' effort (an executive producer told one newspaper she "loved that low-tech interactivity"), what clearly has inspired them with the new silver-screen effort is the same inspiration behind the "Rugrats" since they were given birth by producers Arlene Klasky and Gabor Csupo on the Nickelodeon cable network a dozen years ago: telling colorful yet sensitive and "true" stories about children.

The kids here are a little older--so the set of twins can't eat bugs anymore, and the comic mispronunciations have pretty much disappeared--and they team with the characters of another Nickelodeon series, "The Wild Thornberrys," also from the Klasky Csupo animation house, in another wild-blue-yonder type of adventure that sets the feature tellings apart from the more neighborhood-bound TV version. Here, a sufficiently intriguing script by Kate Boutilier shipwrecks the kids and their clans on a deserted isle where their paths cross those of nature-show host Sir Nigel Thornberry (voiced by Tim Curry) and his family; as always, catastrophe and contretemps are comically overcome.

Positioned nicely by Paramount with two weeks of air for itself between "Finding Nemo" and "Sinbad," "Rugrats Go Wild" should pull sufficient family attendance to make this outing a decent one for exhibitors--and it will be a pleasing enough one for adults and tots alike. Voices by E.G. Daily, Nancy Cartwright, Kath Soucie, Dionne Quan, Cheryl Chase and Tim Curry. Directed by Norton Virgien and John Eng. Written by Kate Boutilier. Produced by Arlene Klasky and Gabor Csupo. A Paramount release. Animated. Rated PG for mild crude humor. Running time: 80 min

Tags: Voices by E.G. Daily, Nancy Cartwright, Kath Soucie, Dionne Quan, Cheryl Chase and Tim Curry. Directed by Norton Virgien and John Eng. Written by Kate Boutilier, Produced by Arlene Klasky, Gabor Csupo, Paramount, Animated
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