Lisa Schwarzbaum
November 27, 1998 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Rugrats Movie

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
G
performer
Christine Cavanaugh, Melanie Chartoff, Cheryl Chase, E.G. Daily, Jack Riley, Margaret Cho, Tim Curry, Whoopi Goldberg, Edie McClurg, Busta Rhymes, David Spade
director
Igor Kovalyov, Norton Virgien
Producers
Nickelodeon Pictures, Paramount Pictures
distributor
Paramount Pictures
author
J. David Stern, David N. Weiss
genre
Comedy, Animation, Kids and Family

We gave it an B

The funny, smart people behind Nickelodeon’s animated Rugrats series know their dual audiences, juxtaposing the blithely self-absorbed parallel universes of small, diapered children and their large, Dockered parents. The first feature-length production, The Rugrats Movie, does more of the same, advancing the TV story line with the arrival of baby brother Dylan (”Dil”) for natural-born toddling peer-group leader Tommy Pickles. The inevitable heavy-handed life lessons about jealousy and responsibility are doled out — courtesy of writers raised with Dr. Spock and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood as spiritual guides. But the creative team also dispatches overeducated parenthood and post-permissive childhood with wry, observant wit. (One sitcom-influenced cheat: The moms, as a group, are far more practical than the dads.) Guest voices by Margaret Cho, Tim Curry, Whoopi Goldberg, Andrea Martin, David Spade, and Busta Rhymes up the hipness quotient; among the hospital-nursery babies, listen for Jakob Dylan, Iggy Pop, Lou Rawls, Lisa Loeb, Patti Smith, and the B-52’s. B

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