By Marc Snetiker
July 21, 2017 at 03:45 PM EDT

You didn’t just think Arnold would come back without bringing along some of his most beloved friends, did you?

The first footage from Nickelodeon’s upcoming TV movie, Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie, made its debut on Friday during a Comic-Con panel filled with fans who showed up to welcome the football-headed teen hero back into their lives (before he re-appears for millions more when the movie premieres on Nick this fall).

Series creator Craig Bartlett beamed as he introduced the footage from The Jungle Movie, which picks up not long after the events of the original 1996-2004 series. As you can tell from the first moments of this new clip, things are getting slightly meta, as it turns out Helga had been secretly filming Arnold throughout the entire course of the series. (Helga Pataki: From Nancy Spumoni snow boots to Parks and Rec voyeurism.)

Beyond getting fans back up to speed, the clip showed off some of the returning characters who will accompany Arnold in his TV return — namely, folks like Stoop Kid and Pigeon Man, who have become no less than Tumblr icons ever since the show went off the air.

The film finds Arnold and his friends winning a trip to the jungle, which Arnold hopes will bear answers about his long-missing parents. As such, Bartlett also showed off a glimpse at the jungle-ready outfits that Arnold, Gerald, Helga, and Phoebe will don during their excursion into the foliage.


Bartlett has co-written and executive produces the TV movie, which reunites cast members Francesca Marie Smith, Anndi McAfee, Lane Toran, Jamil Walker Smith, Dan Castellaneta, Tress MacNeille, Dan Butler, Jim Belushi, Maurice LaMarche, Kath Soucie, and more. Mason Vale Cotton and Benjamin “Lil’ P-Nut” Flores, Jr. join the cast as Arnold and Gerald, respectively, as does Alfred Molina, who will play resident villain Lasombra.

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