It truly is a great time to be a Nickelodeon Kid, as many of my favorite Nickelodeon Shows are making a comeback in many different ways from the long-awaited “Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie”, “Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus” and to a lesser extent “Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling”! I already knew some kind of revival for “Rugrats” would be the next likely pick, but the last thing I would have expected was a CGI reboot for the new generation, but it didn’t ruin my optimism regardless. The surviving voice actors of the titular “Rugrats” reprise their roles from the original series, though the adult roles from the original series have been recast, including Betty DeVille, who was originally voiced by the returning Kath Soucie.
The Rugrats are still just as timeless as ever with Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil, Angelica and Susie still retaining their personalities alongside their original voice actors whom are clearly aged now, but they slipped back into their characters as if they never left. However Susie has been slightly de-aged and is now part of the group of babies, completely missing the point of her character to be a foil for Angelica. Also the juvenile humor can either be hit or miss for me this time around, similar to the later seasons of the original series.
The Adults on the other hand are now millennials instead of baby-boomers (which I’m not surprised by, but I just didn’t care) and their new voice actors are distracting to say the least with some either trying to replicate what came before or just making the role their. Didi became a professional blogger and an artist, Grandpa Lou is depicted as a hippie where he is shown with a ponytail, wearing tie-dye shirts, and often doing yoga, Charlotte is a city councilwoman and Betty is portrayed as a lesbian single mother. When the latest batch of episodes arrive I wonder if any other familiar characters will show up and hopefully aren’t botched like the rest of them. Also the adult humor is less subtle this time around.
Overall this revival series has its moments of nostalgia (especially with the shorts that are remakes of classic episodes; “Barbeque Story”, “The Trial” and “The Slide”, but it completely lacks the charm that made the original such a classic; even when the remaining batch of episodes eventually arrive, I’m sure my opinion of the show will remain the same!