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''Rugrats'' is an American
animated Animation is a method in which figures are manipulated to appear as moving images. In traditional animation, images are drawn or painted by hand on transparent celluloid sheets to be photographed and exhibited on film. Today, most animations are ...

animated
children's television series created by
Arlene Klasky Arlene Klasky Csupo (born May 26, 1949) is an American animator, graphic designer, producer and co-founder of Klasky Csupo with Gábor Csupó. In 1999, she was named one of the “Top 25 Women in Animation” by ''Animation Magazine''. She is mos ...
,
Gábor Csupó Gábor Csupó ( , ; born September 29, 1952) is a Hungarian-American animator, writer, director, producer and graphic designer. He is co-founder of the animation studio Klasky Csupo, which has produced shows like ''Rugrats'', ''Duckman'', ''Str ...
, and
Paul Germain Paul L. Germain (born June 6, 1959) is an American animator, writer, and voice director. Among the shows Germain has written, produced or directed are ''Rugrats'', ''All Grown Up!'', ''The Simpsons'', ''Recess'', ''Even Stevens'', ''Lloyd in Space ...
for
Nickelodeon Nickelodeon (often shortened to Nick) is an American pay television channel which was first tested on December 1, 1977, until it eventually launched on April 1, 1979 as the first cable channel for children. It is owned by ViacomCBS through it ...
. The show focuses on a group of
toddlers A toddler is a child approximately 12 to 36 months old, though definitions vary. The toddler years are a time of great cognitive, emotional and social development. The word is derived from "to toddle", which means to walk unsteadily, like a ch ...
most prominently— Tommy, Chuckie, twins Phil and Lil, and
Angelica 220px, Wild angelica (''Angelica sylvestris'') from Thomé, ''Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz'' 1885 ''Angelica'' is a genus of about 60 species of tall biennial and perennial herbs in the family Apiaceae, native to temperate and ...
—and their day-to-day lives, usually involving life experiences that become much greater adventures in the imaginations of the main characters. The series premiered on August 11, 1991, as the second
Nicktoon Nicktoons is a collective name used by Nickelodeon for their original animated series. All Nicktoons are produced partly at the Nickelodeon Animation Studio and list Nickelodeon's parent company, ViacomCBS, in their copyright bylines. Since its l ...
—after '' Doug'' and before ''
The Ren & Stimpy Show ''The Ren & Stimpy Show'' (also known simply as ''Ren and Stimpy'') is an American animated television series created by John Kricfalusi and originally produced by Spümcø for Nickelodeon that premiered on August 11, 1991, and ended on December ...
''. Production was initially halted in 1993 after 65 episodes spanning three seasons, with the last episode airing on May 22, 1994. From 1995 to 1996, the only new episodes broadcast were "
A Rugrats Passover "A Rugrats Passover" is the 23rd and final episode of the third season of the American animated television series ''Rugrats'', and its 65th episode overall. It was broadcast originally on April 13, 1995, on the cable network Nickelodeon. The plot f ...
" and "
A Rugrats Chanukah "A Rugrats Chanukah", titled onscreen as simply "Chanukah" and sometimes called the "Rugrats Chanukah Special", is a special episode of Nickelodeon's animated television series ''Rugrats''. The first episode of the show's fourth season and the sixt ...
", two
Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are members of an ethnoreligious group and a nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish ...
-themed episodes that received critical acclaim; during this time, after the end of the show's production run, ''Rugrats'' began to receive a boost in ratings and popularity due to constant
reruns A rerun or repeat is a rebroadcast of an episode of a radio or television program. There are two types of reruns – those that occur during a hiatus, and those that occur when a program is syndicated. Variations In the United Kingdom, the word "r ...
on Nickelodeon and Nick Rewind. In 1996, Klasky Csupo Animation began producing new episodes, and the show's fourth season began in 1997. As a result of the show's popularity, a series of theatrical films were released over the next five years: ''
The Rugrats Movie ''The Rugrats Movie'' is a 1998 American animated comedy film based on the Nickelodeon animated television series ''Rugrats''. It was directed by Igor Kovalyov and Norton Virgien and was written by David N. Weiss & J. David Stem. The film introdu ...
'', which introduced Tommy's younger brother Dil, was released in 1998; '' Rugrats in Paris: The Movie,'' which introduced Kimi, Kira, and Fifi, was released in 2000; and ''
Rugrats Go Wild ''Rugrats Go Wild'' is a 2003 American animated musical comedy crossover film based on the Nickelodeon animated television series ''Rugrats'' and ''The Wild Thornberrys''. It is the third and final installment in the ''Rugrats'' film series as well ...
'', a
crossover CrossOver is a Microsoft Windows compatibility layer available for Linux, macOS, and Chrome OS. This compatibility layer enables many Windows-based applications to run on Linux operating systems, macOS, or Chrome OS. CrossOver is developed by Code ...
film with another Klasky Csupo series, ''
The Wild Thornberrys ''The Wild Thornberrys'' is an American animated television series that originally aired on Nickelodeon from 1998 to 2004. The series portrays a family of wildlife documentary filmmakers known as the Thornberrys; in particular the younger daught ...
'', was released in 2003. The final TV episode aired on August 1, 2004, bringing the series to a total of 172 episodes over nine seasons. The 13-year run (with the 2-year break) ties ''Rugrats'' with ''
King of the Hill ''King of the Hill'' is an American animated sitcom created by Mike Judge and Greg Daniels for the Fox Broadcasting Company that ran from January 12, 1997, to May 6, 2010. It centers on the Hills, an American family in the fictional city of Ar ...
'' as one of the eighth-longest-running American animated television series. On July 21, 2001, Nickelodeon broadcast the
made-for-TV A television film is a feature-length motion picture that is produced and originally distributed by or to a television network, in contrast to theatrical films made explicitly for initial showing in movie theaters. Such a production has also bee ...
special "
All Growed Up "All Growed Up" is a special episode of ''Rugrats'' that aired on July 21, 2001 during the series' 10th anniversary. It is the first two episodes of the 8th season, and the 145th and 146th episodes overall. This episode acts as the pilot episode ...
" to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the series premiere. The special was a
pilot An aircraft pilot or aviator is a person who controls the flight of an aircraft by operating its directional flight controls. Some other aircrew members, such as navigators or flight engineers, are also considered aviators, because they are ...
for the ''Rugrats''
sequel A sequel is a work of literature, film, theatre, television, music or video game that continues the story of, or expands upon, some earlier work. In the common context of a narrative work of fiction, a sequel portrays events set in the same fic ...
series ''
All Grown Up! ''All Grown Up!'' is an American half hour animated television series that aired on Nickelodeon. The series was created by Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó and Paul Germain, and it is a continuation of their children's show ''Rugrats''. It explores the ...
'', which aired from 2003 to 2008 as it chronicles the lives of the babies and their parents after they age 10 years. A spin-off series, ''Rugrats Pre-School Daze'', aired on TV in 2008 but had only four episodes after Nickelodeon decided to focus on the sequel series. Two
direct-to-video Direct-to-video or straight-to-video refers to the release of a film, TV series, short or special to the public immediately on home video formats rather than a theatrical release or television broadcast. Because inferior sequels or prequels of la ...
specials were released in 2005 and 2006 under the title '' Rugrats: Tales from the Crib''.
Tie-in A tie-in work is a work of fiction or other product based on a media property such as a film, video game, television series, board game, web site, role-playing game or literary property. Tie-ins are authorized by the owners of the original proper ...
media for the series include
video games A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface or input device such as a joystick, controller, keyboard, or motion sensing device to generate visual feedback for a player. This feedback is shown on a video ...
,
comics a medium used to express ideas with images, often combined with text or other visual information. It typically the form of a sequence of panels of images. Textual devices such as speech balloons, captions, and onomatopoeia can indicate dialo ...
,
toys A toy is an item that is used in play, especially one designed for such use. It is mainly intended for use by children, though may also be marketed to adults under certain circumstances. Playing with toys can be an enjoyable means of training y ...
, and various other
merchandise Merchandising is any practice which contributes to the sale of products to a retail consumer. At a retail in-store level, merchandising refers to displaying products that are for sale in a creative way that entices customers to purchase more i ...
. ''Rugrats'' gained over 20 awards during its 13-year run, including four
Daytime Emmy Award The Daytime Emmy Award is an American accolade bestowed by the New York–based National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in recognition of excellence in American daytime television programming. Ceremonies generally are held in May or June ...
s, six
Kids' Choice Awards The Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards (also known as the KCAs or Kids' Choice) is an annual American children's awards ceremony show that is produced by Nickelodeon. Usually held on a Saturday night in late March or early April, the show honors t ...
, and its own star on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame#REDIRECT Hollywood Walk of Fame#REDIRECT Hollywood Walk of Fame {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...

Hollywood Walk of Fame
. The series became a hit, garnering high ratings, and anchored Nickelodeon as the network's top-rated show from 1995 to 2001. It was Nickelodeon's longest-running cartoon, until ''
SpongeBob SquarePants ''SpongeBob SquarePants'' (also simply referred to as ''SpongeBob'') is an American animated comedy television series created by marine science educator and animator Stephen Hillenburg for Nickelodeon. The series chronicles the adventures an ...
'' aired its 173rd episode in 2012. The show is Nickelodeon's third longest-running animated series, behind ''SpongeBob SquarePants'' and ''
The Fairly OddParents ''The Fairly OddParents'' is an American animated television series created by Butch Hartman for Nickelodeon. The series follows the adventures of Timmy Turner, a 10-year-old boy with two fairy godparents named Cosmo and Wanda, and a malevolent ...
'' A reboot of the series to be executive produced by the original creative team of Klasky, Csupó and Germain is scheduled to premiere on
Paramount+ Paramount+ (pronounced Paramount Plus; formerly called CBS All Access but currently 10 All Access in Australia) is an American subscription video on-demand over-the-top streaming service owned and operated by ViacomCBS Streaming, a division of Via ...

Paramount+
in the spring of 2021.


Premise and setting

Many of the adventures the babies find themselves in take place at Tommy's house; the parents usually rely on Didi, Stu, or Grandpa Lou to babysit the kids while they run errands. Their address is revealed on an invoice in "
Tommy's First Birthday ''Rugrats'' is an American animated television series created by Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó, and Paul Germain. The show focuses on a group of toddlers, most prominently Tommy, Chuckie, twins Phil and Lil, Angelica, Susie, then later Dil And Kim ...
" ( season one, 1991) as 1258 N. Highland, the original address of Klasky Csupo in Los Angeles. However, an unnamed specific city or state is never mentioned in the show. Several indicators, such as a state flag at a post office, license plate designs on the vehicles, and various trips to the
Grand Canyon The Grand Canyon (, yuf-x-yav, Wi:kaʼi:la, , ) is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in Arizona, United States. The Grand Canyon is long, up to wide and attains a depth of over a mile (). The canyon and adjacent rim are ...

Grand Canyon
,
Las Vegas Las Vegas (; Spanish for "The Meadows"), officially the City of Las Vegas and often known simply as Vegas, is the 28th-most populous city in the United States, the most populous city in the state of Nevada, and the county seat of Clark Count ...
, and the beach, place the characters somewhere in
southern California Southern California (popularly known as SoCal; es, Sur de California) is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the southern portion of the U.S. state of California. It includes the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the second mos ...

southern California
. The location is also hinted at during " Little Dude" ( season one, 1991) when Didi, who is a teacher, takes Tommy to her class at Eucaipah High School, referencing the city of
Yucaipa, California Yucaipa ( ) is a city located east of San Bernardino, in San Bernardino County, California, United States. The population was 51,367 at the 2010 census, up from 41,207 at the 2000 census. According to San Bernardino County, the population in 201 ...
. It has been implied that this ambiguity was done intentionally to help give the impression of seeing the world through the eyes of the babies, who would not understand the concept of location. The DeVilles live next door to the Pickles and, early in the series, the Carmichaels move in across the street.


Episodes


Characters

The series focuses on the experiences of a courageous, adventurous one-year-old baby named
Tommy Pickles Thomas Malcolm Pickles is a fictional character and the protagonist of the animated children's television series ''Rugrats,'' the reboot, and its spinoff series ''All Grown Up!''. He is also the protagonist of ''The Rugrats Movie'' (1998) and ''Rug ...
and his group of playmates – several other
infant 222x222px, Eight-month-old sororal twin sisters An infant (from the Latin word ''infans'', meaning 'unable to speak' or 'speechless') is the more formal or specialised synonym for the common term ''baby'', meaning the very young offspring o ...
s and toddlers, some of whom debuted later in the series. Chuckie, Tommy's bespectacled, red-headed, insecure, cowardly two-year-old best friend; the twins Phil and Lil, noted for their revolting eccentricities and love of digging for and eating insects and
earthworm An earthworm is a terrestrial invertebrate that belongs to the phylum Annelida. They exhibit a tube-within-a-tube body plan, are externally segmented with corresponding internal segmentation, and usually have setae on all segments. They occur wor ...

earthworm
s; Tommy's baby brother Dil (who was born in ''
The Rugrats Movie ''The Rugrats Movie'' is a 1998 American animated comedy film based on the Nickelodeon animated television series ''Rugrats''. It was directed by Igor Kovalyov and Norton Virgien and was written by David N. Weiss & J. David Stem. The film introdu ...
'');
Angelica 220px, Wild angelica (''Angelica sylvestris'') from Thomé, ''Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz'' 1885 ''Angelica'' is a genus of about 60 species of tall biennial and perennial herbs in the family Apiaceae, native to temperate and ...
, Tommy and Dil's outrageously spoiled and selfish three-year-old cousin who is a "rival" of his friends and the main antagonist of the program; Kimi, Chuckie's adventurous, playful stepsister (introduced in ''Rugrats in Paris'') (later just his sister after adoption); and Susie, a good-hearted neighbor of the Pickles family, Angelica's schoolmate, friend, and "rival", who is better liked by the younger children and far more reliable than Angelica. The other characters depicted in ''Rugrats'' include the babies' parents, who are portrayed as often being easily distracted, leaving their young children free to emancipate themselves from such restraints as playpens or strollers and venture out to explore. Such adult figures include Didi and Stu Pickles, Tommy and Dil's mother and father. Didi is a sweet, educated and loving mother who decides to return to college in one episode. Stu is an often-feckless toy inventor whose designs have been known to either fail or break. Other parents include Chas Finster, Chuckie's stereotypically nerdy and mild-mannered father, a widower who later remarries; Kira, Chuckie's sweet-natured, kind and understanding stepmother (later just his mother after adoption) whom Chas marries in ''Rugrats in Paris''; Drew Pickles, Angelica's indulgent and doting father who pampers his daughter to a ridiculous degree; Charlotte Pickles, Angelica's
workaholic A workaholic is a person who works compulsively. The term originates from alcoholism. The person works at the cost of their sleep, and social functions such as meeting friends or family. While the term doesn't necessarily imply that the person enj ...
mother who overindulges her daughter equally if often seen talking on her cell phone with an employee of hers named Jonathan, although neither of them afraid to put their foot down when they feel she is getting out of line; Betty DeVille, Phil and Lil's kind but boisterous
feminist Feminism is a range of social movements, political movements, and ideologies that aim to define and establish the political, economic, personal, and social equality of the sexes. Feminism incorporates the position that societies prioritize ...
mother; and Howard DeVille, the twins' mild-mannered and soft-spoken father. Susie's parents and elder siblings also make appearances in some episodes, and another major adult character includes Lou Pickles, Drew and Stu's father and Tommy, Angelica, and Dil's grandfather; an elderly widower who later remarries with an active woman named Lulu. Didi's parents, Jewish immigrants named Boris and Minka, also appear numerous times and serve as important characters and are often seen bickering. ''Rugrats'' also has animal characters, including the Pickles family dog,
Spike Spike, spikes, or spiking may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Books * ''The Spike'' (novel), a novel by Arnaud de Borchgrave * ''The Spike'' (book), a nonfiction book by Damien Broderick * ''The Spike'', a starship in Peter F. Hamilton's ...
, and Angelica's pet cat Fluffy. Spike played important roles, but most importantly was always ready to rescue Tommy when he was in danger. The show functions under a translation convention for baby talk, which is presented as essentially a separate language which only other babies can understand. The babies' dialogue is almost universally translated for viewers into comprehensible English dialogue, but adults in the series cannot understand them. One example of this dissonance is when Tommy says "Reptar!", (the title character of a popular in-show children's franchise) but his mother then responds that she heard him say "riff-raff", and that she hopes he is getting close to speaking full words, indicating that adult characters still hear the dialogue of baby characters as babbling. The translated dialogue of the babies is still presented as infantile English, reflecting their limited understanding of the world. Another major point of this plot convention is that toddlers who have learned to speak the adult language can still understand baby talk because they are at a transitional age between the two. Angelica and Susie can understand what the baby characters are saying but can also communicate with adults, though they never outright reveal to the adults that they can comprehend complex messages from the babies. Very young newborns, such as Tommy's little brother, cannot yet communicate even with baby talk, although Dil has a very limited vocabulary consisting of the words "poopy" and "mine" which are perhaps the only words he is capable of saying. The older babies, such as Tommy and Chuckie, are able to interpret what Dil is trying to communicate although, due to their own age, it is difficult. When the older babies do figure out what Dil wants or needs, it usually involves changing his diaper or giving him an object – to play with or just to experience the joy of holding it.


Production


Development

''Rugrats'' was formed by the then-husband-and-wife duo of Gábor Csupó and Arlene Klasky, along with Paul Germain in 1989. Klasky Csupo had a major animation firm at the time which also provided services for commercials and music videos. Klasky, Csupó, and Germain were also animating ''The Simpsons'' for Matt Groening at the time, which they would continue to do until 1992 when the show's producer James L. Brooks and his company Gracie Films switched domestic production to Film Roman. The trio decided to create their own series in reaction to a proclamation by the children's cable network Nickelodeon that they were to launch their own line of animated shows, which would be later called "Nicktoons". The network's Vice President of Animation Vanessa Coffey approached them to create a pilot for their new series. With the comedic stimulation branching from the antics of Klasky and Csupó's infant children and also pulling inspiration from the Beatles, the 6–minute pilot episode, "Tommy Pickles and the Great White Thing" (never to be aired), was released on DVD by Paramount Home Entertainment in 2001. Peter Chung, along with Klasky and Csupó, co-designed the characters and directed the series pilot, "Tommy Pickles and the Great White Thing", as well as the opening sequence. In a ''Decider'' article, Chung said, "He [Gábor] wanted the babies to be 'strange' instead of 'cute.'" The production was completed in 1990 and they submitted it to Nickelodeon, who tested it with an audience of children. The feedback for the pilot episode was primarily positive. With that, Coffey and the network's then-president Geraldine Laybourne, approved of and bought the series and the series went into production. Chuckie and Angelica were added as characters. Paul Germain felt that the series needed a bully. Angelica was based on a bully in Germain's childhood, who was a girl. In addition to that, it was Germain who decided that Angelica would be a spoiled brat. Klasky initially did not like Angelica Pickles and also protested the character's actions in episodes like "Barbecue Story", where she throws Tommy's ball over the fence. In a ''The New Yorker, New Yorker'' article, Klasky said, "I think she's a bully. I never liked Angelica." She never fully approved of Angelica's character development. Her bullying caused Klasky to disdain her. Angelica started to become a problem for some of the ''Rugrats'' staff. In some instances, her voice actress, Cheryl Chase, had problems portraying a mean Angelica. To help Chase out, Steve Viksten, one of the writers, would mention that Angelica was the series' J. R. Ewing. After the episode "The Trial", Klasky complained that the Rugrats were starting to act too old for their age. Csupó often acted as a mediator in arguments between Klasky and the writers, with the writers often winning. Some of the offscreen tensions ultimately found their way into the scripts and into the show. In 1994, before Nick premiered the last of the original 65, production of new episodes went on hiatus, and most of the ''Rugrats'' writing team (including Germain) left Klasky-Csupo. After the first-run days were over, Nickelodeon had enough episodes to show every day, and did just that, scheduling the show in the early evening, when both kids and parents would be watching, among multiple other times in the day; in 1996, ''Rugrats'' episodes had aired 655 times over the course of the calendar year, and despite (or perhaps because of) the saturation it remained one of cable television's most-watched series that year. The show resumed production in 1996. However, the tensions between Klasky-Csupo and their former writers still existed. After ''The Rugrats Movie'' and seeing the "new" Angelica in the film, Klasky changed her tune: "I think she's great for the show; I love Angelica."


Nicktoons

''Rugrats'' was Nickelodeon's second
Nicktoon Nicktoons is a collective name used by Nickelodeon for their original animated series. All Nicktoons are produced partly at the Nickelodeon Animation Studio and list Nickelodeon's parent company, ViacomCBS, in their copyright bylines. Since its l ...
, debuting on the same day as '' Doug'' (which premiered before it) and ''
The Ren & Stimpy Show ''The Ren & Stimpy Show'' (also known simply as ''Ren and Stimpy'') is an American animated television series created by John Kricfalusi and originally produced by Spümcø for Nickelodeon that premiered on August 11, 1991, and ended on December ...
'' (which debuted after). The first run of the series was produced from 1990 to 1993 before production went on a hiatus (episodes that had not yet been released at that point continued to be released through 1994). Between 1995 and 1996, only two Jewish-themed specials premiered, and the rest of the series aired in reruns. Production on new episodes restarted in 1996 and the show aired in Nickelodeon's SNICK block from 1997 to 2001. From 1994 until 2012, ''Rugrats'' was the longest-running Nickelodeon animated series, with 172 episodes produced across its 13-year run. It was surpassed in 2012 by ''
SpongeBob SquarePants ''SpongeBob SquarePants'' (also simply referred to as ''SpongeBob'') is an American animated comedy television series created by marine science educator and animator Stephen Hillenburg for Nickelodeon. The series chronicles the adventures an ...
'' with the episode "Squiditis/Demolition Doofus" that year. On July 21, 2001, ''Rugrats'' celebrated its 10th anniversary; the special/TV movie "
All Growed Up "All Growed Up" is a special episode of ''Rugrats'' that aired on July 21, 2001 during the series' 10th anniversary. It is the first two episodes of the 8th season, and the 145th and 146th episodes overall. This episode acts as the pilot episode ...
" was produced for the occasion. After the show, a special retrospective look-back aired, entitled "Rugrats: Still Babies After All These Years". It was narrated by Amanda Bynes. Nickelodeon approved of its ratings and popularity so much, they eventually commissioned a full series, ''All Grown Up!, All Grown Up'', which ran from 2003 to 2008. ''Rugrats'' ended in 2004, along with fellow Nicktoons ''Hey Arnold!'', ''
The Wild Thornberrys ''The Wild Thornberrys'' is an American animated television series that originally aired on Nickelodeon from 1998 to 2004. The series portrays a family of wildlife documentary filmmakers known as the Thornberrys; in particular the younger daught ...
'', and ''Rocket Power''. After the run, two fairytale-themed direct-to-video films based on the original series, under the title ''Rugrats: Tales from the Crib'', were produced and then released separately in 2005 and 2006.


Nick Jr.

When production was put on hiatus the series was put on reruns both on Nick Jr. (TV programming block), Nick Jr. (the block) and regular Nickelodeon. As of 2013, ''Rugrats'' was also on Nick Jr.'s nighttime block NickMom for a brief time, before subsequently airing on the main Nick Jr. channel on July 11, 2014.


Voice actors

Through its full run, ''Rugrats'' occupied several main voice actors. E. G. Daily provided the voice of
Tommy Pickles Thomas Malcolm Pickles is a fictional character and the protagonist of the animated children's television series ''Rugrats,'' the reboot, and its spinoff series ''All Grown Up!''. He is also the protagonist of ''The Rugrats Movie'' (1998) and ''Rug ...
, except in the unaired pilot where Tami Holbrook provided the voice; Christine Cavanaugh was the original voice of Chuckie Finster, but left the show for personal reasons and was subsequently replaced by Nancy Cartwright in 2002. The fraternal twins, Phil and Lil (as well as their mother, Betty) were voiced by Kath Soucie; Dil Pickles and Timmy McNulty were voiced by Tara Strong. Cheryl Chase (actress), Cheryl Chase initially auditioned for the role of Tommy, but was passed up. When the show came to series, she was brought on board to be cast as the voice of Angelica Pickles. Dionne Quan was the voice of Kimi Finster. Susie was primarily voiced by Cree Summer, though in two episodes where she could not be in attendance E. G. Daily filled in. Other regular voice actors included Melanie Chartoff as Didi Pickles, Jack Riley (actor), Jack Riley was the voice of Stu Pickles, Tress MacNeille as Charlotte Pickles, and Michael Bell (actor), Michael Bell as Drew Pickles and Chas Finster, Julia Kato as Kira Finster, David Doyle (actor), David Doyle provided the voice of Grandpa Lou Pickles until his death in 1997, when Joe Alaskey took over until the end of the series. In 2000, Debbie Reynolds joined the cast as Lulu Pickles, Lou's second wife, and remained until the series' end.


Episode production

Episodes took up to a year in advance to produce. First, the story had to get written and then approved. The next phase consisted of voice recording, storyboarding, pre-eliminating animation, overseas production, overseas delivery, followed by editing and polishing. All of that had to happen even before Klasky-Csupo sent the master tapes to Nick. In addition, fine animation took time to make. During the first six seasons of ''Rugrats'', shows were primarily divided into two eleven-minute episodes. After the second movie, during season seven, ''Rugrats'' made a change with a different format that consisted of three episodes per show, though it returned to its original two-episode-per-show format in the final two seasons.


Themes

''Rugrats'' visualizes ordinary, everyday activities through the eyes of a group of toddlers. Using their imaginations, the babies transform routine tasks into surprising adventures. The show plays with baby talk, having the group constantly mispronounce words and use improper grammar. Challenges often emerge because the babies misinterpret the adults, usually caused by Angelica's deceptive translations. The grown-ups of ''Rugrats'' are simultaneously quirky, over-cautious, and oblivious. The series portrays adults as mysterious eccentrics. Episodes usually center on a morality, moral lesson that the babies learn during their imaginative explorations.


Release


Home media

Nickelodeon and Amazon.com struck a deal to produce DVDs of new and old Nickelodeon shows, through the CreateSpace service. Using a concept similar to print on demand, Amazon made the discs, cover art, and disc art itself. The first and second seasons of ''Rugrats'' were released on June 2, 2009, along with the first and second seasons of ''
The Fairly OddParents ''The Fairly OddParents'' is an American animated television series created by Butch Hartman for Nickelodeon. The series follows the adventures of Timmy Turner, a 10-year-old boy with two fairy godparents named Cosmo and Wanda, and a malevolent ...
'' (although the ''Rugrats'' Season 2 was released in a "Best of" collection). Season 3 and 4 were released on September 23, 2011, through the CreateSpace program. Season 5 was released shortly after on October 4. On October 6, 2011, the complete Seasons 6–8 were released through CreateSpace, and Season 9 was released in a "Best of" collection. Amazon re-released seasons 2 & 9 as complete seasons on May 9, 2014. As of February 2017, the Amazon.com releases have been discontinued. In May 2017, Nickelodeon and Paramount Home Media Distribution released Seasons 1 and 2 on DVD. In February 2018, Nickelodeon and Paramount Home Media Distribution released Seasons 3 and 4 on DVD. ''Rugrats: The Complete Series'' DVD from Nickelodeon and Paramount Home Media Distribution has been announced for release on May 18, 2021 in North America. In Australia, all seasons have been released by Beyond Home Entertainment.


UK VHS releases


Streaming

As of March 4, 2021, all seasons of the show are available on Hulu and
Paramount+ Paramount+ (pronounced Paramount Plus; formerly called CBS All Access but currently 10 All Access in Australia) is an American subscription video on-demand over-the-top streaming service owned and operated by ViacomCBS Streaming, a division of Via ...

Paramount+
.


Reception


Critical reception and legacy

Since its debut in 1991, ''Rugrats'' has generally received positive reviews from critics and fans. In a 1995 interview, Steven Spielberg (who, at the time, was producing several competing animated series for Warner Bros.) referred to the show as one of several shows that were the best children's programming at the time. Spielberg described ''Rugrats'' as "sort of a TV ''Peanuts'' of our time". It was named the 92nd-best animated series by IGN. ''Rugrats'' was also considered a strong point in
Nickelodeon Nickelodeon (often shortened to Nick) is an American pay television channel which was first tested on December 1, 1977, until it eventually launched on April 1, 1979 as the first cable channel for children. It is owned by ViacomCBS through it ...
's rise in the 1990s. In a press release celebrating the show's 10th anniversary, Cyma Zarghami stated, "During the past decade, Rugrats has evolved from a ratings powerhouse, being the number one children's show on TV, to pop icon status. It has secured a place in the hearts of both kids and adults, who see it from their own point of view". According to Nickelodeon producers, this show made them the number-one cable channel in the 1990s. Jeff Jarvis reviewed ''Rugrats'' and stated, "When ''The Simpsons'' was a segment on ''The Tracey Ullman Show'', it was just a belch joke with hip pretensions. As a series, it grew flesh and guts. It was my favorite cartoon. until I discovered Nickelodeon's ''Rugrats'', a sardonic, sly, kid's eye view of the world that skewers thirty-something parents and The Cosby Show, Cosby kids." In 2017, James Charisma of ''Paste (magazine), ''Paste'' (magazine)'' ranked the show's opening sequence #11 on a list of ''The 75 Best TV Title Sequences of All Time''.


Controversy

''Rugrats'' was noteworthy among contemporary children's television for depicting observant, identifiable Jewish families.Danny Goldberg, ''Dispatches from the Culture Wars: How the Left Lost Teen Spirit'' (New York: Miramax Books, 2003), 197. Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious groups gave the show high praises for their special holiday episodes. Nonetheless, at one point the Anti-Defamation League and ''The Washington Post'' editorial page castigated the series for its depiction of Tommy Pickles' maternal grandparents, accusing their character designs of resembling Nazi-era depictions of Jews.


Awards and nominations


Honors

On June 28, 2001, in commemoration of their tenth anniversary, ''Rugrats'' received a star on the fabled
Hollywood Walk of Fame#REDIRECT Hollywood Walk of Fame#REDIRECT Hollywood Walk of Fame {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...

Hollywood Walk of Fame, making it Nickelodeon's first series to receive a star. It was placed at 6600 W. Hollywood Blvd., near Cherokee Ave., outside a toy and costume shop. In the October 2001 issue of ''Wizard (magazine), Wizard Magazine'', a leading magazine for comic book fans, they released the results of the "100 Greatest Toons ever", as selected by their readers; ''Rugrats'' ranked at No. 35. Three other Nicktoons—''SpongeBob SquarePants'', ''Invader Zim'', and ''Ren and Stimpy''—also placed on the list. In a list of TV Land's "The 2000 Best Things About Television", ranking the all-time TV shows, channels, commercials, people, catch phrases, etc., ''Rugrats'' is ranked No. 699. Angelica Pickles placed seventh in ''TV Guides list of "Top 50 Greatest Cartoon Characters of All Time" in 2002. On September 24, 2013, in honor of their 60th anniversary, ''Rugrats'' earned a spot on ''TV Guides "60 Greatest Cartoons of All Time" list.


Films

In 1998, ''
The Rugrats Movie ''The Rugrats Movie'' is a 1998 American animated comedy film based on the Nickelodeon animated television series ''Rugrats''. It was directed by Igor Kovalyov and Norton Virgien and was written by David N. Weiss & J. David Stem. The film introdu ...
'' was released, which introduced baby Dil, Tommy's little brother, to the show. Its worldwide gross was $140.9 million against a $24 million budget, though it received mixed reviews from critics. In 2000 a sequel, '' Rugrats in Paris: The Movie'', was released, with three new characters introduced, Kimi, Kira, and Fifi. Kimi would become Chuckie's sister and Kira would become his new mother, after marrying his father. Fifi would become Spike's new mate and Chuckie's new dog. It too was a box office success and also received a more positive critical reception. In 2003, ''
Rugrats Go Wild ''Rugrats Go Wild'' is a 2003 American animated musical comedy crossover film based on the Nickelodeon animated television series ''Rugrats'' and ''The Wild Thornberrys''. It is the third and final installment in the ''Rugrats'' film series as well ...
'' was released. It was a crossover between the ''Rugrats'' and ''
The Wild Thornberrys ''The Wild Thornberrys'' is an American animated television series that originally aired on Nickelodeon from 1998 to 2004. The series portrays a family of wildlife documentary filmmakers known as the Thornberrys; in particular the younger daught ...
''. It was the least successful ''Rugrats'' film both critically and commercially. The ''Rugrats'' film trilogy has grossed $299.6 million. In July 2018, Paramount announced that Rugrats would release a live-action movie on January 29, 2021. However, in November 2019, Paramount decided to pull the movie from its schedule with no explanation given.


Spin-offs and revival

''Rugrats Pre-School Daze'', also known as ''Angelica and Susie's School Daze'', is a spin-off that follows revolves around Angelica Pickles and Susie Carmichael as preschool students. Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó, and Paul Germain were its creators and executive producers. It was announced in 2001 as the first spin-off for ''Rugrats'', and initially received a 13-episode order. Even though it was reportedly a "highly-anticipated" part of the March 2002 upfront presentation, the show was reduced to four television specials. This decision was reached after Nickelodeon shifted its focus to the ''All Grown Up!'' spin-off following the rating success of "All Growed Up". ''Rugrats Pre-School Daze'' was first shown in the United States between November 2008 and December 2008. The series carried a TV Y, TV-Y parental rating, meaning that it was judged as "designed to be appropriate for all children". In 2005, Paramount Home Entertainment released all four episodes of ''Rugrats Pre-School Daze'' on the DVDs for the ''Rugrats: Tales from the Crib'' movies. The first two were released on the ''Snow White'' DVD, while the last two were on the one for ''Three Jacks and a Beanstalk''. The series was once available on the iTunes Store and Amazon Instant Video, but the episodes were later removed from both platforms. All episodes are available on Hulu. Variety (magazine), ''Variety'''s Brian Steinberg felt that the show's concept could be retooled as part of a ''Rugrats'' Reboot (fiction), reboot, where the baby protagonists would be shown in preschool and Angelica in kindergarten. In 2001, a spin-off centered on Susie Carmichael and her family was also proposed. It would have focused on the Carmichaels moving to Atlanta, Georgia, to help their grandmother run the family restaurant. On July 16, 2018, it was announced that Nickelodeon had given a series order to a 26-episode revival of the series, executive produced by Klasky, Csupó, and Germain. It was further announced that Paramount Pictures had greenlit a live-action/CGI hybrid feature film which was last set for a January 29, 2021 release date. Originally, it had been set for a November 13, 2020 release, and then was pushed back, with ''Clifford the Big Red Dog (film), Clifford the Big Red Dog'' taking its old slot. But on November 12, 2019, the live-action/CGI hybrid film was removed from Paramount's release schedule. On May 14, 2020, it was announced that the revival series was delayed until 2021. On February 24, 2021, it was announced that the reboot will premiere on
Paramount+ Paramount+ (pronounced Paramount Plus; formerly called CBS All Access but currently 10 All Access in Australia) is an American subscription video on-demand over-the-top streaming service owned and operated by ViacomCBS Streaming, a division of Via ...

Paramount+
later in the spring of 2021.


Other media


Comics

From 1998 to 2003, Nick produced a ''Rugrats'' comic strip, which was distributed through Creators Syndicate. Initially written by show-writer Scott Gray and drawn by comic book artist Steve Crespo, with Rob Armstrong as editor. Will Blyberg came on board shortly after as inker. By the end of 1998, Lee Nordling, who had joined as a contributing gag writer, took over as editor. Nordling hired extra writers, including Gordon Kent, Scott Roberts, Chuck Kim, J. Torres, Marc Bilgrey, and John Zakour, as well as new artists including Gary Fields, Tim Harkins, Vince Giaranno, and Scott Roberts. Stu Chaifetz colored the Sunday strips. The ''Rugrats'' strip started out in many papers, but as often happens with spin-off strips, soon slowed down. It is still seen in some papers in re-runs. Two paperback collections were published by Andrews McMeel ''It's a Jungle-Gym Out There'' and ''A Baby's Work Is Never Done''. During this time,
Nickelodeon Nickelodeon (often shortened to Nick) is an American pay television channel which was first tested on December 1, 1977, until it eventually launched on April 1, 1979 as the first cable channel for children. It is owned by ViacomCBS through it ...
also published 30 issues of an all ''Rugrats'' comic magazine. Most of these were edited by Frank Pittarese and Dave Roman, and featured stories and art by the comic strip creators and others. The last nine issues featured cover art by Scott Roberts, who wrote and drew many of the stories. Other writers included Roman, Chris Duffy, Patrick M. O'Connell, Joyce Mann, and Jim Spivey. Other artists included Joe Staton and Ernie Colón. The magazine also included short stories, many by Pittarese, and games, as well as reprints from an earlier, UK produced ''Rugrats'' comic. Nick produced a special, 50-page comic magazine retelling of the film ''Rugrats in Paris: The Movie, Rugrats in Paris'', edited by Pittarese and Roman, written by Scott Gray, pencils by Scott Roberts, and inks by Adam DeKraker. On October 18, 2017, Boom! Studios began publishing a new ''Rugrats'' comic book series.


Video games

Nineteen video games based on the series have been released. Notably, ''Rugrats: Search for Reptar'' became one of the List of bestselling playstation games, bestselling PlayStation games. Tommy and Angelica appear as guest characters in ''Rocket Power: Team Rocket Rescue''. They appear again as playable characters in ''Nickelodeon Party Blast'' and ''Nicktoons Racing''. Tommy later appears in ''Nicktoons Basketball'' in his ''
All Grown Up! ''All Grown Up!'' is an American half hour animated television series that aired on Nickelodeon. The series was created by Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó and Paul Germain, and it is a continuation of their children's show ''Rugrats''. It explores the ...
'' form. ''Rugrats'' characters make non-playable appearances in ''Nicktoons: Attack of the Toybots'' and ''Nicktoons MLB''. Tommy, Angelica, and Reptar are playable characters in the official mobile game ''Nickelodeon Super Brawl Universe''. Tommy, Angelica, and Reptar appear as playable characters in ''Nickelodeon Kart Racers''. These same characters, along with Chuckie, are playable in ''Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix''.


Live performances

''Rugrats – A Live Adventure'' was a show about Angelica's constant attempts to scare Chuckie. To help Chuckie combat his wide range of fears, Tommy invents a magic wand called the "People-ator" to make Chuckie brave. Angelica, however, wants Chuckie to stay scared, so she steals Tommy's wand. The Rugrats try to get it back but to no avail. Angelica becomes Princess of the World. Eventually, Chuckie becomes brave thanks to the help of Susie, Mr. Flashlight and the audience. Many songs were included in the play, including the theme song. Despite some criticism, the show was well received. The show had two 40-minute acts, with a 20-minute intermission (or a commercial break).


Merchandise

Merchandise that was based on ''Rugrats'' varied from video games, toothpaste, Kellogg's cereal to slippers, puzzles, pajamas, jewelry, wrapping paper, Fruit Snacks, Inflatable balls, watches, pencils, markers, cookie jars, key rings, action figures, Uno (card game), My First Uno games, and bubblegum. The show also managed to spawn a popular merchandise line at Walmart, Kmart, Target Corporation, Target, eBay, Hot Topic, J. C. Penney, Toys "R" Us, Mattel, Barnes & Noble, and Basic Fun. By March 1999, the franchise had generated an estimated in merchandise sales. The ''Rugrats'' had their own cereal made by Post called Reptar Crunch Cereal. The Rugrats and Reptar were predominantly featured on the front, there's a board game on the back and a special $3 rebate for Runaway Reptar on the side. This cereal was released for a limited time only, sold at US supermarkets 8/1/99 to 9/15/99 only, and not all supermarkets carried the cereal. To memorialize the movie, Rugrats in Paris, another Rugrats-based cereal came out in October 2000. Simply called the Rugrats in Paris Cereal, it has a similar appearance to Trix; it's a sweetened, multi-grain cereal with small-round bits in plain, red, purple and green. Small Eiffel Towers could also be seen. In 2017, entertainment retail store chain FYE (retailer), FYE began selling Reptar Cereal, as well as Reptar Bars, both based on fictional products within the show. Reptar Cereal is very similar to Froot Loops, and Reptar Bars are chocolate bars filled with green frosting, a reference to the show in which the bars would turn the tongues of whoever ate it green. ''Rugrats'' made fast-food appearances as well, with the most appearances being on Burger King. In 1994, the Hardee's fast-food chain offered a collection of Nicktoons toys as premiums that were included with kids' meals at their restaurants. All 4 Nicktoons at that time were featured — ''Doug'', ''Rugrats'', ''Ren & Stimpy'', and ''Rocko's Modern Life''. Other food items that feature ''Rugrats'' were Fruit Snacks, Macaroni and Cheese, Bubble Gum and Campbell's Rugrats Pasta with Chicken and Broth. In their first tie-in with Burger King, 5 ''Rugrats'' toys were offered with their Kids Club meals, a different one with each meal. Each toy came with a 12-page (including covers) miniature version of Nickelodeon Magazine, which featured the toy's instructions, word search, picture puzzle, "Say What?", a scrambled word puzzle, a coupon for Oral-B Rugrats toothpaste and toothbrush, and entry blanks to subscribe to Rugrats Comic Adventures, Nick Magazine, and the Kids Club. From 1998 until 2004, ''Rugrats'' based-products included watches and various toys.


Notes


References


External links

* * *
Rugrats daily comic strip at Creators Syndicate
*

at Don Markstein's Toonopedia
Archived
from the original on February 9, 2017.
2016 Decider's Oral History of "Nicktoons" interviews with cast and crew
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