Hey Arnold! The Movie
Hey Arnold! The Movie is a 2002 animated feature film based on Nickelodeon's animated series BTSW, produced by Nickelodeon Movies and Snee-Oosh, Inc. at Nickelodeon Animation Studios and distributed by Paramount Pictures.
Arnold, Helga and Gerald must save the neighborhood from a greedy developer who intends to demolish it in order to build a huge shopping mall.
- The storyline is rather convoluted, clichéd and poorly-executed, and the film feels more like a regular half-hour episode of the TV series rather than an actual script for a theatrically-released movie.
- The character development is almost lost in the film, especially from Helga and Arnold themselves.
- There are many lazy attempts to set the mood for each scene, particularly Helga's confession on the FTI building.
- The film has a lot of unneeded filler, particularly Eugene singing an out of place song number.
- The main antangionist, Perrier du Von Scheck, is a paper-thin, one-dimensional and over-the-top villain. Also, he feels very out of place in anything related to Hey Arnold!, as the series never featured any kind of villain in any episode and only featured just unsympathetic human beings who faded to make mistakes and whose backstories allowed viewers to feel sorry for them.
- He is also not a threatening villain, and his goal to turn the neighborhood into a shopping mall makes no sense, given that the government probably wouldn't allow a shopping mall to be built in a neighborhood.
- Abysmal production values, considering that the film was originally a made-for-television and direct-to-video movie which only got a mainstream theatrical release at the last minute with only few adjustments to give it a more theatrical feature film quality, such as the computer-animated vehicles, which unfortunately didn't even help.
- The computer-generated imagery is not that great, especially the ones used for the vehicles, as mentioned above.
- Similar to Doug's 1st Movie, the pacing is really slow and feels way too long.
- Intelligence-insulting marketing in many scenes, particularly Helga's confession on the FTI building.
- Most of Arnold's friends and classmates, especially those who are fan-favorite characters, have been reduced to extras that don't do anything to progress the plot.
- In particular, Abner, Nadine, Peapod Kid, Campfire Lass, Connie, Maria, Ruth, Edmund, Ludwig, Stoop Kid and Pigeon Man are absent in this movie and aren't even mentioned.
- Misleading poster: Arnold's friends appear in the theatrical poster and home media cover, even though none of them did anything to progress the plot, save for Gerald and Helga.
- On top of that, the poster looks like it's trying way too hard to be like the GMW poster.
- Overusage of pop-culture references, particularly when Big Bob becomes a Hulk-like creature and when Scheck says"I would've gotten away with it if it wasn't for that meddling football-headed kid!" , which is a reference to Scooby-Doo.
- It was practically the reason why Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie got cancelled (though that film was eventually revised and released in 2017).
- The animation is decent, compared to the TV show.
- The voice acting is neat and decent, thanks to the cast reprising their roles from the show.
- The ending is pretty good and touching.
- Some characters are likable, such as Arnold, who still is a great character. Bridget, the head of the secret organization who helps Arnold and Gerald to bring Von Scheck to justice, is also a great character.
- Big Bob does have a good moment by getting revenge on Von Scheck for his treachery and defects to the good guys in time to stop FTI's bulldozers.
- Some funny moments here and there.
- Christopher Lloyd is a great choice as the voice of the coroner.
- This was the last Hey Arnold! project to feature Steve Viksten as the voice as Oskar and Vincent Schiavelli as the voice of Mr. Bailey, as they both passed away after the release of the film.
- This was the first Nickelodeon movie based on a Nicktoon to receive a PG rating from the MPAA.
Hey Arnold! The Movie got mixed-to-negative reviews from critics and fans from the show alike, as it currently holds a 29% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 78 reviews. The critic consensus reads: "Bland, unoriginal, and lacking the wit of the TV show, Hey Arnold! is a 30-minute cartoon stretched beyond its running time." Metacritic scored a 47% rating based on 23 review, indicating "mixed or average reviews."