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Rugrats Go Wild

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Rugrats Go Wild
Rugrats Go Wild.jpg
A once great show that's gone downhill + another great show that stayed good from start to finish = a wildly disappointing crossover.
Directed By: Norton Virgien
John Eng
Produced By: Arlene Klasky
Gabor Csupo
Written By: Kate Boutilier
Based On: Rugrats
Starring: E. G. Daily
Nancy Cartwright
Kath Soucie
Dionne Quan
Cheryl Chase
Tim Curry
Lacey Chabert
Bruce Willis
Distributed By: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: June 13, 2003
Runtime: 80 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $25 Million
Box Office: $55.4 million
Franchise: Rugrats
The Wild Thornberrys
Prequel: Rugrats in Paris: The Movie
The Wild Thornberrys Movie

Rugrats Go Wild is a 2003 American animated comedy musical crossover film based on the Nickelodeon animated television series Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys. It is the cross-over sequel to both Rugrats in Paris: The Movie and The Wild Thornberrys Movie, is the third and final installment of the Rugrats film trilogy, and the second and final installment of The Wild Thornberrys film dualogy.

The film was produced by Nickelodeon Movies and Klasky Csupo and released in theaters on June 13, 2003, by Paramount Pictures. With a worldwide gross of $55.4 million, it is the lowest grossing of both the Rugrats and Wild Thornberrys film series.


Tommy, Chuckie, Angelica, Kimi, Dil, Phil, Lil and Susie find themselves stranded with their parents on a remote island. By coincidence, the adventurous Thornberrys are also exploring the island. With his talking dog, Spike, in tow, Tommy takes the babies and Susie on a walkabout to find Nigel Thornberry and his family. They'll gave to be careful, though, as the exotic leopard Siri is hungry and not afraid to make her presence known.

Bad Qualities

  1. A concept of a crossover between two Klasky Csupo cartoons/Nicktoons sounds good on paper, but the concept feels like it belongs to a TV-special rather than a theatrical film.
  2. The premise is predictable; the Rugrats and their families get stranded on an island and they need to find a way to be rescued, with help from the Wild Thornberrys.
  3. Despite being marketed as a crossover between the casts of the Rugrats and the Wild Thornberrys series, both cast somewhat have completely separate stories, with Tommy, the babies and Nigel Thornberry having the most with the cross-over, Angelica and Debbie only having a few scenes until after the "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" segment, Eliza and her monkey friend meeting Spike mid-way into the film before the introduction of Sira, Donnie only having a few cross-over moments with Tommy and the rest of the cast, with the rest of the characters from Rugrats/The Wild Thornberrys not meeting until near the climax, Tommy and Eliza (The main protagonist of Rugrats and Wild Thornberrys respectively) don't even interact with each other at any point in the film.
  4. During its theatrical release the film was presented with "Odorama"; to summarize, "scratch-and-sniff" cards were given to movie-goers, and whenever an icon pops up on the screen with an item inside of it (i.e., a smelly shoe) the aforementioned movie-goers were instructed to sniff a scratch-and-sniff card with the corresponding image. At first this sounds interesting on paper, but it is not only pointless, but also disgusting.
  5. Overuse of immature comedy, especially in scenes which contain toilet humor, specifically Angelica being revealed to have pooped herself, Dil licks Phil's smelly feet (which is.... without a doubt, one of the single worst moments in the whole film) and blows snot bubbles.
  6. Speaking of Phil, unlike the previous films, this is one of the only films in the series where Phil serves nothing other than being filler and is a cardboard cutout, as he really doesn't do anything to add the plot other than provide comic relief moments.
    1. Therefore, you can easily remove Phil from the film, and nothing impotent will be missed.
  7. Several scenes are very inappropriate for a PG-rated film, such as:
    • Charlotte Pickles ripping off her dress only to reveal she is wearing shorts and a saxophone theme playing after that during the sinking scene.
    • Angelica getting her face covered in bird poop.
    • Four of the babies removing their diapers in the boat and exposing their butts.
  8. While the animation is good, some of the CGI effects aren't all that great, especially the giant wave effect (although they are an improvement over the CGI vehicles in Hey Arnold: The Movie).
  9. Lots of moments seem to break reality.
    • Debbie Thornberry uses gum to fix the Commvee, despite the fact that in reality, gum cannot stay that sticky (a fact even Stu admitted to Debbie in the scene referenced), especially in underwater.
    • Nigel is still alive after falling off a cliff.
  10. Even though the voice acting is great, Bruce Willis' performance as Spike is kind of annoying at times.
  11. The scene with the giant wall of water is a blatant rip-off of the wave scene from The Perfect Storm.
  12. Too many pop-culture references that feel pointless and dull:
    • Stu building a coconut radio similar to Gilligan's Island.
    • Chaz's line "We're going to need a bigger boat...", referencing Jaws.
    • Cynthia posing as the Liberty statue in sand from Planet of the Apes.
  13. Angelica has an extremely cringe-worthy singing voice and annoying song, which are both really annoying to sit through. She even butchers "Should I Stay, or Should I Go?" by The Clash by singing over it in the Commvee with Debbie.
    • Adding further insult is that lead vocalist and guitar player Joe Strummer died in 2002, a year before the movie's release.
  14. Most of the songs, while are decent (except for "Island Princess" and "Big Bad Cat"), don't fit in with the plot and mostly come out of nowhere just to add filler and increase the running time.
  15. A lot of mean-spirited moments, such as the grown-ups treating Stu like a punching bag.
  16. All the adults (Even Didi) blame Stu for getting them stuck on the deserted island. Yes, Stu did scam everyone into thinking they were going on the Lipschitz Cruise and does deserve to be punished for that. However, he had no control over the storm that caused the boat to sink, yet they blame him for that storm.
  17. Christine Cavanaugh, Chuckie's original voice actress, retired in 2001 before the movie was made. Her replacement, Nancy Cartwright, was not that good.
  18. Nigel only suffers from amnesia instead of dying when he falls off a cliff, which is nonsensical.
  19. Unlike the previous films (with the exception of "The Rugrats Movie"), there are little-to-no real villains in "Rugrats Go Wild", the closets that could be considered as the real main villain is Siri the Clouded Leopard, but she doesn't appear until mid-way into the film, doesn't receive much screen time in the movie and after the chase scene, Siri is literary drop out of the film and is never seen or mentioned again.
    1. Siri also kind of rips off the wolf minor antagonist from "The Rugrats Movie", as both are wild animals and are possible main villains.
  20. Much like the case with "The Hunchback of Notre Dame II", "The NeverEnding Story III" and "FernGully 2: The Magical Rescue", "Rugrats Go Wild" has a much more light-heart tone and as such, this film lacked the emotional depth the previous films had:
    1. The first Rugrats film "The Rugrats Movie" had the babies lost in the woods while trying to accept a new member of the group, Phil.
    2. The second Rugrats film, "Rugrats in Paris", had Chuckie yearning for a new mom after losing his, and the Babies also having to deal with Coco LaBouche, a villain who plans to merry Chuckie's father and rule Paris.
    3. "The Wild Thornberry's Movie" had Eliza going through dangers to save her animal friends, and family from Solan & Bree Blackburns, evil Poachers who wants to capture animals.
    4. Meanwhile, "Rugrats Go Wild", THIS MOVIE on the other hand was treated more like a mere cash grab with more emphasis on comedy.
  21. There are little-to-no call backs to any of the characters' previous adventures in their movies, not even Coco and Solan (the main villains "Rugrats in Paris" and "The Wild Thornberry's Movie" respectively) even gets a mentioned.
  22. This never-a-less killed "The Wild Thornberrys" series, as since this film's relisted, there's so far no new episodes or even installments of "The Wild Thornberrys" series being made.

Good Qualities

  1. The idea of putting two Klasky Csupo shows together in one theatrical film is a pretty novel concept for its time, especially since shared universe films weren't jump-started until 2008's Iron Man and more particularly 2012's The Avengers.
  2. Pretty good animation, which is a nice step-up for the Rugrats franchise, despite the CGI effects not being that great and not aging well.
  3. Spike, an obviously mute character, gets a chance to speak (his voice is provided by Bruce Willis, who, prior to Rugrats Go Wild, was famous for his role as John McClane from the Die Hard franchise) and there's a good reason for it. Since this is a crossover with The Wild Thornberrys, a show known for having animals talk through magic.
  4. Good voice acting for the most part, having the entire cast from the movie's respective shows returning.
  5. Some great songs like "Lizard Love", performed by Aerosmith, or "The Big Bad Cat".
  6. The Wild Thornberrys characters are still pretty likeable. Some of the Rugrats characters are likable too, such as Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil, Susie, Spike (despite his annoying voice), Kimi and Dil (the latter two, who are surprisingly not annoying like they usually are). Angelica is also tolerable in this film, if only somewhat. She actually helped save the Rugrats and Nigel Thornberry from the cave near the end of the film.
  7. Susie Carmichael have been given an increasing bigger role in this movie than she did in the previous 2 films who only appeared in small roles, as this time she tags along with the babies and Angelica on the adventure.
  8. The ending isn't bad as the Pickles family and the Thornberrys did have fun at the Lipschitz Cruise together.


On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 39% based on 89 reviews, with an average rating of 5.02/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "The Rugrats franchise has gone from fresh to formulaic." Metacritic gives the film a weighted average score of 38 out of 100, based on 27 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale.


PhantomStrider's "Top 10 Worst Animated Sequels", in which Rugrats Go Wild ranked at #4


  • Because of the fact that so far "The Wild Thornberrys" had no new episodes or any other installments, "Rugrats Go Wild" is often considered the series finale to the "The Wild Thornberrys" series.


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