Les critiques du film

Voila quelque critiques trouvées sur Internet... On peut pas dire que tout le monde aime ce film...

 

Critiques Française sur le film :

Monsieur cinéma :

L'avis de la rédaction

DROLE D’ENDROIT POUR UNE RENCONTRE !
Les Razmoket et les Delajungle ont un petit air de famille. C’est normal : ces cousins du petit écran sont nés dans les mêmes studios (Nickelodeon). Rien d’extraordinaire donc à ce qu’ils se croisent un jour au cinéma. Et la rencontre est détonante, avec un léger déséquilibre en faveur des Razmoket, qui volent la vedette aux Delajungle, étonnamment sages ici. Il faut dire que les Razmoket ont l’avantage du nombre : le chien super-héros Hubert (doublé par Lagaf’, parfait), Tommy Cornichon dit « casse-bonbon », Charles-Edouard dit « la binocle », Jules, Lucie, Jean-Roger, Charlotte… on en passe, et des meilleurs ! Toutes ces familles nombreuses, familles heureuses vont vivre en à peine plus d’une heure une sorte de «Koh-Lanta » junior qui garantit dépaysement et suspense, même si les rebondissements sont un peu moins nombreux et captivants que dans la version ciné de LA FAMILLE DELAJUNGLE, sortie en avril 2003. L’humour, lui, ressort dopé de cette association, avec des parodies de « films de grands » (TITANIC) davantage destinées aux adultes, des expressions qui feront rire aux éclats les petits (la forêt « trépicale », les « Delépingle »), et des petits monstres en couches-culottes qui mangent des vers de terre et des crottes de nez… Un bonus pour les parents : en sortant de la salle, vous trouverez vos rejetons sages comme des images ! (Stéphanie Thonnet)

 

L'express :

Drôle et insolent. - Note : (= pas mal = juste la moyenne)

Que vous n'ayez jamais entendu parler des familles Razmoket - composée en grande partie de bébés brise-fer - et Delajungle, explorateurs inconscients, n'a guère d'importance. Vos enfants les connaissent pour vous. L'ignorance peut même se révéler une bonne surprise, les personnages et l'état d'esprit qui prévaut ici n'ayant rien de niais et tout d'audacieux, voire d'insolent. Et même si le scénario manque un peu de ressort, l'idée de relancer l'Odorama (une plaquette remise à l'entrée permet de partager quelques odeurs plus ou moins délicates) vaut à elle seule de vivre une bonne rigolade interactive.

 

Télérama :

Note : (= passable)

Les Razmoket partent en croisière sur un rafiot et font naufrage sur une île déserte. Celle-la même que les Delajungle sont en train d'explorer... Les enfants apprécient déjà les aventures de ces deux « clans ». Leur rencontre, qui donne lieu à une pétillante et parodique partie de cache-cache dans une jungle plus hollywoodienne que nature, devrait les ravir : les bébés terribles et les globe-trotters délurés font assurément bon ménage.

 

Zurban :

Vedettes des cours de récré, Razmoket et Delajungle sont les nouvelles valeurs montantes des dessins animés. Bien ancrés dans leur époque, les personnages vivent des aventures drôles et trépidantes, à double lecture pour réjouir petits et grands. Un nouvel épisode réussi, à découvrir en odorama (procédé qui permet de sentir au moyen de cartes à gratter au fur et à mesure de l'action), mais ça, c'est moins réussi!

 

Critiques Anglaise sur le film :

Pour ceux qui ne parlent pas anglais, je vous propose une auto-traduction faite pas le site voila.fr . Clique ICI !

 

Reuters / Hollywood Reporter's review

Film Review: Rugrats Go Wild
Sun June 8, 2003 09:18 PM ET
By Sheri Linden
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Fresh off their Parisian holiday gone awry, the most resourceful toddlers in cartoon history wander into the wild kingdom for another harmlessly disastrous adventure.

While it doesn't pack quite the pop culture punch of "The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones", this pairing of Klasky Csupo's "Rugrats" and "The Wild Thornberrys" will have special appeal for fans of the two Nickelodeon series.

For grown-ups, there's the bonus of Chrissie Hynde crooning, and for kids, there's interactive excitement in the form of the ever-disturbing Odorama, with scratch-and-sniff cards courtesy of a Burger King tie-in offering such olfactory treats as peanut butter, flowers and feet.

In a departure from the previous two "Rugrats" features, the film has garnered a PG rating for "mild crude humor" -- mostly of the diapey-related variety.

There's nothing here that will shock kids, but there's plenty of spoofing that will bypass them completely. In the early going, movie allusions come fast and furious -- perhaps too much so.

The frenetic pace detracts from the film's wealth of personalities and vivid visuals. There's the unshakable sense that "Rugrats Go Wild" is trying too hard to please kids and adults and as a result falls somewhat short for both sets of viewers.

The film, whose boxoffice performance should be steady rather than spectacular, is nonetheless a quality summertime diversion for families. At the screening caught, the material that drew the biggest laughs from kids was in the realm of old-fashioned pratfalls and the time-tested conk on the head -- not to mention smelly feet.

The "Rugrats" gang is all here, babies and parents, for a would-be luxury cruise that quickly turns Gilligan-esque (complete with theme song).

Washed up on a tropical island -- which provides the animators the opportunity for brilliantly colored rain forest scenes -- the parents get busy constructing huts, and the Rugrats escape in search of "that big-nosed nature guy."

The man they're after, TV wildlife adventurer Sir Nigel Thornberry (Tim Curry, doing upper-crust Brit to the hilt), is indeed on the island, where he and his wife (Jodi Carlisle) are trying to get footage of the island's elusive leopard (Hynde).

Kate Boutilier's script plays with the affinities between the Rugrats and the eccentric Thornberry clan. Tommy Pickles (E.G. Daily), fearless leader of the babies, idolizes and emulates Nigel "Strawberry", while his cousin, uber brat Angelica (Cheryl Chase), wanders into the explorers' camp and engages in a battle of the wills with imperious Thornberry teen Debbie (Danielle Harris).

More interesting, though, is the matchup between Eliza (Lacey Chabert), the Thornberry who communicates with animals, and faithful Rugrat pooch Spike (Bruce Willis, giving voice to the heretofore wordless canine) and the switcheroo between wild child Donnie Thornberry (Michael Balzary, aka Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers) and neurotic-in-training Chuckie Finster (Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson).

Before resurrecting Tommy's hapless inventor dad (Michael Bell) as hero and wrapping with a message of family togetherness, the film plunges its protagonists into a series of perilous but padded escapades.

Mark Mothersbaugh and other composers contribute middling rock numbers, the highlight being a duet by Willis and Hynde. There's also the surprise of a Clash tune.

Released by Paramount Pictures. A Nickelodeon Movies presentation of a Klasky Csupo production.

VOICES

Spike : Bruce Willis ; Siri : Chrissie Hynde ; Tommy Pickles : E.G. Daily ; Chuckie Finster : Nancy Cartwright ; Phil DeVille / Lil DeVille / Betty DeVille : Kath Soucie ; Angelica Pickles : Cheryl Chase ; Sir Nigel Thornberry : Tim Curry ; Debbie Thornberry : Danielle Harris ; Marianne Thornberry : Jodi Carlisle ; Eliza Thornberry : Lacey Chabert ; Donnie Thornberry : Michael Balzary (aka Flea) ; Didi Pickles : Melanie Chartoff ; Stu Pickles : Jack Riley ; Darwin : Tom Kane ; Charlotte Pickles : Tress MacNeille ; Drew Pickles / Chas Finster : Michael Bell ; Kira Finster : Julia Kato ; Howard DeVille : Phil Proctor ; Dil Pickles : Tara Strong ; Susie Carmichael : Cree Summer ; Kimi Finster

CREDITS

Directors : Norton Virgien, John Eng ; Screenwriter : Kate Boutilier ; Producers : Arlene Klasky, Gabor Csupo ; Executive producers : Albie Hecht, Julia Pistor, Eryk Casemiro, Hal Waite ; Production designer : Dima Malanitchev ; Music : Mark Mothersbaugh ; Co-producers : Tracy Kramer, Terry Thoren, Patrick Stapleton ; Editors : John Bryant, Kimberly Rettberg.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

 

Slant Magazine's RGW review written by Ed Gonzalez :

An on-screen collision between the Rugrats and the Thornberrys was inevitable and, for most of its running time, Rugrats Go Wild ! successfully exploits a series of run-ins between the two clans.

Perhaps because the film follows so closely on the heels of The Wild Thornberrys Movie, the life-affirming Thornberrys play second fiddle to the Rugrats. Because the Rugrats have always been more subversive than the Thornberrys, this heavy focus in one direction works for the most part. The Rugrats happen to the Thornberrys when Stu Pickels (Jack Riley) gets his friends and family stuck on a deserted island after their dinky cruise ship sinks. Bitchy Angelica (Cheryl Chase) convinces Tommy that he has "a diaper full of dreams", so it's only a matter of time before the little tyke's island adventures prove her wrong. Angelica steals the show, of course -- when she isn't engaging The Lord of the Flies, she belts out Joel Hirshhorn and Al Kasha's "The Morning After" (from The Poseidon Adventure) to keep the troops entertained. No other song-and-dance number is anywhere near as good, but they're all pretty easy to forgive considering the ridiculous flashes of absurdity, none more notable than Lil forcing her brother Phil to give up eating bugs (which subsequently forces him to take on a Smeagol-like personality). Stu is emasculated and wins everyone's graces by film's end and a curiously ennobled Debbie Thornberry gets quality time from her parents. The film does lose focus towards the end and kind of putters to a close (a series of underwater scenes may prove to be a little disturbing for younger kids), but there's no offending sermon to talk down to the film's demographic.

 

Jim Lane, Sacramento News & Review :
Rating: ROTTEN (2/5)

I guess I'm something of a fence-sitter when it comes to "Rugrats", the animated series about a gang of diapered toddlers that's been running on Nickelodeon since 1991. I don't watch the series, though I have nothing against it ; like Charles Schulz's "Peanuts", it's part of a venerable tradition that goes as far back as the first Our Gang comedies. I enjoyed "The Rugrats Movie" in 1998, didn't see the second one ("Rugrats in Paris", 2000), and I've never given a second glance to any of the various video editions that Nickelodeon has pumped out from time to time. Which brings us to "Rugrats Go Wild", the new theatrical feature. Actually, it's also the new "Wild Thornberrys" movie, too. In a canny - some might even say cynical - piece of cross-promotion, Nickelodeon has combined their two biggest animated hits into one movie by marooning both sets of characters on the same desert island. The "Rugrats" gang is shipwrecked in the middle of a cruise vacation; the Thornberrys are there hunting for an elusive purple leopard (all, that is, except for spoiled teen daughter Debbie Thornberry, who would rather be anywhere else).

The "guest starring" Thornberrys aren't the only gimmick to "Rugrats Go Wild". There's also something called - wait for it - Odorama. In yet another piece of, um, creative marketing synergy, customers who drop by a certain fast-food chain will get a scratch-and-sniff card to take to the movie with them. (The name of the fast food chain is hardly a secret, but I won't name it here. It's silly, I know, but I just hate to encourage this kind of thing.) Take that S&S card to the movie with you, and (it says here) you can "smell" the adventure as well as seeing and hearing it ; just wait for a number to flash on the screen, then scratch the same number on the card and sniff it.

I don't think it's giving away too much of the plot to say that the scents on the card are, in order : strawberry, peanut butter, flowers, smelly feet, root beer float, and fish. But it may be giving away more than they want you to know to say that, on my card at least, everything except for the strawberry and (just my luck) the smelly feet smelled exactly like processed cardboard ; even knowing what I was supposed to be smelling didn't help.

But then, "Rugrats Go Wild" doesn't give you much time to linger over your scratch-and-sniff card. If anything, the title is only too accurate ; the movie rips along like a gasoline fire, screeching and bellowing and piling up gags until it bulges at the seams for every second of its 81 minutes. Even the handful of songs are rattled off in a caffeinated frenzy ; like everything in the movie, they're over before we can even start enjoying them. "Rugrats Go Wild" is high-spirited and energetic, but it's also relentless and nerve-wracking, exhausting to sit through.

Directors John Eng and Norton Virgien and writer Kate Boutilier generally pitch their movie at the level of a hyperactive four-year-old, but - by their own lights, at least - they don't neglect the grownups. Tucked neatly in among the poop-and-doody jokes - like tequila shots in an Easter basket - are casual references to old movies and baby-boomer TV shows from "Gone With the Wind" to "Gilligan's Island". It's a strategy that has served well in the past, but here it gets a bit obsessive. Some of the in-jokes, in fact, are just plain bizarre. One in particular is sure to be utterly incomprehensible to anyone under the age of 40. It comes when nasty little Angelica, after some setback or other, turns to us and says, "Years from now, when I write about this - and I will - I "won't" be kind." (It's from 1956's "Tea and Sympathy", if you care.)

Some might call "Rugrats Go Wild" a harmless time-killer. But it doesn't just kill time, it tortures and murders it. And while it's visually inventive and colorful, its real cleverness goes almost unnoticed: it persuades you to plunk down good money to watch nothing more than an 81-minute commercial for Nickelodeon TV.

 

Steve Rhodes' Internet Reviews :

RATING (0 TO ****) : **

Smell-O-Vision was a bad idea when introduced a half a century ago and, even with today's advances in technology, remains a ridiculous concept. RUGRATS GO WILD!, in conjunction with their Burger King promotional partners, have glow-in-the-dark, scratch-off cards to go along with the movie. Whenever a numbers appears at the bottom of the screen, you are supposed to scratch off the image beside the number. The pictures on the card range from strawberries to hamburgers to old sox, but their smells are all uniformly rancid. (For the record, I'm a fan of Burger King's Whoppers, but, if they really smelled anything like they do on the card, I wouldn't go within a mile of them.)

RUGRATS GO WILD ! but not quite wild enough. A sometimes awkward blend of two kids' TV shows, the sassy "Rugrats" and the visually lush "Wild Thornberrys," RUGRATS GO WILD ! works best as a mindlessly silly kids' movie. What it lacks is the irreverent wit normally associated with the Rugrats, which appeals to kids of all ages, not just those in the single digits. In short, it needs more Rugrats and less Thornberrys.

The SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON story has the Rugrats shipwrecked on an island that the Thornberrys are busy exploring. They are in a real "drain forest," one of the Rugrat babies energetically remarks. It falls, as usual, to Angelica (voiced by Cheryl Chase) to deliver the best line. In disdain, she tells one of the youngest Rugrats, "You're just a backyard baby with a diaper full of dreams."

Most of the movie, however, resorts to slapstick to get the laughs. The babies pick their noses and eat the boogers. And, in the least tasteful scene, they moon their elders.

"I'm bored !" Angelica complains. Me too. The RUGRATS IN PARIS was well written and hilarious. In contrast, RUGRATS GO WILD ! just limps along, offering little over typical television shows for kids.

RUGRATS GO WILD ! runs a long 1:21. It is rated PG for "mild crude humor" and would be acceptable for all ages.

My nephew William, age 9, and his sister Liana, age 6, both liked the movie. He liked the submarine part best because he felt like he was driving the sub, and she liked the leopard best since she thought it was a little scary.

The film opens nationwide in the United States on Friday, June 13, 2003. In the Silicon Valley, it will be showing at the AMC and the Century theaters. 

 

MaryAnn Johanson, from The Flick Filosopher :

I can't pretend to appreciate for myself the eww-gross humor of Rugrats and their dirty-diaper jokes, but it delights me to see that kids today do appreciate such an imaginative crew of enthusiastic youngsters as Tommy Pickles and his pals. And ya gotta love The Wild Thornberrys with its pro-environment undercurrent and its snarky depiction of sibling rivalry. They're all together here -- the Rugrats gang, kids and adults together, take a vacation cruise that ends in disaster when they land on the otherwise deserted island where the Thornberrys are filming a nature documentary. Many silly references to everything from Gilligan's Island to The Poseidon Adventure to Titanic will tickle the grownups, but this one is mostly for the kids. It's an overgrown Saturday morning cartoon with an admittedly clever big-screen, group-moviegoing bonus: Pick up a scratch - and - sniff card when you enter the theater, and scratch and sniff at the appropriate moment during the film (big numbers flashing onscreen tell you when and which section to scratch and sniff), and ewwwww and ahhhh all together to the aroma of smelly feet, cupcakes, flowers, and more. Be warned: Bruce Willis (Tears of the Sun), as the voice of Spike the Rugrats' dog, sings. I confess to actually owning (at one time) and actually liking The Return of Bruno. Your mileage may vary.

 

Ben Nuckols from the Associated Press :

'Rugrats Go Wild' Fights to Stay Afloat By BEN NUCKOLS, Associated Press Writer

"He's my hero, and when I grow up I want to be just like him", little Tommy Pickles says of Nigel Thornberry at the beginning of "Rugrats Go Wild".

Not that he has much choice. Tommy is at the mercy of Nickelodeon executives, who apparently thought that ramming their two animated franchises together would score their biggest audience yet for a feature film.

The worst thing about "Rugrats Go Wild" is that the Rugrats have dragged the Thornberrys down into the diaper bag with them. "The Wild Thornberrys" is by far the classier and more inventive of the franchises, as evidenced by last December's "The Wild Thornberrys Movie", which bubbled over with charm and flair.

"Rugrats Go Wild" caught none of that excess charm, and it subjects the Thornberrys to the surfeit of talk about poopy diapers and other puerile subjects that are the Rugrats' domain. This is gross-out humor pitched to kids barely old enough to know what's gross and what isn't.

To that end, the filmmakers have revived Odorama, a sensory-enhancement gimmick pioneered by John Waters for "Polyester," his 1981 saga of suburban malaise. Scratch-and-sniff cards are handed out to audiences, and when a number flashes at the bottom of the screen, you're invited to sniff the corresponding icon on the cards.

Most of the smells seem pleasant enough, like a strawberry and a root beer float. The card does include a stinky foot, but have no fear, because everything on the card smells basically the same : like cheap detergent.

As an 85-minute feature weighed down with about 20 speaking roles and some tune-impaired musical numbers, "Rugrats Go Wild" struggles mightily to keep everything afloat. The premise is that the Rugrats' supercilious yuppie parents think they're going on a luxurious cruise, but instead they end up on a rickety boat that sinks, stranding them on an uninhabited island where the Thornberrys happen to be searching for a rare leopard.

Everybody gets mixed up and lost and separated, seemingly circling the island again and again as they search for each other. Screenwriter Kate Boutilier and directors John Eng and Norton Virgien provide neither a coherent structure nor crisp animation to these adventures; the look of the movie, like the progress of the plot, is cluttered, chaotic and slapdash.

Bruce Willis lends some energy as the voice of Spike, the Rugrats' dog, who like all animals can converse with 12-year-old Eliza Thornberry. But nearly all Spike's dialogue has to do with some kind of odor or bodily function.

Kids, parents: Stay away from this one. The Thornberrys and the Rugrats have seen better days. Don't worry : The SpongeBob SquarePants movie is coming next year.

"Rugrats Go Wild", a Paramount Pictures release, is rated PG for mild crude humor. Running time : 85 minutes. One and a half stars out of four.

 

Nouvelles critiques...

 

Philip Booth from St. Petersburg Times :

Nothing riveting about 'Rugrats' spinoff

Two Nickelodeon animated shows join forces on the big screen for Rugrats Go Wild ! and the sum of the parts is far less enchanting than the funny, beautifully accomplished Pixar / Disney charmer Finding Nemo.

The third theatrical spinoff of Rugrats, and second such venture for The Wild Thornberrys, by comparison is a project with modest ambitions, merely a super-sized version of familiar television fare.

That said, the movie makes a pleasant diversion, sure to appeal to young audiences with its mix of likable tiny-tyke characters, talking animals, silly slapstick and inoffensive gross-out moments. The scratch-and-sniff cards available in kids' meals at Burger King - loaded with whiffs of everything from root beer to smelly feet - are fun, too, though the direct tie-in with a fast-food restaurant is crass, but to be expected, I guess.

And parents and other adult chaperones may be amused by the pop culture touchstones: references to the films Titanic, The Poseidon Adventure, Swiss Family Robinson and Taxi Driver and television's Gilligan's Island and Survivor and rock 'n' rollers the Pretenders, the Clash, the Who, the Police, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Iggy Pop.

The kids at a recent screening seemed interested in the adventure-story aspect of the movie.

But the filmmakers scored their biggest crowd-pleasing moments with sequences involving bug eating, butt baring, bad smells and a standoff between that ferocious big cat (Hynde) and a wily, wisecracking pooch (Bruce Willis); the two engage in a not-bad musical number. Can't wait for the stage show.

He gave the film a "B-".

 

Another review, from the Las Vegas Mercury website :

Film : The kids aren't alright
Rugrats Go Wild is a stale, caricatured marketing ploy

By Tammy McMahan

Imagine how frustrated children feel when they struggle to understand a sometimes bewildering, complex world and express their thoughts on it to adults. Ponder too the beauty of their ability to be happy, carefree and silly despite parental neuroses and the real dangers out there. Adults can rarely relate this dichotomy in a thoughtful and comic fashion.

Rugrats Go Wild, the third big-screen spinoff from Arlene Klasky and Gabor Csupo's popular Nickelodeon animated series (after The Rugrats Movie and Rugrats in Paris) seems less like an inspired reflection of kiddie angst and joy than a marketing ploy with mostly Farrelly brothers-lite humor and occasional bits of cleverness.

In this third cinematic installment, the Rugrats, Tommy, Angelica, Chuckie, Phil, Lil, Susie, Kimi and Dil, their parents and Spike the dog are shipwrecked on a remote island where the Thornberry clan, from Csupo and Klasky's other Nickelodeon series, "The Wild Thornberrys"--Sir Nigel, Marianne, Eliza, Debbie, Donnie and friend / pet monkey Darwin--has set up temporary residence for the making of a nature documentary. Through a series of mishaps and mischief, the two groups meet, tangle with Siri, a ravenous leopard, and stage an underwater rescue.

The movie's voice talent includes Bruce Willis as Spike, Tim Curry as Sir Nigel Thornberry, Red Hot Chili Peppers' bassist Flea as Donnie and Chrissy Hynde as Siri.

Unlike Disney's Lilo & Stitch, in which the child character was richly rendered as a well-meaning, inquisitive misfit attempting to make sense of things, Rugrats Go Wild screenwriter Kate Boutilier presents stale caricatures who pick their noses, eat bugs and moon each other as they explore their tropical environs and escape various predicaments.

The film's few fresh, endearing moments involve the Thornberrys, who offer a quirky mix of environmental consciousness, British wit, Valley Girl quips and wild child abandon. So the best advice is to skip this celluloid Rugrats rubbish and go wild with the televised Thornberrys instead.

They gave the film 2 out of 5 stars 

 

Review from the The New York Times.

Cross-breeding Animated Franchises
By DAVE KEHR

When studios start cross-breeding their franchises, it's usually a good sign that the properties involved are slowing down. It was true when Abbott and Costello met Frankenstein in 1948, and it is true today, as the Rugrats — the lovable gang of animated toddlers from the long-running Nickelodeon cable series — meet the Wild Thornberrys, a family of world explorers whose adventures are also documented on Nickelodeon.

The film, directed by Norton Virgien and John Eng, is titled "Rugrats Go Wild", though perhaps a bit of exaggeration has crept in there. "Rugrats Quietly Go About Their Business as Usual" would be a more accurate if less elegant title for this minimally animated film, which finds the resourceful children and their helpless parents stranded on a deserted tropical island, after the charter boat hired by hapless Stu Pickles (voiced by Jack Riley) goes down.

The diaper-clad kids are led by Stu's tiny son, Tommy (voice of E. G. Daily), who has long been an admirer of the Thornberrys' nature documentaries on his favorite cable channel. He's learned a lot about leadership from the example of the Thornberry paterfamilias, Nigel, a British upper-class twit with a Terry-Thomas mustache and the voice of Tim Curry.

As luck would have it, the Thornberrys are on the island as well, searching for a rare white leopard they hope to film for their series. Nigel and his wife (Jodi Carlisle) trot off to the brush, leaving their teenage daughter, Debbie (Danielle Harris), who has managed to acquire a perfect Valley Girl accent during her world travels, in charge of her little sister, Eliza (Lacey Chabert), who for her part has the magical ability to speak to animals.

After a couple of reels of potty jokes, everyone has managed to get lost in the jungle. Nigel discovers the wandering Rugrat babies, but having been struck on the head in a fall, he has reverted to an infantile state himself and isn't able to do much for them. Meanwhile, Eliza has met the Rugrats' faithful dog, Spike, who now, thanks to Eliza's gifts, speaks with the voice of Bruce Willis. There's a lot of chasing around involving menacing wild animals and precipitous falls, but eventually — to the tune of some heavily didactic moral underlining — everyone learns to work together.

The suspense sequences in "Rugrats Go Wild", which opens nationwide today, are intense enough to have earned the film a PG rating. But even with the filmmakers winking references to movies as diverse as "Tea and Sympathy" and "Duck Soup", there is little here to hold the attention of anyone older than 9. For families in search of entertainment, it may be time to find Nemo again.

"Rugrats Go Wild" is rated PG (Parental guidance suggested). It contains some scary, snapping wild animals as well as some bathroom humor.

Directed by Norton Virgien and John Eng

PG, 81 minutes

 

Sun-Sentinel.com's review.

Rugrats Go Wild ! : When 'toon worlds collide, it's likable summer fun

Eight stars is a lot to give a frothy summer flick based on the gathering of two animated TV shows, but that's what 5-year-old assistant film critic Jordan insisted on giving Rugrats Go Wild. And that was despite my own insistence that the Sun-Sentinel rating system only goes to four stars. When you're 5, you have your own standards.

So is Rugrats Go Wild really such overwhelming perfection in animation ? Well, let's reserve that honor for Finding Nemo. But the likable film keeps with this summer's watery theme. And it does hit on a few perfect matches that are worth enjoying for those familiar with the clans Finster, Pickles, De Ville and Thornberry : The Thornberrys' teen queen Debbie goes head to head with bossy 3-year-old Angelica. Eyeglass-wearing Chuckie gets plenty of grief from jungle boy Donnie.

The Rugrats gang gets washed up on a deserted island when their sad-sack vacation boat capsizes. The Thornberrys happen to be on the island in search of an elusive leopard. Before the two Nickelodeon worlds collide, the babies set off for their own jungle experience, meeting young Eliza Thornberry.

Speedy musical numbers and even faster editing keep the adventure moving at a pace that will likely eclipse the youngest viewers (but they're only watching to see Rugrats twins Phil and Lil eat bugs anyway).

Odorama cards -- with such unforgettable scents as smelly feet -- are being distributed for the film, and corresponding numbers pop up on the screen telling kids when to scratch and sniff (and then loudly exclaim, "Ewwwwww !"), making the theater experience a very talky one. My particular gang of assistants -- which also included Payton, 8, and Hayley, 2 -- were not as interested in the cards as they were their gummy bears and cookie dough bites. But all three clapped along with the snappy songs by Angelica, who wants to rule as an island princess, and Spike the dog, who just wants to find his babies.

 

DVD Talk's review :

Rugrats Go Wild !

Rugrats Go Wild
Rugrats Go Wild made me think of what Gilligan's Island would be like if the island were populated only by Gilligans. Nickelodeon throws together two of its most popular clans for a sweet but immature film about what would happen if the Rugrats met up with the Wild Thornberrys.

After their boat sinks in a storm, the Rugrats find themselves on a desert island. The adults believe they are stranded and panic, but little Tommy believes his TV adventure hero, Nigel "Strawberry" (Thornberry) will save them. In an alarming turn, the group of babies wander off into the "drainforest" to look for "Strawberry". Of course everything is fine and happy so long as everyone sings a happy song from the soundtrack. Bratty Angelica meets teen queen Debbie Thornberry and is immediately and predictably enthralled. But, the most well-written and entertaining scene in the film occurs between Spike the dog (voiced by Bruce Willis) and Eliza Thornberry.

Fans of the more mature Thornberrys will likely be disappointed as the Rugrats dominate this film. In an inexplicable plot turn, Nigel Thornberry is rendered into a toddler-like mental state which provides great humor for three-year-olds but deprives the adult audience of his grown-up humor. In fact, the film is almost completely devoid of moments which will entertain adults. Aside from a few spoofs of ocean-themed movies such as Titanic and A Perfect Storm, there isn't much for the 10+ demographic.

Besides a lack of adult-oriented humor, there was something else missing from the movie : a moral or message. The movie is filled with examples kid-behaving-badly : wandering away into the jungle, eating bugs, stealing an underwater pod, driving with your eyes closed, etc. Oh well, it kept the kiddies entertained throughout. There's even a fun interactive element where kids can watch for a number or an image to appear on-screen and then sniff a corresponding number / image on a card (obtained from Burger King) for "Smell-o-Vision". Heck, maybe they'll grow up and want to smell another film and John Waters' Polyester will finally see a revival.

All in all, Rugrats Go Wild is a mixed bag. The film is completely innocuous and devoid of any dramatic tension whatsoever which makes the film perfect for very small children who might be too young for Finding Nemo. On the other hand, the film has no nutritional value and lacks the magic-for-all-ages that Disney / Pixar does so well.

Megan A. Denny

 

Tampa Tribune review from Jeff Houck gives a film a B- :

TV Tots Mix It Up With The Thornberrys In Rugrats

An hour into "Rugrats Go Wild" the character Susie Carmichael realizes that what she once believed to be true is all wrong.

A member of the "Rugrats" cartoon bunch, Susie discovers that the rugged adventurer Nigel Thornberry (of "The Wild Thornberrys" fame), who she watches rumble through jungles on TV, might not be such a wildlife authority after all.

"Maybe TV people are only good at doing stuffs on TV", she muses dejectedly. (That's right, we're watching a Nickelodeon cartoon character be disappointed by a Nickelodeon cartoon character while both are in a Nickelodeon movie. And people say "The Matrix" is complex.)

Susie's line could just as easily apply to this movie, since the characters lend themselves better to half-hour TV doses than to full-length films. And when you consider that there are 22 characters in the film after both shows' casts are combined, even 85 minutes aren't enough to give each one decent screen time.

Still, this is a cute, entertaining movie that improves on the formula used in "The Rugrats Movie", "Rugrats in Paris" and "The Wild Thornberrys Movie".

It might seem to be a new premise to merge two animated casts, but "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" employed the gimmick 15 years ago with Disney and Warner Brothers characters. And even before that, the Scooby Doo gang frolicked with the Saturday morning cartoon version of The Harlem Globetrotters.

Still, it's fun to see Rugrats Chucky meet his jabbering Thornberry alter-ego Donnie in a scene that mimics the classic Lucy and Harpo shadow act from "I Love Lucy". Bratty and spoiled Angelica Pickles matches up well with snotty teen Debbie Thornberry.

And it's fun to hear the voice of Bruce Willis come out of the "Rugrats" dog, Spike. It's one of the few performances that stands out among the 22 characters in the film.

There are lots of jokes for adults... everything from "Titanic" to "Gilligan's Island" and "The Poseidon Adventure" gets a poke in the ribs. And the obligatory pop songs wedged into the film's soundtrack (Willis does a nice job with Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life") aren't nearly as annoying as those in past "Rugrats" films.

If the movie is successful, who knows where it could lead. Maybe next time Nick execs will get really creative and match "The Ren & Stimpy Show" with "CatDog."

 

Megan Lehmann in the New York Post gives this film 2.5 stars :

Booger King

The Rugrats clan continues its fixation with boogers, bird poo and smelly diapers -- and, thanks to scratch-and-sniff cards that accompany "Rugrats Go Wild", pint-sized fans can join in the olfactory obsession.

Smell-O-Vision didn't work when John Waters tried it on 1981's "Polyester" -- but at least it was funny.

A theater of 3- and 4-year olds grappling (loudly) with the concept of scratching a certain icon when a certain number flashes on the screen is surely a parent's worst nightmare.

Beyond the ill-conceived odorama gimmick, the new "Rugrats" movie, originally called "The Rugrats Meet the Wild Thornberrys" until marketing honchos realized the former Nickelodeon franchise was a bigger selling point -- is harmless, if slightly hyperactive, fun.

Crammed with energetic action and sprinkled with welcome absurdist touches, it often approaches a mild, kiddie version of a gross-out comedy (Babies mooning adults ! Eating boogers ! Munching bugs !).

Despite the welcome inclusion of a few adult-friendly references -- "Titanic", "The Lord Of The Flies" and "The Poseidon Adventure" -- "Rugrats Go Wild"... collapses into an overly-frantic jumble toward the end.

But the animation is attractive, and there are some catchy musical numbers, particularly a canine vs. feline duet between Willis and Hynde.

 

From Claudia Puig, USA TODAY (Via Yahoo! News) :

Rugrats-meet-Thornberrys is not a wildly bright idea

It seemed a clever enough idea : Bring together two of the most popular and long-lasting Nickelodeon cartoons into one summer movie. Too bad the result is rather lackluster.

In Rugrats Go Wild, vacationing Tommy, Chuckie, Angelica, their assorted baby pals and accompanying parents meet up with the Thornberry family. It just so happens that Tommy Pickles' hero is wildlife explorer Nigel Thornberry. And spoiled, bossy Angelica meets her match in the teenage tyrant Debbie Thornberry.

The precocious Rugrats and their parental units think they're going on a cruise, but their experience at sea proves worse than Gilligan's three-hour tour when they are shipwrecked on a Polynesian island. Seemingly uninhabited, it is the temporary home of the adventurous Thornberrys, who are tracking an elusive white leopard. The big cat is voiced by Chrissie Hynde (news), of Pretenders fame, who also sings a duet with co-star Bruce Willis (news), who is the voice of the Rugrats' lovable dog, Spike.

The movie kicks off with a chase sequence for the younger set. The toddlers' mangling of words -- they're castaways on a ''dogforsaken'' island -- is sometimes adorable, as is their use of adult phrases in childish contexts. And by the movie's conclusion, Tommy emerges heroic and rises above his station as ''a backyard explorer with a diaper full of dreams.''

The movie also offers an additional gimmick : odorama, a scratch-and-sniff experience using cards provided at the theater. But some of the smells are not scented as specifically as advertised, so it seems a wasted effort. Very young fans of the two TV shows should be entertained by the meeting of the characters. And the overall message is worthwhile, if obvious. Workaholism : bad. Family time : good. But one can't get over the sense that Viacom, parent company of Nickelodeon and Paramount, was trying to squeeze a few more dollars out of the franchises.

Last year's The Wild Thornberrys Movie and previous Rugrats films were more imaginative. And this one also suffers by coming on the heels of the exceptional Finding Nemo.

 

From Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer :

Rugrats go 'Wild' in search of adventure
Fans won't mind the confusion as two popular Nickelodeon families unite.

It was perhaps inevitable that the characters from the popular Nickelodeon TV series "The Rugrats" and "The Wild Thornberrys" and their respective feature films would meet on the big screen. The result, "Rugrats Go Wild," is ideal for family audiences familiar with the combined characters that densely populate this adventure.

For the uninitiated, the Rugrats are the world's most precocious babies. They're actually perfectly normal kids; it's just that they speak and move and reason at a breathtakingly early age. The Thornberrys, Nigel (Tim Curry) and Marianne (Jodi Carlisle), are a modern-day Martin and Osa Johnson, intrepid and confident globe-trotting explorer-naturalists with a popular TV program. They travel everywhere with their two daughters, Debbie (Danielle Harris), an amusingly archetypal self-absorbed teenager, and Eliza (Lacey Chabert), a bespectacled 12-year-old who can talk with animals.

Writer Kate Boutilier makes tiny Rugrat Tommy Pickles (E.G. Daily) a big admirer of Sir Nigel, imagining himself in his backyard exploring jungles. As it happens Tommy's father, Stu (Jack Riley), arranges a cruise for the families of the Rugrats, but mishaps land the entire party on a seemingly deserted tropical island, where Tommy et al. have no lack of adventures.

"Rugrats Go Wild" has the distinctive look of Klasky Csupo animation, with the backgrounds a series of richly hued, elegantly stylized illustration, a good foil to the more simply drawn, affectionately caricatured people and animals. The film, like the TV series scored by Mark Mothersbaugh, has a clutch of witty songs, and "Rugrats Go Wild" is chock-full of references to other TV shows and movies.

Some characters are more vivid than others. The imperious Charlotte Pickles (Tress MacNeille) is transformed by unexpected adventure, and bossy Rugrat Angelica (Cheryl Chase) discovers herself in the full-of-attitude Debbie. Eliza, the star of "The Wild Thornberrys Movie" is on the sidelines here, yet her mother, Marianne, once again gets a chance to demonstrate her endless resourcefulness in crisis. Curry's plummy accent underlines Sir Nigel's sweet obtuseness. On the anthropomorphic side are the alert and heroic dog Spike (Bruce Willis) and the leopard Siri (Chrissie Hynde).

Directors Norton Virgien's and John Eng's pacing is brisk, and voice director Charlie Adler elicits highly expressive performances, crucial in voicing animated characters, from his large cast. The number of characters makes "Rugrats Go Wild" somewhat bulkier than its less complicated predecessors, but fans are not likely to mind.

 

From Nancy Churnin, Dallas Morning News :

'Rugrats' dull, but may still be charming to young ones

Stick a fork in the "Rugrats" movie franchise. It's done.

It's not easy following "Finding Nemo" -- the latest and greatest Pixar sensation -- but that's not the only problem dogging the animated "Rugrats Go Wild," a shrill imitation of the "Rugrats" of yore.

How derivative is it ? Let me count the ways. It follows in the little footsteps of the charming "The Rugrats Movie", the somewhat less charming "Rugrats in Paris" and the overly earnest "The Wild Thornberrys Movie" (the big-screen adaptation of the other Klasky/Csupo television series).

Now "Rugrats Go Wild" (as in "Wild Thornberrys" -- get it ?) throws off a high-concept stink that's smellier than any of Tommy's diapers. The Rugrats get marooned on a desert island, which just happens to be where the Thornberrys, a family of nature adventurers, are seeking a clouded leopard for their latest documentary.

As one coincidence begets another, the Rugrats' fearful Chuckie (Nancy Cartwright) gets mistaken for the Thornberrys' wild-child Donnie (Michael Balzary, aka Flea). A knock on the head makes Nigel Thornberry (Tim Curry) think he's one of the Rugrats. And the Rugrats' bossy Angelica (Cheryl Chase) finds a new role model in the Thornberrys' bossy Debbie (Danielle Harris).

Meanwhile Tommy (E.G. Daily) and his father, Stu (Jack Riley), take heat from their respective peer groups for their adventurous spirit. Ultimately -- surprise ! --they are redeemed. It's a far cry from the Rugrats' earlier, more touching films, in which Tommy had to get used to a new baby brother and Chuckie learned to love a new mother.

But while parents and older children may sigh, younger children should chortle once again at the generous flashing of bare baby behinds and bountiful booger jokes.

The "Titanic" and "Gilligan's Island" references may go over their heads, but the jungle scenes are pretty. It's cool when Spike, the Rugrats dog, finally gets to speak -- because Eliza Thornberry (Lacey Chabert) understands what animals say. And cooler still when he speaks with the voice of Bruce Willis.

The kids will probably like the Odorama cards, available at Blockbuster and Burger King -- so go prepared. You watch for each of six numbers to flash on the corner of the screen, and then you scratch and sniff a variety of smells that correspond to the action, including peanut butter, root beer and smelly feet.

Hey, it's a gimmick. But at this point in the "Rugrats" journey, gimmicks are the main remaining attraction.

 

From Kathy Cano Murillo, Louisville Courier-Journal

Rugrats Go Wild
Familiarity breeds contentment in Rugrats romp

There are some things that will never go out of style. "The Rugrats" is one of them.

Even if your former toddlers have outgrown the pint-size cartoon tots, chances are they (and you) will still get a grin out of the diaper gang's latest big-screen adventure, -"Rug-rats Go Wild !"

Tommy, Chuckie, Angelica, Phil and Lil kick off the summer flick in high action with an imaginative jungle safari topped with a snarling "crocogator".

But the real trouble follows when the entire Pickles family sets off on a fancy cruise vacation and winds up lost at sea in a tiny, capsized boat.

It sounds serious, but in true Rugrats style, the quest features plenty of inside jokes for adults (campy tributes to "The Poseidon Adventure" and "Titanic") and giggles for kids.

The crew winds up on a deserted island that happens to be visited by Nickelodeon's other 'toon franchise, "The Wild Thornberrys". The two oddball clans hook up into teams : the bratty Angelica (voiced by Cheryl Chase) unites with navel-gazing teen Debbie (voiced by Danielle Harris), while Chuckie (Nancy Cartwright) and wild boy Donnie (Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers) complicate each other's lives.

The gold bone goes to Spike the Dog (Bruce Willis), who, thanks to Eliza Thornberry's (Lacey Chabert's) ability to talk to animals, is able to show off his charming personality. And that's only halfway through the movie -- there are plenty of other goofy treats to enjoy.

One of the film's gimmicks is its "Odorama" feature. Those who bring in their scratch-and-sniff cards (available at Burger King) are treated to various aromas ranging from stinky feet to flowers. The scents are hit-and-miss; some smell strong, while others are quite weak.

At only 81 minutes, "Rugrats Go Wild !" plays more like an extended Nickelodeon special than a theatrical feature. Aside from its clever premise, it doesn't offer much more than what we've seen on TV. Still, for the kids, it's fast and fun.

 

By Glenn Whipp, Redlands Daily Facts

Thornberrys go well with Rugrats

There's a whiff of desperation in the idea of sandwiching Nickelodeon's two franchises -- "Rugrats' and "The Wild Thornberrys' -- into one feature film, but why complain ? The combination seems to have inspired the Klasky Csupo gang to reach new comedic heights with "Rugrats Go Wild', a movie sure to please the series' fans as well as any new initiates who happen to wander in looking for some solid family entertainment.

What's so enjoyable about the movie is the way the filmmakers -- we'll give the lion's share of the credit to writer Kate Boutilier, a veteran of both "Rugrats' and "Thornberrys' features -- explore obvious connections between the two series. Bratty little Angelica and spoiled Debbie Thornberry are natural soul mates -- and who hasn't wondered what would happen if Eliza Thornberry, the girl who can talk to the animals, hooked up with the Pickles family dog, Spike ?

The movie's premise has the "Rugrats' characters chartering a boat for a high seas cruise and, a la "Gilligan's Island', getting shipwrecked on a remote island that just happens to be where the Thornberrys are embarking on their latest adventure. There are jokes for every age group: bodily functions, bug-eating and people getting conked on the head for kids, and sly references to "Titanic', "Jaws', "Cast Away', "The Perfect Storm' and "The Poseidon Adventure' for grown-ups. (Angelica singing "The Morning After' is a particularly inspired number.)

There is a bit of peril on the island, courtesy of a leopard (voiced by Chrissie Hynde) that the Thornberrys are tracking and who, in turn, is looking to snack on the "Rugrats' kids. When Spike (Bruce Willis in a great vocal turn) meets the wild animal, he's naturally dismissive -- it is just a cat, after all. This sets up a funny duet featuring Hynde and Willis that fills its three-minute running time with more clever lines than the dreadful "Cats & Dogs' managed in 90 minutes. I'd love to see Willis and Hynde on stage at next year's Oscars.

Of course, thanks to Mark Mothersbaugh, music has always been a strong suit of the "Rugrats' movies. The latest is no exception, with several fine original songs by Mothersbaugh and others, as well as classics like "Should I Stay or Should I Go' that are put to good use. Willis even turns up on the closing credits, barking out a credible version of Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life.' Like the movie, it's a pleasant surprise.

 

By Jennie Punter, The Globe and Mail

Survivor for the diapered set

Two tribes find themselves on a deserted jungle island where they must face their deepest fears, form alli­ances and respond to a series of death-defying challenges in Ru­grats Go Wild, or, as I like to call it, Survivor : Lost in Diapers.

The two "tribes" are Rugrats and the Wild Thornberrys, both of which are award-winning, ani­mated, kids' TV shows from Klasky Csupo studios (the original animators of The Simpsons). The Rugrats, about a group of toddlers and their parents, are big-screen veterans with two previous movies to their credit (Rugrats and Ru­grats in Paris). The Wild Thornberrys, a family unit (the parents produce a show about wild life, one daughter talks to animals, the other is a petulant teen and the son has "gone native"), made their big-screen debut last fall.

The premise of how these two worlds happen to collide is sound enough. Stu Pickles, the father of Rugrats ringleader Tommy Pickles (E. G. Daily), plans a summer vacation for all the Rugrats families, plus an extra kid and the dog, Spike. Instead of the luxurious cruise they are all expecting, Stu has rented a tugboat and, with comic reference to Gilligan's Island, the tiny vessel is tossed. Adrift on an inflatable raft, they spot what appears to be a deserted island.

Unbeknownst to the Rugrats, the Thornberrys have set up camp on the other side of the mountain. Adventurer Nigel Thornberry (the plummy British voice of Tim Curry) and his wife are trying to get footage of the rare white leop­ard, while their offspring cool their heels at their home on wheels, a large RV that comes equipped with an underwater bathosphere.

The plot is essentially a massive lost-and-found exercise, with dan­ger lurking around every corner. Unlike the popular reality-TV show Survivor, nobody gets voted off the island. So although the "tribes" splinter into smaller groups, the multiple search-and-rescue storylines make Rugrats Go Wild a jumble in the jungle.

That being said, this is an lutely dazzling work of animation. Klasky Csupo movies have a dis­tinct and wild vibrancy in colour, detail and motion that is engaging to watch. And while the diapered set and their word-twisting babytalk can get tedious for the older viewer, the filmmakers always make sure to include some­thing for the grownups. They poke fun at adult obsessions (one mom almost falls overboard trying to re­trieve her cellphone) and include comic nods to movie and TV lore.

But the main nudge-nudge, wink-wink to the grownup viewers are the celebrity voices: Tim Curry (Rocky Horror Picture Show), whose Nigel Thornberry gets bonked on the head by a fallen coconut and reverts to toddler-like behaviour; and Bruce Willis, who gives voice to the Pickles family dog, Spike, and even gets his own song (a duet with Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde, who plays the white leopard).

The only disturbing thing, at least to parents who are teaching their children about caring for the environment, is the carnage to the natural wonders of the island. Part of a coral reef gets knocked out by the bathosphere run amok.

Rugrats Go Wild is perhaps too wildly ambitious in its goal to unite two powerful TV tribes to serve a common goal, but its unsentimental music (hip songs by Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh) and visual delights will capture the imagination of young and old.

 

By Liz Braun, The Toronto Sun :

Rugrats : safe family bet

Teamed with the Thornberrys, the animated characters seem better suited for television than a full-length movie.

While familiarity really does breed contempt, it's tough to get too much of the Rugrats. Rugrats Go Wild is the long-awaited feature in which the tiny tots meet their Wild Thornberry counterparts -- and all of them animated characters -- from the Klasky-Csupo stable.

Die-hard adult fans of both television shows are not happy about this big-screen union, but that's another story.

The Rugrats Go Wild story -- which is a bit light -- goes like this : The babies of the Rugrats are all set for an ocean cruise. But after a storm at sea, Tommy, Chuckie, Lil and Phil, Angelica and all the kids and their parents (and Spike the dog) wash up on a deserted island.

As it happens, the island is not that deserted. On the other side of it, the exploring Thornberry family has set up camp. It has long been Tommy Pickles' dream to meet his TV hero, Sir Nigel Thornberry. And it happens.

What it takes for the two families to finally meet up is the centre of Rugrats Go Wild and also, alas, the film's weakest feature. When the complications that make for fun, half-hour TV episodes get stretched to feature length, it just makes everyone cranky.

The songs and the typical Rugrats jokes (infant bodily function humour and typical childhood malapropisms) sound a bit tired in this go-'round; on their side, the Thornberrys are mostly an afterthought, almost a gimmick.

Sir Nigel waxes wise. Debbie, the teenage princess Thornberry daughter, acts like a teenage princess. The high point of the two family meeting is the chance to hear Spike the dog speak.

(The middle Thornberry child, Eliza, has the ability to understand animals, and that allows the audience to hear Spike the dog -- a chatty, funny animal voiced by Bruce Willis. This performance just could be Willis's best feature work ever.)

And, also courtesy of Eliza's powers, we hear from a wild cat, voiced by Chrissie Hynde.

The film is a bit flat. A lot of the material seems stale, and as if to offset that, the animated action is hyper.

Still, if your kids love the Rugrats and the Wild Thornberrys, then Rugrats Go Wild is a safe family bet for you.

 

From Roger Ebert, for the Chicago Sun-Times :

RUGRATS GO WILD / **

The Rugrats meet the Thornberrys in "Rugrats Go Wild" a merger of the two popular Nickelodeon franchises that confirms our suspicion that Angelica Pickles can shout down anybody, even Debbie Thornberry. The movie has so much shouting, indeed so much noise in general, that I pity parents who will have to listen to it again and again and again after the DVD comes home and goes into an endless loop. The most persuasive argument for the animation of Hayao Miyazaki is that it's sometimes quiet and peaceful.

In the movie, the Pickles family goes on a cruise--not on the magnificent ocean liner that's pulling out just as they arrive at the dock, but on a leaky gut-bucket that soon runs into big trouble, as the movie sails into "Perfect Storm" territory with a wall of water that towers above them.

Marooned by the storm on a deserted island, they discover it isn't deserted when they stumble upon Debbie Thornberry sunning herself beside the family's luxury camper. Yes, the Wild Thornberrys are on the island to film a documentary, and Sir Nigel and family more or less rescue the Pickles family, not without many adventures. One intriguing development : Spike, the Pickles' dog, talks for the first time, thanks to the ability of little Eliza Thornberry to speak with animals. (Spike's voice is by Bruce Willis.)

I sat watching the movie and was at a loss for an entry point. Certainly this is not a film an adult would want to attend without a child; unlike "Finding Nemo", for example, it doesn't play on two levels, but just on one : shrill nonstop action. That doesn't mean it lacks humor and charm, just that it pitches itself on the level of the Nickelodeon show instead of trying to move it beyond the target audience.

That's what I think, anyway, but as an adult am I qualified to judge this film ? Not long ago I (and 80 percent of the other critics in America) disliked Eddie Murphy's "Daddy Day Care", only to be reprimanded by Al Neuharth, founder of USA Today, who wrote a column saying we critics were out of touch because he went with his children, ages 5-12, and they liked it.

I offered Mr. Neuharth a list of a dozen other films his kids would probably like infinitely more, and that also would perhaps challenge and enlighten them, instead of simply bludgeoning them with sitcom slapstick. But on the off chance he was right, I took my grandsons Emil, age 9, and Taylor, age 5, along with me to "Rugrats Go Wild !", and afterward asked them to rate it on a scale of one to 10.

They both put it at five. "Not as much fun as the TV show", said Emil. "Angelica didn't get to do as much funny stuff." What did they think about the Pickles family meeting the Thornberrys ? They were unmoved, not to say indifferent.

My own feeling is that the film is one more assault on the notion that young American audiences might be expected to enjoy films with at least some subtlety and depth and pacing and occasional quietness. The filmmakers apparently believe their audience suffers from ADD, and so they supply breakneck action and screaming sound volumes at all times. That younger viewers may have developed ADD from a diet of this manic behavior on television is probably a fruitful field for study.

Note : The movie is presented in "Odorama". At most screenings, including the one I attended, audience members are given scratch-'n-sniff cards with six scents, keyed to numbers that flash on the screen. We can smell strawberries, peanuts, tuna fish, etc. Scratching and sniffing, I determined that the root beer smells terrific, but the peanut butter has no discernible smell at all. The kids around me seemed pretty underwhelmed by this relic from the golden age of exploitation, which was last used by John Waters with his "Polyester" (1981).

 

By James Ward, Visalia Times-Delta :

'Rugrats' losing their charm as they get older

Reviewing a children's movie is always a tricky business. Do you try to guess if kids are going to like it ? Or do you write an honest appraisal of the film, recognizing that you're a few decades removed from the target audience.

That brings us to "Rugrats Go Wild", a film that merges two of Nickelodeon's most popular animated franchises : "The Rugrats" and "The Wild Thornberrys".

Will children like it ? Probably, if they are younger than 10 and easily amused. Is the movie good ? No, not really.

It's a shame, because the previous films inspired by the two series -- "Rugrats : The Movie", "Rugrats in Paris" and " The Wild Thornberrys Movie" -- were entertaining romps that combined top-notch animation, amusing action scenes and some clever material for parents who were dragged to theaters by their children.

Things get off to a promising start in "Rugrats Go Wild". The Pickle family -- along with family friends Chuckie, Angelica, Spike the Dog and other "Rugrats" regulars -- head off for an "adventure" vacation on a tugboat. Directors John Eng and Norton Virgien throw in some clever jokes poking fun at nautical-themed movies, including "The Poseidon Adventure" and "Titanic".

Unfortunately, they drop most of that comic energy when the whole bunch ends up on a tropical island, which just happens to be where the Thornberrys are filming their latest TV show.

The movie then sputters along with some lackluster musical numbers, unfunny jokes about diapers and a wasted turn by Bruce Willis as the voice of Spike. The movie star isn't given much to do here, making you wonder why the producers bothered putting such a big name in the production.

Only an encounter with a grumpy leopard brings some excitement to the proceedings, but that moment is fleeting.

The producers, probably sensing the lack of pizzazz in "Rugrats Go Wild", decided to spice things up by making the film interactive. Audience members are given a piece of scratch-and-sniff paper featuring the smells of strawberries, fish, peanut butter and feet, then instructed to release the smells at appropriate points in the film.

It's too bad they didn't come up with a better screenplay, because that stunt carries with it the distinct smell of desperation.

 

Laine Ewen, Premiere Magazine

Though animated films are still geared mostly toward children, movies like Pixar's recent hit Finding Nemo prove that animated films can attract audiences of all ages. Though Rugrats Go Wild ! is a fun flick for children who love Nickelodeon, it does not have the same sort of multigenerational appeal.

Rugrats Go Wild ! is based on characters from two popular Nickelodeon series, Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys. In the film, the crew of Rugrats babies and their parents head off for an adventure on the high seas. But when their dinky dinghy is pounded in a thunderstorm, the gang is washed up on what they believe to be a deserted island. What they don't know is that they are not, in fact, alone. The Thornberrys are on the island, too, including Sir Nigel Thornberry (Curry), a nature documentarian, and his youngest daughter Eliza (Chabert). Eliza has the power to speak to animals, including the Rugrats dog Spike. This is the audience's first chance to hear Spike speak. And look who's talking. Bruce Willis, once the voice of baby Mikey in, ahem, Look Who's Talking (parts one and two), lends his vocals to the Rugrats mutt.

Rugrats Go Wild ! has all the makings of a good children's movie. Kids love seeing their favorite television characters on the big screen (this is the third cinematic outing for Rugrats, and the second for Thornberrys), and a crossover between these programs should be especially appealing. Kids will probably love the incessant scatological humor, as well. And, as the cherry on top of the icing on top of the 'toon cake, the movie even comes with scratch-and-sniff tickets with scents that correspond to the smells in the movie. Parents, however, might not be quite so enthusiastic. There is a distinct effort made to cater to parents, with occasional nods to movies like Titanic and From Here to Eternity. And the filmmakers did cast the adult-friendly Willis. But while the attempts to appease the parents are valiant, they are a bit forced and half-hearted.

Television-loving children will scream for Rugrats Go Wild !, and in this case, their parents can go ahead and let them—they won't be missing much.

[Rating - 2 stars]

 

David Elliott, San Diego Union-Tribune :

Rugrats, Thornberrys share the blame

In today’s Hollywood system, synergy has more to do with energy than creativity. A textbook illustration is “Rugrats Go Wild”. It’s a synergistic cocktail, bringing together cartoon figures from two big Nickelodeon TV shows, “Rugrats” and “The Wild Thornberrys”, for a string of gags without a plot.

UNLESS, AS PLOT, you call being stranded on a desert island that isn’t really deserted an “adventure”.
So, teen attitude princess Debbie Thornberry gets to trade zings and pings with senior Rugrats attitude princess Angelica Pickles.
Both Sir Nigel Thornberry (voice : Tim Curry) and Drew Pickles (Michael Bell) make adult fools of themselves (adults are necessary fools, like Shakespearean clowns).
Cute dog Spike (voice of Bruce Willis), “spreading his fleas on an unsuspecting world”, wanders the isle with youngsters.
They meet animals, share wee-wee and poopie moments, occasionally break into songs so forgettable you might think you have a sudden memory disorder.

SMALL MOVIE
The peppy and very practiced contrivers are big on derivation, “inside” riffs on “Titanic”, “The Perfect Storm”, “Cast Away”, “Taxi Driver”.

Lord help the viewers under 50 — that’s nearly everyone — who don’t get the bizarre twist on a once famous line from “Tea and Sympathy”, Deborah Kerr’s “Years from now, when you talk about this — and you will — be kind”.
Must we be kind ? This TV promo gizmo and baby sitter is an awfully small movie, though a Nickelodeon release boasts of $100 million in tie-ins and lists nine major companies.

 

http://www.screenit.com/movies/2003/rugrats_go_wild.html

 

Rick Eskil, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin :

NOW PLAYING : `Rugrats Go Wild' fun for kids, even without the odors

By Rick Eskil of the Union-Bulletin

Rugrats Go Wild didn't stink. Unfortunately, it was supposed to - stink, that is.

I had heard the marketing geniuses at Nickelodeon are presenting the third Rugrats film in Odorama. I, however, didn't smell a thing.

About 20 minutes into the film I went to the lobby to ask a couple of the theater employees about the lack of smell.

``Smell ?' they said with look that might indicate these guys just had smelled something bad or, perhaps, they thought I was just gaslighting them. No, they said, still perplexed, they knew nothing about Odorama.

Hmmn, perhaps it is something that can only be done at certain theaters. How ? I still had no clue. So, back to the film I went - slightly disappointed.

It wasn't hard to get back into the movie because the plot isn't all that complicated - unless, of course, you have never seen Nickelodeon's ``Rugrats' and ``Wild Thornberrys' cartoon series. Knowledge of those shows is critical to enjoying this movie.

In Rugrats Go Wild, Tommy, Chuckie and all of the other babies and their families head out for a vacation planned by Tommy's dad, Stu Pickles - a genius when it comes to inventing toys but a goofball when it comes to just about everything else. The vacation aboard a tiny ship is a mess. A storm hits, the ship sinks and the Rugrats and their parents end up on a deserted island.

Well, not as deserted as they first think. Nigel Thornberry (voiced by Tim Curry) and his family are there shooting a television series about nature.

The Rugrats and Thornberrys end up getting together, much like the castaways on ``Gilligan's Island' used to get together with the guest stars who popped up on the island each week. Adventure follows miscommunication that follows adventure. It never stops.

And that non-stop action, peppered with the usual Rugrats gags plus a few new twists (such as Spike the dog talking through the voice of Bruce Willis), kept the kids attention.

My son, Adam, and his friend, Addily Dyer - both 7 - had their eyes glued to the screen. They laughed at all the jokes, particularly Spike's bodily function quips.

I thought the film was OK. It wasn't as good, cute or clever as The Rugrats Movie, Rugrats in Paris or even The Wild Thornberrys Movie.

Still, the two kids liked it. And they didn't seem to care about the lack of Odorama.

I, however, regretted not having an opportunity to give it a whiff.

So, as we were walking out of the theater, the kids were chattering about the various parts of the film they liked.

``Too bad we couldn't smell the movie,' I said.

``That's because we didn't get the scratch-and-sniff card,' Adam said matter-of-factly.

``Card ?' I said.

``You can get them at Blockbuster,' Adam said.

``How did you know this ?'

``I saw it on the commercials,' Adam said with a tone indicating I was clearly out of touch.

I was. I don't spend much time watching Nickelodeon. Apparently the theater staff is also out of touch.

Adam - his finger on the pulse of popular culture - was right. Scratch-and-sniff cards are available for free at Walla Walla's Blockbuster stores and also Burger King.

Why didn't Adam tell me sooner ? Simple - I didn't ask.

I'm not sure Odorama would have made the movie-going experience any better for me. The smells apparently range from pleasant (root beer) to gross (feet and sardines).

But I know it wouldn't have meant much to Adam and Addily. They were so focused on the movie that they wouldn't have taken the time to scratch or sniff.

Rugrats Go Wild is solid kiddie entertainment with or without Odorama.

 

From ajc.com :

Movie marketing scheme has unhealthy air about it

It was my turn to sit through another "kiddie film" with my 4-year-old daughter. My wife endured "The Lizzie McGuire Movie" on her last turn. The taking turns ritual is a fairness rule that my wife and I have been engaging in for quite some time. On one visit to the theater, she takes our daughter to her choice of movie and I get to see my pick. The following time, we flip-flop.

My latest turn was an animated feature. " 'Rugrats Go Wild' on June 13 at a theater near you !" my offspring repeated like a parrot from the television trailers. "Take me ! Daddy."

Because "Rugrats Go Wild" is not that far below most of the mindless adult fare in current release, why not check it out and entertain my 'rugrat' ?

While "Rugrats Go Wild" is filled with cheap animation, bathroom humor and a corny storyline, there are good one-liners for the adults, great pop music by bands such as Aerosmith and recognizable voices from the likes of Bruce Willis. In other words, parents can easily digest this.

What isn't digestible is the ultimate commercial tie-in, of which I was ignorant and my daughter was fully informed. Every now and then, a number appeared in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. After the feature, I inquired.

"What were the numbers ?" I asked her.

"Every time you see a number, you scratch and sniff the same number on your card", she replied in a hurried, excited voice.

"What card ?" I doltishly asked.

"You have to get the card at Burger King, Daddy", she said. "Silly !"

"D'oh !" I replied. "You know, that's Smellovision".

"No Daddy, that's Odorama !" my daughter corrected. "I heard about that on Nickelodeon".

My first impression was that this is a lame attempt at reviving Smellovision. It made about as much sense as the new aquarium coming to town, which seems like a wonderful idea at first, but quickly becomes tired.

This movie's fast-food campaign seems to have a rather sinister side : encouraging children to go to a fast-food joint that serves up fattening meals that contribute to diabetes. As studies show that our nation's children are fatter and lazier than ever, this commercial tie-in takes this epidemic to a whole new level.

What should we do ? This is a free country, and it is the filmmaker's, studio's and Burger King's right to create this advertising campaign. We need not sue these corporations because their products make us fat or their hot coffee burns our laps. That is irresponsible.

We need not ask the government to create laws to ban this type of advertising. That would be unconstitutional on its face. As consumers, we need to be cognizant of the correlation between the products that large corporations are willing to sell us and how it affects our health and lifestyles. Education is the answer, not litigation and more laws.

The only role the government ought to have in this debate is through positive leadership. Gov. Sonny Perdue's fitness challenge is a great example of how an elected official can inspire the electorate to better health.

So, it is OK to take your rugrats to see "Rugrats Go Wild." It is OK to take them to Burger King once in a while and, I hope, enjoy the healthier offerings. Most of all, make sure that they get plenty of exercise and spend fewer hours in front of the television.

Consumers do not have to be captives of the advertising industry and corporations. We should realize that our actions influence their products. It is a two-way street.

 

Merci NickDisk !