Rugrats

American children's television series

Rugrats is an American animated television series created by Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó, and Paul Germain for Nickelodeon. The show focuses on a group of toddlers most prominently—Tommy, Chuckie, twins Phil and Lil, and Angelica—and their day-to-day lives, usually involving life experiences that become much greater adventures in the imaginations of the main characters.

Rugrats
The word "Rugrats" and two small underlines in dark blue written in a child's handwriting, with red, yellow and green dots, a white background and a jagged yellow border.
Genre
Created by
Voices of
Theme music composerMark Mothersbaugh
Opening theme"Rugrats Theme"
Composer(s)
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons9
No. of episodes172 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Arlene Klasky
  • Gábor Csupó
  • Vanessa Coffey (seasons 1-3)
  • Paul Germain (seasons 1-3)
  • Mary Harrington (seasons 1-5)
Producer(s)
Editor(s)
  • Karl Garabedian
  • John Bryant
Running time23 minutes
Production company(s)
Release
Original networkNickelodeon
Picture formatNTSC
Audio formatSurround
Original releaseAugust 11, 1991 (1991-08-11) –
August 1, 2004 (2004-08-01)[1][2]
Chronology
Followed byAll Grown Up!
Related showsRugrats Pre-School Daze

The series premiered on August 11, 1991, as the second Nicktoon—after Doug and before The Ren & Stimpy Show. 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" and "A Rugrats Chanukah", two 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 on Nickelodeon.

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, which introduced Tommy's younger brother Dil Pickles, was released in 1998; Rugrats in Paris: The Movie, which introduced Kimi, Kira, and Fifi, was released in 2000; and Rugrats Go Wild, a crossover film with another Klasky Csupo series, The Wild Thornberrys, 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 as one of the eighth-longest-running American animated television series. The show is Nickelodeon's third longest-running animated series, behind SpongeBob SquarePants and The Fairly OddParents. It is one of the longest running animated series of all time.

On July 21, 2001, Nickelodeon broadcast the made-for-TV special "All Growed Up" to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the series premiere. The special was a pilot for the Rugrats sequel series All Grown Up!, 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 specials were released in 2005 and 2006 under the title Rugrats: Tales from the Crib. Tie-in media for the series include video games, comics, toys, and various other merchandise.

Rugrats gained over 20 awards during its 13-year run, including four Daytime Emmy Awards, six Kids' Choice Awards, and its own star on the 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 aired its 173rd episode in 2012.

A reboot of the series executive produced by the original creative team of Klasky, Csupó and Germain premiered on Paramount+ on May 27, 2021.

CharactersEdit

The series focuses on the experiences of a courageous, adventurous one-year-old baby named Tommy Pickles and his group of playmates – several other infants 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 earthworms; Tommy's baby brother Dil (who was born in The Rugrats Movie); Angelica, 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 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 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, 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.

Broadcast historyEdit

MoviesEdit

  1. The Rugrats Movie - Friday, November 20, 1998
  2. Rugrats in Paris: The Movie - Friday, November 17, 2000
  3. Rugrats Go Wild - Friday, June 13, 2003

Spin-offsEdit

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Association Award Category Nominee Result
1992 Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Program Won
1993 Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Children's Program Won
1994 CableAce Animated Programming Special or Series Won
Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Children's Program Won
1995 Annie Award Best Individual Achievement for Writing in the Field of Animation 'A Rugrats Passover' Nominated
Humanitas Prize Children's Animation Category 'I Remember Melville' Nominated
CableAce Animated Programming Special or Series Nominated
1996 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Cartoon Won
1997 Emmy Award Outstanding Children's Program Nominated
Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Cartoon Won
Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a Voiceover Charity Sanoy for Dust Bunnies/Educating Angelica Nominated
CableAce Best Writing In A Children's Special Or Series Episode 'Mother's Day' Won
1998 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Cartoon Won[3]
Humanitas Prize Children's Animation Category Episode: Mothers Day Special Nominated
1999 Emmy Award Outstanding Children's Program Nominated
Genesis Award Television - Children's Programming 'The Turkey That Came to Dinner' Won
Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Cartoon Won[4]
Humanitas Prize Children's Animation Category Episode 'Autumn Leaves' Won
TV Guide Award Favorite Children's Show Nominated
World Animation Celebration Best Director of Animation for a Daytime Series Episode 'Naked Tommy' Won
Kids Choice Awards Favorite Movie Won
Cable Guide Favorite Cartoon Nominated
2000 Artios Award Best Casting for Animated Voice Over - Television Nominated
Kid's Choice Awards Favorite Cartoon Won
Emmy Award Outstanding Children's Program Nominated
TV Guide Award Favorite Children's Show Won
2001 Artios Award Best Casting for Animated Voice Over - Television Nominated
Emmy Award Outstanding Children's Program Nominated
Star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame Television Won
Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Cartoon Won
Television Critics Association Awards Outstanding Achievement in Children's Programming Nominated
Jewish Image Awards Outstanding Achievement Won
2002 Artios Award Best Casting for Animated Voice Over - Television 'Cynthia Comes Alive' Nominated
Emmy Award Outstanding Children's Program Special: All Growed Up Nominated
Kid's Choice Awards Favorite Cartoon Nominated
BMI Cable Award Won
2003 Artios Award Best Casting for Animated Voice Over - Television 'Babies in Toyland' Nominated
Kid's Choice Awards Favorite Cartoon Nominated
Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Children's Program Won
BMI Cable Award Won
2004 Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Children's Program Nominated

ReferencesEdit

  1. Swartz, Mimi (November 30, 1999). "You Dumb Babies". The New Yorker. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
  2. "Watch Rugrats Episodes : Season 9". TVGuide.com. August 18, 2017. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
  3. "'Rugrats,' 'All That' Win Kids' Awards". LA Times. 1999-05-03. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
  4. "Rugrats, 'All That' Win Kids' Awards". The Los Angeles Times. 1999-05-03. Retrieved 2010-11-10.

External linksEdit