Rugrats

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

Rugrats is an American animated children's 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 common life experiences that become adventures in the babies' imaginations.[3][4]

The series premiered on Sunday, August 11, 1991, as the second Nicktoon after Doug. Production was initially halted in 1993 after 65 episodes, 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, well 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 airing in 1997. As a result of the show's popularity, a series of theatrical films were released; The Rugrats Movie, which introduced Tommy's younger brother Dil, was released in 1998, Rugrats in Paris: The Movie, which introduced Kimi, Kira and Fifi, released in 2000, and Rugrats Go Wild, a crossover film with fellow Klasky Csupo series The Wild Thornberrys, released in 2003. The final episode aired on August 1, 2004,[5] bringing the series to a total of 172 episodes and nine seasons during a 13-year run, tying Rugrats with King of the Hill, American Dad!, Robot Chicken and Squidbillies as the eighth longest-running American animated television series.

On July 21, 2001, Nickelodeon broadcast the made-for-TV special "All Growed Up" in celebration of the series' 10th anniversary. The special acted as a pilot for the Rugrats spin-off series All Grown Up!, which chronicles the lives of the babies and their parents after aging 10 years. Another spin-off series, Rugrats Pre-School Daze, was considered, but only four episodes were produced. 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 4 Daytime Emmy Awards, 6 Kids' Choice Awards, and its own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The series garnered high ratings on Nickelodeon and was the network's top-rated show from 1995 to 2001. It was Nickelodeon's longest-running cartoon for 8 years until 2012, when SpongeBob SquarePants aired its 173rd episode. It is now Nickelodeon's second longest running animated series, behind SpongeBob SquarePants.

On July 16, 2018, it was announced that Nickelodeon had given a series order to a 26-episode revival of the series, executive produced by Klasky, Csupó, and Germain. Additionally, it was further announced that Paramount Pictures had greenlit a live-action/CGI hybrid feature film and that it was scheduled for a November 13, 2020 release date.

Synopsis

Characters

Rugrats sports a vast array of secondary and tertiary characters.

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 three-year-old outrageously spoiled, selfish 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); 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 restraints such 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, 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, mild-mannered father, a widower who later remarries; Kira, Chuckie's sweet-natured, kind, and understanding stepmother whom Chas marries in Rugrats in Paris; Drew Pickles, Angelica's indulgent, 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 are 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, 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, who has played important roles in some episodes, and Angelica's pet cat Fluffy.

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's 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 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.

Setting

Tommy's house, the primary setting of Rugrats

Many of the adventures the babies find themselves in take place at Tommy's house; the parents usually rely on Didi, Stu, or Grandpa Lou to babysit the kids while they run errands. Their address is revealed on an invoice in "Tommy's First Birthday" (season one, 1991) as 1258 N. Highland, the original address of Klasky Csupo in Los Angeles.[6] However, a specific city or state is never mentioned in the show. Several indicators, such as a state flag at a post office, license plate designs on the vehicles, and various trips to the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, and the beach, place the characters somewhere in southern California.[7][8][9] The location is also hinted at during "Little Dude" (season one, 1991) when Didi, who is a teacher, takes Tommy to her class at Eucaipah High School, referencing the city of Yucaipa, California.[10] It has been implied that this ambiguity was done intentionally to help give the impression of seeing the world through the eyes of the babies, who wouldn't understand the concept of location. The DeVilles live next door to the Pickles and, early in the series, the Carmichaels move in across the street.[11][12]

Other Languages
العربية: راجراتس
asturianu: Rugrats
Deutsch: Rugrats
eesti: Jõmpsikad
español: Rugrats
فارسی: راگرتز
français: Les Razmoket
한국어: 러그래츠
Bahasa Indonesia: Rugrats
íslenska: Skriðdýrin
italiano: I Rugrats
עברית: ראגרטס
Кыргызча: Балакайлар
Latina: Rugrats
Bahasa Melayu: Rugrats
日本語: ラグラッツ
português: Rugrats
Scots: Rugrats
Simple English: Rugrats
suomi: Ipanat
svenska: Rugrats
Tagalog: Rugrats
Türkçe: Rugrats
українська: Невгамовні
Winaray: Rugrats