Rugrats Go Wild
3 out of 5 stars
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Two of the wittier cartoon franchises join forces in this entertaining animated adventure. And it's not surprising, since both come from the Klasky Csupo team. The plot has the Rugrats' families taking a boat trip that turns into a combination of The Poseidon Adventure and Gilligan's Island, as they're stranded on a deserted South Pacific isle. The little munchkins of course start roaming all over the place, eventually running into the Thornberry family, who are filming a nature programme on the other side of the island. Soon everyone has to rescue everyone else, the losers have to discover their worth in the team, and since Eliza Thornberry (voiced by Chabert) can talk to animals, we get to hear the ridiculous Rugrats' mutt Spike (Willis) speak.

If there's any complaint, it's that the film is far too busy. It never pauses for breath as the action races on and on, the jokes fly in a nonstop stream, and there are so many characters that trying to remember which are Rugrats and which are Thornberrys becomes a bit of a challenge. Although if you're familiar with them, it's great fun ... especially when the primadonna Rugrat Angelica (Chase) meets the primadonna Debbie Thornberry (Harris)! Fortunately, the filmmakers and actors are clearly having a ball, jamming the story with jokes as well as references to films and TV series that only the parents will understand. This keeps the grown-ups thoroughly entertained while the kids can get a kick out of all the physical mayhem on screen. The animation is vivid and colourful--with the odd-looking characters (each has a too-distinctive physical imperfection!) contrasting against the rather stunning and lush jungle (or "drain forest") imagery. Yes, it's loud and very silly, but at least it's enjoyable good fun too.

cert U some suspense, innuendo 13.Jul.03

dir John Eng, Norton Virgien
scr Kate Boutilier
voices EG Daily, Nancy Cartwright, Lacey Chabert, Cheryl Chase, Bruce Willis, Tim Curry, Flea, Chrissie Hynde, Kath Soucie, Danielle Harris, Melanie Chartoff, Jack Riley, Tom Kane
release US 13.Jun.03; UK 8.Aug.03
03/US 1h24

Tropical paradise: The Rugrats meet the Wild Thornberrys...

willis curry
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2003 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall