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20 Years In The Reptar Wagon: 5 Things You May Not Know About ‘The Rugrats Movie’

It may not have reached the heights of most Disney offerings, But The Rugrats Movie became a classic in it’s own right.

In November 1998, children rushed to the theatre to see Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil and Angelica on the big screen for the first time.

Now, The Rugrats Movie is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary, and remains a nostalgic favourite for many kids who grew up in the 90s.

Here’s a few facts you may not no about this much loved film.

1. The Rugrats Movie was planned as early as 1993.

The Rugrats Movie
Tommy and Chuckie. Credit: Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon signed a two-year deal with 20th Century Fox to produce movies based on their popular cartoons. Rugrats, Doug, and Ren & Stimpy were considered for film adaptations.

The deal with Fox expired in 1995 with no films in sight.

However, in 1994, Nickelodeon’s parent company Viacom acquired Paramount Pictures. The Rugrats Movie officially entered production in 1996.

2. The Film was a record breaker

The Rugrats Movie
The babies face off against Angelica

After it’s release in 1998, the movie quickly broke records. 

It became the first non-Disney animated film to gross over $100 million in the United States. It held the record for the highest-grossing non-Disney animation until the release of Shrek in 2001.

The Rugrats Movie also set the record for highest-grossing animated film based on a television program. It held this record for eleven years, until it was beaten by The Simpsons Movie.

3. The Show’s voice cast were made to re-audition.

The Rugrats we know and love.

We almost got an entirely different voice cast for the movie.

Luckily, all of the key cast members retained their roles after re-auditioning. They were joined by Tara Strong as Tommy’s new baby brother, Dil.

4. Tara Strong was no stranger to the existing cast.

The Rugrats Movie
Dil presented some problems for the other Rugrats

Before joining the main cast as Dil, Tara Strong voiced background characters in some Rugrats episodes. Her most notable role was a recurring role as Timmy McNulty.

It was the second time playing siblings for Strong and E.G Daily, Tommy’s voice actress. They also worked together on The Powerpuff Girls, with Daily voicing Buttercup, and Strong as Bubbles.

5. Strong’s baby cry was a little too realistic.

The babies think Dil is broken.

Being a newborn in The Rugrats Movie, baby Dil cries a lot.

While recording a selection of different cries for Dil, a new Mother among the studio staff interrupted to inform Strong that her performance was making her breasts leak.

The Rugrats Movie spawned two sequels, Rugrats In Paris and Rugrats Go Wild! It was successful enough to launch Nickelodeon Movies entire animation division, leading to film versions of Hey Arnold! and The Wild Thornberries.

For those who’ve missed the Rugrats, you’re in for a treat, as both a TV reboot and brand new movie are in the works.

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