There is little to indicate that “Rugrats in Paris” is anything more than a long episode of Rugrats, but that is a good thing. The concept and heart of the TV show is preserved in this feature presentation that serves as a great throwback to a favorite childhood cartoon show. Most of that babytalk owes its success to great voice actors like Christine Cavanaugh and Elizabeth Daily, as well as cameos by Susan Sarandon, Casey Kasem, John Lithgow, Debbie Reynolds, and Tim Curry. One of the key factors to the success of Rugrats was always the clever script. From exaggerated situations and pop culture references to the comical transformation of common phrases by using babytalk, this film appeals to children and adults alike. There are some great Godfather references (especially the rocking horse head in the crib) and they also used the karaoke-singing sumo wrestlers very well: "that's got to be one stinky diapee..." One of the boldest pieces of this children’s puzzle is that Nickelodeon was not afraid to take a few jabs at Disney. The Parisian park is called EuroReptarland and the Ooey Gooey Land theme song is a blatant joke about It’s A Small World. There's even a Lady and the Tramp reference. It was very smart to use the feature films as an opportunity to make big changes in the daily cartoon (adding baby Dill Pickles and giving Chuckie a mommy). These films turned the changes into significant events and consequently revitalized the cartoon show for more seasons to come. One of my only complaints is that it's called "Rugrats in Paris" but, aside from a few Parisian landmarks (and Spike peeing on the Eiffel Tower), the majority of the film takes place in an Asian-inspired amusement park. I suppose that this is part of the plot (as indicated by Didi’s complaining that they don’t get to enjoy the true Paris experience), but the title creates a certain expectation and I would’ve enjoyed more cartoon interpretations of Montmartre, the Seine, and other landmarks. “Rugrats in Paris” left me satisfied mostly because it confirms that this children’s show is as good as I remember. Definitely add this one to your list as kids and adults can all enjoy it together, even if they aren’t familiar with the tv show.
[Pictured; The gang's all back for another feature film!]