Film Review: 'Rugrats in Paris'

Film Review:  'Rugrats in Paris'
The bodily functions flow liberally in "Rugrats in Paris: The Movie", the lively animated feature follow-up to the popular Nickelodeon residents' hit 1998 big-screen outing.

Faster-paced and noisier than its predecessor, the revved-up sequel's obsession with potty humor will likely have some parents exclaiming "mon Dieu" or, at least, "mon doo-doo." But despite the film's rather frenetic efforts to address pint-sized attention spans, there's plenty to amuse kids and their long-suffering caregivers.

Armed with those trademark satirical and tenderhearted moments, not to mention the Baha Men's ridiculously catchy "Who Let the Dogs Out" on the soundtrack, those irresistible Rugrats should do some gross stuff at the boxoffice before cleaning up on video.

After a funny "Godfather" parody, the new adventure begins when one of Stu Pickles' (voiced by Jack Riley) mechanical Reptar inventions goes seriously on the fritz, and he and the rest of the Rugrats roster is dispatched to Paris, home of the dazzling EuroReptarland amusement park.

It doesn't take long for plotting Angelica (Cheryl Chase) to meet her match with the attraction's kid-hating manager, the Cruella De Vil-lainous Coco La Bouche (Susan Sarandon), who's angling for a major promotion but needs to first set herself up as a loving family person.

She quickly sets her sights on widowed Charles Finster (Michael Bell), whose perpetually congested son Chuckie (Christine Cavanaugh, a k a the voice of Babe the pig) has been pining for a new Mom.

Ultimately, the good guys see through her little scheme -- but not before Angelica, Chuckie, Tommy, Phil, Lil, Baby Dil and company manage to effectively trash the City of Lights.

Once again, the character work is strong, and the celebrity recruits are fun, including Sarandon, being uncharacteristically nasty; John Lithgow as her pretentious personal assistant, Jean-Claude; and, in cameo turns, Debbie Reynolds as Grandpa Lou's new love interest, Tim Curry as a sumo karaoke singer and Casey Kasem as -- surprise -- a DJ.

And while it seems they could have toned it all down a few notches without fear of losing their audience, co-directors Stig Bergqvist and Paul Demeyer -- working from a script credited to J. David Stem and David N. Weiss (both of whom penned "The Rugrats Movie") along with series writers Jill Gorey, Barbara Herndon and Kate Boutilier -- do a good job of keeping things moving, physically and emotionally.

Technically speaking, the animation, while definitely not state-of-the-art, is richer than that found on the TV version. The computer-generated images have been retouched by hand to give the characters more warmth.

In addition to those infectious "Dogs", the inspired Maverick soundtrack surrounds the bouncy Mark Mothersbaugh score with similarly energetic tracks by the likes of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Isaac Hayes and TLC's "T-Boz" Watkins as well as quieter things by Cyndi Lauper and Sinead O'Connor.



Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies

present a Klasky/Csupo production

Directors: Stig Bergqvist, Paul Demeyer

Producers: Arlene Klasky, Gabor Csupo

Screenwriters: J. David Stern & David N. Weiss, Jill Gorey & Barbara Herndon, Kate Boutilier

Executive producers: Albie Hecht, Julia Pistor, Eryk Casemiro, Hal Waite

Production designer: Dima Malantichev

Editor: John Bryant

Music: Mark Mothersbaugh

Music supervisor: George Acogny



Coco La Bouche: Susan Sarandon

Jean-Claude: John Lithgow

Tommy Pickles: E.G. Daily

Chuckie Finster: Christine Cavanaugh

Phil and Lil Deville: Kath Soucie

Angelica Pickles: Cheryl Chase

Stu Pickles: Jack Riley

Chas Finster: Michael Bell

Kira Watanabe: Julia Kato

Kimi: Dionne Quan

Running time - 86 minutes

MPAA rating: G

See also

Credited With | External Sites