Hey Arnold! The Movie (2002)

PG  |   |  Animation, Adventure, Comedy  |  28 June 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 4,236 users   Metascore: 47/100
Reviews: 42 user | 33 critic | 23 from Metacritic.com

A fourth grader and his best friend set out to stop an industrialist from bulldozing their town.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Spencer Klein ...
Arnold (voice)
Francesca Smith ...
Helga Geraldine Pataki / Deep Voice (voice) (as Francesca Marie Smith)
Gerald Martin Johanssen / Rasta Guy (voice) (as Jamil Smith)
Scheck (voice)
Bridget (voice)
Coroner (voice)
Mr. Bailey (voice)
Big Bob Pataki / Head of Security (voice)
Miriam Pataki / Mona / Reporter (voice) (as Kath E. Soucie)
Christopher Walberg ...
Stinky Peterson (voice) (as Christopher P. Walberg)
Sam Gifaldi ...
Sid (voice)
Harold Berman (voice)
Eugene Horowitz (voice) (as Blake Ewing)


When a powerful developer named Mr. Scheck wants to knock down all the stores and houses in Arnold's neighborhood to build a huge "mall-plex", it looks likes the neighborhood is doomed to disappear. But with the help of a superhero and a mysterious deep-voiced stranger, Arnold and Gerald will need to recover a crucial document in order to save their beloved neighborhood. Written by Britney

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Big Problem Calls For A Big Head

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 June 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Arnold Saves the Neighborhood  »

Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,706,332 (USA) (28 June 2002)


£113,047 (UK) (27 December 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A store sign has the name "Viksten" on it, a reference to co-screenwriter Steve Viksten. See more »


There's a scene where Arnold is talking about saving the neighborhood, while Helga is on the roof of a building talking to herself. Arnold is in the street, and there's a man in a white tank top standing in front of him. In another shot, the man is standing behind Arnold, and Helga shoots a plunger at his head. Then in the next shot, the man is back in front of Arnold and his head doesn't have the plunger on it any more. See more »


Arnold: What's wrong with old things? Some old things are great.
Harold: Yeah, like Mrs. Vitello.
Mrs. Vitello: [Hitting Harold] Whippersnapper!
See more »


References The Shawshank Redemption (1994) See more »


Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries
Written by Lew Brown & Ray Henderson
See more »

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User Reviews

Makes a pretty picture, but doesn't go outside the lines to make itself even more beautiful
29 June 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Hey Arnold! The Movie is harmless, cute, and eventful. Never being a huge fan of the show, but always liking it, I was pleased with the movie adaptation, but found it hard to accept. It's a longer episode of the show, but doesn't do anything daring or very memorable. The Simpsons got sealed into a dome, South Park started a war with Canadians, and even Spongebob set foot on land. Arnold didn't accomplish something as monumental as all the others.

For what it is, it's nothing but an extended episode of the show. Arnold and his pals Gerald and Helga try to stop Mr. Sheck, a giant businessman, from taking over their small neighborhood and replacing it with a huge, revolutionary mall. This means destroying Arnold's block and possibly losing all of his friends in the mix.

Its entertainment stems from its simplicity and the character's desire to achieve their goal. They try and buy secret agent gear to sneak into Sheck's office. Arguably my favorite scene in the movie is the broken hearted bus driver complaining about his failed relationship. The scene mirrors the film Speed, and is pretty much one of the best homages to the film I've seen.

But like I said, if you're going to bring it to the big screen, do something bigger than the series. This could've been an hour long special on Nickelodeon. A seventy-five minute film based on a Nickelodeon's series doesn't say much other than "we thought we'd make you see it a different way." Arnold is likable to a degree, but he's just another perky kid who wants a seemingly impossible thing done. Every character we've seen before. The one character I absolutely loved in the show was Oskar Kokoshka, a con artist who lived in Arnold's apartment. He has a brief appearance in the film, and does his signature voice I've loved since my childhood. Sadly, his presence is far too short. He he he.

Hey Arnold! The Movie isn't bad, but not consistently funny. The voice acting is good, the characters are still charming, the only thing that fails is its ability to stay inside the lines and not venture out to explore a bigger range in storytelling. At this point in time, the future of the series looked grim, and it seems the movie just serves as a piece of the show's history.

Voiced by: Spencer Klein, Francesca Smith, Jamil Walker Smith, Dan Castellaneta, Tress MacNeille, Paul Sorvino, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Christopher Lloyd. Directed by: Tuck Tucker.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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