After the success of The Rugrats Movie (1998) and Rugrats in Paris: The Movie (2000), Nickelodeon came to an agreement with Hey Arnold! (1994) creator Craig M. Bartlett for an Arnold theatrical film as well as a TV-movie. The original plan was for the theatrical film to be about Arnold searching for his parents, while the TV-movie, originally titled "Arnold Saves the Neighborhood", was about Arnold saving his neighborhood from being torn down. Problems with the script kept the theatrical movie on hold for a number of years, and Nickelodeon, wanting an Arnold movie in theaters before the show lost its popularity, had "Arnold Saves the Neighborhood" converted into this film. However, a poor showing at the box office, along with Craig Bartlett leaving Nickelodeon for Cartoon Network, means that the original movie probably will never be made.