Bruce Fretts
November 15, 2000 AT 05:00 AM EST

Rugrats in Paris: The Movie

Current Status
In Season
78 minutes
Wide Release Date
Christine Cavanaugh, Cheryl Chase, E.G. Daily, Debbie Reynolds, Jack Riley, Susan Sarandon, Joe Alaskey, Melanie Chartoff, John Lithgow, Kath Soucie
Stig Bergguist, Paul Demeyer
Klasky-Csupo, Nickelodeon Pictures
Paramount Pictures
J. David Stern, David N. Weiss
Kids and Family, Animation

We gave it a B+

With its melange of poo poo humor and pop culture in jokes, Nickelodeon’s ”Rugrats” packs appeal for both kids and parents. Adult friendly content was largely lost in the peewees’ first big screen adventure, 1998’s too frenetic ”The Rugrats Movie,” but it’s been restored for the tres superior sequel, Rugrats in Paris: The Movie.

This becomes clear from the first scene, a dead on parody of ”The Godfather” in which the titular toddlers seek favors from the all powerful 4 year old Angelica (twins Phil and Lil are spooked by a hobbyhorse’s head in their crib). Soon, the ‘rats scurry off to France, where precociously neurotic Chuckie Finster must stop his widowed dad from marrying the child loathing Coco La Bouche (fervently voiced by Susan Sarandon).

Unlike, say, ”Digimon: The Movie,” the lavishly animated ”Rugrats in Paris” doesn’t merely look like a blown up, washed out TV episode. The newfound emotional depth of the movie’s drawings — and its plotline — is most movingly illustrated when an airborne Chuckie sees images of himself with his late mother in the clouds.

Lest this sounds too high minded for little ones, fear not: Poop, booger, and barf gags abound. Given the setting, you can’t blame the filmmakers for making comic use of the bidet (”A potty that squirts back!” exults Phil), not to mention the timeless taunt that begins ”I see London, I see France…” Oui? Oui.

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