Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • U
  • Adventure, Animation
  • 2003
  • 84 mins

Rugrats Go Wild

Rugrats Go Wild


Nickelodeon marries two of its most popular cartoon franchises. The walking, talking tots of the Rugrats meet the eccentric jungle explorers the Wild Thornberrys while marooned on a desert island


Little Tommy Pickles (Daily) worships plummy explorer Nigel Thornberry (Curry), and wishes he could join him on his adventures - much to the disdain of his sister, the brattish Angelica (Chase): "You're just a backyard baby with a diaper full of dreams." He soon gets his chance when the Rugrats are stranded on a jungle island, where the Thornberrys are tracking a rare and dangerous leopard.

Judging by the critical reception heralding Rugrats' arrival, you'd be forgiven for thinking this should join the ranks of that very special genre: films so toxic they ought only to be handled with asbestos mittens. Comments like "Dull, forgettable tripe" and - Lord save us - "A monstrosity", certainly don't inspire confidence.

In fairness, Rugrats Go Wild really isn't that bad; it just doesn't hold a candle to 2002's charming and superior The Wild Thornberrys Movie, possibly accounting for the hysterical sense of betrayal. As with most post-'The Simpsons' animations, spoofy references abound; everything from The Poseidon Adventure to Taxi Driver and From Here To Eternity is duly - if unimaginatively - sent up. If the rather more interesting Thornberry family have been more or less shunted into second billing, Willis almost redeems this shrill, mismatched affair with his powerhouse turn as Spike, the Rugrats scatologically-minded family dog - particularly when sparring with deadly leopard Siri (Hynde, on sexily malevolent vocals). But if Willis gets the best lines, it's Red Hot Chilli Peppers' bassist Flea, as the pint-sized tornado Donnie Thornberry, whose crazed, unintelligible gibberish leaves the most exhilarating impression

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Elizabeth Daily, Flea, Jodi Carlisle, Danielle Harris, Nancy Cartwright, Kath Soucie, Bruce Willis, Tom Kane, Chrissie Hynde, Cheryl Chase, Lacey Chabert
  • Director: Norton Virgien
  • Writer: Kate Boutilier
  • Producer: Gabor Csupo, Arlene Klasky
  • Composer: Mark Mothersbaugh

In a nutshell

Something of a missed opportunity for both parties, serving to prove the old adage that mixing two or more clashing colours in the paint pot often results in brown sludge.

by Ali Catterall

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4


    Katell Quillévéré's family-based drama follows Suzanne, a teenage mother who falls for a gangster

  • Film4

    The Purge

    Ethan Hawke stars in James DeMonaco's drama about a sanctioned night where all crime is legal

  • Channel 4 Blog

    BIFA brings 2015 nominated films to cinemas

    BIFA-nominated films including the Film4-backed 45 Years, The Lobster, Macbeth, Amy and Ex Machina will be available in cinemas nationwide from 23 November in a special public screenings event. The

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Film4-backed films receive 41 nominations at the BIFAs

    Film4 has received a total of 41 nominations for the films it has backed at this year¿s British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs), with the nomination lists for the Best British Film and Best Director a

Register with

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register