We live in an age of reboots and if it is/was a media franchise, it will be revived. That is the law of the world now. As one of the premiere Nickelodeon shows, Rugrats was a phenomenon in the 90s, so it’s not too surprising that we’re going to get a reboot of it. While it was a little bit before my time, what little I saw of Rugrats was entertaining. It was entertaining enough that I didn’t switch on over to Cartoon Network, so that has to count for something.
I’m almost surprised that the franchise has endured for as long as it has. The series is still beloved by a generation and has endured well beyond other early Nickelodeon shows like Ren & Stimpy and Rocko’s Modern Life. The series was still producing new episodes up until 2004 after initially premiering in 1991, making it one of the longest-running Nickelodeon shows as well with several feature films under its belt. A reboot of Rugrats was in the works for a while, but expectations were, at least for me, fairly low. Look, let’s be honest here, most reboots are generally less successful and of a lower standard than their previous incarnations unless they decide to go in a radically new direction and take risks with their original source material.
And yet, this Rugrats reboot doesn’t look to do any of that. Paramount went on a blitz today announcing numerous projects for their rebrand of CBS All Access into Paramount+, and Rugrats just so happened to be one of their big opening salvos. Based on the trailer, it looks like more Rugrats, continuing right from where the series left off in 2004. We have the original cast returning sounding almost as if no time has passed, and the sound effects are distinctly Rugrats.
I can’t really explain why this trailer is making me feel excited for a show I barely have nostalgia for, but it’s actually doing it. Sure, the 3D models will take some getting used to, but I attribute that more to the change from 2D to 3D than any uncanny valley effects the models might give off. It’s way too early to call if this Rugrats reboot is going to work but call me cautiously optimistic on this one.
Rugrats will premiere exclusively on Paramount+ Spring 2021.