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Rugrats Go Wild

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Rugrats Go Wild
The Rugrats sit atop a palm tree, with the Wild Thornberrys standing underneath
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
  • Norton Virgien
  • John Eng
Written byKate Boutilier[1]
Based on
Produced by
Edited by
  • John Bryant
  • Kimberly Rettberg
Music byMark Mothersbaugh[1]
Distributed by
Release date
  • June 13, 2003 (2003-06-13)[4]
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$25 million[5]
Box office$55.4 million[5]

Rugrats Go Wild (originally titled The Rugrats Meet the Wild Thornberrys) is a 2003 American animated crossover adventure film[3] based on the Nickelodeon animated television series Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys.[6] It is the final installment of both the Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys film series and the sequel to both the films Rugrats in Paris: The Movie (2000) and The Wild Thornberrys Movie (2002). Iypt takes place after the ninth season of Rugrats and the fifth season of The Wild Thornberrys. Christine Cavanaugh, the original voice of Chuckie Finster, was replaced by Nancy Cartwright.[7][8]

The film was produced by Nickelodeon Movies and Klasky Csupo and released in theaters on June 13, 2003, by Paramount Pictures. Rugrats Go Wild grossed $55.4 million worldwide[5] and unlike its predecessors, it received unfavorable reviews from critics. The film used "Odorama", which allowed people to smell odors and aromas from the film using scratch and sniff cards (reminiscent of 1960s Smell-O-Vision).


The Rugrats go on an imaginary safari with Tommy impersonating Nigel Thornberry, who is his role model and spoofs his nature show; the babies and their families are about to go on vacation on the Lipschitz cruise ship. When the families arrive at the dock, they miss the Lipschitz cruise. Tommy's father, Stu, has rented a ramshackle boat which he reveals to be their real mode of transportation, and their real vacation behind their backs. The families are angered that Stu did not consult them on his plans, and soon the boat is flipped over by a rogue wave during a tropical storm. Everyone is forced to abandon the ship and board a life raft as the ship sinks. Everyone blames Stu for causing all of this and lose hope of being saved.

The next morning, they arrive on a small, seemingly uninhabited island in the South China Sea. The adults make Betty the leader after Didi forbids Stu from volunteering, much to his chagrin. On the opposite side of the island is the famous globe-trotting family, the Thornberrys out to film a clouded leopard. Tommy, Chuckie, and the rest of the kids, except for Angelica, set off to find Nigel, for they suspect he is somewhere on the island. Along the way, Chuckie gets lost and runs into the Thornberry's son Donnie, who steals Chuckie's clothes, forcing Chuckie to wear Donnie's shorts.

Meanwhile, Eliza Thornberry is exploring the jungle with Darwin, her chimpanzee companion, and runs into Spike, the Pickles' dog. Since Eliza can talk to animals, Spike is heard speaking; he informs her that his babies are lost somewhere on the island. Under the impression that Spike means he is looking for puppies, Eliza and a reluctant Darwin agree to help him find them. Following a close encounter with Siri, an angry clouded leopard, they learn that he meant human babies.

Simultaneously, Eliza's father, Nigel, finds the lost babies. He heads in their direction but ends up tumbling down a hill and suffers amnesia after a coconut falls on his head, which reverts him to his three year-old self. They encounter Siri, but Donnie fends her off; Chuckie finds him and they get back their clothes. After escaping from Siri on a high-speed pram, the gang lands in a crater. Angelica runs into Debbie Thornberry, and takes off with Debbie in the Thornberry's all-purpose mobile communication vehicle (commvee). In order to get back faster, Angelica steals the Thornberry's bathysphere, accidentally sinking the commvee in her attempt to pilot it, but manages to find and retrieve the babies and Nigel.

Meanwhile, Stu, who has managed to create a working coconut radio, and the other parents run into Donnie. After chasing him down the beach, they run into Marianne Thornberry, the mother of Eliza and Debbie and the wife of Nigel. Stu's coconut radio picks up the babies, Angelica having accidentally turned on the bathysphere's radio. Angelica and Susie, while fighting for control, have crashed the bathysphere at the bottom of the ocean. Nigel hits his head in the crash and reverts back to his normal self. Stu comes up with a successful plan to raise the commvee, and Marianne then uses the automatic-retrieval system to rescue Nigel and the babies just as the air runs out.

The babies and Nigel are reunited with their respective families, with Stu being thanked and forgiven, and everyone gets on board the Lipschitz cruise. The Thornberrys join them, too, deciding that they should take a vacation, much to Debbie's delight, and Spike vows never to lose his babies again.

Voice cast[edit]

Main characters from Rugrats[edit]

Supporting and guest characters from Rugrats[edit]

Characters from The Wild Thornberrys[edit]

One-shot characters[edit]


Rugrats Go Wild was originally made by Klasky Csupo's television unit (directed by Mark Risley and written by Kate Boutilier), but after screenings, Paramount decided it should be shelved and remade into a feature film.[citation needed]


During its initial theatrical run, Rugrats Go Wild was presented in "Smell-O-Vision". During certain scenes in the movie, an icon would pop up on screen with an item inside of it (example: a smelly shoe). When this happened, audience members would smell a scratch-and-sniff card (which were handed out at the box office) with the corresponding image.


Rugrats Go Wild is the only Rugrats film to receive a PG rating by the MPAA.[9]


Among the biggest promotion the film received was Bruce Willis voicing Spike, and the use of "Odorama" cards to enhance the viewing experience, Burger King and Blockbuster released a scratch and sniff piece of cardboard that was to be scratched and sniffed during the run of the movie. The cards would later be released with the DVD release of the movie.


There were some complaints with the Odorama cards, including the claim that the cards only smelled like cardboard. The Odorama card was considered an homage to John Waters' 1981 film Polyester. Waters felt he was ripped off and realized that New Line Cinema, the studio that released Polyester, did not renew the copyright for Odorama. He later said that "a cheque would have been an homage".[10]

Home media[edit]

Rugrats Go Wild was released on VHS and DVD on December 16, 2003, by Paramount Home Entertainment. Most VHS copies included a "Smell-O-Vision" scratch-and-sniff card, as did most initial run DVDs. Later copies of the DVD did not include additional cards, but did retain the option to view the film with the scratch-and-sniff icons on.

On March 15, 2011, along with The Rugrats Movie and Rugrats in Paris: The Movie, the film was re-released in a three-disc movie trilogy collection DVD set, in honor of Rugrats' 20th anniversary.[11]

On August 29, 2017, Rugrats Go Wild was re-released on DVD.

On March 8, 2022, along with The Rugrats Movie and Rugrats in Paris: The Movie, the film was released on Blu-ray as part of the trilogy movie collection.[12][13]


Box office[edit]

The film grossed $39.4 million in the United States and $55.4 million worldwide against a production budget of $25 million. The film earned much less than Treasure Planet. The film opened at #4 behind Finding Nemo, 2 Fast 2 Furious, and Bruce Almighty.[14][5]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, it holds an approval rating of 39% based on 89 reviews and an average rating of 5/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "The Rugrats franchise has gone from fresh to formulaic."[4] Metacritic gives the film a weighted average score of 38 out of 100 based on 27 reviews, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[15] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.[16]

Neil Smith at the BBC gave the film 2 out of 5.[17] Film4 stated the film was not as bad as other reviews suggested but "it just doesn't hold a candle to 2002's charming and superior The Wild Thornberrys Movie".[18]


Rugrats Go Wild: Music from the Motion Picture
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
ReleasedJune 10, 2003
Rugrats soundtrack chronology
Rugrats in Paris: Music From the Motion Picture
Rugrats Go Wild: Music from the Motion Picture
Professional ratings
Review scores

An original soundtrack was released on June 10, 2003, from Hollywood Records.[20]

The following is a list of songs that appear on the Rugrats Go Wild soundtrack.[20]

Track list
1."Message in a Bottle (cover of The Police)"American Hi-Fi4:12
2."Big Bad Cat"Bruce Willis and Chrissie Hynde3:15
3."She's on Fire"Train3:50
4."Island Princess"Cheryl Chase and Cree Summer2:32
5."Lizard Love"Aerosmith4:35
6."Ready to Roll"Flashlight Brown2:51
7."The Morning After (cover of Maureen McGovern)"Chase and Summer3:22
8."Atomic Dog"George Clinton4:45
9."Dresses and Shoes"Chase and Summer3:28
10."It's a Jungle Out Here"Summer, Nancy Cartwright, Elizabeth Daily, Tara Strong, Kath Soucie and Dionne Quan3:11
11."Lust For Life (cover of Iggy Pop only seen in ending credits)"Willis3:43
12."Phil's Diapey's Hanging Low"Tim Curry, Cartwright, Daily, Strong, Soucie and Quan3:01
13."Should I Stay or Should I Go"The Clash3:09
14."Changing Faces"Daily3:42
Total length:53:25

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Detail view of Movies Page". afi.com. Archived from the original on May 18, 2015. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "AFI|Catalog". Archived from the original on August 17, 2021. Retrieved July 17, 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Rugrats Go Wild (2003)". AllMovie. Archived from the original on September 30, 2021. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Rugrats Go Wild". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Archived from the original on April 4, 2019. Retrieved October 7, 2021. Edit this at Wikidata
  5. ^ a b c d "Rugrats Go Wild". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on May 21, 2018. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  6. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (2009). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons (3rd ed.). New York: Checkmark Books. p. 222. ISBN 978-0-8160-6600-1.
  7. ^ Thomas, Kevin (June 13, 2003). "Rugrats go 'Wild' in search of adventure". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 26, 2012. Retrieved August 24, 2010.
  8. ^ "Rugrats Go Wild!". DVD Talk. Archived from the original on November 12, 2011. Retrieved August 24, 2010.
  9. ^ Nichols, Peter M. (June 20, 2003). "Diaper-Clad Adventurers Heed the Call of the Wild". New York Times. Archived from the original on March 24, 2016. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
  10. ^ Jeff Garlin's film of John Waters' one man show This Filthy World.
  11. ^ "Rugrats Trilogy Movie Collection". Amazon. March 15, 2011.
  12. ^ "Paramount to Release 'The Rugrats Trilogy Movie Collection' on Blu-ray on March 8". Archived from the original on December 29, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  13. ^ "Rugrats Trilogy Movie Collection". Amazon.
  14. ^ "Audiences Find 'Nemo'". CBS News. June 16, 2003. Archived from the original on February 7, 2022. Retrieved March 11, 2023.
  15. ^ "Rugrats Go Wild Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on April 11, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  16. ^ "Find CinemaScore" (Type "Rugrats" in the search box). CinemaScore. Archived from the original on August 9, 2019. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  17. ^ "Rugrats Go Wild". BBC. Archived from the original on July 5, 2013. Retrieved August 25, 2010.
  18. ^ "Rugrats Go Wild". Film Four. Archived from the original on March 23, 2010. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  19. ^ Phares, Heather (June 10, 2003). "Rugrats Go Wild – Original Soundtrack". AllMusic. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
  20. ^ a b "Rugrats Go Wild". AllMusic.com. Rovi Corp. Archived from the original on October 18, 2015. Retrieved July 18, 2013.

External links[edit]