Nickelodeon Is Giving The Rugrats A Live Action Movie


If you grew up in the 1990s, then chances are you have at least a passing familiarity with Rugrats. At one time the longest running cartoon on Nickelodeon, the series was one of the cable channel's staples over a decade and earned numerous accolades, including four Daytime Emmys and six Kids' Choice Awards. Rugrats wrapped up its run in 2004 (its spinoff, All Grown Up!, ran from 2003 to 2008), but it's been announced that as part of a massive relaunch, the adventurous toddlers are returning to the big screen. Only this time, it will be in a live action setting. Yes, you read that correctly.

The Rugrats previously led three movies that spun out of the main animated series: 1998's The Rugrats Movie, 2000's Rugrats In Paris: The Movie and 2003's Rugrats Go Wild, the latter of which saw the characters crossing with The Wild Thornberrys. However, according to The Wrap, Nickelodeon has given the green light to a new Rugrats movie that's being written by David Goodman and is described as a "live-action film featuring CGI characters." Set for release in 2020, this movie will feature the original cast of characters (Tommy Pickles, Chuckie Finster, twins Phil and Lil DeVille and Angelica Pickles), as well as introduce new ones.

If I'm understanding thus announcement correctly, then rather than make the Rugrats gang look like regular babies, they'll instead be CGI creations, presumably looking similar to their original, animated selves. But since this movie is live action, does that mean that backgrounds and scenery will be "real"? Would the parents, then, also look more like normal humans to show that the kids are in their "own world"? This would be an unusual approach, and yet, that still sounds less unsettling than that Funny or Die parody from years back. Plus, it wouldn't be the first time that a classic property has been brought to the big screen through a mix of live action and CGI, with The Smurfs and the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog immediately coming to mind.

Along with this live action Rugrats movie, it was also announced today that Nickelodeon has given a 26-episode order to a Rugrats TV revival, which I suspect will be fully animated (although that then begs the question of if it will remain traditionally animated or if they'll go the CGI route with this, too). On the movie side of things, along with a third animated Spongebob Squarepants movie in the works, titled The SpongeBob Movie: It's a Wonderful Sponge, Nickelodeon also has live action cinematic adaptations of Dora the Explorer and Are You Afraid of the Dark? in development. The Nicktoons Movie was also announced, but there's been no word recently on what's happening with that project.

The live action Rugrats movie will be released in theaters on November 13, 2020, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for updates. As for movies arriving sooner, you can find out what's dropping in 2018 by looking through our handy premiere guide.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.