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Paramount Studios presents
Rugrats in Paris- The Movie (2000)

"Seen one church, seen em' all. Wake me if you spot a hunchback."
- Betty DeVille (Kath Soucie)

Review By: Joel Cunningham   
Published: March 20, 2001

Stars: Christine Cavanaugh, Elizabeth Daily, Cheryl Chase, Tara Charendoff, Kath Soucie
Other Stars: Cree Summer, Michael Bell, Susan Sarandon, John Lithgow, Debbie Reynolds
Director: Stig Bergqvist, Paul Demeyer

MPAA Rating: G for (general audiences)
Run Time: 01h:18m:24s
Release Date: March 27, 2001
UPC: 097363367246
Genre: animation


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ BAB+ C+

DVD Review

The original Rugrats film was a surprise hit in 1998. It opened the same week as A Bug's Life, holding its own with $27 million at the box office. Considering it eventually crossed the $100 million mark, a sequel was a foregone conclusion. Luckily, the sequel is every bit as good (and perhaps better) than the original.

The Rugrats series features the world from a baby's point of view. A group of babies (Tommy, Chuckie, Angelica, Phil, and Lil) with active imaginations basically are set free by their shockingly irresponsible parents. They manage to wander all over the city and make it home ok. The show works because the jokes work both for children and adults. Kids laugh at juvenile bodily-humor stuff, while the parents smile at film parodies, puns, and visual gags.

Rugrats in Paris basically follows the same structure as the show. Tommy's dad is called to Paris to work on a Disneyworld-esque theme park. Through a misunderstanding, he brings his family and friends along for the trip, and the babies quickly find themselves wandering, alone, in Paris. DCFS would take them away so fast! The main focus of the plot is on Chuckie, the nasal-voice redhead, who is searching for a new mother.

The film runs a scant 75 minutes, and the jokes come quick and constant. Movie parodies are plentiful, from Godzilla to The Godfather. The animation quality is top-notch, and the script is surprisingly entertaining and endearing. The plot certainly isn't cohesive, or even all that interesting. Basically it exists to string along imaginative adventures for the babies. As a result, it goes down easy, inviting a second helping.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Animation seems to translate very well to DVD, and Rugrats in Paris is no exception. The color palate is very rich and saturated, and colors are very well represented on this DVD. Even in very bright, color-drenched scenes, I noticed no color blooming or bleeding. There were no blemishes on the print, and I suspect this may have been a direct digital transfer. Artifacts, edge-enhancement, and alaising are all nonexistent.

Image Transfer Grade: A

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, Frenchyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: This is a fairly dynamic track. The Rugrats get into a lot of crazy adventures, some of which involve a lot of opportunity for nifty surround effects. While the track is certainly a bit front heavy, the surrounds to provide good support for the score and ambient effects during the action sequence. Dialogue is anchored in the center channel and is always understandable and natural, with no sync problems. The front soundstage is moderately wide and features some nice panning effects towards the busy climax of the movie.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 10 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
2 TV Spots/Teasers
2 Alternate Endings
1 Documentaries
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extra Extras:
  1. 2 DVD-ROM Games
  2. Baha Men music video, Who Let the Dogs Out?
Extras Review: Rugrats in Paris includes some nice extras, especially considering that some kids' movies wind up bare-boned. The documentary creatively entitled Rugrats in Paris Documentary, was much longer than I was expecting. It runs around 17 minutes and covers most of the major aspects of the production. Basically, this follows the same format of every animation making-of, interviews with the voice talents and peeks at storyboard, ect. Sound Effects Showcase: Chuckie Chan goes through the arduous process of creating sound effects for an animated film.

Two brief alternate endings are included. Both run less than a minute and deal with the fate of the female villain. Not really funny, but it is interesting that they actually cut finished animation.

Rounding out the disc are some promotional materials. In addition to a trailer and two TV spots, Paramount has included the hit song Who Let the Dogs Out?, from the stunningly talented Baha Men. Write down that name, because I expect this is just the first in a Beatle-esque string of hits from this Jamaican group.

2 DVD-ROM games were also included, but alas, I did not have access to a DVD-ROM drive.

Extras Grade: C+

 

Final Comments

Rugrats: The Series has long been a favorite of audiences of all ages, and the movies keep the same balance of kid-friendly humor and in-jokes for the parents. Rugrats in Paris easily matches the first film, and should keep both kids and adults wetting their diapers in delight. Well, at least kids and their grandparents.

 


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