Rugrats in Paris: The Movie

on November 17, 2000 by Dwayne E. Leslie
   The Rugrats are back for an all-new adventure, and one that is by far much funnier and more entertaining for both youngsters and their guardians than the first bigscreen outing. During a celebration at toddler Tommy Pickles' grandfather's wedding, perennially congested best friend Chuckie Finster feels left out of the festivities--especially when mothers take to the dance floor to cut a rug with their children. Because he does not have a mommy, Chuckie is left alone on the sidelines. Sensing that their home needs a woman's touch, Chuckie's father Chas starts dating again, and when Tommy's dad Stu must travel to Paris' EuroReptarland theme park on business, he takes family and friends with him in the hope that pal Chas will find someone in the City of Love.

   Chuckie's only stipulations for his new mom are that she has to be clean, cuddly and nice; unfortunately, vying for the role of the future Mrs. Finster is Coco LaBouche (Susan Sarandon), who falls far short of at least the latter two qualities, but this side of the two-faced conniver is seen only by the Rugrats.

   The heart of the story is Chuckie's quest to find a mom. One can't help but feel for the little guy: He has a big heart and, though tending toward timidity, will do anything for his friends--except this time "a baby's gotta do what a baby's gotta do" to help his father see the truth about the false intentions of his future bride.

   In the first "Rugrats" movie, it was the babies against nature, with a side lesson in which Tommy had to learn to accept his responsibilities as a big brother and overcome his jealously toward his new sibling. In this sequel, there are new perils and a climactic, Godzilla-like robotic battle that far outdoes the finale of the first film.

   Although "Rugrats" is for children, the writing also takes its captive audience of adults into consideration, depicting hyperbolic antics as an in-joke to parents who know first-hand that the exaggerations are minimal at best. Voiced by E.G. Daily, Christine Cavanaugh, Susan Sarandon, Julia Kato, John Lithgow and Mako. Directed by Paul Demeyer and Stig Bergqvist. Written by J. David Stem & David N. Weiss and Jill Gorey & Barbara Herndon and Kate Boutilier. Produced by Arlene Klasky and Gabor Csupo. A Paramount release. Animated. Rated G. Running time: 79 min

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