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Rugrats Go Wild!


Rugrats Go Wild!


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Rugrats Go Wild! answers the eternal question: What would happen if the hideously ugly Rugrats gang met up with the similarly misshapen cast of The Wild Thornberrys? The answer: Not a whole lot. The third entry in the Rugrats series and The Wild Thornberrys' second foray onto the big screen, Rugrats Go Wild! stretches the TV-sized charms of the two shows to feature length yet again, with largely forgettable results. Picking up where the series-best Rugrats In Paris: The Movie left off, the film sends the gang on a vacation cruise aboard a rusty old ship that capsizes under a huge wave and washes up on a seemingly deserted island, where the Thornberrys are shooting a nature documentary. Rugrats Go Wild! gets off to a promising start, with some amusing gags aimed at grown-ups, a bit of flashy animation, and a funny scene in which a 3-year-old performs a thematically appropriate cover of The Poseidon Adventure's "The Morning After" accompanied by what sounds like a Casio keyboard and a tinny drum machine. The second Rugrats movie struck a nice balance between gags for kids and nods to adults, but once the Rugrats land on the island, the film all but ignores the grownups, both in the audience and onscreen, and begins pandering to the segment of the audience for whom dirty diapers and mucous are inexhaustible sources of humor. The mercenary casting of Bruce Willis as a sassy pooch proves a major distraction, but Rugrats Go Wild!'s primary problem is its aimless half-plot, which makes the film feel much longer than it is. Mark Mothersbaugh's music helps make scenes like one in which a bratty 3-year-old and a bratty teen bond over The Clash's "Should I Stay Or Should I Go" slightly more palatable, but nothing could compensate for Willis' kid-friendly butchering of Iggy Pop's "Lust For Life." Rugrats Go Wild! represents one giant leap forward for corporate cartoon synergy, but one similarly large step back for the Rugrats franchise.