Late last year, we reported that the inexorable tide of ’90s Kids nostalgia had now reached Nickelodeon’s beloved Rugrats franchise, the former Nicktoons series that dared to ask “Hey, what are babies thinking, but not in a slightly pervy, Look Who’s Talking? sort of way.” Despite the fact that the Pickles kids and their various associates have long since canonically been All Grown Up, it was announced that both a revival series, and a “live-action” film version of the franchise, would soon be in the works.
Now, THR reports that those latter plans are steadily moving forward, with Diary Of A Wimpy Kid franchise director David Bowers signing on to helm the film, currently aimed at a January 29, 2021 release date. More worrying than the news that the man behind the 2009 Astro Boy movie is getting his hands on poor, sweet, neurotic Chucky, though, is one phrase that repeatedly stands out in the reporting of the story, reminding us that “The babies will be CG creations.”
There are a couple of ways to interpret that particular sentence, and none of them sound like anything less than potential entries in the Trainspotting/Ally McBeal Creepy Baby Hall Of Fame. The least upsetting option is that the film might go the Lion King route, using computer animation to make the babies as “life-like” as possible. That, obviously, is creepy. But it’s also possible that Bowers will take this thing completely down the road to Nightmare Town, and the CGI babies will attempt look like something like the bulgy-headed ones from the show, with the adults as live-action humans. (In addition to the sheer visual ugliness such a spectacle might invoke, this route would also imply that there’s some sort of “Take On Me”-esque transition that kicks in some time around puberty, which, you know: Ugh.)
Now, we guess—given the subject matter, Nickelodeon’s whole ethos, and Bowers’ general track record of kid-friendly blandness—that there’s a chance that Rugrats will not, in fact, aim for this sort of R-rated body horror with its first trip to live-action theaters. Honestly, though: We’re kind of psyched by the idea.