1990's, 90's, 90's cartoons, Angelica, Christmas, Christmas cartoon, christmas episode, christmas special, Chuckie Finster, Grandpa Lou, kidnap the sandy claws, Klasky-Csupo, naughty list, naughty or nice, nice list, nickelodeon, Nickelodeon Christmas, Nicktoon, nicktoons, Phil and Lil, Rugrats, santa claus, Spike, The Santa Experience, Tommy Pickles
For a very brief couple of seconds on October 9th of this year some of you may have noticed that this review went up all of a sudden just to disappear as quickly. I’ve said before it was due to some issues trying to reschedule the review for another date in December and had to give away the surprise that I’d be looking at more holiday shorts. Well, here’s the actual review. Let’s hope it doesn’t disappoint as I review at another nostalgic staple from my childhood, Rugrats.
An animated show that takes place from the point of view of a baby doesn’t sound like a particularly risky idea, but back when it was among the first crop of original Nicktoons to be pitched to Nickelodeon, it was. Suffice it to say that the gamble paid off and up until Spongebob dethroned it Rugrats was Nickelodeon’s golden child. I was very young when Rugrats came out and it was the very first show I remember being obsessed with; dolls, toys, books, clothes, you name it and I had it. The movies actually hold up pretty well too (except Rugrats Go Wild, that can burn in the deepest recesses of Hades). I even went to the live show. The freaking cheesy as hell live show. I mean the premise of the entire series was actually relatable though the main characters were about 4-5 years younger than me; they had a great deal to learn about the world around them and often got lost in fantastic adventures using their imaginations while the yuppie parents went about being completely oblivious 80% of the time. That was my bread and butter when I was in my single digits.
The characters were also basic but likable and cute to boot; you got Tommy the intrepid leader always looking to explore everything, his best friend Chuckie the fraidycat who always had some sort of new phobia to conquer (and was my favorite by the way), the gross-loving twins Phil and Lil, and Tommy’s bratty cousin Angelica whom everyone loved to hate, myself included. More characters were added along the way like the badass Susie, Tommy’s infant brother Dil, and Chuckie’s stepsister Kimi, each one bringing something new and diverse to the show.
I’m not gonna say that it was the perfect animated show or the standard all kids shows should emulate though; I mean for one thing if this took place in the real world the babies would have been taken away by child services now because it surprises me just how wrapped up in their own problems the adults could be. Most of the time they neglect the kids long enough for them to get out of the playpen or stroller and wander around a strange area and nearly endanger themselves. That and the usual foray into poo-poo humor you’d expect when dealing with characters that are barely 2 years old. Some of the toilet jokes I remember would make Shrek gag in disgust. But hey, sometimes you gotta appeal to the lowest common denominator for kids. It doesn’t completely take away the fact that at its best it was a very cute show that played a major part in building Nickelodeon’s identity.
So how does their take on the most wonderful time of the year hold up? And why is it called The Santa Experience anyway? Let’s take a look.