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In my last episode I talked about Rugrats and how big a part of my childhood it was. While nothing will ever change that, there’s one other Nicktoon that came out a few years later which certainly rose in my estimation as I got older.
Originally a character created by Craig Bartlett as a series of claymation shorts for Sesame Street, Hey Arnold was a show that brought us a colorful cast of characters and taught some surprisingly deep life lessons when not making us crack up. It centers around the titular Arnold, your seemingly average nice guy kid who’s the voice of reason among his group of eclectic friends and the kooky boardinghouse he calls home (and if it were up to me the complete series DVD set would come in a box shaped like that boardinghouse and have the stampede of animals from the into pop out when you open it, but we can still dream). Boasting a jazzy soundtrack, unique character designs, great voicework done by actual kids instead of adults posing as them, and some unforgettable moments of humor and heartbreak, it’s become a cult classic that 90’s kids like myself consider one of the very best of the original Nicktoons. And of course this past November, after fifteen agonizing years of wondering and waiting, we finally got the long-awaited Jungle Movie where the mystery of what the heck happened to Arnold’s parents was solved, so this is my one chance to hit on one of the standout entries to this classic series while the iron’s still hot. Let’s take a look at “Arnold’s Christmas”.