Rugrats in Paris
|Directors:||Paul Demeyer and Stig Bergqvist|
|Writers:||David Stern, David Weiss, Jill Gorey|
|Paramount Pictures; 78 minutes; G|
|Voices of:||E.G. Daily, Susan Sarandon, Jack Riley|
Animated Nickelodeon critters leave their suburban enclave and return to the cinema with Rugrats in Paris. Tommy Pickle's poppa must travel to the EuroReptarland theme park and repair an animatronic dinosaur. The Rugrat neighborhood tags along for the trip. EuroReptarland's mean spirited matron Coco La Bouche (Susan Sarandon) takes a liking to Chuckie's widowed father; she needs a family if she's to keep her job. Chuckie has his sights set on a much kinder mother, however. The story unfolds in typical Rugrats TV style.
The principal problem of Rugrats in Paris will only be apparent to the adults watching it, and even then it's not really a problem. The Rugrats works best in the mysterious land of backyards and living rooms as seen and (mis)understood by the crew of lovable toddlers. Thus, although the movie scores points with its lengthy, unabashed parody of EuroDisney, it also feels the need to steal the spaghetti-smooch scene from Disney's Lady and the Tramp and pattern its main villain on Disney standby Cruella De Vil. Rugrats own formula works much better than these romps through postmodern winks, especially when they betray their critique of Disney by honoring its more memorable characters and situations through allusion.
Since this is a movie for kids, thankfully none of this matters. The little ones will like it, and, like the TV series, parents will find enough wit to keep watching.