Let's talk about All Grown Up!

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TheMisterManGuy

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in the 90s, Rugrats was big. It was Nickelodeon's most popular series, and attracted an audience even broader than Nick's target demographic at the time. But it's popularity started waning as we moved into the new millennium. Spongebob SquarePants was rapidly overtaking the show in popularity, and with its 10th anniversary fast approaching, Nick needed a new gimmick to keep Rugrats relevant for at least a few more years. This led to the 1-hour TV movie, which eventually became its own spin-off, All Growed Up. A 10th anniversary special that showed what Tommy and his friends would be like if they were 10 years older. Tommy and the gang are now pre-teens, and attending the 6th grade at an unnamed Junior High School. As a one off special, it was okay. A neat "What if" scenario that answered the question of how the kids would grow up, but not much more than that. Apparently this attracted a massive audience though, to the point where kids were apparently hosting Rugrats parties to celebrate the premiere.

With an unexpected hit, Nick knew there was money to be made with this, so they asked the producers to develop the concept into a pitch for a potential spin-off series. Which was eventually green-lit as All Grown Up! The full series premiered in November of 2003, and follows the same Rugrats as pre-teens format of the special, but now stretched out to 4 seasons. All Grown Up! was controversial among fans, mostly because many people just didn't see the point in it (besides "We're in the Money!" of course). What was fine as a one off special for a dying cartoon, ended up being one of Nickelodeon's blandest and most forgettable cartoons of the decade.

It's not that All Grown Up! is a bad show, there's some things to like about it. It's nice to see the gang together again, and the idea of being older does lead to some interesting dilemmas. But the show never really takes advantage of its premise. First problem, like most Cartoons of that time, All Grown Up! presents a sanitized, squeaky clean version of Middle School. Disney's One Saturday Morning on ABC popularized the sugar coated junior high setting with shows like Pepper Ann and The Weekenders, because Kids 2-11 want to look up to the big kids. With a premise of the Rugrats transitioning to teenagers, the show never really explores the trials and tribulations of middle school, even at the most basic levels, even when another Nicktoon at the time, As Told By Ginger, was doing just that. Instead the show wastes time on stupid crap like Dill making weird gadgets to get his friends into a concert, or Chuckle stealing a Christmas Tree.

Second Problem, The characters are just bland. Seriously, it's amazing how 10 years older, Tommy and the gang during their infant years have more personality and distinct identities than their Tween counterparts. It's like the kids just had all the character sucked out of them as they got older. All Grown Up kind of suffers the same problem as Quack Pack, it filled with dated "tween" slang nobody actually used, and thinking that can substitute for distinct personalities. What little character the gang does have, is basically watered down versions of their already existing traits. Tommy's the "hip" leader of the gang, who's now a film-maker for some reason. Chuckie's the socially awkward nerd. Phill and Lill are the opposite Twins, but nowhere near as bickering as they used to be. Kimi's now some weird hipster, Susie's the Sassy Black singer, and Angelica's the spoiled brat, but not nearly as antagonistic to the kids as before. The only character that even has somewhat of a distinct personality, is Dill, who's now an eccentric, alien-obsessed, comic relief character, but that's only because Dill didn't have much of a personality in the original series to begin with, so it was anything goes with his character.

In short, All Grown Up is essentially everything wrong about many early 2000s cartoons. Middle School kids who aren't allowed to act like real Middle School kids, bland, unrealistic plots, "Hip" slang nobody ever actually used, and characters that have little personality beyond said slang. Is it any wonder why this show is more or less forgotten?
 
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TheCartoonRailfan

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Looking back at All Grown Up, I thought it was just okay. It wasn't an incredible series, but it wasn't terrible either. I remember watching the series during the mid-2000's on Nickelodeon. However, I preferred Rugrats a lot more. All Grown Up would have improved with better writing and character development.

Out of the three spin-offs of the original Nicktoons, Doug, Rugrats, and Ren and Stimpy, I would place All Grown Up in second place with Disney's Doug in first place and Ren and Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon in third place.
 

Zanneck

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It was watchable, but not really worth watching. Old school Rugrats (first 4 seasons, specifically) or get out, especially if I must revisit this franchise at all, ever.

The Loud House / The Casagrandres is better, unfair generation gap comparison that that comes off as or not. And these two specific shows (as I can't stress enough, is IMHO.) are sadly mediocre, themselves, especially when compared to Harvey Beaks / Welcome to the Wayne / definitely Glitch Techs / It's Pony in some cases, for me, sadly.

Yeah, I don't like living in the past. All Grown Up is definitely a badly-aging thing of the past, especially when compared to the other shows that I just listed and happen to enjoy / tolerate in TLH/Casagrandes case, honestly.
 

90'sKid

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^ Am I the only guy who didn't like Harvey Beaks?

Rugrats is good, even the later seasons arent THAT bad, certainly not seasonal rot SpongeBob or FoP.

Gonna re-watch the movies here sometime now that I got Netflix.

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TheJLeeTeam

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Here’s my take. Rugrats was okay for a few seasons but All Grown Up was just as mediocre as the uncancelled seasons. Recess and Hey Arnold were way better than AGU. I saw some Recess recently and it actually holds up pretty well. I even heard better things about As Told by Ginger.
 
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Zanneck

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Here’s my take. Rugrats was okay for a few seasons but All Grown Up was just as mediocre as the uncancelled seasons. Recess and Hey Arnold were way better than AGU. I saw some Recess recently and it actually holds up pretty well. I even heard better things about As Told by Ginger.
Hey Arnold == As Told By Ginger == Recess (which I otherwise am not that big on as you are, honestly) >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> All Grown Up!, yes - that's absolutely true.
And that's not counting numerous other shows like those 3 I won't add to that that held my attention better, either.

The only show I can think of that AGU! was better than is... Rocket Power (UGH.), which is pretty easy to do by not being sub-committee garbage trying to be "down and dirty with the kids" and whatever else. Even Sanjay & Craig (for all the well-earned flak that example gets) makes me laugh harder, really...
 

90'sKid

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I hate to say it but... Go on 4chan, if you dare, for the answer to that question immediately.
Why not just tell me to go to the stocks, it would be more enjoyable...

The problem with AGU is that, IMHHO, it was too generic. I know that’s a weird thing to say but, it just felt like every other pre-teen drama. It didn’t really have a flavor of its own, something that you couldn’t get from any other show. It was just bland. Recess (which I love) and Hey Arnold (which I wasn’t a fan of) are better if you want a pre-teen cartoon to watch.

But I will at least give AGU credit for not being the worst thing KC made, it’s nowhere near as bad as Rocket Power or Stressed Eric.
 

Zanneck

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Why not just tell me to go to the stocks, it would be more enjoyable...
Nah, learning about how to sell/buy stocks when you've got some free time sounds a lot more fulfilling than sitting down too AGU! for too long - just be prepared to do a lot of math, however...

Seriously, though - I hope I didn't come off that way, as I'm NOT trying to insult you or anything like that - I'm just happily admitting that I've seen better than this, myself; same reason most of us are here, unfortunately, for a show that obviously didn't have enough potential behind it to be something special like any show strive to be, honestly.
 
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90'sKid

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Nah, learning about how to sell/buy stocks when you've got some free time sounds a lot more fulfilling than sitting down too AGU! for too long - just be prepared to do a lot of math, however...

Seriously, though - I hope I didn't come off that way, as I'm NOT trying to insult you or anything like that - I'm just happily admitting that I've seen better than this, myself; same reason most of us are here, unfortunately, for a show that obviously didn't have enough potential behind it to be something special like any show strive to be, honestly.
Hehehe, not those stocks. :p

But don't worry, you didn't come off as mean at all. You seem very kind and intellegent, polite too.

And I didn't mean to imply I hated HBs, I don't, I just couldn't get into it. I'm not big into slower-paced, SoL shows.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
 
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Zanneck

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Hehehe, not those stocks. :p

But don't worry, you didn't come off as mean at all. You seem very kind and intellegent, polite too.

And I didn't mean to imply I hated HBs, I don't, I just couldn't get into it. I'm not big into slower-paced, SoL shows.

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Nah - that's actual valid & constructive criticism - which is what I'm always happy to see from people, whether they like something or not. Whether it's slow or fast in pace, there needs to be balance. Not everything is gonna be for everyone (clear example between you and me: Harvey Beaks.), regardless.
 
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Dr.Pepper

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I’ve only seen a few episodes but I remember it being incredibly bland. It felt like any other generic slice of life show. I liked the original special, but I think it was best as a one time special.
 

90'sKid

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Nah - that's actual valid & constructive criticism - which is what I'm always happy to see from people, whether they like something or not. Whether it's slow or fast in pace, there needs to be balance. Not everything is gonna be for everyone (clear example between you and me: Harvey Beaks.), regardless.
You are a great conversationalist.

So what is your thoughts on AGU as a Rugrats spin-off?


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Zanneck

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You are a great conversationalist.

So what is your thoughts on AGU as a Rugrats spin-off?


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I think @Dr.Pepper said it best, IMHO. Somethings should stay a one-time-only special, not turn into a series with no raw substance to it to justify it's own existence, honestly.

For me, It's kinda like what would happen if you almost, ALMOST applied this to something like The Simpsons - making all the characters grow up sounds great on paper, until you run out of ideas to truly drive things forward, that is.

To be fair, The Simpsons should have ended too many years ago to count, basicially if only to save face there, anyway, even if this idea of having the characters age might have done something innovative / interesting there, too...

Seriously though, it really is better to have your original show (which Rugrats just plain lacked, like any other sitcom likely will, either.) have a concrete beginning, middle, and end. That way it doesn't become a zombie or spawn easily diseased spinoffs, in an attempt to breathe new life into something that's fine the way it is at best or clearly there was no new life to breathe into it at worst - pretty much AGU, sadly.
 
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LinusFan303

A Fan of Linus Van Pelt.
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I have a like and dislike (hate takes energy) with this show. I was and still am a big fan or Rugrats. This show was sometimes alright, and sometimes baffling. I do like "All Grown Up" Dil and Kimi more than original because they were given personalities of some sort. They made it seem more like High School Rugrats even though they elementary and middle school Rugrats and that was weird.


It would have been interesting to have Rugrats be older and see how they handle new problems with a different light compared to being babies. Especially being in 5th Grade to Middle School have them trying to figure out the world they still don't understand like when they were babies or something. They didn't really do that, it felt like rushed to just have a series after the "All Growed Up"special was the highest rated (and still is) thing Nick aired and didn't plan what to do at all. I think they could have done it better if it was more thought out ,I don't dislike the concept, but execution was weak.

It wasn't an awful series but if you wanted a series about 5th or near 5th graders there were better series like Recess, Hey Arnold, etc. With Middle Schoolers you had As Told By Ginger, Weekenders etc... (even Ned's Declassified in the non animated world). These shows are even good by to this day.
 

DBTrilogy100

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I remember being surprised when I first found out that the 10th Anniversary Special for Rugrats was getting its own spin-off series and I also recall seeing some very intense debates surrounding it during the timeframe it was airing new episodes; it was a few years ago when I stumbled upon some episodes again and decided to give them another go.

I found it to be an OK or average series, I feel there were other shows that executed its premise better but I also didn't find it as bad as I remember seeing some saying it was during those intense debates and felt some were overly harsh about it (fair enough if something isn't one's cup of tea but I also believe it is possible for one to express disagreement without being belligerent or antagonistic about it).

While I found some episodes forgettable there were some episodes that I found solid and stood out to me in a notable way (episodes about Tommy & Dil's brotherly relationship being an example off the top of my head). I also agree with the sentiments that Dil & Kimi got a better showing in All Grown Up compared to the seasons of Rugrats that featured them; they were some of my favorite characters in All Grown Up and I also found Estes Pangborn to be a favorite of mine.

While I would consider the initial run of seasons for Rugrats (before it was revived) to be my favorite era, I still found myself preferring All Grown Up to the Dil Seasons and Kimi Seasons of Rugrats.
 
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Light Lucario

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I thought that the series was okay. I don't think it was anything to write home about, but it never got me that upset either. I thought it was usually pretty decent and I kind of liked seeing the Rugrats characters older. They had long since exhausted what they could do with the characters as babies, so while I don't think a spin-off series was necessary, it was the only direction I could have seen the series going by a certain point. Dil was definitely an improvement since he had a personality instead of being used for toilet humor. I also liked how the kids could actually talk to their parents since that offered some different dynamics and conflicts.

I do wish that they could have shown an older version of the Wild Thornberry characters in a special or something though. Rugrats Go Wild was easily the weakest of the Rugrat movies, but since it confirmed that the two series exist within the same universe, getting to see what happened to Eliza and Debbie ten years later would have been pretty cool.
 

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