Paramount // 2005 // 93 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // January 14th, 2006
All Grown Up! is the Nickelodeon animated show detailing the adventures of the original crew from Rugrats, older and on the cusp of puberty. Now that they're free from the confines of the crib and the sandbox, their exploits are vaster and geared more toward the pre-young adult demographic of Nickelodeon. As a result, the subject matter is, as can be predicted, older and the jokes are tuned toward those joys of awkward blooming: pimples, first crushes, looking cool in front of the new girl, etc.
R.V. Having Fun Yet features a double-long episode, the titular installment, plus two bonus episodes. Individually, shows run about 22 minutes, with "R.V. Having Fun Yet" clocking in at 44 minutes. And without further ado, here they be:
* "R.V. Having Fun Yet" (Double-length episode)
When Susie is picked to sing on the cheese float in the New York City "Gracy Day Parade," the gang is befallen by envy -- if only they could go the Big Apple, too! Lucky for them, their mothers are thinking the same thing, and break the news that they're going to embark on an epic road trip cross-country in an R.V.
The Rugrats' elation soon turns to despair when they take a look at their chariot: a giant, ugly, dilapidated R.V. that they not-so-affectionately nicknamed The Crudinator. But pile in they do, and take off for the East Coast.
It doesn't take a seer to know what is forthcoming. Craziness! Along the way, the kids are subjected to every backwards, goofy tourist trap their moms can think up (the widest Christmas tree, the biggest ball of string), and soon grow rebellious. During one stop, they decide to take off into the desert for a little night exploring -- and are shocked to find the R.V. gone when they return!
Thanks to the mix-up, the mothers desperately try to return to their children, while the kids meet a lot of interesting people and attempt to formulate their own method of transportation, even if that means riding in an Amish horse and buggy.
* "The Science Pair"
When Tommy finds out that the grand prize for winning the school science fair is a stint at space camp, he brims over with excitement. Eager to fabricate a top-tier exhibit, he enlists the help of his inventor father. Turns out, his dad is just as eager, and almost immediately takes over the project. Tommy is conflicted: he loves working with his dad and is having a great time, but wants control over his own endeavor back. The conundrum gets worse at the actual fair when Tommy may actually win with a project that ceased being his a long time ago.
* "It's Karma, Dude"
What goes around comes around for Angelica, when she fails to inform her friend, and chief singing rival, Susie, about the opportunity to sing in front of the school. Thinking she has her music career wrapped up, she doesn't expect to be blindsided by karma. Just one day before her big show, she is set upon by a monster zit, and despite all possible medications and cosmetic cover-ups, her pimply stage time looms.
I can get on board with this show. For my money, it succeeds in accomplishing what it sets out to do: put together an animated series that just might be entertaining enough to pull in an audience that has probably outgrown animated series. Sure there's a sense that the creators tried a little too hard to make their shows edgy and their characters hip (pseudo-messed-up coiffures, hair streaks, baggy pants), but the storytelling remains fast and amusing.
There are plenty of funny moments to be found in these episodes, and the plotlines are likely to be relatable. You've got Chucky trying to score a kiss from a girl for the first time, Tommy doing his best to not come across as mama's boy dork in front of his "girlfriend," and a strange puking gag that runs all the way throughout the "R.V. Having Fun Yet?" episode.
These All Grown Up! shows are fun and witty, and once again prove that Nickelodeon has a hammerlock on inventive televised animation for kids -- of any age.
Review content copyright © 2006 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 93 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Bonus Episodes
* Trivia Game