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Revisiting Rugrats in Paris: The Movie

Tonight, I revisited Rugrats in Paris: The Movie for the first time in… oh, probably decades. Here are a few random, disconnected observations that I jotted down in response to the nostalgia trip:

  • The Godfather parody that opens the film is absolutely spot on. I hadn’t yet seen Coppola’s classic when this movie initially hit theaters, so I didn’t appreciate its subtler references. It manages to perfectly capture the director’s distinctive tone, rhythm, and style in a family-friendly format.

  • The writers never waste an opportunity to eviscerate Disney. Spike’s filthy back-alley recreation of Lady and the Tramp, the vulgar mockery of the It’s a Small World ride, the babies’ impatience with the frequent musical numbers… you’d think that this running gag would eventually wear thin, but it consistently delivers comedy gold.

  • Kira deserves an award for actually being a semi-competent mother. The other parents are especially neglectful here, even by the series’ usual standards. Kira, on the other hand, immediately notices when the kids wander off and reacts with appropriate speed and urgency.

  • Mister Yamaguchi is played by Japanese character actor Mako, who also voiced Uncle Iroh in Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aku in Samurai Jack, and the ominous narrator in the closing credits of Dexter’s Laboratory. Not much else to add; I just found his presence to be a delightful surprise.

  • During the spectacular climax, Tommy and the gang destroy or severely damage the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, and Notre-Dame. This is a step above their usual mayhem… but the French government doesn’t seem to particularly care. C’est la vie, I suppose.

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