Rugrats (Nickelodeon, 1991-2004)
Rugrats was another cartoon that was first shown on children’s channel Nickelodeon, but it really became popular in this country when it came to CBBC in the early-90s. Rugrats centred around the adventures of a group of toddlers, with the main character being Tommy Pickles, who loved discovering things about the world around him and he was always dragging his smelly nappy around in various exciting stories.
We also met Tommy’s parents Didi and Stu who is an inventor and he also loves chocolate pudding. Of course none of the adults in the show realise that Tommy can actually speak! The other children included the twin brother and sister Phil and Lil, and the glasses-wearing Chuckie. There is also Tommy’s cousin Angelica who is a couple of years older than the others, she is often seen playing with her favourite doll Cynthia and thinks that she knows a lot more about life than they do, often calling them “dumb babies!”, but they usually outsmart her.
We also meet various other family members, including Tommy’s dozy granddad and Angelica’s mother who is something of a workaholic. One thing that was distinctive about Rugrats was that every episode would begin with a shot from the child’s eye view accompanied by some odd “bah-bah” music which made it difficult to realise what was happening at first, but everything was soon revealed, and the story developed from there. Some episodes revolved around the children’s favourite TV show about a dinosaur called Reptar. They really loved them, and they were very excited in one episode when a breakfast cereal was released which made the milk turn green!
Rugrats ended up running for over a decade and over 100 episodes were made, and it became popular enough for two films to be released. One of my favourite episodes is “Incident In Aisle Seven” where Grandpa takes Tommy to the supermarket and ends up having great fun. Honestly, it was chaos, there were watermelons everywhere. In later episodes Tommy also gained a younger brother called Dil but I had stopped watching the show regularly by then. There was also a monthly comic featuring more Rugrats stories which launched in 1996 and it ran for about a year or two. I remember buying a couple of copies, but I didn’t keep them though which is rather annoying. There were also some games and DVDs released among a lot of other merchandise.
In more recent years there was also a spin-off series called All Grown Up which featured all the main cast members but they were now all ten years old, and this was series was actually shown on CITV, along with some of the later episodes of Rugrats. I still very much remember watching the earlier episodes of Rugrats and enjoying them, and it is remarkable to think that the one-year-olds that we have come to know have now been around for 25 years.