Belvedere Jehosophat - Tuesday, 5 August 2003
Of all the Nickelodeon cartoons—some of which were extremely lame—Craig Bartlett's Hey Arnold! was my favourite.
There was just something nostalgic about his optimistic never-give-up attitude, and I guess the idea of a kid who because he is a cartoon character will always remain a kid—a Peter Pan of sorts—is somewhat comforting.
The movie plays like a 73 minute episode, which was exactly what I was looking for. The plot revolves around a wealthy industrialist who plans to tear down Arnold's neighbourhood, leaving it up to Arnold and his friends to come up with some sort of plan to save their homes. It's pretty obvious how the movie will end before you watch it.
Unfortunately, only a few members of the Hey Arnold! cast (Arnold, Gerald and Helga (who (incidentally) finally confesses her love for Arnold)) get a significant amount of screen time. Hell, even Arnold's pig, Abner, is seen only running around once or twice.
Grandma and Grandpa, as usual, act as comic relief; the former attempting to escape from jail, the latter rigging up, with the help of the people who live in Arnold's building, the street to explode.
The show also quietly spoofs several different movies including, much to my chagrin, Men in Black.
I had reservations about buying this movie because I'd read somewhere that the person who'd voiced the first season of Hey Arnold! was not the same as the one who did the voice for the movie.
Unfortunately, this was true. It's not that the new guy's voice is terrible or anything, it's just that I always remember Arnold sounding a certain way and I didn't really like any deviations from that. It actually bugged me in the worst way to hear Arnold sound tainted thus, which is kinda scary cause, a) it's only a cartoon; and, b) I'm 23 years old.
There are no extras on the DVD aside from the original movie trailer and both subtitles and soundtrack in English and French. However, the movie features the voice talents of Jennifer Jason Leigh, Paul Sorvino and Christopher Lloyd, so I guess it all equals out in the end.
For some reason, the movie seemed to lack a little Je mange le oiseau, a little energy, that was present on the TV show. Of course, there's a good chance that it's exactly the same, but I, in some sort of Stockholm Syndrome stupor, remember it being more glorious than it actually was.
All in all, it was a pretty cool movie, though probably I'd be more interested in tracking down the first season of Hey Arnold! on DVD.
I don't know why I didn't enjoy this movie as much as I thought I should have. Maybe the different voice ruined the movie for me, maybe I've just outgrown watching Arnold cartoons, or maybe I've just outgrown his optimism.
Edit: The "Arnold! Hey Arnold!" intro from the series is also missing. All the more reason to track down the first season, I guess.
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