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The Rugrats Movie Reviews

Intermittently snappy and featuring slicker animation than its TV incarnation, this popular children's cartoon may satisfy its youngest fans, but it'll be a big snoozefest for the rest of the family. Led by intrepid Tommy (E.G. Daly), the usual crew of toddlers -- including Tommy's timid best friend Chuckie (Christine Cavanaugh) and fraternal twins Phil and Lil (Kath Soucie) -- embark upon a series of stock escapades. The adventurous tone is set with a Rugrats homage to RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, before things settle down into the tots' typical domestic capers. Tommy's parents, Stu (Jack Riley) and Didi Pickles (Melanie Chartoff) are expecting a new baby. And as soon as little Dil (Tara Charendoff) arrives, Tommy starts feeling squeezed out by the tyke's demands for constant parental attention. When not suffering from sleep deprivation, Stu invents useless contraptions like the Reptar Wagon, a jazzed up stroller that features the booming voice of rapper Busta Rhymes, and the kiddies inadvertently get themselves into a formidable dilemma when they go for a ride and end up lost in a dark, scary forest with infant Dil in tow. While learning to love Tommy's noisy, bratty little brother, the youngsters contend with a big bad wolf, a waterfall, a frightening thunderstorm and a horde of monkeys from a traveling Russian circus who hanker after Dil's banana baby food. Musical sequences like "This World Is Something New to Me," set in the hospital nursery and featuring a surprising lineup of musicians -- Jakob Dylan, Phife, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop and Lou Rawls among them -- singing from the point of view of newborn babies may amuse parents briefly. But overall the film is something they'll merely endure for the sake of their 3- to 5-year-olds.