Rugrats gets a CGI revival (and the internet is horrified)

rugrats cgi revival
(Image credit: Courtesy of Nickelodeon)

It's official: TV producers have run out of ideas. Alongside revivals of such 1990s classics like Frasier and Ren & Stimpy, we also have the Rugrats reboot to add to an evergrowing list of televisual comebacks. Rather predictably though, some '90s kids are already complaining after getting a glimpse of the show's new look in a first-look teaser which was released online yesterday.

While the classic pint-sized heroes of Tommy, Angelica and Chuckie all bear the same classic designs of the original show (and you can always check out our 27 top character design tips to make your own cool creations), it seems not everyone's a fan of the CGI makeover on display here.

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Twitter users reacting to the sneak peek have bemoaned the CGI look for robbing the Rugrats of their cute human charm. The main complaint is they're now like every other soulless and computer-animated toon coming off the animation production line these days.

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One fan pointed out that the new look takes away what made the show so unique back in the '90s, and that was its deliberately ugly choice of aesthetic. Created by beloved studio Klasky Csupo, the show was just one of its fleet of edgy and anarchic shows which defined the decade. Classic cartoons like Duckman, The Wild Thornberrys and even early Simpsons had that rough Klasky Csupo DNA, a style that was a million miles away from the polished look of Disney and Don Bluth.

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The CGI of the reboot may be ugly, but Rugrats was a show that was always less-than-beautiful. While lacking in charm, this revival is probably closer in spirit to the original than, say, the forthcoming Earwig and the Witch is to the rest of Studio Ghibli's sumptuous output. And the best news is that the original voice cast is coming back to reprise their roles, so it's not all doom and gloom for rabid Rugrats fans out there.

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Giacomo Lee

Giacomo is a writer and talking head who has covered creativity and creative tools for Wallpaper*, Digital Arts, Creative Boom, VICE, Little White Lies, the BBC and more. Giacomo has also hosted for Adobe and D&AD, and judged the annual New Blood Awards. He was deputy editor of Creative Bloq for a short time in 2021.