Hello Folks! I hope you all had a good holiday weekend. This weekend something that a lot of 90s kids have been waiting over 15 years for came out Friday night “Hey! Arnold the Jungle Movie”. Hey! Arnold the Jungle Movie is a continuation of the 1996 Nickelodeon TV show Hey! Arnold.
Hey! Arnold came out back in 1996 and was a show about a kid named Arnold who lived in a big city with his grandparents in a boarding house with wacky characters. He went to school at PS 118 in the 4th grade with a colorful cast of classmates, his best friend Gerald & nemesis/secret admirer Helga G Pataki.
Now the reason I think Hey Arnold was so beloved by so many 90s kids was because it was a show that was for kids but didn’t speak down to us. It talked about real life issues going on in the big city for kids Arnold’s age, the adults in the city and families. Plus there was at least one character you as a kid could relate to in some way. Take me for example, when Hey! Arnold first premiered on Nick I had just started kindergarten and had a massive crush on a kid in class and like Helga was way too shy to tell him (all though he found out anyway). Each character had their own personalities which they explored in more than one episode and it showed that we are all just humans going through life. It even had one-off characters which you might have only seen for one episode but they made such an impact on you. Arnold also had a heart of gold (which comes up in the Jungle Movie) and is always helping those around him when they’re in a jam.
Oh and in 2017 I still want Arnold’s dope room!
Some Favorite Characters of Mine Are:
Gerald, Grandma, Helga, Phebe, Pigine Man, Stoopkid, Harvey The Mailman, Monkey Man, The Borders, Eugene, Sid, Curly, Brain, Dino Spumoni, Mr. Simmons and the rest of the kids at PS 118, Coach Wittenburg, Mr. Green, Mrs. Vitelo, ect.
Of course the biggest character on the show (besides Arnold) was Helga. Helga was a misunderstood kid who never got the respect or care from her parents. She had a dad who was the “Beeper King” Big Bob and a mom who was too whacked out on “smoothies” to care about the on goings of Helga’s life. The only person her parents paid attention to was her perfect older sister Olga. All of this lead Helga to fall in love with Arnold. They met at preschool and he was the only person who was nice to her and her affection never left.
I of course really liked Gerald because he was the cool black kid of the bunch with his smooth cool attitude and because every group of kids needs that cool black kid in it. Plus I had a crush on him and I know I know “he is a cartoon Ayisah” but I was like 7 at the time and I also had a crush on Vince from Recess too. Anyway I could also relate to Gerald because he had a large family and so do I. Remember when he moved into the boarding house just to get away from his family? Plus he knew all the cool urban legends of town and was a great story-teller. He was just a cool homie in town.
Oh and can we just say that Arnold’s grandma is a G. She really is and I love it! Remember when she convinced Arnold to go save a Turtle or when she helped the kids save an old tree? Or when she helped them to save an old movie theater? She sure was crazy but in the best way and with a lot of love.
Some Favorite Episodes of Mine Are:
Season 1: Downtown as Fruits/Eugene’s Bike, Operation Ruthless/The Vacant Lot, 6th Grade Girls, Benchwarmer, The Little Pink Book/Field Trip, Tutoring Torvald, Arnold’s Hat/Stoop Kid, Heat/Snow, Helga’s Makeover/The Old Building, Mugged, Arnold as Cupid, The Subway/Wheezin’ Ed, Pigeon Man, Magic Show/24 Hours to Live, Arnold’s Christmas, Arnold’s Valentine
Season 2: Save the Tree/New Teacher, Gerald’s Secret, Harold’s Kitty, Ms. Perfect, Hooky, Phoebe Cheats, Mud Bowl/Gerald Moves Out, Quantity Time, Harold’s Bar Mitzvah, Coach Wittenberg, Eugene Goes Bad, Partners
Season 3: Helga Blabs It All, Dangerous Lumber/Mr. Hyunh Goes Country, Gerald’s Tonsils, Helga vs. Big Patty, Olga Gets Engaged, Curly Snaps/Preteen Scream, Grandpa’s Birthday/Road Trip, Sid’s Revenge/Roller Coaster, Arnold Betrays Iggy, Hey Harold!, Best Man/Cool Party, Arnold & Lila, Helga’s Show/The Flood, Phoebe Takes the Fall, Girl Trouble/School Dance, School Play
Season 4: Full Moon, Jamie O in Love, Eugene’s Birthday, The Beeper Queen/Oskar Can’t Read?, Dinner for Four/Phoebe Skips, Helga’s Parrot/Chocolate Turtles, Love and Cheese/Weighing Harold, Back to School/Egg Story, Deconstructing Arnold, Polishing Rhonda, Weird Cousin/Baby Oskar, Helga Sleepwalks, Veteran’s Day, Helga on the Couch, Dino Checks Out
Season 5: Monkeyman!, Helga’s Masquerade, Big Sis, Bag of Money, Phoebe Breaks a Leg, Helga’s Locket/Sid and Germs, Ernie in Love, Parents Day, Rhonda Goes Broke, Beaned, Arnold Visits Arnie/Chocolate Boy, April Fool’s Day, Gerald’s Game, Married, The Journal, Timberly Loves Arnold, Gerald vs. Jamie O
And can we talk about the music? Hey! Arnold’s music was always one of my favorite parts of the show besides his sweet room. It took a fun moment to a sad moment or a adventures to a love scene with Helga and it all fit. The music was very urban and ’90s with a mix of hip-hop and jazz. It was very fitting for a show about a kid in the city. Plus they had some really great songs from people like Dino Spumoni or Arnold’s Grandmother or the other characters on the show.
Ok enough about the original series how was the Jungle Movie?
First Lets Explore How the Jungle Movie Came to Be:
So please watch this video to find out the full scoop but basically that movie we saw in the theaters back in 2002 yea that was supposed to be the Jungle Movie. What happened was the Nick was rushing Craig Bartlett to finish the Jungle Movie and so he didn’t end up having enough time to make this movie so they put out the Hey! Arnold Movie instead which that movie was supposed to be a TV movie and not in theaters. So instead of making this movie we ended with that movie which by the way actually was not very good and did not really fit into the show at all. Plus it ended on too many cliffhangers and it rushed the whole Helga telling Arnold she loves him thing then in the end she took it back. The real ending of Hey! Arnold was the episode “The Journal” which left us on a big cliffhanger of where Arnold’s parents could be. Fans all over the world where upset and wanted answers to where Arnold’s parents are and if Helga and Arnold would ever be together. So thanks to many fan petitions and of course 90s nostalgia and the 90s Are All That/the Splat becoming a thing the show was even seen by new eyes who fell in love with the shows charm. And well that leaves us to about a year ago when they first announced that the Jungle Movie would be made and come out this year. This movie is just one of a few projects being made for 90s Nick fans.
Arnold and his best friend Gerald plan to make a humanitarian video during the summer, after their 5th grade year, to win a trip to San Lorenzo, where Arnold’s parents were last seen. They try to record themselves making a home out of junk for one of their friends, eccentric Monkeyman, but that backfires; Arnold leaves, heartbroken.
Helga, who secretly has a longtime crush on Arnold, uses various footage she’s compiled over the years showing Arnold’s good deeds and everyone in town surprises Arnold with the video. Arnold’s teacher, Mr. Simmons, reveals to everyone that Arnold’s video won the competition and he, his classmates of P.S. 118, and Helga’s older sister, Olga, fly to San Lorenzo.
While on the plane, Arnold’s pet pig Abner stowaways in his backpack. When everyone arrives in San Lorenzo, they are greeted by Arnold’s parents’ old friend, Eduardo. On board of a ship, Eduardo privately warns Arnold of the dangers the jungle has to offer and gives him an amulet said to lead them to the residents of the lost city of San Lorenzo, the “Green-Eyed People”. Later that night, Helga tries to tell Arnold how she felt about him, but the group is attacked by “pirates”. After learning the secret that Arnold kept from them, Gerald and the group shun him.
When the whole group enters a base camp, Eduardo reveals himself to be a mercenary named La Sombra who disguised himself as Eduardo to trick Arnold and the others. And he told everyone that the contest to win the school field trip to San Lorenzo was a trick to lure Arnold there so he could try to find his parents and help the Green Eyes. He and his men imprison everyone, and plans on using Arnold to find the lost city and its treasures. Helga and Gerald manage to escape and free Arnold and use Arnold’s father’s old journal to find the city; unknown to them La Sombra anticipated this and placed a tracking device on Arnold’s green-eyed necklace.
Arnold and the gang manage to evade the lost city’s traps, including La Sombra, sacrificing most of his men to the traps in the process. They manage to find the city populated by children.
Meanwhile, Abner managed to make it back to Arnold’s grandparents, Grandpa Phil and Grandma Gertie, who see this as a sign that Arnold is in trouble. The two meet with Helga’s parents Big Bob, and Miriam at the airport. The Patakis had received an SOS message from Helga’s intelligent best friend, Phoebe. The group flies a rental plane to San Lorenzo, where they soon help the other kids defeat La Sombra’s gang.
In the city, Arnold and the others realize that the residents of the city worship Arnold. The group finds a statue said to contain a treasure that may lead to a cure for the city’s “sleeping sickness” that has contaminated most of the city’s population for 9 years. They are eventually cornered by La Sombra, who takes Arnold hostage and steals the statue. While Gerald and Helga catch up, La Sombra forces Arnold to open the statue and he uses the amulet to open it. He succeeds, and when La Sombra tries to take the treasure from within, the statue shoots him in the forehead with a poisoned dart. La Sombra falls off the cliff and dies.
Afterwards, a mysterious man arrives and reveals himself to be the real Eduardo who reveals that the pirate “attacking” them earlier was him trying to rescue the group from La Sombra. La Sombra climbs back up and gets into a brief scuffle with Eduardo (resulting with the treasure falling off the cliff) before succumbing to the poison dart and falls to his death. The group makes it back to the city, and Arnold finally sees his parents Miles (Craig Bartlett), and Stella (Antoinette Stella), who are alive but have been contaminated with the sleep sickness. Without the treasure to release the cure to the infected population, Helga uses her locket containing a photo of Arnold as a replacement. The temple releases the cure and the infected are revived. Arnold and the city’s children reunite with their parents. Arnold thanks Helga for her loyalty and finally realizes the depths of her feelings for him. The two share a kiss before being interrupted by Gerald, Miles, and Stella.
A few months later, Arnold wakes up in his bedroom and rushes downstairs to find things seemingly back to the way it was before the trip, only this time his parents are cooking breakfast. Arnold says goodbye to his parents as he heads off for his first day of 6th grade with Gerald, Phoebe, and Helga. Gerald and Phoebe are seen holding hands walking to school together implying that they’re a couple. It is also implied that Arnold and Helga are a couple despite Helga continuing to remain hostile in public towards Arnold. Arnold’s parents walk with him and his friends to school and Arnold tells his mom and dad that they’ll see him at 3:30 as the school doors close behind him.
Now What Did I Think of the Movie?
I thought it was very well done. It was modern without being too modern, it brought together all the fun wacky personalities of the characters, made many call backs to the show, and tied up a lot of loose ends. Over all it was a great movie to me.
Of course there were a few differences in the movie and TV show like the voices of some of the kids like Arnold and Gerald as their voice actors had grown up. Also a few of the original kids didn’t end up in the movie like Sheena. The animation was different but I actually liked it and thought it fit well with the show. Oh and the plot with La Sombra trying to be Eduardo to trick Arnold was pretty predictable but because this movie was more about the characters and the two important plot points those made up for this. But yea most of these differences where pretty small.
Anyway yea I was really glad we finally got to see where his parents were and that they came home with him. I also loved when they played that movie to Arnold as their entry to the contest. It gave a node to the show and it’s fans who have followed it for 20 years and all the cast of characters he has helped over the course of the show.
Oh and can we talk about how amazing Brainy is? The way he is always around Helga when she is talking about Arnold with her locket came in handy in the movie. When Helga tries to confess her love to Arnold again but he kind of blows her off Helga gets mad and rips up the picture in her locket and throws it in the water. We then see Brainy jump in the water for some reason. Later on when Helga goes to reach for her locket she realizes she doesn’t have it and Brainy ends up giving it to her and she gets so excited she kisses him and he becomes so happy he starts playing a flute. It was so cute. I love Brainy!
That locket also comes in handy later in the movie as well as it basically helps save Arnold’s parents and the Green Eyed people which brings Arnold to finally see Helga in the same light she sees him in and in and in the end they are finally together. I also loved that Phebe and Gerald are together too as that was something they hinted at a lot in the series as well.
One of the best parts was when Big Bob, Mariam, & Arnold’s grandparents all fly to San Lorenzo to save the kids that was really funny. Oh and those one-off jokes from Herald, Ronda, Phebe, Sid, Eugene, Stinky, Mr. Simsons, Olga, Curly and more. Also the beeper & cell phone jokes were funny especially the wi-fi joke. It was also really great to get to see some of the boarders at the boarding house in the beginning and end and they were their typical obnoxious selves although I do wish they had shown more of them. Oh and of course “Monkey Man!” lol and when Herald and Stinky are mooning the camera on the Arnold video classic lol. Oh and of course because this is based on the ’90s show they were able to bring in a lot more violence and death into this than most modern cartoons.
So yea I don’t really know what else to say but this was just really well done and an amazing ending to a beloved show. Thank you to Craig Bartlett for 20 years of Hey! Arnold, thank you for the Jungle Movie and thank you for making all 90s kids dreams come true.
Ok So What’s Next?
Now that the Jungle Movie has come out and all the reviews I have watched from people my age it’s safe to say this movie was received well. That being said it was mentioned at NY Comic Con by Craig Bartlet that if this movie does well he might make a 6th season of the show. Personally though I’m 50/50 about a 6th season and hears why. First when a show makes a movie to kind of end the series and a couple you wanted to see together for all the whole show end up together when another season comes up after the movie they usually break them up. Also this show would be on modern Nick and we know most of the shows on their today are stupid and not well made. But on the other hand I know Craig would be making this season and I trust him a lot so it might be amazing. Who knows if they make one I defiantly will be watching it so either way.
Ok well that’s the Jungle Movie. So glad this was made and just remember kids if you push for something hard enough it can be done. As a 90s kid we might not have thought something like this could have been done after the show was over but we got lucky so don’t give up on your shows they can come back!
Till Next Time…Stay Bold Shortman!
A Few Other Reviews: