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HEY ARNOLD!: THE MOVIE  

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Hey Arnold!: The Movie has a long and reasonably interesting history that goes along with it.  After the success of The Rugrats Movie, Viacom decided to make more movies based on its Nickelodeon animatied shows; besides another Rugrats movie, plans were made in 1999 to start making a Hey Arnold! movie.  Originally, the plan was for the movie to be about Arnold saving his neighborhood from developers, but somebody at Nickelodeon decided that the show had a better story for a movie: Arnold looking for his parents, which was planned for a Nick Flick, and that became the theatrical movie while "Arnold Saves the Neighborhood" was written and animated as a Nick Flick.  In the meantime, "the movie" - which is nicknamed "The Jungle Movie" as it takes place in a jungle - was going through a series of rewrites.  Eventually, it was decided that, "while we're waiting for 'The Jungle Movie'", "Arnold Saves The Neighborhood" would be reanimated as a theatrical movie and released in 2002.  (It didn't hurt any that Viacom CEO Sumner Redstone had announced plans to have at least two animated movies a year released.)  The title was changed to Hey Arnold!: The Neighborhood, and then Hey Arnold!: The Movie, probably to get people who weren't particularly familiar with the show to watch it.

But enough of that...you want details on the movie, right?

Hey Arnold!: The Movie
A developer buys up most of the neighborhood where Arnold lives so he can build a mall, and Arnold and Gerald have to find a document that declared the entire area a national monument before the bulldozers start tearing everything up.
Written by Craig Bartlett & Steve Viksten
Directed by Tuck Tucker
Art Director: Christine Kolosov
Sequence Directors: Tim Parsons, Carson Kugler, Chris Robertson, Aldin Baroza
Animation Directors: Christine Kolosov, Frank Weiss
Storyboard Artists: Miyuki Hoshikawa, Diane Kredensor, Caesar Martinez, Ted Seko

Cast:
Arnold - Spencer Klein
Helga, Deep Voice - Francesca Marie Smith
Gerald, "Rasta Guy" - Jamil Smith
Grandpa, Nick Vermicelli, Jolly Olly Ice Cream Man (uncredited) - Dan Castellaneta
Grandma, Mayor Dixie, Red (Scheck's assistant) - Tress MacNeille
Scheck - Paul Sorvino
Bridget - Jennifer Jason Leigh
Coroner - Christopher Lloyd
Mr. Bailey (Hall of Records employee) - Vincent Schiavelli
Big Bob Pataki, head of FTI security - Maurice LaMarche
Miriam Pataki, Mona (Murray's girlfriend), TV reporter - Kath E. Soucie
Stinky - Christopher P. Walberg
Sid - Sam Gifaldi
Harold - Justin Shenkarow
Eugene - Blake Ewing
Rhonda - Olivia Hack
Phoebe - Anndi McAfee
Mr. Green, riot cop (who breaks up the party) - James Keane
Mrs. Vitello - Elizabeth Ashley
Ray Doppel (Dino Spumoni impersonator) - Michael Levin
Oskar - Steve Viksten
Ernie - Dom Irrera
Mr. Hyunh - Baoan Coleman
Brainy, Murray (bus driver), Grubby (man with cans knocked over by bus), Monkeyman - Craig Bartlett
Caesar (truck driver who almost drives off overpass) - (uncredited)
Also, "Li'l Romeo featuring Master P" is credited as singing one of the songs over the closing credits

  • Apparently, somebody thought it would be a good idea to have Arnold's and Gerald's faces always in shadow for some reason.  It ranks right up there with the "gray-faced adults" in the outdoor scenes in The Rugrats Movie.
  • Don't bother looking for a soundtrack CD for the movie, as none was made.  This isn't surprising, considering there were only four or five songs (the ones I can think of: Li'l Romeo's song and the changed theme at the end; Eugene's "song", which is interrupted twice; the song sung in the club).
  • Speaking of songs, if you're wondering what the song "Coconut" in the closing credits is: when Grandma is in the police van, she says "Put the lime in the coconut, and mix it all up", which are lyrics from that song.
  • Just before the SPAT team arrives at the block party, Harvey is wearing formal clothing, but after they arrive, he's in his mail delivery uniform.
  • "Why would Dino Spumoni be singing in a small club like that?"  That wasn't Dino Spumoni, but Ray Doppel, the Dino impersonator in "Dino Checks Out".  (One way you can tell is by their noses.)
  • Speaking of characters you may not remember, Mr. Bailey was the man Arnold and Gerald went to in order to find Mr. Hyunh's daughter in "Arnold's Christmas".
  • Look fast: at Blockapalooza, Lorenzo dunks Lila, Maria and Connie are in line to kiss Jamie O at his "Kissin' Booth", and Timberly is getting a flower from Mrs. Vitello.
  • Usually Jim Lang handles all of the music, but the movie had an "Orchestrated and Conducted by Bill Liston" credit.
  • I realize this was written as a Nick Flick, but for something this big, why not give more characters lines?  Where were Curly, Nadine, Mr. Simmons, and Principal Wartz?  (How about Sheena?  She was next to Lila in the opening, and it wasn't as if Francesca Smith wasn't available...)  Even Phoebe only had one line.
  • One of the reviews pointed out that Grandpa's grandfather was involved in the tomato incident, "but how is that possible as it would have been over 225 years ago" and Grandpa was born around 1920 (remember, he's in his early eighties).  Technically, parts of the northwest USA were under British control until the mid-1840s (see also the story of "the real pig war" in episode 315), so it could have happened.  (Unlike "the pig war", I think the tomato incident is fictional; it sounds much too close to the events that led to the Boston Tea Party.)
  • Somebody forgot to tell Lila that you're not supposed to wear your normal clothes when you're in a dunk tank.  We know she has a bathing suit; she's wearing it (one-piece yellow) in the opening scene.  Of course, those of you who are not particularly fans of Lila (and you know who you are) probably didn't mind...
  • Arnold had to borrow bus fare from Helga in order to ride the bus the first time.  Why?  In the past, all he had to do is show his bus pass.
  • The coroner tells Arnold that FTI is located on Riverside Highway.  Christopher Lloyd, who voiced the coroner, was also Doc Brown in the Back to the Future movies, and Doc Brown lived on Riverside Drive.
  • Arnold used some sort of lock-picking device in order to get into Scheck's office - why couldn't he have just used that device to open the safe deposit box instead of going through the trouble of getting the key?
  • Get your names in while you've got the chance: Nick orders a "Bartlett" in the club, while one of the stores that is closed is Viksten's Bicycle Shop (named for Craig and Steve, respectively).
  • At least one of the computers in Mr. Bailey's office uses tubes - something they stopped using in the 1960s.
  • If there was a problem with somebody finding the document, why didn't Scheck just burn it in the first place?  For that matter, why didn't Scheck start bulldozing the minute he thought there were any problems?
  • Yes, that is a Jewish prayer you hear Gerald saying, but it's doubtful that he's Jewish, as he didn't recognize the Hebrew in Harold's book in "Harold's Bar Mitzvah".  (Another example of the two Nickelodeon answers to "What religion is that character?": Jewish and "uh....")
  • Except for a strange mix version at the end, you never hear the TV theme song.  And why wasn't it the first song in the credits?  Because then the song that was first wouldn't be eligible for the Academy Award for original song (it has to be in the movie or the first song in the closing credits)...and that assumes the song was written specifically for the film (another requirement).
  • It's strange that they mention that Mr. Green has a son, but they just leave it at that (instead of, say, the son showing up in some reconciliation scene at the end).  For that matter, he's never mentioned that he ever had a wife.
  • At the end, Big Bob tells Scheck to "tell it to your cellmate in Folsom" - which is impossible, as Folsom is limited to criminals who commit crimes in California.  Besides, when you consider Big Bob assaulted Nick twice, he just might end up being that cellmate.
  • "I would have gotten away with it, too" - usually, the next words are "if it wasn't for those meddling kids"; this is how pretty much every episode of every version of Scooby-Doo ends.
  • I'm confused...did Mr. Green and Mrs. Vitello sell to Scheck or not?  If not, how would the bulldozers know which buildings to tear down?  If they did, what was Mr. Green doing in his store when the bulldozers showed up?
  • Was every building in the neighborhood built before "the tomato incident" took place?  If not, then there must not have been a problem with tearing them down even after the area was declared a historical monument, so why is it a problem now?
  • Now the big question: what happens next?  Certainly, Grandpa, Ernie, Oskar, and Mr. Hyunh aren't going to get just a slap on the wrist for illegally setting off explosives and demolishing a building they didn't own.  As for the rest of the neighborhood (except the Sunset Arms), Scheck still owns the buildings, so they can't just move back in.  As for Arnold and Helga,...no, I can't mention that as it might give away what really happens when Helga confesses to Arnold.