Why, 2K?!- “Recess: School’s Out” and “Rugrats: All Growed Up”

The first decade of this millennium is often heralded as some sort of golden age for children’s films. Sure, most of Pixar’s best flicks came out in this period, and there were some winners in general, but I think people tend to view the films of their own childhood with rose-colored glasses. Most of these films are goddamn godawful. Just HOW goddamn godawful, you ask? Let’s find out together by checking out EVERY kids film between 2000 and 2009. From theatrical to direct-to-DVD to Disney Channel Original, we’ll look at ’em all because I am a glutton for punishment.

This week, two movies based on children’s cartoons. So at least I’ll get a nostalgia tip out of these.

RECESS: SCHOOL’S OUT

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So I never really had a huge attachment to Recess, either the show or the film. Like, the most contact I had with the franchise up to this point was the fact that this movie’s poster was a back cover ad on a couple of the 2001 issues of Thunderbolts. That’s about it.

I know people for whom Recess was a huge part of their childhood but I was not one of them. But I like the premise a whole bunch. Kids being lovable scamps with a cruel domineering school system to fight against. What’s not to like?

So the premise of the movie is that it’s summer at last and TJ and pals are off to have summer fun. Or not because all TJ’s friends are going to various summer camps leaving TJ all alone. But he discovers a super villainous plan so he gathers his pals and they save the day and the earth as we know it.

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I will say that the animation quality is kinda sub par but you get used to it pretty fast.

The bigger thing I want to dress is that the movie keeps talking about TJ’s “pranks”, all of which are literal crimes, most of them felonies.

For instance, stealing the principal’s identity and ordering the school a boat. This is a crime. Also, blackmailing. That is a crime too.

But recidivist felon TJ isn’t the most outlandish person in this movie. No, that honor belongs to the villain. The villain’s plan is to move the moon out of its alignment in order to create a constant winter and therefore no summer and therefore neverending school.

If your response to that entire sentence was “well that sounds fucking nutter-butters” then I feel you might be a little slow on the uptake because the rest of us had that reaction after the words “move the moon out of its alignment”.

So this plan isn’t just crazy because its nonsensical, but because it will KILL MOST LIFE ON PLANET EARTH IN A HORRIBLE DEATH WAVE LEAVING FEW SURVIVORS.

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So yeah, TJ and friends save all of humanity and are still somehow worried about building up their college resumes. Guys, you saved all life on earth. You’re good. You could get busted for drug trafficking (which TJ probably will be) and you’d still at least get on the Harvard wait list.

RUGRATS: ALL GROWED UP

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Ok before we talk about the actual tv movie, I have to address something. This television special is forty five minutes long. Its wikipedia summary is five fucking paragraphs. Its just shy of nine hundred words.

That is insane. I can summarize this plot in under fifty, guaranteed.

Ready?

Go!

The Rugrats have a fantasy dream about what it’ll be like ten years in the future in which Angelica is a jerk who wants to go to a concert, Tommy and the gang are middle schoolers and Chuckie has a crush on a friend of Angelica’s.

There.

See? How hard was that?

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So how’s the movie?

S’fine. Like, it’s just a slightly longer episode of the show so it doesn’t really feel like anything special.

It’s fun enough though. And short. That was nice.

I’m a sick right now and not having fun.

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Also, yeah this episode/movie did spawn a spin off tv series that came about a few years later, but that wasn’t the movie so we’re not talking about it.

That is all.

Next week, my actual big nostalgia trip.

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