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Hey Arnold! The Movie

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Hey Arnold! The Movie

Starring: Spencer Klein, Paul Sorvino
Director: Tuck Tucker
Rated: PG
RunTime: 75 Minutes
Release Date: June 2002
Genres: Animation, Kids

*Also starring: Francesca Marie Smith, Jamil Smith, Justin Shenkarow, Olivia Hack, Craig Bartlett, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Maurice LaMarche, Christopher Lloyd

Review by Susan Granger
2 stars out of 4

Following in the footsteps of "Rugrats," this popular Nickelodeon TV animated series is making its big-screen debut. Arnold (voiced by Spencer Klein) is the ever-optimistic, good-hearted hero with his football-shaped head and blue baseball cap. When he learns that Future Tech Industries is about to tear down his working-class urban neighborhood - including Green's Meats and Jolly Olly's Ice Cream, not to mention Arnold's grandparents' dilapidated boarding-house - to create a mega-mall, he rounds up his friends to prevent this disaster. Arnold has a jive-talking buddy - that's Gerald (voiced by Jamil Smith) - and a sharp-spoken, pigtailed companion, Helga (Francesca Marie Smith), who pretends to despise him but secretly adores him. The villain is a greedy land developer, the villainous industrialist Scheck (voiced by Paul Sorvino), along with several other unscrupulous businessmen, one of whom is Helga's father. The only way Arnold and his chums can save their homes from demolition by the ominous bulldozer is to find a document that proves his community is a historical site. There's a shadowy secret informer named "Deep Voice," alluding to Watergate's notorious "Deep Throat," and a sexy spy kid named Bridget (voiced by Jennifer Jason Leigh) who leads them to the creepy city coroner (voiced by Christopher Lloyd). Will the kids succeed? You guess. Writer/creator Craig Bartlett and co-writer Steve Viksten, along with director Tuck Tucker, propel the plot along but what works on TV for a half-hour gets a bit boring at twice that length, although there are timely references to "Men in Black" and "Godzilla." On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Hey Arnold! The Movie" is a formulaic yet funky 5 with typical Saturday-morning-cartoon animation.

Copyright 2002 Susan Granger

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