29 June 2011 | StevePulaski
Makes a pretty picture, but doesn't go outside the lines to make itself even more beautiful
Hey Arnold! The Movie is harmless, cute, and eventful. Never being a huge fan of the show, but always liking it, I was pleased with the movie adaptation, but found it hard to accept. It's a longer episode of the show, but doesn't do anything daring or very memorable. The Simpsons got sealed into a dome, South Park started a war with Canadians, and even Spongebob set foot on land. Arnold didn't accomplish something as monumental as all the others.
For what it is, it's nothing but an extended episode of the show. Arnold and his pals Gerald and Helga try to stop Mr. Sheck, a giant businessman, from taking over their small neighborhood and replacing it with a huge, revolutionary mall. This means destroying Arnold's block and possibly losing all of his friends in the mix.
Its entertainment stems from its simplicity and the character's desire to achieve their goal. They try and buy secret agent gear to sneak into Sheck's office. Arguably my favorite scene in the movie is the broken hearted bus driver complaining about his failed relationship. The scene mirrors the film Speed, and is pretty much one of the best homages to the film I've seen.
But like I said, if you're going to bring it to the big screen, do something bigger than the series. This could've been an hour long special on Nickelodeon. A seventy-five minute film based on a Nickelodeon's series doesn't say much other than "we thought we'd make you see it a different way." Arnold is likable to a degree, but he's just another perky kid who wants a seemingly impossible thing done. Every character we've seen before. The one character I absolutely loved in the show was Oskar Kokoshka, a con artist who lived in Arnold's apartment. He has a brief appearance in the film, and does his signature voice I've loved since my childhood. Sadly, his presence is far too short. He he he.
Hey Arnold! The Movie isn't bad, but not consistently funny. The voice acting is good, the characters are still charming, the only thing that fails is its ability to stay inside the lines and not venture out to explore a bigger range in storytelling. At this point in time, the future of the series looked grim, and it seems the movie just serves as a piece of the show's history.
Voiced by: Spencer Klein, Francesca Smith, Jamil Walker Smith, Dan Castellaneta, Tress MacNeille, Paul Sorvino, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Christopher Lloyd. Directed by: Tuck Tucker.