When it comes to old-school nineties cartoons, we still consider Hey Arnold! to be one of the most formative and influential ones of our entire life. There’s just something about this show that spoke to us so many years ago — maybe it was the timeless quality of the characters, the silly humor, the relatable characters, or maybe the fact that it was one of the few cartoons of the era that had some element of heart and genuine character progression. Each season and each episode was different — even if the characters felt roughly the same age throughout, they felt like the same people.
Personally, CarterMatt wouldn’t have been opposed to the idea of Hey Arnold! actually progressing into different eras of the Hillwood gang’s life like an animated version of The Wonder Years, but that probably isn’t going to happen at this point.
The fact that Hey Arnold: The Jungle Movie is even happening is almost a remarkable achievement in itself. Thirteen or fourteen years ago this was a movie that we would’ve done anything to see happen; it was the long-planned conclusion to the Nickelodeon show’s story — it was meant to provide some sort of development in the relationship between Arnold and Helga much like it was also meant to finally offer up some more insight into Arnold’s long-absent parents, who disappeared when he was little after making an excursion to another part of the world: San Lorenzo. In The Jungle Movie Arnold and his friends get a chance to go there in hopes of finding them and tying together some loose ends.
In this trailer (which CarterMatt has for you below) we’re reminded instantly of why we loved this show so much in the first place — you have the silly moments like Grandpa Phil firing off the list of possible diseases Arnold should protect himself from coupled with some emotional reveals including some sort of Arnold – Helga confession. You’ve got little Easter eggs thrown in here including Abner the pig and the tortoise Lockjaw, who Arnold saved early on in the series’ run.
Our hope is that this movie inspires some parents out there to introduce their kids to this show, just as we also hope that it inspires many adults themselves to go back and find some old episodes of the show. We’d love to see this be the engine that brings the show back on the air in some capacity, or maybe turns this movie into more movies. Even if it doesn’t, we hope that this does push Nickelodeon into making more programming that is in this vein — family-friendly, but not just strictly for kids, and not limited to a specific moment in time. The themes of Hey Arnold! are universal — it’s a show about friendship, acceptance, family, and gratitude. We like to think that these themes are important no matter the era.
Hey Arnold: The Jungle Movie is set to premiere on Nickelodeon Thanksgiving weekend. For more news, sound off in the comments.
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