Monday, October 22, 2012

Movie Review: Rugrats in Paris: The Movie

With the financial success of The Rugrats Movie, it was high time for a sequel. Two years later on November 17, 2000, Rugrats in Paris: The Movie was released in theaters.



So is Rugrats in Paris just as good as the previous Rugrats movie or has it taken a huge baby step down? This is Rugrats in Paris: The Movie. 

The movie starts off with a movie parody such like the first movie. The Rugrats Movie started with the parody of Raiders of the Lost Ark and Rugrats in Paris parodied The Godfather. Angelica portrayed as the "Bobfather" who can grant wishes to the babies if they kiss her ring. When it's Chuckie's turn, he doesn't know what his wish is. But before he can think about  it, we see Grandpa Lou looking at the janitor's closet where the babies are and brings them out. We then start the movie with the celebration of Grandpa Lou and Lulu's wedding. They finish off their dance until the next dance start which involves the kids and their moms. Everyone goes out to dance with their moms except for Chuckie. He feels sad and alone that he's the only one who doesn't have a mom. With that said, Chaz and Chuckie goes home. Chaz gives Chuckie a teddy bear named Wa-Wa that his mother made him. Chaz knows that Chuckie needs a mom more than ever and he decides to try to find a date again.



Meanwhile in Paris, a corporate businesswoman named Coco LaBouche (voiced by Susan Sarandon) is having a discussion with her boss Mr. Yamaguchi (voiced by Mako) about being the head of EuroReptarLand, a Reptar-themed amusement park. Mr. Yamaguchi is impressed with Coco's reputation and work ethics, but doesn't have the "heart of a child" to run the place. Coco makes up a lie saying that she's getting married to a man with a child and Mr. Yamaguchi considers her for the job. Coco's assistant Jean Claude (voiced by John Lithgow) knows that Coco is never going to find a man with a child at time since she's not a likable person. While Coco follows with an defensive argument, a giant Reptar robot begins to malfunction. Coco is very angry and asks for her assistant Kira Watanabe (voiced by Julia Kato) to call the man responsible for the giant Reptar robot to fix it: Stu Pickles.



Kira calls Stu around 3:00 in the morning asking him to get the earliest ticket for him and his family to Paris on the route to EuroReptarLand. All of a sudden, they play off a Home Alone in which the entire gang consisting of the Pickles, the Devilles, and the Finsters running towards the airport, getting passports, packing their stuff, and riding on the plane. On the plane, Tommy, Phil, and Lil are looking around the plane to see if there are any cool places to explore. They find Angelica in first class listening to music and hanging out, but they tend to mess that up when Chuckie stumbles at the stewardess' cart and crashes into the seats and opens up the luggage compartments. As things begin to calm down, Chuckie looks out to the sky and the song "I Want A Mom That'll Last Forever" sung by Cyndi Lauper begins.



Finally they arrive in Paris and make their way to EuroReptarLand. They meet up with Kira who welcomes them to the theme park. We then see the group looking at a parade consisting of a story about a princess who is loving and kind. She was the one who loved Reptar more than anything and was very sad when her people wanted to get rid of him. She approached the people saying that Reptar is not a mean dinosaur and that he is kind and friendly. When seeing the parade and hearing the story, Chuckie now knows that he wants the princess to be his new mommy.Angelica sneaks off and sees Coco and Jean Claude discussing about where they're going to find a dunce with a baby so that she can get the promotion. While they leave, Angelica makes her way into the office and begins eating her chocolate bon-bons. When Coco returns, she grabs Angelica and threatens her to why Angelica should live. Angelica claims that she knows a man who is a dunce and has a baby whom Coco can marry to get her promotion. Coco smiles and claims that she has made a new friend with Angelica. As the story continues, we find out that Spike runs away from the hotel room and wanders around Paris. Then the song that continues with Spike's journey, "Who Let The Dogs Out?" sung by The Baha Men begins.


That night, we then cut to a Japanese sushi restaurant where the gang is having their dinner. Chuckie tells the gang that he wants the princess for his mommy and Angelica interrupts three karaoke singing sumo wrestlers singing to the song "Bad Girls".



Then all of a sudden, Coco appears and beings flirting with Chaz. She sees Chuckie and tries to be friendly to him, but Chuckie appears scared to seeing her. After they return to their hotel rooms, Chuckie wishes to be brave and Tommy tells him that he will be. We see Chuckie have a dream of him turning into a martial arts expert named Chuckie Chan. Then the song "Chuckie Chan" sung by Isaac Hayes and Alex Brown begins.


The next day, Coco treats the babies to a trip around EuroReptarLand riding all the rides. The first ride is Gooey World. The babies then meet up with a new friend: Kira's daughter Kimi (voiced by Dionne Quan). She tells them that she knows where the princess is and takes them to where she is. They sneak out of the ride and Kimi takes them to a tower that has a robotic replica of the princess.



When Chuckie develops the courage to talk to the princess, Coco's ninja security guards capture the babies and bring them back to Gooey World safely. Chaz starts falling more in love with her, but is skeptical that Chuckie doesn't like her very much. If Chuckie doesn't like Coco, then Chaz will not consider dating her. Coco knows that she cannot do it alone, so she promises Angelica that she will be the leading lady in the parade if she can help her. Angelica then tells Coco that Chuckie wants the princess from EuroReptarLand to be his new mom. Coco then has an idea.

We then cut to Spike meeting a stray poodle named Fifi and they start going out. They walk around Paris, see the sights, and recreate the scene from Lady and the Tramp eating food together. Instead of it being spaghetti and meatballs, it's a slice of pizza from the trash. Spike and Fifi eat the pizza, but the cheese is so sticky that they get stuck.



The next day, the gang see a play about the princess and Reptar. Chuckie smiles as she sees the princess and walks over to the front stage to give Wa-Wa to her. But then Coco steals the stage princess and appears on the stage dressed as her. When Chuckie gives her Wa-Wa, she reveals herself as Coco and Chuckie is shocked. Chaz is so impressed that Coco performed on the show that he knows that Coco is the one. We then cut to the wedding of Chaz and Coco where everyone is getting dressed for the occasion.



Knowing that Chuckie and his friends are not happy about the wedding, Coco and Jean Claude captures the babies and locks them away in a warehouse. She also locks Angelica in the warehouse since she claims that she can stop the wedding by telling the adults. With the babies locked up, Angelica confesses to Chuckie saying that she was the one who tells Coco about her dad and making it so that she can be his new mommy. The babies are shocked saying that this is the worst thing she ever did to them. However, Chuckie knows that he has to go to the church and stop the wedding before it's too late. They steal the Reptar robot and walk all over Paris trying to find the church where the wedding is held.



When Jean Claude sees that the babies escape, he gets into a robot of Reptar's villain Robosnail to stop the babies. What happens next is a really awesome fight between the babies and Jean Claude controlling these giant robots. It's like looking at a battle in a Godzilla movie.



The babies win, of course, and the babies make their way to the church. Just when Chaz and Coco kiss, Chuckie runs into the church yelling "NOOOO!" Chaz is shocked that Chuckie can talk. Angelica then comes in and tells the whole story of Coco using Chaz and Chuckie so she can get a promotion. Mr. Yamaguchi hears the conversation and fires Coco on the spot. Coco couldn't believe it and so she walks out. The babies step on her dress and we see Coco's underpants. Coco runs away in embarrassment and everyone laughs at her.



Kira and Kimi appear with Chuckie's bear. Chaz sees Kira in a new light and begins falling in love with her. A few weeks later back home, we cut into Chaz and Kira's wedding. While they get married, the babies parody The Godfather again, but this time Chuckie is the new "Bobfather". When the game is over due to cake being served, Kimi asks Chuckie if he misses his mom. He does, but he knows that his mom is looking at him up from heaven and now he has a new stepmother. He feels lucky because he has two moms now. Chaz and Kira take their kids and now have their special dance together with the song "When You Love" by Sinead O'Connor.


The movie ends with a huge cake fight by the babies and cake is being thrown on the camera.

When the movie first came out, while it didn't make as much money compared to The Rugrats Movie, Rugrats in Paris was called a much more superior film than its predecessor. I completely agree. This movie is more well-put together, doesn't have as much plot points, is a lot easier to understand, and more funnier. There are some minor gripes, though. First of all, why didn't this movie take place in Japan? You have Reptar, who is originated from Japan, they go to a Japanese restaurant, Chaz marries a Japanese woman, and you have the song "Chuckie Chan". The only times in which I feel that the movie takes place in Paris is when Spike and Fifi are wandering around the city and the wedding taking place in Notre Dame. It didn't use Paris to its full capabilities and that's where the setting fails for me. It should have been in Japan.

Also, the subplot with Spike and Fifi is completely pointless. Do you really need to dedicate 15 minutes of the movie showing that Spike and Fifi fell in love and walked around Paris? No! I don't think that Spike was needed for this movie. I think he should have been left home instead so we can get more development from Kira and Kimi. Don't get me wrong, they're nice, but Kira's a bit bland and forgettable and Kimi is essentially a female Tommy. They should have been developed more and have a more understandable reason why Chaz fell in love with Kira in the first place.



The poop and pee jokes are more prominent in this movie than the series, but it's excusable since they were as well in The Rugrats Movie. Also, the soundtrack is hit and miss with the majority of the songs being updated retro songs like "These Boots Were Made For Walking" and "Bad Girls", but same could be said for The Rugrats Movie. However, the original songs for this movie are actually really good. "Chuckie Chan" is a very fun song and "I Want A Mom That'll Last Forever" is beautiful! Cyndi Lauper did a fantastic job bringing in the emotion and melody to this song. It's actually my favorite song in the whole movie. It's just too bad that this song was hugely overlooked due to The Baja Men's "Who Let The Dogs Out?" Remember when that song was just everywhere in every radio station? It was so popular that it was even the opening for the second season of 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd. That song was one of the most iconic songs of the 2000's. I never really liked it, but I can see why it was loved by so many people.



As I mentioned in my Rugrats review, there were many people who were involved in Pee-wee's Playhouse that did Rugrats at one point. Cyndi Lauper was one of them. I can't believe that the same woman who sung "I Want A Mom That'll Last Forever" sung this song at one point.


Yeah, yeah. I know that she sung great songs like "Girls Want To Have Fun" and "Time After Time". I was joking, okay. You're supposed to laugh! Anyway, bottom line, Rugrats in Paris: The Movie is, in my opinion, a much better movie than The Rugrats Movie. I highly recommend checking it out.



That's all for now. Tune in next time as we go into the year 2001 with the TeenNick teen sitcom Taina. 



Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading.

-Patricia




















No comments:

Post a Comment