Rugrats Go Wild

  • Review Date: December 14, 2003
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2003

Common Sense Media says

Fun meet-up of Rugrats, Wild Thornberrys on deserted island.
  • Review Date: December 14, 2003
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2003





What parents need to know

Educational value

This movie is intended to entertain, not educate. For musically savvy parents, in case you ever wondered what it would be like if Bruce Willis (the voice of Spike the Dog in this film) sang a version of the Iggy Pop classic "Lust for Life," here's your golden opportunity. 

Positive messages

The movie offers a message about cooperation, taking care of each other, and the importance of family. A character who idolizes an adventurous host of a nature television series realizes that his dad is more of a hero. 

Positive role models

The babies act like, well, babies. The adults are cartoonish parodies of adults. The teen character is a cartoonish parody of teenagers everywhere. 

Violence & scariness

In the midst of a tempestuous storm, characters sailing on a tiny ship are thrown overboard as the ship sinks. A character is hit on the head with a coconut. A tiger scratches the finger of one of the characters. 

Sexy stuff
Not applicable

One character asks, "Who cut the cheese?" 


The movie promotes two Nickelodeon shows.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

During a fantasy sequence, a baby character is shown held aloft in a chair holding a tiki drink in her hands. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this feature-length version of the 1990s Nickelodeon animated series Rugrats does not shy away from gross-out sight gags. On two occasions, birds poop on characters' heads. Characters burp, make reference to "cutting the cheese." Every time the dog sneezes, mucous either hangs out of his nose or the mucous hits another character. This same dog is seen trying to "do its business" with its hind leg raised. Babies pick their noses; they try to eat millipedes. There is also some cartoonish violence -- a character is hit on the head with a coconut, a tiny ship is overturned during a raging storm in the middle of the ocean, sending the characters swimming for their lives. 

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

The two worlds of the popular Klasky/Csupo Nickelodeon series come together when the Rugrats get shipwrecked on a deserted island and meet up with the Wild Thornberrys in what turns into a mildly pleasant mix of malapropisms and pop culture references, diaper humor, snippets of rock classics, a little adventure, and a message about cooperation, taking care of each other, and the importance of family.

Is it any good?


This animated tale is pleasant for the kids and not too painful for their parents. The voice of Bruce Willis adds enormous charm and energy to the story, and as soon as he is on board, we know that any day-saving that needs to be done will be in good hands.

The story shows the different ways people react when things go badly. At first, the adults blame one another, but then they select a leader and begin to cooperate, which prompts a question about how we choose our heroes.  In another worthwhile plotline, Debbie Thornberry lets her parents know that she wants to spend more time with them.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why Angelica wants so badly to be able to boss people around and why it's so hard for her to be kind or generous.

  • How do you think this Rugrats movie compares with the Rugrats TV show? 

  • Why is it fun to see the world through babies' eyes? 

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 13, 2003
DVD release date:December 16, 2003
Cast:Bruce Willis, Jodi Carlisle, Nancy Cartwright
Director:Kate Boutilier
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures, Brothers and sisters, Friendship
Run time:81 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:mild crude humor.

This review of Rugrats Go Wild was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Educator and Parent of a 9 and 14 year old Written bylioness57 April 9, 2008

Potty humor galore!

The story line was great, the animation was really beautiful , the characters were familiar and fun, and believe it or not Rugrats meets Thornberrys made for an engaging story. The only problem was that every 3 minutes there was a poop, puke, or bugger (sp? I mean snot) joke which produced "Ooh gross!" from all the kids in the audience but not a lot of laughter. Wish the creators had just stuck to the story and left out the potty humor. Just showing the characters' warts and strengths in new situations was funny enough. And the ultimate message of triumphing over adversity through personal courage, caring, and comradarie would have made this a great kids film without being too trite or sappy. The potty humor made it a tainted experience. P.S. Bruce Willis will forever be associated in my mind with smelly behinds and dog poop!

Teen, 14 years old Written byrebma97 April 12, 2011

Kids may like it

Not a great movie, but okay. Perfect for younger kids.

Parent of a 17 year old Written bylove2 September 29, 2009

bad movie

bad movie

What other families should know
Too much violence


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