Coco Labouche: I think I made a friend.
Beware: Spoilers may follow.
Rugrats is in many ways viewed a kids show and if you were to judge the quality of this movie by the title you wouldn’t think much of it. You would just see it as exactly what its title suggests: Just the babies getting into shenanigans in Paris. While plenty of that is there, what we get is surprisingly more heartfelt and even sometimes funny.
The story is at that at a mother-daughter dance during a wedding reception young Chuckie Finster is sad, as he has lived over two years of his life without his mother. His father Chas shares his son’s loneliness and is looking to date seriously again. Meanwhile Tommy Pickle’s father Stu is called to an amusement park in Paris to fix a malfunctioning Reptar robot. Due to a misunderstanding, all the other characters wind up tagging along. Meanwhile the villainous head of the amusement park named Coco Labouche is seeking to the president of the Reptar franchise and its parent company Yamaguchi industries but is told by her employer that his successor must love children. Coco lies that she is engaged to a man with a child. When Tommy’s cousin Angelica is caught in her office, in attempt to avoid Coco’s wrath, Angelica tells her about Chas’ situation.
The movie opens and closes with a parody of the Godfather. It’s a joke that few if any children will get but for adults either watching it with their kids or looking back on the movie it is legitimately funny.
Coco Labouche is also an over-the-top villain. Her motivation is rather weak but Susan Sarandon’s voice acting adds the perfect amount of silliness in how she goes about her plans with her hatred for children.
The main heart of this story is Chuckie’s desire for a mother and it’s shown with the perfect amount of emotional and simple value. The scene where Chuckie is alone during the mother-child dance is a perfect example of this and is one of the more timeless moments in cartoon lookbacks. Fans of the show can understand it further considering this movie came out right after the Mothers’ Day special which revealed what happened to Chuckie’s mother in a surprisingly sincere manner. And it leads to the introduction of Kira and her daughter Kimi who were both enjoyable editions to the show.
Kira quickly proves to be a likable character. She shows herself to be quite good with the children and the scenes between her and Chas are also enjoyable. While many fans of the show consider the additions of her and Kimi (as the latter particularly was merely just another version of Tommy) questionable it was a nice way to teach youngsters about changes in families through remarriage. And it did lead to some very prominent moments between them in the long run.
Rugrats in Paris is enjoyable and harmless enough for kids and adults can look back on it with fond memories. If you’re looking for something deep you won’t find it here. But for what it is it’s perfectly safe.