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Rugrats Go Wild
Producer Arlene Klasky
Gabor Csupo
Director Norton Virgien
John Eng
Writers Kate Boutiler
Released June 13, 2003
Run time 80 minutes
Previous Rugrats in Paris: The Movie
Next None

Rugrats Go Wild, also known as The Rugrats Movie 3: Rugrats Meet The Wild Thornberrys, is a 2003 crossover animated film, with two animated Nickelodeon TV series Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys that was released in theaters on June 13, 2003 by Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies. The Rugrats was the only Nicktoon to have a theatrical film trilogy until August 14, 2020 (Canada), November 5, 2020 (worldwide via Netflix), and March 4, 2021 (US, via Paramount+), when The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run was released, SpongeBob SquarePants is now the second Nicktoon to have a film trilogy.

Characters Present


The Rugrats get stranded on a deserted island on a cruise and meet the Wild Thornberrys, who help them get off the island.


The film starts with Tommy and the gang pretending to be in an adventure in the jungle with Tommy as Nigel Thornberry, his hero, informing his friends about a fierce tiger. Suddenly, the tiger pursues the babies as they flee from it, via their jungle jeep. Tommy tries to catch up before the tiger does as well, however, the tiger bites his pants and tears it apart on purpose after he managed to jump on the jeep to save himself. The babies then found themselves in the water. Tommy notices a nearby "Crocogator". Once it approaches the babies, it attempts to attack angrily, frightening the babies. Despite its fatal attacks, it then behaves similar to a dog. Tommy fetches his rubber ball to the self-tamed animal and it catches it with its mouth. Then it starts homing in on the babies in an evil manner. The babies park the jeep and rush into a pool of quicksand, even though Tommy didn't realize it was there. Thus, he latches on to a vine and suggests the others by grabbing on to his hand and gradually free themselves. But before they could,the tiger reappears attempting to attack the babies. Then Angelica comes and interrupts them with Fluffy, turning out to be the tiger, saying that Tommy will never be his hero, which makes him sad. Meanwhile, the adults are packing and readying for their 7-day vacation in the South China Seas.

When they reach the pier, everyone is there except for Stu and Spike (Susie's parents aren't there either because her mom is getting a new award for discovering a new disease while her dad is cutting the ribbon for the opening of the Dummi Bear theme park). Although, it is revealed that Stu actually planned a trip themselves, so they set sail on a ramshackle boat that he rented. Everyone gets disgruntled and they try to get on the cruise by sending signals and driving the boat there themselves. When they get a signal from the cruise, it disappears with a signal from Debbie Thornberry on an island. and then cuts to a scene with them.

On the island, 9 months after the events of The Wild Thornberrys movie, Debbie is arguing with her mom since they are not back from trying to find a Clouded Leopard. Then the scene cuts to when the boat is flipped over by a rogue wave during a tropical storm and they are forced to abandon ship onto a life raft.

They end up arriving on a small "uninhabited" island. However, unknown to them, on the other side of the island are the famous globe-trotting family, the Thornberrys. Meanwhile, Angelica scares the babies, saying they will be eaten unless they treat her as princess. Betty decides to break up the fight by drawing a circle in the sand, then Stu's friends and family (even his wife) decide to follow Betty after she assigns Stu to baby watch. Seeing Stu sad, the babies set off to find the Thornberrys, for they suspect they are somewhere on the island, and think they can help. Stu decides to build a radio and he asks Angelica to watch the kids. While she tries to find someone she can boss, Spike sets off to the babies. Meanwhile, somewhere along the way, Chuckie gets lost and runs into the Thornberry's Tarzan-like child Donnie and the two switch clothes. Donnie gets with the group and Chuckie befriends an animal. Meanwhile, Eliza, the gifted Thornberry, is exploring about the jungle and runs into Spike.

Since Eliza can talk to animals, Spike (now voiced by Bruce Willis) talks for the first time and he informs her that the babies are lost somewhere on the island. In their journey, Following a close encounter with Siri, an angry clouded leopard whom Spike believes to be just a regular domestic cat, they learn that he meant the human babies.

Angelica runs into Debbie, the teenage Thornberry, and takes off with Debbie in the Thornberry's all-purpose mobile communication vehicle (commvee). In order to get back faster, Angelica steals the Thornberry's bathysphere, accidentally sinking the commvee in her attempt to pilot it.

Simultaneously, Eliza's father, Nigel, finds the lost babies. He heads in their direction but ends up tumbling down a hill and suffers amnesia after a coconut falls on his head. They encounter Siri, but Donnie fends her off. Then Chuckie finds him and they get back their clothes. After escaping from Siri on a high-speed pram, the gang lands in a crater. When they all give up hope, Angelica saves them.

Meanwhile, Stu, who has managed to create a working coconut radio, and the other parents run into Donnie, who is still wearing Chuckie's shoes. After chasing him down the beach, they run into Marianne Thornberry, the mother of Eliza and Debbie and the wife of Nigel.

Stu's coconut radio picks up the babies, Angelica having accidentally turned on the bathysphere's radio. Angelica and Susie, while fighting for control, have crashed bathysphere at the bottom of the ocean. Nigel hits his head in the crash and regains his memories.

When they try to find the babies in the bathysphere by making radio contact with them, it worked, but since they are out of fuel, they can't get to the surface without the commvee's help, although the the commvee is underwater. Then Stu makes up a plan, and it works.

With the other parents' help, Marianne then raises the commvee and uses the automatic-retrieval system to rescue Nigel and the babies just as the air runs out. They are reunited with their families and forgive Stu, and everyone finally gets on board the Lipschitz cruise. The Thornberrys join them too, deciding that they should take a vacation, much to Debbie's delight. Spike vows never to lose his babies again.


  • Rugrats Go Wild was originally meant to be a made-for-TV movie with the name The Rugrats Meet The Wild Thornberrys until the film was reworked into a 80 minute theatrical film.
  • This is the second crossover Rugrats had with another Klasky-Csupo show with the first being with Aaahh! Real Monsters in the episode "Ghost Story".
  • This movie is considered the weakest of the three Rugrats films, earning mixed-to-negative reviews and not performing as well as the other two (although it did manage to earn back its budget of $25 million).
    • Fans also say that the characters should have interacted more, which they barely do.
  • When this movie was first released into theaters, audience members received 'Odorama' cards which they needed to sniff at specific points. This gimmick was not well-received.
  • When the adults notice that their children are missing, Didi exclaims "I felt like this has happened before!". This is possibly a reference to The Rugrats Movie, in which the babies got lost in a large forest, and Rugrats in Paris: The Movie, where they got lost in Paris.
  • When the characters arrive on the island, Kira yells "I should have never left Paris!". This is a reference to Rugrats in Paris: The Movie.
  • Nigel Thornberry having amnesia and thinking that he's a baby is possibly a nod to "Regarding Stuie", where Stu got amnesia and thought he was a baby.
  • This film shows the first signs of the split that happens in All Grown Up! between Phil and Lil when Lil gives up eating bugs and became a "Vegitabalatarian", and wants Phil to do the same.
  • This is the only Rugrats film to get a PG-rating from the MPAA.
    • It's also the only Rugrats movie in which Susie plays a supporting role, as opposed to a cameo, and the only Rugrats film to use the 2003 Klasky-Csupo logo instead of the 1998 Klasky-Csupo logo, unlike the first two movies and the only Rugrats film to use the 2002 Paramount Pictures logo instead of the 1986 Paramount Pictures logo.
  • Unlike the last two movies, where it's about family, this one focuses on two fan service "doubles", with Chuckie and Donnie, and Angelica and Debbie.
  • During the chase scene, the song "Frustrated Unnoticed" plays, a reference to the Scooby-Doo chase scene, when a song is played when Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil, Kimi, Susie, Dil, and Nigel Thornberry being chased by Sira the Clouded Leopard.
  • The song "Frustrated Unnoticed" that played during the chase scene in the movie was not included on the Rugrats Go Wild Soundtrack
  • When a huge tidal wave approaches Stu's boat, Chas says Chief Brody's line from Jaws, "We're gonna need a bigger boat."
  • Titanic Reference: When the babies and their family were sailing on their ramshackle boat, Angelica stands at the bow holding up Cynthia and sings, "I'm Queen of the world!", and the song from James Cameron's Titanic, Rose plays. As a reference from the scene where Jack Dawson stands at the bow of the RMS Titanic shouting, "I'm King of the world!"
  • The Reptar Wagon makes a quick cameo at the beginning of the movie. When the babies' fantasy turns back to reality, it could be seen in the background in their inflatable pool, revealing that the babies used it as their jeep they used in the fantasy.
  • Spike mentions Fifi and the puppies they had back in the episode, "Bow Wow Wedding Vows", when he explains his pups were home with his wife, he also explains Fifi has a weak stomach.
  • The only Rugrats film where Dil does not cry in nor throw up.
  • Howard may be in the film, but nobody said his name at all in the film.
  • When Spike starts speaking, he was also able to do stuff like stand on his hind legs and use his front legs like arms.
  • When Spike first comes upon Siri, he begs her to sniff his butt and tells Eliza and Darwin he doesn't shake with cats. Although, he did take care of little kittens back in the episode, "Spike's Babies".
  • Nigel Thornberry is referred as Nigel Strawberry by the babies.
  • This is the final produced Rugrats product until Tales from the Crib.
  • This is the only Rugrats movie to be animated in the widescreen 2.39:1 "scope" aspect ratio, like The Wild Thornberrys Movie and unlike both The Rugrats Movie and Rugrats in Paris, which were animated in the taller 1.78:1 ratio.
  • It grossed the least of the three films at the box office.
  • It is the first Nickelodeon film to be a crossover.
  • How did Angelica know the Rugrats and Nigel were trapped in the crater?
  • This is the first animated sequel to be rated PG by the MPAA, unlike the previous installments which were rated G.
    • It's also the first animated sequel to be produced in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, unlike the previous installments which were produced at 1.85:1.
  • Lou is the only main character to not meet the Thornberrys, though he saw Nigel on TV.
    • It's unknown why Lou didn't go on the vacation with everyone.
  • Lou and Fluffy are the only characters in the film to not go on vacation with the rest of the gang.
  • Tommy, Chuckie, Angelica, Susie, Phil, Lil, Dil, Kimi, Spike, Stu, Didi, Chas, Kira, Charlotte, Drew, Betty, Howard, Lou, Fluffy and Dr. Lipschitz are the only Rugrats characters to appear in the film while Eliza, Darwin, Donnie, Debbie, Nigel and Marianne are the only Wild Thornberrys characters to appear.
  • Fifi, Lucy, and Randy are only mentioned by Spike and Susie.


  • In the scene where Nigel and the babies are trapped in the bathysphere underwater, and Nigel is on the radio, chatting with Marianne. He reports: "Well, one little girl is rather pouty, and someone needs a diaper change." However, it has been pointed out in episodes of The Wild Thornberrys that Nigel is from England. Even though Rugrats Go Wild was produced in the United States, Nigel should have used the word nappy instead of diaper.
    • Though he might've said that because the babies, Susie, and Angelica may not know what nappy meant.
  • When Donnie is being chased he has Chuckie's sneakers on but they disappear and reappear in subsequent shots.
  • Dil disappears during the chase scene and is not shown again until the end of the sequence.
  • When the boat sinks, Charlotte tears the bottom half of her dress to stop the hole but then when they get on the island it's not torn anymore.
  • When Donnie steals Chuckie's clothes and glasses Chuckie puts on Donnie's shorts and complains about his eyesight but later in the movie when he doesn't have his glasses it seems he can see just fine then when he gets his glasses back he says I can see again.
  • During the Big Bad Cat song Siri calls Eliza by name but Siri was never told what Eliza's name was.
  • When Angelica is first in the Thornberry's camper she pushes a red button that opens the door to the machine that lets them travel underwater but when she comes back later to get it she flips a silver switch instead of the red button.
  • When Susie says "Are you sure [Nigel] can really help us, Tommy? after they ended up stuck in a cave, her voice is sped up.


Video Clip

Video TV Spot


Burger King Kids Meal Rugrats Television Commercial 2003


Rugrats Go Wild TV Spot (2003)

Video Trailer


IMDb Video The Rugrats Go Wild


Rugrats Go Wild Theatrical Trailer (RARE, HQ)

External links