When it comes to some of the biggest cartoons that ever aired on Nickelodeon, "Rugrats" is easily one of the biggest. It was one of the first original shows that debuted on the network back in 1991 alongside "Doug" and "Ren and Stimpy" and it ended up staying on the air for thirteen years garnering a spinoff show as well as a new CG revival. While I wouldn't call it among my absolute favorite Nicktoons, it does have a certain unique charm that makes it special and you can definitely see it in their second film "Rugrats in Paris". The first film was a big hit and a sequel was naturally inevitable. I'd say this film is a decent sequel that might not fully capture the charm of the first film but has some fun moments within it for "Rugrats" fans.
After being at the wedding of Lou and Lulu Pickles, the Rugrats gang consisting of Tommy (E.G. Daily), his younger brother Dil (Tara Strong), the twins Phil and Lil (Kath Soucie), and the bratty Angelica (Cheryl Chase) has noticed that Chuckie (Christine Cavanaugh) has been wanting a motherly figure. Seeing his young son miss his mother, his father Chas (Michael Bell) decides to consider thinking about remarrying. However, Tommy's father Stu (Jack Riley) gets a call to go to Paris to fix a malfunctioning Reptar animatronic at EuroReptarland by a grumpy boss named Coco LaBouche (Susan Sarandon) who is known to hate children. The families then set off for Paris and soon go to the theme park where Angelica overhears that Coco lies to her boss about being engaged to a man who has a kid so she can be picked as the successor to him and hatches a plan to get Chas together with the horrible woman. From there, the other Rugrats, notably Chuckie, have to figure out how to stop the wedding from happening before it's too late.
While I wouldn't say that this is a great sequel or one of the very best animated films that Nickelodeon has released, it does have some fun moments and a good amount of heart that does make it an enjoyable film to watch while also being a solid "Rugrats" film. I think what helps the film work for me is the heart that's in the story. The film does have a very nice opening as we see Tommy's grandparents tie the knot and we see him sadly watching the dance floor as all the toddlers get the chance to dance with their mothers knowing he can't dance since he doesn't have a mother. The heart stays throughout the film and it does lead to a very nice ending. The film also does have a few funny moments which include a really funny parody of "The Godfather" with Angelica taking on the legendary role of Vito Corleone where it's later revealed that Angelica's parents accidentally showed her a scene from the film though brush it off saying that it wouldn't make an impact on her. It was really strange, but it did get a big laugh out of me that I found pretty funny. Even a little subplot with the Pickles' dog Spike falling in love with a poodle got some laughs out of me, especially as they try to share a very, very cheesy pizza. It leads to a really ridiculous climax that I actually found quite amusing. With that said, not all of the humor worked for me quite well though my biggest problem with the film is that there really wasn't a reason why this film had to be set in Paris. It's made clear that the park is a European division kind of like Disneyland Paris, but I think the film could've been set in California and it probably would've still worked just as fine.
As far as the animation goes, it is still very good. The art of Klasky Csupo has definitely grown on me and I think this is probably some of their best-looking work as it does feel like a film that belongs in theaters. There's a lot of great detail put into the character animation and I also think that the computer animation vehicles still work well and blend into the traditionally animated backgrounds quite nicely. One notable moment is a really strange dream sequence that Chuckie has and you can tell the artists had fun working on that sequence alone as it's very energetic, weird, and goofy. Then there are the characters and the Rugrats do get the chance to shine here in this film. Whereas the last film belonged to Tommy, this film belongs to Chuckie and I really like his growth and determination on wanting to find a new mother while trying to find courage and bravery. It's one of the last times that the late Christine Cavanaugh played him and she's terrific as usual. Angelica also does have some funny moments in the film which include the aforementioned "Godfather" scene and even a funny moment where she gobbles down a bunch of chocolate in Coco's office while trying to stay hidden. Speaking of Coco, despite her being a rather formulaic villain, I did enjoy her mainly for Susan Sarandon's goofy performance. She doesn't phone this performance in and gives the character the right amount of craziness that made her a fun watch. I also liked the other new characters including Coco's kind assistant Kira (Julia Kato) and her young daughter Kimi (Dionne Quan) though I do wish we got to learn about the latter a bit more in the film.
In all, "Rugrats in Paris" is a decent animated film based on a show. The story is silly and has some good heart despite some iffy humor, the animation is nice and has that charm we expect from Klasky Csupo, and the characters do get the chance to shine with some fun moments. When it comes to Nickelodeon films, I wouldn't call this among the best films they made, but it's a film I did find decent that I do recommend, especially if you like "Rugrats". It may not be perfect, but it does have a good heart.