The upcoming new Rugrats CGI reboot is being touted as being “brighter, bigger and more mischevious.”
It will also culturally be more in touch with the world of 2021, as one of the show’s main characters will be openly gay – a move that the voice performer behind the role hopes will make the character “a beacon for young queer people.”
Seventeen years following the end of the celebrated Nickelodeon cartoon, the original voice cast will be making a comeback to television screens and reprising their roles as Tommy Pickles (E.G. Daily), Angelica Pickles (Cheryl Chase) and Chuckie Finster (Nancy Cartwright). See the new trailer here:
Joining the old cast will be Natalie Morales, who starred in Parks and Recreation and will be taking on the role of Betty DeVille, the mom of Phil and Lil DeVille.
Morales, who is openly gay, explained that the update makes perfect sense.
“Anyone who watched the original show may have had an inkling Betty was a member of the alphabet mafia [a reference to the LGBTQ+ community],” Morales told The A.V. Club.
“Betty is a single mom with her own business who has twins and still has time to hang out with her friends and her community, and I think it’s just so great because examples of living your life happily and healthily as an out queer person is just such a beacon for young queer people who may not have examples of that,” Morales added.
“And yeah, Betty is a fictional cartoon, but even cartoons were hugely influential for me as a kid and if I’d been watching Rugrats and seen Betty casually talking about her ex-girlfriend, I think at least a part of me would have felt like things might be okay in the future.”
The new show is being produced by Nickelodeon Animation Studio for streaming platform Paramount+ and will follow the toddlers as they run rings around their hapless parents who are supposed to be in charge.
“They’ve brought it into 2021. They use cellphones, they have computer screens, there’s video, they’re zooming,” said Nancy Cartwright, who voices Tommy.
The show premieres today, May 27, on Paramount+.
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