A former Rugrats animator (and present-day Studio 360 staffer) got sick of seeing the internet mock-up modern-day versions of the kids (the first two images), so he went and did it himself (the third image).
Full disclosure: I have something at stake here. I worked as a storyboard artist for the animation studio Klasky Csupo from 1999 to 2002, drawing “The Rugrats,” “The Wild Thornberrys,” “Rocket Power,” and the woefully underrated gem “As Told By Ginger.”
What’s at stake? Have you hired any of these artists to work on a variation of Rugrats?
The artists cited here grew up as fans of the show and felt like spending some time “fondly remembering” (the reprehensible behavior of ours you cited) the cartoon we liked so much by reinterpreting it through our own artistic lens. Me? I like fashion illustration. That’s what I like to do for fun. I didn’t ask Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Nylon, The Guardian, etc. to pick up my drawings and I certainly didn’t show up at your door and demand you accept my little drawings as your new look. What I drew resonated with people my age and I think that’s nice (the stories I came up with resonated as well, like how I imagined Chucky overcoming anxiety and depression through the art of slam poetry, but i guess to you that gets categorized as “self-confident hipsters” and I guess being self confident is bad??). What you worked on resonated with people, as evidenced by all the fan art and fond re-imaginings. I guess, though, that pisses you off? This rant operates as though we’ve all been hired by a studio to design and animate a new Rugrats show but you need to step back and see that this whole thing boils down to you being mad that young people on the internet had fun appreciating something you worked on decades ago. How terrible.
Do you need to be coddled right now? Do I need to remind you there are seasons and seasons of the show you worked on? Funded by major animation studios? And movies? And spin off series? With tons of merchandise? And my drawings are like, “let’s spend a few minutes looking at what the Rugrats characters might look like if they were young people out walking in the streets.” Does that make you feel better?
So throwing a temper tantrum and publicly blasting fans of a cartoon you worked on is your mode of operation. Okay. If it interests you to know how others respond I’m happy to share that Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons, is the one who saw my little grown up drawings and liked them enough to show them to Craig Bartlett, the creator of Hey Arnold. He sent me a really nice message saying he loved the drawings and was so pleased to see young fans grow up to carry on the love for the characters in their own way. I mean, you do you, but maybe consider protecting the legacy of your work by not bitterly picking on young people who do things for fun online.
Imagine getting this pissy because someone experimented with art style. They’re cartoon characters my dude go outside.