|Created by||Craig Bartlett|
|Developed by||Craig Bartlett
|Voices of||Toran Caudell
Phillip Van Dyke
Jamil W. Smith
Francesca Marie Smith
Christopher P. Walberg
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||100 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||22-23 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Snee-Oosh, Inc.
Nickelodeon Animation Studios
|Original run||October 7, 1996– June 8, 2004|
Hey Arnold! is an American animated television series created by Craig Bartlett for Nickelodeon. The show's premise focuses on a fourth grader named Arnold who lives with his grandparents in a large city. Episodes center on his experiences navigating big city life while dealing with the problems he and his friends encounter, including urban legends. Certain episodes focus on the lives of supporting characters, such as the tenants of the boarding house that Arnold's grandparents own.
Bartlett's idea for the show is based on a minor character named Arnold whom he created while working on Pee-wee's Playhouse. The executives enjoyed the character, and Bartlett completed the cast by drawing inspiration from people he grew up with in Portland, Oregon. He created the pilot episode in his living room in 1993, and official production began in 1994. The animators worked to transform Arnold from clay animation to cel animation.
The series aired on Nickelodeon from October 7, 1996, until June 8, 2004. Hey Arnold! received generally positive reviews, with many critics praising its character development and the quality of its animation. Over the course of its eight-year run, the series aired 100 episodes. A feature film based on the series, Hey Arnold!: The Movie, was released in 2002 to generally negative reviews. After the show's run, Bartlett created Dinosaur Train for PBS. Hey Arnold! is currently being released on DVD and rerun on the TeenNick block "The '90s Are All That".
Animator Craig Bartlett graduated from Anacortes High School and obtained a degree in communications from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. During high school and college, he studied painting and sculpture at the Museum Art School in Portland, and his first job after college was at Will Vinton Productions, a claymation house. Originally, Bartlett intended to become a painter "in the 19th-century sense", but he became interested in animation during a trip to Italy. In 1987, while working on Pee-wee's Playhouse, he created claymation cutaways about a character named Penny and her friend Arnold. Six years later, Bartlett was teamed up with five writers from Rugrats to develop animation projects for Nickelodeon. These meetings were generally difficult and the writers became frustrated; Bartlett recalled: "Our ideas were OK, but such a large and motley group couldn't get far at pitch meetings. Network execs got migraines just counting us coming in the door." As a last resort, Bartlett played the "Penny" tapes, intending to highlight the Penny character. However, the executives were more impressed by Arnold, despite him being a minor character.
After the meeting, the group began developing Arnold, creating his personality and evolving him from claymation to cel animation. Bartlett stated: "We did a lot of talking about who Arnold is. We came up with a reluctant hero who keeps finding himself responsible for solving something, making the right choices, doing the right thing." After creating ideas for Arnold, Bartlett began work on the supporting characters, drawing influence from his childhood: "A lot of the characters are an amalgam of people I knew when I was a kid. The girls in Hey Arnold! are girls that either liked or didn't like me when I was in school." He created the first episode of Hey Arnold! in his living room, and showed it to producers at Nickelodeon. A year later, the network decided to begin work on the series. The character was previously featured in a trilogy of clay animation shorts from 1988 to 1991: Arnold Escapes from Church (1988), The Arnold Waltz (1990), and Arnold Rides a Chair (1991), the latter having been aired as a filler short on Sesame Street in 1991; as well as an eight-minute short, titled Arnold (1996), shown in theaters before Nickelodeon's first feature-length film, Harriet the Spy.
Apart from the animation style, Nick's Arnold wears a sweater, with his plaid shirt untucked (resembling a kilt). Only Arnold's cap remains unchanged from his original clay-animation wardrobe. Arnold comic strips also appeared in Simpsons Illustrated magazine. (Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons, is Craig Bartlett's brother-in-law.) Hey Arnold! was pitched to Nickelodeon in the fall of 1993, a pilot was produced in the spring of 1994, and the series was greenlit in January 1995. Hey Arnold! was in production continuously from 1995 to 2001, culminating in a TV movie originally titled "Arnold Saves the Neighborhood", which ended up being released theatrically as Hey Arnold!: The Movie in June 2002. Production of the Hey Arnold! series wrapped in May 2001. Hey Arnold! (along with fellow Nicktoons Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys) aired their final episodes, unannounced, on June 8, 2004.
US Broadcast History 
The series originally aired in the US on Nickelodeon from October 7, 1996 to June 8, 2004. After the series ended, it ran in reruns on Nickelodeon until 2009. The series also aired in reruns on Nickelodeon's sister channel Nicktoons from May 1, 2002 to June 26, 2008. The show is now currently airing on Nickelodeon's sister channel TeenNick on the channel's late-night block The '90s Are All That.
The show stars fourth grader Arnold, a boy who lives with his paternal grandparents, Phil and Gertrude, proprietors of the Sunset Arms boarding house, in the fictional city of Hillwood. In each episode, Arnold often helps a schoolmate solve a personal problem, or encounters a predicament of his own. The show also frequently focuses on Arnold's classmate, Helga, who often treats Arnold cruelly and bullies him constantly. However, a recurring theme of the show is the fact that Helga only pretends to dislike Arnold to hide the fact that she has possessed a profound, Shakespearean-in-magnitude love for him for years.
Hey Arnold! stars nine-year-old Arnold and his neighborhood friends. Bartlett drew inspiration from people he grew up with when creating the characters for the show. Arnold's best friend is Gerald, a street-smart character who generally serves as the leader of the group. Many episodes detail Arnold's relationship with Helga Pataki, a girl who acts cruelly towards Arnold in order to cover up her secret crush on him. He lives with his eccentric but loving grandparents, who own a boarding house called Sunset Arms; several storylines involve Arnold's interactions with the house's tenants. Other characters include teachers at P.S. 118, parents, and citizens of the town.
- Arnold (voiced by Toran Caudell in season 1 and two episodes in season 2, Phillip Van Dyke in seasons 2 and 3, Spencer Klein in seasons 4 and 5, and Alex D. Linz in two episodes in season 5) – Arnold is a dreamer and an idealist who always tries to see the best in people and to do the right thing. Whenever he sees someone in trouble, Arnold goes out of his way to help them out, even if it is not sensible to do so (an example being when he tried to protect some of his classmates, who had mooned the school principal). Arnold often acts as the stable center to those around him, whether he is around his "family" in his paternal grandparents' boarding house the Sunset Arms, or around his friends at his school, P.S. 118. Arnold's last name is not mentioned; as a running joke, when somebody announces his name, it's along the lines of "Arnold...I can't make out the last name," after which somebody points out that it must be "the" Arnold as he's the only person in the entire school named Arnold. Also, in "Mugged," Arnold's bus pass identifies him as "Name: Arnold - Born: Yes."
- Helga Pataki (voiced by Francesca Smith) – Helga is nine years old and in fourth grade. She is madly in love with Arnold because he was the first person to be nice to her and notice her when they were very little, but she struggles to keep her affections a secret. In her spare time she writes poetry (mostly about Arnold) and collects Arnold's used gum so that she can add it to her Arnold shrine. She is neglected by her parents and calls them "Bob" and "Miriam" because she does not believe they are worthy of being called "Mom" and "Dad". On the surface she resents her older sister Olga, an overachieving perfectionist, but Helga will occasionally show warmth toward her. Helga is emotionally insecure and puts on a mean, tomboyish front as the school bully.
- Gerald Johanssen (voiced by Jamil Walker Smith) – Gerald is Arnold's best friend and is usually present when Arnold's latest escapade happens. Gerald is the occasional voice of reason when Arnold needs it and the storyteller for the schoolyard legends. He has a crush on Phoebe, who shares the same feelings for him.
- Phoebe Heyerdahl (voiced by Anndi McAfee) – Phoebe is Helga's best friend and sidekick. She is very intelligent and is the most academic of the children; she always tries to be the first one with an answer and does not appreciate when someone does better than her in school. Like Gerald does for Arnold, Phoebe often acts as Helga's voice of reason and helps her out of various scrapes. She also has a crush on Gerald.
- Harold Berman (voiced by Justin Shenkarow) – Harold is the bully of the group, although his bark is usually worse than his bite. Harold is assumed to be 13, based on the traditional age one receives a Bar Mitzvah (his Hebrew name is Chaim), although the students seem to disregard his age while they point out Torvald still being a fourth grader (even though Harold is the same age as Torvald). Harold was in preschool at the same time as Arnold ("Eugene's Bike", "Helga On The Couch"), although he says in "Cool Party" that he was "held back". He is friends with Stinky, Sid, and Patty.
- Stinky Peterson (voiced by Christopher Walberg) – Stinky is best known for his Southern drawl. He has professed to have feelings for Helga, Gloria (both in "Helga's Boyfriend"), and Lila ("Ms. Perfect"). He lives with his father in a dilapidated shack with a country-like appearance. He once turned down the opportunity to make a million dollars as the Yahoo Soda "spokeskid" after he realized they only wanted him because people gawked at his "hick" ways. In addition to growing large pumpkins, he can play the Alpenhorn ("School Dance").
- Sidney "Sid" (voiced by Sam Gifaldi) – Sid is often seen as Gerald's "lead-in" man; when Gerald is about to tell another urban legend, Sid introduces him, usually mentioning how the story has been passed "from kid generation to kid generation". He is best recognized for his green baseball cap that he wears backward and his long nose.
- Rhonda Wellington Lloyd (voiced by Olivia Hack) – Rhonda is the self-proclaimed fashion queen of the school. Rhonda's greatest interest is fashion design and trends. She criticizes her classmates and friends regularly for not matching colors or rotating their daily choice of clothing, as parodied by Helga in "Helga's Show". She is quick to show off new fashion accessories or shoes she gets to her peers. She is also snooty, vain, and a bit of a queen bee.
- Eugene Horowitz (voiced by Christopher Castile and Jarrett Lennon in 1997, Benjamin Diskin in 1997-2000) – Eugene is a good friend of Arnold, and he is very kind hearted and outgoing and is willing to help others, and is known for being a jinx. His appearances usually involve him being the cause of or the effect of accidents, such as causing a parade to crash, resulting in dodgeballs hitting him in the face. In the episodes starring Eugene, Arnold seems to actually cause most of Eugene's problems, such as killing his goldfish, ruining his birthday, and destroying his bike.
- Lila Sawyer (voiced by Ashley Buccille) was a new student at P.S. 118 and was in the same class as Arnold and Helga. She originally lived in a farming community before moving to the city with her father (her mother's absence is never explained). She is best known as being a very friendly and outgoing young girl who gets along with everyone she comes into contact with. She's also one of the few people who knows that Helga loves Arnold. Helga confessed to Lila so that she could get the lead role in the school play, Romeo and Juliet, so that she could kiss Arnold. However, Arnold has a crush on Lila and this bothers Helga tremendously.
- Grandpa/"Steely Phil"/Phil (voiced by Dan Castellaneta) – Arnold's good-natured and cheery grandfather (and Miles's father), Phil runs the Sunset Arms boarding house. Arnold often looks to his grandfather for advice. In the movie, he is shown to play the drums. Though he tends to respond frivolously to Arnold's problems, he does on occasion provide Arnold much-needed wisdom.
- Grandma Gertie/Pookie (voiced by Tress MacNeille) – Arnold's fun-loving and eccentric grandmother. She is often seen performing various nonsensical tasks around the boarding house. Like Arnold's grandpa, his grandma tends to be too silly to be of much help to him when he asks for it, but she does come through for him in other ways.
- "Big Bob" Pataki (voiced by Maurice LaMarche) - Helga's father and a main villain of the show. He suffers from workaholism as he spends most of his time either working or promoting his beeper business. When he's not working he enjoys watching TV and being lazy like most cartoon dads. He can be quite cruel, such as turning a hose on Grandma during a protest, or criticizing Arnold because he's an orphan. Bob also focuses most of his attention on his eldest daughter, Olga, almost to the point of excluding Helga. He tends to ignore, as well as neglect, Helga. He never listens or acknowledges Helga except in a few rare instances. Overall, Bob is selfish. He primarily thinks about himself, his business, and what serves his purpose.
- Miriam Pataki (voiced by Kath Soucie) - As Olga and Helga's mother, she pretty much just mopes around the house all day, probably as a hint for having depression. In "Olga Comes Home", there's a huge hint of Miriam having depression, when Bob said that Olga can't mope around, being depressed, in her bed and Miriam said "Sure she can, I do". It is also obvious that she is an alcoholic: she passes out all the time, slurs her words, and frequently says "I need a smoothie." Miriam often is seen making smoothies, which probably is a hint at her alcoholism, and seems to be emotionally attached to her blender. On a few occasions, Miriam is knocking outside Helga's door, and the sound of ice clinking in a glass can be heard. Another hint to Miriam's alcoholism is that she often passes out on the couch and is sometimes seen waking up while on the couch, and makes up excuses like she's "looking for her keys".
- Olga Pataki (voiced by Nika Futterman) is the older sister of Helga Pataki. She is a college student and does not live at home. However, she does come home to visit the family during the holidays and school breaks. She is a perfectionist and always gets an A+ in all of her classes. Olga also tends to outshine Helga and receives all of their parent's attention. Despite good intentions, she is usually condescending towards Helga. Olga is the only family member who gives Helga lots of attention. She has also told Helga that she would like to try to bond with her. However, Helga resents Olga and this puts a strain on the sibling relationship. Only once in awhile does Helga return Olga's sisterly affections.
Hey Arnold! takes place in the fictional American city of Hillwood. Craig Bartlett stated in an interview that the city on the show is based on large northern cities, which includes Seattle (his hometown), Portland, Oregon (where he went to art school) and New York City (from which many landmarks were borrowed), also with references to Nashville, TN Grand Ole Opry; as well as Hawk Mountain near Allentown, PA, as mentioned in the Sally's Comet Episode. Bartlett, having grown up in Seattle, bases many of the show's events on his own experience growing up in the city. The Pig War mentioned in the episode with the same title took place on the boundary between what is now the State of Washington and British Columbia. At the end of Road Trip, when Helga and Miriam are headed back home after having car troubles en route to South Dakota, they pass a sign marking the Washington state border, implying that Hillwood is in Washington. Evan Levine of the Houston Chronicle commented "With its backdrop of dark streets, nighttime adventures and run-down buildings, all seen from a child's point of view, the series combines a street-smart attitude with a dark comic edge."
- The Helga Stories
- Love Stinks
- Urban Adventures
- Arnold's Christmas
- Arnold for President
- Return of the Sewer King
- Arnold's Valentine
- Parents Day
- Summer Love
- The Mystery of the Bermuda Triangle
- Arnold's Christmas
- Arnold's E-Files
- Hey Arnold! The Movie
Feature film 
In this 2002 theatrical feature film, Arnold, Helga, and Gerald set out on a quest to save their old neighborhood from a greedy developer who plans on converting it into a huge shopping mall. This film was directed by Tuck Tucker, and features the voice talents of Jennifer Jason Leigh, Paul Sorvino, and Christopher Lloyd.
DVD and digital releases 
Nickelodeon released all five seasons on DVD in Region 1 via Amazon.com through its CreateSpace Manufacture-on-demand program in 2008/2009. Season 1 was released on August 21, 2008, Season 2 on August 29, 2008, Season 3 on December 8, 2009, Season 4 on November 27, 2009 and Season 5 on December 4, 2009. All of these releases are now discontinued.
On May 9, 2011, it was announced that Shout! Factory had acquired the rights to the series. They subsequently released Season 1 in a 4 disc set on August 9, 2011. Season 2, Part 1 was released on March 20, 2012, followed by Season 2, Part 2 on July 24, 2012. Season 3 was released on January 29, 2013, as a Shout! Select title. Season 4 will be released as a Shout! Select title on May 14, 2013.
|DVD Name||Episodes||# of Discs||Release Date|
|Season 1||20||4||August 9, 2011|
|Season 2, Part 1
Season 2, Part 2
|20||4||March 20, 2012
July 24, 2012
|Season 3♦||19||3||January 29, 2013|
|Season 4♦||17||2||May 14, 2013|
♦ - Shout! Factory select title, sold exclusively through Shout's online store.
- Levesque, John (October 7, 1996). "'Hey, Arnold!' Toons in to Nick's Family Hour Seattle Native's Animated 9-Year-Old Debuts Tonight on Nickelodeon". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
- Unmacht, Eric (November 9, 1999). "Here's How They Make a Cartoon". The Christian Science Monitor. Christian Science Publishing Society. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
- Tladi, Tumelo (January 3, 2011). "Nickelodeon's Five Best Animated Shows". DStv. MultiChoice. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
- Burk, Kim (November 4, 1998). "Interview with Craig". HeyArnold.Madpage.com. Archived from the original on 2009-01-21. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
- Levine, Evan (April 27, 1997). "'Arnold' deals with life in the big city". Houston Chronicle. Hearst Corporation.
- "Nickelodeon Brings Some of Its Most Popular Series to DVD for First Time, Exclusively on Amazon.com". WebWire. August 25, 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
- "Hey Arnold!: Season One". Amazon.com. ASIN B004ZKKL32.
- Lambert, David (December 8, 2011). "Hey Arnold! - 'Season 2, Part 1' Retail Release Announced by Shout! Factory". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
- Lambert, David (April 6, 2012). "Hey Arnold! - Nickelodeon/Shout! to Release 'Season 2, Part 2' in Stores this Summer **UPDATE: Box Art**". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
- Lambert, David (December 20, 2012). "Hey Arnold! - The 3rd Season of the Nickelodeon Show is Scheduled for a Shout! DVD". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Hey Arnold!|
- Hey Arnold! at the Internet Movie Database
- Hey Arnold! at TV.com
- Hey Arnold! at the Big Cartoon DataBase