Hey Arnold!

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Hey Arnold!
Hey Arnold! logo.svg
GenreAnimated sitcom
Comedy-drama
Slice of life
Created byCraig Bartlett
Based onArnold shorts
by Craig Bartlett
Developed byCraig Bartlett
Joe Ansolabehere
Steve Viksten
Creative directorTuck Tucker
Voices ofToran Caudell
Phillip Van Dyke
Spencer Klein
Alex D. Linz
Jamil Walker Smith
Francesca Marie Smith
Dan Castellaneta
Tress MacNeille
Justin Shenkarow
Anndi McAfee
Sam Gifaldi
Olivia Hack
Dan Butler
Craig Bartlett
ComposerJim Lang
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes100 (187 segments) (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producersCraig Bartlett
Mary Harrington
AnimatorsHong Ying Animation Company Limited (Suzhou, China)
Running time23 minutes (two 11-minute segments each)
Production companiesSnee-Oosh, Inc.
Nickelodeon Animation Studios (1998–2004) (as Games Animation) (used on pilot, season 1 and early season 2)
DistributorViacom Media Networks
Release
Original networkNickelodeon
Picture formatNTSC
Original releaseOctober 7, 1996 (1996-10-07) –
June 8, 2004 (2004-06-08)[1]
External links
Website

Hey Arnold! is an American animated comedy television series created by Craig Bartlett that first aired on Nickelodeon on October 7, 1996 and wrapped up airing on June 8, 2004, eight years later.[2] The show centers on a fourth grader named Arnold, who lives with his grandparents in an inner-city tenement. Episodes center on his experiences navigating urban life while dealing with the problems he and his friends encounter.

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 within Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington. Bartlett created the pilot episode in his living room in 1994 and official production began in 1995. The animators worked to transform Arnold from clay animation to cel animation, leading to the series premiere. The show finished production December 7, 2001, after 5 seasons and 100 episodes and aired its last episode on June 8, 2004 unannounced. A feature film based on the series, Hey Arnold!: The Movie, was released in theaters on June 28, 2002. All five seasons have been released on DVD.

On March 2, 2016, a television film continuation of the series, Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie, was green-lit. It picks up from where the series ended and resolved the unanswered plotlines of the story.[3][4][5] The film premiered on November 24, 2017, on Nicktoons, TeenNick and on November 24, 2018, as an international theatrical release, wrapping up the entire series, thirteen years after cancelation and fifteen years after the release of the original film in 2002.

Premise[edit]

Characters[edit]

Hey Arnold! features nine-year-old Arnold (voiced by Toran Caudell; Phillip Van Dyke; Spencer Klein; Alex D. Linz and Mason Vale Cotton) and his neighborhood friends: Gerald (voiced by Jamil Walker Smith and Benjamin Flores Jr.), a street-smart character who generally serves as the leader of the group, and Helga (Francesca Marie Smith), a girl who bullies Arnold in order to hide the fact that she is in love with him. Bartlett drew inspiration from people he grew up with when creating the characters for the show.[6]

Arnold lives with his eccentric but loving paternal grandparents, Phil (Dan Castellaneta) and Gertrude (Tress MacNeille), proprietors of the Sunset Arms boarding house, in the fictional city of Hillwood. In each episode, he often helps a schoolmate or boarding home tenant in solving a personal problem or encounters a predicament of his own. Many episodes involve urban legends usually told by Gerald, such as superheroes or the headless horsemen.

Other characters include students and faculty at P.S. 118, Arnold's school, and citizens of Hillwood. Certain episodes focus on the lives of supporting characters, such as the tenants of the boarding house that Arnold's grandparents own.

Setting[edit]

Hey Arnold! takes place in the fictional American city of Hillwood, in a rundown neighborhood. While its geographic location is never revealed outright, Bartlett described the city as "an amalgam of large northern cities I have loved, including Seattle (my hometown), Portland (where I went to art school) and Brooklyn (the bridge, the brownstones, the subway)".[7] Bartlett, having grown up in Seattle, based many of the show's events on his own experience growing up in the city. Evan Levine of the Houston Chronicle commented on the series' "backdrop of dark streets, nighttime adventures and rundown buildings, all seen from a child's point of view".[8]

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
PilotJuly 10, 1996 (1996-07-10) (cinemas)
120October 7, 1996 (1996-10-07)February 12, 1997 (1997-02-12)
220September 22, 1997 (1997-09-22)February 5, 1998 (1998-02-05)
319August 31, 1998 (1998-08-31)December 21, 1998 (1998-12-21)
417March 10, 1999 (1999-03-10)December 11, 1999 (1999-12-11)
524March 4, 2000 (2000-03-04)June 8, 2004 (2004-06-08)[9]
Hey Arnold!: The MovieJune 28, 2002 (2002-06-28)
Hey Arnold!: The Jungle MovieNovember 24, 2017 (2017-11-24)

Production[edit]

Animator Craig Bartlett graduated from Anacortes High School and obtained a degree in communications from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.[10] 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 Studio.[10] Originally, Bartlett intended to become a painter "in the 19th-century sense", but he became interested in animation during a trip to Italy.[6]

In 1987, while working on Pee-wee's Playhouse, he created claymation cutaways about a character named Penny and her friend Arnold, and made three "Arnold" shorts: Arnold Escapes from Church (1988), The Arnold Waltz (1990) and Arnold Rides His Chair (1991) which years later, were given the nickname "Clay Arnold." Six years later, Bartlett teamed up with five writers from Rugrats to develop animation projects for Nickelodeon.[10] 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."[10] 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.[10]

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."[10] 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."[6]

In 1994, Bartlett created the pilot 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.[6] As mentioned earlier, the character was previously featured in a trilogy of clay animation shorts from 1988 to 1991: Arnold Escapes from Church (1988),[11] The Arnold Waltz (1990),[12][13] and Arnold Rides a Chair (1991), the latter having been aired as a filler short on Sesame Street in 1991. The 10-minute pilot episode, titled Arnold, was shown in theaters on July 10, 1996, before Nickelodeon's first feature-length film, its adaptation of Harriet the Spy.[10]

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, by Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons, who is also Craig Bartlett's brother-in-law.

Hey Arnold! was Nickelodeon's first animated series to feature kids voiced by actual children instead of adults. As a result of this, many of the boy characters, including Arnold himself, were recast at least once throughout the show's run, due to the child actors reaching puberty. One notable exception to this was Jamil Walker Smith, the voice of Gerald. After Smith's voice changed, auditions for a new actor were held, but the crew felt none of them were suitable replacements. As a result, Smith was kept on as the voice of Gerald, whose voice subsequently changed in-universe with the episode Gerald's Tonsils. This would last until The Jungle Movie, which featured Benjamin Flores Jr. as the voice of Gerald instead.

Production of Hey Arnold! wrapped on December 7, 2001.[14] A dispute over a second then-planned Hey Arnold! movie, The Jungle Movie, resulted in Bartlett leaving Nickelodeon. The last season's episodes were released over four years, beginning on March 4, 2000. The series aired its final episode, unannounced, on June 8, 2004.[15] "The Jungle Movie" was eventually released as a television film on November 24, 2017.

Broadcast[edit]

United States[edit]

Apart from Nickelodeon in the United States, Hey Arnold! premiered on October 30, 1996, in the United Kingdom, originally on CITV. In 2002, Nicktoons Network began broadcasting the show, and aired reruns of all Hey Arnold! In the United States until May 30, 2007 when the show was taken off its nightly schedule. The show aired in reruns on the now-defunct Nick on CBS programming block for two years, from September 14, 2002, to September 4, 2004. On September 5, 2008, the Canadian Nickelodeon channel began airing reruns of Hey Arnold! In September 5, 2008 to August 11, 2009.

International[edit]

In 2017, the Kenya Film Classification Board banned Hey Arnold!, together with the cartoon series The Loud House, The Legend of Korra, Steven Universe, Clarence and Adventure Time, from being broadcast in Kenya. According to the Board, the reason was that these series were "glorifying homosexual behavior".[16]

Home media[edit]

Nickelodeon released all five seasons on DVD in Region 1 via Amazon.com through its CreateSpace Manufacture-on-demand program in 2008 and 2009. Season 1 was released on August 21, 2008, Season 2 on August 29, 2008, Season 3 on December 8, 2009,[17] Season 4 on November 27, 2009, and Season 5 on December 4, 2009.[18]

CreateSpace Releases Release Date Discs Episodes
Season 1 August 21, 2008 4 20
Season 2 August 29, 2008 4 19
Season 3: Volume 1 & Volume 2 December 8, 2009 6 20
Season 4 November 27, 2009 4 17
Season 5 December 4, 2009 4 24

On May 9, 2011, it was announced that Shout! Factory had acquired the rights to the series.[19] They subsequently released Season 1 in a 4-disc set on August 9, 2011.[20] Season 2, Part 1 was released in a 2-disc set on March 20, 2012,[21] followed by Season 2, Part 2 in a 2-disc set on July 24, 2012.[22] Season 3 was released in a 3-disc set on January 29, 2013, as a "Shout Select" title.[23] On May 14, 2013, Season 4 was released in a 2-disc set as a Shout exclusive followed by Season 5 released in a 3-disc set on October 15, 2013, also as a Shout exclusive[24] making the entire series available on DVD. On August 19, 2014, the complete series was released in a 16-disc set through Shout! Factory as a Walmart exclusive. On November 20, 2018, Paramount Home Entertainment released Hey Arnold!: The Ultimate Collection DVD containing all of the previously released episodes and movies now packaged into one set.[25]

In Australia, all five seasons have been released by Beyond Home Entertainment under license from Nickelodeon. A 16-disc collector's edition was released on September 1, 2016, containing all five seasons.

DVD Name Episodes # of Discs Release Date
Region 1
Region 4
Season 1 20 4 August 9, 2011 (2011-08-09) April 3, 2013
Season 2, Part 1
Season 2, Part 2
19 4 March 20, 2012 (2012-03-20)
July 2, 2012 (2012-07-02)
April 3, 2013 (complete)
Season 3♦ 20 3 January 29, 2013 (2013-01-29) June 3, 2015
Season 4♦ 17 2 May 14, 2013 (2013-05-14)[26] June 3, 2015
Season 5♦ 24 3 October 15, 2013 (2013-10-15)[27] September 1, 2015
The Complete Series 100 16 August 19, 2014 (2014-08-19)[28] September 1, 2016
The Ultimate Collection 100, 2 Movies 18 November 20, 2018 (2018-11-20)[29]

♦ – Shout! Factory select title sold exclusively through Shout's online store.

Films[edit]

2002 feature film[edit]

In this 2002 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 featured guest voice talents of Jennifer Jason Leigh, Paul Sorvino and Christopher Lloyd.

In 1998, Nickelodeon gave Craig Bartlett the chance to develop a feature adaptation of the series.[30] As work on the fifth season was completing, Bartlett and company engaged in the production of Arnold Saves the Neighborhood, which would eventually become Hey Arnold!: The Movie.[30] The Neighborhood project was originally made for television and home video,[30][31] but executives at Paramount Pictures decided to release it theatrically after successful test screenings.[31] According to animation historian Jerry Beck (in his Animated Movie Guide), the decision was buoyed by the financial success of the first two Rugrats movies, The Rugrats Movie and Rugrats in Paris: The Movie.[30]

2017 television film[edit]

In an interview with Arun Mehta, Craig Bartlett announced that he was working with Nickelodeon on a Hey Arnold! revival.[32] In September 2015, Nickelodeon president Russell Hicks announced that the company was considering revivals for a number of their older shows, including Hey Arnold!.[33] According to an announcement by The Independent, a Hey Arnold! revival is "very much on the cards".[34] On November 23, 2015, Nickelodeon announced that a TV movie is in the works and will pick up right where the series left off.[35] The film will also answer unanswered questions about the fate of Arnold's parents.[35] On March 1, 2016, it was announced that the TV film, The Jungle Movie, would be divided into two parts and would air in 2017.[5] On March 6, 2016, voice actress Nika Futterman confirmed on Twitter that she and her character Olga Pataki would appear in the two-hour film.[36] In June 2016, it was confirmed that the TV film would be titled The Jungle Movie, and that 19 of the original voice actors from the series would lend their voices in the film.[37] New cast-members included Mason Vale Cotton as Arnold; Benjamin "Lil' P-Nut" Flores as Gerald; Gavin Lewis as Eugene; Jet Jurgensmeyer as Stinky; Aiden Lewandowski as Sid; Laya Hayes as Nadine; Nicolas Cantu as Curly; Wally Wingert as Oskar; Stephen Stanton as Pigeon Man; and Alfred Molina as the villain Lasombra.[38] The film debuted on November 24, 2017, on Nickelodeon.

Possible reboot[edit]

Before the premiere of The Jungle Movie, Nickelodeon stated that if the ratings of the movie would succeed they would consider rebooting the series. Unfortunately, even though the ratings were a success with older audiences, it ended up missing the mark with the young kids demographic so the idea of bringing back the show on Nickelodeon was scrapped. However, in August 2018, musical composer for the show Jim Lang revealed in a Tunes/Toons podcast that while Nick will not produce the show at the studio due to how poor ratings were with The Jungle Movie, he had this to say: "Netflix, Amazon, Apple were all people that they were going to go out to with the idea of trying to make a season six of Hey Arnold!. We haven't heard anything yet but we've got our fingers crossed."[39] In October 2019, Craig Bartlett revealed in an interview with The Arun Mehta Show that Hey Arnold! could come back as a series with the characters aged up for season 6 if the Rugrats reboot is successful.[40]

Soundtrack[edit]

Hey Arnold! The Music, Volume 1. was released on July 3, 2020. The soundtrack included 45 minutes of previously unreleased music that had been remastered from the original audio files by Emmy Award-winning sound engineer Dave Marino in conjunction with show composer Jim Lang, as well as new original exclusive artwork done by Bartlett. Released in vinyl format complete with A-side and B-side. The release marked the first ever release.[41]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hey Arnold! - Nickelodeon Animation Studio". Nickanimationstudio.com. Archived from the original on July 5, 2017. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  2. ^ "Hey Arnold! - Nickelodeon Animation Studio". Nickanimationstudio.com. Archived from the original on July 5, 2017. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  3. ^ Barsanti, Sam (March 2, 2016). "Nickeldoeon Wraps Up 14-Year Cliffhanger, Greenlights New Hey Arnold! Movie". AV Club. Onion. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  4. ^ "Nickelodeon is making a Hey, Arnold! movie, because the 90s never ended". November 25, 2015. Archived from the original on October 1, 2017. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Steinberg, Brian. "Nickelodeon to Revive 'Legends of the Hidden Temple' as TV Movie (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on March 1, 2016. Retrieved March 1, 2016. As part of a presentation to promote its upcoming slate of programs, the kids-content media empire (comprising several cable networks and more) will unveil a live-action TV movie inspired by its mid-1990s game show Legends of the Hidden Temple, as well as a two-part TV movie based on Hey Arnold!, one of its best-known animated series, which ran between 1996 and 2004.
  6. ^ a b c d Unmacht, Eric (November 9, 1999). "Here's How They Make a Cartoon". The Christian Science Monitor. Christian Science Publishing Society. Archived from the original on December 13, 2013. Retrieved November 25, 2012.
  7. ^ Burk, Kim (November 4, 1998). "Interview with Craig". HeyArnold.Madpage.com. Archived from the original on January 21, 2009. Retrieved November 25, 2012.
  8. ^ Levine, Evan (April 27, 1997). "'Arnold' deals with life in the big city". Houston Chronicle. Hearst Corporation. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  9. ^ "Hey Arnold! - Nickelodeon Animation Studio". Nickanimationstudio.com. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Levesque, John (October 7, 1997). "'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. Archived from the original on January 25, 2013. Retrieved November 25, 2012.
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  16. ^ Anyango, Jennifer (June 15, 2016). "Films board bans six TV programs 'for promoting homosexuality'". The Standard. Archived from the original on June 17, 2017. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
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  18. ^ "Hey Arnold! DVD news: Now Available: Hey Arnold! – Season 4". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
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  20. ^ "Hey Arnold!: Season One". Amazon.com. ASIN B004ZKKL32.
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  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 26, 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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  29. ^ "Hey Arnold!: The Ultimate Collection Releasing This November". The Geekiary. September 4, 2018. Archived from the original on October 23, 2018. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  30. ^ a b c d Beck, Jerry (2005). "Hey Arnold! The Movie". The Animated Movie Guide. Chicago Reader Press. p. 111. ISBN 1-55652-591-5.
  31. ^ a b Horn, John (July 9, 2003). "Nickelodeon flops on big screen". Chicago Tribune. Los Angeles Times. p. 3 (Tempo). Archived from the original on March 21, 2015. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
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  34. ^ Hooton, Christopher (September 3, 2015). "Hey Arnold! is coming back, and possibly Rugrats too | News | Culture". The Independent. Archived from the original on June 25, 2018. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  35. ^ a b Steinberg, Brian (November 23, 2015). "'Hey Arnold' TV Movie in Works as Nickelodeon Aims to Revive Classic Shows (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on November 24, 2015. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
  36. ^ Futterman, Nika. "Nika Futterman Confirms Olga Pataki Appearance in Jungle Movie". Twitter.com. Archived from the original on August 29, 2021. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  37. ^ Snierson, Dan. "Nickelodeon's Hey Arnold! movie gets title; 19 original voice actors returning". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on June 14, 2016. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  38. ^ Evry, Max (June 13, 2016). "Voice Cast Announced for Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie". Comingsoon.net. Archived from the original on June 14, 2016. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  39. ^ "Hey Arnold! set to return for new episodes on Netflix?". Digital Spy. August 21, 2018. Archived from the original on April 13, 2020. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
  40. ^ "2019 Hey Arnold! Anniversary Show with Craig Bartlett!". Archived from the original on April 19, 2021. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  41. ^ "On Sale July 3: Hey Arnold! The Music Vol. 1". enjoytheriderecords.com. June 30, 2020. Archived from the original on July 14, 2020. Retrieved July 13, 2020.

External links[edit]