The Nineties nostalgia boom won’t go away anytime soon, at least not at Nickelodeon, which is currently developing a live-action/animation hybrid feature called Nicktoons.
The film, first reported by The Tracking Board, would combine characters from 1990s Nicktoons including Rugrats, Ren & Stimpy, Hey Arnold!, Doug, Angry Beavers, and Rocko’s Modern Life, in a Justice League/Avengers-style team-up. No word if the old fan-art above was part of the pitch.
The project is currently in early development at Paramount by SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water producers Mary Parent and Cale Boyter, through their production company Disruption Entertainment. No writer is attached to the project yet.
According to the Tracking Board’s report, “[T]he creators have no intentions to bastardize or update the characters unfavorably, only to create a fun adventure reuniting audiences with the treasured cartoons in an exciting new approach, pleasing old fans and creating new ones.” The film will reportedly employ “self-referential humor” and will be modeled after character mash-up films like The Lego Movie, Space Jam, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and Wreck-It Ralph.
News of a Nicktoons movie, combined with an announcement earlier this week that the network is considering reviving old shows like Rugrats and Hey Arnold!, suggest that the network is looking backward to regain relevancy in the crowded field of children’s TV animation. On the animation side, the network has had few breakout successes over the last decade, and has had to rely on the continued ratings success of vintage series like SpongeBob SquarePants and Fairly OddParents.