"Really? If it's a free country… I guess I'm free to beat the living snot out of ya!"
"Hey Arnold! The Movie" is another in a long line of successful cartoons that were made into a less than successful movie. Having never seen the television show, I popped in the DVD with an open mind. Now that I have seen the movie now, I doubt I will ever give the cartoon a chance. Don't get me wrong, I love cartoons, just as long as they are imaginative and treat their audience (both adult and child) with respect… sort of like Spongebob.
The movie is about Arnold, his neighborhood, and a menacing super-corporation named FTI. Arnold has a football shaped head, but a super-positive personality. His neighbors are eccentric and friendly. Unfortunately for them, a company named FTI plans on demolishing the neighborhood and putting up a huge super mall. Just like you'd expect, Arnold and his best friend Gerald, set out to stop FTI from demolishing the neighborhood they grew up in. Along the way, they meet wacky people with celebrity voices, and finally come up with a way to stop FTI from destroying their homes. I swear I've seen movies like this a million times before.
I really tried to like this movie. But there just wasn't anything there for me. I assume that this is the type of movie that only a child can enjoy. Although there are some jokes that only an adult laugh at, this is the type of movie that's really only suited for children. With an actual film running time of less than 70 minutes, there was nothing here than made me feel that I was watching an actual movie instead of the television show. So, if you like the television show, you should give it a shot. If you're looking for something new to watch, you'll be better off finding something else.
Paramount presents "Hey Arnold! The Movie" in Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1 and Full Frame 1.33:1. Through the menu, you can toggle which format you prefer. The style of animation resembles that of Rugrats (I don't detect any CGI). The animation is crisp, and there are no signs of grain, artifacts, or dirt on the print. Colors are intentionally a little dull. Overall, I'm happy with the picture.
The audio is presented here in Dolby 5.1 Surround as well as Dolby 2.0. Although there isn't much in the movie to give my speakers a workout, certain effects sounded great on my system (balls bouncing, doors slamming, as well as the echo from the Scheck video wall).
Static DVD menu offers the choices of "Play", Special Features", "Set Up" and "Scene Selection."
Jeez. Paramount isn't one for special features on DVDs. All we get is the theatrical trailer for "Hey Arnold! The Movie." Also, there is a "Charlottes's Web 2" interactive game that is intended only for kids.
Two Words… Rent it. You know you're in trouble when the movie is overshadowed by the audio and video. Like I said earlier, if you like the television show, give this a shot.