The 25th anniversary of Nicktoons “Rugrats,” “Ren & Stimpy” and “Doug” has arrived! While these Nickelodeon cartoons stirred the imagination of many children, there are several behind-the-scenes tidbits that have gone mostly unknown.
Here are ten things you didn’t know about “Rugrats,” “Ren & Stimpy” and “Doug”:
All of the Babies on “Rugrats” Were Voiced by Women
Phil and Lil are voiced by the same actress, Kath Soucie, who also voiced their mother Betty. Chuckie was voiced by Christine Cavanaugh, who was also the voice of Dexter in Cartoon Network’s “Dexter’s Laboratory.” Angelica was voiced by Cheryl Chase and Tommy Pickles was voiced by Elizabeth Daily.
The Co-Creator of “Rugrats” Didn’t Like Angelica
Arlene Klasky, co-creator of Klasky-Csupo and “Rugrats,” confessed that she never really liked Angelica, finding her and her signature catchphrase, “You dumb babies!,” “too mean.” She admitted to the New Yorker that the original “Rugrats” creative team struggled to keep the show edgy while also appropriate for children, and that the Angelica conflict was the reason for the team’s breakup.
“Rugrats” Got a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
“Rugrats” was not only a commercial success, but also gained critical acclaim. The show won over 20 awards, including four Daytime Emmys, seven Kids’ Choice Awards and five Emmys. Not only that, but “Rugrats” is the only animated kids show to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh Composed the “Rugrats” Theme Song
Those memorable child-like sound effects came from none other than Devo’s frontman. In a 2013 interview with Spiltsider, Mothersbaugh also said that Chuckie Finster “gained some of his characteristics from observations of me.” “We both had thick-glasses,” he said. “We’re both near-sided. And had I pretty wild hair back then.”
“Rugrats” Was Inspired by a Single Question
In an interview with ComicBook.com, Arlene Klasky said she asked herself, “If babies could talk, what would they say?” and the concept for the timeless cartoon was born. She also said she wanted to know “the logic that drove tiny humans to desperately want to stick their hands in the toilet.”
“Doug” Creator Jim Jinkins Revealed that Doug and Patti Don’t Make It
According to “Doug” creator Jim Jinkins, Doug Funnie and Patti Mayonnaise, unfortunately, do not end up together. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he said, “It doesn’t happen because, really, people don’t end up with their first love.”
“Doug” Story Elements Took Clever Inspiration From Real Life
Many of the story elements found in “Doug” took inspiration from the real world. The phrase “Dual Income, No Kids” was used to name the Dinks. Doug’s vice principal was inspired by Don Knotts and the Beets by, of course, the Beatles.
Creator John Kricfalusi Was Fired From “Ren & Stimpy”
“Ren & Stimpy” creator John Kricfalusi, who was also the voice of Ren, got the axe from his own show. One of Nickelodeon’s biggest grips with the creative was that he was not meeting delivery deadlines. Kricfalusi told the Los Angeles Times in 1992 that the demands of the collaboration took too heavy of a toll — he wanted to stretch the boundaries of animation, while the network wanted to stay safely within age appropriateness. “Nickelodeon wants something for the show. I want something for the show,” he told the publication. “When you mix two really strong visions, it’s going to take a long, long time to do the work.”
Bill West Appeared in Every Episode of “Ren & Stimpy”
Billy West, who voiced Stimpy in the Nickelodeon episodes, took over the voice of Ren after Kricfalusi was fired. As a result, West became the only voice actor to be in every episode.
Ren and Stimpy Were Inspired by a Photograph and Tweety Bird
Ren was modeled after an Elliott Erwitt photograph on a postcard called “New York City, 1946,” which showed a chihuahua dressed in a sweater, lying at a woman’s feet, Kricfalusi revealed in a 2010 blog post. Stimpy, on the other hand, took inspiration from “A Gruesome Twosome,” a Tweety Bird cartoon where the cats had big noses.