So I was watching the episode, “Phoebe Cheats” and I just have to point out this picture.
A bazillion questions pop into my head simultaneously when I look at this: What the actual hell? I know Helga walks around with Arnold’s photo in a heart-shaped locket. But there’s a difference between “a photo of Arnold that could very well be his school picture” and a “random photo of Arnold taken at the park.” Seriously what is even up with this picture? Where and how did Helga even get this picture? What the hell was Arnold doing when this picture was taken? He’s like, looking directly into the camera, and posing for fuck’s sake! Who even took the picture? Was it Mr. Simmons while they were doing some sort of class activity? Was it Gerald just for the shits and giggles? I mean, I don’t even know where to start!
Suddenly, I want 30 more minutes worth of story in addition to the original 11-minute episode because hot damn, I need to know these answers. Now.
20 Things You Should Know About Hey Arnold! on Its 20th Anniversary
Believe it or not, it’s been 20 years since Hey Arnold! first premiered on Nickelodeon! That’s right — on October 7, 1996, everyone’s favorite football head graced our TV screens, bringing his tall-haired best friend, an angry unibrowed little girl and a gaggle of other weird, wonderful characters along for the ride. To celebrate, we put together a list of fun facts you should know about the series. Read on, and enjoy Hey Arnold! every night on The Splat!
1. Hey Arnold! began as a series of claymation shorts creator Craig Bartlett developed independently. The third short was made for Sesame Street.
2. Craig and a handful of other Hey Arnold! alumni also worked on another Nickelodeon show — Rugrats.
3. Jim Lang, the composer for Hey Arnold!, actually wrote the melody for the theme song back in the 1970s, originally imagining it as the music for a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial.
4. A lot of Craig’s original Hey Arnold! staff, including Raymie Muzquiz, Jerry Richardson, Steve Lowtwait and Miyuki Hoshikawa returned to work on The Jungle Movie.
5. Hey Arnold! was the first Nickelodeon cartoon to use child voice actors.
6. During Hey Arnold!’s run, four different voice actors played the role of Arnold (five, if you count the pilot).
7. When designing Gerald, Craig decided that because Arnold was short and wide, his best friend should be tall and skinny.
8. The G. in Helga G. Pataki stands for “Geraldine” — as in Geraldine Laybourne, a member of the team that created Nickelodeon.
9. Only four Hey Arnold! characters know for sure that Helga loves Arnold: Dr. Bliss, Lila, Phoebe and Brainy.
10. Each girl character on Hey Arnold! was based on a real-life crush the creator had when he was younger.
11. The studio Hey Arnold! was produced in was located on 4040 Vineland Street. In the show, the boarding house is on 4040 Vine street.
12. Hillwood, the city in Hey Arnold!, was named after the elementary school Craig attended in Seattle.
13. Craig based Arnold’s city after Seattle (his hometown), Portland (where he went to art school) and Brooklyn (where he has relatives).
14. Painter Edward Hopper (who is mentioned in “Helga on the Couch”) is part of the inspiration for the Hillwood cityscape.
15. Craig voiced a number of characters, including Brainy, Abner, Ned the radio DJ and Arnold’s dad, Miles.
16. Ned’s look is also based off the appearance of Craig.
17. Originally, Arnold had no last name, but as a joke the writers settled on “Shortman” — Grandpa Phil’s nickname for his grandson.
18. PS 118’s school colors are green and orange.
19. Though many thought Arnold was wearing a kilt, it was really just a long button-down shirt under his sweater.
20. Hey Arnold! has saved lives! After a little girl watched the episode “Eugene’s Bike,” in which Eugene nearly chokes on a hotdog until Arnold gives him the Heimlich Maneuver, she used the same move on a friend who was choking on a jawbreaker.
Watch the creator of your favorite cartoon MAKE a cartoon before your very eyes! Craig Bartlett (creator of Hey Arnold!) celebrates National Cartoonists Day by drawing and coloring a heartfelt work of art featuring baby Arnold in the jungle.
Craig Bartlett’s legendary career in cartoons includes three of the most iconic kid shows ever: Pee Wee’s Playhouse, Rugrats and his very own, universally adored Hey Arnold! As he embarks on a new TV-movie adventure with Arnold and friends, Craig stops by the podcast to discuss his illustrious past and the future of his beloved football-headed hero.
Huge thank you to Craig for joining us! Stay connected with Craig and follow him on Instagram.
Keep up with our intrepid host Hector on his own Twitter and Instagram pages. And stay tuned to NickAnimation25 for next week’s podcast exploring highlights and interviews with all our voice actors, creators and stars at San Diego Comic Con!
Ashley Boulet, more commonly known as Ashley B., is the second-in-command of the Ashley clique in the series.Ashley B. is slender, of average height, and is African-American part French. She has curly black hair that goes down to her chin with a yellow barette on the left side of her head. She usually wears a white shirt with a yellow blazer/sweater, a plaid yellow skirt, long white socks, and black chunky-heeled shoes. She also wears red lipstick and a necklace with a gold pendent on it.
Her voice actress, Francesca Smith, and Ashley A.’s voice actress, Anndi McAfee, are also known for playing best friends Helga Pataki and Phoebe Heyerdahl on Nickelodeon's Hey Arnold!, which series creators Paul Germain and Joe Ansolabehere worked on during the show’s first season before leaving for The Walt Disney Company.
Here’s my complete list of San Diego Comicon 2016 activities!
• Happy Happy! Joy Joy!: 25 Years of Nickelodeon Original Animation (Thursday, July 21, 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.; room 6A) For 25 years Nickelodeon has produced some of the most innovative and memorable animation in the history of television. Nick Animation Podcast host Hector Navarro finds out how and why four of the network’s most influential creators did what they did: Craig Bartlett (Hey Arnold!), Jhonen Vasquez (Invader Zim), Butch Hartman (The Fairly OddParents, Danny Phantom) and Arlene Klasky, who along with Gabor Csupo and Paul Germain, created Rugrats. Don’t miss the chance to see production art from the upcoming TV movie Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie; animation from Hartman’s new Bunsen is a Beast!; and the world premiere of Don vs Raph, a TMNT animated short written and produced by Jhonen Vasquez.
• Invader ZIM Conquers San Diego Comic-Con, Saturday, 7/23/16, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Room 29AB It’s been one year since the premiere of the Invader ZIM comic books, based on the popular Nickelodeon series, so join us for a retrospective of the series so far as well as hints for what’s to come! Featuring Jhonen Vasquez (series creator, control brain), Aaron Alexovich (character designer, artist), Dave Crosland (comic artist), and Megan Lawton (inker) all telling horrible, horrible secrets about the comic book series.
Oni Press Booth #1833
Thursday, 7/21 • Invader ZIM signing with Jhonen Vasquez and Megan Lawton, 6–7 PM
Over ten years ago, Nickelodeon cancelled the long awaited series conclusion to “Hey Arnold”, known by fans as the “Jungle Movie”. Ostensibly it was because series creator Craig Bartlett refused to sign an exclusive contract with the network. The real motivation however was that Nick had two jungle themed movies in their line up, “Hey Arnold’s” and the Rugrats/Wild Thornberries crossover “Rugrats Go Wild”. “Hey Arnold” had ended on a cliff hanger that would have been picked back up in its movie (Thus leaving its viewers waiting for the next promised installment). “Wild Thornberries”, however, had already had a movie that had effectively ended its story. Rugrats had not only had two movies, but had long worn out its welcome by becoming nothing but a cash cow shell of its former self. Guess which horse Nick decided to bet on?
As usual, it was the wrong one. In the end, “HA”’s fan base had their hearts broken. Meanwhile “Rugrats Go Wild” was such a failure that creators Klasky-Csupo went bankrupt.
For the past decade and a half, I’ve been nothing if not bitter at Nickelodeon for this reason. True it was a bitterness that actually started when new “HA” episodes were being preempted for “Rugrats” reruns but still a bitterness that has continued to grow ever since. It grew when “The Jungle Movie” was cancelled. It grew when Nick held back most of the final season of their best and most under appreciated KC show, “As Told By Ginger.” It grows every times I see “Spongebob” still on the air and know Nick is still repeating the same mistakes they made with “Rugrats.” It grew exponentially with Nick’s extremely poor mishandling of “The Legend of Korra” and their transparent hatred for it. But it all started with “Hey Arnold.”
I had resigned myself to the fact that the “Jungle Movie” was lost forever. Banished to a vault somewhere by executives too stupid to see what was right in front of them. No hope. No conclusion. Not even a graphic adaptation. Sure there were rumors. “THE JUNGLE MOVIE WILL FINALLY BE RELEASED IN JUNE 2015″ one site would promise. The date would come and go and still no “Jungle Movie.” It was not to be.
There was also talk of bringing back the old Nicktoons. But given Nick’s piss poor track record and my own cynical nature, I was less than thrilled. So less than thrilled I ranted about this on this very blog.
Then tonight my sister looked at her phone. “They’re bringing back ‘Hey Arnold.’” Expecting news of a reboot, I took to my own iPhone to see…and nearly fainted from shock.
The new series will not only pick up where the old left off, but will start with a movie.
We’re getting our “Jungle Movie.”
“Craig Bartlett, the creator of “Hey Arnold!,” was pitching a different idea and started talking to Nick executives about the ways the characters from the old series continued to gain mentions in online forums, citing fan art and fan fiction to short films on YouTube. Barrett will be writer and executive producer on the new “Arnold” move…”
You know Andy Richter as Conan O’Brien’s sidekick, but to us, he’s one of the top dog’s when it comes to giving voice to hilarious cartoon characters like Mort in the Madagascar films and TV spinoffs, Benjamin Higgenbottom in The Mighty B!, and hilarious roles on Bob’s Burgers, Metalocalypse, Robot Chicken, and King of The Hill. Hector talks cartoons, comedy, Studio Ghibli films and more with the comic actor who will never be a second banana to fans of cartoons.