Hey Arnold! The Movie (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes

Hey Arnold! The Movie (2002)



Critic Consensus: Bland, unoriginal, and lacking the wit of the TV series, Hey Arnold is a 30 min cartoon stretched beyond its running time.

Hey Arnold! The Movie Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Everyone's favorite football-headed city kid graduates from television to the big screen in this animated comedy-adventure based on the Nickelodeon TV series. Arnold (voice of Spencer Klein) and his good friend, Gerald (voice of Jamil Walker Smith), live in a tight-knit neighborhood in the middle of a big city. Like most of their neighbors, Arnold and Gerald love their community, and when they learn that Scheck (voice of Paul Sorvino), a wealthy and powerful developer, plans to buy up their neighborhood, tear down the buildings, and put up a massive shopping mall in its place, they decide something has to be done. While the adults come up with a dodgy scheme to blow up the streets in their neighborhood, Arnold and Gerald hatch a more practical scheme, with the help of Helga (voice of Francesca Marie Smith), who can't decide if she likes Arnold or hates his guts. Arnold and Gerald learn that their neighborhood was designated a historical landmark years ago, but can they prove it before Scheck moves in with his bulldozers? Hey Arnold! The Movie also features the voice talents of Jennifer Jason Leigh, Christopher Lloyd, and Dan Castellaneta.more
Rating: PG (for some thematic elements)
Genre: Animation, Kids & Family, Comedy, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: Craig Bartlett, Steve Viksten, Craig Bartlett, Steve Viksten
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 31, 2002
Box Office: $13.6M
Paramount Pictures - Official Site


Francesca Marie Smit...
as Helga/Deep Voice
Jamil Walker Smith
as Gerald/Rasta Guy
Dan Castellaneta
as Grandpa/Nick Vermice...
Tress MacNeille
as Grandma/Mayor Dixie/...
Maurice LaMarche
as Big Bob Pataki
Kath Soucie
as Miriam Pataki
Christopher P. Walbe...
as Stinky Peterson
Elizabeth Ashley
as Mrs. Vitello
James Keane
as Mr. Green/Riot Cop
Michael Levin
as Ray Doppel
Baoan Coleman
as Mr. Hyunh
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Hey Arnold! The Movie

Critic Reviews for Hey Arnold! The Movie

All Critics (83) | Top Critics (23)

Pic has lots of charm, and parents in attendance won't feel too bored or alienated by its goings-on, while kids will lap it up.

Full Review… | May 20, 2008
Top Critic

The simplistic drawing is closer to Peanuts than The Lion King, and the dialogue is strangely anachronistic.

Full Review… | May 20, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The coloured pencil tones and quirky-looking characters are likeable, and the plot cuts the sentimentalism with sarky wit and minimum schmaltz.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A dull and plodding cartoon with barely enough story for a half-hour episode of the TV series.

August 1, 2002
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
Top Critic

It all unfolds just about as a grownup might expect, though at a leisurely pace that makes the movie's 72 minutes seem longer.

Full Review… | July 2, 2002
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

A god awful closer for such a great show.

Full Review… | February 11, 2014
Cinema Crazed

Audience Reviews for Hey Arnold! The Movie


Like the 'Doug' animated movie this is purely for fans of the original cartoon. Totally for kids and no one else really, I can't see any adult (or child even) liking this at all unless they know the original series and have followed it.

This was probably my fave 'Nick' toon beating even 'Rugrats', why? because you could relate to it quite well. Many of the stories tend to revolve around real situations that kids deal with in their daily lives, situations many of us will have gone through. The usual stuff like bullies, school, projects, parents, families, snow days, adventures using your imagination etc...

Next to that is the great array of loud quirky characters which fill this world, Dan Castellaneta voicing one of my faves in 'Grandpa Phil'. The oddly shaped designs of the characters is another little series trait and of course the hand drawn style of the cartoon is really rich, colourful and bold. Each toon has their own unique individual artistic style but 'Hey Arnold!' is really one of my favourites, its so pleasing to the eye.

As for this movie, its obviously an extended version of the regular 20min cartoon but as usual it can't quite live up to the original shorter material. The plot is quite a heavy one involving 'Arnold' and 'Gerald' trying to save their neighbourhood from being destroyed by some rich tycoon. This doesn't really work too well in my opinion as it just seems too much of a stretch for the characters to achieve. Some of the ideas by other characters to stop this happening are just daft (yeah I know its a toon but still), blowing a hole in their own street?. All in all it does feel like the writers have had problems trying to think of cute filler to take up the time. Even for a kids film its dreadfully average and predictable.

New characters are also kinda bland and uninteresting unfortunately. They are voiced well by a stellar cast but they just seem uninspired, accept for 'the Coroner' voiced by Chris Lloyd, he was quite cool. All the other regular characters are present and voiced by the regular cast so continuity is good and the film visually looks the same accept for the odd spot of CGI and its generally sharper naturally.

To look at this film is to love it, its Hey Arnold but so much crisper and more delightful. But that's about it really, the plot is heavy handed, it feels terribly stretched, they try to cram all characters in the background and the little amusing touches have disappeared!. All they needed to do was stick to a more kid friendly plot if you ask me or a continuation of the final series perhaps. Something we (the fans) can all relate to, exactly why the series was so successful in the first place.

Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer



Drew Smith

Super Reviewer


Hey Arnold! The Movie is a fun movie for kids and fans of the show. I loved the show, and this almost was as good.

Bradley Wright
Bradley Wright

Super Reviewer

Hey Arnold! The Movie Quotes

Gerald: Why do you always think on the lighter side of things?
Arnold: Well somebody's gotta do it.
– Submitted by Adam P (2 years ago)
Helga: I love you Arnold. I love you so much.
– Submitted by Adam P (2 years ago)
Helga: I wish I had a sign. [pigeon poops on her] Perfect.
– Submitted by Facebook U (4 years ago)
Arnold: I didn't know you were religious.
Gerald: Neither did I.
– Submitted by Facebook U (4 years ago)

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