It’s been thirty years since the iconic children’s program ‘Rugrats’ crawled onto our screens. So of course, it’s getting a 2021 reboot like everything else, but this time with a queer twist.
Looking back on this iconic children’s show it would be no surprise considering some of the programs more progressive content.
Featuring a group of babies viewing everyday life through their creative imaginations the program included many subtle and progressive messages.
‘Rugrats‘ was ahead of its time.
Heavily featured and discussed on ‘Rugrats‘ at the time were positive representations of Jewish families, something that was not the norm at the time. This included the telling of traditional Jewish biblical tales.
‘Rugrats‘ was also ahead of its time with its positive discussions around feminism on a children’s program. Hot-headed mother of Angelica, ‘Dee Dee’ was a strong independent business woman. Focussed on raising her daughter to be equally so, she was a powerhouse character.
But Betty, mother of ‘Rugrats‘ twins Phil and Lil was also portrayed as a strong woman. Often seen with the ‘female gender symbol’ emblazoned upon her shirt there was always something slightly queer about this loveable kids character.
Natalie Morales praises reboot
In the 2021 Rugrats reboot, Natalie Morales who will voice the character announced she will be written as an openly queer woman.
In a statement to the A.V club this week Morales praised the decision. ‘Betty is a single mom with her own business who has twins and still has time to hang out with her friends and her community.’
‘I think it’s just so great because examples of living your life happily and healthily as an out queer person is just such a beacon for young queer people who may not have examples of that.’
The openly gay actor known for her role on ‘Parks and recreation’ went on to highlight the importance of queer visibility. ‘Cartoons were hugely influential for me as a kid, and if I’d been watching Rugrats and seen Betty casually talking about her ex-girlfriend, I think at least a part of me would have felt like things might be okay in the future.’
The ‘Rugrats‘ reboot is not without its detractors however. For the shows original fans the program was known for it’s awkward clunky cartoon aesthetic. The 2021 ‘Rugrats‘ reboot has upgraded its aesthetic to a much more sleek 3D animation style. For those big kids at heart it may not be quite what they remember it to be.
‘Rugrats‘ is part of the new selection of programs commissioned for ‘Paramount plus,’ the new US streaming service, including Rupauls Drag Race All Stars season 6.
Check out the official ‘Rugrats‘ trailer below
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