If you've spent any amount of time on the Internet lamenting the end of your favorite kid's show, you've likely come across some impressive fan art imagining the cast all grown up. This nostalgia for yesteryear's cartoons is especially pronounced for the greatest Nickelodeon show of all time, Rugrats. From stylish Angelicas to hipster Chuckies, there's no limit to what those precocious babies might look in adulthood.
But, not everyone is happy about this Rugrats reimagining. Storyboard artist Eric Molinsky, who worked on Rugrats from 1999 to 2002, has written an opinion piece about his feelings on the more refined creations, and it's safe to say he's not a fan.
You've probably stumbled upon some designs like this
Artist Isaiah Stephens has been featured on Moviepilot numerous times for his fashion-forward and realistic interpretation of the babies. And, let's be real, this is incredibly cool. Stephens has taken beloved characters and filtered them through his own style, making them both immediately recognizable and entirely new.
As you can see, it's common to use the Finsters, Pickles, and more quirky families as canvases for updated interpretations, allowing these characters to live on well past their adolescence.
And of course there was a whole TV show imagining the childhood friends maturing
When All Grown Up! came on in 2003, in some ways it pretty much accomplished what all these fan artists accomplish. It extended the Rugrats story past the whimsy of the baby years, but, to be fair, the updated show didn't stray from the overall original character designs.
Molinksy takes major issue with the beautification of the characters he helped shape
Based on his short blog post, fan artists have lost an essential aspect of what made these animated families so appealing. As he puts it:
We referred to them as lumpy babies for a reason. If we ever drew the Rugrats as being too cute, our executive producer would scold us.
With all this attractive fan art being shared and discussed, Molinksy decided to offer up his own interpretation on how the "lumpy babies" would turn out once they reached adulthood.
Here's what he thinks the Rugrats would actually look like today
There's certainly much fewer accessories and virtually no hip haircuts in sight. In Molinksy's mind, these imaginative kids would become extremely average adults who retained their essential personality traits from the original show. Chuckie still looks anxious; Angelica still looks demanding; and Dil still looks like he's heavily reliant on his parents.
Overall, however, most of these characters just look like their parents, which, in my opinion, takes the fun out of it a little bit. Now we know what a King of the Hill-like show about the adult Rugrats would look like, but I'm not sure that's the point of fan art. It exists to keep these characters alive with endless possibilities, and I'm all for some of those options being idealized versions with impeccable fashion sense.
A baby's gotta do what a baby's gotta do, and, sometimes, that means ruffling some lumpy feathers.
(Source: Studio 360)