In 1996, Nickelodeon introduced the football-headed hero of their newest Nicktoon, Hey Arnold! The animated adventures of Hillwood’s most awkward fourth-grader and his colorful friends enjoyed five seasons spanning eight years and 100 episodes, plus a 2002 feature film titled Hey Arnold! The Movie. More than 10 years after production ceased on new Hey Arnold! episodes, Nickelodeon is now looking to bring the gang back in a big way.
As Variety reports, the animation studio is developing a TV movie version of Hey Arnold! that will pick up where the series left off. Additionally, and more interestingly, it will also serve to answer the mystery of just what happened to Arnold’s parents. Fans will remember that Arnold lives with his paternal grandparents Phil and Gertrude in the Sunset Arms boarding house in the fictional city of Hillwood. He was often accompanied by his best friend Gerald and bullied by Helga Pataki, who secretly admired him from afar. As for Arnold’s parents, a good portion of their story is actually doled out in the episode, “Parent’s Day”, but it’s left unresolved.
Personally, I rather prefer it that way, but Nickelodeon is doing what many other rights-holders have found to be financially lucrative: mining the past. They’ve even created the new role of Senior Vice President of Content Development for Franchise Properties, and named The Adventures of Pete & Pete co-creator Chris Viscardi to the position. In other words, expect more of these similar projects to be announced in the future. In fact, a bunch of 90s property revisits are already in the works.
If you need a refresher on Hey Arnold!, this jazzy theme song should jump start those 10-20-year-old memories:
As for some bonus content, here’s how the original version of Arnold appeared, thanks to creator Craig Bartlett and his claymation character he dreamed up while working for Pee Wee’s Playhouse: