1995 - United States

Thanks to a winning combination of knowing, multi-levelled writing and perfectly cast vocal performances from an experienced and talented cast, this latter day entry into the ever-expanding field of high quality children's TV animation gave us the world as seen from the all-accepting innocence of a child's-eye point of view. 

Nappy wearing toddler Tommy Pickles is the central character of this adventurous infant ensemble. Along with fuzzy-haired, perpetually scared friend Chuckie, and twins Phil and Lil, Tommy shares a playpen and endless adventures crawling around the house and neighbourhood, while indulging in a non-stop series of adventures which deftly parodies everyday life with the wide-eyed innocence of childhood, which belies the decidedly wry, adult sensibilities which informs the show's scripting.

To the Rugrats, the world is a place full of mysteries; such ordinary sights as a garbage truck chewing up refuse in the early morning effortlessly transforms in to a terrifying monster on the street outside, as their rich and active imaginations reworks the world around them into a frame of reference which they can readily grasp, if only imperfectly understand. Of course, there's a truly wonderful master-villain in the form of Angelica, Tommy's malevolent three-year- old cousin who constantly delights in terrorising the mini quartet with all the gleefully open cruelty that is such a naturally accepted part of childhood. Angelica is a masterful creation; a pint-sized Wicked Witch of the West with a post-modern hard-nosed LA attitude still being shaped by exposure to all pervading outside social influences, of which she isn't even aware, much less can she comprehend. 

Smart, consistently funny, with a warm heart and a genuine sense of affection for the many small sorrows and joys which comprise childhood, Rugrats is that all too rare event; a children's animated series that appeals to adults by cocking a sophisticated snook at grown up conventions, while reminding us of all what we lost when we made the transition from little to large.

Published on January 26th, 2019. Written by SRH for Television Heaven.

Read Next...

The Governor

Another cracking series from Lynda La Plante who has always excelled in placing her female lead characters in what are perceived to be male dominated roles.

Also released in 1995


While trying to develop an anti-gravity device, physics genius Quinn Mallory instead creates a device that opens portals to alternative realities.

Also released in 1995

Crystal Tipps and Alistair

Creator Hilary Hayton invented a land where everything seemed fab and groovy and where best friends Crystal and Alistair lived in a pop-art world that one could easily envisage being a part of John Lennon's 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.'

Also tagged Childrens Cartoon

Inspector Gadget

Like the Six Million Dollar Man, Inspector Gagdet was an ordinary human until an accident armed him with a whole host of in-built secret weapons.

Also tagged Childrens Cartoon

Button Moon

The adventures of Mr. Spoon who would travel to Button Moon in his homemade rocket-ship. All of the characters were based on kitchen utensils...

Also tagged Animated

Foo Foo cartoon series

Foo Foo was created for ABC Television in the UK by Halas & Batchelor, who had been producing films since 1940.

Also tagged Childrens Cartoon

Oh Doctor Beeching!

Oh, Dr Beeching! was a hit with its pilot show, its viewing figures unrivalled for a new comedy for some years afterwards. Unfortunately, due to the expense of its location shooting, it was somewhat over budget at a time when the BBC purse strings were largely welded shut.

Also released in 1995