For those who watch Family Guy and have always wondered about Stewie’s football-shaped head, let me just fill you in on a little secret: he wasn’t the first cartoon kid to have an oblong cranium.
Arnold is your common everyday kid, except for the fact that his head is insanely shaped. He doesn’t quite belong to any particular clique in school because he is just kind of…there. He’s not popular nor is he unpopular. He isn’t a dork, but he also isn’t cool by any stretch of the imagination. Arnold is just who he is and happens to get into some crazy situations with his group of friends. Gerald is his best friend and there isn’t much unique about him either except that he’s sporting a hairdo from the Kid n’ Play days. Helga is a rather cruel little girl who also has a mop up top that seems like she used too much hair gel. And besides the everyday dealings with his grandparents, Arnold has some wild adventures with his friends that aren’t your typical playground shenanigans.
There truly isn’t much to be said about Hey Arnold! because there isn’t a plot or running storyline to go off of. Oddly and thankfully, it actually reminds me of a lot of the cartoons I watched as a kid. There is no big crisis, no imaginary battles, no conspiracy that makes the kids need to plan takeovers to keep everyone safe. It’s just a few kids in school dealing with the different holidays, jerks, spelling bees, and having make-believe weddings. It almost makes me think back to the days of Charlie Brown and the Peanuts’ gang who just dealt with life as children. Nothing too complicated and nothing that makes you forget you’re watching a children’s cartoon, and not a Michael Bay flick.
There will be the occasional lesson learned in an episode of Hey Arnold!, but it’s nothing that even comes close to resting on Brady proportions. It’s just common everyday problems that may come about from being in the fourth grade or living in New York. At least I believe they live in New York because it is never really said, but it certainly looks like it. Arnold is a good kid that will help anyone and everyone while just wanting to be himself. He’s got a lot going on in his life, but what small kid doesn’t? I think seeing inside the life of more children would be extremely more interesting then witnessing what adults do. At least kids don’t care and aren’t nearly as superficial.
Downtown As Fruits
The Little Pink Book
The Old Building
6th Grade Girls
The Vacant Lot
Arnold As Cupid
Gerald Comes Over
Olga Comes Home
Abner, Come Home
The Sewer King
24 Hours To Live
The episodes are shown in Full Screen format and look pretty good for being close to twelve years old. Colors are vibrant and sharp even though a bit of grain and is evident, but nothing that will hinder your viewing pleasures.
The episodes are heard in Stereo Sound and it is more then adequate here. Everything can be heard cleanly and without any problems at all.
Hey Arnold! is one of those animated series that isn’t going to appeal to every age as something like Spongebob or Family Guy would. A lot of the humor and topics in this series are distinctly aimed at smaller children and isn’t that the way it actually should be? I mean it’s a cartoon for God sakes. It is simple, easy to understand, funny, and just so good natured that parents can’t ever possibly wonder if what their kids are watching is good for them. Those anal-retentive mothers and fathers may be upset at the fact that their kids won’t necessarily come away with a better education or moral lesson learned, but at least they won’t get up afterwards and ask for a gun or syringe. Let them enjoy these thirty-eight cartoons in peace and just be kids for a while. I know it took me back a good twenty years and let me…well, be myself for a little bit longer then usual today.
Nickelodeon presents Hey Arnold!: Season 1. Created by: Craig Bartlett. Starring (voices): Toran Caudell, Phillip Van Dyke, Spencer Klein, Jamil W. Smith, and more. Running time: 116 minutes on 4 discs. Rating: Not Rated. Released on DVD: August 21, 2008. Available at Amazon.