It’s been two decades because Nickelodeon’s Hey Arnold! debuted to notify ’90s young children a tale about a nine-calendar year-previous with a football shaped head, who’s shirt is often mistaken for a kilt, living in the town with his eccentric grandparents and friends.
The show’s creator, Craig Bartlett, made the initially version of Arnold in 1988, when he and his spouse, Lisa Groening, moved from Portland, OR to L.A. to function on Pee-wee’s Playhouse — exclusively on the show’s Penny claymation shorts. Arnold was initially manufactured out of clay (which, in accordance to Bartlett, accounts for his odd shaped head) and was a kindergartner with an lively creativity. In a single of the early shorts (of which there are three) Arnold sits in church when visions of dinosaurs, leaping dogs, flowery meadows, and sailboats float by means of his mind. Early variations of Helga and Harold also manufactured appearances in these shorts, two of which aired on Worldwide Tournée of Animation, a feature-length touring selection observed in theaters, with the 3rd airing on Sesame Road.
As soon as Bartlett started off performing on a single of the earliest Nicktoons, Rugrats, as a story editor and writer, he introduced Nickelodeon producer and head of Nicktoons, Mary Harrington, to the Arnold claymation and comic strips. From there the present was made with Bartlett’s Rugrat pals Steve Viksten (who died in 2014) and Joseph Ansolabehere, to turn out to be the darkly poetic and comedically fulfilling present that is Hey Arnold! The present premiered on this day in 1996, with the pilot episode, “Downtown as Fruits,” in which Arnold and his finest pal Gerald stop up going for walks all over the dirty streets of downtown dressed like a banana and a strawberry.
To celebrate the show’s anniversary, as very well as its anticipated return with The Jungle Movie upcoming calendar year, we spoke with Bartlett, Ansolabehere, writer Joseph Purdy and actors Lane Toran (Arnold in seasons a single and two, afterwards Wolfgang), Francesca Marie Smith (Helga), Jamil Walker Smith (Gerald), Justin Shenkarow (Harold), Anndi McAfee (Phoebe), and Maurice LaMarche (Significant Bob Pataki) about the development of the present and its return.