On June 9, 2000, Universal Studios Hollywood will roll out a new stage attraction based on Nickelodeons Rugrats entitled "Rugrats Magic Adventure!" The new stage show is based off the popular Rugrats episode, "Angelica the Magnificent." The 20-minute performance will feature musical numbers and magical effects. The same illusionists who created tricks for David Copperfield, Lance Burton and the late Doug Henning designed many of the illusions and stunts featured in "Rugrats Magic Adventure!" The new stage performance will join such ground-breaking attractions as "Terminator 2: 3D" and "Waterworld -- A Live Sea War Spectacular." Both Universal and Nickelodeon hope that the TV series high Nielsen numbers will turn over into theme park ticket sales as the summer heats up. The new attraction will also serve as a key promotional vehicle for the November theatrical release of "The Rugrats In Paris."
Besides being Nickelodeon's number-one rated television series, and having a full line of toys and apparel, Rugrats brought new dimensions to tie-ins for animated entertainment properties. Rugrats properties include two theatrical feature films ("The Rugrats Movie" and the upcoming "The Rugrats In Paris"), a home video and a series of CD-ROM games offering kids an opportunity to explore new environments and solve problems from a Rugrat's point of view, tapping into the elements that make the show such a success. Tie-in promotions with Burger King, Blockbuster, Oral-B, Simon & Schuster and other affiliates in the Viacom universe coincided with the November release of the theatrical feature, "The Rugrats Movie." Automaker Lincoln Mercury, a major sponsor for the feature spent approximately U.S. $20 million on tie-in advertising to launch a new minivan called the Mercury Villager in conjunction with the films release in November. And a comic strip starring the series' characters runs in daily and weekly papers including the Los Angeles Times, the New York Daily News, Chicago Tribune and Washington Post. Obviously, such aggressive marketing campaigns are worthwhile. When it was released in November '98, "The Rugrats Movie" grossed a commanding $27.3 million in its first week-end of release, despite lackluster reviews and limited appeal to older audiences.
Read "The Rugrats Movie" review in the December '98 issue of Animation World Magazine: "Shifting To The Big Screen: The Rugrats Movie," where Michael Mallory explains why the toddlers first excursion into theaters is well directed and paced, but flawed for more squeamish parents.
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