Rugrats is an American animated children's television series created by Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó, and Paul Germain for Nickelodeon. The show focuses on a group of babies and their day-to-day lives, usually involving life experiences that become much greater adventures in the imaginations of the main characters.
The series premiered on August 11, 1991, as the second Nicktoon—after Doug and before The Ren & Stimpy Show. Production was initially halted in 1993 after 65 episodes spanning three seasons, with the last episode airing on May 22, 1994. From 1995 to 1996, the only new episodes broadcast were "A Rugrats Passover" and "A Rugrats Chanukah", two Jewish-themed episodes that received critical acclaim; during this time, after the end of the show's production run, Rugrats began to receive a boost in ratings and popularity due to constant reruns on Nickelodeon.
History with the Macy's Parade
With Rugrats growing in popularity, three of the show's characters made their Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade debut in 1997 Parade with a giant helium balloon, marking it as the first trio balloon in the Parade's history. The 60-foot long balloon was constructed at Raven Aerostar headquarters in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and required 2,000 yards of neoprene-coated nylon fabric.
The balloon featured the show's adventurous leader, Tommy Pickles, and best friend scaredy-cat, Chuckie Finster, as they hitch a ride on their faithful dog Spike, whose snout is said to be longer than two New York City taxicabs.
After succeeding their maiden flight, they continued to appear throughout the mid-to-late 90s, promoting The Rugrats Movie in 1998.
In 2000, a beret was added atop Tommy's head as a means of promotion for the Rugrats film, Rugrats in Paris: The Movie. The balloon was later changed back to its previous form for the 2001 Parade to celebrate the franchise's 10th anniversary, and was retired shortly after the aforementioned procession.
Costumed character versions of Tommy and Chuckie appeared aboard the Toon Balloon-Abration in 2001, a float that featured many characters who have had balloons grace the skies of New York City, as a part of the Parade's 75th anniversary celebrations. For the Parade's 85th anniversary in 2011, Tommy returned to the Parade by himself, riding aboard the Hats Off To Our Heritage float. Since this appearance, the Rugrats have yet to appear in the Parade in any form again.
Listed below are the music tracks that played during the balloon's appearances on the NBC telecast.
- "Rugrats Theme Song", composed by Mark Mothersbaugh, arranged by Milton DeLugg (1997-2001)