Nickelodeon Talks With Klasky & Csupo

The following interview was done by an unknown Nickelodeon staffer for a special press kit for the Rugrats' 10th Anniversary. Newspapers and magazines can use this interview any way they see fit, either as a whole interview, or as quotes for a story.

Interview © 2001 Viacom.


Q: Over the years, what has surprised and gratified you most about Rugrats?

A: (Klasky) -- I am surprised at the huge continuing success of the series. Different generations continue to love it, and people don't tire of it. Sooner or later, it seems all kids discover the Rugrats, and it's very rewarding to see a new generation gravitate to it.

A: (Csupo) -- It was time to see the characters develop. During the process of making over 200 segments, their personalities really blossomed, and as a team they're very powerful. Every kid can identify with one of them.

Q: How did the idea come about to do a show from the point of view of a group of babies?

A: (Klasky) -- The original concept was based on a time of my life when my children were toddlers, and they seemed quite humorous to me. I was focused on them, and their motivations seemed so different.

A: (Csupo) -- You had to imagine what they were thinking, coming from nothing and confronted with all this messy, visual information. They seemed to have endless adventures in their tiny world. That gave us a lot of story ideas.

Q: Why did you decide to write the show on two levels?

A: (Csupo) -- It's only fair to give something to the parents who watch the show with their children. Rugrats is for children, but it definitely reaches out to other ages too. We knew from our experience on The Simpsons that adults like animation, as well as how important good writing is.

A: (Klasky) -- The Rugrats are just like all of us, but smaller. Their world is almost like a workplace with group dynamics. You have lots of people and personalities and conflicts.

Q: What's the appeal of these characters?

A: (Klasky) -- Chuckie is sweet and loyal and vulnerable. He's offbeat, a little hesitant in life. Tommy is a hero. That definitely makes him special. He steps up to the plate and does the right thing. He's a bit of a role model for young viewers. We're all a little bit like each of them.

Q: What about Angelica? Is she a bad role model?

A: (Klasky) -- You need a counterpoint in storytelling. Angelica's actually a great kid. Behind the meanness, there's a lot of heart. She has a hard time showing she likes the babies, but it came out in the movie (Rugrats in Paris), and we see it even more in the 10th anniversary special.

Q: What are your favorite episodes?

A: (Klasky) -- My favorite episode is "Mother's Day" .It's poignant and touching and a little daring. After all, we dealt with a child whose mother has passed away and with a single dad.

A: (Csupo) -- It's difficult to choose. I think the episode about Chuckie's potty training was outrageously funny.

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