Nickelodeon was (and still is) a giant in children’s entertainment, so it’s no surprise that they dabbled in releasing movies on the big screen. While not exactly household names in theater, the films themselves are still loved by kids and adults who are still kids at heart.
Humble beginnings with Harriet the spy and Rugrats the movie to award-winning films such as rango and The Adventures of Tintin, there’s no denying that Nickelodeon brings all of its talent to the screen whenever possible. What are their best releases, according to IMDb?
ten Jimmy Neutron: Genie Boy – 6.0
Jimmy Neutron is probably the second franchise that comes to mind (after Sponge Bob SquarePants) when people think of Nickelodeon. What a lot of people might not know is that before it was a series, it was actually a theatrical movie. It would gross $103 million against a budget of $30 million, a big hit for the fledgling film studio.
The film centers on Jimmy Neutron communicating with an alien civilization called the Yolkians. Upon seeing Earth, they decide to abduct all the adults and feed them to their giant chicken god, Poultra. Now they have to save their parents from this alien threat.
9 The Spongebob Squarepants: Sponge Out of Water movie – 6.0
The movie Spongebob Squarepants: Sponge Out of Water is the standalone sequel to The Spongebob Movie, and was written by writing duo Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger (who wrote kung fu panda). It centers on the theft of Krabby Patty’s secret formula by Burger Beard the Pirate (Antonio Banderas), which causes chaos in Bikini Bottom.
The film’s first act is done in the traditional 2D animation style, but the second half takes place entirely in the “real world”, where they all become superhero versions of themselves (but not their costumes in Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V).
8 Rugrats in Paris – 6.1
Rugrats in Paris is the second (and best-received) film in the franchise and is set between the series’ sixth and seventh seasons. As the title so subtly suggests, the film is set in France and deals with giant Reptar robots and the process of healing from the death of a spouse.
Rugrats in Paris manages to strike a good balance between wacky kid-friendly adventures and heartfelt character arcs about struggling families. It’s always been a constant theme of the show to have down-to-earth, schlubby people leading rather goofy lives.
7 Dora and the Lost City of Gold – 6.1
Dora and the lost city of gold is the live-action adaptation of the beloved children’s animated series, Dora the Explorer. Although characters and elements from Dora lore appear, they are very different from their cartoon counterparts.
The film focuses on Dora rescuing her parents, who have been kidnapped by thieves seeking the legendary Lost City of Gold. Dora is characterized as a wild but highly skilled archaeologist. It also features Danny Trejo as Boots and Benicio Del Toro as Swiper, and that alone should be reason enough to watch this weird movie.
6 The Loud House Movie – 6.2
The noisy house is one of Nickelodeon’s biggest hits of modern times and has successfully staved off the curse of the SpongeBob SquarePants timeslot. This runaway success meant the possibility of a theatrical film of their own, and fans weren’t disappointed.
The Loud House movie takes place between the fourth and fifth seasons of the series. The Loud family discovers that their ancestors are from Scotland and that they have the right to become Scottish kings. Unbeknownst to them, however, the castle guardian, Morag, has other plans for them.
5 The Spiderwick Chronicles – 6.5
With the onslaught of fantasy children’s book adaptations in the early 2000s, Nickelodeon was not going to be left out. With the moderate success of Lemony Snicket, a series of unfortunate events, Nickelodeon pumped out another in the form of the obscure but awesome The Spiderwick Chronicles.
The Spiderwick Chronicles centers on the Grace family as they move into the estate of their great-granduncle Arthur Spiderwick, a recluse who spent his time detailing fairies and other fantastical creatures. Although the film cuts a lot, it manages to tell a rather engaging and fun fantasy adventure.
4 A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket – 6.8
Lemony Snicket, A Series of Unfortunate Events is a gothic black comedy (for children) which adapts the first three volumes of A series of unfortunate events, with a few changes here and there to reflect the fact that this is a movie. Despite the shortened script, the film more than makes up for it with its pitch-perfect atmosphere and stellar cast.
The Baudelaire children are fantastic, they all have this sad but obviously brilliant gleam of cunning in their eyes. Jim Carrey, while nowhere near the portrayal of Olaf in the books, was nonetheless incredibly fun to watch on screen and could kick off the menacing vibes in no time.
3 The Spongebob Movie – 7.1
The Spongebob Movie was inevitable due to the massive success of the series. A bit of trivia, Stephen Hillenburg has publicly stated that this should be the chronological end of the series. As SpongeBob followed the path of The simpsonsthere’s no denying that this movie was a great swan song for the Hillenburg seasons of the show.
The premise of the film is that Mr. Krabs is finally opening a second branch of the Krusty Krab, and Spongebob is excitedly anticipating getting the manager’s job. Unfortunately, it goes to Squidward instead and it throws SpongeBob into a depression. Meanwhile, Plankton accuses Mr. Krabs of stealing Neptune’s crown and Spongebob is the only chance Bikini Bottom has.
2 Rango – 7.2
The Oscar winner rango was one of Nickelodeon’s most unique projects, and it’s unlikely he could do something so experimental again. The film was an ode to the spaghetti western and had a very realistic aesthetic that clashed with the cartoonish visuals of other CG animated films.
The film is about Rango, a pet chameleon who falls out of the back of his family’s truck and ends up in the town of Dirt. The town is suffering from a major drought and Rango offers to find a solution while maintaining his fake gunslinger persona.
1 The Adventures of Tintin – 7.3
The Adventures of Tintin is an all-star adaptation of the classic comic of the same name. The film is an animated classic directed by Steven Spielberg, produced by Peter Jackson, written by Steven Moffat and Edgar Wright, and starring Daniel Craig, Andy Serkis, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.
The Adventures of Tintin focuses on Tintin aboard the Karaboudjan, as they seek to find the Unicorn’s lost treasure, a sunken ship. The captain of the Karaboudjan, Captain Haddock, helps Tintin on this adventure in a race against the evil Sakharine. The film is a very fun time, and the sheer passion that goes into it earned the film a Golden Globe for its troubles.
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