So like most people my age, I have fond memories of the Nickelodeon show Rugrats. The babies were the adventuring crew you wish you were a part of, the movies were fun, the cross-over was weird, and the attempt to make a spin-off that had the babies all grown up was weirder.
That being said, something that few people seem to remember is the extremely short-lived 2005 spin-off Rugrats Preschool Daze.
Based around the main characters of Angelica Pickles and Susie Carmichael, the series had the two toddlers heading off to preschool where they would learn lessons and meet new friends. The series itself sort of had a pilot episode in the form of an actual Rugrats episodes that followed the two on their first day of preschool.
It was canceled after 3 days and only 4 episodes being aired, despite being ordered for 13.
Was the show controversial or natively bad?
It had a goal that I will admit fell into the generic pool but still tried a few interesting angles at it. Watchers of Rugrats will remember that often Angelica had had a role of tormentor for the babies, while Susie was always the kinder of the 2 older girls. The series saw Angelica learning a few lessons and somewhat setting down on the road to being a better person thanks to the guidance of her teacher Ms. Weemer. Alongside the long-established Suzie, the characters of Harold and Suzanne would serve as Angelica’s friends (both would be featured later in the Rugrats spin-off All Grown-Up).
Like I said, pretty generic but there are ways to make a generic story more captivating, especially in the world of Rugrats. Rugrats was known for its bizarre soundtrack, the way the babies interpreted their environment, and just now iconic in world brands like Reptar was.
The world of Preschool Daze doesn’t carry the flair. It makes the characters just sorta deal with this new unfamiliar world but never really made its own story or built on established Rugrats. Plus it had an art style and character redesigns that didn’t sit well with the long watching fanbase at all.
Following its poor reception and cancellation, the show entered syndication hell being randomly aired in its 4 episodes entirety most times it was on screen, it would finally end up as a DVD extra on several Rugrats DVDs.
Do I think it is worth everyone finding? If you want to see a weird experiment in terms of brand expansion. It is always weird to see how showrunners think they can make a series “hip” and “cool with the kids”. Trust me it can kind of get really weird.
All I can say for sure is that it is something I feel that we can learn from. As for the other forgotten Rugrats spin-off…
We will get to it one day.