I love you because you make the attempt to be here. Because you are so willing to be different from everyone else; to actually stay when it gets rough. Because when I look at you that’s all i need to know that you do love me. I love you because you are real, you’ve never tried to be something you’re not with me. You try to keep my best interest in mind, and you’re trying to be a better person. I love you because you make that effort to be better for me
Arnold is only nine years old, but he is definitely the most mature character on the show. He has an enormous capacity for compassion and always goes out of his way to help others, no matter what. He also sees only the best qualities in those around him, even if they are nothing but cruel towards him. He’s just an all-around great kid because he’s got this huge heart and kind of loves everyone unconditionally.
But he had to grow up without his parents.
Miles and Stella, his kick-ass doctor/scientist parents, were heavily involved in working with Central American civilizations before Arnold was born. During one of their explorations, they stumbled upon an intact ancient civilization known as the Green-Eyed People, with whom they established a healthy relationship. At one point, the Green Eyes were tragically struck with a highly contagious disease, but Miles and Stella were able to find the cure and save their tribe. After doing this last good deed for them, the couple planned on returning permanently to the United States so they could raise their newborn son.
About a year later, though, they got a horrible distress call from one of their friends in Central America, begging them to bring their antidote once more. Miles and Stella agreed to go one final time to save their friends, promising to return soon.
Only they never came back.
Two of the most emotional episodes in the series — “Parents Day” and “The Journal” — deal with how their absence affects Arnold. We see all too clearly how much it weighs on him, how he carries the hope that they will be found, how he misses them desperately. As I’ve said before, it’s almost staggering how heartfelt this show can be, and these episodes are really the heart of the entire series because they reveal the one dark vein that sometimes cracks through Arnold’s optimism.
“The Journal” especially is interesting because it was intended to be a prequel to a kind of grand finale - or at least a big-time movie event - that would have resolved the issue of Arnold’s parents. In that episode, we get a lot more detail about Miles, Stella, and their exploits, told from a journal they left in a dark corner of the boarding house attic. Unfortunately, the journal yields no clues about where exactly they might be. That is, until the very last moment of the episode, when Arnold flips to a stuck page and finds a detailed map of San Lorenzo. The episode ends - and unfortunately, so does the series.
Hey Arnold!’s star had fallen by the time “The Journal” aired; Nickelodeon had been disappointed with the box office revenue from the first Hey Arnold! movie (which was originally intended to be just a made-for-TV affair). As a result, they weren’t willing to push for a theatrical release of The Jungle Movie. Due to a number of other disagreements, Hey Arnold! was cancelled and Craig Bartlett left the network. Meanwhile, the eighth draft of The Jungle Movie script was still languishing in Nickelodeon’s possession.
Craig Bartlett has revealed a few details about what The Jungle Movie would have been - Arnold’s entire class would have gotten to go to Central America for a field trip, and while there, Arnold hoped to be able to discover something about the fate of his parents. Many of the characters introduced in “The Journal” would have returned, and Arnold would have found at least a sense of closure. Also, Helga and Arnold would have gotten together. Their relationship is the only other unresolved storyline in the show, one that occupied an even more prominent place from episode to episode.
Craig Bartlett and several of the original voice actors have stated how willing they would be to revisit The Jungle Movie, to tie off the series. It all depends on how willing Nickelodeon would be to put it into production. For a long time, this seemed nearly impossible, since the show had long been canceled.
But ’90s programming is making a comeback in a very big way. After an article surfaced earlier this year that Nickelodeon would be bringing back its popular shows with new episodes, the Internet went wild with delight. The article turned out to be a hoax, but Nickelodeon took notice and rolled out The ’90s Are All That, a late-night block in which they would air reruns of old live-action shows and Nicktoons. The block is currently dominating cable ratings and is a tremendous success. Apart from Nickelodeon, nostalgic animation is on the rise, too. Disney’s re-release of The Lion King in theaters earned $93 million domestically, beating out brand-new releases each weekend; Disney is currently planning at least four other old films that will receive the same treatment. And after nearly fifteen years of absence, Beavis and Butt-Head has very recently returned to MTV, earning strong ratings and critical acclaim.
Hey Arnold! itself is an eternally nostalgic darling - it trends on Twitter each time it re-airs on Nickelodeon, even if only for ten minutes, the DVDs of the first season are now being stocked in major retail stores, and Tumblr posts can reach notes of tens of thousands as people fondly look back on this amazing show that reveals how multifaceted it actually was upon every rewatch.
With all the evidence stacking up in his favor, it seems that now would be a great time for Nickelodeon to revisit Arnold’s story. It makes sense from a financial standpoint that people would want to see this. Arnold deserves his ending, and Nickelodeon deserves its moolah. But we have to let them know how much people would love to see The Jungle Movie happen.
So REBLOG THIS, sign the petition, write some letters, make some videos. The fan movement for The Jungle Movie is passionate and dedicated, and we want as many people as possible to help raise awareness about the movie and get Nickelodeon’s attention. Help Arnold find his parents and tell Nickelodeon what you think!
“I have an idea that Gatsby himself no longer believed it would come, and perhaps he no longer cared. If this was true he must have felt that he had lost the old warm world, paid a high price for living too long with a single dream.”—The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald (via bixbycanyon)