After spending years in Nickelodeon’s list of projects on hold, Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling finally arrived on our screens last August 9.
Originally, the special was meant to air in 2018 on Nickelodeon’s TV channel. However, due to unknown circumstances, the special debuted on Netflix this 2019. And boy, was it a ride!
Our story begins with Rocko, Heffer and, Filburt still stuck in space after 20 years. This plot is a continuation of the season 4 episode “Future Shlok” where the trio got stuck in a rocket ship.
After a little bit of hijinx involving Heffer’s large derrier, the trio finally make it back to O-Town 20 years into the future. We find parodies of energy drinks, food trucks, the excessive number of Starbucks and more,
We get to revisit some familiar O-Town residents including Captain Compost Heap (RIP) and Really, Really Big Man (Nipples of The Future included).
With the trio away from O-Town, the place seems to have experienced a ton of progress. Mr. Bighead has become an executive in Conglom-O and everything is fine. That is, until the trio of Rocko, Heffer and, Filburt return and Ed Bighead makes a fatal mistake that shuts down more than half of O-Town.
Due to Ed Bighead’s error, the town basically froze and would no longer be able to operate in any capacity. Rocko convinces Ed that the only way to make Conglom-O profitable again is to create a new Fatheads special.
There’s only one problem. The creator of The Fatheads, Ralph Bighead, has gone missing. It’s up to the trio to find out where Ralph is and save O-Town.
For a show that has been gone for 20 years, Rocko’s Modern Life still retains its charm without losing is punk rock-like attitude that it had in the 90s. We still got borderline R-Rated naughty jokes and visual gags. However, the movie also gave us a very important message…
Things change and we have to move on. Not everything we know will exactly be the same way it was before. The only way to grow is to accept change and learn to appreciate what we have now.
We get this message loud and clear from different characters throughout the special to remind us that this may be Rocko’s Modern Life but, it reminds us that Rocko is over.
Viewers can’t cling to the old Rocko’s Modern Life. Change is inevitable and we have to embrace it.
Before we continue with the plot of the movie, I need to give you a major heads up. This next plot point gives us the most important message of the film. We have to move on. The past can’t always be stuck in your head. Now…
Entering Spoiler Territory
Are you ready?
Here we go.
One of the most significant moments of the film involved Ralph Bighead transitioning into Rachel Bighead. That’s right. Ralph Bighead is now Rachel.
At first, Ed refused to accept the fact that his son is now his daughter and that she is happier this way.
Ed became a representation of the many viewers who are hooked on nostalgia. The special reminds us that times change and we have to move on. People change, cultures change. In this chaotic time of bigotry and hatred, we need to learn to appreciate the people in our lives, no matter what gender they might be or what ever they choose to do in their life.
We need to become more supportive of each other. That’s one of my biggest takes from the movie. I loved the message that the crew wanted to tell and it’s a message that is so true today.
The point is further emphasized when Rachel brings back The Fatheads cartoon. We see the same Fatheads and their gross designs. However, we get the addition of a third Fathead member. A baby Fathead.
The baby Fathead represents Rachel while The Fatheads represents Rachel’s parents who have started to accept the change in the family. Rocko, on the other hand, suddenly has a change of heart.
He appreciated the fact that Rachel brought back The Fatheads. However, it wasn’t exactly the same Fatheads program he loved. All Rocko wanted was an exact copy of the Fatheads show he watched 20 years ago.
With the help of encouragement from Mr. Bighead and Rachel, Rocko learns to accept the fact that times change. It’s up to us, whether or not, to accept the change and move on with our lives.
My only concern would be the fact that Rocko had such a sudden character change when there was little time left to convince him to change. A few words from
The HD quality of animation definitely takes a while to get settled into. If you watched the original show, you would be surprised by how clear the characters look.
The lines have become so thin. I feel like the lines were thicker because of the lower definition in older tv sets. Newer televisions no longer require thick lines and it’s a welcome change.
Thinner lines were definitely unusual at first but, you get the hang of it after the opening minutes. It’s a reminder of the changes that movie would bring to the franchise.
From the opening scene and until we reached the conclusion, the animation made us remember the good times of the 90s. We also had the chance to grow up and accept the changes that HD brought with it.
Besides the lines, the rest of the animation felt like a throwback to the good old days of Rocko. Squiggly lines and all!
Perfection. That’s all I can say about the crew that did the voiceover for this show. After all, the entire original cast was in it. Carlos Alazaraqui delivered the same feelings he had as Rocko in its heyday while Tom Kenny, Doug Lawrence, Charlie Adler and the entire crew had a field day with the show and rolled with it.
A Fond Farewell
After all these years, Rocko’s Modern Life has not lost its charm and reminds us to get over the past. Times change and we need to learn how to adapt. From the thinner lines to the constant reminder that times change, Rocko’s Modern Life reminds us to embrace change while not getting swallowed in the past.
Final Score: 4 out of 5
Rocko’s Modern Life is now streaming on Netflix.