In 2004, Hey Arnold! aired its last episode. Sadly, it didn’t exactly end on a high note. The last episode that aired centered around a side character farting in front of a school assembly, and there was a massive unanswered cliffhanger as well. No, the cliffhanger wasn’t from the farting episode, it was from a TV movie that addressed the whereabouts of the main character’s parents. In 2002, The Journal centered around Hey Arnold’s titular character discovering what happened to his parents when he finds his father’s journal. He discovers that his parents were Amazonian explorers who left him as a toddler for one last mission before disappearing without a trace. The movie ended with Arnold finding a map detailing where his parents went, but the show ended before he could follow that map. However, after 14 years, the ultimate Nicktoon cliffhanger is finally getting some closure.
Yesterday, Hey Arnold creator Craig Bartlett shared the following on his Instagram:
You’ve heard it from the man himself (and not from some baseless rumor): The Jungle movie is finally happening. Nickelodeon has given the green light to a two-part TV movie starring Arnold and the gang on a search for his parents.
The Jungle was originally intended as a theatrical film to follow up 2002’s critically panned Hey Arnold! the Movie. It would have seen Arnold and his classmates taking a field trip to San Lorenzo, the place where his parents disappeared. It would have seen Arnold reunite with his parents and finally tie up the show’s ongoing Arnold x Helga romance subplot (probably called “Helgarnold” for short). Unfortunately, the severe financial underperforming of the first theatrical film allegedly lead to Nick executives pulling the plug on The Jungle. This left the show with an unresolved cliffhanger that would last 14 years. 14 years of fanfiction and hopeless dreaming are about to pay off.
Nickelodeon said in a statement that the movie is set to air in 2017 in two hour-long parts. It will certainly be a welcome breath of fresh air from shows like The Breadwinners. There’s no word on whether the animation style will resemble the show’s smooth traditional animation, but it’s doubtful that Nickelodeon would go with Flash or CG for this film. The show’s style just can’t be replicated that way.
Either way, the announcement of this film should come as amazing news to those who grew up with the show. Get those DVR remotes ready; 2017 isn’t too far away.