In the story, the Rugrats and their parents are on a ramshackle boat Tommy's dad Stu has rented in the South China Seas. Naturally, the boat shipwrecks, leaving them deserted on a small island. On the same island, but on the other side, are the famous globe-trotting family, the Thornberrys (out to film a leopard). The babies set off to find them, for they suspect they are somewhere on the island (as it happens, Tommy treats Nigel like an idol). Somewhere along the way, Chuckie gets lost and runs into the Thornberrys' Tarzan-like child, Donnie, and the two switch clothes. Meanwhile, Eliza, the gifted Thornberry, is tramping around the jungle and runs into Spike, the Rugrats dog. Since Eliza can talk to animals, Spike tells her that the babies are lost somewhere in the forest. Also, her father, Nigel, sees them. After a bonk on the head (with a coconut) however, Nigel has amnesia. Angelica runs into Debbie, teenage Thornberry, and she takes off with Debbie in the Thornberry's all-purpose Comvee. While not paying attention, the bumbling twosome sink the Comvee and generally cause havoc. Meanwhile, pop cultures references to just about anything about castaways on an island (in particular, Gilligan's Island, Survivor, and Lord of the Flies) ensue. Also, unlike the previous movies, Susie tags along with a Polaroid-like camera in hand, but unlike the others, doesn't have her parents travelling with her.
The film was released in summer of 2003 to lukewarm reviews, and opened at #6 at the box office, and ended up grossing about $40m, the same amount as The Wild Thornberrys Movie. Among the biggest hype this movie received was Bruce Willis voicing Spike, and the use of "Smell-O-Vision" cards to enhance the viewing experience.
Voice actors and their characters
Besides the regulars on both shows (see the respective articles), this film featured all of four non-regular voices:
- Bruce Willis - Spike the Dog
- Chrissie Hynde (of The Pretenders fame) - Siri the leopard
- Tony Jay - Dr. Lipschitz
- Ethan Phillips - Toa
- The family vacation just went overboard.
- Wassup Dog?
- Spike Speaks.