Hey Arnold! just got an upgrade (AND MY CHILDHOOD IS RUINED*). Nickelodeon unveiled first-look character art from the upcoming Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie at San Diego Comic-Con today, and our football-headed protagonist, Arnold — and a few of his friends from P.S. 118 — look totally different now. [Note: MTV and Nickelodeon are both owned by Viacom.]
Arnold not only looks cooler — with his new jean jacket, red sneakers, and (gasp) plaid undershirt that looks slightly less like a dress — but he also poses cooler. Look at him! He doesn’t even need anything to support his body; he’s that cool.
The two-hour TV movie, which will debut in 2017, will pick up where the original series ended in 2004 — and it will even resolve unanswered questions, including the long-standing whereabouts of Arnold’s missing parents. It looks like Arnold’s best friend, Gerald; his grandpa; his frenemy, Helga (who harbors a secret crush on him); and their classmate, Phoebe, are all major characters in Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie.
Written and executive produced by the series’s original creator, Craig Bartlett, the film was inspired by the fans. Bartlett was reportedly pitching a different idea to the network when he mentioned how much fanfare the characters from Hey Arnold! still receive online — from fan art and fan fiction to short films on YouTube. And that inspired Nickelodeon to give the Arnold and his friends the TV movie treatment.
And Arnold isn’t the only character in the film to get an upgrade. Gerald is rocking a shorter ’do, as well as brand-new sneakers and a shiny new hoodie. Looking good, Gerald.
Helga’s still got her signature pigtails, pink bow, and unibrow, but her dress received a fresh update. Oh, and she can still kick your ass.
School brainiac Phoebe got the biggest upgrade by far. Honestly, she is my new style queen. New sneakers. New jacket. New skirt. New hair. Work, Phoebe, werk.
And finally, the creatives revealed a concept image from the film, featuring Arnold, Gerald, and Helga hanging out on the stoop of the Sunset Arms. (I wish they were hanging out with Stoop Kid, but Stoop Kid is too afraid to leave his stoop.)
Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie is set to premiere sometime in 2017, so prepare your emotions accordingly.
* My childhood wasn’t actually ruined. My childhood is fine.