Director / CrewThis is Craig Bartlett, animation creator of Ready Jet Go!, Hey Arnold!, and Dinosaur Train – ask me anything!
Apr 2nd 2018 by CraigBartlett • 36 Questions • 207 Points
Hi redditors, this is Craig Bartlett, animation creator!
Proof that it is really me: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bg4HqIAl8pF/?taken-by=craigbartlett
Season 2 of Ready Jet Go! launched today, April 2 on PBS KIDS (check local listings) with a special week of new episodes that will get young viewers from coast-to-coast excited about space and science. My two-hour TV movie, "Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie," launched on Nickelodeon November 24 and is now available on DVD and digital download. And we are starting production of 11 more half hours of Dinosaur Train, also on PBS KIDS, that will take the total number to 100.
I'm looking forward to talking to you all about my shows Ready Jet Go!, Hey Arnold!, and Dinosaur Train – so ask me anything!
EDIT: Thanks for all the great questions everyone! I’m signing off for now! Excelsior!
Would you consider making an artbook of HA, series and movies, combined or in volumes? Ca-ching! If so, please take my money.
I think it's a great idea. Write to Nick and ask!
Hey Craig. My partner and I wanted to say thankyou for creating the best show in Nickelodeon's history. We have a couple of questions
Were there certain side characters you feel were under-utilized? We personality would love Nadine-centered episode as well as for Lorenzo to be more recurring
If I recall correctly, you said in an interview that Hey Arnold could potentially go on forever with the characters ageing up. With that in mind, if you were given an opportunity to do a more mature version of Hey Arnold! aimed at now grown up fans of the show that wasn't gratuitous but explored mature themes (similar to what Cartoon Network did with Samurai Jack). Would you do it?
Sure, I'd do all of the above if I had the chance. I would love to do a Nadine episode, where she's further developed as a character.
Is the RJG episode "My Fair Jet" supposed to be a reference to the film "My Fair Lady"? I found several similarities.
Yes it was! The plot is: can Sean and Sydney transform Jet into a normal Earth kid? just like Professor Higgins has to transform Eliza into a "lady."
Hi Craig, I'm writing my master's thesis on Hey Arnold!; examining how Arnold is an empathetic character with a love of the natural world - like plants (Mighty Pete) and "unusual" animals (Chester, Abner, Lockjaw).
Was your relationship to nature a lot like Arnold's while growing up in an urban environment? How important was it to include Arnold and the kids interacting with the natural world?
I noticed your post on Instagram from International Women's Day of your Grandmother. What was her influence on you growing up, and did that ever influence the show? Your writing of Grandma Gertie?
Was Big Bob meant to be a symbol of patriarchy, or did that sort of come around naturally? (He runs an "empire," dresses up as a king, the house is his "Castle," his domineering relationships with Miriam, Olga, and Helga)
And I have to ask - any chance of a season 6? ; )
What good questions! First, when I was around 12, my parents moved us out of Seattle to a remote beach (Snee-oosh) where I had a ton of "alone time," mostly paddling around in a canoe. I made a huge connection to nature there, nearly drowning many times, hiking through the woods, putting out a crab pot and digging clams. That connection was huge in building my inner life and creativity. I recommend it to everyone! My grandma, "Nanny," was my favorite relative. Not only did she bring my mom Kay into the world, she was sweet, fun, full of energy, and took care of us kids a lot. I remember her crazy driving around Seattle, me in the back seat with a smelly wool blanket scratching the back of my neck. I love your Big Bob question. He certainly is an excellent symbol of the patriarchy, tho we did not do it consciously. He just became, so Helga would have a perfect narcissistic blowhard for a dad. See above in the session for my answer about season 6! Good luck with your thesis!
Okay, everyone, when you see a question for "will there be a season 6" refer the asker to this. I want to do a season 6. My crew wants to do a season 6, and the cast wants to do a season 6. Nickelodeon knows this, we have been talking about it for a long time. I've put together a proposal about what would happen in a season 6. Now it is up to Nickelodeon if it will happen or not. I don't control it; Nickelodeon does. If they decide to do a season 6, they will tell me, and as soon as I know I will tell the fans on my social media. Meanwhile, until I know something, I won't say anything about it, because I simply don't know. I don't want to jinx it by speculating, and besides, nothing is real until "the ink dries and that ship has sailed," as Big Bob likes to say.
What episode of Hey Arnold! personally struck a chord with you the most?
I think "Helga on the Couch" most of all. It was really fun to show her back story and build more sympathy for her. I feel that way now more than ever, because so many people have told me how much they love that one.
You mentioned seeing a lot of Studio Ghibli anime movies back on one of the Arun Mehta show interviews (loved those by the way, they got me back into HA!), have you seen any other anime?
I remember when I did a job in Japan, at the end of the 80s, I watched "Totoro" and "Kiki" and they blew my mind. At the very same time, "Akira" came out. They all were huge influences. I saw other anime shorts and features but those were my favorites.
Hello Craig I am your follower since childhood from the caricature of Hey Arnold so several of my questions are related to the series and some other more personal, I was part of the group on Facebook that was called "save the jungle movie" when I was in high school , and the wait was long, I must say that it was totally worth it, here are my questions:
What was it that motivated you to do The jungle movie?
This question is a bit funny but have you considered making the perfume of Arnold and Helga? This as a reference to the episode where Helga goes to the psychiatrist when she confesses her love for Arnold and mentions that she wanted a perfume with the name of both.
Once Toys R Us closed and some of Nickelodeon's original merchandise was sold there now, where can we get more merchandise from Hey Arnold?
Maybe this is a more personal question but tell us about how you met your wife, love the love stories haha
Is there going to be season 6? Hey Arnold
6.In the episode of "Girl trouble" where the grandfather is telling Arnold about the girl who was bothering him, in the final part arnold leaves the room, the grandfather never tells him that it was his grandmother, then ... He never knew ?
Have you considered coming to Mexico one day? Here you also have many fans that you would make happy.
In Comic Con de San Diego will you have time for your fans? I would have liked to be able to go more I will not have the opportunity this year, however a friend is going to attend and I want to send an embroidery of Hey Arnold that I am doing to you ☺
In the episode of Valentine's Day when Helga poses as Cecile and in the end Arnold realizes that she was not, saves her shoe at the end of the episode, what's wrong with that? I think that this is one of the questions that most cause me curiosity, it would be good if Arnold would realize this in the future, along with Helga who helped him in the Christmas episode, when she changed her boots for information about the Hyunh's daughter
I live with the fear that you block me on instagram because I like everything you upload hahaha I'm glitter_tears_blossom tree the girl with the Helga Pawtaki and the Kiss embroidery (If one day you occupy a dressmaker I offer myself haha)
Hi Glitter_tears! Yeah, that embroidered kiss was awesome. 1) the Jungle movie started as our first movie, because Paramount wanted something big, and finding Arnold's missing parents was considered the biggest thing of all. 2)Haha, the "Arnold and Helga" perfume would be pretty cool. 3)Amazon! 4)We met at her sister's Memorial Day party. 5)The answer is somewhere on this Reddit! 6)Yeah, Arnold was out for that last scene! 7)I want to come back to Mexico, it's been many years since I've been. 8)I still don't know if I'm going to ComicCon this summer. 9)I think he'll find all that out eventually. Sometimes those mysteries are best left not shown. It's more magical that way.
I grew up watching Hey Arnold, and Doug.
Are any of the characters based on real people?
Had no clue there was a new Hey Arnold movie, any plans on more?
Thank you for the show.
The kids in Hey Arnold! are very loosely based on people I knew. There was no Helga -- she's too complicated a character to be based on anyone real!
Big fan of your work. What inspired or for what purposes was the jazz in Hey Arnold?
We pitched Hey Arnold! as "a Charlie Brown for the nineties" and one of the things we loved about the original Charlie Brown specials was the Vince Guaraldi jazz soundtrack. I was listening to a lot of Miles Davis at the time and suggested to Jim Lang that we come up with a modern interpretation that still had jazzy roots. And he came up with the sound of the show, making me mix tapes of "Acid Jazz" that combined hiphop beats with traditional jazz instruments.
Hey Mr Bartlett, great to have you here, a few questions:
1) You've mentioned before one of your regrets about the show was how the writers treated Lila, especially towards the end when they leaned perhaps a bit too much on the love triangle aspect with her and Arnold/Helga - and I think this may have had an effect on -whew - QUITE the amount of anti-Lila fanart that I've seen in the fandom (one example coming to mind right now is a Mean Girls parody one of your fave artists(!) Limey404 did),
THAT SAID, it seems that in recent years, perhaps since news of the Jungle Movie came out, that anti-Lila sentiment seems to have died down, and some of the newer spat of artist that came out around, say, 2015+ seem to have an even more positive view of her (or at least relative to the antipathy I've mentioned above). I was wondering if you've ever noticed this as a creator engaging in any fan space since then?
2) Speaking of recent artists, are there any from this recent batch that you've grown a liking to? I believe you've mentioned before (on places like the interview with Arun Mehta?) that you've liked stuff from the aforementioned limey404, bloochikin/Najja Porter and criminyy, anyone else since then whose artwork you've really liked?
1) Well, we added Lila to the show as an innocent kid who gets in Helga's way because Arnold likes her. But as the show went on, she becomes more manipulative, and it was amusing to us, but probably made all the Helga fans hate her. I'm sorry about that, because she's such a sweet kid. She's complicated though! 2) there are so many new fans making unbelievably cool art! Go to my IG and see all of them, I post them all the time.
Hi Craig, I just have a couple of questions:
1.) What jobs do you imagine Miles and Stella having since they're back in hillwood?
2.) Will Arnold ever get a sibling? If so, would it be a little sister or little brother? I'd personally love it if he had a little sister.
And I just want to say thank you for doing this AmA. Hey Arnold is my favorite show ever and it just brings me so much joy! Thanks for everything!
The idea of what will happen with Miles and Stella now that they are back in the neighborhood would be a main theme of a season 6. I think they would try to update the boarding house and take over running it from Grandma and Grandpa, and there would be tensions over that.
It's an honor to speak to one of the greatest tv show creator's ever. My parents are now fans from me showing them a few episodes Thank you for the great memories I have watching this show. As a new Yorker I could relate with this show at a young age, how did you come up with the concept of hey Arnold?
Thanks! I thought up Arnold in '88, when I had just moved to LA from Portland to work on Pee Wee's Playhouse, and I wanted to create my own show. I started with Arnold as a kind of avatar for myself as a little kid, how the world felt to me. What childhood felt like to me.
Hi Craig!! Hey Arnold was my favorite show growing up and I just want to say thank you for giving us all closure with The Jungle Movie!!
I have an ongoing feud with my fiancé - he says Arnold and Lila are meant to be, but obviously he’s wrong! Settle our debate once and for all! Is it Arnold and Lila or Arnold and Helga?
Thanks love you bye
Arnold and Helga are soul mates -- even if they have difficulties, they're meant for each other.