I’ve been incredibly excited since I heard that Nick was rebooting a bunch of their cartoons from the 90’s, with the first one being Hey Arnold. I’m enthusiastic for a couple of reasons. First of all, these are shows I grew up watching. I remember racing home after school to watch cartoons quite well. I also really think that the animation industry has really matured and grew in the last few years. While we’ve had the Simpsons since the 90s, recently we’ve been gifted with darker cartoon shows such as BoJack Horseman and Rick and Morty. While I doubt Nickelodeon will take it to a point where we see Arnold from Hey Arnold miserable and addicted to pain killers, it’s nice to see the industry is willing to take chances.
I never knew this, but apparently Jim Jinkins (the creator of Doug) created the main character as a stand in for himself. He also based the character of Patti on his crush from school. While Doug is unlikely to ever return as a Nicktoons since the rights are currently held by Disney, Jinkins says that he has written a couple of scenes in case the show is somehow brought back. One of those scenes includes the reunion between Doug and Patti, which was directly inspired by Jinkins recently reuniting with his crush from school. And?!?! It’s a cartoon, which means there has to be a happy ending, right? Wrong. According to Jinkins via EW:
It’s my ten-year reunion and I didn’t go. I was in New York working like crazy as a freelancer and just trying to make it there. And I got a phone call in New York and it’s Patti. The real Patti. And my heart’s beating fast. She’s like, “I was at the reunion! You weren’t!” and I was like, “Yeah…sorry…I had to work.” And she goes, “I found out you live in New York. Guess what—I do, too!” And she told me where she lives. We lived across Central Park from each other. And she says, ‘Why don’t you come over for dinner?’
So now we’re in a Doug show. I’m like, what do I wear? What will she look like!? All that’s happening as I’m walking across Central Park to her apartment, just wondering and just hoping, all those things. I was, at the time, very available.
I get to the door, and you get buzzed up in New York, and so I walk up to the apartment and I hear the lock turn—it’s getting ready to happen—and she opens the door, and she’s perfect. Just perfect. She just looks spectacular and she’s so happy, and her arms fly up and we hug, and I’m just like [frightened guttural gasping noises]. She backs up and she goes ‘Look, Jimmy! Boobs! I got my boobs!’ [Laughs.] It sounds like I’m making this up, right? And I’m like, “Yeah… yeah, uh huh!” “Yeah, they always used to call me Flatty Patti, but look!’ And she was just funny and fun and innocent, but it’s like Doug and Patti together again, ten years later, right?
So this is all wonderful, right? And then she wheels and goes, ‘Oh, Jimmy, I want you to meet my husband.’
And I don’t even remember the rest of the evening.”
What are we going to find out next? That Patrick and Spongebob don’t end up together? Jinkins goes on to elaborate that he imagines Doug and Porkchop living in a city, with Skeeter as a roommate. While this isn’t the happiest ending, it’s definitely bittersweet, and I’d love the opportunity to see it produced.