Rocko's Modern Life, one of the most beloved and bizarre Nickelodeon cartoons of the '90s, is coming back to the kid's network with a one-hour special, Nickelodeon announced today. Creator Joe Murray says he will return as executive producer and director of the special, which is being billed as a Rocko's Modern Life movie. There's no news on when the special will air or how much of the original cast will return.
The show features the titular character Rocko as an awkward talking wallaby who lives in fictional O-Town with his dog Spunky. The plot often revolves around Rocko's day-to-day life surviving the torment of his next-door neighbor, a frog named Mr. Bighead, and his mundane job at a local comic book shop run by the mean-spirited Mr. Smitty. He's often joined by his dim-witted but loyal bovine friend Heffer Wolfe and his hilariously distraught companion Filburt, a glasses-wearing turtle with a heavy dose of George Constanza.
Rocko and crew are heading back to O-Town for a one-hour special on Nickelodeon
The show ran for four 13-episode seasons from 1993 to 1996, where it achieved a kind of cult status among kids and older viewers alike alongside its cartoon contemporary Ren & Stimpy. Rocko's style of humor, which played up the human dynamic of its manic and out-of-control anthropomorphic animals, heavily influenced later animated shows that would rely heavily on pop culture references and layered themes aimed at both children and adults. Many of the staff members would later regroup with Stephen Hillenburg, who was creative director and a producer on Rocko's Modern Life, to work on SpongeBob SquarePants.
"I’m very happy to be rejoining Rocko and my friends from O-Town again," Murray said in a statement. "What I have found by bringing these characters back is that it’s not so much about nostalgia, but a sense that they still feel relevant and fresh to me, and after twenty years, they can’t wait to comment on modern life in the 21st century. They still have a lot to say."
The show is just the latest effort from Nickelodeon to lean on nostalgia by bringing back old cartoon favorites. A Hey Arnold! movie, called The Jungle Movie, was announced in June with a 2017 release date. It's said to focus on the mystery of Arnold's parents, which was left up in the air after the series' theatrical release back in 2004. And starting this fall, the network is bringing back the Legends of the Hidden Temple game show in the form of a fictional TV movie. Ultimately, Nickelodeon has plans to develop and release a cross-over feature film with characters from its most popular animated franchises.