Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie will tie up some of the classic Nickelodeon cartoon’s 13-year-old loose ends when it premieres this November. But the cast and creator told Polygon during an interview at New York Comic Con that the TV movie will leave the door open for new adventures — which they’re desperate to tell with a full new season of episodes.
“It’s resolution but not closure,” said voice actress Olivia Hack, who’s played Arnold’s prissiest friend since the show began. The film will finally unravel the mystery behind what happened to Arnold’s parents, who went missing when he was a baby. It’s easily the biggest question lingering on fans’ minds since the show wrapped on a cliffhanger in 2004, after five seasons.
“Our goal is to go to series after this. We’re hoping that’s what happens.”
With much of the original team already back on board for The Jungle Movie, everyone seems game to keep the reunion rolling. It helps that Craig Bartlett, creator of Hey Arnold!, kept the hope of making more of the show alive over the years. He kept in touch with cast members like Hack and Andy McAfee, who returns to play shy whiz kid Phoebe, and would bring up The Jungle Movie here and there as time went by.
“I personally didn’t really think anything was going to happen,” McAfee said. “[But then] he said, ‘Well, we did it. We got The Jungle Movie greenlit.’”
Projects like a Hey Arnold! TV movie seem like obvious nostalgia plays on Nickelodeon’s part. The network doesn’t seem shy about wanting to tap into a persistent millennial affection for its old Nicktoons, with Invader Zim and Rocko’s Modern Life also set to get the special revival treatment. But who says the buck has to stop there?
Not Bartlett, who said that he hopes to carry on with new Arnold! adventures for as long as he can.
“[In season six] they would be in sixth grade and so on, and we would just watch them grow,” Bartlett told the audience during a Comic Con panel about the film. “Maybe eventually they’d even become teenagers.”
The Jungle Movie airs Nov. 24, but we’ll have to wait and see if this just the start of something new.