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Rugrats: Tommy's trusty screwdriver returns in new shorts ahead of Paramount+ reboot

By Josh Weiss
Rugrats reboot Paramount+

Hold on to your diapies! Paramount+ has debuted a pair of Rugrats shorts ahead of the show's official reboot late next week. While the revival of the classic Nickelodeon property adopts a totally different animation style, the characters haven't really changed all that much.

In "Night Howl," for instance, Tommy Pickles (voiced by original cast member E. G. Daily) is shown using his trusty screwdriver to undo the child-safe latch on his crib. The second short, "Tommy's Ball," is a shot-for-shot remake of a 1991 segment entitled "Barbeque Story" and shows us that Angelica Pickles (Cheryl Chase) hasn't changed her bullying and selfish ways since last we saw her, either.

"Rugrats worked so well I think, because it wasn’t sugar-coated," Daily remarked to The Guardian in 2015. "In the middle of a real family, with real issues, we had real children living out their fantasy lives. It was this amazing chance to see what children think and do while their parents aren’t looking."

Watch the pair of shorts now:

The streaming service also debuted the CG-animated opening for the show, which features a more electronic rendition of the classic and instantly recognizable Rugrats theme. Fortunately, Nick didn't try to stray too far from what fans are used to and asked Mark and Bob Mothersbaugh (famously of Devo) to return as series composers.

“It was like a horse walking back to the barn — I just went to the old Rugrats sounds immediately, and it felt right," Bob recently told Rolling Stone.

“I think Bob’s done a good job of keeping [the music] in the world and in the universe of Rugrats, that the adults would know," added Mark. "Adults could watch this show and could go, ‘Oh they change[d] the picture, but the music still sounds true to the original Rugrats.’ I think music has a lot to do with grounding the show."

Head below to compare the new opening with the original one:

Aside from the additions of Susie Carmichael (Cree Summer) and Grandpa Lou (Michael McKean) doing yoga, the two intros are pretty much identical, save for the different animation styles, of course. We're just glad the new version kept the strange cat-looking robot (a reference to Stu Pickles' day job as an inventor of children's toys).

As we've noted before, the reboot seems to be set prior to the events of the first Rugrats movie, given the fact that Dil Pickles (Tommy's baby brother) and Kimi Finster (Chuckie's stepsister) have been absent from all of the marketing materials released so far.

The modern Rugrats revival premieres on Paramount+ Thursday, May 27.