Morales, who is also queer, thinks having an openly gay character can act as a "beacon for young queer people."
When the reboot of the Nickelodeon animated series Rugrats was announced a few years ago, kids of the 90s could not help but rejoice. The reboot is finally here and is now available to stream on Paramount+ for yet another generation of children to enjoy. Like many reboots, the Rugrats reboot also comes with changes. Other than the switch to CG-animation style, there is another very important difference that everyone is buzzing about. It may have gone over our heads as kids but Betty DeVille, Phil and Lil's mom, is openly gay in the reboot that premiered on Thursday.
In the original series, which ran from 1991 to 2004, Betty was married to Howard DeVille with whom she had twins. She always wore a sweater with the gender sign indicating female on it and always sported a headband as well. She has always been a feminist icon and now, she also gets to be a gay icon, right in time for Pride Month. Kath Soucie who voiced the character originally has been replaced by Natalie Morales who is queer herself. Morales expressed excitement at being to play the role of Betty and seems to have caught on early about Betty's sexual orientation.
The actor well known for her role in the series The Middleman and White Collar thinks “anyone who watched the original show may have had an inkling Betty was a member of the alphabet mafia,” she said referring to the LGBTQ community. Speaking to The AV Club she said, "Betty is a single mom with her own business who has twins and still has time to hang out with her friends and her community, and I think it’s just so great because examples of living your life happily and healthily as an out queer person are just such a beacon for young queer people who may not have examples of that."
Morales is delighted that the nostalgic show has revived Betty's character with queer representation. “And yeah, Betty is a fictional cartoon, but even cartoons were hugely influential for me as a kid and if I’d been watching Rugrats and seen Betty casually talking about her ex-girlfriend, I think at least a part of me would have felt like things might be okay in the future,” she added. Betty now wears the same sweater but headband but instead of the "female symbol" has the Gemini astrological symbol on it. We will be also be reunited with Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil, Susie, and Angelica in the reboot as they go on more out-of-the-world adventures in their new 3D avatar.
The target audience for the reboot seems to be the millennials who are now older and are in their late 20s or early 30s now, almost as old as the show itself. Eryk Casemiro, who worked on the original series along with Kate Boutilier and are now executive producers, told Variety, “It’s safe to say it was easier to generate stories now than it was near the end of Rugrats. I remember having that existential crisis, like, ‘What else can they learn, we’ve done everything!’ back then. But the refresh was nice. It was a whole new set of circumstances, but the characters were like old friends. It was easy to imagine how those characters would face these new circumstances because their core personalities haven’t changed." He added, "When we began writing, it was like a hug from an old friend.”
Many shows from the 90s have been revived including Nickelodean's very own reality game show Legends of the Hidden Temple is also making a comeback on The CW too, according to Insider. The iconic show iCarly will also be revived with the original cast Miranda Cosgrove, Jerry Trainor, and Nathan Kress who are set to return. The storyline of the reboot is still unclear.
Check out the official logo for The CW's #LegendsOfTheHiddenTemple reboot.— Rotten Tomatoes (@RottenTomatoes) May 26, 2021
The "supersized, adult version" of the Nickelodeon game show will feature fan favorite elements including: Olmec, the Moat Crossings, The Steps of Knowledge, the Temple Run, + all six classic team names. pic.twitter.com/nWykn9JZsE