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Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie

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Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie
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Fan Poster created by Sofy-Senpai


Craig Bartlett


Raymie Muzquiz


Tuck Tucker


Jim Lang

Production Company

Nickelodeon Movies
Paramount Animation


Paramount Pictures

Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie was going to be the second movie based on the animated TV show Hey Arnold!, and the series finale of the show.

"TJM" is an acronym commonly used by the crew and fans of Hey Arnold! to refer to The Jungle Movie.


When Nickelodeon renewed Hey Arnold! for a fourth season in 1998, they also gave series creator Craig Bartlett a chance to develop two feature-length movies based on the show. One made directly for TV, called "Arnold Saves the Neighborhood", and another slated for a theatrical release, known as "The Jungle Movie".

Drafts of The Jungle Movie were written and developed between 1998-2001, and it's rumored the script was in its 6th or 7th draft. A number of storyboards were also drafted by then co-director Raymie Muzquiz, and some test footage was also produced.

In 2000-2001, executives at Nickelodeon and Paramount decided to give the made-for-TV movie, Arnold Saves the Neighborhood, a theatrical release in 2002 under the title of Hey Arnold!: The Movie after successful test screenings. Around this time, Nickelodeon also asked Craig to produce a special one-hour "prequel" episode called "The Journal" that would link the series to the second movie.

The first movie ended up being unsuccessful and only grossed $15.2 million at worldwide box offices, directly leading to the cancellation of The Jungle Movie, and leaving the series in an unresolved cliffhanger ending. Furthermore, sometime around 2004, Nickelodeon wanted to put Craig Bartlett into an exclusive contact where he could only work for them (thus limiting creative freedom). At the time, Craig was also working on a pilot/TV movie for Cartoon Network, called "Party Wagon", so he declined. This broke off relations between Bartlett and the network.

Interlude Years and Fan Interest

Over the years, Craig Bartlett revealed several details about the movie (such as parts of the plot and the characters) through online chats and interviews, but refused to give out too many details, in case he someday got the chance to make TJM. With these details, fans started making their own versions through fan art and fan fiction. Sometime around 2009-2011, fans started campaigns and petitions to bring The Jungle Movie to fruition, and by 2012, interest on the show and the cancelled movie had dramatically increased. Fans' efforts got notice from Bartlett and managed to reach Nickelodeon. In 2013, Cyma Zarghami, the president of Nickelodeon, mentioned how the network had been receiving numerous letters and fan mail about Hey Arnold!

New Developments and Possible Revival

In an interview on The Arun Mehta Show, Justin Shenkarow, the voice actor for Harold, hinted that discussions between Nickelodeon and Craig had been going on about possibly green-lighting the second movie. Craig later confirmed that he was indeed going into meetings with Nickelodeon executives.

In 2013, Craig has announced that he is now officially working on a new Nickelodeon show called Sky Rat and wants to work on this new show before becoming re-invested in Hey Arnold! Craig still wants to eventually produce TJM, granted his revived involvement with Nickelodeon continues to go well.

In late 2015, several new developments concerning The Jungle Movie occurred. First of all, the production storyboards in Raymie Muzquiz's website were taken down, and replaced with a file that said "Removed for Mysterious Reason!". In August, the official Nickelodeon Facebook page made a reply that directly referenced The Jungle Movie, creating a peak of activity among Hey Arnold! fans. In September, Nickelodeon officially announced that it was planning to reboot some of their older properties, including Hey Arnold!. Craig Bartlett confirmed that "they were working on it", but refused to give out details. In November 2015, Nickelodeon confirmed a new Hey Arnold! TV Movie is in the works. It hasn't been directly stated to be "The Jungle Movie" but details provided in Nickelodeon's press release accurately represents the film's original plot.


While no official information has ever been released by Nickelodeon, Craig Bartlett himself has talked about the movie plot in various online chats and interviews. It's important to note that Craig stated in 2012 that if TJM were to be made today, he would "start from scratch", so all this information is subject to change.

Arnold's name is revealed in the opening scene. A man comes to the door of the boarding house with a package for him and he signs his full name.

The whole class, who are now in the fifth grade, go to San Lorenzo in Central America after Arnold wins them an essay contest. However, he has his own secret agenda to go look for his parents with the map that he found at the end of the episode "The Journal".

Arnold meets the mysterious Green Eyed people, the people his parents were helping. When he was born, he silenced all of nature (the erupting volcano), which prompted the Green Eyes to believe that he is divine. The Green Eyes have designed a motif that is shaped like a football head in all their architecture. They are also impressed with Helga's ferocity. This makes the Green Eyes semi-worship Arnold and Helga. The Green Eyes also think very highly of Miles and Stella, because they’ve all saved each other’s lives before, many times.

La Sombra, a villain who was briefly seen in the episode "The Journal" is a big character of the movie, he is Miles and Stella's enemy. He is a mercenary treasure hunter and river pirate, who goes in disguise. La Sombra is after La Corazón, a fabulous jewel and a sacred relic of the Green Eyes, which can't be seen in the light of day.

In 2004, Craig Bartlett stated that if Arnold finds his parents he is going to stay with them, but in 2007 he said that they never decided whether Arnold had to stay in San Lorenzo.

Arnold finally takes the next step in his relationship with Helga. While in the first movie she confesses her love for him, but he dodges out of telling how he feels in return. In The Jungle Movie, he completes the conversation. She acts like she still hates him again, but after they "get together" they realize that they are meant for each other. In the end of the movie they share a short kiss (during a scene when they are in a hurry), but Gerald interrupts them. When they make a really lame excuse he says "Whatever you say". By that point, most of the characters in the movie would probably already notice what's going on between Arnold and Helga, and would start teasing them about it.


Characters that go to San Lorenzo

  • Arnold Now ten years old, he is on his quest to find answers to his parents' disappearance.
  • Helga Since the first movie, she's acted like she hates Arnold again but that appears to change.
  • Gerald He interrupts Arnold and Helga's kiss in the end of the movie, and after hearing their lame excuse he responds, "Whatever you say."
  • Harold He does his usual bullying stuff with Stinky and Sid. "I'm the boss and I say we're doin' it!"
  • Sid He tags along with Harold and Stinky.
  • Stinky He tags along with Harold and Sid.
  • Rhonda She totally freaks out in the jungle.
  • Nadine For her, the jungle is like heaven. "There are 20,000 species of spider in San Lorenzo!"
  • Brainy He helps Helga to get her act together, and is thrown overboard by her a couple of times. In the middle of the story, Helga is fed up and she gives up completely. However, Brainy kind of helps her back to life.
  • Eugene He jinxes it up like crazy by getting allergic attacks, his legs puff up like balloons and he is nearly eaten by piranhas; among other misfortunes.
  • Phoebe Her role is not known, but she is pictured in the concept art.
  • Sheena She is 1 of the young girl students in Mr. Simmons' 5th grade class.
  • Lila She was never mentioned in the any of the pre-production material.
  • Mr. Simmons He is now the fifth grade teacher of Arnold's class.
  • Principal Wartz He tags along with the group because he always wanted to go to Central America.
  • Olga She also goes to San Lorenzo and annoys Helga, according to Bartlett.

Other students of Mr. Simmons's class also participate in the trip.

Other characters

  • Miles He is Arnold's father who went missing in San Lorenzo 9 years ago. His whereabouts are unknown.
  • Stella She is Arnold's mother and Miles' wife. She went with Miles to help the Green Eyes but also disappeared.
  • Eduardo He is Miles and Stella's most trusted friend who witnessed Arnold's birth "silence all of nature" in "The Journal." In one of the sketches, it's suggested Eduardo drives a steam-powered riverboat.
  • The Green-Eyed People They are the original and mysterious inhabitants of San Lorenzo.
  • La Sombra He is an evil river pirate and treasure hunter; Miles and Stella's arch enemy.

Raymie Muzquiz Storyboards

In July 2012, animation director Raymie Muzquiz launched his official website with examples of his work.[1] One to those examples was a PDF document showing storyboards of a TJM scene.

In the storyboards, La Sombra is revealed, turning out to be the blue shirted river pirate shown in Roger Luan's concept art. The scene starts with a monkey climbing over a long wall into the compound, with the text hinting to what happened in the previous scene. It pans into La Sombra's hut, where he has Arnold held captive.

Two of his thugs are also in the room. La Sombra instructs one of the thugs to open a plate of tasty-looking food, but Arnold ignores it. La Sombra persists, trying to get Arnold to tell him where the hidden city of the Green-Eyed people is, but Arnold again avoids the topic, arguing that if he knew that, he'd probably find his parents.

La Sombra grows angrier and orders his thugs to restrain Arnold. The same monkey from the opening scene fallows in the background, watching the thugs capture Arnold and through him in a storeroom. The map falls in after him. La Sombra explains how he thinks a good night's sleep might jog his memory. Plus, he'd hate to hurt Arnold's friends "on accident". Then the thugs close the door. Arnold runs to the door but it's locked.

TJM Test Footage

Hey Arnold Test00:39

Hey Arnold Test

In 2012, Vimeo user and Artist Brent Forrest posted the test footage for TJM on his account.

The footage shows Miles and Stella on horseback chasing a masked La Sombra through the San Lorenzo jungle in the rain. Referencing a scene that was shown in the episode The Journal when Eduardo tells the story of La Sombra stealing the Corazon from the Green Eyes.

The animation is radically different from the artwork featured in the Hey Arnold! TV Series and also showed off some 3D effects.

In 2014, Craig Bartlett confirmed the footage to be genuine on his Facebook page, and that it was produced by his studio in 2001.



Concept Art by Roger Luan


  • This wasn't the only movie cancelled by Nickelodeon Movies at the time. Others include Aaahh!!! Real Monsters: The Movie, Ren & Stimpy: The Movie, Jimmy Neutron: The Search for Carl, Pelswick: The Movie, Invader Dib, and Catscratch: Saving Waffle. Doug: The Movie was also cancelled, but was later renamed Doug's 1st Movie and made by Walt Disney Pictures.

Fan-led Campaigns

Fans of the Hey Arnold! series have set up campaign web sites and Facebook groups asking for The Jungle Movie to be released.

Fan Fictions closely related to The Jungle Movie

See also Fanfics about San Lorenzo

Fan Projects related to The Jungle Movie


  1. Storyboards by co-director Raymie Muzquiz, from his official site

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