Metascore
47

Mixed or average reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 23
  2. Negative: 4 out of 23
  1. Reviewed by: Christine Dolen
    75
    Just plain fun.
  2. 75
    The story is also engaging and hip enough to make it a far easier sit for parents. And it's hard not to like a hero who takes public transportation to a showdown with the bad guy.
  3. Reviewed by: C.W. Nevius
    75
    It is great summer fun.
  4. The ethical, independent-minded kid has his unhip charms, and so does Hey Arnold! The Movie.
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    The movie feels like a long-form version of the popular Nickelodeon cartoon series on which it's based, which probably won't bother Arnold fans.
  6. If your kids are old enough to safely see the movie by themselves, drop 'em off and pick 'em up after. You don't need to see this one.
  7. Reviewed by: Frank Lovece
    60
    Essentially a feature-length episode of the popular Nickelodeon animated series, this faithful expansion is savvy enough to stay put.
  8. 60
    The rough, watercolor washes of its city backdrops mark the film with nostalgia while its story carries us along at an amiable, buoyant pace.
  9. Reviewed by: Jay Boyar
    58
    Hey Arnold "don't get no respect," it's not half bad, either. Kids will certainly like it. For adults, it's perfectly watchable in a Rugrats sort of way.
  10. 50
    Nothing about Hey Arnold! The Movie cries out for the big-screen treatment, but it at least makes the transition from television to film with its charm intact.
  11. The cause is just. But there's something off-kilter about the mix. Maybe it's because the animation retains its TV flatness while the story's texture is gratuitously bulked up.
  12. The updated Dickensian sensibility of writer Craig Bartlett's story is appealing.
  13. That may be enough to keep the kids bobbing along -- and there are worse heroes for a kid to have than Arnold -- but apart from the shenanigans of civil-disobedient senior citizens, this movie offers little to keep accompanying parents interested.
  14. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    50
    Has surprising hipness and good humor to spare, all put across with a funky, low-tech vibe.
  15. 50
    Just barely diverting, even at under 80 minutes -- a TV episode inflated past its natural length.
  16. 50
    Blown up way past television-set size, the animated film's squiggly lines and rushed renditions are pale and blurry. This may be the first cartoon ever to look as if it were being shown on the projection television screen of a sports bar.
  17. 50
    It's a refreshing theme for a kids' movie, one that incorporates history and urban flavor, not to mention a preservationists' perspective, into the usual mix.
  18. 40
    Inoffensive and sporadically funny, its chief charm is Arnold's ridiculous noggin, and that's not saying much.
  19. 40
    The simplistic drawing is closer to "Peanuts" than "The Lion King," and the dialogue is strangely anachronistic.
  20. It's a drab jumble of meaningless action, dull characters and animation as flat and superficial as its story.
  21. Could easily be just another episode of "Hey Arnold!" the TV show. Except that it's three times as long, and not half as much fun.
  22. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    38
    The ugly duckling of Nickelodeon's after-bath lineup. That's its strength.
  23. Neither funny nor suspenseful nor particularly well drawn.
User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 2 out of 10
  1. Nov 5, 2011
    3
    Throughout the entire Hey Arnold series the show had no qualms with showing that their neighborhood was in a state of urban decay, possibly toThroughout the entire Hey Arnold series the show had no qualms with showing that their neighborhood was in a state of urban decay, possibly to the point of being slum like. This movie glorifies an unwillingness to allow gentrification to take place to improve the city as a whole by raising property value at the expense of some stubborn children many of whom will become destined to lives of crime and poverty because of these actions. Full Review »
  2. Jan 27, 2013
    8
    This was a purely fun time. If you have ever been a fan of this show then you're gonna love it. It is fast paced, charming, and very funny.