The International Day of Families is observed annually on May 15th to promote awareness of the various processes affecting families. On this occasion, we wanted to pay a special tribute to one of the longest-running shows portraying families, friendship, and imagination: Rugrats.
The first season of the all-CG reboot released last year on Paramount +, with new episodes made available earlier this month. We sat down with Srishti Rai, Junior Artist, part of the episodic team at Mikros Animation Bangalore who crafted the reboot. She talks about her career and experience working on the show.
Could you please tell us a bit about your journey in the animation industry?
I began my professional animation journey with Mikros Animation a little over three years ago. I remember being blown away by the projects that were being developed at the time I joined. I felt honored to work on the second season of The Boss Baby : Back in Business very shortly after joining and moved onto an adaption of a classic as timeless as SpongeBob – I worked on Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years. I also learned all I could from my time on Star Trek: Prodigy and a new spin-off series of Kung Fu Panda.
Rugrats is one of the longest-running Nickelodeon shows and is a Daytime Emmy-winning animated series. What was your first reaction when you learned you’d be working on its CG-animated reboot?
I was very pleasantly surprised ! I don’t think there are many projects at Mikros Animation that cannot shock you when you hear that you’re about to work on them. Rugrats is another classic, with a unique style and look for its 3D reboot, so it has been an excellent learning experience working on the episodes so far.
The Rugrats reboot is set in the present, with all the advantages and disadvantages of modern technology. It shows the challenges faced by parents today and draws attention to key issues in our society like diversity and inclusion. What do you think is the role of animation in portraying various kinds of families and society?
Animation has wide outreach, especially since it is directly aimed at children whose worldview is shaped by the things they see around them and what they take an interest in. I think we, as animators and storytellers, have an important responsibility to talk and raise questions about issues of society through the tales we bring to life. I’m proud that I get to do my bit. If even one person watching our work goes away with an improved point of view and introspection, it would make all the effort worthwhile.
While working on this all-CG show, what were the main artistic and/or technical challenges you had to overcome in your department?
With my time on other projects, it was easy to become accustomed to one style of animation and how to use it to efficiently to bring out characters and their stories through acting. A change in style is one of the main things I dealt with while on Rugrats, and the several varied personalities made it a very fun challenge to get into.
On the technical side of things, there is a marked difference in the way cameras and shots are handled on this project compared to my past projects, since it is more often from the point of view of the toddler characters involved. Problem-solving related to these tasks has been a learning point as well.
Do you have a favorite sequence? If yes, why did you pick this one?
It’s hard to pick a favorite! But I especially enjoyed animating a sequence involving Angelica where she tries to stop the other babies from discovering that she too was a baby once. Her reluctance and annoyance made for very enjoyable acting choices, and I got to play around and discover her personality more. It was just my cup of tea as a character animator.
What are you looking forward to most with the show airing new episodes now?
I’m excited to see it being received so wonderfully by its audience once again! It is an amazing feeling to see all our hard work and problem solving culminate into a series that is so beloved to its viewers, which can also make a difference with the kind of characters and settings it involves. I really hope it continues to do well and I’m excited to be part of the ride!
Discover more of our team members by visiting the Talent Spotlights section our website.