Rugrats In Paris -- The Movie

Reality Check

While Rugrats In Paris is a great film, there are some aspects that will leave some people to believe whether it can happen in real life. Here are some of these issues:

1. Everyone Goes -- In this film, the entire cast, except for Grandpa, Lulu, Fluffy and the Carmichaels, go to Paris on that first flight out.

The question is: Is it possible for so many people to go on extremely short notice?

The answer is: Of course not. In reality, only Stu would've been able to go, regardless of whether or not Kira advised him to leave his family at home. Depending on the time of year, Didi has a job at school. Charlotte is always too busy with her executive career, with Drew also busy as an investment banker. And apparently, Chazz, Betty & Howard have jobs, too, that they can't skip at a drop of a hat.

Also, in reality, Euro Reptar possibly couldn't afford to send everyone over, regardless of whether they sit in coach, or, in Angelica's case, First Class. It's likely that Stu can fly for free, but everyone else would have to pay thousands of dollars each for a last-minute ticket to Paris, unless Charlotte pulled some strings at her company.

And of course, there are passport requirements. While the film made clear that passports are required for travel to France, it's not clear of the period of time required to get one. Generally, it takes 25 business days to get a US passport, though some companies, such as Travco, make passports available within 24 to 48 hours for a hefty fee. In reality, getting a passport in just a few hours notice is extremely pushing it, and is not likely to happen. Also, unless Euro Reptar or Charlotte is footing the bill, very few people would afford the high fees for rush passport service.

And since Stu is going to France to work on the Reptar robot, he'll be needing special papers that will allow him to work in France. According to

Foreigners must hold French working papers before leaving to work in France. These papers consist of a work contract prepared by the Office des Migrations Internationales (O.M.I.), and a visa; they are required, in all instances, including employment with foreign companies in France. Foreign government employees and international civil servants are not subject to this regulation.

The procedure for obtaining working papers is as follows:

(1) The foreign worker must obtain a job offer from an employer in France.

(2) The employer in France files an application for working papers at the Office des Migrations Internationales, 44 rue Bargue, 75732 Paris Cedex 15. If the foreign worker is married, the employee must state this in the application, so that visas can be authorized for accompanying family members. There is no time limit for this procedure, but at least two or three months may elapse before a reply is received.

(3) If the working papers are authorized, the file is sent to the French Consulate nearest the place of permanent residence of the foreign worker. Under no circumstances are working papers issued to the applicant in France, even if the foreign worker is temporarily in France when the authorization is granted.

(4) As soon as the file is received, the O.M.I. contacts the foreign worker and gives instructions for collecting the working papers from the Consulate. These formalities may be completed within 24 hours.

(5) The applicant must undergo a medical check-up with an accredited doctor of the Embassy or Consulate.

(6) Upon arrival in France, the applicant must, within eight days, apply for the "Carte de Sejour" [residency permit] at the nearest Prefecture of his residence and present his visaed passport and medical certificate.

2. Spike Goes Along, And Returns With Fifi -- The family take Spike along for the trip, and when they go back to the states, they take along Fifi, who's practically a stray.

The question is: Is it possible for Spike to go to France, and Fifi to emigrate to the US, unimpeded?

The answer is: Yes, on both counts, but there are still regulations in both countries regarding the import and export of pets.

According to, here is France's official stance on imported pets:

France has a complex system of regulations and requirements regarding so-called "sanitary" and/or analysis documents, as well as hygienic measures governing imports of foodstuffs and perishable goods. Following are some of these requirements. Subscribers should follow the advice of importers/agents in this regard or, if necessary, consult appropriate government officials directly.

Animals and Animal Products: Official sanitary and phytosanitary certificates are required for all live animals, with the exception of family pets accompanying travelers. The certificates must be signed by an official designated by the U.S. agency in charge of the product oversight in accordance with French or EU rules and regulations.

In other words, Spike would've been able to go to France, with no neccessary papers required. By the way, the US does not issue passports for pets, even though one was made up foe Spike in the film.

And what about Fifi? According to

The importation of birds, cats, dog, monkeys and turtles is subject to the requirements of U.S. Public Health Service, Center for Disease Control, Quarantine Division, located in Atlanta, GA 30333, and the Veterinary Services of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Department of Agriculture, Hyattsville, MD 20782.

In other words, Fifi can come into the US, but it will be under scrutiny of the Public Health Service, when it enters the US. And considering that Fifi's a stray, it may actually lessen her chances of entry. And of course, what if Fifi's original owners are looking for her? I bet they would be worried sick if they lost her.

3. Chazz and Coco get married at the Notre Dame Cathedral

The question is: Is it possible for Coco and Chazz to marry at Notre Dame on such short notice?

The answer is: No, especially if any or both of them aren't Catholic, as Notre Dame is a Roman catholic church. And even if they were Catholic, they need to make reservations several months in advance, regardless of what church they decide to marry in. If one wanted to marry at Notre Dame, they would probably have a longer wait. If Coco wanted a quick marriage, they're better off getting married at the local courthouse (or French equivalent), or even go to Las Vegas; but then you wouldn't have an interesting movie.

(Special thanks to Don Del Grande)

4. Angelica sits in First Class, giving fellow passengers a hard time

The question is: Does she belong in First Class?

The answer is: No, and the message was clear at the end of this scene when the Rugrats, including Angelica, were hauled back to Coach. Really, since the gang is practically last-minute passengers, First Class seats to Paris would cost thousands of dollars; yes, I mentioned before that Charlotte would pull strings, but as you know, on all flights, the availability of First Class seating is extremely limited, and if they are flying at the last minute, a chance of getting a First Class seat is practically nil. Finally, flight attendants would instantly shoo Coach passengers back where they belong -- that is, unless they know someone flying First Class.

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