What’s Opera Arnold?
This episode was directly inspired by the infamous Looney Tunes episode: ‘What’s Opera, Doc?’ A class field trip to see the opera “Carmen,” leads to Arnold and Helga falling asleep. While sleeping, both have very different dreams about the play, each involving their classmates. Hilarity ensues as we get to see the visions that Arnold and Helga have of the play. In Arnold’s, he ends up chasing after his crush Ruth (dubbed Don Carmen in the opera), and in Helga’s she abducts Ruth and gets Arnold all to herself.
This is the episode where we learn about Arnold’s parents for the first time. Using a school parent’s day as a backdrop, the episode shares that Arnold’s parents were explorers who set out to do one last adventure before retiring to raise Arnold. Unfortunately, after they dropped Arnold off at his grandparents’ house they never returned. Over the years Arnold’s grandpa would tell him more lavish and grander tales of what actually happened to his parents, but this was the first time that Arnold learned the truth. While admitting the odds are bleak, Arnold and his grandpa both still hold out hope that his parents might still be alive.
One of the more thought-provoking plots in the shows history comes from the Pigeon Man episode. After his carrier pigeon, Chester, becomes sick, Arnold enlists the help of the legendary Pigeon Man. All of Arnold’s friends think Pigeon Man is some sort of worm-eating weirdo, it turns out he was a normal guy, named Vincent, who simply prefers the company of pigeons to that of humans. As a thank-you for his help, Arnold takes Vincent for pizza. While the two are chatting over their meal, three of Arnold’s friends trash Pigeon Man’s roof where he keeps his pigeons. When Arnold and Vincent return to the roof they are shocked to see the damage, the moment confirms to Vincent that he’s made the right choice by surrounding himself with Pigeons instead of humans.
This is actually the last episode of Hey Arnold!, it was meant to serve as a precursor to the Jungle Movie (which it does, but as you know that took a bit longer than expected). The episode starts with Arnold having a dream about sailing with his parents, the dream turns into a nightmare and Arnold is left alone in the dream, he awakes and we find out that it’s the anniversary of the day that his parents left for their expedition. Sad and miserable Arnold tells his grandpa that he’s given up hope that his parents are alive, so he packs up everything reminder of them he has. Upon putting the stuff away Arnold stumbles upon an old journal that his father kept, excited he and his grandpa read through the journal together. The journal fills in many of the blanks that viewers had about the whereabouts of Arnold’s parents and provided a deeper context as to why they left in the first place. After coming to the end of the journal, Arnold finds a map in the very back, he quickly runs into the house to show his grandparents. That’s how the show ended, and that’s why we’re here today. This is where Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie will resume.
Thanks for taking this stroll down memory lane, be sure to check out Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie November 24th at 7pm EST on Nick, Nicktoons and TeenNick.