Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling is a 45-minute web television special based on the 90's animated series, Rocko's Modern Life. It was originaly announced in August 2016. It was released on August 9, 2019 on the streaming service Netflix, it was originally set to premiere on Nickelodeon in 2018, but it was moved to Netflix.
After Rocko's house was launched into space, Rocko, Heffer, Filburt and Spunky have been adrift for 20 years doing nothing but watching old videos of The Fatheads episodes. Passing by Earth, Filburt realizes that the remote controlling the rocket has been stuck to Heffer's butt all along. They use the re-entry button and land back in O-Town, which they find has changed dramatically in the last 20 years. Heffer and Filburt quickly accept all the new customs and technology, but Rocko is overwhelmed and secludes himself in his house. Bev Bighead comes to welcome Rocko back to Earth; when asked by Rocko why he can't find The Fatheads on TV, she explains the show has been off the air for many years, much to Rocko's horror.
Meanwhile, Ed Bighead makes a clerical error due to a mishap caused by Rocko's re-entry. As a result, Conglom-O enters bankruptcy, along with all of O-Town. Ed is fired and his house is slated for demolition the next day. At Rocko's suggestion, the two return to Conglom-O and convince Mr. Dupette to bring back The Fatheads, claiming a revival will make enough money to save the company. Dupette accepts and rehires Ed, but then orders the Chameleon Brothers to direct a CGI-animated special. Convinced this new direction will ruin The Fatheads, Rocko decides to find the original creator Ralph Bighead, who left on a journey of self-discovery years ago. Using a couch attached to a drone, he, Heffer and Filburt travel the world searching for Ralph, but their battery runs out and they crash-land in the desert. There, they find Ralph, who has since come out as transgender and is now Rachel, running a Fatheads ice cream truck. Rocko begs Rachel to return to O-Town and bring back The Fatheads, and she eventually accepts for her family's sake.
Meanwhile, Dupette is displeased with the CGI Fatheads special and hires Rachel to take over when Rocko returns with her. However, Ed doesn't accept Rachel's transition. He gets angry and rejects his new reality, forcing him to leave his job and leaving Conglom-O and all O-Town citizens in jeopardy. Rocko tries to fix the entire ordeal, which Ed shouts "Why don't you go back to the 90's where you belong?" Rocko departs feeling guilty for further ruining things, mainly Rachel and Ed's relationship.
Bev insists Ed to move on from his transphobia, to which he clarifies his anger being directed around everything changing. After Rachel reflects on fond memories of her parents, and inspired by Rocko's validation of her work and identity, she begins working on a new special. Rocko finds Ed in his now demolished house and the two discuss their shared fear and resistance to change. The Winds of Change shows up to lecture them about how change is the key to happiness. Rocko then receives a phone call from Heffer and Filburt informing him that the Fatheads special is complete and about to premiere at Conglom-O. He drags Ed to the premiere and the two begin to watch, only to discover that Rachel has added a new character to the show: a baby Fathead. Everyone but Rocko loves the new character, leading the special to make billions of dollars, and Ed, seeing the influence of their family life in the special, reconciles with Rachel.
Rocko angrily states his disapproval of the special, believing it to be too different from the original Fatheads, but Ed convinces him that change is a part of life and should be embraced, which Rocko then accepts. The rocket that launched Rocko's house suddenly crashes into the Conglom-O building, launching it and Dupette into space, and the money earned rains down on the crowd, saving the town. Filburt reunites with his wife and family and Rachel and her parents leave for a new life together in the ice cream van.
Cast and Characters
- Carlos Alazraqui - Rocko, Spunky, Leon Chameleon, Gordon, Mitch, Bun Master, Squirmy the Ringworm (uncredited)
- Tom Kenny - Heffer Wolfe, Chuck Chameleon, Really Really Big Man, Papa Elf, Newscaster, Captain Compost Heap, Winds of Change, Tom, Tree, Bloaty the Tick (uncredited)
- Charlie Adler - Ed & Bev Bighead, Mr. Dupette, Grandpa Wolfe, Mr. and Mrs. Fathead, Dead Napoleon
- Mr. Lawrence - Filburt, Maitre D', Martian 1, Doug, Hopping Hessian, Doodleberg, Lizard
- Jill Talley - Nosey, Rabbit Mama, Schlam-o-Girl, Teacher, Elephant Lady
- Linda Wallem - Dr. Hutchinson, Crazy Aunt Gretchen, Female Giraffe
- Steve Little - Nineman, Construction Worker, Cowboy, Ox, Worm B
- Joe Murray - Rachel Bighead (née Ralph)
- Cosmo Serguson - Pillow Salesman, Martian 2, VHS Tape, Injured Worm, TV Announcer 1, Russian Hockey Player
- Tom Smith - Really Really Big Man (Movie), VCR
- Dan Becker - Rabbit Dad
Although production of the special was confirmed to be finished on February 2018, an official release date was not yet revealed. On September 24, 2018, Murray gave a slight update about the lack of news surrounding the special's release, stating that he was "sworn to secrecy". Earlier that same month, in reply to a tweet about the same topic, Murray stated that there were "actually some thing [sic] going on behind the scenes that I think everyone will be happy about that is delaying the airing of the special."
However, on February 4, 2019, Joe Murray responded to queries about the whereabouts of the film on Facebook, saying that he is "praying that Nickelodeon haven't abandoned the film" due to the many executive changes the company has had during the past year, and also stated he has not heard anything about a set release date since.
On May 10, 2019, Viacom president Robert Bakish announced that Netflix has acquired the distribution rights to Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling and confirmed three days later it would premiere in Summer 2019. It would ultimately be released on August 9, 2019.
- Rocko's Modern Life is the fifth Nicktoon to get an animated feature film. The first four were Rugrats, Hey Arnold!, The Wild Thornberrys, and SpongeBob SquarePants.
- This technically makes Rocko's Modern Life the sixth Nicktoon to get an animated feature film, if one also counts Doug's 1st Movie, produced by Disney.
- This is also the first Nickelodeon animated film to be released on Netflix.
- Many minor characters make non-speaking background cameos.
- The Flies from "Canned" are seen towards the end of the film, yelling out their signature phrase "Hooray!"
- Since the penultimate episode of the series, "Future Schlock", aired in 1996, and the special is set 20 years from that episode, the special is set in 2016.
- The O-Store and their O-phones are parodies of the Apple Store.
- Buzzbucks is a parody of Starbucks Coffee, right down to the jokes about one being on every corner.
- There are several references to Camp Lazlo.
- Scoutmaster Lumpus can be seen behind the Bigheads' house under the "Schlam-o" sign in the reveal shot of O-Town.
- A monkey and rhino resembling Lazlo and Clam and a female elephant resembling Raj are seen in the Taj Mahal when Rocko, Spunky, Heffer, and Filburt visit there.
- They also briefly visit Leaky Lake when they ask for the whereabouts of Rachel.
- The season one theme song briefly appears as a ringtone.
- O-Toob is an obvious parody of YouTube.
- Furthermore, when Spunky watches 10 hours of mops, it is a parody of the 10 hour videos on YouTube.
- Despite Ed aging in "Future Schlock", he looks the same here.
- Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling on Netflix is in the LGBTQ Movies category.
- A portrait of Doug Lawrence can be seen in the new Fatheads special.
- There are gaps in the characters’ mouth lines seen for a split second various times, this is either an animation error or it’s a reference to anime and manga.
- Star Wars: There is a caption crawl rearing "When we last left our heroes - Rocko, Heffer, and Filburt - they had accidentally blasted themselves into the farthest reaches of space. Stranded. with no cable TV and no clean undergarments. Filburt's children had been lost while being dropped off at the pool", but the rocket crashes into it and it shatters.
- 2001: A Space Odyssey: The opening is a brief reference to the iconic opening scene with "Also Sprach Zarathustra" playing in the background.
- Rachel adding a baby character into the Fatheads is easily a reference to shows that have added new characters such as babies or little kids in their later seasons, like the Brady Bunch, Rugrats, and the Fairly OddParents.
- Wizard of Oz: When Rocko's house falls from space and crushes CCH (and when Rocko says that they aren't in the 90's anymore), it is a reference to the film.
- Orange VHS Tape: The VHS tape of the Fatheads Rocko, Heffer and Filburt were watching is orange. This is an allusion to when Nicktoons VHS tapes in the 90's were orange, the same color as the Nickelodeon logo.
- Pixar: A113 can be seen on the searchbar on the “10 hours of mops ;)” Scene. And, if you look closely, it’s also formed with the building blocks in the new fatheads special.
- The word “ASDF” is seen on the searchbar, this might be a reference to the TomSka web series “asdfmovie” franchise, either that or it’s a coincidence.
- Heffer: We're home!
- (Rocko, Heffer, Filburt and Spunky run out the door and run around in circles)
- Filburt: Let's frolic innocently in nature!
- Rocko: Uh, fellas?
- Heffer/Filburt: Yeah?
- Rocko: I don't think we're in the '90s anymore.
- Heffer: Check it out! I got the new O-Phone 8!
- Filburt: Big whoop. I just got the new O-Phone 9.
- Rocko: This is a phone? But, where are all the buttons?
- Heffer: Whoa! This food truck's got pizza tacos!
- Filburt: I got a wiener taco.
- Heffer: I got a taco taco, inside another taco!
- Filburt: What did you get, Rocko?
- Rocko: Food poisoning...(barfs)
- Rocko: The 21st century is a very dangerous century.
- Rachel: I'm not Ralph anymore. I'm Rachel
- Nosey: Bighead, You're Fired.
- Nosey: O-Town is doomed.