"Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling" is a Netflix special based on the 90's animated series Rocko's Modern Life. It was announced in August 2016, and was originally set to premiere on Nickelodeon in 2018, but the premiere was pushed to August 9, 2019 on the streaming service Netflix.
Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling centers on Rocko and his friends as they return to Earth after being lost in space for twenty-two years. While Heffer and Filburt embrace every aspect of the new time period, such as all the new technology, social media and the endless diversity of food from things like food trucks, Rocko has a much harder time adjusting to the new time period, even to the point of suffering from future shock. He then attempts to get his favorite television show The Fatheads back on the air, since it is the last remnant of his past; to do so, he goes on a quest to find Ralph Bighead, the show's creator.
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, but he is more shocked when he realizes Rocko has returned. 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 comes 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. Ed becomes enraged and refuses to accept his child's transition before storming out, leaving Conglom-O and the town in jeopardy. Rocko departs feeling depressed while Rachel, despite her father's words, begins working on the special, inspired by fond memories of her parents. 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 her ice cream van.
Cast and Characters
- Carlos Alazraqui - Rocko, Spunky, Leon Chameleon, Gordon
- Tom Kenny - Heffer Wolfe, Chuck Chameleon, Really Really Big Man, Winds of Change
- Mr. Lawrence - Filburt, Maitre D', Skid Cap Thief
- Charlie Adler - Ed & Bev Bighead, Mr. Dupette, Grandpa Wolfe, Mr. & Mrs. Fathead, Napoleon Bonaparte
- Linda Wallem - Crazy Aunt Gretchen, Dr. Hutchison
- Joe Murray - Rachel Bighead
- Jill Talley - Nosey, Schlam-O Saleswoman
- Steve Little - Cowboy
- Cosmo Serguson - Pillow Salesman
- 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.
- Many minor characters such as Tammy the Pig, Tammy's son the annoying kid from "Jet Scream", Cupid from "Leap Frogs", Rocko's Mutant Tooth from "Rinse & Spit", the Immigration Council guy from "Kiss Me I'm Foreign", the Big Head Studio Tour guy from "I Have No Son!", the Sausage Cult Leader from "Schnit-heads", Dr. Phil the Plumber from "Pipe Dreams", Dr. Katz from "Clean Lovin'", Spike Hammerhead from "Spitballs", The Psycho Optometrist, The Room 101 Teacher, the Driving Instructor, the Father and Son from "Skid Marks", The Twin Pigs from "Speaking Terms", The female Manatee/Sea Mammal from "Rocko's Happy Sack", The Frozen Caveman from "Snowballs", Wallace and the Pizzaface Pizza Deliveryman from "Junk Junkies", Gladys Hippo, Wild Pig, The Newscaster, Buddy Gecko, Mr. Smitty, George Wolfe, Peter Wolfe, Virginia Wolfe, Sheila, Frank Hutchison, Widow Hutchison, Tiger, Dr. Bendova, Crappie Jack, The Fruitcake Man, Mitch, and the Elves from "Rocko's Modern Christmas", the Ambulance Beavers, Mr. Noway, Peaches, Bloaty the Tick, and Squirmy the Ringworm make non-speaking cameos.
- The Flies from "Canned" are seen towards the end of the film, yelling out their signature phrase "Hooray!"
- The O-Store is a parody 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 Ralph Bighead, now Rachel Bighead.
- The theme music from the first season is used as a ringtone.
- O-Toob is a parody of YouTube.
- Despite Ed aging in "Future Schlock", in this special, he looks like he hasn't aged a bit.
- 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.
- The Fairly OddParents: The new baby character at the end of the Fatheads reunion movie has purple hair, similar to Poof, a baby fairy added in the sixth season of another Nickelodeon show, the Fairly OddParents.
- 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 and 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.