When the seminal series Rugrats returns to Paramount+ for its reboot later this year, the character of Betty will be different from the first time around.
In an interview with The A.V. Club, Natalie Morales — who will voice Lil and Phil’s mum — revealed that the character will be openly gay in the new iteration.
“Anyone who watched the original show may have had an inkling Betty was a member of the alphabet mafia,” Morales, who identifies as Queer said.
“Betty is a single mum with her own business who has twins and still has time to hang out with her friends and her community, and I think it’s just so great because examples of living your life happily and healthily as an out queer person is just such a beacon for young queer people who may not have examples of that.”
Morales continued, “And yeah, Betty is a fictional cartoon, but even cartoons were hugely influential for me as a kid and if I’d been watching Rugrats and seen Betty casually talking about her ex-girlfriend, I think at least a part of me would have felt like things might be okay in the future.”
Nicole Byer and Tony Hale join Morales in the voice cast for the Rugrats re-imagining, with Hale to play Chuckie’s father and Byer, with Omar Miller, as Susie’s parents.
Additionally, Ashley Rae Spillers and Tommy Dewey will voice Tommy’s parents, Anna Chlumsky and Timothy Simons will be Angelica’s, and Michael McKean will feature as Grandpa Lou Pickles.
Returning to voice the iconic cartoon toddlers, who first made their debut in 1991, are E.G. Daily (Tommy Pickles), Nancy Cartwright (Chuckie Finster), Cheryl Chase (Angelica Pickles), Cree Summer (Susie Carmichael) and Kath Soucie (Phil and Lil DeVille).
The original Rugrats series launched in August of 1991 and instantly became a hit — going on to have three successful film releases and winning four Daytime Emmy Awards, six Kids’ Choice Awards and receiving its own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The show lasted nine seasons and 13 years.
The reboot of the beloved series will follow the toddlers as they explore the world and beyond from their pint-sized and wildly imaginative point-of-view.