Arlene is a 1999 traditional animated film based on the best-selling graphic novel by Robert Nadal. The film was Nickelodeon's first Non-Nicktoon animated theatrical movie and the second animated theatrical movie they've released after The Rugrats Movie. The film starred Brittany Murphy as the title character and is her first role in an animated movie.
From the distant cosmos on a planet far far away from here, life began to crumble into uninhabitable levels. Millions of the planet's population fled the planet in search for a new one. However, 6 of the planet's inhabitants went in search of locations to defend. The 6 creatures called themselves members of the Galactic Comets. Each member represents a different form of talent including Intelligence, Agility, Magic, Bravery, Leadership, and Assistance. As such, they eventually split up after their home planet was wiped out and 3 of them went to another planet with life and swore to make sure they’d protect it. The closest planet they could find was Earth of course and they've kept the planet from extinction by disintegrating asteroids and preventing any sort of friction from occurring down there, at least while staying away from any proximity to the atmosphere layers. Knowing mystic beings exist would cause mass mayhem and planet wide panic. But they've still managed to achieve their goals for over 7 years, until...well...you'll have to listen to the rest of the story to find out
We take a look at these 3, Tiberius, Thomas, and Tabitha, in their starship, relaxing with their cups of coffee and wondering what life on Earth is thinking about with there being no signs of asteroids or any other planet wiping objects. All that makes Tom remind them of is what happened to their home planet. Tiberius reminds him that it's best to leave the past behind him. Just to clarify, it wasn't their fault. Their back story has nothing to do with them causing genocide. The Galactic Comets were meant to defend, not annihilate. With these three, they've went to defend Earth in their honor for 7 years. But when they've reached their 7th year, something unexpected and inevitable happened.
On an island named Tawaho, lived a city, under the name of DiamondVille, around the mountains. Just outside of the town, in the meadows were farm animals living in peace and prosperity. But, one night, something or someone came in to crash the party. It looked like, a colossal octopus monster. It roared down towards the farms animals, ready to eat them. Cows, chickens, pigs, sheep, horses, and goats were being slaughtered and eaten by the monster. Back at the starship, the emergency alarms went off and Tiberius was startled and ran to the computer to take a look at what's going on. It wouldn't take long for the citizens of DiamondVille to overhear the carnage in the meadows. Those who got up, like the mayor, Richard Weber, and his youngest son, Hoover, headed to the meadows to see what was going on, and they saw the monster spewing out the bones of the farm animals towards the citizens. Luckily, he didn't notice them and he left the area and fled to a castle in which no one has entered. Everyone seeing this, they needed to chase it down and stop it. But they couldn't do that because they're too weak to fight such monster. Weber informed the town to return to their homes and we'll find answers to what's going on later. However, there was one person who didn't decide to go back. A 7-year-old girl named Tiffany. She's an orphan who's mother died when she was 2 years old. It was believed that her mom vanished in the castle never to be seen again. But she wonders if maybe answers to everything that's happened and happening could be in there. She went over to the castle as quietly and as defensive as possible. Let's hope she'll be fine.
When Tiberius, Tom, and Tabitha overseen the catastrophe, they were devastated and traumatized. Tiberius questioned where it came from. He turns to Tom who is responsible for looking for any incoming threats. Tom said his instincts detected no outside threats and since he's the member of prediction, he was telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The three needed to act fast. Tiberius decided the best option is to do what they've done in the past, create a creature to go after it. Tiberius pulls out a blueprint of his life's work and lays it down on the testing table. The problem is they don't have the ingredients to make it. What's worse is that it's only found on a life-filled planet like Earth. It's possible they might not make it alive, but they had to try. The three draw straws with Tiberius being the loser. Getting ready to go down there, he tells Tom and Tabitha to finish his plan if he doesn't make it. They promise him they'll make sure they finish his plan if he's out of the picture. They hug him goodbye and he heads down there and disguises himself among the humans down there.
We enter the castle where Tiffany is hiding under the shadows of the castle, bumping into hybrid creatures that call themselves Drogans. She remembers her mother saying about those were claimed to be extinct myths. She takes a deeper look as she notices one flew right to the throne room. Inside, she sees a man and two drogans. As she tries to listen to what one of the drogans conversations with the man. The Drogan warns the man, who was referred to as King Kyle, that an octopus monster have ravaged the meadows and ate the farm animals. Kyle was startled and baffled. He asked what and where did it even come from and yet there were no answers. She noticed one drogan, Deacon, his right hand drogan, sneak out of the throne room as quietly as possible. Seeing him come out, she ran quietly out of the castle and head back to Diamondville without anybody noticing she was gone
Upon unnoticed crash down in a mountain, Tiberius immediately ejected before impact and landed in a nearby pond. Getting up and drying himself, he attempts to communicate Tom and Tabitha via telepathy and list down the ingredients he needs and the ones he already has. But in order to do so, he disguises himself among the citizens of DiamondVille as most of the required ingredients come from human resources. Within 2 hours, Tiberius manages to get the necessary ingredients and call Tom and Tabitha to send him back to the ship. However, before they could do it in time, Tiberius was being muffled and suffocated by someone. But before he could see who, he blacked out. It turns out that the octopus monster, at the size of a human, caught him before he could finish his task. Luckily, while it took Tiberius with him, it didn’t take the small capsule containing the ingredients which Tiberius dropped. Back with Tom and Tabitha, they were startled and afraid that Tiberius was gone. They used a scope to find him, but all that was there was the capsule. They immediately teleported the ingredients to them and swore to finish the plan for Tiberius. After creating the DNA, they prepare to metamorphose the DNA into a life form and launch the capsule tank and themselves down to the island.
When Arlene Was Born
After last night’s crisis, everyone tried to pretend it never happened to prevent any sort of panic attacks. However, Tiffany was one of the only people who just couldn’t stop thinking about it. She felt like she needed to discuss it with someone. She gets dressed, calls Joey, and heads down to City Hall to meet up with the Mayor’s kids.
As we take a look at the kids, we have Tiago, the mayor’s 17 year old first born son and heir to the city, Desiree, the mayor’s 12 year old silly and energetic daughter, and Hoover, the mayor’s 7 year old cocky yet loyal son. All three of them are best friends with Tiffany. You’d think they’d wanna talk about it, but let’s see if that’s the case. As the alarm goes off, Desiree screams on the top of her lungs to wake her brothers up. And this isn’t the only time as they keep tell her they’ve gotten a new alarm. But she always comes up with the same excuse that she thought it was a timer, which is stupid because they’re both similar. As they get up and prepare for their day, Tiffany calls out for them through the window saying she wants to discuss something with them. Hearing her, they try to prep up quicker but end up getting tied up. They come out ready and ask Tiffany what was up. She told them that she wanted to talk about that incident last night. Tiago, Desiree, and Hoover gasped. Tiago then quietly said not to say that so loud. Their parents are still baffled and scarred from the incident. Hoover suggest they discuss this where no one would listen.
As they walk out of town, they head to the serene woods. On their way there, Tiffany asks them if they wonder if that monster will come back. They stop and pondered for a moment. It’s as if they don’t know if it would come back. Tiffany tells them that she saw it go to the castle. Tiago turned startled and slowly turned his head towards Tiffany and then asked softly, “Don’t tell me you just went in there...”. Tiffany realized he wasn’t kidding and insisted she didn’t. She thought if anyone found out she went there, she’d be interrogated to the point she be avoided by others. She asked what was in there exactly. Tiago and Desiree told her no one knows exactly who was in there, but rumors were made after 2 people went in there and never returned. One man went in there and wasn‘t heard from again. The other was Tiffany’s mother, who was taken there after trespassing on it’s property. Tiffany felt traumatized when she found out why her mother was gone. But then she asked again, what was in there. Tiago insisted that that was all they know. Tiffany asked about any creatures that were in there. Desiree pointed out the monster that Tiffany claimed went in there. Tiffany rolled her eyes and said never mind.
As Tiffany eventually looked up into the sky, she stopped and saw what looked like a comet. It was the capsule tank and a rocket. As they head down, the rocket crashed into the forest. They were all startled and ran quickly into the forest to find it. Tom and Tabitha exit out of the rocket and began to execute phase 2. They disguised themselves to look like humans. Their plan was to pose as their creatures parents, as it was a human hybrid. As the capsule crashed down, the creature was ejected, crashed through the glass surrounding her, and slammed into a tree. Luckily, she wasn’t hurt since she was durable. Tom and Tabitha found her and immediately ran to her to help. The creature looked at the two asking who they are. Tom says he’s her father and Tabitha is her mom. The creature asked what happened. Tabitha says she slammed into a tree and lost consciousness for a second. Tiffany and her friends eventually make it into the forest and saw the creature, Tom, and Tabitha. Tiffany came in and asked who they are. Tom and Tabitha immediately turned around and saw Tiffany and her friends. Tom said that they game him a startle. He introduced himself and Tabitha and said that their daughter was sent flying into a tree. Tiffany asked was it from the sky. Tom and Tabitha began to sweat, thinking she might have been on to them. Tabitha asked her was that what it was. Tiffany said yes. The creature then ask what hit her. Tom realized that the creature doesn’t have any memory to keep up the charade. He thought up a lie that the creature must have gotten amnesia and they all bought it. The creature then asked what her name was. Tom and Tabitha were both silent for a moment. He pulled Tabitha towards him to intervene for a moment about her. After a few seconds of debating, Tom called the creature “Arlene”. Tiffany and her friends thought that was a nice name. She asked Arlene if she would like to come to DiamondVille and see if she could refresh her memory. Arlene asked Tom and Tabitha and they agreed they’d all go with Tiffany and her friends.
We enter DiamondVille as Tiffany and her friends introduce Arlene to what the town offers. She shows her some of the residence, the many different places here like the towns famous restaurant, the police house, the park, as well as City Hall. With the tour, Mayor Weber and his wife, Valerie, came in and asked what they were doing. Tiago told them they were introducing Arlene to the town. Mayor Weber was confused and asked who the heck is Arlene. She introduces herself to him but stopped because she didn’t know much about herself besides her name. Tom and Tabitha then explain her disability and say she’s trying to learn more about this place. Mayor Weber says maybe he could help her out. He told her to meet him at Dine’N’Eats restaurant and have a discussion on what goes on around here and what‘s happened. In the meantime, Tiffany offers Arlene to come to her house for a while.
As Tiffany takes Arlene to her house, she gives her a tour of the place. Arlene asked if she lives alone. Tiffany said yes and Arlene was concerned, asking why. Tiffany stops and stays silent of a moment. She sighs and says “My mom passed away after an incident with what happened up that fog hill as my friends claim”. Arlene felt so bad and asked what happened. Tiffany says her friends believe that something took her mom after she went to far in and she never got out of there ever since. It lead to the citizens believing she was dead and it took until her friends mentioned her to realize she was gone. She then sat down and started to cry. Arlene told Tiffany she’s sorry for what happened. Tiffany says it obviously wasn’t her fault and she didn’t need to apologize. Arlene claims she at least has a huge heart towards other people. She even called Tiffany “Friend”. She felt touched to hear her call her that. She gave Arlene a big hug, saying thank you. She then hug back. With that, we could tell Arlene made her first true friend. Tiffany then asked to take a picture with Arlene. They took two photos so each of them would have at least one. With that, Tiffany decided to put it in her collection of other pictures of her, by herself, with her friends, and even with her mom.
What About Tiberius?
We enter back into the castle, where we see Deacon walk down the corridor to his office. As he enters, he turns towards a bodybag and takes it off, revealing Tiberius. Tiberius tries to struggle his way out of the chains, but they’re too tight. Deacon ordered him to stop or face more drastic punishment. Tiberius stops and tries to remain calm. Deacon then asked Tiberius what he was doing exactly. Tiberius denied he was doing anything, but Deacon wasn’t pleased with his attitude. He warned him to either speak or go through one of 3 punishments, something bad(Phantom), something really bad(Robo-Drogan), or “You don’t want to know”. Tiberius still refused and Deacon was turning more angry. Kyle then called him saying he needs to discuss something with him. Tiberius was so lucky Deacon was called out. With Deacon out, Tiberius uses this opportunity to escape. He tries to quietly take off the shackles using his telekinesis hands, without waking up Phantom or...Punishment #3, I guess. He then tip toed out of the room, disguised himself, and head out of the castle with no one noticing. He then makes a run for DiamondVille hoping to find Arlene.
Arlene Takes DiamondVille
When Arlene walked around DiamondVille, she’s heard a lot of people discussing about her and her disability. Hearing them, she started feeling insecure. She started running and the more they were talking about her, the faster she was running. It wasn’t until she bumped into Mayor Weber, not paying attention. She helped him back up and apologize. Mayor Weber, being forgiving, puts his arm around her and brings her into the restaurant. They call in reservation and have a simple discussion. He asks her to talk about herself. Arlene explains all she really remembers is her name. Mayor Weber was concerned. Arlene’s “disability” has gone a bit farther than normal amnesia. She then asked what exactly is even going on here. He then told her about the cephalopod incident from last night. Arlene felt frightened, while at the same time asked if it was a giant. Mayor Weber was struck for a second and said yes. And then she asked if it ate farm animals. He felt like she was up to something. He asked her how she knew. Arlene said she’s had some visions of a cephalopod monster eating farm animals. He was like that was the exact incident. One guy overheard their conversation and spread the word.
As Arlene and Weber were leaving the restaurant, Weber was stopped by a random guy who asked he wanted to have a discussion with him in private. As he took him to Town Hall, Arlene decided to go walk around DiamondVille. As she was doing so, she heard people discuss the gossip about her knowing about the incident despite not being there for it. Arlene asked what they were talking about and Tiffany said they were talking about her discussion with Mayor Weber about the cephalopod incident. Arlene felt embarrassed that she was overheard. Everyone gathered around her asking her questions. She was being asked multiple questions at once. She tried to answer them all, but she was constantly cut off with other questions. Arlene felt like she was about to explode in stress. Feeling so insecure, she let out a wave of psychic energy, her hair made a wing formation, and she screamed “QUI-I-I-I-I-I-IE-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-ET!”. Her scream was so loud it eventually reached the castle where Deacon overheard the sound and fell of his seat. Tom and Tabitha heard the screaming and immediately ran towards her. Arlene was panting in frustration, not noticing what’s happened. Everyone backed away from Arlene when they saw her hair formed a pair of wings. Tiffany said, “Arlene...uh...your hair?”. Arlene was like, “WHAT ABOUT IT?!”. She looked up, saw it, and began to panic in fear. Tom and Tabitha felt like there cover was blown. As such, they immediately ran towards Arlene and took her somewhere private, telling everyone to excuse them for a moment.
- Brittany Murphy as Arlene (Also referred to as “The Creature”)
- Grey Griffin as Tiffany
- Robert Nadal as Mayor “Richard” Weber
- Spencer Breslin as Hoover Weber
- Tara Strong as Desiree Weber
- Elijah Wood as Tiago Weber
- Will Ferrell as Kyle
- Jim Cummings as Deacon
- Robin Williams as Tiberius
- Patton Oswalt as Thomas
- Winona Ryder as Tabitha
- Thurl Ravenscroft as The Colossal Cephalopod(Final Film Role)
- Paul Reubens as Joey the Parrot
- Nicole Oliver as Valerie Weber
- Julie Andrews as Evelyn Weber
- Robert Nadal as Ripjaw & Phantom
- Robert Nadal
- Jim Cummings
- Grey DeLisle
- Paul Reubens
- Jill Talley
- Tom Kenny
- Russi Taylor
- Dan Castellaneta
- Hank Azaria
The film premiered in El Capitan Theater on July 12, 1999.
The film was released in theaters worldwide on July 15, 1999. The film would be accompanied with the Fairly Oddparents short, The Zappys.