Nickelodeon is often remembered as the network that can't get enough of SpongeBob SquarePants. The network is largely focused around cartoons that appeal to both children and adults, leading to the creation of beloved shows like Danny Phantom, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Invader Zim. Many people have an attachment to Nickelodeon's shows and characters, which makes them one of the most popular networks of all time.
That said, Nickelodeon has been successful enough that they decided to branch out from their normal 11-minute episodes. Instead, they've gone for Hollywood itself by creating several big movies, both animated and live-action, in the hopes of capturing the success of their TV shows. While they did create some nice movies that fans of the network enjoyed, their larger attempts at moving to massive movies have proven unsuccessful.
They tried to start their own movie franchises while giving their numerous popular shows feature-length films of their own. It's unfortunate that so many of them were either downright terrible or just forgettable. With such a hold on many people's nostalgia, one would think it would be easy for them to replicate that success. Big business seemed to get in the way, and Nickelodeon favored money over genuinely great works.
When it comes to movies, Nickelodeon fans have a lot to be disappointed about. That leads us to 25 Nickelodeon movies that fans pretend don't exist. For this list, we are including any movie that Nickelodeon helped distribute and produce, so expect there to be a wider pool of films.
25 Harriet The Spy
Harriet the Spy was a classic book, but the nature of its story was never going to make for a great film. While there are defenders of Nickelodeon's Harriet the Spy film, it's ultimately just a lackluster children's movie that doesn't understand how to properly move from scene to scene. Criticisms of the film included the child acting and how the story haphazardly jumped from moment to moment with no rhyme or reason. It also has a conflicting message for children that can be concerning for parents.
24 Good Burger
An awkward and nonsensical film about some silly young boys trying to save a silly restaurant is all you really need to know about Good Burger. When it comes to in-your-face absurd humor, there are plenty of other films that do it much better.
The acting is seriously overdone, but the film somehow follows just about every cliche one can think of nowadays.
It's gross, weird, and a product of its time.
23 The Rugrats Movie
The Rugrats Movie was when Nickelodeon started taking their shows and bringing them to the big screen. While the result was something that young kids who loved the show would enjoy, it didn't offer much else for anyone watching. Adding musical numbers that offered nothing to the story, the film wasn't much to remember. The only area where it improved from the cartoon was in the animation quality. Thankfully, movies starring the Rugrats were much better going forward, bringing them to Paris.
22 Snow Day
Snow Day is a movie about the magical things that can happen on a snow day. A guy tries to ask the girl of his dreams out, while a young girl tries to stop the sinister plowman so that they can have a second snow day. This is an actual movie written by adults. Everything in the movie is so dull and egregiously targeted toward kids that it feels so lifeless and corporate. It's a prime example of when adults that want money try to make an easy movie that children will beg their parents to go see.
A lot of the movies on this list are made with so little care and effort that they fail to leave a lasting impression. They're just forgettable, and that goes for Clockstoppers as well. A boy finds a watch that can stop time around him, but there's a certain government conspiracy trying to stop him. It's all done in that child-oriented goofy, good vs. bad way, so there's not much to take away from the movie. For a movie called Clockstoppers, it certainly made the clock seem to move much slower.
20 Hey Arnold! The Movie
The biggest problem with Hey Arnold! The Movie is that it's overall inconsequential to the narrative of the show. You could watch the entire series, skip this movie, and lose nothing in the process.
Furthermore, it manages to squeeze the premise of a single episode and try to make a feature-length film out of it, which it fails to do in spades.
It also does the old, "give the fans the moment they want and then completely double back" bit with Arnold and Helga.
19 A Series Of Unfortunate Events
Jim Carrey does a great job as Count Olaf. That's about where the good ends with A Series of Unfortunate Events. Trying to squeeze a few books into a single movie is never a good idea, and it shows with this film. The script and lack of a real ending hurt the movie overall, and no sequel was ever made. Netflix would later be the one to pick up the property and create their own adaptation in the form of a series that was much better received.
18 Nacho Libre
Jack Black stars in a movie about Luchadors. That's all you need to know. Despite having the right people in place to make an absurd but memorable comedy, Nacho Libre falls flat on its face many times, relying on slapstick humor and Jack Black to carry it through to the end. It's sad that the movie just feels lifeless and like it's trying too hard to be funny. Jack Black is a funny guy, but he's better served in movies that have decent writing, like School of Rock or Kung Fu Panda.
Remember this old movie? Barnyard began as a Nickelodeon animated film that was later brought to the TV show Back at the Barnyard. However, neither were all that good. Barnyard was a film that starred talking animals with ridiculous humor that never landed. It was made entirely with CGI, leading to a look that aged horribly. It was a product of its time, being reminiscent of the era where many filmmakers were trying to make CGI movies with talking animals. It's just better being left in the past.
16 The Spiderwick Chronicles
Another attempt from Nickelodeon to start a film franchise, The Spiderwick Chronicles suffered from the age-old problem of trying to cram too many things into a limited amount of time.
The movie rushed toward its ending, where it all fizzled toward a final act.
There was a lot more detail that could've been used from the books, but the movie didn't want to do any of the legwork. CGI was used for all the monsters too, and none of them look very good anymore.
15 Hotel For Dogs
Hotel for Dogs had a premise that could've led to something very memorable and charming, but the movie ends up feeling generic and corporate. The acting and drama in the film feel like something one would find in a Disney Channel movie, which has much less production value going into it. It's cute and fun for kids, but anyone else is going to have a hard time sitting through this one while staying awake. There are better dog movies on the market anyway.
14 Angus, Thongs, And Perfect Snogging
Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging is an awkward title that appropriately reflects the kind of movie it is. It's a teenage movie about a girl who feels misunderstood by her parents and is trying to navigate the realm of relationships at an early age. Every character is portrayed in perfect stereotype fashion, so there's nothing out of the ordinary happening. Honestly, it's just a by-the-numbers teenage film with nothing to differentiate it from the rest of the crowd. It's also strangely mature with its dialogue.
13 Imagine That
Imagine That is a movie about a single father so buried in his work that he doesn't have time for his young daughter. You can fill in the rest. It's another movie that plays everything safe. While Eddie Murphy does star in the film, it's far from his best work. It features the father doing silly things just to bond with his daughter and greedy corporate officials trying to get involved. It's the type of film that you've seen one hundred times before you even press play.
12 The Last Airbender
Regarded as one of the worst movies of all time, The Last Airbender is one of the worst excuses for an adaptation in history. Taking all of the charm, humor, wit, and great writing out of Avatar: The Last Airbender, the film replaces it with boring exposition, awful acting, inaccurate characters, and some of the worst CGI to date. This movie reaches a whole new level of bad because the source material was there to create something astounding. The fact that it failed so hard is just downright inexcusable.
11 The Adventures Of Tintin
The Adventures of Tintin is wonderful and weird at times, but each great moment is bookended by something equally ridiculous and strange. The film has some nice characters, but the inconsistencies of others and odd pacing of the story prevent it from being anything other than middle-of-the-road. As far as motion capture animated movies go, The Adventures of Tintin is probably one of the best-looking, but as a film on its own, it needed a bit more work done before its release.
10 Rugrats Go Wild
Some people might be a bit astounded to see this film on the list, but Rugrats Go Wild is honestly not that great of a movie. All of the novelty is in seeing the Rugrats and the Thornberrys on screen at the same time.
Everything outside of that is standard children's fare.
Chock full of movie and song references that became instantly out of date, it proved that the crossover was all this movie had to offer. There wasn't anything of substance to be found with these two wacky families meeting for the first time.
9 Fun Size
Fun Size is a movie that is part teen film, part romantic comedy, and part children's flick. Mashing these three things together creates a movie that is every bit as hard to watch as it is annoying. It belongs right next to Disney Channel's worst productions for throwing in every single cliche on the planet right next to bad acting and pacing. It's a movie that never feels like it's trying to achieve anything. It just exists to get children and teenagers interested enough to pay money to watch it.
8 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
After Michael Bay all but ruined the Transformers, his style made its way to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Despite the few good moments in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the movie is an unnecessarily gritty reboot of beloved characters. The new designs make the turtles look scary rather than cool, the focus on Megan Fox wasn't needed and felt out of place, and Shredder was just a weird robot with tons of knives. The movie had essentially one good action scene, and that was about it.
7 The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water
Tons of people love SpongeBob SquarePants, but most people agree that after the first movie, the series went downhill. There were a lot of hopes for a second movie in the form of Sponge Out of Water, but they were quickly dashed. Where the first film felt like a continuous episode of Bikini Bottom's best characters, this one felt like five strung together for no reason. The animation was vastly improved, but the direction was practically nonexistent and the marketing was extremely confusing. That part where they become superheroes is only in the last section of the movie.
6 Monster Trucks
It's a truck that has a monster inside. Get it? Monster Trucks feels like a generic 90s film, complete with corporate villains, characters that are in high school despite looking significantly older, and a cute creature that brings them all together. The problem is that this movie came out in 2017 and was riddled with poor CGI, over-reliance on special effects, bad acting, and a bizarre script. Everything was working against this movie from the start, so it comes as no surprise that it turned out to be a flop.
In a nutshell, Rags is Cinderella set in the modern era and with the genders flipped. There's a girl who is already a pop star and a young man who wants to get his big break but doesn't have the support of his family. From the start, it's clear that the movie was made for its peppy soundtrack, as the story is constantly being put on pause to introduce a new song.
It's extremely predictable, but the movie is mostly harmless.
Once it's over, it's likely that you'll forget all about it and move on to the next thing.
4 A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner!
If you thought The Fairly OddParents was running out of ideas, wait until you see A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner!. The movie shows Timmy as a young adult, still immature to the point where he keeps Cosmo and Wanda. Seeing Timmy portrayed that way is weird rather than sympathetic (he even manages to stay in the fifth grade). The movie also spawned two sequels, the last of which turned Timmy into a fairy but as a young boy again. None of these movies made any sense, and they raised many more questions than they answered.
3 The Boy Who Cried Werewolf
The Boy Who Cried Werewolf is a horror film starring a girl that was extremely popular at the time and ends with a pointless musical number. While the film isn't nearly as awful as it could be, there's not a lot to enjoy with it either. Despite having horror elements, it's never as creepy or scary as it wants the audience to think. Being a made-for-TV movie, the production value is very low, leading to both acting and special effects that feel tacked on at best.
2 The Naked Brothers Band Movie
The Naked Brothers Band Movie is sort of a documentary that follows the titular Brothers Band. It's similar to Disney's Jonas TV show, but without any of the clever comedy or heart involved (that's saying something too). The film ends up feeling pointless as it follows two young boys who complain about their fame, which somehow makes them more grating than they already were. It feels so disconnected from the audience that it's actually annoying to watch. Just skip this one.
1 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows
Many were hoping that the people behind Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would learn from their mistakes. However, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles goes to the completely opposite side of the spectrum, offering an experience that is way too campy and overstuffed for its own good.
Despite throwing in characters like Casey Jones, Bebop, and Rocksteady, they're all way too over-the-top for the tone the film is aiming toward.
There's also a strangely manufactured conflict between the turtles themselves, and it's just better to stick with the classic cartoon.