Better than the live action film, but pretty average overall
Watching this right after watching To Riverdale and Back Again I didn’t have high hopes for it to be any good. It’s definitely better than that movie, but its not great.
The plot centres around an ancestor of Jughead being thawed out due to a geothermal heating system. At first he creates havoc and people mistake him for Jughead, prompting the gang to go looking for him. One makeover later and he becomes a local hero when he wins an American football match by accident. Then Reggie, Archie’s frenemy, finds out the truth about Jugman and hatches a plot to become famous from it, after being snubbed when asking Ronnie to the homecoming dance.
What’s good about the movie is that the characters are true to the comic. The plot is more interesting as well, but it’s not overly exciting. They also used most of the voice actors from the show, so for fans that will be a bonus. It’s also easy for people unfamiliar with the comic to follow along (like myself, although I did research it for my reviews).
The animation is pretty basic even for 2002. The plot is basically a standard episode plot stretched out a bit (I believe they actually made an episode of the series based on the movie) but it’s not a bad plot, although for the running time certain elements could have been developed a bit more. It was also pretty predictable.
Those flaws could have seemed better at the time of release, as it could be that it just hasn’t aged well, but then again Bambi is 75 years old and looks better than this, in my opinion. Having said that, I did find it a lot easier to watch than the previous movie. I think because it’s aimed at a much younger audience than me, that audience may like it slightly more. Nowadays, though, the quality is such that it’s not going to be more than a one time viewing.