This article is about the animated cartoon series Rocket Power. To learn about spacecraft propulsion systems, please visit spacecraft propulsion.

Table of contents
1 About the show
2 External Links

About the show

Rocket Power is an animated series which debuted on the Nickelodeon TV channel in August of 1999. Produced at Klasky Csupo Inc of Los Angeles (the creators of the Rugrats media franchise), the show revolves around the day to day adventures of (at present) middle-school age extreme sports enthusiasts who live in the fictitious Southern California beach resort town of Ocean Shores, where they enjoy surfing, roller skating, skateboarding, bicycling, street hockey, and other active pastimes. In fact, due to the activities in the subject matter, the producers retained a Surfer Magazine staff member [1] as a language and technical consultant to make sure that things like ocean waves and skate park halfpipes worked with some degree of credibility.


The principal characters in the show are:

  • Oswald "Otto" Rocket (Joseph Ashton), an obsessive, compulsive, and all-too successful and courageous athlete whose cheeky attitude and short sighted judgment often get him into trouble.
  • Regina "Reggie" Rocket (Shayna Fox), Otto's big sister by two years, an aspiring publisher who while no less competitive and skillful as an athlete happens to be of calmer disposition (she's the type of girl who would withdraw from a competition simply to serve punishment at home... and she has, too, in Rainy Days and Sundaes).
  • Maurice "Twister" Rodriguez (Ulises Cuadra; Gilbert Leal), who is Otto's best friend, a daredevil on wheels and aspiring videographer. He hates to be called by his real name, and he is bullied around by his big brother, Lars.
  • Sam Dullard (Sam Saletta; Gary LeRoi Gray; Sean Marquette) (also known as "the Squid"), a Hutchinson, Kansas native and relative newcomer, who while not as athletically gifted as the others has found a niche as the brains and conscience of the group--and also as a rock-solid goalie when they play hockey.

Other characters include:

  • Raymundo "Ray" Rocket (John Kassir), the widowed fortysomething father of Otto and Reggie and the owner of the Shore Shack (a beachside diner where the gang often chow down).
  • Tito Makani Jr. (Ray Bumatai), a Hawaiian surfer and self-styled philosopher who helps his old friend Raymundo run the business. He has a young nephew who occasionally visits from the islands, named Keoni Makani (professional surfer Matty Liu), who has appeared in a few episodes.
  • Lars Rodriguez (Lombardo Boyar), a teenage tough guy, has taken it upon himself to make life difficult for his little brother Twister and the other kids from time to time. He is often seen in the company of his homeboys Pi, Sputs, and Animal.
  • Eddie Valentine (Jordan Warkol), the self-styled "Prince of the Netherworld," is a sometime participant in the Rockets' activities and a frequent target of Lars' bullying. The son of a magician couple, he favors an outfit of a hooded cloak and a scary mask reminiscent of Darth Maul.
  • Officer Shirley (CCH Pounder) does what she can to keep the peace.
  • Breezy Copeley (Jane Krakowski) joined the cast midway through the 3rd season as a worker at the Shore Shack (it also doubles as a surfing goods shop).

More about the show

A made for TV
movie, Race Across New Zealand, was shown on Nickelodeon in February 2002 (opposite the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, no less) and featured activities such as zorb riding and floating down underground streams, as part of a junior sports competition. Another telefilm based on the series, Reggie's Big (Beach) Break, centering on a spring-break type sports and music beach festival, aired on that channel in July of 2003. Klasky-Csupo announced shortly thereafter in their online newsletter that a third telefilm, Island of the Menehune, about a trip to Hawaii and introducing information about Raymundo's late wife (who would get a brief mention in the show's Christmas special that December), would be shown on Nick at some time in the future ... that announcement also surprised many fans by saying that Raymundo would get a new girlfriend in Hawaii (this was subsequently confirmed in a later edition), as some fans had believed that Klasky-Csupo had been hinting (There's Something About Breezy, as well as Breezy's bio at the studio site) that Breezy would become a permanent addition to the Rocket family. The show has also had cameos from sports figures, for example skaters Tony Hawk (Enter the Hawk-trix) and Andy MacDonald (Beach Break), and hockey players Luc Robataille and Martin Brodeur (Power Play... to some fans' disappointment, their cameos proved rather anticlimactic). There have also been episodes on rather unusual topics: Radical New Equipment featured a (rather competitive) handicapped girl snowboarder and won an award from The Association for the Severely Handicapped, while Major Scrummage revolved around Reggie's desire to play rugby, a sport relatively unknown in the US.

Off the screen

Other projects related to Rocket Power and developed under the aegis of Klasky-Csupo and/or Nickelodeon have included Beach Bandits, a popular problem-solving video game, and Maximum Rocket Power Live, a live-action extreme-sports dramatic arena play that briefly toured the U.S. Midwest in spring 2002, before being cancelled over low ticket sales (it had originally been scheduled to tour about 40 cities all over the U.S., all the way into the fall).

Points of view

Fans of the show proudly point to the virtues of friendship, mutual loyalty, and physical activity exhibited by the principal characters, as well as the fact that ethnic characters in the show are voiced by ethnic talent (Nickelodeon's usual practice... on this show, this briefly had its own quirk when they had to explain Cuadra's deepened voice by having Twister get a deeper voice as well in Cinco Del Twisto, before they eventually replaced Cuadra with Leal). As well, critics have noted the Reggie character as a strong, positive, and confident female role model not falling within cultural stereotypes (in fact, in New Zealand, she actually tied for first with Otto in the junior sports competition, competing against other boys, and in Beach Break, she got a job reporting for the sports fest). Health and safety advocates have also noted the show's emphasis on active lifestyles and the use of pads and helmets in activities where their use is recommended.

Detractors of the show are bothered by the Otto character being so capable, the Twister character being somewhat clueless, the unrealistic slang the characters use (itself addressed in The Lingos), and hardly anybody ever getting hurt doing the activities depicted, though in one episode, Otto's Big Break, Otto was seen with a leg cast as a result of a snowboarding accident, and in another, Womp Race 2000, Sam was hospitalised by a skateboarding mishap.

External Links