Static Cling gives a classic Rocko's storyline a positive twist
The trick is that the in-universe show The Fatheads was created by Rachel Bighead -- a character we encounter in the episodes "I Have No Son!" and "Wacky Delly," when the transgender character had not yet transitioned and was still using the name "Ralph." This twist in Static Cling is nothing short of extraordinary and a surprising commentary on both the film's core theme of change, which Rocko and his friends, and later the Bigheads (Mr. Bighead in particular), all have to adapt to if they want to, respectively, live in a modern world and enjoy a relationship with each other as family members.
It's also a natural progression of Rachel Bighead's storyline, one that was always a meta-commentary on cartooning. Rachel in the '90s and in 2019 was voiced by series creator Joe Murray. Murray and his team wrote the character in the original series as a disillusioned cartoonist whose choice to be an artist instead of a worker bee had caused a deep rift in the Bighead family. After those episodes resolved that tension, Static Cling quickly establishes a backstory where Rachel still hadn't come out to her parents, becomes estranged from them in the process, and also stops producing her art. Her journey to accomplish all three things, and her father's journey to accepting her, is the soul of this movie and is executed with a level of nuance that's rare in any medium, let alone a 45-minute slapstick cartoon.
"The younger characters accept Rachel immediately; recognizing she's still their friend," Nick Adams of GLAAD, who consulted on the film, told EW. "And while Rachel's father is slow to accept change within his own family, even he realizes that loving your child should be unconditional."
Static Cling also never essentializes Rachel as someone other than the dynamic, three-dimensional character she always has been. We get every indication that she's led a rich, globetrotting interior life before we meet her again. And when we finally do, she seems happier selling freeze pops from a food truck than when she was cartooning, presumably because she's getting used to living a fuller life as herself. The invitation to return to her artistic pursuit feels almost like a bother. "I'll do it for my parents," she says, because personal priorities matter more to her.