The film was released on August 28, 2012 as a double feature with Big Time Movie.
Rags follows the story of character Charlie Prince (Max Schneider), who lives with his mean stepfather Arthur (Robert Moloney), and two stepbrothers: spoiled Andrew (Keenan Tracey), and nicer Lloyd (Burkely Duffield). The story also follows Kadee Worth (Keke Palmer), a superstar with an overprotective music mogul father Reginald Worth (Isaiah Mustafa) and his personal assistant Erma (Devon Weigel).
The film begins with Shawn's (Drake Bell) narration that leads into the opening scene, depicting a street performance by Charlie with him performing with several dancers while trying to earn money. Shawn appears in the scene and observes Charlie perform a song entitled, Someday. Afterwards, Shawn states that the next time he sees Charlie; he wants it to be on the cover of an album. Charlie sees Kadee Worth on the side of a bus and the scene then cuts to Kadee filming the music video for her new song, "Love You, Hate You" and it's revealed to the viewers that Kadee is secretly frustrated with singing songs that other people have chosen for her.
The audience is then shown the karaoke venue that serves as Charlie's home. After talking to Diego and Martha, his parent figures, Charlie is shown singing "Someday" while cleaning the karaoke stage, during which he is interrupted by his stepfather, Arthur, who criticizes him, then has Charlie's stepbrothers Andrew and Lloyd perform their act as "Androyd" (a parody of Jedward) in front of a prospective customer. She, along with most people who see the act, is less than thrilled, but Arthur fails to see the flaws in Androyd's performances.
The movie then cuts back to Kadee, who is shown with her "boyfriend" Finn (Avan Jogia). It's visible in this scene that she is uncomfortable with and dislikes the arrangement her father made between her and Finn. She is then seen walking her dog, Trumpet, who pulls away from her in an effort to get to Charlie, who is walking up the street. Kadee drops her pages of song lyrics on the ground and into a nearby fountain, and Charlie realizes who she is while helping her collecting her notes. He then starts to read one of the pages, but she pulls it away from him, stating that the words are private. She then runs off to find Trumpet.
Charlie is seen entering Majesty Records to drop off the audition CD created by Androyd for the Majesty Record's Talent Search. The secretary informs him that applications for the janitor job are available on the desk, and Shawn comes by as Charlie is filling one out. After Charlie leaves, Shawn tells the secretary to ensure that Charlie is given the position. Charlie is then seen entering a pawn shop, where he makes a payment on a piano that once belonged to his mother. After making his payment, he performs in the shop for the customers and shop keeper's enjoyment.
Charlie gets the janitor job, and is next seen cleaning in Kadee's father's office and looking at his pictures of Kadee and him. When Kadee and two of her friends walk in, he hastily hides the picture he was looking at behind his back and tries to lie about it to Kadee after which she tells him that he is a terrible liar, to which he agrees. Finn then appears and he and Kadee go to a party, during which he hogs the camera and puts himself in the spotlight.
Charlie sneaks in through the bathroom window that night after breaking curfew so that Arthur does not discover him. Meanwhile, Kadee is seen singing one of her original songs that night while wishing that she could show them to the world.
The next day, Charlie is cleaning when he wanders into the studio at Majesty Records. He begins to sing, just messing around, when Shawn starts to record him. Shawn then informs Charlie that as long as he doesn't tell anyone, he will record a demo for Charlie.
Androyd receives a letter of rejection from Majesty Records, stating that they were not finalists in the contest. Arthur then becomes set on finding a way to get into the masquerade party so that he can change the mind of Kadee’s father Reginald Worth. Kadee is seen following Charlie to the pawn shop where Charlie, after singing "Perfect Harmony" with Kadee, discovers that she isn't true to the lyrics she writes. Knowing this he tries to help her, and takes her to perform on the street, where she sings one of her original songs, during which the crowd is broken up by a police officer.
Kadee gives Charlie a party invitation to the Majesty Records' Masquerade, after he helps her express her true self. Charlie, late for his curfew, sneaks in through the restroom window again, but this time his stepfather is waiting for him. After walking away, Arthur follows Charlie and snatches the invitation from him. Once he sees that it's an invitation to the masquerade he steals it from Charlie saying that instead of it going to waste, he's going to use it to get "Androyd" into the party to perform.
Diego and Martha decide to help Charlie go to the party by making a suit for him out of stage curtains and a mask from a blindfold so that Arthur won't recognize him. At the party, Charlie, in his disguise, is almost discovered by his stepfather, but before Arthur finds him, he escapes into the crowd. During the dance, when everyone is ordered to turn and change partners, he emerges from the crowd and takes Kadee as his partner. He dances with Kadee, and tells her to just be herself. Afterwards, Androyd performs first but is booed offstage, and Shawn tells Charlie to go perform. He sings "Not So Different At All," then sees that Arthur and his stepbrothers are leaving, so he runs away to try to get home before them. Charlie sees Kadee, who came finding out who he was, and kisses her, and before leaving tells her "Be you." As he runs away he drops his demo ("RAGS"), the recording that Shawn made him, and Kadee picks it up before returning to the party. Diego and Martha help distract Arthur so that Charlie can get back in without being discovered.
The next day, Kadee tries to talk her father into help her search for Rags, but he refuses, so instead she visits Charlie and presents him with music from Rags' demo, unaware that he is Rags. He then tries to tell Kadee that he is Rags, but she's listening to the demo and doesn't hear him. Later, Lloyd confronts Charlie saying that he knows he is Rags, but instead of snitching him out he congratulates him and tries to convince a redundant Charlie, to admit to Kadee that he is Rags. Andrew overhears their conversation and looks through Charlie's belongings, finding the lyrics to "Someday" (the song required for Kadee's Rags audition search) and shows it to Arthur.
Charlie goes to the auditions to "help" Kadee find Rags. Before auditions start, he tells her not to worry and tells her "Just Be You" which suprises her. His stepbrother Andrew then shows up and tells him that his stepfather wants him. Arthur confronts him about Rags and "congratulates" him. Arthur then shoves Charlie into a closet and locks him in, saying he is going to introduce Andrew to the crowd as Rags. When Charlie is banging on the door, Trumpet hears him and brings Kadee's friends to help him. However, Andrew had already gone on and "proven" that he is Rags, though Kadee still appears skeptical. At the after party, Charlie, devastated, decides to move out and leave when Kadee stops him and asks him to stay, at least until she introduces Rags. Kadee surprises everyone by saying that she knows Rags is really Charlie. His stepbrother Lloyd, having been betrayed by Arthur and Andrew, then reveals that Charlie's mom had left the place to Charlie, not Arthur. Kadee kisses Charlie and the scene fades to the future where they are on the same stage, now boyfriend and girlfriend and the new stars of Majesty Records. Diego and Martha are both shown to run Charlie's shop, Lloyd is one of the backup dancers, and Arthur and Andrew are cleaning toilets. Charlie gets his "fairytale ending".Max Schneider as Charlie Prince (Cinderfella). A talented, young musician with the hopes of being famous.
Keke Palmer as Kadee Worth ("Princess Charming"). A famous pop singer who befriends Charlie. She helps him with his dreams, and he helps her see what she really wants.
Drake Bell as Shawn (the "Fairy Godfather"), a studio technician at Majesty Records who helps Charlie produce his demo CD that leads Kadee to Rags.
Avan Jogia as Finn, Kadee's rockstar ex-boyfriend.
Zak Santiago as Diego, a worker with Martha at Arthur's store and Charlie's father figure.
Christina Sicoli as Martha, a worker with Diego at Arthur's store and Charlie's mother figure.
Burkely Duffield as Lloyd McGowens, Charlie's nicer and more friendly stepbrother.
Keenan Tracey as Andrew McGowens, Charlie's spoiled and selfish stepbrother.
Isaiah Mustafa as Reginald Worth, Kadee's father.
Robert Moloney as Arthur McGowens, Charlie's horrible, evil stepfather and Andrew and Lloyd's father.
Nick Cannon as Himself
Devon Weigel as Erna, Reginald Worth's assistant.
Tracy Spiridakos as Sammi, Kadee's friend.
Carlena Britch as Tammy, Kadee's friend and back-up dancer.
Maggie Ma as the Majesty Records receptionist
Filming took place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada from May to July 2011. The film premiered on Nickelodeon in the USA on Monday May 28, 2012.
The film received 3.5 million viewers, however it earned 4.6 million total viewers (Live + 7 day) becoming one of Nickelodeon's highest rated original films. As well, the film shot to the top of the iTunes sales charts, debuting as the #1 musical on iTunes and remaining atop the charts for more than a month.
The film received 139,000 on Nickelodeon in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Rags (Music from the Original Movie) is a soundtrack album by the film of the same name, released on May 22, 2012 by Nick Records. All the songs was produced by Darkchild and Andre Lindal. It includes nine songs featured by Keke Palmer and Max Schneider, with three bonus tracks. It was released on May 21 on iTunes. The soundtrack has peaked at #1 on the iTunes soundtrack albums chart and #3 on the Top 100 albums on iTunes chart.Track listing
The film is expected to premiere across most of Nickelodeon's networks throughout the month of August 2012.