The everyday life of Arnold, a 4th-grader in a nameless city that resembles Brooklyn, New York, who lives in a multi-racial boarding house with his grandparents and a motley assortment of neighbors and friends.
Jamil Walker Smith,
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Invader ZIM is an eccentric alien soldier from the planet Irk. He was banished from the Irken Empire after nearly destroying his home planet on an early mission. After begging his superiors, the Almighty Tallest Red and Purple, for another chance, they decide to get rid of him once and for all. They trick him into going on a "secret mission" to an obscure planet at the edge of the universe, a planet with the unlikely name of Earth. Their trick works, and now ZIM is intent on bringing down the human race. He disguises himself as a schoolboy, and now the only person who can stop him is one kid - Dib Membrane, a somewhat insane paranormal researcher, who sees straight through ZIM's disguise and is intent on stopping his reign of terror. But neither ZIM nor Dib is very good at their job, and what results is everything imaginable, from a giant hamster destroying the city to both ZIM and Dib being turned into bologna meat. Written by
[Zim kicks open the classroom door after a bathroom break]
My business is done!
Who takes three hours to go to the bathroom *before* lunch, Zim?
Nonsense! I had much to do! SO MUCH!
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What can you say about Invader Zim? If I could, I'd just call it abso-friggin-lutley-fan-bloody-tastic and leave it at that. But I obviously can't do that or my review would be much too short.
The show was about an alien from Irk, a military planet bent on conquering the galaxy. They did this by sending out invaders to study the planets' weaknesses, softening them up for the Irken armada. Enter Zim, who single-handedly ruined the first attempt at galactic conquest by accidentally attacking the planet. He's also very short and since height determines status on Irk, this is bad for him. He "quits being banished" when he hears about Operation Impending Doom II and begs the Almighty Tallest (leaders of the planet--remember the height thing)? for a second chance. They finally send him to a "secret planet," expecting him to die and thus be out of their way for good. Zim doesn't die, but arrives on Earth, where he makes himself a very crude disguise and house. He joins the skool (I'm not kidding, that's the way it's spelled all throughout the show) hoping to learn more about the planet, and that's where he meets Dib. Dib loves paranormal things and is the only one who sees through the disguise...but of course no one believes him. From that point on, Zim tries to destroy the earth and Dib tries to capture/expose him for what he really is. This isn't a pathetic "Ash and Team Rocket" rivalry either. These guys think nothing of killing each other, especially in Zim's case. Look to episodes like "Dark Harvest," "Room with a Moose," and "Nanozim" for proof. It can get pretty dark, though still pretty appropriate for kids. My 9 year old cousin likes it fine.
There are so many good things about this show I don't know where to begin. The animation is what you'd expect from Jhonen Vasquez, and puts other cartoons I've seen to shame (*coughWildThornberriescough*). The music matches the mood of the show, from the pulsing theme to the surreal disco of the Mexico scene in "Walk of Doom." Flawless voice acting-especially with Richard Horvitz, who can turn Zim from evil to adorable in seconds, and Rikki Simons who masters Zim's idiotic robot slave, GIR. There's a lot of background behind the plot and characters. If you care to look, you can find information on the Irken's history, biology, and economy-it's really a smart show! The secondary characters are amazing too. Miss Bitters is the creepy teacher with some of the funniest lines in the show ("The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions"). Gaz is Dib's Gothic sister who plays video games nonstop. Even the people standing in the background can give you a laugh (and be sure to look for the many cameos!)
And to think that all this was canceled, probably to make room for more Spongebob and Jimmy Neutron. The way Nick slowly killed the show through budget cuts and censorship proved they don't want to entertain older viewers like they did in the old days, so in a way the whole channel died with the show.
Good-bye Zim. Thank you for the gift of laughter we can never repay.
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