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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.
Like most, I was shocked and extremely disappointed with Nick when they
pulled the plug on this show. Not that I have anything against them,
they're an alright company (though I loathe Rugrats, they seriously
overplay that toon). But you think that a network that wants as many
good shows as it can get would hang on to something this unique. Alas
they wanted save face and keep their kiddie image. So when they went to
the creator to tone down its...aggressive nature. He refused on most
accounts and well, you know the rest. Still in its aftermath, the show
has gained a tons of fans, merchandise and a huge effort to get it back
on the air (though i doubt its possible due to the creator's statement
about never working in animation again...quitter :P).
I've been with the show ever since its premiere and its taken awhile to grow on me but thats mainly due to extreme craziness this show belts out. Common sense is just thrown out the window in IZ though you can still make out the stories between the screaming and mayhem. And what a bunch of stories, I've never seen such creativeness crammed into thirty minutes. The writers take such simple concepts and really go nuts with them. Your always expecting one thing then something just jump out of nowhere to really make you head spin. And with characters as wired as Zim or as annoying as Dib, why wouldn't it. And the humor, oh it just got to be seen to believed. A perfect blend of sci-fi and dark humor. All I can tell you is by the time the credits roll, you be grasping for air due to all the laughing (considering you have a taste in this type of stuff). I can kinda see why Nick was a little uneasy with most of the content. Its not vulgar but it is a little disturbing now and then.
Artwise, its an very unique style. Cute yet creepy with a nice blend of colors and shading. The CGI parts aren't bad neither especially with its use of camera on action scenes. The only flaw I noticed about it is that the lips can't keep up with the words half the time. But that a usual problem most cartoons have, so it can be overlooked.
Music, well done with dramatic beats that really enhance the craziness of the situations. Ditto on the voice acting as they match up to the characters really well. Even the background characters are worth listening too.
Overall, it was a fine series while it lasted and was unfairly canned due to the network not having it way (and mean seriously Nick, "buget problems". If you can't admit you had personal problems with the show. Then your not the network I watched as a kid). I doubt we'll ever get a show like this again but at least fans can enjoy it on the rightly deserved DVDs. VICTORY! VICTORY FOR THE ZIM FANS!
Nickelodeon what were you dudes on? Canceling this show? DUH! Nothing you have ever had can compete with this twisted, hilarius and witty masterpiece. Okay a small idiot alien (who I love) tries to take over the Earth with his even more idiolice robot sidekick (who I also love) and a paranormal phenomon (which I am very interested in) freak (who I think is okay) clashing in their quests for dominance. SO original so rich in quality, AND NOW LOOK! I have nothing agaisnt the Wild Throneberries or the Fairly Oddparents but Im too old for them and everyone hates your network now. The Chalk Zone, Rocket Power, Rugrats and that Butt-Ugy martians show along with the sumo wrestler show are not popular but Zimmy is so if I were you guys I'd put this show back on. It's the only nicktoon teens watch.
This has to be one of the smartest and funniest animated shows ever. I rarely watched Nick before this show came on after seeing how badly they screwed up their line up. Now I'm tuning in every Friday to watch this show. It has excellent writing. I have honestly never laughed so hard by watching a Nick show in so long. All the characters are a riot. The show has great animation and also a spooky style to match. Invader ZIM is the best show on Nick by far. None of the other Nick shows come close. Invader ZIM is a winner and I hope it continues.
Sometimes, there comes along a animated show which will be remembered for
all time, now with all the anime we see on today's screens, we start to
think, what happened to all the truly great American cartoons, well, this is
the response to all that.
Invader ZIM is the story of a one alien trying to dominate Earth, along with his robot sidekick GIR, he tries but we all know he will fail, such is the story which is Invader ZIM.
Now that I've got that down, let me just say that this show's concept is good, the jokes funny and the animation slick and surreal.
I really don't fell like saying anymore, is it'll all be praise, but I tell you, if this show is ever on, stop what you are doing and watch, like myself and millions around the world, you will be hooked.
In 2001, children television network Nickelodeon released a cartoon
called Invader Zim, created by comic book writer Jhonen Vasquez. It had
a brief two season run, and developed a cult following before Nick
canceled it in 2003. It involves the adventures of an outcast Irken
alien named Zim (Voiced by Richard Steven Horvitz), who "quit being
banished" when he heard about Operation Impending Doom II (Impending
Doom I was ruined when Zim destroyed the Irken home world). His
leaders, The Tallest, send Zim to a "secret planet", hoping that Zim
will be lost forever and meet his death, thereby no longer being a pain
in the Tallest's butts. He's also given an insane robot named Gir("What
does the G stand for?").
Well, Zim doesn't get lost or die. Instead, he finds Earth (Our planet, in case you don't know), and sets up a base of operations, and disguises himself as a human school boy, and Gir receives a dog get-up that is both ridiculous and cute in a weird way. He goes to "Skool" (That's how it's spelled), to gain knowledge on humanity, and nobody even suspects that he's an alien. Everyone, that is, except Dib (Voice by Andy Berman), a self-proclaimed "Paranormal investigator", who develops a heated rivalry with Zim, the two even trying to kill one another on several occasions.
Now that I've got the show's premise out of the way, here is my opinion. When the show premiered in 2001, I was instantly hooked. With original plots, some that seem to be pulled from classic 50's sci-fi, memorable characters, and an effective mix of cell-shading, CGI, and traditional animation techniques, Invader Zim was an instant classic. I'd tune in every week to see what Zim and his dysfunctional robot Gir would get into, whether it was exterminating germs or Gir merging himself with the house.
The voice actors deserve credit where credit is due. Richard Steven Horvitz turns in a spectacular performance as Zim. Horvitz can make Zim from the nicest guy to the biggest a-hole. Andy Berman is right on the money as Dib. He has just the right kind of voice for a Mulder-wannabe. But those two take a back seat to Rosearik Rikki Simons, who brilliantly voices the robot Gir. He is very effective at making Gir such a hilarious and unforgettable character.
Like many fans, I was shocked and angry when I learned that Invader Zim had been canceled. By that point, a lot of Nickelodeon's best cartoons (Like Rocko's Modern Life and Angry Beavers), had been taken off the air, and replaced by all the Jimmy Newtron and Spongebob crap. Invader Zim wasn't spared either.
Overall, Invader Zim excelled in it's sick (Though toned down for kids) humor, and outrageous plots, even though it was short-lived. Never before was there a cartoon quite like it, and there probably never will be.
The Final Verdict: 10/10: The last of the great Nickelodeon cartoons, and one of the funniest, most creative shows ever conceived. In Zim's words...IT'S GENIUS!!!
Jhonen Vasquez - "Johnny The Homicidal Maniac", "I Feel Sick", et al -
creates a superbly twisted, hilarious show that, though toned down for
still elicts the feel of Vasquez's comics.
I suppose you want the plot. Zim (voiced by the superb Richard Horvitz, of "Angry Beavers" and "Grim and Evil" fame) is an annoying, short Irken (an alien race) who was banished to work as a fry cook on Foodcourtia after destroying Irk in Operation Impending Doom 1. When the Almighty Tallest ("Kids In The Hall" alumni Kevin McDonald and veteran voice actor Wally Wingert) prepare for Operation Impending Doom 2 - in which the Irkens will conquer the universe - Zim comes, despite the orders of his superiors. ("You quit being banished!?!" screams one of the Tallest) They attempt to put Zim down lightly, but Zim's determined, so the Tallest send him on a "secret mission" to an unknown planet, giving him a trash-brained robot named GIR (fellow comic book artist Rosearik Rikki Simmons, who worked on "Squee!" with Vasquez, as well as "Sushi Girl" and "Reality Check"). A few months later, Zim just happens to reach Earth, where he tries to blend in as a human (wearing a pompador and contact lenses). The ignorant skool (that's how it's spelled) children fail to notice this, nor does teacher Ms. Bitters (Lucille Bliss), a vampiric, serpantine ghoul who is exceedingly cynical and angry. However, self-proclaimed paranormal investigator Dib (Andy Berman of "The Wonder Years" fame), son of the world's greatest scientist, Prof. Membrane (Roger Bumpass, who plays Squidward on "Spongebob Squarepants"), realizes that Zim's an alien, and the two develop a rivalry.
Other members of the supporting cast are just as good: Danny Cooksey ("Pepper Ann", "Tiny Toon Adventures"), Antoinette Spolar, and Vasquez himself (as "Mr. Scolex") appear as various skool children. Dib's cynical Gothic sister Gaz is brilliantly voiced by Melissa Fahn ("Digimon"). Mo Collins and McDonald, again, appear as Zim's roboparents.
Besides the superb cast and voicework, the great score and animation (beautiful cel animation mixed with equally good CGI) also make this show extremely entertaining.
Numerous others actors/actresses appear in cameos, most notably Olivia D'Abo as fellow Irken Tak in "TAK, the Hideous New Girl".
What else is there to say that hasn't already been said? Vasquez has rounded up a bunch of great cult comic book writers (him, Simmons, and Roman Dirge), a cast of veteran actors, and superb music (courtesy of Kevin Manthei), under the direction of veteran animation director Steve Ressel, make a superb combo. Oh, and don't miss the cameos of Vasquez, Ressel, Dirge, and numerous other crew members throughout.
Personal favorite episodes: "Door To Door", "TAK: The Hideous New Girl", "Mysterious Mysteries", "Bestest Friends", "The Nightmare Begins", "Battle of the Planets", and "Rise of the Zitboy". Enough said.
What a brilliant risk for Nickelodeon to take. And if you familiar with any
of creator Jhonen Vasquez's other works, you'll know what I mean.
Jhonen has been called one of the most impressive young comic artists in recent years, despite his debut comic, "Johnny the Homicidal Maniac", being anything but "uplifting" material. That depends, of course, on who you talk to, though. Jhonen has a twisted demented style all his own that is at the same time disturbing and beautiful with just a touch of black comedy for taste. "Invader Zim", although mellowed out enough for youth viewing, is a perfect, less violent example of his work.
Zim is a tiny alien sent by the tall leaders of his planet, where status is judged by how tall you are, to "conquer" a mysterious planet just to get him out of their hair. He is accompanied by a robot named Gir, who was quickly manufactured by Zim's leaders and given a paper clip for a brain. Gir is barely an aid in Zim's efforts, since Gir is much more interested in singing the Doom Song, eating tacos, and watching TV. When Zim arrives at the "mysterious" planet, which is Earth, he disguises himself as a "perfectly normal human worm baby" with the aid of contact lenses and a wig. His green skin remains, which he calls a "condition" and apparently, almost everyone buys it. Gir's disguise consists of a green dog costume with a zipper up the front and this combined with his Tom-foolery makes him an adorable character to the cast. Zim's enemy no. 1 is a schoolboy who goes by Dib, is a bizarre cross between Fox Mulder and Jhonen's very own Johnny C. He easily sees right through Zim's attempts to blend in with the humans and has a desire to make a alien dissection movie out of him. Rounding out this cast is Dib's gothy sister Gaz and their school teacher Ms. Bitters, who is almost a direct duplicate of the teacher in another one of Jhonen's comics "Squee".
Any fan of Jhonen's work knows the detail he puts into his art and "Invader Zim" is no exception. The gigantic robots that sometime come to play in the episodes are done in smooth CGI that is absolute perfection. The animation is far from "cookie cutter" and the character and background designs hold very true to Jhonen's style. There is enough "black humour" to go around and entertain young and old alike. No programme has dared to push the envelope in such a way since "Ren and Stimpy" and it's a refreshing relief to see a cartoon for kids that has such cerebral depth and original artwork.
whoo, i like this one a lot! the music is GREAT, the charecters and story
are amazing!! the animation quality is good and the CG effects blend well.
hope nickolodeon allows this one to go on for a long time...
This cartoon is about an alien who is trying to take over the earth, of course, first he must learn about the humans... anyways, go see it if its on, its cool.
if you like this show, i reccomend "the head" it was on mtv and you can buy/rent it in stores.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The dark humor of this show makes it more adult oriented, and the DVDs even have a parental warning sticker on them in some stores. It's kind of weird, seeing how this show was originally on Nick. The show's humor is usually focused around dark plots, or strange background happenings. The plots always have some form of sick humor, seeing how the creator is also the writer of "Johnny the Homicidal Maniac" and "Bad Art Collection (A sick comic focused around not-funny happenings made funny by crude drawings). A lot of humor is only funny in the world it is in, such as humans falling for a giant whale as a disguise, or a child in the background of a scene eating a fly. The art style is dark and sick, humans are usually seen with large, nasty boils, and closed eyes, because of an overlapping forehead. The humor also comes from the character's mental state, most side characters are crazy and will scream things like 'The pigs are coming, meat lord is not pleased!" All in all, this may have been longer lived if it were on a different network, but it is the funniest and strangest show I have ever seen.
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