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Kimberly J. Brown,
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Dr. Drakken has an evil new plot for world domination, but his ultimate success depends upon finding out KP's weakness which may involve a new hottie at Middleton High School named Eric, who suddenly sparks feelings in Ron about Kim that resemble much more than friendship. To make matters worse, Bueno Nacho, Ron's favorite fast food chain has turned sour on him by bombarding him with little Devil diablo toys. Does this mean KP may finally have to surrender to Drakken once and for all? Written by
Daniel Timothy Dey
(Note: IMDb's automatic spell-corrector will not let me spell the title of the previous Kim Possible film correctly. It's "A S-i-t-c-h in Time", not "S-T-i-t-c-h".)
This is an easy one to tell if you will like it or not--the film is typical Kim Possible territory. If you like the show, you'll like this film. If you haven't seen anything featuring Kim Possible yet, this is probably not the best place to start. (Just to give you the basic gist of the character, think of an animated Buffy the Vampire slayer (the film or early seasons of the television series), but instead of the horror orientation, make Buffy a teenaged James Bond, with all of the adventure, gadgets and villains that implies, and mix in heavy doses of sci-fi and humor.) Start with the television episodes, then work your way up to the films--you'll appreciate them more that way, as they do everything the episodes do, but "turned up to 11". If you can't watch the show on The Disney Channel, pick up or rent either The Secret Files (2003) or The Villain Files (2004) on DVD, as both of those are "film-like" compilations of television episodes. This is the second "legitimate" Kim Possible film, after A Stitch in Time (2003). I thought that A Stitch in Time was a bit better, but this is still an excellent film.
In So the Drama, Kim Possible villain Dr. Drakken (John Di Maggio) and his "sidekick" Shego (Nicole Sullivan) are hatching their latest plot to acquire world domination. It involves technology developed by Kim Possible's (Christy Carlson Romano) rocket scientist dad, Dr. Possible (Gary Cole), and it affects Kim and Ron Stoppable (Will Friedle) in different ways, both very close to their hearts. Can they stop Dr. Drakken's mad scheme?
As Kim Possible stories will do, there is also a high-school oriented subplot. The prom is fast approaching and because of Kim's world-saving activities, she has not had time for a boyfriend. As cheerleading nemesis Bonnie Rockwaller (Kirsten Storms) points out, all of the most eligible boys--meaning all of the star jocks--are already taken. What will Kim do, take the Chess Club Captain to the prom?
So the Drama is not quite as dense as A Stitch in Time. By that I mean that it's not as layered, and it's not quite as "fast". A Stitch in Time worked on multiple levels at the same time, delivering more adult humor and social satire at the same time that it delivered material more geared towards young teens and older preteens. It tended to move its jokes by very quickly--with some contained in dialogue, some in subtle character actions and some in backgrounds/settings--in a way that bore a resemblance to "The Simpsons". While So the Drama has the same basic attitude and attributes, it's a simpler and somewhat mellower film, a bit less focused on humor, and occasionally shows more of an influence from anime and even commercial (as in graphic arts, advertising, etc.) visual design. The relative simplicity and lessened focus on humor is what kept me from granting a 10 to this film, as I did with A Stitch in Time.
The visual design I mentioned above is extremely interesting. I'll just mention a few of the more unusual features (this stuff is fascinating to me because I'm also a visual artist): The opening of the film is a quickly paced action sequence (with an amusing reference to the 1989 Tim Burton Batman) that at times has just fast-moving patches of color as a background. Later, the animators vacillate a bit between the more typical flat, 2D Kim Possible style and some highly stylized 3D modeling. Once Drakken releases his minions, there are some beautiful graphic-arts oriented patterns in the "armies", occasionally with that stylized 3D modeling, and occasionally layered with many other visual styles. There is also a fair amount of well-integrated computer animation/modeling.
Kim's prom subplot allows an exploration of the romantic tension between Ron and Kim. That's something I hadn't noticed much in the show before (I've seen quite a few of the television episodes, but certainly not all of them--maybe it's explored more in some of the episodes I've missed), but it's just as fascinating as similar romantic tensions between television characters of the past, such as Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) in "The X-Files" (1993). It also gives scripters Mark McCorkle and Robert Schooley a chance to emphasize Ron's dorky side (his scooter is particularly hilarious) and Kim's feminine, even sexy side (she gets into a fight in a dress, shows some leg, etc.)--those aspects help underscore the tension and why it may be there in the first place.
The Dr. Drakken plot enables a lot of opportunities to mildly satirize capitalism, and especially consumer service industries, such as fast food restaurants and marketing tie-ins. Of course, since this is a Disney film, that particular satirizing doesn't cut as deeply as it might coming from another source, but there are a lot of sly cracks about customer service, decisions made to benefit the company versus pleasing the consumer, and the attraction we have to trinkets, even when they might mean more trouble than they're worth. There are also subtle references/jokes emphasizing parallels to real world businesses, such as McDonald's.
I watched So the Drama on DVD (the film has also been on The Disney Channel a few times). The DVD has slightly beefier extras than many past Disney releases in this niche. There is a bonus episode of Kim Possible from the television show, a couple deleted scenes from the film that seem like legitimately deleted scenes, two pleasant music videos related to the film, and a truckload of trailers/previews, with at least one--for Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005)--containing some "behind the scenes" footage.
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