Debuting on Nickelodeon in 2003, "My Life as a Teenage Robot" follows the escapades of Jenny, a super-powered robot with a super sensitive teenage heart. Her primary function is protecting ... See full summary »
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
Four completed, unaired episodes were left hanging in the balance when Nickelodeon canceled the show. Those episodes are titled "Backseat Drivers from Beyond the Stars" (#2.1), "Mortos Der Soulstealer/ZIM Eats Waffles" (#2.2), "The Frycook What Came From All That Space" (#2.3), and "Vindicated!/The Voting of the Doomed" (#2.4). All four were included on Volume 3 of the Invader ZIM DVD release. See more »
Ha! Watch Dib! Watch as I bring a royal audience to the downfall of the human race!
I don't wanna watch that.
Oh. Ok... WAIT! THAT'S TOO BAD!
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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!!!
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