Nickelodeon reviving classic shows got me excited with the announcement of an Invader Zim movie. One of my biggest influences for my humor was this gem from the early 2000s. The cancellation prevented getting the right conclusion to the story for these wonderfully disturbing characters, and it is everything I could have wanted.
Zim (Richard Steven Horvitz) becomes quite depressed as he finds out his alien overlords sent him to Earth to dismiss him rather than the vital invasion he had hoped. As Dib (Andy Berman) feels sympathetic for his arch-nemesis, he inadvertently helps him into a disastrous plan for destruction. Now Dib and his sister Gas (Melissa Fahn) must save the world before Zim idiotically wipes out all of humanity and himself.
Seeing the return of the protagonists along with Zim’s cute, yet moronic robot companion Gir (Rikki Simons) adds to this nostalgic trip. Plenty of classic characters are missing which it should have leaned into, but that does not stop the delivery of favorite obscure faces along with some more iconic personalities from the series.
Having the original cast and masterminds like director Jhonen Vasquez, who created the original series behind the brilliant writing hits every note that my adult brain remembers from my childhood. The humor stays on point with its many flavors from creepiness to random gags that caught me off guard. As I grew older, I worried I would feel differently, but this is the ultimate reunion that still makes me laugh.
The same animation style remains its grotesque self with plenty of disturbing images. The character designs for Invader Zim add to that unsettling feeling as people or aliens interact. Everything gets turned up to 100 with sensory overload with colors and utter chaos during the final act.
The nostalgia does not overstep. Vasquez, Gary Wilson, and Breehn Burns balance out nods to the past and creating an original story. The comics have an influence, but it did not go over my head, making it accessible for anyone who lost touch with one of the network’s best shows.
Nickelodeon has delivered the proper sendoff that Zim deserved over a decade ago. Some jokes or banter stayed past its welcome throughout the hour and 10-minute experience. This short, sweet conclusion is a must for any fan back in the day, which is easy to watch due to Netflix hosting Earth’s invasion.
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Image via Nickelodeon/Netflix