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Back in the day, Invader Zim was an oddball Nicktoon. In fact, whether you saw it or not really came down to chance due to its sporadic broadcast schedule. Regardless, over the course of its two seasons, the series gained quite the cult following. Its darker humour and tone resonated with those wanting more of an edge to their cartoons. After a decade and a successful comic run, Zim, Gir, Gaz and Dib are back in the 70-minute Netflix film Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus. Arriving hot on the heels of Rocko’s Modern Life and Hey Arnold revivals, this may be the best of Nickelodeon’s reboots to date.
Little to no prior knowledge of the original Invader Zim show is needed for Enter the Florpus. That said, for a brief rundown…Zim, the most incompetent soldier in the Irken alien armada, is sent to Earth on a “top secret mission”. He believes it is to take over the planet. Really, it’s just his superiors getting him out of the way. Once he begins his invasion plans, local 12-year-old conspiracy theorist Dib Membrane sees through his disguise. The latter consistently attempts to thwart Zim’s plans, often helped by his sister Gaz, and Zim’s own bafoonery.
Now comes Enter the Florpus. Here, Zim has vanished for years concocting his greatest invasion tactic yet, one which maybe is dumb enough to actually work.
I’ll just come right out with it. Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus is hilarious. It’s one of the best animated comedies in years and one of the best TV to movie adaptations ever. It is unapologetically Invader Zim – chaotic and untamable. One minute you get explosive in your face comedy, the next a clever animation gag, followed by joyous and childlike Gir rolling in pizza and shooting waffles. There is a laugh in here for everyone. You’ll be hard pressed to find one joke that doesn’t appeal to you.
Special mentions must be given to the vocal performances. Get the Annie awards ready – this is some of the best comedic voice acting of recent memory. Richard Steven Horvitz as Zim in particular is one of the most underappreciated comedic voices working today. His inflections can and do make every single sentence he says hysterical. Roger Bumpass as well as Dr Membrane stands out way more here than in the series and becomes one of the film’s most enjoyable characters.
The art style of Enter the Florpus has evolved from the series, now being more in line with the comics which followed the TV show. It’s smoother edges and bolder, more dynamic looking characters allow the world to pop in a whole new way. This is a terrific looking film with an ambitious opening and a frenzied finale fitting of an alien invasion cartoon.
No negatives come to mind. If you ever liked Invader Zim, this is everything you loved. If the trailer intrigues you, or even if the premise and concept interest you in the slightest then definitely give it a go. ZIM COMMANDS YOU!