Kim Possible Review: The Best Disney Cartoon of the Last Decade?
Disney spews out a lot of shows – one hour there will be a bucket of bland cliches, a few minutes later you will be blessed with clever entertainment. Most of the live action series and original movies reek with unoriginality and cheesiness (Pixel Perfect, much?), however I am here to argue if you never took a peek at this show, it is about time you did. You may laugh because – hey, it’s Disney and a cartoon, but I hope I can turn your laugh into giggles of enjoyment!
Kim Possible is arguably the most successful Disney Original Series to date – it aired for the longest time, for 5 years, between 2002 to 2007. The idea of the premise was coined by Mark McCorkle and Bob Schooley in an elevator, with two key phrases “Kim Possible: She can do anything” to which the other replied “Ron Stoppable is her sidekick: he can’t do anything!” It spawned 4 seasons, had 2 direct-to-TV films and video games based off of it. While it has a large number of episodes, your enjoyment on each really depends on who your favorite characters are – I found I didn’t care for Dementor, Monkey Fist or Drakken’s car-crazed cousin – but the others were a joy to watch. Only a few episodes come across as dull, and it depends largely on your tastes.
The animation is above average for this style of production. Character designs for Disney cartoons tend to vary in detail and originality – from square Phineas and Ferb to the rigid cut outs for The Emperor’s New School. Kim Possible’s artwork manages to be original and eye catching, with a variety of costumes, hair styles, vibrant colors and locations. The only two that look similar are Kim and Shego. The fact that Kim Possible is action oriented, and tries to remain somewhat faithful to reality, is what makes the animation soar above other titles. Explosions, gadgets and fight scenes are animated fluidly and believably. You only need to take one look at the opening sequence to see the variety available.
This is Disney, so the show is episodic. It explores the highs and lows of Kim’s high school life as she encounters boys, exams, learning to drive, cheer-leading, etc. This is all fairly standard – you’ve heard it in every other show, right? The highlights are when alternate characters are the focus of episodes. The villains get just as much screen time and back-story as the protagonists, and we often watch them fail as Kim Possible saves the day. They are great fun – the show would not be the same without them. The clever writing is what saves the show from becoming boring – it often parodies teenage fads, the superhero genre itself, and it isn’t afraid to point out its own plot holes and shortcomings.
Humor works extremely well, and can be appreciated by any age group: teens will relate to Kim and Ron’s issues, while adults will find comfort in Dr Drakken, Shego or Kim’s parents’ setbacks. This appeal to a wide audience sets it apart from other Disney shows that are mostly silly slapstick that parents will roll their eyes at (Phil of the Future, That’s So Raven). My mum used to hate us watching TV all the time back in the day, but she would often say “I don’t mind Kim Possible,”, which is a plus in any parents’ book!
The music is very strong. Full orchestrated or electronic themes permeate through the fight scenes and dramatic moments, while guitar riffs of the opening theme repeat themselves throughout. The songs would have to be the highlight. The opening song is catchy and well sung. The best part of the music would have to be the insert songs, particularly the Boy Band parody tunes of “Oh Boyz” (repeated throughout a number of episodes – my guess is out of laziness or not wanting to get more copyright) – and some special character songs also appear in Season 3. The voice acting is fabulous – not a single voice sounds annoying or fake and they are full of vibrance and energy.
While it was sad Kim Possible had to end, at least they didn’t drag it out too long! Even when Season 4 was only created to stop fans from ripping down buildings, the ideas hold up, and are as creative and fun as ever (except perhaps the first one!). It receives points down for being episodic, predictable and repetitive in theme, even though it is very entertaining.
What do you think? Leave a comment.