In today's television world, it seems like any show that was well-loved by fans during its heyday won't stay dead for long. The recent revivals of Fox's hit thrillers 24 and Prison Break are two examples, as is Toonami's initially open-ended animated action series Samurai Jack. With praise coming from fans over these revivals, Nickelodeon is getting in on the action for a third time, choosing to revive its cult classic animated series Invader Zim for a TV movie.
The announcement came from the children's cable network on April 4, in which Nickelodeon confirmed the reboot will be a 90-minute TV film that follows a "perpetually desperate and delusional" Zim as he tries to find a new way to conquer the Earth. Nickelodeon also confirmed that four of the main voice actors would be returning to their roles for the TV movie, but have yet to confirm a release date for the film. For fans who didn't hear the news from Entertainment Weekly, they were treated to this video as an official announcement.
The video features Zim (Richard Steven Horvitz) attempting to threaten the world while his malfunctioning robot partner GIR (Rosearik "Rikki" Simons) laughs at the fake voice Zim is using and distracts Zim long enough to "ruin" the moment. The audio teaser recaptures the humorous partnership of Zim and GIR, but gives no indication about the plot details we can expect from the movie. Let's take a look back and forward to try and see what audiences will see next from the titular alien invader.
Premiering in 2001, Invader Zim followed the titular alien as he journeyed from his home planet The Irken Empire to Earth in a fake mission from his leaders to conquer the Earth for the empire, as his leaders wanted the bumbling and accident-prone alien as far away from their empire as possible. The leaders, known as The Almighty Tallest, also assign Zim a malfunctioning Informational Retrieval Unit, GIR, to accompany him on his mission, where Zim will disguise himself as a human and discover their weaknesses to conquer them.
During his time on Earth, Zim attempts to learn about humans by going to a school as a human child, where he meets a paranormal-obsessed classmate Dib, who seeks to expose Zim's true identity to the world, and the two often find each other at odds during the series, resulting in many stalemates between the two, as well as a few partnerships to defeat bigger threats.
As many children's animated shows are structured, the series was mostly comprised of self-contained stories that would not have lasting effects on the characters or the universe, some episodes ending with what could've been the demise of Zim or Dib, but instead finding them in perfect health in the next episode. However, the second season did seek to establish more continuity than the first, including Dib working on a spaceship from Zim's enemy Irken that appeared in the season one finale, as well as the multiple mentions of the Irken Empire battling a resistance force throughout the season.
Unfortunately for the series, Nickelodeon cancelled the show after the second season's premiere and left at least 16 episodes unfinished, and the series ended with another failed plot by Zim to take over the Earth by manipulating humanity's love for Santa Claus, which backfires and Zim almost ends up completely engulfed by his robotic Santa suit and is saved by Dib, who is in turn beaten up after Zim persuades the nearby crowd Dib destroyed Santa Claus.
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Very much like Samurai Jack, this series chose to focus on telling self-contained stories rather than progress in the titular hero's respective journeys, Jack's to get back to the past, Zim's journey to conquer Earth/acquire approval from The Almighty Tallest.
While it has been confirmed that the TV film will feature a "desperate" Zim trying to come up with a plan to conquer the world, there has been very little given out in the way of whether or not the film will give the characters' a satisfying conclusion to their storylines. Given that this will be the third Nickelodeon series to get a reboot TV movie following Hey Arnold! and Rocko's Modern Life, chances are Nickelodeon will most likely look to give fans a satisfying conclusion, especially since the Arnold reboot is confirmed to wrap up unanswered timelines.
With no release date currently set for the TV film, fans will have plenty of time to go back and re-binge the original series to re-familiarize themselves and re-immerse themselves in the world of Zim before the premiere.
Are you looking forward to the Invader Zim reboot? Do you think Nickelodeon should keep reviving their old shows? Let us know in the comments below!
[Source: Entertainment Weekly]