Looking Back At Kim Possible
My nephews recently happened across my Kim Possible DVDs and have quickly become big fans. Having just watched several episodes of the show with them the other day, I thought I'd talk about what is one of my favorite shows to come out of Disney Television Animation.
By the time Kim Possible came on the air in 2002, I was already way out of college and not really into the Disney Channel shows at the time. But, one day, I happened to flip over just to see what kind of programming they were playing. Kim Possible happened to be on and, immediately, I was struck by the stylized design that seemed to lend itself well to television animation. Most Disney Channel animation was based on Disney properties and, in a more limited television animation, it made the characters feel lackluster. But, the designs on Kim Possible seemed fresh and fun.
And, remarkably, the stories were actually very entertaining. For those who have never heard of Kim Possible, she's just "your basic average girl" who happens to be a crime fighter. With the help of her friends Ron Stoppable, Wade and Rufus the naked mole rat, she saves the world from villains such as Dr. Drakken, Shego, Monkey Fist, DNAmy, and Señor Senior, Sr. and Junior.
I loved how all the villains were entertaining and different at the same time. Dr. Drakken, to me, was the template to Dr. Doofinshmirtz on Phineas and Ferb as that kind of bumbling mad scientist who's intentions are less about world domination and more about licking old wounds. Shego was the queen of sarcasm. Monkey Fist was a great parody on the ninja villain. DNAmy, one of my favorites, was relentlessly cheerful"wuzzled" (remember them? Hmmm...future blog entry?) her Cuddle Buddies (a play on the popular Beanie Babies at the time). And Señor Senior, Sr. and Junior were the classic mob boss and his doltish son.
But, what I loved most about it was that she was a strong female protagonist yet didn't fall into the tropes of warrior woman nor princess. She wasn't either or. She was both. She was, for all intents and purposes, a girl who balanced the every day life of a teenage girl with kicking some serious butt. I like the fact that the show isn't aimed at girls OR boys, but to both. Kim Possible is a role model for all. And, this is important to me as I try to show my nephews that women heroes are just as awesome as men.
The biggest test of a show, though, is whether it holds up years later. Watching the show again with my nephews and being able to laugh along with them only shows why Kim Possible is one of the longest running Disney animated television shows.