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This Nicktoon premiered alongside The Fairly OddParents on March 30, and is considered one of the bigger oddballs within the channel's cartoon lineup. But considering that Jhonen's work before this was an underground comic called Johnny the Homicidal Maniacthat should come as no surprise. Set 20 Minutes into the Futurethis dark, Cyberpunkish show starred the titular Zim, an alien being who is part of a race called the Irken, which wholly dedicates itself to invading and conquering other planets for reasons both grand and mundane.
On asment day, he's given the most special and important mission of all by the Almighty Tallest : to take over the planet Earth.
And by special and important mission, we mean he was shipped off here because he screwed up on his last invasion attempt. They just want to get rid of him, but Zim doesn't know this, nor is he likely to ever realize this. In fact, the Irkens aren't even sure there's a planet here ; they just want Zim gone that badlygiven that he destroys all that he touches. He is ineptly aided in this "mission" by a defective robot assistant named GIR, poorly disguised as a dog. Upon reaching Earth to begin his "alien invasion", Zim immediately attracts the attention of elementary school student Dib, a self-styled paranormal investigator who has just been itching to expose something strange and weird, and finally prove to everyone around him that he isn't insane.
And Zim seems just the alien to expose Early episodes followed a basic format — Zim would attempt to get rid of Dib and conquer the world, while Dib would attempt to expose Zim, only for both to discover that Failure Is the Only Option.
Later episodes would start employing Snapback to tackle a myriad of bizarre plots, such as the characters turning into bologna, in addition to developing a bit of a Story Arc over time as well. Ultimately, the efforts of Vasquez and head writer Frank Conniff of Mystery Science Theater fame developed into an idiosyncratic, hammyand satirical style that highlighted the crapsack-nature of the show's world even more. The show's distinctive dark humor attracted a large of people outside the targeted age range : namely high school and college students.
The show was also host to a very unique art style, adapting Vasquez's usual look for animation and utilizing a vast color palette: colorist Rikki Simons joked that all the different shades and tones had them going into "fourth-ary" colors, which, mixed with the regular use of CGI animation that was incorporated in ways that other shows like Futurama were jealous of, led to the series constantly struggling against its budget for almost every episode. Unfortunately, the show was left as quickly as it came. While the show was quite popular, it was mainly popular outside of Nickelodeon's core demographic of kids 6-to, meaning its ratings did not have far to slip before Nickelodeon deemed the show's budgetary issues no longer worth the hassle: despite popular beliefwhile Nick did have their issues regarding the show's contentthese were absolutely minor in comparison to the actual logistics of the production.
Naturally, petitions immediately rose up in attempts to save the show from cancellation, and with this time period having Channel Hop be quite common, many of these urged for Nickelodeon to sell the show to another network. This never happened, much to the dismay of fans, but outcry about the sudden cancellation did accomplish one thing — Nickelodeon would give Media Blasters the rights to sell DVDs of the show, full of special features such as cast and crew commentary, as well as several unreleased episodes that wouldn't see television airings until One limited edition boxset even included the series' soundtrack and voice recordings for seven unfinished episodes.
The crew was in the middle of producing a second season of 20 half-hours when the plug was pulled, with several episodes in various states of production. Only 7 half-hours were completed. Nickelodeon has also released a "best of" disc called Operation Doom. All of these home media releases were North America only. As an interesting aside, the sudden and unexpected unemployment caused by the show's cancellation convinced the show's art director, Bryan Konietzkoto develop his own series with an old college friend who was over at Fox working on Family Guy.
In FebruaryOni Press announced an Invader Zim comic book revival in collaboration with Nickelodeon, with the first issue of the ongoing monthly series being released on July 8, The comic is overseen by Jhonen Vasquez himself, with him also writing a handful of issues. Many other issues have been done by Eric Trueheart, a veteran writer of the series.
Other series veterans, such as artist Aaron Alexovich and colorist Rikki Simons, would lend their talents to the comic during its early run as well. The monthly series ended with its 50th issue in Marchfollowed by the start of a new quarterly series simply called Invader Zim Quarterly later that year, which ended after one cycle in March It was then announced that the comic series would end completely with a special oneshot issue in August. In AprilNickelodeon announced that Zim would return to animation as a minute television movie entitled Enter the Florpus.
Vasquez returned as executive producer and director, with composer Kevin Manthei and most of the voice cast also reprising their roles. The film completed production in January and released on Netflix on August 16, The first organ to be stolen in the infamous Invader Zim episode Dark Harvest.
Example of: Body Horror. Community Showcase More. Follow TV Tropes. You need to to do this. Get Known if you don't have an. Zim: And I will watch you transform more and more into what you really are, deep down in your heart! Dib: Deep down I'm bologna?
Zim: Yes. Dib: That's just Zim: Dumb like a moose, Dib! Dumb like a moose! Absent Animal Companion : Played with.
In one of his possibly-prerecorded messages to his children, Professor Membrane reminds them to feed the dog. This reminds the pair that hey, they used to have a dog, didn't they? The viewers, however, never heard of it before. Adults Are Useless : Exaggerated Tropeto the extent that so are most of the other children, for that matter. And a lot of the aliens. Really pretty much every one and every thing in this show is useless. The person who comes the closest to being non-useless is Dib, yet at times even he is useless. Even human children have an odd mixture of names. Agent Mulder : Dib and the Swollen Eyeball people.
Then again, it only did so because ZIM ordered it to make some "educated guesses" when it didn't have any info to work with. Unfortunately, he judges ZIM himself detrimental to the potential success of "the mission" GIR himself. He randomly shifts between a rather scary, red-eyed "duty mode", and his usual, hilariously stupid and blue persona. This may have something to do with being cobbled together from junk parts. Alien Among Us : The premise. Aliens Are Bastards : The Irkens like to conquer other species for no good reasonand all seem to be pretty warped and sociopathic in their own way.
Aliens of London : Tak has a British accent while none of the other Irkens do.
Lard Nar has one too, though we only have one other Vort to compare him to. Aliens Speaking English : Although the Irken language had its own alphabet.
Some fans have interpreted the grunts and snarls heard briefly in "Mysterious Mysteries" as Zim speaking native Irken without the English filter for the viewers. Which may be why he makes similar noises in his every-day speech. It saves his show from being cancelled.
Sizz-lor is a very high ranking Irken Fry Cook. Much of this backstory and extra info would have been shown later on in the series. Aluminum Christmas Trees : Breakfast Chunks, to an extent. And kids hated them so much.
Always Chaotic Evil : It isn't explicitly stated or anything, but one could infer this about the Irkens. Partially deconstructed as their vile natures and society make it so that for all the heinous things Zim did to their race, the crime that would've marked him for termination in "The Trial" was having a faulty PAK.
Unusually for this trope, it's his own fault they're like that. Ambiguous Disorder : Really ambiguous considering that Irken standards of mental health aren't really known, but Zim definitely has something wrong with him. In fact, the entire premise of "The Trial" is pretty much the quirky alien version of declaring Zim legally insane. An Aesop : Everyone is weird and different in their own way and there is no such thing as "normal".
Don't make fun of others who are different or have different interests as you. And I Must Scream : This is what the Console does to people imprisoned in it — it chooses a gamer randomly to control the victim in a simulation remotely while their consciousness and feeling remain intact. Virooz's ultimate fate: the makeshift PAK holding his consciousness is left attached to a couch on an abandoned planet, presumably trapping him there forever.
And Then What? An Irken Invader with untold decades of military training and a history of violence and mayhem. And you are a feeble, unarmed human in a stolen ship that you have no idea how to use. When you catch Zim.Enter the florpus tv tropes
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Invader Zim Enter The Florpus