Kim Possible (character)

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Kim Possible
Kim Possible character
Kim possible 09.jpg
First appearance "Crush"
Last appearance "Graduation"
Created by Bob Schooley
Mark McCorkle
Voiced by Christy Carlson Romano
Dakota Fanning (Preschool Kim; Kim Possible: A Sitch in Time)
Information
Occupation High school student
Superhero
Family James Possible (father)
Ann Possible (mother)
Jim and Tim Possible (brothers)
"Nana" Possible (paternal grandmother)
"Slim" Possible (paternal uncle)
Joss Possible (paternal cousin)
Larry (cousin)
Significant other(s) Ron Stoppable (boyfriend)
Nationality American

Kimberly Ann "Kim" Possible is a fictional character who appears in the animated television series Kim Possible. Created by Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle, the character debuted in the show's pilot episode, "Crush", which premiered on the Disney Channel on June 7, 2002. After starring in each of the show's 84 episodes for a record-breaking total of four seasons, the character made her final appearance in Kim Possible's series finale, "Graduation, Part 2", which originally aired on September 7, 2007. Possible is voiced by American actress Christy Carlson Romano.

The show's main character, teenage superhero Kim Possible is forced to routinely and efficiently balance her hectic, demanding crime-fighting occupation with her average adolescent lifestyle. Aided by her best friend, inept sidekick Ron Stoppable, and his pet naked mole rat Rufus, the majority of the character's missions and crime-fighting excursions revolve around her discovering and ultimately thwarting the evil plans of her sinister archnemesis, mad scientist Dr. Drakken, and his supervillain sidekick Shego. Residing in fictional Middleton, USA with her parents, Drs. James and Ann Possible, and brothers, identical twins Jim and Tim, Possible, a perfectionist, is very intelligent and competitive individual known for her notorious Type A personality. She is also the popular captain of her high school's cheerleading squad.

Inspired by their own daughters, series co-creators Schooley and McCorkle conceived Possible as a "girl who can do anything." Reversing traditional gender roles by making the character the show's action heroine, Schooley and McCorkle wanted Possible to be realistic, tangible and vulnerable as opposed to invincible as are most superheroes, additionally allotting to the character a variety of both realistic and resourceful talents and skills that "any girl ... could do," including cheerleading, gymnastics, athletics and martial arts. Well-known for her long red hair, Possible was initially conceived as a blond bombshell, with a physical appearance based on video game character Lara Croft. However, this was eventually changed in favor of having the character resemble a fourteen-year-old-girl.

Kim has garnered a positive reception from entertainment critics, the majority of whom enjoyed her tangibility and hailed her as a positive role model. Additionally, critics have drawn comparisons between her and television vigilantes Buffy Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Sydney Bristow from Alias. The success and popularity of the show has led to the release of two made-for-television films, Kim Possible: A Sitch in Time (2003) and Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama (2005), as well as a video game franchise, in all of which Kim appears.

Role in Kim Possible[edit]

Born Kimberly Ann Possible,[1] Kim is a teenage superhero who resides in the fictional town of Middleton, USA with her father James, a rocket scientist; mother Ann, a neurosurgeon;[2] and younger twin brothers Jim and Tim, to whom she collectively refers as the "Tweebs".[3] Aided by her best friend and future boyfriend Ron Stoppable and his pet naked mole rat, Rufus, with technological assistance from computer genius Wade, Kim goes on extraordinary missions to protect the world from danger, often the results of ambitious schemes plotted by supervillains[4] and "evil geniuses".[5] Throughout the series, Kim's most adamant and persistent adversaries are mad scientist Dr. Drakken and his assistant, Shego, although she frequently encounters other villains. Despite the fact that Drakken is her archnemesis while Shego serves as his sidekick, Shego, a former superhero who possesses the ability to emit powerful energy blasts from her hands, poses as her main threat[6] and primary combatant.[7]

Kim became a superhero rather incidentally. In need of a job, Kim creates a website in order to promote her babysitting service, using in it the slogan "I can do anything."[8][9] One day, a wealthy entrepreneur, trapped by his own laser security system, accidentally contacts Kim, who then rushes to his aid. Using her adept gymnastic abilities, Kim manages to maneuver her way through the beams and disable the alarm. As news of her deed spreads, requests for Kim's assistance grow in number until she finally decides to pursue it as a career.[10] Despite this considerably bizarre lifestyle, Kim considers herself a "normal girl" who must nonetheless cope with typical adolescent issues and affairs, such as eventually graduating high school by keeping up with schoolwork and assignments, coping with family dynamics, struggling with dating and relationships, maintaining friendships and rivalries, and simply becoming an adult. In a review of the series, The New York Times jokingly wrote that Kim saves the day in her "spare time".[8]

Kim is different from a traditional superhero or spy because she does not have a secret identity, nor does she live a double-life. The public is quite aware of her heroic endeavors, for which she often receives praise and gratitude. A straight-A student, Kim is also the captain of her high school's cheerleading squad.[11]

Development[edit]

Background and conception[edit]

"We both have daughters, and we were conscious of creating a girl character with dimension. We wanted a character that girls could watch and appreciate. And we hear a lot from people who appreciate that - though it might color some people's perception of us. We had a meeting with someone who's a fan, but who'd never met us. He'd heard us described just as 'Schooley and McCorkle.' When he saw us, he was taken aback. He said, 'Oh, I thought you guys would be two young women!'"

–McCorkle, describing his and Schooley's reasoning behind the character's gender.[12]

Show co-creator Mark McCorkle said that the concept for Kim Possible came from largely "out of the blue."[13] Prior to Kim Possible, both McCorkle and long-time partner Bob Schooley served as writers for Disney's animated television series Aladdin and Hercules, both spin-offs of their respective feature films. Though satisfied with their jobs, Schooley and McCorkle longed to be part of "something original",[12] learning that viewers were interested in a television series that depicted "ordinary kids in extraordinary circumstances."[14] While on their lunch break,[14] Schooley and McCorkle conceived Kim Possible, an animated television series about a "girl who can do anything", and her best friend Ron Stoppable who, in contrast, can not.[12]

Kim Possible was conceived while Schooley and McCorkle were traveling in an elevator on their way back to their work offices.[15] Together they decided to veer from tradition, reversing stereotypical gender roles by making Kim the show's action hero while appointing Ron as her funny sidekick. Schooley elaborated "For some reason the girl is very competent and the boy is a fumbler."[14] Schooley and McCorkle revealed to the Tampa Bay Times that their daughters were kept in mind when they conceived the character. McCorkle, father to one daughter, elaborated, "we noticed that there weren't very many animated series with main characters as a girl. We just wanted a character that our daughters and other girls can look up to."[13]

Characterization[edit]

"Kim is an action fighting teen hero in your face ... She is a really confident, sweet girl who everybody loves. And she is a heroine who little girls look up to ... She is a typical role model, perfect in every way. How could you not like Kim?"

—Voice actress Christy Carlson Romano describing her character.[16]
Christy Carlson Romano, 2009

Hoping to make Kim as tangible to viewers as possible, Schooley and McCorkle were "careful not to make her impervious or anything like superheroes are". Schooley explained, "What makes Kim effective in the action world is gymnastics, cheerleading, physical activity, something that any kid, any girl, in the world could do."[14] Although primarily writers, Schooley and McCorkle remained thoroughly involved in determining the overall appearance of the series, as well as the design of its characters.[12] However, they accredit the majority of the series' aesthetics to season one director Chris Baily[17] and artistic director Alan Bodner.[18] Cartoonist Stephen Silver served as a character animator on the show.[14][19][20]

Over the course of three months, the design and personality of Kim underwent significant changes and evolution. Early in production, Schooley and McCorkle decided that Kim were to be "a[ physically] appealing character". Originally, the animators intended for her to be depicted as a "pretty standard-looking athletic blonde." However, believing that Kim required a "more unique" appearance, they decided to base her on the appearance of video game character Lara Croft instead, heroine of the Tomb Raider franchise. Schooley revealed to Bayerischer Rundfunk, "we came to realize that [Croft] is an interesting character and a fun character, but not a very real character." Finally, they instructed the animators to "make [Kim] look like a real 14-year-old girl" as opposed to a typical "bombshell".[14] The character has since become well-known and culturally recognized for her long red hair.[21][22][23]

Voice[edit]

Kim was voiced by actress Christy Carlson Romano. Prior to joining the cast of Kim Possible, Romano portrayed Ren Stevens on the Disney Channel television sitcom Even Stevens.[24][25] Most notably during the show's first season, Romano and the rest of the cast would record their dialogue at different studios and locations. Because Romano was enrolled in school in New York at the time, she was often required to participate in cast meetings and script readings via telephone.[26] Romano would occasionally serve as a source of creative inspiration for the writers. One episode in particular, "Blush", was based on the fact that Romano is a quite bashful person who "gets embarrassed and will blush at even the slightest compliment/awkward situation."[27] Romano was initially doubtful that the show would be successful. Romano said, "When it came out, sure enough, the animation was great and the writing was amazing. It's done so that kids and adults can enjoy it; families can share an amazing experience together." Romano told PBS Kids that her character "has really had a huge influence on [her]" throughout her career. She also considers Kim a positive role model for young girls.[28] After the show's season finale in 2007, Romano revealed that she would have gladly returned to reprise her role as Kim in a fifth installment of the series.[29]

Appearances[edit]

Kim Possible was very successful, running for a total of five years from June 7, 2002 to September 7, 2007 and spanning four seasons, becoming the longest-running Disney Channel Original Series[30] until eventually being surpassed by Phineas and Ferb.[31] The series comprised 84 episodes, with Kim starring in each one. Kim also made an appearance in the Lilo & Stitch: The Series crossover episode "Rufus".[32]

Epcot theme park attraction[edit]

In 2009, a theme park attraction entitled the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure premiered at Walt Disney World's Epcot. Upon arrival, visitors were allowed to partake in an alternate reality game (ARG) inspired by the television series in which they entered into the world of Kim Possible and ventured on a "high-tech scavenger hunt" in a simulated country of their choice.[33]

Reception[edit]

Kim has been mostly positively received by entertainment critics. Jacqueline Cutler of the Sun-Sentinel hailed the character as a positive role model, writing, "Kim Possible is as close to a role model as an animated cheerleader trying to save the world can be."[16] Similarly, Rob Owen of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette jokingly stated, "Though a heroine who dresses like Britney Spears ... Kim's got the same insecurities as all adolescents, making her a character kids will identify with even if they don't save the world on a weekly basis." Additionally, Owen likened the character's role in Kim Possible to those of Buffy Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Sydney Bristow from Alias.[34]

Tracey McLoone of PopMatters wrote that, unlike Summers and Bristow, Kim is "more self-assured than ... her predecessors."[35] Levi Buchanan of IGN positively described Kim as a "well-flashed out" character who is "Not bad for ... a high school cheerleader who moonlights as a secret agent".[36] Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret News described the character as "a teenage Powerpuff Girl".[15] Similarly, Betsy Wallace of Common Sense Media drew further similarities between the character and the main characters of The Powerpuff Girls, as well as Buffy Summers and Sydney Bristow, writing, "[Kim Possible] capitalizes on the female villain-fighting craze that sparked with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Alias – but tones it down for younger kids."[37] UGO.com ranked Kim 59th on the website's list of the 75 most attractive animated heroines, hailing her as the "Disney Channel queen" while praising her personality.[38]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kim Possible Video | Movie Clips & Character Interview". OVGuide. Online Video Guide. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "Kim Possible". Yahoo! TV. Yahoo! Inc. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "Tweeb Trouble (Kim Possible Chapter Books Series)". Barnes & Noble. Barnesandnoble.com llc. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
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  9. ^ Schmidt, Sarah (August 2, 2002). "KIM POSSIBLE". Entertainment Weekly. Entertainment Weekly Inc. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
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  11. ^ Cohn, Angel (February 17, 2004). "Disney Starlet Broadway Bound". TVGuide. TVGuide. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c d Allen, Jay (January 13, 2006). "Kim Possible's creators speak: An interview with Mark McCorkle and Bob Schooley". Parentdish. AOL Inc. Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  13. ^ a b Robinson, Sherry (February 5, 2007). "Anything's possible". Tampa Bay Times. Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f Schlote, Elke (2008). "Kim Possible. She can do anything". Bayerischer Rundfunk. ADR.de. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  15. ^ a b Pierce, Scott D. (June 6, 2002). "Scott Pierce: Everything is 'Kim Possible'". Deseret News. Deseret News. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  16. ^ a b Cutler, Jacqueline (December 10, 2003). "Time-traveling Cartoon Teen Heroes? Well, It's Possible". Sun-Sentinel. Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  17. ^ "Getting from Cal Arts to Directing Animation for Live Action". CTN animation Expo. Creative Talent Network. January 2011. Retrieved 28 April 2013. 
  18. ^ Barbagallo, Ron (2002). "The Background Art of Disney's Kim Possible". Animation Art Conservation. Ron Barbagallo. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  19. ^ "The Art of Silver [Hardcover]". Amazon.com. Amazon.com, Inc. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  20. ^ Amidi, Amid (February 3, 2013). "Stephen Silver: "Stop Working For Free!"". Cartoon Brew. Cartoon Brew, LLC. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  21. ^ Caplan, Lorne (January 23, 2012). "Red Headed Women; Are They The Sexiest People on Earth". Couples Company. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  22. ^ Brian, Greg (June 18, 2012). "'Brave' might bring renaissance, respect for redheaded characters animated and real". Yahoo! News. Yahoo! - ABC News Network. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  23. ^ Goodman, Martin (May 14, 2004). "Three to Grow On". Animation World Network. AWN, Inc. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  24. ^ Sierra, Gabrielle (April 22, 2010). "BWW Interviews: WHITE'S LIES' Christy Carlson Romano". Broadway World. Wisdom Digital Media. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  25. ^ Cohn, Angel (February 17, 2004). "Disney Starlet Broadway Bound". TV Guide. TV Guide. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  26. ^ Lee, Michael J. (August 25, 2004). "Will Friedle". RadioFree.com. Radio Free Entertainment. Retrieved 28 April 2013. 
  27. ^ ""Kim Possible," Christy Carlson Romano, @ Big Apple Comic Con ‘Spring Edition!’". Wizard World. WizardWorld.com. Retrieved 17 April 2013. 
  28. ^ Farinella, Tony (April 11, 2008). "411 Movies Interview: Christy Carlson Romano of Even Stevens and The Cutting Edge 3". 411Mania. 411mania.com, LLC. Retrieved 17 April 2013. 
  29. ^ "Christy Carlson Romano". PBS Kids. CastleWorks, Inc. 2007. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  30. ^ "Watch Kim Possible Online - Full Episodes". Yidio. Yidio. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  31. ^ Sarto, Dan (July 2, 2013). "Dr. Toon: Steal and Steel – Phineas, Ferb and Marvel Unite". Animation Word Network. AWN, Inc. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  32. ^ Liu, Ed (February 9, 2007). "Toon Zone Interviews Bob Schooley & Mark McCorkle on Kim Possible Season 4". Toon Zone News. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  33. ^ "Disney's Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure". Parents Connect. Viacom International Inc. Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  34. ^ Owen, Rob (June 7, 2002). "On the Tube: Animated 'Kim Possible' new brand of action hero". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. PG Publishing Co., Inc. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  35. ^ McLoone, Tracy (June 10, 2002). "Kim Possible". PopMatters. PopMatters.com. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  36. ^ Buchanan, Levi (March 30, 2007). "Kim Possible Review". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  37. ^ Wallace, Betsy. "Kim Possible". Common Sense Media. Common Sense Media Inc. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  38. ^ "Top Animated Hotties - Kim Possible". UGO. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 24 November 2013.