Kim Possible

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For the character, see Kim Possible (character). For the video game series, see Kim Possible (video game series).
Kim Possible
Disney's Kim Possible (intertitle).jpg
The series' intertitle.
Genre Action-comedy
Adventure
Created by
Voices of
Theme music composer Cory Lerios
George Gabriel
Opening theme "Call Me, Beep Me", performed by Christina Milian
Composer(s) Adam Berry
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 87 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Bob Schooley
Mark MacCorkle out
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s) Walt Disney Television Animation
Disney Channel Original Productions
Distributor Buena Vista Television
(2002-2007)
(seasons 1-4)

Disney–ABC Domestic Television
(2007)
(season 4)
Release
Original network Disney Channel
Toon Disney
Freeform
Picture format 1080i (16:9 HDTV)
Audio format
Original release June 7, 2002 (2002-06-07) – September 7, 2007 (2007-09-07)
External links
Website

Kim Possible is an American animated action comedy-adventure[1][2] television series created by Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle that originally aired on the Disney Channel from June 7, 2002 to September 7, 2007. The series revolves around high school cheerleader Kim Possible (Christy Carlson Romano) – a teenage crime-fighter tasked with saving the world on a regular basis while coping with everyday personal and social issues commonly associated with adolescence. Kim is aided by her clumsy best friend and sidekick Ron Stoppable (Will Friedle), his pet naked mole rat Rufus (Nancy Cartwright), and Wade (Tahj Mowry), a 10 year-old computer genius. The majority of Team Possible's missions require them to thwart the evil plans of Dr. Drakken (John DiMaggio) and his sidekick Shego (Nicole Sullivan), a relentless mad scientist and supervillain duo, but Kim and Ron occasionally encounter other enemies as well.

Veteran Disney Channel writers, Schooley and McCorkle were recruited by the network to develop an animated series capable of attracting both younger and older audiences, and conceived Kim Possible as a show about a teenage girl who can do anything, and her less competent sidekick. Inspired by the scarcity of female-led animated series as well as their own daughters, the episodes, some of which are based on the creators' own high school experiences, combine elements of action, adventure, romance and comedy to appeal to both girls and boys, while parodying the James Bond franchise, spy and superhero films, and teen sitcoms. Distinct in its humor from other Disney Channel series, Schooley and McCorkle developed a fast-paced sitcom-style dialogue to appeal to adult viewers and parents. The series hosts a cast of actors familiar to the Disney Channel, as well as established voice actors and comedians from other well known animated programs. With an emphasis on modern-day technology, the series touches upon themes and subjects such as feminism and the friend zone.

Kim Possible was the second animated Disney Channel Original Series, and the first series to be produced by Walt Disney Television Animation, in association with Disney Channel. Kim Possible received positive reviews throughout its run, praised for its humor and smart writing that appealed to both younger and older viewers. Lasting four seasons, Kim Possible was Disney Channel's longest-running original animated series until surpassed by Phineas and Ferb. The success of the show spawned two television films, Kim Possible: A Sitch in Time and Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama, as well as several video games. Recorded by singer Christina Milian, the show's theme song "Call Me, Beep Me" topped the Radio Disney charts, becoming so popular among fans to the point of which it benefited Milian's career.

Premise[edit]

Promotional artwork for "Crush", the series' pilot, featuring (counter-clockwise from upper left) Shego (in green) Ron, Kim, Rufus, and Dr. Drakken (upper-right, in blue)

Taking place in the fictional town of Middleton, USA, Kim Possible focuses on the adventures of Kim Possible, a high school student and cheerleader who regularly fights crime assisted by her best friend and sidekick, Ron Stoppable, and Rufus, his pet naked mole rat;[3] Ron's clumsiness sometimes has a tendency to jeopardize the success of their missions.[4] Kim and Ron are aided remotely by 10 year-old computer genius Wade, who communicates with them from his bedroom via Kim's Kimmunicator.[5] Together, the four make up Team Possible.[6]

Most of Kim's missions require her to travel around the world battling a variety of enemies and villains.[3] Kim's primary and most persistent adversaries are Dr. Drakken, a mad scientist who constantly plots world domination, only to have his plans interrupted by Kim, and his sidekick Shego, a former superheroine with the ability to generate powerful blasts of green energy using her hands, making her the heroine's most dangerous foe. Too young to drive herself to most of her missions throughout the series, Kim relies on people she has helped in the past for transportation.[6]

Attending Middleton High School with Ron, Kim lives with her family: father James, a rocket scientist, and Ann, a brain surgeon,[7] as well as her younger brothers, identical twins Jim and Tim. Fully aware of her occupation, they support Kim's crime-fighting ventures and are more concerned with the goings-on of Kim's dating life.[8] Lacking a secret identity unlike traditional superheroes, Kim is quite famous, and her profession is both openly accepted and acknowledged by her peers, although she rarely receives much attention from her schoolmates.[3] The series also explores the highs and lows of Kim's life as a high school student as she navigates through dating, exams and learning to drive,[9] and how Kim is forced to find a balance between her demanding career and personal life.[10] However, fighting crime actually comes to Kim more naturally than the more typical aspects of her life.[11]

Kim becomes involved in crime-fighting rather unintentionally.[11] In events prior to the series, Kim is in need of a job and creates her own website to promote her babysitting and lawn mowing services,[11] advertising it using the slogan "I can do anything."[7] Kim is soon flooded with e-mails asking for her assistance, and ultimately decides to use her talents to help the world, becoming a hero.[5]

Characters[edit]

  • Kimberly Ann "Kim" Possible[6] (voiced by Christy Carlson Romano) – a smart, popular and athletic high school cheerleader who moonlights as a teenage crime-fighter, splitting much her time between saving the world and attending cheerleading practice.[4] Although protecting the world in which she lives from harm comes to her quite naturally, Kim actually finds growing up an average teenager much more challenging, struggling with everyday issues ranging from homework and schoolwork to bullying, embarrassment, family, parents, dating, relationships and boyfriends,[3] and self-doubt, remaining shy and insecure around boys she likes despite her good looks, competence and heroics.[4][6][12] The character is also a strong-willed perfectionist with a very competitive nature;[3] however, she remains humble, deflecting praise and refusing to take credit for her actions.[10] Kim's famous catchphrases include "So not the drama" and "What's the sitch?"[13]
  • Ronald "Ron" Stoppable (voiced by Will Friedle) – Kim's clumsy yet resourceful and devoted sidekick; her childhood best friend (and eventual boyfriend as of Season 4),[10] who struggles to realize his own full potential.[6] Although Ron is much less skilled when it comes to crime-fighting in comparison to Kim, he has proven his merit as both a reliable teammate and sidekick on numerous occasions, much to the surprise of his adversaries – and sometimes Kim herself, gradually maturing over the course of the series.[6] Known for his catchphrase "Booyah",[14] Ron serves as the show's goofball and comic relief.[3][10] He has a fear of monkeys.[6]
  • Rufus (voiced by Nancy Cartwright) – Ron's pet naked mole rat, who accompanies Kim and Ron on their missions, traveling in his pocket.
  • Wade Load[15] (voiced by Tahj Mowry) – a 10 year-old computer genius who remotely informs Kim and Ron about upcoming missions from his bedroom,[6] and equips them with tools and gadgets, including Kim's signature Kimmunicator, via which he provides them with important information about missions.[7] Holding several PhDs,[10] Wade is also responsible for managing Kim's website.[4] The fact that Wade never leaves his bedroom demonstrates signs of agorophobia.[10]
  • Dr. Drakken (voiced by John DiMaggio) – born Drew Theodore P. Lipsky,[10] Kim's archnemesis and most frequent opponent;[6] an evil mad scientist constantly plotting world domination,[15] although the majority of his attempts fail at the hands of Kim because he lacks the patience and intelligence to perfect his ideas.[10] A laboratory accident is responsible for turning his skin blue.[6] Drakken is also a former college roommate of Kim's father, James,[16] and usually screams the line "You may think you’re all that, Kim Possible, but you’re not!" when defeated.[6]
  • Shego (voiced by Nicole Sullivan) – Kim's main combatant and opponent;[6] a supervillain with the superhuman ability to emit powerful green energy blasts from her hands. She is Drakken's sarcastic – but far more intelligent and capable – sidekick, openly mocking Drakken with little regard for the fact that he is technically her boss,[3] whose incompetence she finds herself making up for more often than not.[15] Originally a member of a family team of superheroes alongside her brothers known as Team Go, Shego converted to villainy having grown attracted to the evil she once fought against, in addition to finding her brothers extremely annoying.[6] Smart, athletic and attractive, Shego is essentially a "dark reflection" of Kim,[10] and the only character the heroine truly has reason to fear.[15]

Some episodes revolve around characters besides Kim and Ron, such as villains, who have been provided with nearly as much screen time and back story as the heroes.[9] Other significant recurring characters who appear throughout the series include Kim's parents, Drs. James and Ann Possible (Gary Cole and Jean Smart, respectively), and her younger brothers, twin geniuses Jim and Tim (Shaun Fleming, seasons 1-3; Spencer Fox, season 4), to whom she collectively refers as "Tweebs" (twin dweebs); the twins speak their own language known as "Twinnish".[6] Kim shares a bitter rivalry with fellow cheerleader Bonnie Rockwaller (Kirsten Storms), a popular schoolmate who, unlike Kim, is snobby, selfish and generally unkind towards others – her "polar opposite".[10] Kim's female best friend is Monique (Raven-Symoné), who has occasionally been forced into accompanying Kim on select missions in the event that Ron is unavailable; she bridges the worlds of Kim's hero and high school lives,[6] also acting as a guidance counselor.[10] Although Drakken and Shego are Kim and Ron's most frequent and relentless adversaries, the characters occasionally battle other diverse villains, namely Monkey Fist, Duff Killigan, father-son duo Señor Senior, Sr. and Señor Senior, Jr., and Professor Dementor.

Production[edit]

Conception and characters[edit]

Long-time collaborators, television writers Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle had already been writing for the Disney Channel for several years, contributing to the animated spin-off series Aladdin and Hercules.[17] Although they had enjoyed working on those projects, Schooley and McCorkle were becoming interested in creating "something original".[17] At the same time, the writers learned that the Disney Channel was interested in developing a show featuring ordinary children in extraordinary circumstances,[18] and thus commissioned Schooley and McCorkle to create an animated series geared towards nine to 14 year-olds that was also capable of attracting older audiences.[1] Traveling in an elevator on their way back to their office from their lunch break,[12] McCorkle said to Schooley, "Kim Possible. She can do anything", to which Schooley responded, “Ron Stoppable, he can’t”; nearly the entire premise naturally unfolded afterwards.[18] The characters Rufus, Ron's pet naked mole rat, and Wade, a young computer genius, were eventually added later, but the series is essentially about Kim "who is incredibly competent in the action world but challenged in the real world by all the things we all have trouble with ... And then Ron would be challenged everywhere."[12] According to Schooley and McCorkle, the characters' names "tells you that this is going to be an arched show that is a little bit over the top, but also that the girl is going to be the action lead and the guy is going to be funny."[18]

With its action heroine and comical sidekick established, Kim Possible evolved into the easiest show Schooley and McCorkle had ever developed.[12] The Disney Channel's first foray into developing an entirely original animated series and characters "from scratch",[17] Kim Possible was developed out of the creators' realization that there were few animated series starring female characters at the time and, inspired by their own daughters, created Kim as "a character that ... girls can look up to".[19] Despite being a "strong female role model", Schooley acknowledged that "Sure [Kim] can save the world, but that doesn't help her a bit when she comes face-to-face with her latest school crush."[11] The writers were also inspired by their own childhood heroes James Bond and Captain Kirk from Star Trek, and wanted Kim herself to serve as a character their daughters could similarly pretend to be, like they themselves had growing up.[18] Unlike traditional superheroes, Kim lacks both superpowers and a secret identity; the creators insisted that the character not be "impervious" like superheroes because they wanted both her and Ron to be relatable to children.[18] The recurring character Monique was created because Schooley and McCorkle felt it would be more realistic if Kim were to also have a female best friend.[16] Instead of superpowers, Kim's crime-fighting abilities stem from real-life activities such as cheerleading and gymnastics, "something that any kid, any girl, in the world could do."[18]

Casting[edit]

Much of Kim Possible's voice cast consists of Disney Channel and ABC alumnae.[12][20] The lead role of Kim was originally offered to Anneliese van der Pol,[21] who declined in favor of co-starring as Chelsea Daniels in a different Disney Channel Original Series, That's so Raven.[22] After auditioning several actresses for the role,[16] Christy Carlson Romano was finally cast as Kim at the age of 16,[17] brought to the attention of Schooley and McCorkle by the Disney Channel and impressing them with her audition.[16] Romano had already been well known among Disney Channel audiences for her portrayal of Ren Stevens on the series Even Stevens (which similarly targeted young girls aged six to 14),[23] and immediately identified with her character because they were "both dealing with teenage issues" at the same time, comparing Kim's challenge of battling both her personal life and villains to herself balancing schoolwork with her acting career.[12] Describing her character as "very ambitious, very skilled, very smart," Romano told The New York Times "I've tried to make her a good role model. Her confidence and her sincerity really shine through."[5] The actress was forced to forfeit her own senior prom due to working on Kim Possible.[5] Romano's performance was nominated for an Emmy Award.[24] Recognized for his ability to play "over-the-top characters",[14] Will Friedle, best remembered for his performance as Eric Matthews on the ABC sitcom Boy Meets World, provides the voice of Ron.[12] Fans of the series often ask Friedle to recite Ron's famous catchphrase, "Booyah".[14] Schooley attributes much of the success of the show to the casting and chemistry of Romano and Friedle, explaining, "they add something to this that makes it more than a typical gag-oriented cartoon."[17]

To prepare herself for the role of Rufus, Nancy Cartwright, best known for her long-running performance as the voice of Bart Simpson on The Simpsons,[25] researched naked mole rats extensively to the point of which she became "a font of useless trivia".[26] Cartwright cites Rufus among her two most difficult characters to voice due to the constant use of her diaphragm required to produce 18 different mole rat sound effects.[26] Her performance earned her a Daytime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program.[26] John DiMaggio was cast as Drakken because the creators were impressed with his performance as Bender on Futurama, musing, "Drakken is as funny as he is because of how funny John is. Like any of the great voiceover guys, he can do multiple voices. He also just has a terrific comedic sense."[16] Schooley and McCorkle had previously worked with comedian Nicole Sullivan on the Disney Channel animated series Buzz Lightyear of Star Command and created the role of Shego with her in mind.[18] Sullivan's first recording session opposite DiMaggio, voice of Drakken, established a chemistry between the two actors and their respective characters, out of which Shego's signature sarcasm was first introduced.[18] During the show's first season, the actors generally recorded separate from each other, but Friedle, DiMaggio and Sullivan were presented with the opportunity to record together throughout the second season.[14] Having been enrolled in school in New York at the time, Romano would record remotely and usually be "phone patched in" for recording sessions; there is only one occasion on which the entire cast recorded together.[14]

Tahj Mowry, who plays T.J. Henderson on the Disney Channel sitcom Smart Guy, voices Wade.[12] In terms of recurring roles and guest appearances, Jean Smart voices Kim's mother Ann.[5] Kirsten Storms voiced Kim's high school rival Bonnie while portraying Belle on the long-running soap opera Days of Our Lives simultaneously.[27] Prior to Kim Possible, Storms starred in the Disney Channel films Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century and Johnny Tsunami (1999).[28] That's So Raven's Raven-Symoné voices Monique,[29] cast based on her reputation as a comedic actress and ability to deliver a strong punchline.[16] Señor Senior, Sr. and Señor Senior, Jr. are voiced by Ricardo Montalban and Nestor Carbonell, respectively.[5] Friedle's Boy Meets World co-star Rider Strong voices Brick Flag, Bonnie's boyfriend.[12] Ashley Tisdale of the Disney Channel's High School Musical (2006) and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody voices villain Camille Leon, introduced in season 4.[16]

Writing and development[edit]

Serving as executive producers in addition to and writers throughout the entire series, Schooley and McCorkle oversaw the show for its entire duration in order to maintain consistency.[18] As executive producers, Schooley and McCorkle were mostly involved in the writing process, focusing on plot and dialogue, while storyboarding was handled by Steve Loter.[17] Much of the series is based on both Schooley and McCorkle's own experiences growing up as teenagers in high school.[19] Although essentially a comedy series, Schooley and McCorkle also combined elements of adventure, relationships and humor in order to appeal to both boys, who are primarily interested in action, and girls, who are more-so attracted to relationships and character development, while aware of the "ancient truisms" surrounding the belief that boys are generally less likely to watch a series starring a female lead.[18] Additionally, the show heavily parodies the popular James Bond films.[18]

Without alienating younger viewers, the writing in Kim Possible is "a little older than" what one would typically expect to find in a Disney animated series.[12] While nearly void of adult references and in-jokes, Schooley and McCorkle used a sitcom-style dialogue and rhythm to attract adult viewers, resulting in scripts that are five pages longer than most Disney Channel teleplays.[17] Some of the show's plots and ideas are drawn from the lives of both creators' daughters; Schooley explained that "My daughter is in the band at her high school so I've been going to a lot of football games and that's how we came up with the idea of Ron joining the football team."[19] Citing Ron as his favorite character, McCorkle admitted that he reminds him of his high school self.[19] Although not as strong an action hero as Kim, at the same time the creators were careful to highlight Ron's courage by emphasizing the fact that he constantly puts himself in dangerous situations.[18] By the fourth and final season, the writers had taken into consideration male fans' yearning to see Ron succeed more often than he had in earlier seasons,[18] developing him into a more confident character as he gradually "come[s] into his own".[16] Drakken and Shego's relationship mirrors Kim and Ron's to some extent, with the female character remaining smarter and more competent than her fumbling male teammate.[18] Initially envisioned as a "standard sidekick", Sullivan's sarcastic interpretation of Shego ultimately inspired Schooley and McCorkle to build upon the humour based around the fact that she barely tolerates Drakken.[18]

The creators had always intended for Kim and Ron to eventually become romantically involved but avoided this storyline in fear of painting themselves in a corner, citing Sam and Diane's ill-fated relationship in the sitcom Cheers as an example.[30] Throughout the first three seasons, the idea of Ron having feelings for Kim is hinted at, but he never pursues a relationship with her due to various reasons.[30] Production on new episodes of the series had virtually ceased towards the end of Season 3 when Kim and Ron finally become a couple, which McCorkle felt ended the series perfectly in the film Kim Possible: So the Drama, thus eliminating any need to determine how they should go about proceeding with the couple.[30] However, the success of So the Drama increased the show's popularity overseas and ultimately convinced the Disney Channel to renew the series for a fourth season, ordering 22 new episodes that continue after the events of the film.[17][30] Thus, for the first time, Schooley and McCorkle were faced with the challenge of writing for Kim and Ron as a couple, but eventually grew to appreciate their "new dynamic" for providing the show with "new life",[30] while allowing them to explore new ideas and opportunities for comedy.[16]

Schooley and McCorkle confronted the challenge of portraying dating in a way that would appeal to both younger and older children by having the villains react to news of Kim and Ron's unlikely relationship with disbelief, since "Ron is painfully aware that he is the luckiest man in the world ... for landing Kim".[30] Treating their romance much like their friendship, the writers refused to approach it like a soap opera by constantly having the couple break up only to reunite, "keep[ing] the basics of the relationship the same" and realistic by quickly aborting "the lovey-dovey phase".[30] To avoid alienating younger audiences, Schooley and McCorkle only slightly acknowledged the topic, maintaining that Kim "still saves the world. We still have the villains, and we have the comedy with the villains and their bizarre schemes and how they get foiled."[30] The season also sees the introduction of new villains including Camille Leone, a celebrity whose plastic surgery allows her to shape shift.[16] The villains also work with different combinations of each other.[16]

In the fourth season, Kim also gets her own car and her genius brothers join her in high school despite being only 12 years old,[30] beginning their freshman year due to their genius-level intellect.[16] Beginning with So the Drama, Wade begins to venture outside the confines of his room more often.[16] The role of Monique is expanded from that of simply an observer of Kim and Ron's lives to becoming more involved in their missions, opening up the ensemble.[16] The series ends with Kim and Ron graduating, leaving their future open to imagination.[3]

Design and animation[edit]

Creating the Kim Possible universe was very much a collaborative process between executive producers-writers Schooley and McCorkle, the Disney Channel, the character designers and the voice actors, who were also allowed to contribute their ideas.[18] Although Schooley and McCorkle participated in designing Kim's physical appearance, the bulk of that particular task was manned by season one director Chris Bailey, art director Alan Bodner and character designer Stephen Silver.[18] Due to their previous experience working on animated television series, Schooley and McCorkle knew that "Kim had to be an appealing character".[18] Evolving dramatically over the course of three months, Kim, who was originally depicted as a standard athletic-looking blonde heroine, underwent several changes.[18] At one point, the character was designed to resemble video game character Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider franchise until the Disney Channel abandoned this concept in favor of one more unique and akin to a more realistic 14 year-old girl, as opposed to a bombshell.[18] Admitting that Kim would have been their high school dream girl, the creators joked, "She would have been way out of our class though."[18] On the other hand, Schooley and McCorkle envisioned Ron as "a goofy-appealing character."[18]

With characters drawn with large heads and eyes,[4] the show's colorful, "hip and retro" style is reminiscent of "campy" spy films released during the 1960s and 1970s.[31] Using a limited animation style,[32] the characters wear a wide variety of costumes and hairstyles.[9] Opting for a "simplicity that was the hallmark of" the 1960s, some of the architecture in Kim Possible is reminiscient of lairs owned by James Bond villains, while Bodner was inspired by the graphic design of posters Disney used during the same decade, as well a Chuck Jones and Maurice Noble.[16]

Music[edit]

Written by musicians Cory Lerios and George Gabriel, the show's theme song "Call Me, Beep Me" (also known as "Call Me, Beep Me! (The Kim Possible Song)" or simply "The Kim Possible Song")[33] is performed by American recording artist Christina Milian.[34] Having already been working for the Disney Channel at the time, appearing on the network's miniseries Movie Surfers, Milian learned about Kim Possible from Disney when the studio called her in recruitment of an artist to record the new show's theme song.[35] After meeting with the songwriters, who then proceeded to write the song, for the first time, Milian returned to the studio to record "Call Me, Beep Me" one week later.[35] Described as a Motown-influenced R&B and teen pop track,[34][36] "Call Me, Beep Me" is heard during the show's opening title sequence, encouraging viewers and listeners to contact Kim for assistance should they ever find themselves in troubling situations.[34] The sounds of mobile devices and technology are incorporated throughout the song.[33] The theme song became so popular among fans of both the show and Milian herself that several of them proceeded to download it as their own cell phone ringtones.[37]

"Call Me, Beep Me" became a Radio Disney hit, remaining at number one for 12 weeks.[38] The song's success ultimately benefited Milian's career as a performer; she explained, "I never realized that show would give me so much exposure. It’s great because people have grown with me, even with that damn song. Didn’t know so many people were watching Kim Possible like that. Because of that song, it actually inspired me to do my own musical animated artist because a lot of people thought I was Kim Possible."[37] Milian has yet to perform the song live in concert but has expressed interest in recording a remix for fans.[35] "Call Me, Beep Me" was Lerios and Gabriel's first song written working together, and the songwriting duo has since gone on to collaborate on both scoring and writing songs for several other major television networks.[39]

Composer Adam Berry was responsible for scoring the entire series. While the music in Kim Possible is mostly guitar-driven, Berry's scoring experience prior to the show had been exclusively orchestral, composing scores using only a keyboard.[36] A guitarist since the age of six, Berry himself provided all the guitar and bass musical cues in Kim Possible.[36] Although discussing whether or not popular music featured in the series should be stylistically similar to the score, Disney decided to avoid limiting the show to then-current musical trends because, according to Berry, "trying to be current is one of the best ways to sound dated."[36] While themes of electronic music are heard during the scene's fight sequences, guitar riffs of "Call Me, Beep Me" are reprised throughout episodes.[9] The third season introduces a range of more character-specific songs.[9]

An official Kim Possible soundtrack was released by Walt Disney Records on July 1, 2003, featuring "Call Me, Beep Me" and "Could it Be",[40] in addition to other musical contributions from various Disney artists, including Aaron Carter.[36] Romano also recorded a new song entitled "Say the World" for the album.[41] A combination of teen pop, pop rock, power pop and R&B music,[41][42][43] the soundtrack also features appearances by musical groups A-Teens, Jump5 (performing a cover of Kool & the Gang's "Celebration"), LMNT and Smash Mouth, and Will Friedle and Nancy Cartwright's "Naked Mole Rap",[42] a rapped tribute to Ron's pet Rufus,[44] ultimately concluding with a "work-you-up remix" of the theme song by Tony Phillip.[41][44] Aimed primarily at the show's young fan base,[43] AllMusic writer Heather Phares reviewed the album as "a better than average children's soundtrack."[42]

Style and themes[edit]

Although primarily an action-comedy series,[29] Music in Television: Channels of Listening author James Deaville observed that Kim Possible adheres to the long-standing tradition of combining adventure with comedy in animated television.[36] According to The Artifice, the show's unique brand of humor distinguishes it from the slapstick style the Disney Channel uses in most of its sitcoms, such as Phil of the Future and That's So Raven,[9] although the character Ron can be perceived as slapstick.[45] With a tendency to not take itself seriously,[12] Kim Possible both parodies and pays tribute to the spy and superhero film genres, its comedy benefiting from the show's emphasis on "over-the-top plots" and circumstances;[3] Shego's own family of superheroes known as Team Go is a parody of the superhero team the Fantastic Four.[16] The series also parodies the teen sitcom genre,[32] teenage fads and teenage trends in general, and sometimes even makes fun of its own plot holes and oversights,[9] while occasionally adopting some common cartoon and sitcom tropes.[6]

In addition to other "mainstays" of youth, technology plays an important role in the series, specifically the Internet and Kim's gadgets, the most significant of which is a cell phone-like device known as a Kimmunicator designed to help Kim communicate with Wade and allowing her access to virtually any information she desires.[11] McCorkle elaborated on the emphasis on technology in Kim Possible: "Using the Internet theme in the series became an easy launching pad partially because it is such a major part of the fabric of teen life and the interactive possibilities are endless ... It's as though we get to play James Bond's 'Q' for each episode -- the more imaginative the toy, the better."[11] Particularly desirable to younger viewers,[4] technology allows Kim to travel around the world effortlessly and, although unrealistic, to some extent mirrors children's ability to speak to anyone anywhere in the world using the Internet.[18] BuzzFeed cites Wade as an "example that sitting in front of your computer all day is actually the most powerful position to be in."[13]

Kim Possible explores themes associated with third-wave feminism.[45] Hosting a cast of several strong female characters,[3] Kim Possible confronts gender norms and barriers.[13] According to MTV's Monique Steele, the series is "all about how girls kick butt."[20] Kim contantly rescues Ron, saving his life on several occasions.[46] According to Betsy Wallace of Common Sense Media, Kim Possible "capitalizes on the female villain-fighting craze that sparked with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Alias", albeit simplifying the format for younger audiences.[31] Agreeing that the series adopted the then-recent "crime-fighting female" formula, Tracey McLoone of PopMatters wrote that it is "impossible not to compare Kim to other TV females like Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner) of ABC’s Alias, or even Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup of Powerpuff Girls."[4] However, McLoone observed that Kim is "more self-assured" and confident than her predecessors, incorporating cheerleading techniques and acrobatics into her fights against enemies, and using traditionally "girly" accessories such as lip gloss and makeup to her advantage.[4] Bustle's Sarah Freymiller defended that "Kim offers a model for femininity that both bolsters and works against the typical 'high school cheerleader' stereotype" despite her exposed midriff, citing cheerleading as an outlet the character chooses willingly.[45] Julia Pugachevsky of BuzzFeed credits the series with "show[ing] that you could be traditionally feminine and strong at the same time."[13]

Unlike popular animated series such as The Simpsons and Family Guy "in which the mother is inordinately attractive compared to the boorish, morbidly obese father", both of Kim's parents are equally intelligent, accomplished and attractive.[45] Kim's father James views women as equals.[10] Kim's grandmother "Nana" Possible was a crime-fighter much like Kim herself in her younger years.[6] Kim Possible deals with the subject of the friend zone via Kim and Ron's relationship,[6][13] "playing with the trope of male and female friendship" reminiscent of the romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally... (1989).[45] According to Sarah Freymiller of Bustle, the protagonists relationship recalls that of Batman and Joker, "Kim holds the functional and social power, while Ron exerts more of a calming, occasionally slapstick influence on the show. In a sense, he is the Joker to her Batman; he is the intelligent, kind chaos in her highly-organized life."[45] Freymiller also believes Ron might have been concieved because "the creators sensed that television would only be able to accept a strong female character if she had a male counterpart," eliminating fears Kim might be perceived as too bitchy, complimenting her actions as opposed to dominating.[45]

Broadcast[edit]

Kim Possible's premiere became the most-watched of any Disney Channel Original Series.[11] Episodes were broadcast in syndication in the United States on Disney-affiliated channels such as Toon Disney and ABC as part of its ABC Kids lineup.[17] On September 27, 2013, Kim Possible returned to Disney Channel for a single airing of two episodes part of Disney Channel's "Throwback Thursday" midnight timeslot.[47] This airing was repeated on September 28, 2013. From 2014 to 2015, Kim Possible aired weekdays on Disney XD in the United States. When the series returned to Disney XD in February 2014, fans flocked to Twitter to voice their approval.[45] The series also airs on Disney-affiliated channels around the world in countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, India, South Africa, and several Eastern European countries. On May 2, 2016, the series began airing on Disney's Freeform network as part of the late-night That's So Throwback block.[48]

The series premiered on Disney Channel on June 7, 2002,[49] with the episode "Crush". On February 22, 2005, after three seasons and 65 episodes, the show ended production. Due to the popularity of the series and grassroots operations by dedicated fans, Disney announced on November 29, 2005, that the show would be renewed for a fourth season.

The fourth season debuted on Disney Channel on February 10, 2007. The series finale aired on September 7, 2007, with the airing of the one-hour-long concluding episode "Graduation."[50] Steve Loter documented the production of the final episode of season four, and thus the completion of the Kim Possible franchise, in a blog titled "So the Finale" hosted on Blogger. It included behind-the-scenes and production information from the perspective of the crew as well as production sketches from one of several alternative endings that had been scripted. "So the Finale" maintained an open comment system allowing fans to express their views on the franchise and its closure.[51]

Artist Stephen Silver was the lead character

The series is currently the second longest running Disney Channel Original Series in terms of duration, running for five years and three months, having been surpassed by Phineas & Ferb in 2013.

Episodes[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired
Season premiere Season finale
1 21 June 7, 2002 (2002-06-07) May 16, 2003 (2003-05-16)
2 30 July 18, 2003 (2003-07-18) August 5, 2004 (2004-08-05)
3 14 September 25, 2004 (2004-09-25) June 10, 2006 (2006-06-10)
4 22 February 10, 2007 (2007-02-10) September 7, 2007 (2007-09-07)

Crossover with Lilo & Stitch[edit]

Kim Possible comes to Kauai with Ron Stoppable in an episode of Lilo & Stitch: The Series named after Ron's pet naked mole rat Rufus. The two help Lilo rescue Stitch from Dr. Drakken, while Jumba mistakes Rufus for one of his missing experiments.

Reception[edit]

The series was nominated for a Primetime Emmy award in 2003. After the premiere of the pilot episode, Kim Possible was the most-watched and highest-rated television show on Disney Channel at that time. The series as a whole was nominated for the Daytime Emmy in 2004 and again in 2005 (that year it received five nominations and won one for Outstanding Sound Mixing — Live Action and Animation).[52]

Kim Possible has garnered critical acclaim throughout its run.[30] Describing the show as "infectious" for its fast-paced writing and dialogue, Rob Owen of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote, "Blessed with a modern sense of humor and hip -- but not too hip -- vocabulary, 'Kim Possible' should appeal to the tweens (ages 9-13) it clearly targets", while crowning Rufus the series' breakout star.[8] Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret News praised Kim Possible as "an entertaining show that should indeed appeal to tweens, younger kids and even their parents" that "plays with the superhero format in a way that doesn't take itself too seriously but doesn't play down to the viewers."[12] Tracy McLoone of PopMatters reviewed, "Kim Possible includes adult-friendly humor, in the event that parents feel the need to watch tv (sic) with their kids. But nobody in or watching the series will ever be offended or over-stimulated, or even surprised."[4] While accepting heroine Kim as a positive role model and acknowledging that the show sometimes teaches children "good lessons", Besty Wallace of Common Sense Media expressed concern about the action and violence explaining, "lessons may get muddled and nearly lost as the heroes shimmy up rope ladders dangling from helicopters and dodge spinning tops of doom. As long as you're not expecting too much in the way of educational value, you'll probably have plenty of fun with this one."[31] Writing for Bustle, Sarah Freymiller opined, "Ultimately, Kim Possible was just a solid show. It didn't skimp on plot or dialogue in favor of Wile E. Coyote explosions, and its tongue-in-cheek humor allowed it to be self-aware and hip at the same time."[45] Freymiller also appreciated Kim and Ron's relationship for "working together as a team without any over-the-top teenage hormones".[45]

A poll conducted by the Disney Channel revealed that audiences voted "Emotion Sickness" as their favorite episode.[30] The most successful Disney Channel Original Series at the time of its initial airing, Kim Possible lasted five years, airing four seasons, spawning two television films and numerous video game adaptations.[9] Kim Possible remains Schooley and McCorkle's best known work.[17] The show ultimately proved popular among both male and female audiences.[19] Explaining the show's popularity among both females and males, the creators said, "Whenever there’s an action complement to a show, boys get excited, and when Kim does her martial arts and when she’s doing one of these incredible stunts, boys love to watch it ... And one of the things that we’ve always found is that boys of any age ... love humour and characters that are a little goofy, sort of silly and weird. When we tested it, the kids were like: 'Oh, Ron’s stupid funny' and that became sort of a buzz phrase."[19]

Entertainment Weekly ranked Kim Possible fourth on its list of the 25 greatest Disney Channel Original Series of all time, calling it an "animated gem".[53] MTV ranked Kim Possible 13th on its list of "15 Disney Channel Series We Wish We Could Watch Again".[20]

Awards and nominations[edit]

2005 - Outstanding Sound Mixing - Live Action and Animation - Melissa Ellis and Fil Brown (Won)
2005 - Outstanding Children's Animated Program - (Nominated)

Films[edit]

Walt Disney Television Animation Digital Production producers two television films based on television series, two films based on Kim Possible: A Sitch in Time and Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama, two television films created by Walt Disney Pictures and Television on November 28, 2003, on April 8, 2005.

DVDs[edit]

Volume Release Date Episodes
Kim Possible: The Secret Files September 2, 2003 "Attack of the Killer Bebes"
"Downhill"
"Partners"
"Crush (Bonus Episode)"
Kim Possible: A Sitch in Time November 28, 2003 "Present"
"Past"
"Future"
Kim Possible: The Villain Files December 7, 2004 "Blush"
"Animal Attraction"
"Number One"
"Showdown at Crooked D"
Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama May 10, 2005 "Part 1"
"Part 2"
"Part 3"
"Gorilla Fist (Bonus episode)"
Kim Possible: Monkey Business
(Europe and Australia only)
November 5, 2007 "Monkey Fist Strikes"
"Monkey Ninjas in Space"
"The Full Monkey"
"Gorilla Fist"
Kim Possible Finale: Graduation October 4, 2007 "Part 1"
"Part 2"
Kim Possible: The Complete First Season 2010 (USA & Canada) Features all 21 episodes over 3 discs.
Kim Possible: The Complete Second Season 2010 (USA & Canada) Features all 30 episodes over 3 discs.

Video games[edit]

  • Disney's Kim Possible: Revenge of Monkey Fist (GBA) — released, November 15, 2002
  • Disney's Kim Possible 2: Drakken's Demise (GBA) — released, September 22, 2004
  • Disney's Kim Possible 3: Team Possible (GBA) — released, July 26, 2005
  • Disney's Kim Possible: Kimmunicator (DS) — released, November 9, 2005
  • Disney's Kim Possible: Legend of the Monkeys Eye (PC) — released, May 16, 2006
  • Disney's Kim Possible: What's the Switch? (PS2) — released, October 19, 2006
  • Disney's Kim Possible: Global Gemini (DS) — released, February 13, 2007

Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure[edit]

Based on the series, the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure was an interactive attraction that took place in several of Epcot's World Showcase pavilions in Walt Disney World. The attraction is an electronic scavenger hunt that has guests using special "Kimmunicators" (in actuality, modified cell phones) to help Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable solve a "crime" or disrupt an evil-doer's "plans for global domination." The "Kimmunicator" is able to trigger specific events within the pavilion grounds that provide clues to completing the adventure. Launched in January 2009 and presented by Verizon Wireless, the Adventure is included in park admission.[54]

The attraction was closed on May 18, 2012 to make way for a similar attraction themed around the character of "Agent P" from the Disney Channel animated television show Phineas and Ferb. The new attraction, now called Disney's Phineas and Ferb's Agent P World Showcase Adventure opened in June 2012.[55]

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External links[edit]