Kim Possible (2019): The Rundown
Updated: Apr 7, 2020
So, what’s the sitch?
As it turns out, nothing is safe from the remake treatment. This includes one of my favourite Disney Channel cartoons: Kim Possible. For those who didn’t watch it back in the day, here’s a short summary. Kim Possible is your basic average girl, she does all the normal things that teenage girls do. Except, she also saves the world on a regular basis with her best friend Ron Stoppable and his side-kick Rufus the Naked Mole Rat. Kim Possible aired on the Disney Channel from 2002 – 2007 and ran for 4 seasons. The show was created by Bob Schooley & Mark McCorkle and featured the voice talents of Christy Carlson Romano (Even Stevens), Will Friedle (Boy Meets World) , John DiMaggio (Futurama) & Nancy Cartwright (The Simpsons). Development began on a live action Disney Channel Original Movie (Aka: DCOM) in 2018 which is based on the original Kim Possible cartoon which premiered on Disney Channel in February 2019.
The Kim Possible DCOM (which will be referred to as Kim Possible (2019)) was directed by Adam Stein & Zach Lipovsky, however didn’t stray too far from the path as Kim Possible’s original show runners Bob Schooley & Mark McCorkle were hired as writers for Kim Possible (2019) along with Josh Cagan. The cast is comprised of Sadie Stanley as Kim Possible, Sean Giambrone (The Goldbergs) as Ron Stoppable, Todd Stashwick (12 Monkeys) as Dr. Drakken, Taylor Ortega (Succession) as Sheego, Issac Ryan Brown (Raven’s Home) as Wade and finally, the irreplaceable Nancy Cartwright returns to voice Ruffus – The Naked Mole Rat.
In this iteration of the beloved character, Kim Possible has just started high school. She is still up to her usual antics of saving the world like it’s no big deal however now has a new friend in the mix. Kim and Ron think that they’re having the worst first day of school ever, until they bump into Athena who seems to be having a day worse than theirs. Athena is starstruck when meeting Kim Possible for the first time and admits to being such a big fan that she even cosplayed as the young heroine at comic con one year. Kim and Ron grow close to Athena and so they invite her onto their next mission. She then shows that she is more experience than she originally appeared and may have a secret too.
Although this is technically a “reboot” there are many elements which were reused or could be considered Easter eggs from the original series. Let’s start with the intro, as you can see in this side by side comparison video, many components of the original intro were re-shot in live action. We can also notice many characters from the original show have made a return, this includes Rufus, Wade, Bonnie, Jim & Tim, Kim’s parents, Dr. Dementor (who fun fact, is played by Patton Oswald in both live action and cartoon form); the list goes on. There is even a fun cameo from the original Kim Possible: Christy Carlson Romano as pop star Poppy Blu. A lot of Kim’s gadgets are also the same from her grappling hook, lipstick laser and jet pack.
My favourite returning elements of the show though have to be in the set design, upon seeing Bueno Nacho – the Mexican fast food restaurant where Ron spends most of his time (the Naco does make an appearance) – I actually felt myself begin to tear up. It was emotional seeing something so familiar to you bought to life! The Possible’s house also features the same architecture as in the cartoon and the outside of Middleton High is again, just the same – complete with the usual punny slogans displayed outside.
Lastly, I was very impressed with the casting of the two leads, both Sadie Stanley and Sean Giambrone seemed the perfect fit to play Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable. Not only did they physically resemble the characters but also vocally, especially Sean who seemed to match Ron’s voice almost perfectly. I was also very accepting of the choice to cast Alyson Hannigan as Kim Possible’s mother as well as Taylor Ortega as Sheego & Todd Stashwick as Drakken. I won’t keep on but the casting director of Kim Possible (2019) did a fantastic job!
To update the story of Kim Possible to a modern day audience, a few things were changed. First of all, Kim no longer has the communicator, instead she has essentially the same thing but in a more high-tech, AR necklace form. Don’t worry though, Wade can still be found there! There is also a distinct lack of cheer leading in this version. Instead, Kim keeps active with football/soccer, perhaps to appeal to a wider audience as I don’t think cheer leading is as prominent in schools outside the US. Kim’s outfit has also changed slightly, she still maintains her usual green khaki trousers and black shirt however you’ll notice that the ends of her trousers – instead of flaring – are styled similar to ballerina slippers, cascading up her shins. She has also ditched the crop top for a shirt more suitable for fighting crime. Kim even playfully pokes fun at her original look in a scene in the new film, when asked why she doesn’t wear her iconic look anymore she says: “wearing the same thing all the time felt a bit cartoon-y after a bit”.
A few characters who didn’t make the cut include Kim’s other best friend, Monique. That isn’t to say that Kim only has Ron though. As mentioned above, towards the end of their first day of high school, Kim and Ron meet Athena who quickly becomes part of the KP team. A character who did return however in a different form is Mr. Barkin, Kim and Ron’s relentless substitute teacher. A character who is described as being “tall with a large muscular build” which if you’ve seen the 2019 reboot, you’ll already know doesn’t quite match up. He also doesn’t have a strong likeness for his white fluffy cat like the new film suggests.
I know many people were not happy about this film, or were expecting the worst from it. I’m here to tell you that I don’t think it is that bad. Of course changes were made that may disappoint older audiences and as expected, this film is pretty tween-y (what DCOM isn’t?). The special effects aren’t exactly blockbuster movie quality either but I think that introducing this iconic heroine to a younger audience can be only a good thing. I know that I would have gone crazy for this as a kid as I was and still am such a fan of the series. I just like everyone else have grown pretty tiresome of all these film adaptations and remakes however I feel that this time, I can make an exception.
For more of Disney/cartoon posts see what else I’ve written here & nerdoutwordout.com.