This week, Zim will make his MIGHTY return in Netflix film Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus. It’s been more than a decade since he left our screens and during that time, Nickelodeon realised its mistake, constantly asking creator Jhonen Vasquez for more Zim. But Vasquez refused, again and again, as he didn’t want to make new Zim just for the sake of nostalgia – he’d only make something new if he had an idea that made him excited. Now that excitement is real as we Enter the Florpus.
“A thing I really didn’t want to do was make the movie about nostalgia,” Vasquez told CBR. “You can’t control how people will factor nostalgia into their expectations, but I’m pretty put off by reliance on it.”
He doesn’t want to make the same Zim; he wants to make more Zim! And the stuff we love about Zim will naturally follow.
The most obvious difference with what we’ve seen in trailers is that Enter the Florpus has a slightly different appearance to the original series. Thanks to Vasquez and new art director Jenny Goldberg, the art style is mostly identical, but the animation and shading are a little more modernised — movements are slicker and textures are glossier.
We don’t know too much about Enter the Florpus’ plot aside from teasers and trailers (what even is a Florpus?). We do know Zim returns to Earth to enact phase two of his plan for world domination, and Dib is ready to unmask Zim for the alien he is. Or at least attempt to unmask him.
Vasquez hopes that new fans enjoy Enter the Florpus too. It’s designed so newcomers will naturally understand each character and their motivations, but Vasquez isn’t going out of his way to spoon-feed information.
Vasquez is also using the extended format to draw on some elements from the Invader Zim comics that began in 2015. He told Den of Geek, “We made the Membrane family slightly more recognizable as a family in the comics and it carried over into the movie, and it’s even more helpful in the movie where it gave me a bit more to play with, something to help define character dynamics a bit more than just ‘THEY’RE ALL ANGRY AND THEY’RE ALL YELLING!’ They still yell a lot though. Sorry.” Good to know some things never change.
We do know that the entire original cast is returning — most importantly the voices of Zim and Gir, Supa-Star alumni Richard Horvitz and Rikki Simons. Olivia d’Abo is credited as returning as Tak, so it will be interesting to see if her character will be taking her vengeance on Zim again. Perhaps the most interesting is that Justin Roiland, the voice of Rick and Morty, also has an unknown voice credit.
Zim’s humour and cynical sensibilities worked on so many levels and no doubt influenced shows like Rick and Morty in one way or another.
Enter the Florpus may not reach Zim‘s original level of darkness, but you can be sure that it won’t be a sunny walk in the park either.
“This one story that we’re doing wasn’t designed to be more grotesque or shocking than what the series was. We were just focused on the story,” Vasquez told DOG. And if Vasquez’s focus is anything like it was like in the original series, we will be in for an out-of-this-world ride.
‘Enter the Florpus’ premieres on Netflix on August 16.