Directed by Jenny Goldberg and Jake Wyatt
Written by Jhonen Vasquez
Starring: Richard Steve Horvitz, Andy Berman, Melissa Fahn, Rosearik Rikki Simons
“Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus” is almost 50 percent maniacal, demented screaming during its hour-plus run-time and yet still is immensely entertaining from start to finish.
Of course, the shrill vocals of Zim voice actor Richard Steve Horvitz are nothing new to fans of the famous Irken Invader and his short run on Nickelodeon back in the early 2000s and will more than likely love this glorious return to the small screen of Netflix.
(Gaaahhh, I can hear this gif.)
“Enter Florpus” contains all the same nihilistic, demented, over the top humor fans loved about “Invader Zim” while adding a few extra layers of character development to Zim’s arch rival Dib in the film’s short narrative. It’s a movie that plays like a long episode of the original series that will have you laughing and going “What the fuck” every minute of this twisted childhood favorite.
“Enter the Florpus” picks up somewhat where the series left off with Dib in slug-like isolation as he awaits the impending return of Zim to stop his evil plan to takeover the Earth. When Zim finally returns and proclaims the beginning of his diabolical “PHASE TWO” Dib must get himself back in shape so that he can stop the Irken invader before it’s too late.
Quite simply put this is definitely a movie made for the fans and as such those who watched or still watch the show will deeply enjoy this twisted return of Invader Zim. The show’s greatest strength has always been the combined voice acting talents of the aforementioned Horvitz and Dib voice actor Andy Berman who play off each other so perfectly at often shrill, demented decibel levels that it’s hard not to be charmed by whatever weird shit comes out of Zim or Dib’s mouths throughout each episode’s runtime.
(Zim and Dib have been engaged in a deadly game of cat and also cat since the early 2000s.)
“Enter the Florpus” is no different. Line’s like “Chair fused to butt. More chair than man now” and “Get your own moose, human! This one’s mine” are delivered without irony or self-awareness by the characters and its hilarious each and every time. Melissa Fahn’s Gaz provides a nice surrogate for the audience as she openly mocks the absurdity of Dib and Zim’s plans as she always has since the show’s inception and the always ridiculous but delightful Rosearik Rikki Simmons’ Gir provides plenty of random absurdist humor that fans have always loved about the character.
All of the show’s trademark style of ridiculous humor is here as well, between Cronenberg levels of gross body humor, child endangerment, space alien goofiness and weird, random, over the top jokes and melodramatic acting. It’s still amazing how much this show got away with on Nickelodeon back in the day and this movie would probably not run on today’s version of the channel either. This said kids can definitely get a kick out of watching this but “Enter the Florpus” definitely feels more geared to “Invader Zim’s” original fans who are now grown up.
(Not to mention the show’s trademark gross food humor is also back)
The animation is as top notch as ever as well, adopting more the style of the current run of comic book by Oni Press, and even gets into some “Rick & Morty” levels of mind boggling animated humor (Shout out to Justin Roiland btw who makes a short but funny guest appearance as a food dispensing android). It’s definitely aware that most of the show’s original fans are very much in their 20’s and 30’s now by accommodating with some modern aesthetic that doesn’t take away from the show’s original animated charm while still attempting something relatively new with the movie.
(Things definitely got weird in the Florpus…)
Narratively, “Enter the Florpus” is mostly just a long “Invader Zim” episode and depending on how much of a fan you are will determine how much entertainment you get out of it. The movie does try to give the “hero” Dib a nice arc in the story as he tries to fight for acknowledgment from his father and though it’s not Shakespeare by any stretch it still nonetheless hits all the right beats and will have your inner weird child rooting for him by the end.
Quite simply put, if you’re fan of the show you should be watching this, though I doubt you need to be reminded as such. “Invader Zim” is still one of the best shows ever to come out of Nickelodeons classic cartoon run between the 90s and early 2000s and hopefully with “Enter the Florpus” this isn’t the last time we see our favorite alien invader.
Until then though, I’ll just go back to singing the “Doom Song.”
🎵Doom, doom, doom, doom doom. Doom, doom….🎵
5 out of 5
Enjoy your nostalgia, 90s kids