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Invader Zim

TV review by
Andrea Graham, Common Sense Media
Invader Zim TV Poster Image
This little green guy has one big 'tude.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 29 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 206 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Zim doesn't value others' lives at all and is bent on world domination by any means necessary. But Dib does his best to foil all of Zim's evil plans.

Violence & Scariness

Sci-fi laser gun action and plenty of smashing.

Sexy Stuff

No swearing, but lots of put-downs, like "dumb" and "idiot."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this sci-fi cartoon is dark, sarcastic, and satirical. It follows a little alien space invader named Zim who wants to take over (and destroy) Earth. That goal leads to a fair amount of cartoon violence, mostly in the form of bashing about and laser gun use. There are no real lessons here, but younger tweens will probably find it entertaining.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 12 year old Written byAstrid12 November 21, 2010

Very smart, underrated, "feared" show

For some reason, Invader Zim scares Americans. One little green dude wants to take over the world in a cartoon and parents are already concerned of them taking... Continue reading
Adult Written byaliceumbrella January 4, 2015

Great for teenagers and adults not so much children

I must start this off saying I LOVE this show. Then again I am 21 and still like a lot of the shows I watched as a kid. I did not watch this show because I reme... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bySlipperyQ June 8, 2011

An Eye-Opening Show

There is only one reason the age for this show is higher- it's not as funny if you don't have the experience to relate. Here is an innovative cartoon... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bySarahGirl5 April 19, 2012

Don't watch ever

Don't listen to everybody saying that this is the best show ever. I saw this show when I was 10 and I was freaked out for practically months. It's not... Continue reading

What's the story?

Created by comic book writer Jhonen Vasquez, INVADER ZIM is the zany, satirical story of one little extraterrestrial out to conquer Earth. Sent away from his home planet, the Irken Empire, after a botched military exercise, Zim (voiced by Richard Steven Horvitz) -- a narcissistic green space invader with a Napoleon complex -- seeks to submit Earth to his rule in order to prove his abilities to his elders. Accompanied by a silly robot named GIR (Rosearik Rikki Simons), Zim finds his conquering efforts foiled by his nemesis/schoolmate (Zim is mistaken for a child thanks to his undercover tactics) Dib (Andy Berman), who's the only human to realize Zim's true identity and mission.

Is it any good?

Invader Zim is a perfect example of a cartoon that straddles the line between children's and adult entertainment. It's full of dark humor, humans are depicted as less-than-intelligent life forms, and Zim has a complete lack of concern for life -- all of which might raise some parents' eyebrows. What's more, Zim's vocabulary is full of put-down words like "idiot" and "stupid."

As a result, families should be cautious about letting younger children watch Invader Zim. But tweens, older kids, and adults will probably enjoy the show's comedy of errors -- certainly many of us can relate to Zim's desire to rule the world and will enjoy his laugh-out-loud attempts to get some "space cred."

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Zim's motives -- and how he goes about trying to achieve them. Why do you think he wants to take over the Earth? What is he trying to prove? And to whom? Is there a better way he could make his point? Families can also discuss the fine line between kid-oriented cartoons and those meant more for adults. What should kids do if they're ever uncomfortable with something they see on TV?

TV details

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