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Parents' Guide to

Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Alien, tween rivals match wits again over Earth's fate.

Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 7+

Everyone’s opinion on Enter the Florpus seems to be solely positive so hopefully my slightly more negative review can add something different to the discussion. But keep in mind it’s just my opinion.

Invader Zim is one of the best cartoons I’ve ever seen, so maybe my expectations were unrealistically high, but I just didn’t enjoy this movie as much as I wanted to, which pains me to say because I wanted to love this movie SO badly! I didn’t grow up with Invader Zim. I only started watching the show about 8 years ago. I haven’t been a fan long enough to be nostalgically biased so maybe that’s why I didn’t enjoy this movie as much as everyone else. There were some things I enjoyed such as the voice acting and the musical score. There was some good CGI imagery and action sequences and it was fun see the animators experiment with a variety of art-styles towards the end. The pacing felt messy in a few places, especially towards the beginning, but I guess that’s to be expected from a movie that’s only a mere 71 minutes. The story felt like it was all over the place at times. I think adding an extra 30 minutes or so would’ve helped balance out the pacing. Zim and Dib also aren’t as easy to sympathize with they were in the show. Operation Impending Doom 2 and Zim’s impact on Irken history are never mentioned. And Dib no longer seems to be an outcast amongst humanity, but maybe that’s just because there aren’t any school scenes in the movie. The movie is not as morally ambiguous as the show and attempts to push Dib and Zim into more traditional hero and villain roles which results in them feeling a bit off at times since the show had them in a much more grey area. I don’t really like the new art-style, it’s not bad per se, but the clean, bright colors and rounded edges just doesn’t fit the dark and disgusting world of Invader Zim. (Some people are saying the change in art style is the result of newer animation technology, but that’s not true. Newer animation technology isn’t incapable of producing an angular style with dark colors.) The animation and character animation was mostly solid. Although there were a few noticeable animation errors and several instances in which the animation looked limited and choppy as if it was done in flash with a low frame rate. The hopeful tone of the movie felt out of place in Invader Zim. I also don’t like that they essentially removed the bleak and disgusting depiction of society and humanity as most of the people and backgrounds look relatively normal and friendly. Everyone who praises this movie raves about there being character development, but I’m not really seeing it. The characters don’t “develop” so much as they just change instantly. Professor Membrane’s “I’m always proud of you” line felt weird given the circumstances it occurs under and that it kinda comes out of nowhere. I’m not against character development, but I think there should’ve been something to back that up, especially since Membrane thought nothing happening was real just moments before. Like why does Membrane want to help Dib if he thinks none of this is real? Why is Membrane proud of Dib when he has always found Dib’s paranormal obsession to be “insane?” I would have an easier time accepting this if Membrane found a reason to care about what was happening despite the fact he thought none of it was real or if Membrane’s acceptance of Dib’s interests and goals happened gradually over time to show character growth and understanding rather than having it happen so suddenly. It also doesn’t help that by the end of the movie Membrane has inexplicably gone back to thinking that nothing that just happened was real, essentially undoing any kind of “character development” that previously happened. And I get it. The movie is only 71 minutes long. There’s not nearly enough time to show in depth character development in addition to everything else that’s happening, but still, I wish there was a clear in-universe reason for why Membrane almost immediately went from “don’t worry none of this is real.” to “don’t worry I’ve got your back.” and then back to “nothing that just happened was real.” Again, I’m not completely against there being character development, but I just don’t think it was handled very well in this case. Ultimately though, Invader Zim is not a serialized story and things almost always reset after each episode (or issue), so praising this movie for “character development” or having “character development” in the first place is kinda pointless since it’s probably not going to last, even if it’s done very well. Most of the humor unfortunately didn’t resonate with me. Nowadays Invader Zim is almost entirely random humor, not just in this movie but also in the comics and I feel like it’s trying a bit too hard to be random at times. The random humor has been cranked up to the max with not much else to balance it out, and to it’s credit, most of the random humor felt like that of the show just more extreme. I think the random humor works better in the form one-liners rather than constantly reoccurring jokes. The dark humor and gross out humor aren’t totally gone, but the dark humor has been extremely toned down, while the gross out humor tends to skew more juvenile and both are not nearly as prevalent as they were in the show. A few of the jokes were recycled throughout the movie such as that ham joke or Gir launching a pug into space, neither of which I thought was laugh out loud funny. Other jokes are overused to a nearly exhausting degree such as Clembrane and his pudding jokes. Some jokes were directly ripped from the comics such as Gir eating a baby. (Also, I feel like Dib letting himself go and getting fused to his chair was a downgrade from that same scene in the comics in terms of the gross factor.) However, I thought that the few gross and dark jokes that were in this movie were the funniest parts. This movie isn’t really meant to be a finale to the series since it doesn’t resolve any of the plot lines left open in the series. This movie doesn’t go into any Invader Zim lore at all, nor does it bring back important minor characters such as Skoodge, The Resisty, Tak (in person), the Meekrob etc. So if you were hoping to see those characters return or see some of the plot lines left open in the series get resolved, you will be disappointed. The ending manages to be both concluding and open ended. It wraps up the story of the movie, but it leaves room for more, which I think is a good thing. If they ever do more Invader Zim, I hope they go back to having a larger amount of dark and gross to help balance out the random humor. I would also like to see it return to a dark, angular art style set in a dystopian world. (Jhonen Vasquez said at his 2019 TCAF panel that moving forward he would like to go back to the hard edged angular art-style of the series, so that gives me hope.) I would recommend this movie to fans of the series just because it’s fun to see more animated Zim and hear the voices again. If you didn’t like the series due to the dark humor, darkly colored art-style, pessimistic worldview and cynical characters then you might enjoy this movie more; But if you liked the series for all of those aforementioned reasons you might enjoy this movie less. Overall, I disagree with the people who say this movie is exactly like the series. It certainly isn’t. I don’t hate Enter the Florpus. I’m just underwhelmed by more than a few aspects of this movie. I’m glad I saw this movie once. I’m still a huge fan of the original series and always will be, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at least a little bit jealous of the fans who enjoyed this movie much more than I did. Again, I wanted to love this movie SO badly! Maybe (hopefully?) it will become something that I’ll enjoy more and more each time I watch it, now that I can lower my expectations and know what to expect. But for now, I’ll probably only watch it a few more times, and it probably won’t become something that I watch over and over again for years to come like the series, which I go back and watch an episode of every few months. Again, I don’t love or hate Enter the Florpus. I think it’s just ok. It could be much worse, but I wish it was better. What the movie does right it does fantastically. But it does have some flaws and lacks some things I loved about the series. I’m not sure how I would’ve felt about this movie if I was just a casual viewer of the show. But if I had never seen or heard of the show before I think I would’ve enjoyed this movie much less than I already do.
age 6+

Fun show to watch with the Kid's

It fun like the tv show also very action packed with no dull moments, Must watch over and over with Moderation.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (8 ):

Just as the original TV series from Jhonen Vasquez was better suited to tweens and older viewers than it was to kids, so this movie follow-up continues with dark humor and action sequences. Zim is a manipulative little imp, feigning a change of heart to trick Dib and put the entire planet at risk, all to impress his dismissive higher-ups, The Tallests (Wally Wingert and Kevin McDonald). He is unfazed by the plight of others and willing to do anything to achieve his goals. While his attitude helps maintain the divisiveness between good and evil and thus helps drive the story of INVADER ZIM: ENTER THE FLORPUS, he and his plans are a little much for younger viewers.

You needn't have seen Invader Zim to understand the plot of this movie, as it gets viewers up to speed on the characters and their relationships fairly easily. It also ends on a mostly satisfying and conclusive note, so those who didn't find that to be the case with the show may like that aspect as well. Ultimately, though, Enter the Florpus will be best received by original Invader Zim fans who want one more dose of this boisterous alien antagonist's antics and his young human counterpart's attempts to thwart him.

TV Details

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