Kim Possible: Reboot of Classic Cartoon Retains Spirit, Updates for Modern Audiences

3 out of 5 stars (average) for non-fans, 4 out of 5 stars (one of the best of its genre) for series fans

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Ask most kids from the early 2000’s, and they’ll recall fond memories of Disney Channel’s classic animated action-comedy Kim Possible, a show following a teenage girl as she fought to balance the everyday stresses of high school with saving the world from wacky villains.  The show combined fluid action, witty dialogue, and relatable teen problems spanning 5 seasons and 2 animated TV movies.  Now, Disney Channel gives us a live-action adaptation that updates the property for modern times while retaining the show’s humorous tone and expanding upon the character.  Kim Possible is a fun, funny adaptation that should please old fans and engage new ones.

Teens Kim Possible (a fine Sadie Stanley) and Ron Stoppable (A flawless Sean Giambrone) have saved the world from evil villains more times than they can count.  However, none of that prepared them for the most dangerous mission of all: High School.  After a less-than-stellar first day, Kim befriends Athena (Ciara Riley Wilson), a socially awkward superfan who worships the ground Kim walks on.  She vows to help Athena build her confidence, only for her protégé to outshine her in every way.   Elsewhere, the evil Dr. Drakken (A great Todd Stashwick) and his snarky henchwoman Shego (A film-stealing Taylor Ortega) are plotting to defeat Kim once and for all.

Kim Possible is better than I expected.  Written by the series creators, the film shares the tone and spirit of its predecessor, with some modern updates (Kim has a Girl Boss pillow, and Villainstagram exists).  Thankfully, the show’s trademark humor and characterizations remain intact.  The actors clearly love the show, getting as close as possible to their original counterparts while adding new touches.  The movie offers Kim a challenge the show never could, but keeps her reactions in-character.

On the negative side, the action scenes have 24-esque split screens that sometimes break the flow, and some of Kim’s gadgets have gotten hilariously impractical upgrades.  Giambrone and Stanley also take a few scenes to get their chemistry down, but are strong overall.  While non-fans may not connect with this as much, the film still works on its own merits as a suitable TV production.  Kim Possible is a fun, funny action film that should satisfy longtime fans and make some new ones.  See it.

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