Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus
Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus (also known as Dib Membrane vs. Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus) is a 2019 American animated science-fiction comedy film written by Jhonen Vasquez. It is based on and is a continuation of the animated television series Invader Zim, which was created by Vasquez and originally aired on Nickelodeon and later Nicktoons from 2001 to 2002. Originally created as a television film for Nickelodeon's own network, Netflix bought its distribution rights in May 2019. The film was released on Netflix on August 16, 2019, and received critical acclaim, with critics praising the animation, humor and voice performances.
|Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus|
Promotional release poster
|Based on||Invader Zim|
by Jhonen Vasquez
|Written by||Jhonen Vasquez|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||71 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Nickelodeon Animation Studio|
Viacom Media Networks
|Picture format||1080p (16:9 HDTV)|
|Original release||August 16, 2019|
When Zim and GIR suddenly reappear on their lawn after months of absence, an obese Dib Membrane, who had been awaiting their return, confronts them. Zim reveals that his disappearance was part of a plan to make Dib physically unfit to oppose him, allowing Zim to begin Phase 2 of invading Earth. Zim contacts the Almighty Tallest to explain Phase 2 to them, but realizes he has forgotten what Phase 2 entails due to having been in hiding for so long.
While Zim brainstorms Phase 2 plans, Dib gets back in shape. Dib's father, Professor Membrane, gives Dib a prototype Membracelet for Peace Day, meant to be revealed at his keynote address the next day. He expresses his disappointment in Dib's belief of aliens, and Dib gives up trying to convince his father to believe him. Dib finds Zim in a state of depression, having learned that the Irken Armada is light years away from Earth and that the Tallest have no interest in him or Phase 2. Zim accepts defeat and willingly gives himself up to Dib, who decides to present Zim to the world during Membrane's keynote address, hoping to gain his father's belief and approval.
Dib brings Zim to his father's keynote and allows him to modify the prototype Membracelet to tap into a Livestream of the keynote. However, Membrane disappears and Zim takes control of the stage in disguise. Dib awakens the next day to find himself and his sister Gaz imprisoned in their own home guarded by Clembrane, Zim's attempt at a clone of Membrane. Dib learns that Zim has taken over Membrane's company and is selling modified Membracelets. As the Peace Day celebration begins, Zim orders every child on Earth to hold hands while wearing the bracelets. Once all the children hold hands, Zim uses Minimoose to teleport Earth to a part of space directly in the path of the Irken Armada, hoping to force the Tallest to visit him. Meanwhile, the Tallest, irritated by Zim's reappearance, plan to destroy him along with the Earth once they reach it.
A "Florpus" suddenly opens, created by the Earth's sudden teleportation, capable of swallowing the planet and merging it with alternate realities. Zim brushes off Dib's concern of this and goes on his way to prepare for the arrival of the Tallest. Dib and Gaz convince Clembrane to allow them outside, which Dib uses as an opportunity to repair a spaceship formerly belonging to Tak. They travel to Moo-Ping 10, a space prison where Membrane is being held. They free Membrane and head back to Earth; Dib expresses frustration at Membrane's skepticism of the events taking place as the ship is damaged by space debris, and Membrane tells Dib that he is already proud of him. The ship is destroyed, separating the Membranes.
Dib lands on Earth and fights Zim and his robot army for control of Minimoose to stop the Florpus. Membrane comes to Dib's aid shortly after and destroys Zim's robot army. Minimoose falls into Clembrane's hands, and Zim orders him to hand it over and destroy the Membrane family. Clembrane refuses, stating that the Membranes are his family, and he gives Minimoose to them. Just as Earth is about to enter the Florpus, the Irken Armada arrives to destroy the planet. Earth briefly experiences a clashing of realities before Membrane finally figures out how to reset Minimoose and teleport Earth back to its original location, and the Irken Armada flies straight into the Florpus.
Back on Earth, the Membrane family is reunited, allowing Clembrane to stay with them. Zim appears at their window and taunts them, claiming the real goal of Phase 2 was stealing a ceramic figurine from Dib's living room. Zim contacts the Tallest to report his success, only to see them suffering in an alternate reality, which Zim brushes off as them being pleased with his work. He is then crushed by a falling pug that GIR had previously shot into space, and GIR promptly launches it into space once again.
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- Richard Horvitz as Zim
- Rikki Simons as GIR / Bloaty
- Andy Berman as Dib
- Melissa Fahn as Gaz
- Rodger Bumpass as Professor Membrane
- Wally Wingert as Almighty Tallest Red
- Kevin McDonald as Almighty Tallest Purple
- Jhonen Vasquez as Clembrane / Zim's Computer / Minimoose / Schmoopsy
- Olivia d'Abo as Tak's Ship
- Paul Greenberg as Poonchy
- Justin Roiland as Foodio 3000 / Weird Alien #1 / Excited Audience Member
- Eric Bauza as Bracelet Monster / Announcer / Angry Man / Boy
- Fred Tatasciore as Peace Day Host / Comms Officer / Ham V.O. / Alien Guard / Man
- Mo Collins as Robo-Mom
- Michael McDonald as Robo-Dad
Supervising producer Breehn Burns voices Hot Dog Guy. Art director Jenny Goldberg voices Floopsy and Martha.
On November 8, 2016, Harvey Beaks and Chowder creator C. H. Greenblatt was asked by a fan on Tumblr if he would work with Jhonen Vasquez on a hypothetical Invader Zim movie, and Greenblatt responded, "Jhonen IS making an Invader Zim movie for Nick. I'm not a part of it, but I'm excited." However, Jhonen initially denied this on his Twitter, most likely because he was under contract to not say anything at the time and was forced to dismiss it as a "rumor".
On April 4, 2017, over sixteen years since the series' debut and eleven years since the last "unaired" episode premiered in the United States, Nickelodeon announced that they had green-lit a 71-minute television film based on the series.
At San Diego Comic-Con 2018, Jhonen explained that Nickelodeon had been asking him about doing more Invader Zim for years and that he always had to decline their offers either because he was busy working on something else or due to not being able to come to an agreement with Nickelodeon on a budget for a Invader Zim revival; but being "completely miserable" with the other things he was working on at the time, Jhonen accepted Nickelodeon's latest offer to do more Invader Zim. Nickelodeon initially wanted a new Invader Zim television series, but Jhonen suggested a six-episode miniseries instead. He soon changed his mind to a television film, since doing a film would be "infinitely less stressful".
Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus had a panel at San Diego Comic-Con on July 20, 2018; during the panel, some never-before-seen production art such as backgrounds and turn-around charts for the film were revealed. A trailer put together out of unedited first take animation for the film was also shown at the panel accompanied by some original music composed for the trailer by Kevin Manthei. During the panel, Jhonen explained that he put the trailer together out of some random animated footage he had for the film that he thought looked presentable enough to show people and that most of the shots used in the trailer were going to be sent back overseas to be re-animated.
Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus is produced by Nickelodeon Animation Studio in collaboration with Maven Animation Studio in South Korea. During the Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus panel at San Diego Comic-Con on July 20, 2018, Jhonen revealed that they had written the film in 2015 and that at the time of the panel, they were currently in the process of getting first to take animation back from their overseas animation team, Maven Animation Studio.
Jhonen Vasquez returned as executive producer and as the voice of Zim's computer, along with Kevin Manthei as the composer, and Jenny Goldberg, who worked on the Invader Zim comic book series, is the art director for the film. Breehn Burns, the supervising producer for the film, confirmed on his Twitter account that production on Enter the Florpus officially wrapped on January 17, 2019.
Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus was originally created as a television film for Nickelodeon's own network, but on May 10, 2019, Viacom president Robert Bakish revealed in a conference call that Netflix had acquired the distribution rights to the film. On July 23, 2019, Netflix released a clip of the special with the release date shown. The movie was announced to be released on August 16, 2019.
On February 1, 2019, Nickelodeon held a cast-and-crew-exclusive screening of Enter the Florpus. On July 24, 2019, the Nickelodeon Animation Studio held an exclusive pre-screening of Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus which was only accessible for ASIFA-Hollywood members. The Frida Cinema in Santa Ana, California held a free theatrical screening of Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus on August 16, 2019, to celebrate the premiere of the film. Series creator Jhonen Vasquez, art director Jenny Goldberg, and voice actors Rikki Simons and Melissa Fahn attended the screening for an exclusive Q&A.
Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus has received mostly positive reviews. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film currently holds an approval rating of 100% based on 16 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads: "Invader Zim quits being banished all over again in Enter the Florpus, an excellent revival that captures the spirit of the cartoon while cranking the doom up to eleven."
Charles Pulliam-Moore of io9 wrote that the film "[conveys] how much more potential there still is in the Invader Zim franchise", and noted that "By turning Zim into a legitimate threat ... Enter the Florpus both gives Dib a real reason to fight and makes you question which of them you'd want to win in the end". NPR's Vincent Acovino said "Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus serves as a excellent reminder of why the series holds such a special place in the Nicktoon canon. It's weird, smart and bracingly unsentimental." Palmer Haasch of Polygon lauded the portrayal of the relationship between Dib and Professor Membrane, calling it "The best thing" about the film.
Joe Matar of Den of Geek praised the film's "inventive moments and truly hilarious laugh-out-loud jokes", and wrote that "The art and animation look almost perfect", though he called the film's aesthetic "a little too bright and sterile". Matthew Dougherty of IGN favorably compared Enter the Florpus to what Serenity did with Firefly, while also saying "The sci-fi elements are fun, the humor is wildly absurd, and the animation is breathtaking. In this case, that's enough for this return to be worth the wait." Siobhan Ball of The Daily Dot gave the film three out of five stars, writing that "With Enter the Florpus, Invader Zim has matured without losing any of the elements that endeared it to subculture teens in the first place." Eric Vilas-Boas of Thrillist wrote that "the dazzlingly animated space battles, and the firehose stream of gross and morbid humor that make Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus well worth the long, 17-year wait." Kellen Beck of Mashable said "The best thing about Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus is the way it manages to perfectly capture the spirit of the TV show and transport my brain right back to the early [2000s]." Sol Harris of Starburst gave the film a score of 7 out of 10, saying "Enter the Florpus is a fairly typical Nickelodeon TV-movie in that it retains everything that made the show work – its humor, its characters, its tone – but it suffers from messy pacing."
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- Amidi, Amid (November 8, 2016). "Nickelodeon Is Making An 'Invader Zim' Movie (UPDATED)". Cartoon Brew.
- "Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus Full Panel Comic-Con 2018 Nick". Nickelodeon.
- "The Darkest Thing Invader Zim Ever Got Away With - Comic-Con 2018". IGN. July 20, 2018.
- Terry Flores (April 4, 2017). "'Invader Zim' Aims to Conquer Earth Again in Nickelodeon Animated TV Movie". Variety. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
- @breehn (January 17, 2019). "This sticky note has been on my monitor at Nickelodeon for over a year, and today it's coming down. Tomorrow, the Invader ZIM TV Movie is wrapped" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Hughes, William (May 11, 2019). "Netflix to run new Rocko's Modern Life and Invader Zim movies". The A.V. Club.
- Moore, Kasey, (May 11, 2019). "Netflix picks up 'Rocko' & 'Invader Zim' Nickelodeon Movies". What’s on Netflix.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link) CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- "You Asked for It, So We're Delivering a Fresh Order of Doom Right to Your Doorstep - Zim Is Back". The Futon Critic. July 23, 2019.
- @JhonenV (February 1, 2019). "Images from last night's cast and crew screening of ENTER THE FLORPUS. Well done, cast and crew, for surviving this production of mine. You win THIS time....BUT I WON'T FAIL NEXT AGAIN" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- @RichardHorvitz (February 1, 2019). "Did I just attend a cast and crew screening of a certain EPIC!!!! TV movie?....maaaaayyybeee!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- @kevinmanthei (February 1, 2019). "All good things come to an end. The cast and crew screening of #invaderzimentertheflorpus was last night and it was epic. Epic and funny really. There are jokes nearly every 5 seconds and invaderzim fans will..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "Double Feature Screening Of Invader Zim: Enter The Florpus And Rocko's Modern Life Static Cling". ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
- @jerrybeck (July 25, 2019). "Last night at Nickelodeon, screening the new INVADER ZIM movie and ROCKO'S MODERN LIFE special - in advance of their debut in August on Netflix. Don't miss them!" (Tweet). Retrieved July 27, 2019 – via Twitter.
- @JhonenV (August 12, 2019). "Guys, this is all very last minute but if you want to attend a free screening of Enter the Florpus with me and few of the cast and crew, check this out" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- The Frida Cinema (August 16, 2019). "Invader Zim: Enter The Florpus - Free Fan Screening".
- "Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
- Pulliam-Moore, Charles (August 16, 2019). "Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus Is More Than Its Nostalgic Sensory Overload". io9. Gawker Media. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
- Acovino, Vincent (August 23, 2019). "'90s Kids, Rejoice: 'Invader Zim,' A Cult-Classic Nicktoon, Returns". NPR.
- Haasch, Palmer (August 16, 2019). "The best thing about Netflix's Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus is Dib getting what he wants". Polygon. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
- Matar, Joe (August 16, 2019). "Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus! Review". Den of Geek. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
- "Netflix's Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus Movie Review". IGN. August 16, 2019.
- Ball, Siobhan (August 20, 2019). "Invader Zim is still delightfully weird in 'Enter the Florpus'". The Daily Dot.
- Vilas-Boas, Eric (August 21, 2019). "Netflix's 'Invader Zim' Special Goes on a Mission to Annihilate Earth One Last Time". Thrillist.
- Beck, Kellen (August 16, 2019). "'Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus' perfectly picks up where the show left off". Mashable.
- Harris, Sol (August 21, 2019). "INVADER ZIM: ENTER THE FLORPUS". Starburst Magazine.