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Zim declaring his return to Dib
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Invader Zim Episode
Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus
InvaderZimETF2019poster
Chronology
Previous: The Most Horrible X-Mas Ever
Next: N/A
Information
Episode No: Movie
Production No: None
Airdate: August 16, 2019
Credits
Writer(s): Jhonen Vasquez

Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus is a 71-minute television film based off of the Invader Zim TV series, which premiered on August 16, 2019. The film was released on Netflix, after its distribution rights were sold to the streaming service by Nickelodeon.

Official synopsis

When Zim suddenly reappears to begin Phase 2 of his evil alien plan to conquer Earth, his longtime nemesis Dib sets out to unmask him once and for all.[1]

Plot

SPOILER WARNING OF DOOM: This section or article may contain spoilers!

Dib vs The Irken Armada

Dib's Monologue: I'm all that stands between Zim and the annihilation of our world.

Dib narrates a dramatic recap of his past conflict with Zim, only to reveal that the Irken has since disappeared but still proclaims himself as Earth's last hope against the Invader.

In the present, Professor Membrane tells Gaz to get Dib out of his room, where he's been obsessively monitoring for any sign of Zim's presence, ignoring everything else to the point of becoming a fat slob that has fused to his chair. Just as Gaz is trying to convince Dib to give up, they see that Zim and GIR have reappeared on the lawn of his base.

DibQuestionsZIM

Dib confronts Zim

Dib leaves his room and makes his way to Zim's base, where Zim reveals that he's been hiding in his toilet this entire time, counting on Dib's obsession leading him to his currently useless, obese state. He then mocks Dib with how this is only Phase 1 of his plan, and that Phase 2 will finally see him conquer Earth, before leaving a despairing Dib outside and entering his base. Once inside, he has the Computer contact the Almighty Tallest, who are disappointed to find that he's still alive. Zim then tries to brag about his plan, only to realize to his horror that he's forgotten what Phase 2 actually is.

ZimTallestETF

Zim contacts the Tallest to announce his latest plan.

While Dib undergoes a workout montage to get back in shape, Zim has GIR go through every experiment in the base, hoping to figure out what Phase 2 was supposed to be, to no avail. Trying to determine how much time he has to conquer Earth until the Tallest arrive, Zim has the Computer calculate where Earth is in relation to the Irken Armada's flight path.

Upon getting back in shape, Dib leaves his house to confront Zim, only to bump into his father, who is experimenting with his Membracelets, a new invention he's created for Peace Day which will harness the energy of children holding hands across the world. Membrane is disappointed that Dib is going back into the paranormal, which he still finds to be a waste of time, even in light of all the evidence that Dib has acquired over the years, such as Tak's Ship. Angry at his father's refusal to believe him, Dib stomps off.

Uarth

Zim realizes the Tallest aren't coming and shows Dib their location.

Arriving at Zim's base, Dib is shocked to find Zim in a despairing slump - having discovered that Earth is nowhere near the Armada's course, he's realized that the Tallest aren't coming, and has completely given up, to the point of not caring when Dib handcuffs him. Dib, still upset after his argument with his father, is initially disappointed to realize that he's finally won only for no one to notice or care, but upon seeing a commercial for Membrane's Peace Day keynote speech, decides to crash it and use it expose Zim to the whole world.

Scientists Z

Professor Zim

On Peace Day, Dib ignores Gaz's warning not to interfere with their father's speech, instead, having a still despondent Zim upgrade a Membracelet for him which will let him take over the speech and expose Zim. However, when the time comes, it is instead Zim who takes over the speech, now wearing a new human disguise and in charge of Membrane Labs, having kidnapped Membrane. He then restrains Dib and Gaz with the modified Membracelets while convincing everyone to buy some themselves.

PeaceDayPlan

Zim's plan is almost complete.

Dib wakes up in his bed, hoping that everything was just a nightmare, only to find that his father has been replaced with Clembrane, a failed clone of the Professor created by Zim, who is now holding him and Gaz prisoner in their house. Meanwhile, people all over the world are buying Membracelets, including children who are forming a human chain around the planet.

With encouragement in the form of GIR singing a song for them, the children finish the chain, only for nothing to happen. Dib tries to brag about Zim's failure, but Zim reveals that the plan isn't complete at this point, instead, needing Minimoose to charge the chain with channeled cosmic energy.

ZIMWarpsTheEarth

Zim succeeds in warping the Earth.

The modified Membracelets then pull Earth lightyears across the universe, placing the planet directly into the path of the Armada, Zim intending to give the Tallest no choice but to destroy it.

As an unexpected side effect, however, the planetary transportation creates a Florpus Hole, a massive tear in the universe that will suck in everything nearby and merge it with other realities.

Florpus 1

The Florpus opens

Zim is unconcerned with this, instead mocking Dib by stating that he really was despairing at the failure of his mission until Dib's plan inspired him, as well as the fact that only Membrane, who he's locked away in the space prison Moo-Ping 10, can undo his plan.

Inspired by this, Dib and Gaz trick Clembrane into letting them fix Tak's Ship, which agrees to help them get to Moo-Ping 10 when it's pointed out that helping them hurts Zim. Meanwhile, the Tallest are informed of what's happened, but are more concerned with approaching Zim's location than the threat of the Florpus, deciding to blow up Earth when they reach it.

MembranesInCell

Professor Membrane explains the theoretical space warp to his children.

Dib and Gaz arrive at Moo-Ping 10, where Tak's Ship creates a diversion for them, but they're still almost immediately captured by the guards, who toss them in a cell. Dib despairs at how his misguided attempts to inspire people with the paranormal have instead doomed humanity, only to realize that his father is in the cell with them.

Membrane, who is convinced that everything that's happening is a hallucination he's suffering after being hit on the head, nevertheless quickly deduces that Minimoose can be used to charge the Membracelets again and return Earth to its proper place. Tak's Ship then rescues the three and flies back to Earth, but crashes due to a debris field and separates the Membranes.

A furious Dib lands near Zim, who is celebrating his victory, and chases him to try and take Minimoose from him. Eventually, Zim has the robot soldiers that had previously distributed the Membracelets attack Dib, overwhelming him until Membrane arrives to save him. Despite still thinking the situation is a hallucination, Membrane fights the robots, destroying them all, only to then be confronted by Clembrane, who thinks that the real Membrane is an imposter and fights him. Then Gaz arrives, and knocks Zim out with a ham, causing him to drop Minimoose, whom Clembrane gets ahold of. Despite Zim's orders, his programmed love for Dib and Gaz causes him to hand over Minimoose to Membrane.

MassiveNowArrives

The Massive corners the Earth into the Florpus, intending to blow it up.

As the Earth is pulled into the Florpus and starts to be torn apart as it keeps merging with random alternate realities, and with the Armada preparing to blow the planet up, Dib and Gaz have all the children form another human chain and Membrane struggles to make Minimoose work. Finally, he manages to activate Minimoose, triggering the Membracelets and sending Earth back to its proper place. The Tallest are pleased that Zim is gone, still not caring about the Florpus even as they're sucked into it.

TallestInFlorpusHell

Zim contacts the Tallest, who are now suffering in the Florpus hole.

Afterwards, as the damage from the Florpus is being repaired, the Membrane family settle down for dinner, now joined by Clembrane, and with the Professor still believing that everything was a hallucination. Zim then pops in to claim that his real plan all along was to steal a porcelain doll from the Membranes, before returning to his base to report to the Tallest, who have been turned into puppets surrounded by flames by the Florpus. Zim is then crushed by a dog that GIR had previously launched into space, which he does again as the movie ends.

A post-credits scene shows the dog now floating in space.

End of Spoilers: There are no further spoilers for this section or article. You can breathe now.

Voice cast

Voice actor Character(s)
Richard Steven Horvitz Zim
Rosearik Rikki Simons GIR
Bloaty
Andy Berman Dib Membrane
Melissa Fahn Gaz Membrane
Rodger Bumpass Professor Membrane
Wally Wingert Almighty Tallest Red
Kevin McDonald Almighty Tallest Purple
Jhonen Vasquez Clembrane
Minimoose
Computer
Shmoopsy
Olivia d’Abo Tak's Ship
Paul Greenberg Poonchy
Fred Tatasciore Peace Day Host
Comms Officer
Ham Narrator

Alien Guard

Man

Mo Collins Robomom
Michael McDonald Robodad
Justin Roiland Foodio 3000
Weird Alien #1
Excited Audience Member
Eric Bauza Bracelet Monster
Announcer

Angry Man

Boy

Breehn Burns Hot Dog Guy
Jenny Goldberg Floopsy
Martha

Happy Lady

Weird Alien #3

Girl

Production

On April 4, 2017, over sixteen years since the series' original premiere and eleven years since the last unaired episode was premiered in the US, Nickelodeon officially announced that Invader Zim would be brought back for a made for television original movie. Four of the main voice actors are confirmed to be returning. Richard Horvitz as Zim, Rikki Simons as GIR, Andy Berman as Dib, and Melissa Fahn as Gaz. Nick also announced that series creator Jhonen Vasquez would be involved in the project, serving as an executive producer as well as reprising his role as Computer.[2].

The three announcement trailers can be found here (first), here (second) and here (third) (or down below in the videos section under teasers).

A little over a year later on June 26, 2018, the movie's title was announced, along with a statement that the film would have a panel on July 20th at San Diego Comic-Con. Exclusive behind-the-scenes art and sneak preview footage was released immediately after the panel ended.[3]

On May 10, 2019, Viacom announced that the distribution rights to the movie had been sold to Netflix.[4] A day later, Netflix's NX account on Twitter confirmed that the movie would be released in Summer of 2019.

On July 13, 2019, at Atlanta Comic Con, Richard Horvitz announced that the movie would be released at some point in August.[5] Ten days later on July 23, Netflix released a teaser which revealed that the exact release date would be August 16.

Facts of Doom

Cultural References

  • Dib’s dramatic styled monologue is a spoof of certain portrayals of shounen manga/anime characters, particularly in the likes of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
  • Professor Membrane’s mechanical arm blast at Zim’s robots is an obvious reference to Goku’s Kamehameha from the popular manga/anime franchise Dragon Ball.
  • GIR riding on a donkey and wielding a sword may be a reference to Don Quixote.
  • During the "Peace is Nice" montage, a child can be seen dressed as SpongeBob SquarePants.
  • In Dib's daydream where he exposes Zim to the world, he was seen wearing a lab coat and purple gloves, which may have been a reference to Dexter from Dexter's Laboratory, as that was his signature look.
  • Zim's movable throne may have been a reference to "The Tower of Dr. Zalost", an episode of "Courage the Cowardly Dog" as it was also able to move with spider legs.
  • GIR spinning his head to a 180 degree angle could be a reference to the 1973 film "The Exorcist".

Trivia

  • The current plot synopsis on Netflix is significantly different from the one originally released at SDCC.
    • "Zim falls into a depression after he’s abandoned by his idols, the Almighty Tallest, leaving an opening for his enemy Dib to finally expose him as an alien."[6]
  • The existence of the movie was first revealed by Harvey Beaks creator C.H. Greenblatt on November 8th, 2016. Vasquez initially denied the existence of the film, dismissing it as "a rumor".[7]
    • It is likely that Vasquez was under a non-disclosure contract with Nickelodeon at the time and was forced to dismiss it.
  • Kevin McDonald confirmed on Twitter that the original cast of Invader Zim was going to record lines, so it is apparent more characters are set to appear in the film.[8]
  • JR Goldberg of the Invader Zim comic book series confirmed she was also involved in this project. It was later found out she would be the Art Director of the film.[9]
  • The movie's storyboards and concept art were outsourced to a South Korea studio named Maven Animation Studio.[10] Previously, animation services for the television series were mainly produced by Sunwoo Entertainment.
  • Olivia D' Abo stated on her Twitter she was excited for the Invader Zim movie. Nickelodeon Press announced on July 20th in an article that she would reprise her role as Tak.[11][12] However, this was misleading, as she was actually voicing Tak's Ship although Tak gets mentioned but not by name.
  • The Irken symbol had been redesigned.
  • Despite overwhelming fan demand, it is unknown if the show will be brought back on the air after the movie's premiere. However, Olivia D'Abo mentioned a "new Invader Zim series" on her Twitter. However, she could just be referring to the comic series.[13]
  • The first act of the movie partially adapts the first issue of the comic series.
  • Originally, network executives wanted Zim back as a full-fledged TV series revival when they contacted Vasquez. He took into consideration the amount of time and work doing a TV series again would put on him and crew members, and instead suggested that the series come back as an 6 episode miniseries, which they agreed to. Vasquez later shortened his suggestion to just one long episode (TV movie) when he got back into contact with executives and they obliged once more.[14]
  • At the SDCC panel, Vasquez explained that the teaser they presented only showed completed shots of animation and that some of the teaser scenes were going back to be re-animated.
  • On January 31, 2019, the entire film was completed and was fully screened for the film's entire cast and crew at Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank, California.[15]
  • Originally, it was widely known that the runtime was 66 minutes. When its page showed up on Netflix, it was listed with a 70-minute runtime, then updated to 71 minutes sometime after. It is speculated by some that around 4 minutes worth of deleted scenes/content was added back into the movie due to it not having to fit into a TV timeslot anymore.
    • The extra minute added later is Netflix's add-in after credits, shown after the entire movie is finished.
  • While not confirmed, it's possible that the events of the movie take place during summer as neither Zim, Dib or Gaz are seen attending the Skool during the story. This is backed up by the appearance of the Skoolchildren, who aren't seen attending the Skool too.
  • Gaz's eyes are open and visible significantly more often than usual throughout the movie. Prior to this, the most they were ever open was in "Dib's Wonderful Life of Doom".
  • The Irken Armada actually does arrive at Earth; this had previously happened in "Dib's Wonderful Life of Doom", though that was a result of Zim tricking Dib with an illusion.
  • Dib's monologue foreshadowed the fact that the Irken Armada would arrive to Earth.
  • Professor Membrane is revealed to have robotic arms, his real ones having apparently been lost to sharks he tried to befriend as a child. This is strange, as in the series he was always depicted with real arms, though it could be possible he had realistic cybernetic human arms that needed constant maintenance until he decided to simply get an upgrade and hide them under the gloves.
    • A hint that this is the case was seen in "The Most Horrible X-Mas Ever" when the Professor was able to shoot a beam of energy out of his hands which he also did in the climatic battle against Zim's Robot Army.
  • The Hazmat suit Gaz wears to protect herself from Dib's stink is labeled as "Gazmat", an obvious pun on her name and the name of the suit.
  • When Dib exercises and trains to get back in shape, he is at one point featured all muscular with marked features and sixpack, but in the following scene and the rest of the movie, he looks the same like in the series. It's likely that this was just made for the amusement of the viewers to symbolize that Dib was no longer fat, albeit in a really unrealistic way.
    NOT SCIENTIFICALLY POSSIBLE
  • Professor Membrane yelling "Not scientifically possible!" quickly became an Internet meme.
  • In real life, Peace Day is a United Nations-sanctioned holiday, observed annually on September 21st.
  • Zim telling Dib that an Irken would never become a chair is ironic, given what happens to him in Issue 25.
  • The movie marks the first time that Professor Membrane has ever seen Zim out of his disguise, yet as he believes he's hallucinating at the time, nothing comes of this.
  • The fact that the Tallest are turned into puppets by the Florpus is ironic, given their love of puppets as previously shown in "Walk for Your Lives" and "Tak: The Hideous New Girl".
  • Several jokes from the series were reused in the movie:
    • Dib yelling at Zim, who only yells "What?!" back at him due to being unable to hear him, which previously happened in "Mortos der Soulstealer".
    • Red says that Zim is so close he can smell him, which Zim once said about Dib's brain in "NanoZIM".
    • The Computer saying "What?" in the same annoyed tone it used in "Tak: The Hideous New Girl".
    • In "Gaz, Taster of Pork" Gaz kicks Dib's door in with a giant spiky boot, Zim does the exact same thing when kicking the Membrane's house open after he teleported the Earth.
  • The Computer and Gaz both speak in British accents at different points.
  • Jhonen Vasquez is not credited as Mr. Scolex, like in the series.
  • Despite the Control Brains appearing in Zim's daydream, whoever voiced them was uncredited.
  • Dib's food launcher from the Pilot is among the items in his garage, suggesting that the episode is canon.
  • The Tallest don't react to seeing Minimoose, implying that they've seen him before.
  • GIR gains weight, like in the Halloween special and Issue 36, but unlike in those instances he's not morbidly obese, instead just being round and pudgy from all the pudding he eats.
  • Dib, Gaz, GIR and Minimoose are the only characters seen eating Clembrane's pudding.
  • The Comms Officer previously appeared in "Megadoomer".
  • Dib growing immensely fat while waiting for Zim's return is similar to how Zim grew fat due to missing his rivalry with Dib in "Mopiness of Doom".
  • Zim appears to have grown more familiar with human technology, at one point using a smartphone, and when he sends the Tallest pictures of Dib, they're marked as JPG files.
  • GIR is shown knowing some basic science, as he knew that a potato could power up a light bulb.
    • He also knows some engineering as he was capable of making Zim a movable throne that shoots both fire and peanuts.
  • Oddly enough, Zim's robot army has human names rather than Irken names. This seems to imply they were manufactured on Earth and since he took over Membrane Labs its likely they were made by the scientists and engineers who worked there but Professor Membrane was not aware of this as he was in Moo-Ping 10 at the time, which would explain why he said that he didn't hire any of them.
  • It is heavily implied that robots in this version of Earth can get jobs and get paid for their services as Professor Membrane has hired robots in the past whether for cooking or world peace.
    Membrane's Eyes

    Professor Membrane's eyes are finally revealed.

  • As dimensions are colliding, Professor Membrane's eyes are briefly seen, which are the same eye colors as that of his children.
  • The movie puts into question whether or not the comics are considered canon since some scenes are taken from some issues but lead to much different events. It's possible that Zim forgetting Phase 2 is the diverging point between the comic and movie continuities, as in the comics Zim remembers Phase 2 and carries it out.
  • The drawings seen in the end credits are the same ones GIR had drawn all over Zim's Base.
  • This is the first (and so far only) time in the series in which there's a happy ending, as Dib not only wins over Zim satisfactorily, but also reconciles with his father and sister, resulting in the Membrane family growing more close. In addition, the Almighty Tallest are finally given their deserved commeupance for their actions.

Movie and Comics Differences

A majority of the content in the movie's first act borrows events that occur in Issue 1 and the beginning of Issue 2 of the comic series but with several changes:

  • In the movie, Gaz now goes to check on Dib in his room wearing a hazmat suit humorously titled a “Gazmat”, a pun on her name. In the comics, Gaz simply went up to his room with her standard attire.
  • In the movie, Zim hides in a toilet that seems to be separate from his kitchen toilet. In the comics, it was clearly shown that he was hiding in the kitchen’s toilet. Also, in the comics, he was only accompanied by GIR, whereas Minimoose joins them in the film.
  • In the comics, Zim's flashback to hiding in the toilet is merely in his imagination. In the movie, it's revealed to be a video that he's showing Dib on his phone.
  • In the comics, Zim pointed at his bush shrubs to where he believed Gaz was hiding and told her to come out. This is omitted in the movie.
  • In the movie, Minimoose now joins in on the Zim’s neighborhood vandalism showcase by removing a pizza sticker attached to Poonchy’s mom’s car.
  • In the movie, Zim forgets his next plan while contacting the Tallest in his base. In the comics, Zim contacts the Tallest in space in his Voot Runner, already knowing his plan and on his way to enact it.
  • In the comics, Purple mistakes Zim for Invader Jim, with Red correcting him. In the movie, this is reversed, with Red making the mistake and Purple correcting him..

Inconsistencies and Animation Errors

  • During Dib’s dramatic monologue on Zim, during a scene where Zim pops out of the shadows in his human disguise, it appears that his leg is briefly cut off in a similar manner that happened to him in "The Nightmare Begins".
  • In the TV series, The Almighty Tallest only have 2 fingers. In the film, they have thumbs. Of course, this can be contributed to the design update.
  • Professor Membrane is revealed to have robotic arms, having lost his real ones as a kid to sharks. This is a possible continuity error, as Professor Membrane’s design in every other media clearly shows he has arms under the gloves, while the movie’s redesign has the gloves fully hide his arms.
  • Professor Membrane also seems to have bones in his hair.
  • When Dib boosts out of his house to talk to his father, Professor Membrane picks Dib up and for a brief moment, there are two frames of Dib that are overlapping.
  • During the keynote speech, just before Professor Membrane runs up to yell "Not scientifically possible!" at the excited audience member, he's still at the podium but members of the audience are already in midair as if being thrown aside by his run.
  • Despite Gaz having repaired Tak's ship enough to fly it in "The Most Horrible X-Mas Ever", in the movie Dib says that he hasn't gotten the ship flyable because its AI won't let him.
  • Zim has a human tongue when his Computer is showing him a holographic simulation of what the Florpus Hole will do to nearby worlds.
  • Zim mocked that neither Dib or Gaz have a spaceship to rescue their father with, despite the fact that he already discovered Dib was in the possession of Tak's ship, since he's seen evidence of that in both "Backseat Drivers from Beyond the Stars" and "Dibship Rising".
  • The tip of Zim's right antennae was missing when he was with GIR and Minimoose mockingly waving goodbye to Dib as he was being attacked by the army of robots.
  • Zim is at different points in the movie covered with nacho cheese and hit with a ham, things that have been shown to have negative reactions with his Irken biology, only for nothing to happen.
  • Erroneously in the credits Paul Greenberg was not credited as the voice of Poonchy who was named as "Pizza Kid" but Jenny Goldberg.
  • During several scenes (specially the ones in Moo-Ping 10 or the chase scene), Dib's pants switch between being colored black (like in the original series) and colored in a jeans-like blue.

Critical Reception

Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus has received mostly positive reviews from critics. Charles Pulliam-Moore of io9 wrote that "What Enter the Florpus does better than anything else is convey 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".

Matthew Dougherty of IGN praised the film's animation and humor, and wrote that "Enter the Florpus didn't need to be a grand conclusion to the series, but it's also a movie that wants to have genuine stakes".

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 from 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 from The Daily Dot gave the film 3/5 stars and said "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 from Thrillist said "[It's] 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 from 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 from Starburst Magazine gave the film a 7/10, 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."

Emily Ashby of Common Sense Media gave the movie 3/5 stars. In her review Ashby criticized the frequent use of name calling and violence, but added that the movie "ends on a mostly satisfying and conclusive note" and that "Enter the Florpus will be best received by original Invader Zim fans" rather than newcomers.

Enter the Florpus currently holds a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 16 reviews.

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