When I think of Disney Channel original movies, I think of some of the greats like “High School Musical,” “Smart House,” “Halloweentown,” “Camp Rock,” “Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century” and “Jump In,” classics that can bring a nostalgia-ridden smile to any 20 something year old’s face. Disney’s latest installment in their prestigious original movie category attempts to capitalize on that nostalgia with a reboot of the famous teenage heroin, Kim Possible.
Sadie Stanley is tasked to portray a modern Kim Possible as well as Sean Giambrone as Ron Stoppable, Todd Stashwick as Dr. Drakken and Taylor Ortega as Shego. The plot centers around Kim and Ron in their first few weeks of high school as Kim struggles at “ordinary” teenage things while Dr. Drakken and Shego plot their revenge against Kim.
Now, you might be wondering “why would a college student care about a Disney Channel original movie?” Well I would turn around and say “why is Disney making a movie for a show that hasn’t aired since 2007?”
While watching “Kim Possible” there was two main things I struggled to understand. Why does this exist and who is this movie for? The core audience who watched the original TV series are now adults and don’t watch Disney Channel movies while the new movie does little to introduce the world to the new generation currently watching Disney Channel.
“Kim Possible” is littered with callbacks to the original TV series throughout in a wink- and-nod-like gesture that has almost nothing to do with the plot at large. It’s almost like “Kim Possible” is a compilation of greatest hits from the TV series with a movie built around them and inside jokes that no one cares about.
The actors do an admirable job portraying their characters, but they never felt like they really were those characters but rather doing an impression of them. Sadie Stanley’s version of Kim Possible is unnecessarily over-the-top charismatic and tries too hard to be cool. Whereas Kim in the original TV series’ coolness never needed to be explained and instead was a byproduct of her actions, the new “Kim Possible” constantly beat you over the head with how supposedly “cool” she was but the coolest thing she did was a flip and showing how many flips she can do throughout the entire 85-minute run time.
Sean Giambrone’s Ron Stoppable perfectly embodied the TV series’ Ron’s uselessness, but in a bad way. Ron’s uselessness in the TV series was endearing but Giambrone’s performance came off as mostly annoying. Stashwick and Ortega’s relationship as Dr. Drakken and Shego was one of the better aspects of the movie but even their performances still felt off, uninspired and borderline emotionally abusive sometimes.
Even the humor in “Kim Possible” was a struggle to get through at times. Ron’s pure existence in the “Kim Possible” franchise is comedic relief, but the way Giambrone delivers the punch lines for jokes is like the equivalent to leaving your friend hanging on a high-five that no one asked for. Granted, at the end of the day, it is a children’s movie, but I don’t see how kids will find Kim saving a pop star from the IRS and Dr. Drakken being drunk on milk as funny.
Overall, the new “Kim Possible” movie just felt flat and uninspired. It seemed obvious that Disney really tried to create an honest reboot of the “Kim Possible” franchise by sticking really close to the source material, but in doing so “Kim Possible” merely feels like a high-budget fan film.
I’m afraid this movie is a problem even Kim Possible herself can’t solve.