Invader Zim is back on Nickelodeon in the form of a brand new movie, and fans were thrilled to see what's in store at the Invader Zim: Enter The F
A clip montage plays from the original series. Moderator Hector Navarro takes the stage and introduces the panel's guests, which include creator Jhonen Vasquez, artist Jenny Goldberg, Zim voice actor Richard Horvitz, Gir voice actor Rikki Simons, Tallest Red voice actor Wally Winger, and Tallest Purple voice actor Kevin McDonald.
Fans are shown early concept art from Zim on the screen. "Not the first one, but was developing the series Squee at this point, so thought I’d be clever and sneak the character into the background," Vasquez said.
When asked what it was like to come back, Vasquez said "That was kind of part of it (the TMNT short), the process of making that was the process of working with the people that are there now (Nickelodeon). Jenny and I were developing our own thing elsewhere and it was a... horrible experience. The TMNT short sounded like amazing fun when I wasn’t having fun, and when the premise of it came up, Nickelodeon had been asking about Invader Zim for a long time. My experience elsewhere being absolutely unhappy, I thought the fact that someone wants something and is not looking to prove that someone wants something seemed like a good move at the time, and that’s kind of how it happened."
"My experience with Zim, I started helping out with the comics, but I grew up with Zim as well," Goldberg said. "It was such a weird dark thing at the time, this bizarre gross wonderful thing that in the context of everything else that existed at the time was this weird special thing."
Hit the next slide to see how the cast felt about coming back to the franchise!
Richard Horvitz is the voice of the off-kilter but beloved Zim, and he was a little anxious when it came to returning to the role 16 years later.
"I was a little anxious about coming back to do the voice again, as it's been 16 years since, but Rikki and I have been on the road at conventions," Horvitz said, asking "Do I still sound like Zim?"
"When we did the coming soonish things for Nick, I felt good and it sounded like the old days," Horvitz said. "And then I read the comments. Someone wrote 'is it me or does Horvitz sound like he smoked several packs a day', but someone came to my defense and said 'give the guy a break, he’s like 80.'"
"It was something I had hoping and dreaming of since the show was canceled," Winger said. "Family Guy was way ahead of its time and got canceled and brought back, and Invader Zim was the same. It took 16 years but thank you for that. Its time has come!
After that art from the special debuts on the screen.
When asked what part in the process they are in with the film, Vasquez said it is all on Jenny. "Jenny’s doing everything. I ask how are you doing Jenny and she goes “I hate you”. She’s doing everything while I read. I sit on the couch and play video games to support Jenny."
Jenny gave a bit more details on the actual progress. "Getting animation from the team on Act 1 and finishing up the colors for Act 3," Goldberg said. "Very much in progress."
Since the original series concluded Invader Zim has found success in the form of comics from Oni Press, and the books have been well received amongst fans. There's going to be things that fans will recognize from the comics, and Jhonen explained the biggest differences between the formats.
"I don’t know if it’s so much the storytelling as much as the process," Vasquez said. "There’s a much shorter turnaround. You come up with a joke and in a month people react. For this, we’ve been working on it since 2015, so I look at this and go 'I don’t think this is funny'. Years of
The rest of the cast, including Horvitz, did emphasize afterward that "It is funny!"
"I'm getting reacclimated to seeing this stuff come to life outside of your head," Vasquez said. "It’s weird and I’m never going to get used to it, but it’s cool."
There was going to be footage shown later in the panel, but nothing from
The cast then recalled some interesting exchanges with fans, including a surreal moment where someone bit Rikki. "One person Rikki was signing an autograph and she bit him," Horvitz said. "She bit my wrist," Simons added.
While Jenny is an art director for the project, her job tends to also include dishing out some therapy.
"First I’m a therapist to the crew," Goldberg said. "My job is I am the quality control funnel that everything passes through. Everything that is designed, every bit of color I provide a basis for what it is supposed to look like and then I pass it to our team of talented individuals and then they pass it back to me as a prop or design. Then Jonah draws over my drawing because it’s wrong. I make sure that they are on model and are right."
At this point graphics showing the comparisons between the original character portraits and the new ones for
For example, the first shown is an Invader Zim comparison from 2000 vs 2018. His costume is a brighter pink, and his gloves and boots are more pronounced. His teeth are also showing out of his smile and his eyes are more colorful.
Some remain unchanged for the most part, but most of the crew received some tweaks here and there.
The cast was then asked about hopes going forward, and Richard already had his answer ready.
"I’d like to have a new series," Horvitz said.
For Jenny, she just hopes they found a great balance between what fans loved about the original and some modern touches. "Hoping to make everybody feel the nostalgia, but modern and updated," Goldberg said.
After that, they took on some questions from social media, including one that asked how many Tallest were there before Purple and Red. Jhonen said "Make something up, that’s what we do", followed by the number "26…and a half" from Kevin McDonald.
A few new shots from the movie hit the screen, including an image of a lone room with a toilet that held a sign that read "Official Hiding Room".
Rikki was asked about Gir's favorite taco topping, but it doesn't seem to matter that much. "I don’t really think he cares about what’s on the taco," Simons said.
Next was a question about one of Zim's weaknesses, which is rain. If it hurts Zim, how does he bathe? "He bathes in bodily fluids, but not his own…so," Horvitz said. "Harvested".
At that point, they showed the new poster, which looks really slick. The one they showed has the Nickelodeon logo in blue to match the pink and blue color scheme from the rest of the poster, and Jhonen said it is the superior poster and looks far cooler, as they had to change the Nickelodeon logo on the official one to orange, though he didn't want to.
Horvitz didn't miss a beat here, saying "See
The cast said the footage that will be shown isn’t fixed or finished, Kevin did original music for it, and it won't be a story trailer, just a collection of cool and semi-finished shots.
Now text flashes on the screen. Star-filled sky pans down to Zim's house. Someone's wearing a
When asked if the movie will give fans closure or be more of a typical Zim ending, Jhonen said: "Zim endings are so weird and there’s baloney at the end of one, So yeah…"
"If you’ve read the comics you’ll probably recognize some things in there," Vasquez said. Recap kid is not going to be in the movie. The movie is, there’s stuff from the comics, but it’s not the comics. Because it’s just this one story it just focuses on the main cast, there’s not a lot of new characters and even the side characters. Minimoose is a big part of this. I love the idea of making Minimoose part of this when a lot of people have no idea."0comments
The whole cast seems more than up for a new series. When asked if an opportunity presented itself would they return McDonald said: "Yes, but you better hurry up I’m getting old". Horvitz said, "Absolutely not!" He also added " Rikki has been crying in his room for 17 years. In this room."
When asked about returning, Horvitz couldn't be more thrilled. "I was excited," Horvitz said. "It was like we’d never been gone. The chemistry was there immediately. It was a great script, it was amazing. Signing a version of the poster. except it has an orange logo."