Disney Channel began broadcasting the fourth season of their animated teen spy series Kim Possible this past weekend. Now, I know what you’re thinking: Alex Rider, Young Bond... enough with the kiddie spies already! But the truth is, like those others, Kim Possible is by no means limited to kids. In fact, while they’ll enjoy the adventures and the typical cartoon comedy, a lot of the jokes will go over their heads.
Disney Channel cartoons usually run 65 episodes and a few direct-to-DVD movies before being cancelled, victim’s of Disney’s mandatory euthanasia. But so popular was Kim Possible that it was brought back from the land of cancellation, the channel’s first cartoon since DuckTales (I think) to exceed that self-imposed limit. And since things had been pretty thoroughly wrapped up in the movie (which served as the finale to the original run), the new season breaks another unwritten cartoon rule and ages the characters (slightly). They’re still in high school, but Kim and her sidekick Ron Stoppable are now seniors. And their main adversary, Dr. Drakken (voiced brilliantly by Futurama’s Bender, John Di Maggio), is surprisingly still in jail. Luckily, the show has a reliable repertoire of equally amusing villains, and some of the second stringers stepped to the fore-front in the season’s first four episodes, which were broadcast Saturday night. Even after two years off the air, Kim Possible has lost none of its charm or humor, and is well worth checking out for any spy fan with a sense of humor–especially one who also appreciates good animation.
New episodes air Saturday nights at 8 on the Disney Channel; reruns air weekday afternoons. There are unfortunately no season sets, but there are several good "best of" DVDs available (I recommend starting with The Villain Files), and two DVD movies. You can also watch episodes online on Disney's site, or download some from iTunes. And to read a good interview with Schooley and McCorkle, in which they discuss what to expect in Season 4, head over to Newsarama.