Friday, September 13, 2019

'Invader Zim' Creator Jhonen Vasquez Explains Why 'Enter the Florpus' Released on Netflix

Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus, the animated movie special that picks up after the events of the television series, is a bit of a odd thing. Not because of its humor or tone, which is unusual in the way that all of the Invader Zim franchise is unusual, but because of the fact that it's a movie based on a Nickelodeon show that ended up on Netflix, along with Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling. But the reason Enter the Florpus ended up on Netflix rather than at the television network is apparently simple: bureaucracy.


At least, according to Invader Zim creator Jhonen Vasquez. ComicBook.com had a chance to speak with Vasquez ahead of the special's release on Netflix, and while his answer to why the Enter the Florpus ended up on Netflix came across as almost half joking, there was an undercurrent of seriousness.

"We had already finished production," Vasquez revealed when asked about the move to Netflix. "Netflix really had no hand in the creation of the thing. Nickelodeon was the intended destination for it, but then there was a lot of changeover that happened in the last couple of months of production at Nickelodeon, just suddenly everyone that was supportive was no longer present. And I think we just rolled to the finish line in this junky machine that I think really only crossed the finish line out of sheer neglect by the end of it."

What do you think of Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus? Have you watched the Netflix special already, or are you saving it for a special occasion? Let us know in the comments, or hit me up directly on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk all things animation!

Although Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling and Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus being released on Netflix, it wasn't the first Nickelodeon show to be released on the streaming service, and won't be the last. Earlier this year, Netflix released Nickelodeon's animated series Pinky Malinky, and Nickelodeon is currently producing animated movies inspired by network hits Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Loud House. Netflix is also producing a live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender with Nickelodeon.

Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus and Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling are now available to stream on Netflix.

From ComicBook:

Jhonen Vasquez Explains How Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus Happened

The announcement that there would be an Invader Zim movie was a surprising one. After so many years, it seemed like Nickelodeon and creator Jhonen Vasquez would never find common ground, and yet, here we are, and Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus is now available to stream on Netflix for anyone even remotely interested in the franchise. So, how did it happen, exactly? That's what we wanted to know, and Vasquez was kind enough to explain.

ComicBook.com spoke with Vasquez prior to the release of the film on Netflix, and in addition to revealing how he felt about coming back to Zim and his general thoughts on nostalgia, he explained how exactly the process of getting a Zim movie off the ground happened.

ComicBook.com: So how did all of this come together? Did Nick come to you, did you go to Nick? Was it a meeting of the minds kind of thing?

Jhonen Vasquez: Nick came to me. It was a process of several years, of Nick always poking me about more Zim stuff, which was never a ... I never planned on any more Zim stuff. I didn't completely close the door to it, but it was never tops on my list in terms of the kind of stuff that I wanted to do.

I wanted to do other things, and I tried to do a couple of other things, and there was some years sunk into development on a different project that never took off. At the end of which was just me being incredibly frustrated with losing all that time and not having anyone see what I've been working on for all those years. So it just worked out, because Nickelodeon was still ... they were still poking at me about working on more Zim, or, "Are you doing anything, a series?"

Just they wanted to talk about Zim. And this time, I was just like, "Yeah, that sounds like fun after several years of hell, and it sounds like it actually might get made." Which was a huge factor in my wanting to work on anything at that point. So we just started talking back and forth, and it turned into a movie.

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From ComicBook:

Invader Zim Creator Jhonen Vasquez Reveals His Favorite Part of Enter the Florpus

Invader Zim, the animated television series from Nickelodeon about a frankly troubled alien invader and his misadventures on the planet Earth, recently returned in the form of a movie/TV special on Netflix called Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus. And while there's a ton of moments to love from the special, some of them stand out from others -- even for creator Jhonen Vasquez.

ComicBook.com spoke with Vasquez prior to the film's Netflix release about everything from how he felt about coming back to Zim to nostalgia to how the special even happened, and as one of the final questions we asked, we had to know what his favorite part of the movie was.

ComicBook.com: In the special, what is your favorite part?

Jhonen Vasquez: I don't know if it's my favorite part, but it's the part that has stuck with me. I don't quote my own stuff a lot. I get the impulse when I meet fans, or they talk to me online, and they just have to respond to everything with a Zim quote, or stuff from my comics. And I'm like, "Yes, I certainly wrote that. I recognize it." But there's a few things that just stick with me from the series, usually Bloaty, just some variation of, "I eat too many pizza."

But I think the thing in the movie that I say a lot is ... and it's just a tiny moment, and it's Zim coming into the house after doing something stupid, and he congratulates himself. He says, "Excellent work, me." And he gestures to himself, to illustrate.

I love that moment, I don't know why. It's just part of my language now.

Do you just find yourself saying it about yourself, about things you've done?

I don't know. It's just so self-congratulatory and kind of sad at the same time, because no one is telling you this. You have to tell yourself this, you have to ... It's like, well, I think I did a good job, but he really believes it. He's really into it.

Well, let me just say then; I have seen the special. Excellent work, you.

Oh, wow, thanks. It feels weird coming from someone else.

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More Nick: Netflix Debuts 'Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling'!

Originally published: Wednesday, September 04, 2019 at 12:20 BST.
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