Saturday, October 29, 2011
Kim Possible: A Cartoonized, Hi-Tech Buffy?
Another blast from the not-so-past: Kim Possible! Can I safely assume that most of us are at least somewhat familiar with this cartoon? If not, no big deal, just check out the opening theme above and you'll get the gist of the show.
I'll be honest--I don't remember this show too well. I caught episodes of it here and there (and enjoyed them), but I was no major addict. What struck me when I revisited Kim Possible, though, was how much she reminded me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Similar to how Buffy would have a much easier time living a "normal teenage life" if she wasn't the Slayer, Kim would also have a lot less on her mind if she didn't have to worry about homework and her love life along with saving the world. More importantly, when Kim and Buffy are kicking butt, they know that they're good at kicking butt, and certainly don't mind throwing in a few extra snide remarks and fancy flips during their fights.
Even the opening themes are similar. They show our two heroines balancing a life of fighting evil and surviving in school, cheerleading, best friends, enemies, and of course, ugly villains. Even though Kim always shows up with perfectly styled hair and a crop top that exposes her lean tummy, Buffy never looks too shabby either! It's not just that they know they're strong, good-looking girls--they love being girls and won't miss the perks of being a girl for the world, figuratively.
Even though Kim Possible is targeted at a younger audience compared to Buffy, I think it's safe to assume that Buffy helped pave the way for a lot more "girl power"-centric shows. Without Buffy, the idea of a powerful heroine who's otherwise a typical girl in high school would definitely be much harder to imagine, and it's likely that many cartoons would not even bother making their female leads more than one-dimensional.
How else do you think Buffy has contributed to empowering women?