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?


  1. I don't think I would've noticed that connection without you pointing it out, but it does make a lot of sense. They are really similar in that they both try to save the world and be normal teenagers at the same time. Buffy contributed to empowering women by letting them see they can stand up for themselves and be tough, but still be normal at the same time.

  2. I really enjoyed this post especially because I always watched Kim Possible as a kid. However, while reading about Buffy and Kim I couldn't help to fixate on the idea that mostly all the shows in which women have a lead role share a similar theme. For example, although not completely relevant someone who can be seen as a super heroine to a certain extreme is Hannah Montana. Here, like Buffy and Kim, is a girl who lives a double life, she wants to have friends, date, but she also has to fulfill the role of being a role model to younger girls who love her music. Similar examples would be Bewitched, Ghost Whisperer, Bones, The Closer, among others. All these shows deal with women who save the world (in their own way) while trying to juggle normal lives, like Buffy.

  3. Although I didn't have the chance to watch Kim Possible, as a kid I liked watching such cartoons, not necessarily because they were about girls or boys specifically but because they were about kids or teenagers living double lives, which adults do not have a clue about. Another such cartoon was Fairly Odd Parents. It doesn't have a hero but it has a kid which is living a life besides the original one, trying to hide the one from the real. It's interesting in general.

  4. I loved Kim Possible! I remember wanting to be like her - the studious cheerleader who also saves the world. I would have probably felt the same about Buffy had I seen the show as a little kid. In addition to Kim's resemblance of Buffy, I think that Bonnie slightly resembles Faith. Kim and Bonnie are both cheerleaders and Buffy and Faith and both slayers. Although Bonnie isn't as morally corrupt as Faith, she is written as a villain. Both Buffy and Kim's parents know what they're doing - saving the world - and they're okay with it. Another similarity is the sidekicks. Kim has Ron and Rufus and Buffy has her Scooby Gang, most notably Xander and Willow. I feel like Xander and Ron are quite similar in their characters. I think that these two shows are pretty compatible.

  5. After our conversation today, a lot of the other inspired shows are supernatural as well. Professor Lirette brought up in class today how it is rare to find strong powerful women in a "normal" setting; they usually occur in fantasy settings, somewhat defeating the purpose of a strong woman in society.

  6. I remember that I was totally hooked with this show when I was a little kid and I never thought about her that way before. I never made the connection between Buffy and Kim Possible and how similar they are in some aspects.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.