Kim Possible is officially 15 years old. Well, technically the character Kim Possible will always be 18, with the series finale showing her graduation from Middleton High. However, the show itself celebrated its 15th anniversary this month, and proved its still one of the Disney Channel’s most beloved shows.
When the series debuted on June 7th, 2002, Kim Possible brought kids a new kind of hero. Kim was a high school cheerleader, who just happened to also be a top-secret spy who saved the world in her spare time. Along with her best friend Ron Stoppable, his pet naked mole rat, and her tech friend Wade, Kim faced countless villains and made several friends in high places.
Her stories are unforgettable, but there were aspects of the show that stayed out of the spotlight.
Here are the 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Kim Possible.
15. Neil Patrick Harris was almost Ron Stoppable
From Doogie Howser, to Barney Stinson, to Dr. Horrible, Neil Patrick Harris has played some iconic roles over the years. However he almost played even more, including Kim Possible’s Ron Stoppable. Though it may sound surprising, the actor originally auditioned for the role back in the day.
Harris was 28-years-old when the series started, which might seem a bit old to voice a high schooler. However, Will Friedle, who did get cast as the voice of Ron, is just three years younger. Friedle had wrapped Boy Meets World two years earlier and was able to make the commitment. Had Harris been given the role, he would have had to balance it with How I Met Your Mother, which started in 2005.
14. Marvel played a large role in the show
Kim Possible was her own brand of superhero, but the show did see a lot of influence from Marvel. The showrunners have noted that Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, and the X-Men have all played key roles in creating some of Kim Possible‘s most memorable villains.
The most apparent Marvel influence came in the story of Dr. Drakken and James Possible. It was revealed in the freshman season of Kim Possible that Drakken – originally known as Drew Lipsky – and James were friends in college. The two had a falling out, and Drakken never let go of the grudge. The story is incredibly close to the relationship between Victor Von Doom and Reed Richards.
13. It was almost given a live-action update
Disney has fully immersed itself in live-action remakes this year, and is finding no shortage of success. However, in the early 2000s, the studio stuck mostly to new stories. Kim Possible nearly broke this trend.
The idea was brought up early on, and the show’s creators actually had a script drafted by the start of the second season. Eventually, Disney Channel opted to keep Kim Possible animated, and the script became the Disney original movie Kim Possible Movie: So The Drama.
Even so, fans continue to hope for a live-action reboot one day, and have their dream castings ready to go. One fan recently pitched the idea of Bella Thorne as Kim. The actress, who started on Disney Channel and is currently starring on Freeform’s Famous In Love, responded saying she’d be up for it but doubts that it will happen.
12. It was an Emmy magnet
During its four season run, Kim Possible pulled in eight Emmy nominations– five of which came in 2005 alone, shattering records for the Daytime Emmys. It became the most nominated animated series of that year, proving it was a success all around, and wasn’t only popular with younger fans.
Kim Possible received its first nomination in 2003, competing for a Primetime Emmy in the Outstanding Children’s Program category. The show was beaten out by The Simpsons – ironically, both series had Nancy Cartwright voicing important characters.
In 2004, the show grabbed two more nominations, this time for Daytime Emmys. Once again it competed in the Outstanding Children’s Program category, as well as an Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program. But, like Leonardo DiCaprio, the show only brought home one win in all its nominations, for Outstanding Sound Mixing.
11. Fans saved it from cancellation
Most Disney Channel shows see no more than four seasons during their tenure. Despite being a critical success, Kim Possible was no exception. In fact, it was originally only supposed to see three seasons.
Kim Possible Movie: So The Drama was originally intended to wrap the series up after its third season. However, after the success of the movie, and an intense fan campaign, the show was picked up for a fourth and final season.
Though this was great news to the fans, it was shocking to the showrunners. Both Robert Schooley and Mark McCorkle had made plans with other projects, but returned to finish out the show. Most surprising was the amount of episodes Kim Possible was renewed for. Some shows are given 13 to 18 episodes to wrap things up; Kim Possible was given a full 22-episode order.
10. The writers weren’t going to explore Kim and Ron’s romance
At the end of Kim Possible Movie: So The Drama, Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable finally started dating. Since the movie was meant to wrap the series, the writers included this development to gives fans the happy ending they’d been hoping for.
When Kim Possible was renewed for a fourth season, it was largely because fans wanted to see Kim and Ron together, acting as the perfect power couple. This was something the writers were not prepared for.
The writers had specifically saved this development for the finale so that they wouldn’t have to dive into the new dynamic between Kim and Ron. When the fans forced their hand, they opted to make sure the relationship was so not the drama– Kim and Ron were still best friends, and stronger than ever.
9. That’s So Raven affected casting
Much like the role of Ron Stoppable, there were several actresses in the mix to play Kim, and, as it turns out, Christy Carlson Romano was not the first choice for the part. The role was initially offered to Anneliese van der Pol, but she turned it down so she could play Chelsea Daniels in That’s So Raven. The series premiered a year after Kim Possible‘s debut.
Ironically, Kim Possible still became van der Pol’s first voiceover role. She dropped by as a guest star in the “And The Mole Rat Will Be CGI” episode as an actress named Heather. The connection to That’s So Raven ran even deeper, with Raven-Symoné starring in Kim Possible as Monique when the writers felt that Kim needed a number one best friend outside of Ron.
8. Rufus and Bart Simpson are voiced by the same person
It’s a fairly common trend in the world of voiceover work to have a female do the voice of young boys. Tommy Pickles, Timmy Turner, and Ash Ketchum were all voiced by women. The same is true for Ron Stoppable’s pet Rufus.
The naked mole rat was brought to life by Nancy Cartwright. Though the character was used sparingly, Cartwright’s work on Kim Possible did land her a Daytime Emmy nomination. Fans might not recognize her name, but they’ve definitely heard her voice before.
Nancy Cartwright has lent her voice to some of the most iconic animated characters ever, including several characters on The Simpsons. She plays Bart and Maggie Simpson, as well as Nelson Muntz and Ralph Wiggum. Cartwright was also responsible for the voice of Chuckie Finster on Nickelodeon’s Rugrats.
7. It was used to promote Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is supposedly the last installment of the franchise. In 2003, the same was thought about Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. Fans weren’t sure how the series could continue without Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom. The movie was heavily promoted, and used Kim Possible as part of its marketing.
The episode, titled “Cap’n Drakken,” took Kim and Ron to the high seas on a school trip. Nearby, Dr. Drakken was possessed by Black Eye Brown after digging up and opening a haunted treasure chest. Coincidentally, the episode unknowingly gave some heavy hints about the next Pirates film. Black Eye Brown appeared to be loosely based on Captain Blackbeard, with a similarly powerful sword.
6. Wade’s last name is Load
Kim did impossible things, but she wouldn’t have gotten nearly as far without the help of her trusty tech friend Wade. The character was voiced by Tahj Mowry, best known for his role on Disney’s Smart Guy. Throughout the series, not much is revealed about Wade. He’s ten years old, and incredibly smart. He completed his high school and college education in eight months, and seems to live in his computer lair.
Wade didn’t actually appear in person until season three. Every once in awhile he would show up on a mission, but for the most part, he and Kim communicated via the Kimmunicator. Not much is known about Wade’s family, but his last name is revealed to be Load. The name is an apparent gag, given his role on the show.
5. John Cena was also almost Ron Stoppable
Hollywood can be an incredibly small world sometimes. At one point, John Cena was also in the running to play Ron Stoppable. This revelation proved especially surprising (and a bit terrifying) for Will Friedle. The star tweeted at Cena saying “I’m sure you would’ve been great! #PleaseDontHurtMe.”
For series lead Christy Carlson Romano, the possibility was hilarious. She and Cena were reportedly best friends at one point. While Friedle and Romano got a kick out of the idea of Cena being anything close to “stoppable,” the wrestler’s voice audition didn’t stand out to the showrunners. Robert Schooley, one of the co-creators, joined in on Friedle’s tweet storm saying, “if this is true, I don’t remember it. Then again, my memory sucks.”
Rumor has it that being passed over by the Disney Channel is what led Cena to focus on his wrestling career. Perhaps Kim Possible could have saved the world from being haunted by John Cena’s theme song.
4. Christy Carlson Romano attended college while voicing Kim Possible
For many actors, schooling is something that happens on set, or, sometimes, not at all. Still, there are some who choose to continue to university, like Emma Watson and Yara Shahidi. Christy Carlson Romano was also among those who chose to continue pursuing higher education.
During the first season of Kim Possible, each member of the cast recorded their voice work separately. The team switched up their process for season two, having the actors come in and record together. At this point, Romano was pursuing her degree at Barnard College, so she did her voicing separately. Her voice was dubbed in later.
3. The creators went to Nickelodeon when Kim Possible ended
One of the biggest network rivalries is between the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. The argument over which network created the best shows can go on for hours.
When the news of Kim Possible‘s surprise renewal came along, Robert Schooley and Mark McCorkle were already looking forward to new projects. Both stuck around to wrap up the final season, but this time they didn’t leave too many loose ends. The two-part graduation series finale gave fans an ending that was satisfying, but left the door open in case the show was miraculously renewed again. When it wasn’t, the showrunners moved on to new endeavors over at Nickelodeon.
McCorkle and Schooley will be returning to the Disney Channel in 2017. Together, they’ll be creating the new Big Hero 6 animated series.
2. It was an international hit
Until Phineas and Ferb came along, Kim Possible was Disney Channel’s longest-running series. This came as a bit of a shock to critics, who expected that a male audience wouldn’t want to watch the show. However, Ron Stoppable became a large draw for young boys, leading to a deeper story arc.
In total, Kim Possible ran 87 episodes, two films, and was given seven video game adaptations. Additionally, the show inspired several chapter books for young readers. It was entirely because of the fans that the show ran as long as it did, but this wasn’t just fans in the United States.
One of the other reasons behind the Disney Channel renewing Kim Possible was because the show had become an international hit. Kim and Ron traveled all over the world, especially in the final season, often providing locations that audiences recognized. The show aired in Canada, Dubai, China, and did especially well in Germany and Japan.
1. Kim’s middle name is Ann
Even Kim Possible had to follow her parents’ rules, and when she didn’t, she paid the price. Like any parents, when Mr. and Mrs. Possible were especially upset, they used Kim’s full name: Kimberly Ann Possible. Even her grandmother once busted out the middle name, when scolding Kim for showing her belly button.
Kim’s middle name presumably came from her mother. Ann Possible was a neurosurgeon, married to a rocket scientist, which gave Kim a lot to live up to. The character was voiced by Jean Smart. It’s possible that Ann was also the name of Kim’s grandmother, Nana Possible. Her full name was never actually revealed.
It is interesting to note that Kim’s middle name was one of the only middle names that the show ever mentioned. It was clear that Ron’s full name was Ronald, but his middle name is still a mystery.
Can you think of any other interesting facts revolving around Disney’s Kim Possible? Was it one of your favourite childhood shows? Let us know in the comments!
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