10 February 2005 | BrandtSponseller
Entertaining, but seasons on DVD would be better
Comprised of three episodes linked together by computer animation of Rufus (Nancy Cartwright), this "film" introduces us to Kim Possible (Christy Carlson Romano), Ron Stoppable (Will Friedle), Wade (Tahj Mowry), select family members, and a few of the major villains from the Kim Possible universe, including Dr. Drakken (John Di Maggio), DNAmy (Melissa McCarthy), The Bebes (Kerri Kenney) and Shego (Nicole Sullivan).
In the first section, Ron wants to join the school cheerleading squad, and we meet and learn the motivation behind Dr. Drakken and The Bebes. In the second section, the school is on a field trip to a ski resort, and we meet and learn the motivation behind DNAmy. In the final section, DNAmy and Dr. Drakken encounter each other while the kids work on a science project. The DVD also includes the premier episode of the series--where Kim has a crush on a boy at school. She tries to work up the courage to ask him to the school dance and takes time out to investigate Dr. Drakken's latest plans for world domination in Tokyo.
The bad news is that except for one episode--the third section of the "film"--everything else on this disc was viewable on The Disney Channel, as part of the Kim Possible series. They should have just begun releasing seasons of the show on DVD, with the "extra episode" as a bonus. Surely this will be done at some point in the future, which means, at best, that the money you'd pay for this disc will be for the extra episode, the linking computer graphics, a Christy Carlson Romano music video, and a brief computer graphic synopsis of the major villains on the series.
The good news is that the show is well done, and viewed as a film, The Secret Files is entertaining, with the new material tying the first 40 minutes together nicely. Kim Possible somewhat resembles Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but the villains are more child and young-teen friendly. There is a heavier sci-fi / James Bond feel to the show, with Wade functioning as a combination of Bond's M and Q. Humorous material arrives quickly and regularly, on many levels, so everyone from toddlers to adults should find various aspects of the show amusing. The animation is a melding of typical American Saturday morning fare and Japanese anime, and the content also has a slight "anime jr." feel.
As you'd expect, episodes tend to have messages for kids--it's okay to want to do things that aren't gender stereotypes, acceptance of friends, acceptance of parents, problems can be solved with resourcefulness, different people have different strengths and it's beneficial to work together, and so on. For adults, there are regular humorous cultural stabs--cuddly toy fads, science geeks, etc. It's a pleasant mixture with elements aimed at various age groups.
My rating is for the quality of the material, viewed as a film. Unless you're a serious Kim Possible fan, I wouldn't recommend buying the DVD. Wait for seasons to appear on disc. To satiate your curiosity in the meantime, rent the DVD and/or just watch episodes of the show on The Disney Channel.