One of the best shows, in my opinion, that was all about (not) growing up was Kids Next Door. It was one of the last shows originally created by Cartoon Network studios during the Golden Age (1996-2008). Unlike other shows like The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy or Evil Con Carne, Kids Next Door didn’t have such a dark tone. There were some backstories and episodes, but most of the time episodes were parodies of movies, shows, comic books, and other cartoons. One of my favorites was the parody of the Dragon Ball series or Avengers Endgame. I’d like to explore in this article why Kids Next Door was so different from other Cartoon Network shows. Also, I’d like to discuss whether KND needs a sequel, a reboot, or maybe none. So, as Numbuh 1 would say, Kids Next Door, BATTLE STATIONS!
Analysis and breakdown of Codename: Kids Next Door show[2002 – 2008]
Codename: Kids Next Door was that show that just didn’t want to let you grow up. The friendship, team leading, kids playing as adults, and many other themes are what made it so popular. Style and animation were different from previous and later shows as it ended the Golden Age of Cartoon Network characters and animation. Just like in sports, business, or love, what this show taught us is that, to win, you must have a good team. It was always Sector V’s team that saved the world, but it was also about saving each other. In later seasons, KND parodied LOTR Starwars, Dragon Ball, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc. Sector V has probably the best characters from Cartoon Network including Numbuhs 1 through 5. Everyone is special in something, and Nigel is a team leader. Numbuh 2 is a 2×4 technology & aeronautics specialist; Numbuh 3 is a Diversionary Tactics Expert, nurse, and hamster caretaker; Numbuh 4 is the muscle of the team and a bit of a no-brainer from time to time; he’s in love with Kuki Sanban (Numbuh 3); Finally, Numbuh 5 is second in command and a spy.
Shows usually pick the right character or the right time, but this one has both. For generations that were getting older and still loved Cartoon Network animation, this was the ticket out. Kids Next Door was something out of this world and it was the last good “old” show on Cartoon Network. After that, style and animation changed forever, and to kids now, these characters from Cartoon Network would be unrecognizable. There’ve been “interests” by Cartoon Network to bring the show back, but they’ve always ended up as being shenanigans. There was also an idea, but it was just another hoax that Galactic KND would hit the TV once again. Unlike Fox and now Disney, Cartoon Network knew what to do with shows; it knew how to end them. If they do return one day I hope that they’ll do a good job like with Samurai Jack.
Memorable characters from Codename: Kids Next Door
Good Guys: Numbuh 2-Hoagie P. Gilligan, Numbuh 3-Kuki Sanban, Numbuh 4–Wallabee “Wally” Beetles, Numbuh 5-Abigail Lincoln, Numbuh 86-Francine “Fanny” Fulbright, Rachel T. McKenzie-Numbuh 362, Number T-Tommy Gilligan
Bad Guys: Father, Grandfather, Stickybeard, Knightbrace, Professor XXXL, Gramma Stuffam, Mr. Boss, Cree Lincoln, Mr. John Wink, and Mr. Timothy Fibb, Count Spankulot, Toiletnator
Does Codename: Kids Next Door need a reboot, a sequel, or none?
I would dare to say that it’s easy that Kids Next Door doesn’t need a sequel or a reboot. Some of you would probably ask why not a comeback in any form, but the story ended perfectly. The show had a great three-episode finale and even real-life actors appeared in the special called Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S.” – “It’s Now The Extra Very Interesting End Wrap-Up Story” which was way ahead of its time and way cooler than anything recently done on Cartoon Networks and in general cartoon history. Kids Next Door doesn’t need a comeback simply nor a movie or remake, it should just remain a memory of a good old cartoon from the past. I’m a huge fan of The Simpsons, Family Guy, South Park, and other shows like this, so they should just be “decommissioned” as KND was. Fans nowadays call the Simpsons “zombified” and with a good reason. Just make new shows for god sake, create new characters, and give opportunities to young writers. I hope that my favorite characters from Cartoon Network won’t be destroyed in the process if they ever decide to make a comeback.
KND together with Nigel Uno’s speech during the final episode of Operation: T.R.E.A.T.Y.” “Teens Readily Extend Armistice To Youngsters”, was the last time that I logged out. This was the last time that I watched a series end on cable back in 2008. Ever since that, I’ve tried to go back and rewatch, but the animation, sound, jokes, and everything were just not the same. Maybe it’s me getting old, but moreover, I think it’s that the style of cartoons nowadays is just too different. Cartoons aren’t as they used to be, maybe Nigel Uno and the whole KND were just a warning of what’s about to come. By this, I mean that we were all getting decommissioned and turned into adults, as in that age, we were thinking about music, movies, video games, and arts; but nowadays we’re just chasing after money; we’re in a neverending rat race.
Image Credits: Cartoon Network Studios