Codename: Kids Next Door
Codename: Kids Next Door, commonly abbreviated to Kids Next Door or KND, is an American animated television series created by Mr. Warburton for Cartoon Network and Curious Pictures and distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television. The 13th of the network's Cartoon Cartoons, the series premiered on December 6, 2002, and concluded on January 21, 2008, after six seasons and 78 episodes.
A mysterious treehouse hidden from adults is the headquarters for five friends known as Kids Next Door. These 10-year-olds take on grownups to get out of going to the dentist or summer camp by using "2x4 technology." They build and design elaborate contraptions using anything they can get their hands on: bubble gum, old wood, and spare tires. Each kid has a specialty and works with the team to win silly battles.
Why It Saved Many Kids From Evil Adults
- Creative and interesting concept of kids having their own treehouse and going on missions against evil grownups. The show has plenty of fun with said concept having many varied scenarios for the kids to fight against.
- Very nice looking animation that has aged extremely well, that holds up today even for 2000's standard. With the first episodes being released in December 2002 with the visuals looking very clean and surprisingly modern looking with detailed background designs and animation.
- Catchy theme song. Despite the fact that it doesn't have any actual lyrics, the tune an beat for the opening theme is still memorable and perfectly sets the mood for the show itself.
- The five main protagonists, whose team name is Sector V, are memorable and have very distinctive personalities, which gives them a lot of charm:
- Numbuh 1 is the bald, astute, no-nonsense British-American boy Nigel Uno, leader of Sector V.
- Numbuh 2 is the overweight, intellectual, aviation enthusiastic, pun-cracking German-American boy Hoagie Gilligan Jr.
- Numbuh 3 is the happy-go-lucky Japanese-American girl Kuki Sanban.
- Numbuh 4 is the short-tempered and fighting-prone Australian-American boy Wallabee Beatles.
- Numbuh 5 is the intelligent, laid-back, tomboyish African-American girl Abigail Lincoln.
- Memorable supporting characters like Numbuh 362/Rachel McKenzie, Tommy Gilligan, Numbuh 6/Bradley the Skunk, Numbuh 9/Maurice, Numbuh 83/Sonya, Numbuh 84/Lee, and Numbuh 0/Monty Uno.
- Memorable villains like The Delightful Children from Down the Lane, Father, Mr. Boss, Numbuh 11/Cree Lincoln, Mushi Sanban, Numbuh 274/Chad Dickson, Knightbrace, Stickybeard, The Toiletnator, Crazy Old Cat Lady, Mr. Wink and Mr. Fibb, Count Spankulot, and Henrietta “Heinrich” Von Marzipan.
- Many of these villains in question represent the exaggerated fears of a typical 10 year old kid such as dentists, bossy parents, school teachers, among others.
- Creative weapons and machines that are used by the characters (especially the KND).
- Tons of action scenes to see.
- Clever and enthusiastic writing.
- Awesome soundtrack. There's already the theme song (which was previously mentioned and discussed in WIR# 3), but the show's background music is also incredibly good and fits the mood/tone for every scene that it's present in.
- Even though there have been a plethora of plot-driven cartoons in the 2010s since Adventure Time, this show, along with Avatar: The Last Airbender, could be considered the one that started the trend amongst mainstream cartoons. As while the show started off by having mainly quirky and goofy plots for it's episodes with little to no continuity among them, the later seasons where when the show began to genuinely develop a story than was extended among not just most episodes, but the entirety of the show as a whole.
- Hilarious moments.
- Memorable episodes such as “Operation: G.R.O.W.-U.P.”, “Operation: E.N.D.”, “Operation: A.R.C.H.I.V.E.” and the “Operation C.A.K.E.D.” saga.
- It ended up getting a TV movie that was just as great as the show itself, Operation Z.E.R.O.. It follows Sector V along with the entirety of the KND Organization as fight against Father's own parent, Grandfather, as he threatens to turn every kid and adult into tapioca eating Senior Citi-zombies. And to do so, they recommission Nigel's father, Numbuh 0.
- Heartwarming series finale, Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S.. Which ends with Numbuh 1 agreeing to join the Galactic KND while leaving his family and friends back on Earth. And before doing so, he bids them all a tearful farewell and makes his teammates promise to him that they'll never forget their adventures together as part of the Kids Next Door Organization in a truly tearjerking yet simultaneously heartwarming scene.
- Even though the show constantly glorifies childhood and treats growing up as a bad thing, some episodes do paint adulthood in a more positive light.
- Aside from the concept, the lore behind the series is interesting and complex.
- Some unlikable characters like Numbuh 86/Fanny Fulbright and Lizzie Devine.
- Nigel/Numbuh 1's workoholia occasionally makes him unlikable as well.
- Kuki/Numbuh 3's overly childish attitude can be annoying.
- Wallabee/Numbuh 4's rude attitude and stupidity set a bad example and encourage toxic masculinity.
- While it is meant to represent kids' obsessive complaining in general, the characters' complaining can get out of hand at times.
- Some toilet humor.
- The crossover special with The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy titled The Grim Adventures of the KND was poorly received due to its lazy premise and poor portrayal of many of the characters.
- There's a disgusting episode about pinkeye called “Operation P.I.N.K.E.Y.E.”.
- There are some plot threads that are left unresolved. For example, we never much know about "The Kid" who first appeared in Operation D.O.G.F.I.G.H.T. as his real name is remained unknown (Though he is referred to as "Ace" by fans). Cree Lincoln also didn't received any character development since she escaped decommissioning and joined the Teen Ninja faction and taught Abigail/Numbuh 5 everything she knows.
- In operation Z.E.R.O., It revealed that the source of the KND comes from the book of KND that is found by Numbuh Zero, but it never explained who wrote it in the first place.
Possible Revival and Spin-Off
On January 31, 2008, during a Q&A session on LiveJournal, when Tom Warburton was asked if "Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S." was in fact the true finale of Codename: KND, Warburton said that it was not necessarily meant to be the finale, stating that a revival could be made in the future.
Warburton had unsuccessfully pitched a Galactic: Kids Next Door spin-off several times to Cartoon Network executives, and at one point he considered to make a TV movie as a pilot for the potential spin-off series. Following having any response, Warburton eventually decided to create a pitch that would be distributed over the internet pseudonymously in order to try and get the series approved with help from fans. Warburton wrote the script and collaborated with others who had worked on the series to produce an animatic-style pitch. On March 19, 2015, a video was posted on YouTube of what appears to be an animatic of a darker sequel series featuring Numbuh 1 and the Galactic KND, entitled Galactic: Kids Next Door. On April 1, 2015, a fan-made petition was started on Change.org to make G:KND a real series, which was also signed by Warburton himself and by voice actor Dee Bradley Baker. Rat Animation also showed interest in the project. Warburton later noted that the executives at Cartoon Network had noticed the response but were not interested in a continuation to KND, though he remained confident to get the sequel approved in the future.
- The main five protagonists of the series all have their eyes covered by either a piece of clothing or their hair.
- All of them also are of different nationalities, with Numbuh 1 being British, Numbuh 2 being American, Numbuh 3 being Japanese, Numbuh 4 being Australian, and Numbuh 5 being African-American.
- Initially, Mr. Warburton created a pilot for a show titled "Kenny and the Chimp" for Cartoon Network, which was rejected. Warburton planned the show's antagonists to be five annoying neighbors who would cause mischief that often Kenny would get blamed for and Kenny would refer to them as "those kids next door". After the pilot was rejected, Warburton took those five neighbors and reworked them into the protagonists of a new different pilot which became Codename: Kids Next Door. The character Professor XXXL, which appeared in the Kenny and the Chimp pilot, was also reworked into a minor villain making a few appearances in KND.