Minorities in comics and animation: Ron Stoppable (“Kim Possible”)

Kim PossibleThis week’s entry is Ron StoppableRon appears in the 2000s Disney Channel series “Kim Possible,” about the crimefighting/spy-like adventures of a teenage cheerleader.

Background

Despite his punny name (common for characters in this series), Ron is anything but “unstoppable.” Ron serves as Kim’s bumbling comic relief sidekick.

While Kim’s best (male) friend and usual sidekick on her missions, Ron frequently messes up most of whatever it is he attempts to do. A common gag is seeing Ron’s pants fall down at various moments while on missions. Another recurring gag is the villains’ inability to remember the name of “Kim Possible’s sidekick.”

Ron also often thinks of himself as a “ladies’ man,” despite that no girl besides Kim ever gives him the time of day. In the final season, however, Kim and Ron realize they have feelings for each other, and begin dating.

Finally, Ron will often have moments of self-doubt or outright panic about something trivial or bizarre. He’ll then try to resolve this problem in dubious (but hilarious) ways.

Ron has his own recurring subplots through the series, such as his fear of monkeys. Said fear isn’t helped by Ron being “blessed” early in the series with little-used “mystical monkey power.” The power involves monkey-related martial arts abilities. Ron gained these thanks to exposure to a set of mystical artifacts while on a mission.

Ron also has his own sidekick, his pet naked mole rat named Rufus. Rufus is shown as semi-articulate, and greatly helpful to Kim and Ron on missions (picking locks, etc.). Rufus also seems to show more common sense than Ron during Ron’s goofier moments or plans. However, the two of them are still close friends. Like Shaggy and Scooby-Doo, Ron and Rufus also have similar (but less voracious) tastes in food. This includes dining at their favorite restaurant, a Taco-Bell-like eatery named “Bueno Nacho.”

While not mentioned often during the series’ run, Ron and the rest of the Stoppable family are Jewish. One episode sees Ron worried he’s not a “real man” since his rabbi forgot to sign a bar mitzvah certificate. Ron spends the episode figuring out how to become more “manly.” Thanks to a series of events, Ron “borrows” a high-tech ring that grants the wearer Schwarzenegger-esque muscles. Fortunately, Ron’s rabbi shows up and sets Ron’s mind at ease.

Voice actor

Actor Will Friedle voices Ron. Friedle also voices Blue Beetle on “Batman: The Brave and the Bold.”

(Updated 11/14/16)

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