Movie Review: Zenon Girl in the 21st Century (1999)

Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century is a 1999 Disney Channel Original Movie directed by Kenneth Johnson and starring Kirsten Storms as the eponymous heroine. The film was based on the book Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century written by Marilyn Sadler and Roger Bollen. The film was originally conceived as a pilot for a potential television series. The film was the first under the Disney Channel Original Movie banner to produce a sequel, Zenon: The Zequel (2001). A third and final installment was also produced, Zenon: Z3 (2004).

The year is 2049 and Zenon Kar is a 13-year-old girl who lives with her family on an Earth-orbiting space station. After getting into trouble with the space station’s commander, Edward Plank, Zenon’s parents punish her by sending her to Earth to live with her Aunt Judy. On Earth, Zenon experiences trouble fitting in with other kids, who consider her name, space-station stories and slang to be weird. Likewise, Zenon considers the children at her school woefully out of touch with pop culture. Eventually, Zenon makes friends on Earth with two boys, Andrew and Greg (with whom she develops a relationship). Along the way the kids learn to be more accepting of one another and to look past first impressions.

During her time on Earth, Zenon uncovers a plot masterminded by station bigwig Parker Wyndham to use a computer virus to crash the space station and collect the insurance money. When Zenon tries to warn her parents of the danger, Commander Plank, who sees all children as troublemakers, convinces Zenon’s parents not to listen to her. Plank believes that her story is only a ploy to get back onto the space station to attend an upcoming concert by her idol Proto Zoa and his pop-rock group Microbe.

Andrew and Greg join in to help Zenon find a way to save the people on the space station. Andrew creates a computer anti-virus, but Zenon must get Andrew’s disk to the space station. Zenon goes to the launch yard, hoping to sneak onto a rocket to the space station. Proto Zoa, who is about to depart from the concert, recognizes Zenon from a “Dance with Proto Zoa” contest has her join him on the launch to the station. Wyndham and Lutz enter the rocket to try to stop Zenon, and Aunt Judy follows them. Upon arrival, Commander Plank is shocked to see Zenon, but lets her stay when he becomes smitten with Aunt Judy. Plank still won’t believe Zenon’s story, especially when Wyndham accuses her of trying to sabotage the station. Zenon manages to load Andrew’s anti-virus program on the station’s computers in time. Wyndham is arrested with his assistant Lutz while everyone else enjoys the Microbe concert.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

As a 90s baby, we loved our Disney Channel Movies. Zenon was the bomb, okay that’s really showing my age. Anyway, Zenon was such a fun film and it had Raven -Symone as her bestie. Who wouldn’t want her fun, out of the world outfits and dance to Zoom, Zoom, Zoom.

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