The Watchman: ‘Kim’ Return More Than Possible, Car Diehard Stays in His ‘Layne’

Kim Possible ran on Disney Channel from 2002 to 2007, and is coming back as an original movie, premiering on Feb. 15. It’s the story of a “modern, empowered girl” ready to take on all sorts of foes, Disney Channel said.

Executive producer Zanne Devine said her daughters were huge fans of the series. When the live-action film project landed on her desk, her daughters weighed in on her options. “They said I had to do it,” said Devine, who calls Kim PossibleWonder Woman for the prepubescent set.”

The film begins with Kim starting high school. Devine said the producers sought to “create an arc” for Kim and put her in an environment where she could grow.

The setting also made her more relatable. “Being a first-day freshman is something that everybody could relate to,” Devine said.

Devine raves about the teen playing Kim, Sadie Stanley, and said the actress’s audition was her first as a professional. “She kept coming back and she kept getting better,” Devine said. “It was delightful to see. She’s a complete natural and a total professional.”

That got The Watchman wondering what it was like to actually witness Stanley’s auditions. So, like, what words come to mind?

“Magnetic, charming, delightful, honest, real, grounded, empathetic, funny,” said Devine. “She brought all the characteristics we like in Kim.”

Leading out of Kim Possible on Disney Channel Feb. 15 is Fast Layne, about a talking race car found in an abandoned shed. Twelve-year-old Layne unearths the car and zany shenanigans, along with a genuine friendship, occur.

Travis Braun created Fast Layne. He grew up in the middle of Texas. His father had a race car repair shop, where his mother home-schooled Travis and brother Colin. “School lessons quickly became car lessons,” he said.

As a child, Travis would often give personalities, and voices, to the cars in his father’s shop. VIN, short for Vehicle Integrated Neurotech, is the talking car in the live-action series.

Not surprisingly, Braun grew up watching a few series and movies featuring conversing cars. He calls KITT (short for Knight Industries Two Thousand) from Knight Rider “the gold standard in talking cars.”

Also not all that surprising is that both Braun boys now handle cars for a living. While Travis created Fast Layne, Colin is a NASCAR driver.

VIN and Layne have something of a brother-sister relationship. Sophie Pollono, who portrays Layne, brings the series to life. After several months of auditions, “no one hit that It Factor until Sophie walked in,” Braun said. “She’s so much a regular kid, and that’s what this world needed.”

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.