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Western Animation / Invasion America

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Produced by Steven Spielberg and Dream Works, Invasion America was a prime-time animated TV drama, an animesque miniseries about aliens invading America. Invasion America was created primarily to cash in on the late-1990s paranormal craze that The X-Files created. It wasn't particularly popular with audiences, and aired only one season before ending inconclusively. It is notable for being one of the very few animated adult dramas produced in the United States (the only others, as of 2022, are Ĉon Flux, Todd McFarlane's Spawn, Spider-Man: The New Animated Series, and Primal). It wasn't initially planned as an adult series, however, having originally been intended for Kids' WB!.

The story of Invasion America begins in the early 1980s with Cale-Oosha, the ruler of Tyrus, looking into his uncle's project with Earth, believing it to be a plan to establish peaceful contact with humanity. However, his uncle, The Dragit, claims that their dying planet ought to invade Earth, conquer the bellicose humans and take hold of its resources. Cale refuses and a civil war breaks out.

Cale and his bodyguard/trainer/trusted friend Rafe escape to the Utah desert where Cale is rescued by Rita Carter, a human woman who guides the Tyrusians through human living and becomes a Love Interest for Cale. After a few years of hiding on Earth, Cale returns to Tyrus to lead the loyalist forces (the Ooshati) that have organized, leaving Rita and their young son, David, under Rafe's protection.

In the present day, when the Dragit finally finds the family, he is determined to kill them, and David Carter's teenage life is thrown into a devastating adventure of stopping the Dragit, losing and gaining friends, and finding out just who he is.

Not to be confused with the film Invasion U.S.A. (1952).

Invasion America provides examples of:

  • Alien Among Us: Most are part of the take-over conspiracy; some are benevolent.
  • Alien Invasion: It's in the title.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Played with. The Tyrusian do have their own language (see Conlang below) and are definitely seen and heard speaking it. While they use "Earth-speak" mostly when communicating with humans, they're also seen speaking English to each other even when it makes no sense to (like between the Dragit and his underlings on board their ship). Likely because it would've been clunky and awkward to subtitle everything.
  • Badass Longcoat: The Gal alien bounty hunters called the Ga'lim wear these with fedoras while trying to be less conspicuous on Earth.
    • Major Phil Stark also tends to wear one of these.
    • Simon wears one, too.
  • Bad Boss: Konrad towards all of his men at the desert base.
  • Big Bad: The Dragit is the main antagonist.
  • Bowdlerize: The show re-ran on Kids' WB! after its prime-time run, removing much of the mature elements.
  • Broken Bird: Rita in the novels, due to a Jerkass ex-boyfriend.
  • Chekhov's Skill: David's penchant for gymnastics comes in pretty handy at various points in the series.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: David's best friend Jim. Ask him how he feels about topless native women.
  • Conlang: Tyrusian is supposedly this. May just utilize a Fictionary.
  • Creepy Twins: Simon and Sonia take this up to eleven, especially in the novels.
  • Crystal Ball: Tyrusians can communicate over long distances via devices that look like glass orbs. These also seem to be a common interface for piloting spaceships and one enables David to turn on his motorcycle.
  • Deadpan Snarker: David's internal monologues.
  • Dead Star Walking: Leonard Nimoy was pretty heavily advertised as the main villain. He gets blown up early in the series.
  • Disappeared Dad: David's still a toddler when Cale leaves Earth. They meet again in the last minutes of the final episode.
    • There's no sign or mention of Jim's dad.
  • The Dragon: Konrad to the Dragit; Gordon takes his place.
  • Dramatic Alien VTOL: In episode 2.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Dragit.
    • It seems implied that Cale-Oosha is also more of a title than a name, though it's used as more of a name than The Dragit's is, regularly being shortened to just Cale. At best, it's a Meaningful Name.
  • Evil Uncle: The Dragit.
  • Expanded Universe: The side-story novel On the Run by Christie Golden.
  • Eye Colour Change: Tyrusians greet each other with a pupil that expands and contracts with a glittery blue glow across the scelera. When angry or threatened, their eyes turn solid black.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: David, because apparently being good at video games translates to being an excellent pilot.
    • He even lampshades it in the first couple episodes when Rafe asks him if he knows how to use a gun. His response is that he's been to the movies.
  • Interspecies Romance: Between Rita Carter and Cale-Oosha, the result of that being David.
  • It Can Think: The Manglers. Blink-and-you-miss-it scenes during two episodes shows a pack communicating using gestures and vocalization.
  • Left Hanging: The show managed to reach the end of the first season called "Book One" with David winning the day over his uncle and getting a message from his father. But the lack of ratings and the show's cancellation ensured this would never get a resolution.
  • Les Collaborateurs: Dr. Lear, but played with. While she's most definitely working for The Dragit, it's also very heavily implied that it's not completely by choice, and she doesn't like doing it, but fears she'll be killed if she defies her employers. She was right.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: After David is captured, he's led to believe he has arrived on Tyrus, the war is over and his family is reunited. Then it goes downhill.
  • Mama Bear: Rita may qualify, especially if you consider the Backstory from the novel On the Run to be canon.
    • Even without that, pulling a gun on six Mooks, killing one of them and growling that they'll never get her son definitely counts.
  • Mind over Matter: Tyrusians and half-human hybrids have telekinetic powers, though they usually seem to require some external help to focus their abilities.
  • Missing Mom: After the first episode.
  • The Mole: The military has several.
  • Named After Their Planet: Tyrusians are natives of...Tyrus.
  • Psychic Powers: Tyrusians have them, primarily telekinesis and telepathy, though the latter is more rarely seen.
  • La Résistance: The Ooshati.
  • Rogue Agent: Major Stark and Sergeant Romar have to be to discover the conspiracy and find David.
  • Shoe Phone: A Tyrusian com orb is seen disguised as a snow globe.
  • Shout-Out: When a kid catches David talking to another character and his pet Mangler, David tells him it's just a video game, "Mangler Trilogy." Given the Manglers' resemblance to certain other aliens, it's likely a reference to the Alien Trilogy game.
  • Silicon-Based Life: The genetically-engineered Manglers.
  • The Sociopath: Simon.
  • Space Base: Meteors are being launched at Earth from a base hidden on the dark side of the moon.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: When the heroes are planting explosives to destroy a secret base, a base tech discovers the explosives because of noticeable chemical odors.
  • Tell Me About My Father:
    David: Mom, talk to me. He's been gone a long time. Who was he anyway? Why do you keep him such a mystery?
  • Treacherous Advisor: Gordon is this for the President of the U.S.
  • Tricked-Out Gloves: The Exotar, a silvery glove that's a symbol of the Oosha's sovereignty and enables the wearer to better utilize their telekinetic abilities. As Simon learns the hard way, it has genetic sensors and will the crush the hand of anyone who tries to wear it that isn't related to the Oosha.
  • Twin Telepathy: Sonia and Simon.
  • Uncertain Doom: Gordon is last shown in a stealth fighter that's going down.
  • Villains Out Shopping: A female personnel who David encounters while pretending to be a fellow personnel in the Space Base offers to go for drinks when they're both off duty.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Lomack is from a whole species of these.
  • We Can Rule Together: The Dragit tries this on David.
  • Xenomorph Xerox: The Manglers. Though reviewers noted that they were clearly meant as Expies of Spielberg's velociraptors from Jurassic Park only five years earlier.