Invader Zim 3D animation test (lost sequence of animated series; 1999)
Invader Zim needs little introduction. It is one of the most popular and fondly-remembered Nicktoons, despite being cancelled halfway through its second season. Originally aired in 2001, it ran in syndication in the US up until 2006.
Fans have been hoping for a revival for years, and in 2015, Oni Press started publishing a well-received Invader Zim comic series. Prior to Invader Zim, creator Jhonen Vasquez was known for writing comics such as Johnny The Homicidal Maniac, I Feel Sick, and Squee! before starting work at Nickelodeon. The news of the return of Zim in animation wouldn't come until 2 years later in 2017 when Nickelodeon officially announced that an Invader Zim TV movie was in the works, and that series creator Jhonen Vasquez would be executive producer for the film.
Around 1999, a pitch pilot for Invader Zim was completed, featuring Billy West as Zim (Richard Steven Horvitz would go on to replace him). The episode is a special feature on the Volume 1 DVD and aired on television for the first time on December 24, 2011, on the Nicktoons TV network. The pilot Nicktoons aired was a version where Richard Steven Horvitz voiced over some of Zim's lines, and that version can be easily found on sites like DailyMotion.
A 3D animation test was made for the sequence in which Zim and Dib become involved in a food fight in the school cafeteria. Screenshots of the 3D animation test have since been found, but not the full video.
In the pilot episode itself, the food fight sequence is animated in 2D.
In 2004, on the Invader Zim fan website Room with a Moose, there were questions answered by people who worked on the DVD release regarding the 3D test animation.
Q: Is possible that the Pilot (or 3D Test) episode will be included?
I already asked for it. I asked for EVERYTHING!!! Animatics, audio only episodes, Interviews, TV Spots.. you name it I've put in for it. Nick is currently hunting down all the stuff for us. Once I have more details I'll let you know. - answered by Merideth Mulroney
Q: What about the 3D test? It's not that we don't know about it, it's just that there has been some trouble tracking down the real and full upres'd version of it. Other avenues of getting that are being followed. - Answered by Larb Poop, a Nickelodeon employee involved with the DVD project
The following are the screenshots of the 3D animation test that have been uncovered.