The Grim Adventures of Billy

The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy
File:BillyAndMandy.png
Genre Black comedy
Comedy horror
Satire
Farce
Toilet humor
Format Animated series
Created by Maxwell Atoms
Written by Maxwell Atoms
Gord Zajac
C.H. Greenblatt
Directed by Juli Murphy
Robert Alvarez
Shaun Cashman
Eddie Houchins
Sue Perrotto
John McIntyre
Russell Calabrese
Voices of Greg Eagles
Richard Steven Horvitz
Grey DeLisle
Vanessa Marshall
Composer(s) Gregory Hinde
Drew Neumann
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 6[contradictory]
No. of episodes 69[contradictory] (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Maxwell Atoms
Producer(s) Louis J. Chuck
Running time 22 minutes
Production companies Cartoon Network Studios
Broadcast
Original channel Cartoon Network
Original run June 13, 2003 (2003-06-13) – October 12, 2008 (2008-10-12)
Chronology
Preceded by Grim & Evil
Followed by Underfist: Halloween Bash
Related shows Evil Con Carne
External links
Website

The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy (often shortened to simply Billy & Mandy: The Series) is an American animated television series that aired on Cartoon Network. The show began in 2003 and is a spin-off of the 2001 film Billy & Mandy and the show Grim & Evil. The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy follows two children, Mandy and Billy, who after winning a game to save Billy's ten-year-old pet hamster, gain the Grim Reaper as their best friend and slave forever. The show ran from June 13, 2003, to November 9, 2007 (though due to a failed spin-off, it ended by default on October 12, 2008), in all seven seasons with seventy-one episodes were made in its original run. In addition to the episodes three movies, two special episodes, and nineteen shorts were made, with 3 award wins for the series as a whole. Billy and Mandy has also been made into a video game as well as various licensed merchandise.

Overview

The series is centered around the exploits of two young children—the optimistic, dim-witted, and kindhearted Billy, and the dark, ill-tempered, sinister, and very intelligent Mandy. After cheating at a limbo match against the Grim Reaper (out of retaliation for putting the limbo rod too low for them to go under), he is enslaved in a perpetual, unwanted friendship with the children, who use his magical abilities and supernatural powers to venture into supernatural locations or environments, such as the underworld, inhabited by an assortment of grotesque monstrous beasts. The pair also may use Grim's enormously strong supernatural abilities or ties with a number of beastly characters to achieve goals or desires for themselves with grotesque, altered, or twisted end results. Famed fictional monsters including Dracula, the Wolfman, and the bogeyman are also comically depicted in the series, which also includes the characters of the nerdy, awkward Irwin and the snobby, stuck-up, spoiled Mindy.

The continuity of the show is far from clear, as many episodes leave complex situations unresolved. Characters sometimes display an awareness of some events from previous episodes, but rarely do they stay gone when exiled or dead when killed. There are no clear character arcs or coherent plot lines tying the show together, but its randomness is part of the humor. Two universal constants remain throughout the series: that Mandy is always cold-hearted and evil, and Billy is always idiotic and stupid.

Characters

The Grim Reaper ("Grim") (voiced by Greg Eagles) is a skeleton Reaper with a Jamaican accent, who holds a scythe and wears a black hooded cloak. After losing a game of limbo to Billy and Mandy, Grim is forced to be their best friend forever.[1] Though Billy is friendly and kind towards him, Mandy treats him coldly and dominantly, and this angers and irritates him to the point where he constantly fantasizes about killing both of them. However, there have been instances that show that he does care for them while also finding them both obnoxious.[2]

Billy (voiced by Richard Steven Horvitz) is known for being slow with a low IQ and causes the most trouble for the three as a result. He wears a red hat, dark blue pants, a white shirt striped dark blue, red shoes and has a big pink nose. Billy is often kind to Grim, although he is seen by Mandy as more of a servant than an actual friend. His biggest fears are clowns and insects and often uses tangelos to ward them off. Overall Billy has a friendly personality.[2][3]

Mandy (voiced by Grey DeLisle) is a cynical and arrogant girl with blonde hair with a black hairband, black shoes, and a light pink dress with a yellow flower on it. Mandy, unlike Billy, is smart and loves absolute power, order, chaos and control, which is something she uses to make Grim her obedient servant and slave. Billy and Mandy are best friends, although sometimes it is hard to tell. She almost never smiles, and denies it when she actually does. Her parents are also scared of her. Mandy usually gets what she wants and she does not hesitate to speak her mind.[2][4]

History

Billy and Mandy started out as a short made by Maxwell Atoms during school. In the short, Billy was trying to drill his head to free the evils from within. The short has never been shown publicly.[5] The show's existence is the result of a viewer poll event by way of telephone and the Internet called Cartoon Network's Big Pick which was held from June 16 to August 25, 2000.[6] The three final choices were The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Whatever Happened to Robot Jones? and Longhair and Doubledome.[6] Out of the three, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy attained the most votes with 57%; Robot Jones came in second place at 23% while Longhair and Doubledome received 20% of the vote.[6][7] The first season began airing on Cartoon Network on August 24, 2001.

Originally part of Grim & Evil, Billy & Mandy served as the main show. In each episode, an Evil Con Carne short was put between two Grim shorts.[6] On occasion, it was the other way around, with two Evil shorts and one Grim short. On June 13, 2003, the network separated the two and gave each their own full-length program. The short-lived Evil Con Carne show was cancelled once the already-produced season had aired. Some characters from Evil Con Carne occasionally appeared on The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. General Skarr would become a permanent recurring character by moving next door to Billy. And in one episode Major Doctor, Hector, Bozkov and Stomach tried convincing Skarr into coming back to the team but once he finally did go back his plans were foiled by Billy.

Episodes

Season Episodes Originally aired DVD release dates
Season premiere Season finale Region 1 Region 4
1 10 June 13, 2003 October 31, 2003 September 18, 2007 N/A
2 8 June 11, 2004 July 30, 2004 N/A N/A
3 13 October 1, 2004 June 10, 2005 N/A N/A
4 14 July 29, 2005 December 2, 2005 N/A N/A
5 13 January 6, 2006 August 9, 2006 N/A N/A
6 11 October 6, 2006 November 9, 2007 N/A N/A
TV movies 3 March 30, 2007 October 12, 2008 N/A N/A
Special 1 November 11, 2007 N/A N/A

Reception

The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy became one of Cartoon Network's top rated series. Commonsense media gave the show a 3/5 star rating and stated that it has "Goofy punchlines and obscure cultural references" and recommends the viewer age be at least 8 years old.[8] The series has won one Annie Award, two Emmy Awards and including those three wins, has been nominated a total of nine times for various awards.

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result
2002 Golden Reel Awards Best Sound Editing in Television Animation[9] Glenn Oyabe, Jesse Aruda, and Rob Desales
for "The Smell of Vengeance: Pt. 1 & 2/Fiend is Like Friend Without the "R""
Nominated
2003 Best Sound Editing in Television Animation - Music[9] Glenn Oyabe
for "Little Rock Of Horror/The Pie Who Loved Me/Dream a Little Dream"
Nominated
2005 Best Sound Editing in Television Animation[9] Glenn Oyabe, Jesse Aruda, Erik Sequeira, and Cecil Broughton
for "Super Zero/Sickly Sweet"
Nominated
Annie Awards Directing in an Animated Television Production[10] Brian Sheesley
for "Nursery Crimes"
Nominated
Shaun Cashman and Phil Cummings
for "Attack of the Clowns"
Won
2006 Annie Awards Directing in an Animated Television Production[11] Shaun Cashman
for "Hill Billy"
Nominated
Emmy Awards Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation[12] Michael Diederich Won
2007 Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation[13] Phil Rynda
for Billy & Mandy's Big Boogey Adventure
Won
Daytime Emmy Awards Broadband-Children's[14] The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy Nominated

Media

TV movies

Three TV movies were made for the series. The first one was called Billy & Mandy's Big Boogey Adventure and was released on DVD in April, 2007.[15] Commonsense media gave the movie 2/5 stars and is meant for kids over the age of 8 calling it "Undeniably gross and just as undeniably funny".[16] DVDverdict.com gave the movie a good review as well.[17]

A second movie, Wrath of the Spider Queen was also released in 2007. It was based on a spider queen from Grim's distant past, who tries to take revenge on Grim, because she was meant to be the reaper. Meanwhile, keeping up with the spider theme, Billy learns to love his spider son Jeff.[18]

On October 12, 2008, a third and final spin-off movie titled Underfist: Halloween Bash, premiered. The movie's primary focus is on Irwin, Jeff the Spider, Hoss Delgado, General Skarr, and Fred Fredburger accidentally coming together to defeat an invasion of chocolate bar monsters, led by an evil marshmallow bunny, on Halloween night. Billy, Mandy and Grim Reaper always go in other Cartoon Network shows for charity.[19]

Music

The score composers for the series are Gregory Hinde and Drew Neumann and Guy Moon.[20][21][22] In addition two songs were made for the show by Voltaire, the episode Little Rock of Horror, which parodies the musical version of The Little Shop of Horrors, features a song titled "BRAINS!"[23][24] and, in Billy & Mandy's Big Boogey Adventure, the song "Land of the Dead" is played in the opening credits.[25] Both songs are a part of the album Spooky Songs For Creepy Kids.[23] There was also an instance at the end of the Christmas special entitled "Billy & Mandy Save Christmas", where the end credits music is the song Round and Round by heavy metal band Ratt.

Video game

A video game based on the series was developed by Midway Games, and released on October 2, 2006,[26] and is a 3D fighting game based on the show. The video game received fair to good reviews: GameSpot gave it a 6.6/10 by Greg Mueller, he goes on to say that while it is fun for the "first few hours" and has "Fast-paced gameplay" the game action "gets old quickly" and has a very short story mode.[27] IGN gave the game a good score of 7.2/10 highlighting its presentation and appeal.[28] Metacritic has the game at 61/100 based on 10 critic reviews.[29]

References

External links

  • Big Cartoon DataBase
  • Internet Movie Database
  • TV.com
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