The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy
|The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy|
|Also known as||Billy & Mandy|
|Created by||Maxwell Atoms|
|Voices of||Greg Eagles|
Richard Steven Horvitz
|Theme music composer|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||6|
|No. of episodes||77 (161 segments) (list of episodes)|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television Distribution|
|Original network||Cartoon Network|
|Picture format||NTSC (seasons 1-5)|
HDTV 1080i (season 6)
|First shown in||June 9, 2000|
|Original release||August 24, 2001 –|
November 9, 2007
|Followed by||Underfist: Halloween Bash (2008)|
|Related shows||Evil Con Carne|
The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy (also shortened to just Billy & Mandy) is an American animated television series created by Maxwell Atoms for Cartoon Network, originally part of Grim & Evil. It follows an extremely dimwitted happy-go-lucky boy named Billy and a cynical remorseless girl named Mandy who, after winning a limbo game to save Billy's pet hamster, gain the mighty Grim Reaper as their best friend in eternal servitude and slavery.
Billy & Mandy began as a series of segments on Grim & Evil, from which it was a spin-off, along with Evil Con Carne, on August 24, 2001. Although the 2003 episodes were produced for Grim & Evil, the show ran as a separate series from June 13, 2003, to November 9, 2007, on Cartoon Network. Two made-for-TV movies, Billy & Mandy's Big Boogey Adventure and Billy & Mandy: Wrath of the Spider Queen, aired on March 30, 2007, and July 6, 2007. A crossover special with fellow Cartoon Network series, Codename: Kids Next Door, entitled "The Grim Adventures of the KND", aired on November 11, 2007. One more made-for-TV movie, Underfist: Halloween Bash, intended to serve as a pilot for a new spin-off series, aired on October 12, 2008. During its run, the series won two Emmy Awards and one Annie Award, with nominations for one Daytime Emmy Award, three Golden Reel Awards, and two other Annie Awards. Billy & Mandy has also been made into a video game as well as various licensed merchandise.
The series is centered around the exploits of Billy (Richard Steven Horvitz), an idiotic and happy-go-lucky boy; Mandy (Grey DeLisle), a cynical and cold-hearted girl; and Grim (Greg Eagles), a Jamaican-accented Reaper. After Billy and Mandy cheated at a limbo match against Grim (in retaliation for putting the limbo rod too low for them to go under), he is enslaved in a permanently unwanted friendship with the children. Grim is miserable in the first days of his servitude, and even fantasizes about killing them multiple times. However, as the time passes, he gradually adapts to the new life, and even grows to care for Billy and Mandy, if only somewhat. Despite this, he retains a love–hate relationship with the two and desires to eventually break free from his servitude.
Billy and Mandy use Grim's supernatural abilities and powers to venture into supernatural locations or environments, such as the Underworld, or the Netherworld, inhabited by an assortment of grotesque monstrous beasts. The pair also use Grim's enormously strong supernatural abilities or ties with a number of beastly characters to achieve goals or desires for themselves, often with twisted results. Famed fictional monsters including Dracula, the Wolfman, and the bogeyman are also comically depicted in the series.
Supporting characters include Irwin (Vanessa Marshall), a nerdy awkward boy who has a crush on Mandy; Harold (Richard Steven Horvitz), Billy's father who is even dumber than his son; Gladys (Jennifer Hale), Billy's loving yet mentally unstable mother; Mindy (Rachael MacFarlane), the snobby, stuck-up, and spoiled queen bee of Billy and Mandy's school; Sperg (Greg Eagles), the local bully who has a sensitive side; Fred Fredburger (C. H. Greenblatt), a simple-minded, irritating underworld creature who loves frozen yogurt and nachos; Dracula (Phil LaMarr), a selfish elderly vampire who is revealed to be Irwin's paternal grandfather in the final season of the show.
The show lacks continuity for the most part, as many episodes end with characters killed, exiled, or stuck in a situation. Characters sometimes display an awareness of some events from previous episodes, but there are no clear character arcs or coherent plot lines tying the show together.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||18||August 24, 2001||October 22, 2004|
|2||8||June 11, 2004||September 24, 2004|
|3||14||October 1, 2004||June 17, 2005|
|4||13||June 24, 2005||December 16, 2005|
|5||13||January 6, 2006||July 21, 2006|
|6||11||October 6, 2006||November 9, 2007|
The series had its genesis in 1995, when Maxwell Atoms, while he was a junior at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, made a two-minute short film for his thesis project. Titled Billy and Mandy in: The Trepanation of the Skull and You, it centers around Billy and Mandy (prototype versions) discussing trepanning with each other. In the end, Mandy drills Billy's head, causing him to pass out after too much blood loss even though he says he feels great. The short had never been shown publicly until April 30, 2016, during the first annual TromAnimation Film Festival. After the screening, Atoms uploaded the film, albeit in a deteriorating state after years of storage, on his YouTube channel.
Atoms originally pitched the Billy & Mandy concept to Nickelodeon, but it was rejected by the network. 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. The three final choices were Grim and Evil (later splitting into two separate series: The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy and Evil Con Carne), Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones?, and Longhair and Doubledome. Out of the three, Grim and Evil attained the most votes with 57%; Robot Jones came in second place at 23% while Longhair and Doubledome received 20% of the vote.
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. On occasion, it was the other way around, with two Evil shorts and one Grim short. The series premiered on August 24, 2001, during the Cartoon Cartoon Fridays Big Pick Weekend.
Another batch of 13 half-hour episodes were produced for Grim & Evil, but on June 13, 2003, the network separated the two segments and gave each their own half-hour program. The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy ran for 6 seasons, the first of which contains 18 half-hour episodes, consisting of 49 Grim & Evil shorts along with the bonus short "Five-O-Clock Shadows", while Evil Con Carne was cancelled once the already-produced season had aired. Evil Con Carne characters occasionally appear on The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. General Skarr appeared in "Skarred for Life" as Billy's new next-door neighbor. In "Company Halt", the ninth episode of the final season which also functions as the true series finale for Evil Con Carne, Ghastly, Hector, Boskov, and Stomach restart their evil organization and convince Skarr to rejoin them, but their plans are ultimately foiled by Billy and Mandy, and Skarr goes back to living his life as a normal person.
Awards and nominations
|2002||Golden Reel Awards||Best Sound Editing in Television Animation||Glenn Oyabe, Jesse Aruda, and Rob Desales
for "The Smell of Vengeance: Pt. 1 & 2/Fiend is Like Friend Without the "R""
|2003||Best Sound Editing in Television Animation – Music||Glenn Oyabe
for "Little Rock of Horror/The Pie Who Loved Me/Dream a Little Dream" and "Billy & Mandy's Jacked-Up Halloween"
|2005||Best Sound Editing in Television Animation||Glenn Oyabe, Jesse Aruda, Erik Sequeira, and Cecil Broughton
for "Super Zero/Sickly Sweet"
|Annie Awards||Directing in an Animated Television Production||Brian Sheesley
for "Nursery Crimes"
|Shaun Cashman and Phil Cummings
for "Attack of the Clowns"
for "Hill Billy"
|Emmy Awards||Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation||Michael Diederich||Won|
for Billy & Mandy's Big Boogey Adventure
|Daytime Emmy Awards||Broadband-Children's||The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy||Nominated|
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 him because she was meant to be the reaper. Meanwhile, keeping up with the spider theme, Billy learns to love his spider son Jeff.
On October 12, 2008, a third and final spin-off movie, titled Underfist: Halloween Bash, premiered on Cartoon Network. 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.
The score composers for the series are Gregory Hinde, Drew Neumann and Guy Moon. In addition, two songs were made for the show by Aurelio Voltaire, the episode "Little Rock of Horrors", which parodies the musical Little Shop of Horrors, features a song titled "BRAINS!" and, in Billy & Mandy's Big Boogey Adventure, the song "Land of the Dead" is played in the opening credits. Both songs are a part of the album Spooky Songs For Creepy Kids. The season two episode "Battle of the Bands" also featured the song "Darkness" by metal band SPF 1000. 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.
The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy is a 3D fighting video game inspired by the series developed by Midway Games and released on September 25, 2006, for the PlayStation 2 and GameCube, on October 31, 2006, for the Game Boy Advance, and on November 19, 2006, in North America for the Wii. The video game received fair to good reviews: GameSpot's Greg Mueller gave it a 6.6/10, stating that while its fun lasts the "first few hours" and has "fast-paced gameplay" the game action "gets old quickly" and has a very short story mode. IGN's Mark Bozon rated it 7.2/10, highlighting its presentation and appeal. Metacritic rated it 61/100 based on 10 critic reviews.
The first season was first released on DVD by Warner Home Entertainment in 2007. All 6 seasons are available on iTunes and Amazon Prime, with the exceptions of Billy and Mandy Save Christmas and Billy and Mandy's Big Boogey Adventure due to music licensing issues. Even its spinoff movie, Underfist: Halloween Bash, is unavailable everywhere.
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