It’s the first Saturday of the month, which means it’s time for Saturday Morning Scares! Every month we take a look at horror cartoons for all the creepy kids out there. Since we’re celebrating April as Reaper Madness Month here at Nightmare, today’s pick is a silly romp about the macabre specter of death: Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy.
THE SHORT VERSION
Grim, the Grim Reaper we’ve all heard so much about, lost a bet with a couple of kids. Now he’s trapped forever with the enthusiastic but simple Billy and diabolical, conniving Mandy. And they’re all best friends! Grim still has to do Mandy’s chores, of course (nothing comes for free), but that still leaves plenty of time for adventures, terror, and mischief!
CAST OF SCARE-ACTERS
Grim: A tall, lanky skeleton with a menacing cloak and a razor sharp scythe, Grim is the classic depiction of the grim reaper. Only this time around, he has a Jamaican accent and plays games with a couple of nine year olds!
Billy: A friendly but empty-headed child, Billy is always up for the next adventure or distraction. That is, as long as there are no clowns or spiders involved.
Mandy: Short in stature but huge in intimidation, Mandy is the conniving mastermind who tricked the grim reaper into being her servant forever. The “evil little girl” trope has been done to death, but rarely this well.
Irwin: Billy’s best friend (aside from Grim and Mandy, of course), Irwin is a big time nerd. His grandfather’s a cool famous dude though, perhaps you’ve heard of… Dracula?!
Mindy: The snobbiest, most popular girl in school, Mindy is the polar opposite of Mandy. Mandy hates just about everything, but nothing quite so much as Mindy.
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Eris: The Greek goddess of chaos, Eris is constantly stirring the pot to see what bubbles up to the surface. As such, Grim has a big time crush on her before he decides she’s a little bit too much.
Hoss Delgado: if you put Snake Plissken and Ash from Evil Dead in the machine from The Fly, the result would be Hoss Delgado. Gruff, buff, and tuff, Hoss is the only thing that evil has to fear.
Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy episodes usually consist of two unrelated shorts. Sometimes there are three, and sometimes it’s just one! Let’s take a look at some top picks:
“Meet the Reaper/ Skeletons in the Water Closet/ Opposite Day”- Watch this one first so you know why the grim reaper is hanging out with children. Also, today is NOT Opposite Day!
“Grim or Gregory?/ Grim vs. Mom/ Tastes Like Chicken”- It’s Halloween and Grim thinks he’s found a popular horror host, but she thinks he’s her son! Also, could Mandy be a cannibal?!
“Night of the Living Grim/ Brown-evil”- Grim is sick and turning into a human! Also, Billy bakes a batch of brownies that smell so bad they turn people into zombies!
“House of Pain/ A Grim Prophecy/ Mandy Bites Dog”- Grim’s associate Lord Pain can’t figure out why Mandy controls Grim. Also, a flashback story showing Grim on his first assignment as Death!
“Wishbones”- Billy finds a magic skull named Thromnambular, who grants wishes! Unfortunately, the wishes backfire…
“Dracula Must Die!/ Short Tall Tales”- Lionel van Helsing seeks to destroy the legendary vampire, Dracula! Also, an anthology episode!
THEME SONG: Does it SLAP or is it CRAP?
Spooky synthesizers? Evil laughter? A dang theremin?! This might be the scariest theme song we’ve had yet! It’s haunting and eerie, but still musical. For these reasons, I rate the Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy theme song a SLAP.
For this month’s Nightmare on Film Street-exclusive Crunch Time cereal pairing, I looked inward. What cereal best represents death, the transition between this life and the next? As I was on the verge of a breakthrough, I remembered the Apple Jacks commercials where a stick of cinnamon runs around singing with a Jamaican accent, and I thought “that cinnamon stick sounds like Grim.” So this month’s pick is Apple Jacks! If you wanna see a compilation of the commercials I’m talking about, check it out on YouTube.
FUN AND GAMES
Grim Adventures never had a line of transforming action figures or its own kid’s meal pack-ins, but the show got not one(!) but two(!!) video games! The Game Boy Advance game was a side-scrolling beat’em’up/ platform game, but the GameCube/ PlayStation 2/ Wii game was a brawler where the characters could throw each other all around the front yard!
If you wanna watch Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, you can check it out on HBO Max! If you went ahead and got a subscription to check out the new Mortal Kombat, kill some time with all sex seasons of this show. You can also rent the series on Amazon, but that gets real spendy real quick. HBO Max is admittedly pretty steep for a streaming service, but if you’re gonna cancel after a month anyway then it’s a lot cheaper to check out Grim Adventures there.
Are you best friends with death itself? Let us know over on Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and the Horror Fiends of Nightmare on Film Street Facebook page! For more reviews, recommendations, and fun activities you can do with your pals, stay tuned to Nightmare on Film Street.