Animating Halloween: The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy – Billy and Mandy’s Jacked-Up Halloween


Plot: Grim tells Billy and Mandy the story of an old prankster named Jack who was killed for his annoying pranks back in medieval times. Jack stole his scythe when Grim tried to take him to the afterlife. In order to get it back, Grim granted Jack eternal life……only after Grim sliced his head off, though.

Now using a pumpkin as a head, Jack is forever known as Jack-O-Lantern, and he continues to pull pranks on Halloween. Until, that is, he meets up with Billy who is using Grim’s scythe for his grim reaper outfit. When Jack gets the scythe from him, he calls an army of spirits to bring eternal night and Halloween to the land.

Breakdown: I’ll be honest, I never got too invested in Billy and Mandy. I always gave it major props for going dark places that most cartoons of the age would never go, and still don’t, but I just never found it all that great. I’d watch it on occasion, but it was never something I needed to watch.

You’d think if there was one time The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy would shine, it would be in a Halloween special….but…not really.

This episode’s just kinda boring. The story’s boring, the villain’s definitely boring, and the climax was pretty predictable, especially considering we watched Mandy set up all those pranks. Gee, I wonder if they’ll all get tripped.

Even if it is Irwin who trips them, we still know exactly what’s going to happen. It’s a bit sad that the funniest part of this whole special is the slapstick of the pranks, but I’m 99% certain that was the infectious laughter because every other character was laughing – even then, I didn’t laugh, but I felt like it a bit.

Also, the threat isn’t that major. Eternal night and Halloween?….I guess that’s bad. As someone who’s a Halloween junkie, bring on the latter, but I guess the former would suck.

Beheading Grim is supposed to have more weight because anything beheaded with his scythe is permanently beheaded, bypassing Grim’s ability to remove his head whenever he feels like it, but….still….who cares? Can’t he keep it attached to his body with tape or something? You can’t kill him – he’s death.

Poor Irwin, too. It’s a bit annoying that he keeps trying to kiss Mandy, and the recurring joke of him putting on non-scary costumes in search of a scary one is tiresome, but the poor kid had all that crap happen to him and he only gets a whoopie cushion to the face as a thank you.

Like I mentioned, I will give this episode props for its darker moments. Jack is legit murdered, and all because he was annoying with his pranks. Not sure why the queen’s guards would stick an axe in his back instead of beheading him, but whatever. Grim legit beheaded Jack. And, in the end, Jack is sent to hell. Yup. Actual hell.

If there ever is a message in Billy and Mandy, this one’s kinda weird. They make off like pranks are awesome and fun, but Jack was friggin’ murdered for playing pranks. And this wasn’t just an unreasonable queen getting pissed at him – the villagers played a prank on the queen posing as Jack and then she killed him in retaliation.

All in all, I wasn’t entertained by this special all that much, which is a shame because, as I said before, Halloween should be one time where Billy and Mandy goes all out and pulls no punches. While it has some moments, this is….fairly lame.

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