As he raised his children during the 1990s, Judge Dennis Prince saw that the Boogey Man was no match for that frightening Raffi guy.
Two weeks in the future finds the town of Endsville nothing but a smoldering heap of suburban waste. Amid the rubble, the evil Mandroid and unpredictable Billybot have been ordered by a strangely-cloaked figure to return to the past to thwart the efforts of young idiot Billy and acerbic friend Mandy before they can obtain the all-powerful Horror's Hand. But as the two evil automatons pass through a time/space gateway, future Billy and Irwin (yo) travel back in a time machine of their own design to ensure Horror's Hand is secured.
Back in the past, Grim arrives to reap General Skarr's soul, prompting a midtown chase, but Billy and Mandy tag along and botch the pursuit. Just then, the Underworld police arrive to drag Grim, Billy, Mandy, and Irwin (yo) to the Infernal Court, where Grim is cross-examined by the Boogey Man, charged with misappropriation of his supernatural powers. Convicted, the presiding Judge Roy Spleen hands the four over to Boogey and his party of unnatural pirates. Boogey plans to sail the quartet across the Lava Sea and feed the convicted to Lava Sharks, assuring they will be out of the way so he can secure Horror's Hand for himself, becoming truly scary once again. But the four ultimately escape and make their way to the lair of Horror's Hand just as Boogey also arrives. A contest ensues—The Cannibal Run—in which the victor will gain an opportunity for rightful ownership of Horror's Hand to wield it over the entire world.
If you love The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, you'll love this Cartoon Network exclusive film. Otherwise, you'd probably prefer to tune in to Kids Next Door. But if you enjoy the irreverent humor conjured by the deceiving down-to-Earth appearance of the show's creator, Maxwell Atoms, then Billy & Mandy's Big Boogey Adventure proves itself to be full of the series' trademark calamity, insanity, inanity…and boogers.
Oh, yes—there will be boogers.
Billy's bulbous pink nose serves as spigot for the sticky green stuff, likely because the youngster is constantly mining it. But his snot isn't merely offered for gags; it actually helps bond the four (well, their canoe anyway) during the Cannibal Run. "We're a river booger," Billy excitedly observes. "Bring it on," a resigned Grim concedes.
There's plenty of bathroom humor, too—no surprise. Flatulence is the "yang" to the boogers' "yin" in the world of Billy & Mandy. Much of it ekes out accidentally over the course of the adventure, yet it also serves to save the day at the moment the team fears they've lost Billy forever to the Kracken.
Obviously, Atoms keeps the gross factor dialed up to "11" in his usual pop-culture-meets-poop-culture style. When his characters aren't exuding all manner of bodily secretions, they're liberally skewering just about every notable movie machination known to his audience. The immediate appearance of the Mandroid and Billybot rips on Terminator 2 and Star Wars simultaneously. The time/space portal looks like an early production doodle from Stargate. The entire journey on Boogey's sailing vessel, the Boogey Bay, takes aim at Pirates of the Caribbean. The riffs go on and on. But Atoms saves his sharpest prods for the current state of youth culture. Without getting overly analytical here, the three main kids serve as wicked poster children for youth attitudes of our day. Billy is a complete moron, likely due to his unbridled consumption of mass marketed kiddie products like Hokey Monsters, Dinobonoids, and Jurassic Creeps. Subsequently, he has an I.Q. of minus-5, and fears mailmen. In stark contrast, Mandy is the epitome of the cynical child. She never smiles, unless you count the few smirks that punctuate her moments of pleasure at someone else's pain. She regularly stares down the demons of the Underworld and any schoolyard bullies that may come calling. She exists, then, to wholly mock her golden hair with headband and pink dress with daisy appliqué. Irwin is a complete dweeb who continues a weak attempt to appear "hip hop" (yo). He's madly in love with Mandy, which simply makes her mad. On rare occasions Irwin will make a stand, but usually he's on the receiving end of the ridicule of others.
Although the show has established solid traits in the three kids over the past six seasons, Atoms shows some chutzpah by breaking down a couple of walls over the course of this movie. First, he reveals that Mandy does harbor some sensitivity towards Billy, her eyes temporarily welling up when she fears the Kracken has taken the idiot boy. Irwin (yo) gets his moment in the spotlight when he gets to plant a sloppy wet one on Mandy's lips—the fans will go wild for this, that's for sure. Plus, favorite character and perpetual Underworld juror Fred Fredburger (yes!) gets several cameos and one critical reveal. In all, Atoms knows his audience well and gives them what they want—nachos!
On DVD, Billy & Mandy's Big Boogey Adventure easily exceeds expectations. The image is offered in either an anamorphically enhanced 1.78:1 widescreen presentation or a cropped 1.33:1 full frame option. The picture quality is top notch, with vibrant colors and detail running high without evidence of edge enhancement. The audio, presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround mix, is better yet. From the pre-credit sequence, the soundstage is established wide and solid with excellent surround imaging. For a non-CGI animated feature, this is one of the best presentations around. There are a few interesting extras, too. First is a fun 10-minute piece that introduces us to creator Atoms and voice actors Greg Eagle (Grim), Richard Steven Horvitz (Billy), and Grey DeLisle (Mandy). This is followed by the original series short, "Bully Boogie," where the Boogey Man is first revealed (voiced by Fred Willard), which sets up the enduring conflict between the creature and Grim.
All told, Billy & Mandy's Big Boogey Adventure is a gift from Atoms, and an indulgence of all the goodness and gooeyness that has made the series a top draw on Cartoon Network.
Despite the boogers, bare buttocks, and boorish humor, this court finds no real crime has bee committed. Case dismissed.
"Don't you find the justice system fascinating? Yes!"
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Warner Bros.
• "Bully Boogie" Short
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