I don’t claim to be a huge Grim fan, mostly because the show hardly strives to reach any specific goal. It’s content to be a generic sitcom with a slight twist, rather than being something truly dark and unique. I’ve been hoping that the show would try to redeem itself in a tour-de-force holiday special. Instead, Maxwell Atoms brings us a special that’s merely good, but nowhere near as good as it could’ve been.
Billy & Mandy’s Jacked Up Halloween has really nice art direction. I don’t think there is a show as refined and clean as Billy & Mandy, and the Halloween special brings us some great looking backgrounds, a generally gloomy atmosphere, and the typically sharp and vibrant colors we’ve come to expect from digital ink & paint. The storyboarding for this special could’ve been a bit more extreme. There are a few nicely done shots, but the majority conform to the typical distant side-view Billy & Mandy is known for.
Though there are a couple of cute jokes, and Billy being oblivious to the dangers around him is terrific, there’s not much else to applaud. Like I said before, this show should be dark but it isn’t. The Halloween villain’s time of triumph is nowhere near as menacing or exciting as, say, Zim’s time of triumph in the Invader Zim Christmas special. And although Jack O’ Lantern is supposed to be a loser of a villain, so is Zim.
Even the music, which could have made this special more energetic, is sadly unmemorable. But then, Billy & Mandy‘s music has always been unmemorable.
As it stands, Billy & Mandy’s Jacked Up Halloween is passably entertaining, but not the best in its field.
Billy & Mandy’s Jacked Up Halloween premieres Wednesday, October 1, at 8:00pm (ET) on Cartoon Network.