Totally Spies! is an animated television series produced by the French company Marathon Production. Production began in 2001; in 2008 the show ran its fifth and final season. A movie based on the show aired in France on July 22, 2009.
Main article: List of Totally Spies! charactersTotally Spies features the adventures and missions of three teenage spies (Sam, Alex, and Clover) led by the founder and administrator of WOOHP, Jerry Lewis. The surnames(last name) of Clover and Alex are unknown.
Samantha Simpson (or Sam for short) has long, wavy bright red hair. She wears a green catsuit. She is the most intelligent, responsible, and practical of the girls. She always comforts the girls when they are in trouble. She also prevents the others from getting distracted. Her favorite color is green.
Alexandra (or Alex for short) has short black hair, styled in a bob. She wears a yellow/bright orange catsuit. Despite her clumsiness, Alex excels in athletics—particularly in soccer. She is funny and always there for her friends. Though she is somewhat of a tomboy compared to Clover and Sam, Alex is just as eager when it comes to fashion and boys. She has a toy turtle named Ollie. Her favorite color is yellow as it said an episode "A spy is born"
Clover has medium-short, straight, blonde hair. She wears a red catsuit. Clover is a boy-crazy shopaholic and fashion fanatic. Mandy is her rival. She goes through many boys in the show, and she cares deeply about fashion and designer paraphernalia.
Jerry is the founder and administrator of W.O.O.H.P (World Organization Of Human Protection). He is a middle-aged, very serious British gentleman. He finds means of transporting the girls to their headquarters, briefs them on their missions, distributes their gadgets, and provides mission support with information or direct involvement. He often annoys the girls with his attitude and constant missions but when in danger the girls are there to help. It is also known that he has trouble keeping his spy identity a secret from his nosy mother, who has only been mentioned a few times in the season. Sam, Clover and Alex once noted that they don't listen to anyone but Jerry, and usually they don't even listen to him.
For the first three seasons, the villains featured in the series were generally one-shot characters used for a single episode. Most of them intend to oppose the world because they have suffered some major disappointment (such as being constantly rejected by men or women) or trauma. Only a few villains ever made a second appearance, which always focused around them attempting to get revenge on the girls for foiling their original scheme.
In the season three finale, the show gave the Spies an actual arch-nemesis in the form of Terry Lewis, Jerry's evil twin brother. Terence was supposed to be the show's final villain, being the main antagonist of the three-part episode "Evil Promotion Much?", originally intended as the series finale. When the show was renewed for a 4th season, Terence was brought back and given a major role as the main enemy of the girls. He forms a Legion of Doom-style organization called LAMOS, composed of the show's recurring villains, in order to battle the spies. Also in Season 4 Mandy Luxe who is the team's school rival with her friends Caitlin and Dominique became Spy-sassins the evil versions of the spies.
The World Organization Of Human Protection (or WOOHP) is a fictional worldwide spy agency in the animated series Totally Spies. Founded and headed by Jerry James Lewis, WOOHP uses cutting-edge technology and highly skilled agents to fight crime and diffuse humanitarian crises all over the world. Its headquarters is located in Downtown Los Angeles.The building itself has been shown to be in the shape of a W.
Clover, Sam, and Alex are their top three superspies, frequently called in to solve the most difficult cases worldwide. When he needs them, Jerry can "WOOHP" them to his office at the press of a button from wherever they might be. This is usually done via vacuum tunnels that lead to the office, but they have also been blasted to their destination via rocket ship, teleported, picked right off the freeway via helicopter, and scooped up by a passing train. On missions, Jerry provides the spies with information, analyzes clues, and occasionally steps in to give them a hand.
In season three, Jerry added the computer system G.L.A.D.I.S. (Gadget Lending And Distributing Interactive System) to help him run his office but GLADIS tends to have a mind of her own. GLADIS has been met with a fair share of hostility from fans , which claim that because she now distributes the gadgets she tends to reduce Jerry to a subordinate role in WOOHP, even though he is the founder and administrator. After two seasons, GLADIS was written off the show in season five as having been deactivated due to its attitude.
WOOHP is shown to actually have three branches, in America, Europe, and Australia. In addition, it was revealed to have a sister organization: WOOAP, the World Organization of Animal Protection.
Main article: List of Totally Spies! episodesTotally Spies! ran a total of 5 seasons with 130 episodes, though the United States showed the fifth season a year later than other countries.
On March 30, 2010, it was announced that Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon US relicensed Marathon's Totally Spies!. They have also licensed its spin-off, The Amazing Spiez! which cost the channel €16 million (US$21.5 million). On top of that, they also picked up Totally Spies! The Movie, which cost them US$20 million. Firming up its role as one of Europe's leading toon providers to the U.S. TV market, Paris-based shingle Marathon Media has closed a raft of sales with Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon in the States.
In the United States, the show originally aired on ABC Family on Saturday mornings from 2001 to 2002, then on 2003, it premiered on Cartoon Network, it went on hiatus in 2008 but later finished its run during the summer of 2010. It is now currently available on Kabillion's Girls Rule On Demand.
Marathon released Totally Spies! on VHS and DVD in three volumes, each containing four episodes from Season 1. Also, in Canada, Marathon signed a distribution agreement with DEP Distribution Exclusive for a season 2 box-set of DVDs for Totally Spies!.
Three VHS and DVD volumes were also briefly distributed in North America from Goodtimes Entertainment from 2003-2004, but they are now discontinued. Currently, no home videos for Totally Spies! are available in the US.
- Totally Spies Volume 1: First Secret Missions (contains episodes "A Thing for Musicians", "Queen for a Day", "The New Jerry" and "A Spy is Born Part 1")
- Totally Spies Volume 2: The Getaway (contains episodes "A Spy is Born Part 2", "The Getaway", "Stuck in the Middle Ages With You" and "The Eraser")
- Totally Spies Volume 3: Spies Attack (contains episodes "Abductions", "Child's Play", "The Fugitives" and "Model Citizens")
- Totally Spies Season 2 Box-set (contains all episodes from season 2 in 4 DVDs)
The Totally Spies series was initially followed up with two video games titled Totally Spies! and Totally Spies! 2: Undercover. Both were developed by Mistic Software and published by Atari for the Nintendo GBA and/or DS.. IGN rates Totally Spies! 2: Undercover with a score of 4.0/10 citing poor overall game presentation. Totally Spies! 3: Secret Agents has been recently released in Europe and Australia for the Nintendo DS. Totally Spies! Totally Party was released in North America, Europe and Australia for the PlayStation 2, Wii and PC.
A spin-off series on Cartoon Network called The Amazing Spiez! features new characters as spies, though Sam, Alex, and Clover make occasional cameos. Jerry is also seen saying his famous "Hello, Spies!" phrase. It focuses on 4 young teenage siblings, Lee, Megan, Marc, and Tony Clark, with more improvement on their gadgets. The show had its world premiere on March 15, 2009, on Disney Channel Asia.
A Totally Spies! comic book comes out 12 times a year in Sweden. A book with about 90 pages come out every month in Brazil as well. Each book represents an episode from the series. They have another comic called Totally Spies Unleashed, this opens with “I Hate the 80s!” in which a bad guy has invented a retro ray that also de-ages people- i.e. Boogie Gus. The story is fast-moving, with something new on every page, and plenty of subplots. The second story, “Attack of the 50 Ft. Tall Mandy”, turns their nemesis into a giant in a plot that involves a beauty contest and an escaped evil scientist.
Seasons 1 & 2: The opening sequence for seasons 1 and 2 features random footage of Sam, Clover and Alex in the daily life and as undercover spies from several episodes. When Totally Spies! aired in the USA on Cartoon Network, an additional opening was used for season 2 episodes which replaced season 1 footage with footage from season 2 and used a silver metallic logo. Also, an instrumental version of "Here We Go" was used.
Seasons 3 & 4: The opening sequence for seasons 3 and 4 begins with the TS logo appearing, then the camera zooms in through the logo and we get a brief glimpse of the girls in their villa. Their X-powder rings and they go down through a tunnel into Jerry's office. Jerry snaps his fingers and the X-powder instantly exchanges their clothes for their spies uniforms. After that, footage from several episodes is shown. In the end, a still of the girls dressed in their spy uniforms appears, along with the purple Totally Spies! logo and the word "undercover" in digital writing below the logo.
Season 5: The opening sequence for season 5 is similar of that to the opening for seasons 3 & 4, but footage of the girls at Malibu University is shown.
The reception for Totally Spies! has been mostly positive. The show was elected as "Best performing cartoon" (Channel 4, UK), has the best ratings (Fox kids UK), and now going to be shown in UK Kids channel (Pop Girl). It is number 1 in its timeslot in France (TF1 and Jetix), Italy (Italia Uno), the Netherlands (Fox Kids, then Jetix, now Disney XD), Brazil (TV Globo) and the US (Cartoon Network), The Den in Ireland was the first TV station in Europe to show new series and episodes. The show has sold to more than 100 countries. In 2004, it was Cartoon Network's second highest rated show. The show is popular among girls and boys, with, according to David Michel (co-creator and co-producer of Totally Spies!) "a 50% boys 50% girls audience ratio, whereas everybody was predicting the show would score very low on boys". It is also so popular, that, in some parts of the world, a whole range of merchandising was put on the market, with Totally Spies! stationary, dolls, DVDs, computer games, quilt covers, and even costumes. McDonalds also had their own Totally Spies! merchandising, having Totally Spies! gadgets put with one McDonalds happy meal, and a performance of 'the spies' in the nearest restaurant if one would finish a colouring picture.
Most of the negative reactions and criticism claims that the show mimics anime. Anime Insider, a magazine formerly published by Wizard Entertainment, was especially harsh on the show. According to the Oban Star Racers Artbook, Savin Yeatman-Eiffel (creator of Oban Star Racers) was concerned when the script writers of Totally Spies! were hired for Oban Star Racers. He said that Totally Spies! has good qualities, but that their work didn't fit in with his own story and characters. Some of their lines in the script was rather stereotypical girlish, something Savin greatly opposes. Most of the scripts and lines did not make it into the show after Savin made a deal with the script writers.
Produced by: Vincent Chalvon Demersay and David Michel Directed by: Stephane Berry Storyboard Supervisor: Damien Tromel (seasons 3 - 5)
- ^ WOOAP is mentioned in the resolution of episode #121
- ^ "" GameSpot. URL last accessed 2007-10-20
- ^ "Totally Spies! 2: Undercover Review (DS)". IGN. 2007-01-18. http://ds.ign.com/articles/756/756613p1.html. Retrieved 2007-09-21.
- ^ "" IGN. URL last accessed 2008-01-12
- ^ "" IGN. URL last accessed 2008-01-12
- ^ Amazon.com: Totally Spies! Totally Party!: Video Games
- ^ Marathon to Unveil Amazing Spiez at MIPCOM
- ^ "Totally Spies! Comic" (in Swedish). http://www.tidningsguide.se/tidningen-totally-spies/. Retrieved August 23, 2009.
- ^ "Totally Spies! Book" (in Brazilian Portuguese). http://loja.editorafundamento.com.br/lstSearch.aspx?sby=0&dsc=Espias. Retrieved August 23, 2009.
- ^ http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/press-release/2004-06-21/tokyopop-to-publish-totally-spies-cinemanga+totally+spies+anime
- ^ http://www.totallyspies.com/home_uk.html Totally Spies.com (English)
- ^ http://www.livemagazine.org/artikel/37019/happy_meal_voor_april_en_mei_2007.html Livemagazine.org
- ^ http://www.mcdonalds.nl/files_content/DEFWT_kleurplaat_Tot-Spies_210x297.pdf McDonalds colouring picture link
- ^ "Answerman: Saturday Surprise". Answerman. Anime News Network. 2002-07-13. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2002-07-13. Retrieved 2008-08-09.
- Official website
- Totally Spies! at the Internet Movie Database
- Totally Spies! Fashion Agents on Facebook
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