|Also known as||Totally Spies!: Undercover (season 3–5)|
|Developed by||Vincent Chalvon-Demersay
|Voices of||(see Cast)|
|Theme music composer||Moonbaby (Miranda Cooper & Brian Higgins) (season 1–5)
Dorothee Hannequin, Aslak LeFevre, Mathieu Rosenzweig (season 6)
|Opening theme||"Here We Go" (season 1–5)|
|Country of origin||France
Canada (Season 3–6)
|No. of seasons||6|
|No. of episodes||156 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||21 minutes|
|Original run||November 3, 2001– Present|
|Related shows||The Amazing Spiez!|
Totally Spies! (also titled Totally Spies!: Undercover for seasons 3–5) is a French and Canadian animated television series created by Vincent Chalvon-Demersay and David Michel and produced by Marathon Media and Image Entertainment Corporation. The show was made to resemble anime styles and was originally based on the concept of a girl band. It focuses on three teenage girls in Beverly Hills, California, United States, who work as undercover super agents.
Totally Spies! was first seen on November 3, 2001 on ABC Family in the United States. It premiered on TF1 in France on April 3, 2002, and on Teletoon in Canada on September 2, 2002. Since the series' debut, 156 episodes have been broadcast, completing its sixth season to date. This includes several specials and a theatrical movie production, made and released between the fourth and fifth season. It has been broadcast in over 150 territories internationally. Several products tied to the series have been released, which include a series of comic books and video games.
Development and production
The show's conception came from the rise of girl band and female singers in the music industry. Wanting to capitalize on the niche, David Michel and Vincent Chalvon-Demersay put their idea into development, which later shifted into production within a year. According to Michel, the series' animation style was intended to incorporate anime influences. The production company, Marathon Media, intended on building on the series brand by forming a three-piece girl band, utilizing German talk show Arabella to create it. Using a panel of judges, 20 demo videos were selected and the winners were selected based on the strength of their performance and the show's viewers. The band was selected and released a single in the spring of 2002, through EMI. According to managing director Dirk Fabarius, "The plan is to eventually create an entire album and establish and promote Totally Spies as a real band." While the idea did not materialize, the series was promoted through other merchandising. It was announced in the spring of 2001 that the series would air in the autumn on ABC Family, and would be distributed to the European countries in the following year.
Following the end of the fifth season, the series's movie, Totally Spies! The Movie, was produced and released to theaters in France on July 22, 2009. The movie received a television release in the United States, on April 25 the following year, coinciding with the airing of the series fifth season there. In August 2011, Marathon Media confirmed that production for the sixth season was underway and set to premiere in 2013. It was later confirmed that 26 episodes would be produced and that the show would be licensed in Spain and Latin America, with European territories following suit. To coincide with the sixth season's premiere, Zodiak Kids CP Paris, in association with Château de Versailles Spectacles (CVS) and TF1, organized an event at the Palace of Versailles, taking place during the summer of 2013. The event would be preceded with activities including a screening of a special featuring the spies on a mission in the palace gardens.
The series centers around the adventures of three teenage girls – Sam, Alex and Clover – who live a double life as spies working for the World Organization of Human Protection (WOOHP). The girls are recruited by the organization's leader, Jerry, to solve crises that arise around the world. Many of their missions involve dealing with disgruntled villains who have been wronged in some form during their past. Several have exacted revenge on the spies by invading their personal lives. Framing each episode is a subplot that focuses on the girls' daytime lives as high school students, dealing with relationships and their school rival Mandy.
- Sam is the intellectual of the group; she acts as a rational and logical thinker in getting through the problems they encounter on their missions. She has red hair and dons a green catsuit.
- Clover is the girly girl of the group who enjoys shopping, fashion and boys. She is not only athletic and strong, but also impulsive and spontaneous. She has blonde hair and dons a red catsuit.
- Alex is the best friend character of the group, serving as the glue that holds their friendship together. She is affectionate and likes to expresses her feelings. She has short black hair, dark skin, and dons a yellow catsuit.
Supporting (or hindering) the girls are the following regular characters:
- Jerry is the girls' manager at WOOHP. He is very protective of the girls, often invading their privacy to ensure that they are safe. Despite having a sedentary role in WOOHP's affairs, Jerry has displayed some martial arts skills when occasionally assisting in the girls' missions. He presents the useful gadgets for the spies in every mission.
- Mandy is the girls' main rival in the non-spy world of their high school. As a queen bee character, she is very popular and self-centered, focusing on her appearance, accessories and boys. She and Clover often compete for the same things.
Many of the series recurring characters are involved in Sam, Alex and Clover's personal lives as high school. Mandy is usually followed by a posse, which consisted of Caitlin and Dominique (high school), her Southern raised cousin Mindy (season five) who bears similarities to Mandy, and Trent (season six). David is an artsy student who the girls and Mandy are attracted to. He often remains oblivious to the girls affections for them, but remains good friends with them. Arnold is the school's stereotypical nerd who occasionally socializes with the girls and follows Mandy around from time to time. He sometimes acts as an obstacle in the girls' missions.
Several other recurring characters in the series are agents of WOOHP who assist the girls in their missions. Britney is introduced as a new recruit in the second season. She embodies the best traits of the three girls and is instantly liked by everyone except Alex, who warms up to her later in the series. Dean is a WOOHP agent who appears in the third season as the girls' trainer, and appears later as head of the organization's gadgets. He is the object of the girls' affection and stands as the only boy that can resist Clover's charm. In season three, WOOHP is revamped with new technology, including G.L.A.D.I.S (Gadget Lending And Distribution Interactive System), a computer system created to assist in gadget handling. She develops a mind of her own, and as a result tends to rebel against Jerry, much to his disdain. She is deactivated in the fifth season because of her attitude. Blaine is introduced in the fifth season as a student at Malibu University, later Clover's love interest, who turns out to be a freelance agent assigned to eliminate Clover. After learning about Clover's true nature, he decides to join WOOHP as an agent and continue his relationship with Clover.
Many of the series' villains have been one-offs, which a few occasionally recurring in another episode, an incidence which Michel has been openly receptive to.* Season four, however, saw some previous villains playing a more substantial role in the series. Many of these villains include Helga Von Guggen, Tim Scam, Terrence Lewis, Myrna Beesbottom and Boogie Gus. Terrence, whose role was largely expanded in the fourth season, appeared in the last three episodes of the third season, the three part special "Evil Promotion Much". Having a rivalry with his brother Jerry stemming from their childhood, he was the leader of the League Aiming to Menace and Overthrow Spies (LAMOS), group formed by former villains to exact vengeance on the spies and Jerry. Von Guggen, a disgraced fashion designer whose plots revolve around taking over the world with her fashion, has recurred in two episodes before the fourth season. Scam, a petty thief, has recurred in several episodes during the first three seasons. Myrna, a former WOOHP agent and the spies former babysitter, appeared in two episodes of the third season.
|Season||Episodes||Originally aired (Canadian dates)|
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||26||April 3, 2002 (France)
September 2, 2002 (Canada)
|2||26||August 8, 2003||September 19, 2004|
|3||26||October 3, 2004||July 31, 2005|
|4||26||April 3, 2006||March 8, 2007|
|5||26||August 31, 2007||2008|
|6||26||June 19, 2013 (France)
September 7, 2014 (Canada)
Totally Spies! premiered on November 3, 2001 on ABC Family. It later premiered in Europe on channels such as Germany's ProSieben, France's TF1 and the United Kingdom's Channel 4 during the spring of 2002. The show moved to Cartoon Network, where it attracted 1.6 million viewers (aged 4 – 10) daily and continued airing until 2009. The show has attracted over one million viewers in France since its debut. It was re-licensed and its sixth season, along with Totally Spies! The Movie and the show's spin off The Amazing Spiez!. The show aired its sixth season in France and is being broadcast around Europe. In Canada, Season 6 is set to begin on September 7, 2014 on Teletoon, and on September 6 on Télétoon. The show has been broadcast worldwide on various networks, such as TF1 in France, Teletoon in Canada, Cartoon Network in the USA and Latin America, Rede Globo in Brazil, Disney Channel and Nickelodeon in Asia, Africa, and Europe (formerly Fox Kids and Jetix).
Joly Herman of Common Sense Media gave the series a mixed review, writing that "We think it's a decent show to catch once in a while, but anything more regular might give viewers the like, slightest headache." Joe Corey of Inside Pulse had a more positive review, calling the show "fun enough for small kids who want a Charlie's Angels undercover action show. The trio do their best to balance the fun of being in the espionage game without it being too risky." Matt Hinrichs of DVD Talk gave a positive review, calling the action in the first three seasons "decently written enough for adults to enjoy." The Parents Television Council, in their March 2006 report, noted that the show did not contain offensive language, but expressed concern about the "nature of the violence of the show" in an episode where rats were released to psychologically torture Jerry and Clover, and the sexual content exampled by a sunblock ad by a bikini-clad woman.
In an interview before season three, David Michel said, "The one thing that surprised us the most is the consistency in the male / female viewership split: from Brazil to Italy, we have a 50% boys 50% girls audience ratio, whereas everybody was predicting the show would score very low on boys." Scott Stoute of ScreenRant listed the show among his "10 Girl Cartoons (That Guys Secretly Love)" list.
Home video and DVD
Goodtimes Entertainment released the first twelve episodes of the show's first season on VHS and DVD in 2004 in three volumes: Totally Spies Volume 1: First Secret Missions, Totally Spies Volume 2: The Getaway, and Totally Spies Volume 3: Spies Attack. Coinciding with the production and release of the show's sixth season, New Video Group/Flatiron Film Company acquired American DVD rights for the series as well as some digital rights for the first three seasons of the series. They've released the first and second seasons (in two volumes each), as well as a box set containing seasons one through three. The third season was finally released in two volumes on January 14, 2014.
|Season #||Release date (Region 1)||Volumes|
|1||August 13, 2013 ||2 (2 discs each)|
|2||October 8, 2013 ||2 (2 discs each)|
|3||January 14, 2014 ||2 (2 discs each)|
|1–3||October 8, 2013 ||Box set (12 discs)|
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 Game Boy Advance and/or Nintendo DS. IGN rated Totally Spies! 2: Undercover with a score of 4.0/10 citing poor overall game presentation. Totally Spies! 3: Secret Agents was 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 called The Amazing Spiez! features new characters as spies, though Jerry and WOOHP are regular characters in the show. While the series focuses on four young teenage siblings, Lee, Megan, Marc and Tony Clark, Sam, Alex and Clover make occasional cameos. The show had its world premiere on March 15, 2009, on Disney Channel Asia; and its US premiere on April 26, 2010, on Cartoon Network. In Canada, the show premiered on September 2, 2010 on Teletoon. Only the first season and ten Season 2 episodes aired in the US.
Martin Mystery, a series that aired from 2003 to 2006, had a crossover with Totally Spies on one episode in Season 5.
A Totally Spies! comic book comes out 12 times a year in Sweden. Five books with about 90 pages came out in Brazil as well. Each book represents an episode from the series. There is another comic called Totally Spies Unleashed; this opens with "I Hate the 80s!", in which a bad guy, Boogie Gus, has invented a retro ray that de-ages people. 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.
- "Fall 2002 Highlights: Teletoon". Channel Canada. 2002-08-28. Retrieved 2013-07-30.
- "Interview With David Michel". Geocities. someguy959. October 22, 2003. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
- Burgess, Amanda (April 1, 2002). "Marathon totally spies global music and merch potential in its tween girl toon". Kidscreen. Brunico Communications Ltd. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
- Sudrot, Olivier (August 26, 2011). "La rentrée TV jeunesse : entre héros préférés et nouveautés". Toutelatele (in French). Retrieved 28 November 2013.
- Dickson, Jeremy (January 23, 2012). "Zodiak lands sales in Spain, Latin America". Kidscreen. Brunico Communications Ltd. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
- Zahed, Ramin (March 21, 2013). "Marathon to Host 'Totally Spies' Event in Versailles". Animation. Animation Magazine. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
- "Totally Spies". Télétoon (in French). Retrieved 5 November 2013. – Personnages
- Announcing Season 6 All Stars of Totally Spies!
- "Total succès pour Totally Spies". Marathon Media (in French). Zodiak Media. April 9, 2005. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
- Milligan, Mercedes (September 27, 2013). "New 'Totally Spies!' Hit North America Shelves". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
- Herman, Joly. "Totally Spies – Television Review". Common Sense Media. Common Sense Media Inc. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
- Corey, Joe (October 1, 2013). "DVD Review: Totally Spies! (Season One – Wild Style & Top-Secret Missions)". Inside Pulse. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
- Hinrichs, Matt (October 8, 2013). "Totally Spies! Collection Seasons 1–3". DVD Talk. DVDTalk.com. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
- "Wolves in Sheep's Clothing: A Content Analysis of Children's Television" (PDF). Parents Television Council. March 2006. Retrieved 2015-01-21.
- Lambert, David (June 14, 2013). "We've Totally Got an Update About the 1st Season's Titles, Box Covers". TV Shows on DVD. TV Guide Online. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
- Lambert, David (October 21, 2013). "Date, Cost, Box for 'Season 3: Rank: Super Spies!' and 'Season 3: Mission Mania'". TV Shows on DVD. TV Guide Online. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
- "Totally Spies Season One: Top-Secret Missions (2001)". Amazon.com. ASIN B00CBVWX1K.
- "Totally Spies: Wild Style (2001)". Amazon.com. ASIN B00CBVWWOI.
- "Totally Spies Season Two, Volume One (2002)". Amazon.com. ASIN B00DYEBLWU.
- "Totally Spies Season Two, Volume Two (2002)". Amazon.com. ASIN B00DYEBLS4.
- "Totally Spies Season 3: Rank: Super Spies!". Amazon.com. ASIN B00FGVS06Y.
- "Totally Spies Season 3: Mission Mania". Amazon.com. ASIN B00FGVS028.
- "Totally Spies Collection Seasons 1–3 DVD SET (2001)". Amazon.com. ASIN B00DYEBM0Q.
- Totally Spies at GameSpot; retrieved October 20, 2007.
- "Totally Spies! 2: Undercover Review (DS)". IGN. January 18, 2007. Retrieved September 21, 2007.
- Totally Spies! 3: Secret Agents at IGN; retrieved January 12, 2008
- Totally Spies! Totally Party at IGN; retrieved January 12, 2008.
- Minds, Brighter. "Totally Spies! Totally Party!: Video Games". Amazon.com. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
- TV (September 22, 2008). "Marathon to Unveil Amazing Spiez at MIPCOM". Animationmagazine.net. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
- "Totally Spies! Comic" (in Swedish). Retrieved August 23, 2009.
- "Totally Spies! Book" (in Portuguese). Retrieved August 23, 2009.
- Official website
- Totally Spies! at the Internet Movie Database
- Totally Spies on Whoop.org
- Totally Spies! Fashion Agents on Facebook