|Theme music composer|
|Country of origin|
|No. of seasons||6|
|No. of episodes||156 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||24 minutes|
Disney Channel (season 6)
Channel 4 (seasons 1–2)
Teletoon (seasons 3–5)
|First shown in||United States|
|Original release||November 3, 2001 –|
October 3, 2013
|Followed by||The Amazing Spiez!|
Totally Spies! is an animated television series created by Vincent Chalvon-Demersay and David Michel mainly produced by French animation company Marathon Media and French broadcaster TF1, and for seasons 3-5, was co-produced with Canadian company Image Entertainment Corporation[a]. The show was made and somewhat incorporated a style to resemble Japanese style in artwork and was originally based on the concept of a girl group. It focuses on three teenage girls in Beverly Hills, California, United States, who work as undercover super agents for The World Organization of Human Protection. This is the second television show to be co-produced by the two production companies, with the first being Martin Mystery.
Totally Spies! first aired on November 3, 2001 on ABC Family (now Freeform) in the United States before moving to Cartoon Network less than two years later. It premiered on TF1 in France on 3 April 2002, and on Teletoon in Canada on September 2, 2002. Since the series debut, 156 episodes were broadcast, comprising six seasons and several specials.
Several products tied to the series have been released, which include a series of comic books, novels and video games. A prequel theatrical movie production named Totally Spies! The Movie, made and released between the fifth and sixth seasons and co-produced with Italy, was released in 2009 in France.
The series centers around the adventures of three teenage girls from Beverly Hills—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 worsening crime conditions that arise across the globe. Their primary missions involve dealing with disgruntled and vengeful criminals who have been injured in some form during their past. Other missions have the same villains plotting revenge on the spies by ruining their personal lives. Framing each episode is a subplot that focuses on the girls' everyday lives as high school (and later university) students, dealing with relationships and their longtime high school rival Mandy. Each of the three girls has a spy suit with a heart-shaped silver belt and spy suit with different colours (red, yellow and green) and high-heeled shoes.
- Samantha "Sam" is the intellectual of the group; she acts as a rational logical thinker in getting through the issues they encounter on their missions. She has waist-length orange hair, green eyes and wears a green catsuit.
- Alexandra "Alex" is the most athletic and easygoing, serving as the glue that holds their friendship together. She is affectionate and likes to express her feelings. She likes animals, and acts childish compared to the other two. She is tan-skinned. She has chin-length black hair, brown eyes, and wears a yellow catsuit.
- Clover enjoys shopping, fashion, and good-looking guys. She is not only athletic and strong, but also impulsive and spontaneous. She has shoulder-length yellow hair, blue eyes and wears a red catsuit.
- Jerald "Jerry" Lewis is the girls' boss at WOOHP—as both the founder and head of the organization, appearing as a middle-aged bald British man in a black suit. He is the primary male character of the series. 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 on the girls' missions. He provides many gadgets that the spies use on each mission.
- Mandy is a classmate and rival to the girls in their lives outside of WOOHP. Mandy is rich and popular, but also very mean, rude, snobby, spoiled and self-centered. While she does serve as a rival to all three girls (to each of them as individuals as well as to all three of them as a group), Mandy's typically portrayed as being more of a rival to Clover. Mandy has long black hair, violet eyes and a high-pitched, nasally voice, and is often seen wearing light purple, as she once donned a lilac jumpsuit in "Evil Coffee Much?" In the three-part Season 5 premiere, "Totally Busted", she was influenced by green suds that had turned her and her cronies into spy assassins, as it was implied that she does possess the spy gene.
- Dominique and Caitlin are Mandy's cronies who have similar black hairstyles to Alex and Sam's, except that Caitlin's is wavy instead of straight. In the three-part Season 5 premiere, "Totally Busted", they were influenced by green suds that had turned them into spy assassins, even though they lack the spy gene.
- G.L.A.D.I.S. (Gadget Lending And Distribution Interactive System), a computer system with robotic arms that assists in gadget handling during the third and fourth seasons. GLADIS ultimately proved to be unpopular with fans of the show and was written out of the series early in the fifth season almost entirely due to fan complaints.
Original French-language dub
- Claire Guyot as Sam
- Fily Keita as Clover
- Céline Mauge as Alex and Mandy
- Jean-Claude Donda as Jerry
- Laura Préjean as G.L.A.D.I.S. (seasons 3 and 4)
- Jennifer Hale as Sam and Mandy
- Andrea Baker as Clover
- Katie Leigh (seasons 1–2) and Katie Griffin (seasons 3–6) as Alex
- Jess Harnell (seasons 1–2) and Adrian Truss (seasons 3–6) as Jerry
- Stevie Vallance as G.L.A.D.I.S. (seasons 3 and 4)
Development and production
The series' conception came from the rise of girl group 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 fictional Japanese 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 series' 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 materialise, the series was promoted through other merchandising. It was announced in Spring 2001 that the series would air in the fall on ABC Family in the United States, and would be distributed to the European countries in the following year.
In an interview with WorldScreen.com, Michel explained that prior to the series, there were a lot of boy action-adventure shows and practically nothing for girls, yet in pop culture, there was Britney Spears and Spice Girls. He explained that the characters are heavily inspired by the movie Clueless and wanted to mix that with a James Bond format. When they first pitched the show, it had a moderate response, but when the first season was broadcast, the Charlie's Angels (2000) film came out, and suddenly the market was full of girl show properties.
According to an article "Achieving a Global Reach on Children's Cultural Markets" by Valerie-Ines de la Ville and Laurent Durup, the series was originally designed to reach an American audience, but has garnered appeal from its humor "based on a stereotypical European vision of American references" while "appearing to be original and innovative to the U.S. audience". Producer and artistic director Stephane Berry explained that the style "is a melting between the American style, which associates action and comedy, and Japanese design for the aesthetic environment and the emotions expressed through the large eyes of the characters." Some of the common references have included Charlie's Angels, Beverly Hills, The Avengers, James Bond and its gadgets, and Cat's Eye.
The head writers for the series were Robert and Michelle Lamoreaux who were based in Los Angeles, and who had worked on Nickelodeon shows. Demersay and Stephane Berry had both recently worked with Saban entertainment in Europe. In a GeoCities interview, Kate Griffin, who voices Alex, mentioned that the typical session for the three girls is that they would record as an ensemble, but through a phone patch, with Hale and Baker calling from Los Angeles, and herself in Toronto.
Following the end of the fifth season, the series's movie, Totally Spies! The Movie, was produced and released to theatres in France on 22 July 2009. The movie received a telecast 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. The sixth series would be produced only by Marathon in association with TF1 and The Walt Disney Company France. It was later confirmed that 26 episodes would be produced and that the series 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 Summer 2013. The event would be preceded with activities including a screening of a special featuring the spies on a mission in the palace gardens.
In 2013, the show was revived for a sixth season, premiering at an event at the Palace of Versailles. Twenty-six episodes were broadcast on French television and networks across Europe starting in September 4, 2013. In Canada, the sixth season premiered on September 7, 2014 on Teletoon, and on September 6 on sister station Télétoon. The show has been broadcast worldwide on various networks, including TF1 in France, Teletoon in Canada, Cartoon Network in the US and Latin America, Rede Globo in Brazil, Disney Channel and Nickelodeon in Asia, Africa, and Europe (formerly Fox Kids and Jetix).
Totally Spies! premiered on November 3, 2001 on Fox Family/ABC Family (now Freeform). It later premiered in Europe on pay-TV and terrestrial channels such as Germany's ProSieben, France's TF1, United Kingdom's Channel 4 and the localised Fox Kids channels throughout the region during the spring of 2002. The show moved to Cartoon Network in July 2003 in the United States, where it attracted 1.6 million viewers (aged 4–10) daily and continued airing until September 10, 2010. In 2019, the show aired weeknights on Universal Kids. Universal Kids finally aired Season 6 in the United States after the show's original run on Cartoon Network was cut short with season never airing on the network in the US.
Totally Spies! 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 began airing on September 7, 2014 on Teletoon, and on 6 September on Télétoon. The show has been broadcast worldwide on various networks, such as TF1 in France; Teletoon in Canada, Fox Family/ABC Family, Cartoon Network, Universal Kids in the US; Fox Kids, Jetix, Cartoon Network, and Boomerang in Latin America and Brazil on pay-television; Rede Globo in Brazil on terrestrial TV; ABS-CBN in the Philippines on terrestrial TV; ART Teenz, Fun Channel, Spacetoon, Spacetoon English, MBC 3, Al Jazeera Children's Channel (JCC)/Jeem TV and Nickelodeon Arabia in the Arab World; Dragon Club in China; TVB in Hong Kong; Fox Kids, Jetix, Disney Channel, and Nickelodeon channels in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and Oceania. In Australia, it was shown on Network Ten and later on 10 Peach (formerly Eleven) as part of their Toasted TV block. Seasons 3–4 was aired on POP in the UK from 2013. Season 5 started airing in 2015 and season six the following year in 2016. It was also briefly aired on its sister channel, Pop Girl. It was aired on BBC Alba in Scotland. Season 1 aired on Disney Channel and Disney XD. It aired in the Republic of Ireland on RTÉ Two from 10 October 2002 until 2009.
Since 2012, the show has had an official YouTube channel that has uploaded the majority of the episodes and even the movie, and usually uploads random clips every Saturday. As of April 24, 2021, all six seasons of Totally Spies! are also available on Amazon Prime Video, which currently has the exclusive streaming rights in America.
Joly Herman of Common Sense Media gave the series a mixed review, rating the show 3 out of 5 stars and 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 does 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.
The show was also described as risky because it had targeted girls with a genre typically associated with boys' shows and that it was animated when the girls were more interested in live shows. After four seasons, the show had reached over 130 countries and was met with enthusiasm among ages 6–11 that included both girls and boys, and had a Pokémon-like appeal to a broad range of age and gender. 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. As of 2020, these DVD sets are now out of print and very hard to find. Totally Spies DVDs are also released in the UK by Sanctuary Visual Entertainment in 2005 and 2006, Totally Spies – First Secret Missions and Totally Spies – Spy Gladiators. This is release on DVD & Blu-ray in the United States by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.
|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.
|2005||Totally Spies! The Mobile Game||Gameloft||Gameloft||Mobile phones|||
|Totally Spies!||Mistic Software||Atari||Game Boy Advance|||
|2006||Totally Spies! Swamp Monster Blues||FiniteMonkey, Inc.||Mindscape[c]||Windows|||
|Totally Spies! Zombie Jamboree!|||
|Totally Spies! 2: Undercover||Mistic Software||Atari||Game Boy Advance / Nintendo DS|||
|2007||Totally Spies! Totally Party||OUAT Entertainment / Mad Monkey Studio||Ubisoft||Windows / PlayStation 2 / Wii|||
|Totally Spies! 3: Secret Agent||OUAT Entertainment||Nintendo DS|||
|2008||Totally Spies! 4: Around the World|||
|2009||Totally Spies! : Mon Agenda Secret[d]|||
- Produced with the participation of the Le Centre National De La Cinematographie, Procirep, The Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit (Series 3-5), the Quebec Film and Television Tax Credit (seasons 3-5), Telefilm Canada (Seasons 4-5), Bell Fund (Season 5), in association with Channel 4 (Seasons 1-2), Merchandising München GMBH (Seasons 1-2), TF1 (Season 6) and The Walt Disney Company France (Season 6), in collaboration with Teletoon (Seasons 3-5).
- Promotional game, included in the Happy Meal in selected European McDonald's.
- Published by Brighter Minds Media outside of France.
- Only published in France. However, multiple languages are proposed in-game.
Spin-off and crossover
A spin-off series called The Amazing Spiez! features new characters as spies, retaining Jerry as a regular character in the show. While the series focuses on four young teenage siblings—Lee, Megan, Marc, and Tony Clark, the three spy girls make an appearance on the crossover episode "Operation: Dude Ranch Disaster" from season 1. The show had its world premiere on 15 March 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.
Totally Spies! also had a crossover episode in season 5 titled "Totally Mystery Much?" with Martin Mystery, a Marathon-produced series that aired from 2003 to 2006.
Comics and books
A Totally Spies! comics were released monthly 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. Mandy", turns their nemesis into a giant in a plot that involves a beauty contest and an escaped evil scientist. Chapter books have also been released.
- Wiatrowski, Myc; Barker, Cory, eds. (2014). Popular Culture in the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 146. ISBN 9781443864442.
- Britton, Wesley Alan (2005). Beyond Bond: Spies in Fiction and Film. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 230. ISBN 9780275985561.
- "Totally Spies : Programme le plus visionne sur ABC Family aux USA". Zodiak France (in French). April 3, 2002. Archived from the original on February 19, 2015. Retrieved February 18, 2015.
- "Totally Spies takes off on-line and on TF1!". Zodiak France (Press release). April 3, 2002. Archived from the original on February 19, 2015. Retrieved February 18, 2015.
- "Fall 2002 Highlights: Teletoon". Channel Canada. August 28, 2002. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
- Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 866–867. ISBN 978-1476665993.
- "Totally Spies" (in French). Télétoon. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
- "Interview With David Michel". Geocities. Interviewed by someguy959. October 22, 2003. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
The trailer of the show is anime-looking but, from this to the first episode, we agreed with the show's director, Stephane Berry, who wanted to blend in even more anime.
- Burgess, Amanda (April 1, 2002). "Marathon totally spies global music and merch potential in its tween girl toon". Kidscreen. Brunico Communications Ltd. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
- Brzoznowski, Kristin (December 18, 2012). Video Interview: Marathon Media's David Michel. WorldScreen.com.
- de la Ville, Valerie-Ines; Durup, Laurent (2012). "Achieving a Global Reach on Children's Cultural Markets". In Willett, Rebekah; Robinson, Muriel; Marsh, Jackie (eds.). Play, Creativity and Digital Cultures. Routledge. pp. 41–43. ISBN 9781135894474.
- Leo Barraclough. "What makes a show run and run?". Variety. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- "Interview with Katie Griffin". Totally Spies Archive (Geocities) (Interview). May 26, 2004.
- Sudrot, Olivier (August 26, 2011). "La rentrée TV jeunesse : entre héros préférés et nouveautés". Toutelatele (in French). Retrieved November 28, 2013.
- Dickson, Jeremy (January 23, 2012). "Zodiak lands sales in Spain, Latin America". Kidscreen. Brunico Communications Ltd. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
- Zahed, Ramin (March 21, 2013). "Marathon to Host 'Totally Spies' Event in Versailles". Animation. Animation Magazine. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
- Milligan, Mercedes (September 27, 2013). "New 'Totally Spies!' Hit North America Shelves". Animation Magazine. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
- McLean, Tom (August 27, 2014). "Teletoon Sets World, Canadian Premieres for Fall". Animation Magazine.
- "Total succès pour Totally Spies". Marathon Media (in French). Zodiak Media. April 9, 2005. Archived from the original on December 4, 2013. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
- Milligan, Mercedes (September 27, 2013). "New 'Totally Spies!' Hit North America Shelves". Animation Magazine. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
- "Teletoon Sets World, Canadian Premieres for Fall". Animation Magazine.
- RTÉ Guide, 5–11 October 2002 edition and subsequent dates
- Herman, Joly. "Totally Spies – Television Review". Common Sense Media. Common Sense Media Inc. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
- Corey, Joe (October 1, 2013). "DVD Review: Totally Spies! (Season One – Wild Style & Top-Secret Missions)". Inside Pulse. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
- Hinrichs, Matt (October 8, 2013). "Totally Spies! Collection Seasons 1–3". DVD Talk. DVDTalk.com. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
- "Wolves in Sheep's Clothing: A Content Analysis of Children's Television" (PDF). Parents Television Council. March 2006. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
- Scott Stoute (August 17, 2012). "10 Girl Cartoons (That Guys Secretly Love)". Screen Rant.
- 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. Archived from the original on October 22, 2013. Retrieved November 4, 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. Archived from the original on October 25, 2013. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
- "Totally Spies Season One: Top-Secret Missions (2001)". Amazon.com. ASIN B00CBVWX1K. Missing or empty
- "Totally Spies: Wild Style (2001)". Amazon.com. ASIN B00CBVWWOI. Missing or empty
- "Totally Spies Season Two, Volume One (2002)". Amazon.com. ASIN B00DYEBLWU. Missing or empty
- "Totally Spies Season Two, Volume Two (2002)". Amazon.com. ASIN B00DYEBLS4. Missing or empty
- "Totally Spies Season 3: Rank: Super Spies!". Amazon.com. ASIN B00FGVS06Y. Missing or empty
- "Totally Spies Season 3: Mission Mania". Amazon.com. ASIN B00FGVS028. Missing or empty
- "Totally Spies Collection Seasons 1–3 DVD SET (2001)". Amazon.com. ASIN B00DYEBM0Q. Missing or empty
- Totally Spies at GameSpot; retrieved October 20, 2007.
- "Totally Spies! 2: Undercover Review (DS)". IGN. January 19, 2007. Retrieved February 11, 2021.
- 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". Retrieved September 11, 2011.
- "Totally Spies: McDonald's Happy Meals (2004)". YouTube. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
- "Totally Spies! The Mobile Game (2005)". GameSpot. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
- "Totally Spies! (2005)". GameSpot. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
- "Totally Spies! Zombie Jamboree! (2006)". Jeuxvideo.com. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
- "Totally Spies! Zombie Jamboree! (2006)". Jeuxvideo.com. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
- "Totally Spies! 2: Undercover (2006)". GameSpot. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
- "Totally Spies! Totally Party (2007)". GameSpot. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
- "Totally Spies! 3: Secret Agent (2007)". GameSpot. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
- "Totally Spies! 4: Around the World (2008)". GameSpot. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
- "Totally Spies! : Mon Agenda Secret (2009)". GameSpot. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
- TV (September 22, 2008). "Marathon to Unveil Amazing Spiez at MIPCOM". Animationmagazine.net. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
- "Totally Spies! Comic" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on June 15, 2009. Retrieved August 23, 2009.
- "Totally Spies! Book" (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved August 23, 2009.
- Cerasini, Marc (June 28, 2005). Amazon.com: The School of Mandy (Totally Spies!) (Totally Spies! Chapter Books) (9780689877254): Marc Cerasini, Robert Roper: Books. ISBN 978-0689877254.
- Média, Marathon (January 15, 2014). Totally Spies 01 - on connaît la musique. ISBN 9782012032798.
- Média, Marathon (January 24, 2014). Totally Spies 30 - Enquête à Versailles. ISBN 9782012032781.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Totally Spies!|