Billy and Mandy in Trepanation of the Skull and You (Found Animated Short; 1995)


Billy & Mandy Pilot
The VHS cover of Billy and Mandy in Trepanation of the Skull and You
The VHS cover of Billy and Mandy in Trepanation of the Skull and You
Status Found

In 1995, while Maxwell Atoms was still in college, he created a short animated film titled Billy and Mandy in Trepanation of the Skull and You. This short would go on to form the basis of Atoms' hit Cartoon Network show The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. The character designs differ quite a bit from the end result. In the original pilot, Billy appears lankier and with a smaller nose than his final design while Mandy has pigtails, a nose (which she loses in the series), and a plain, single-color dress.

In the short, Billy learns about trepanation, a process in which a hole is drilled into the skull to relieve internal pressure, after seeing that Mandy (who incorrectly describes the process as a way to unlock the brain's full potential) has already gotten "trepanned"; Billy then has Mandy trepanate him, which results in Billy losing copious amounts of blood before passing out. Atoms described it as being "completely inappropriate for Cartoon Network," but felt that the characters were too fun to use only once, which led to the development of the series. In need of a straight-man character, it was eventually decided to add the Grim Reaper as the third protagonist.

For the longest period of time, it was believed that the short utilized the visual style of a piece of concept art for an unrelated and unmade pilot for the show (shown below); the actual short is stylized after monochrome films of the 1920's and 1930's, and featured only Billy and Mandy, the latter of whom appears significantly different from the below image. Atoms would later clarify the issue on his official YouTube upload of the short.

In Atoms' 2013 RebelTaxi interview with Pan-Pizza (of thatfellowinthecoat.com and partner of Channel Frederator), he mentions the short in some detail, revealing that he has it stored away on film, even suggesting that he should have it digitally transferred "at some point".

Updates

March 15 2016

On RebelTaxis's Podcast It was announced Maxwell Atoms recently found the old short and will be Showing it at the Troma Animation Festival on April 30th at the Lucky !3 Saloon in Brooklyn.

April 30th 2016

At TROMAnimation Festival The short was shown.

May 1, 2016

A day after the short premiered at the TROMAnimation Film Festival, Maxwell Atoms uploaded the short to his YouTube channel in higher quality; there is noticeable deterioration on the film, though it is still in a watchable state. Atoms has clarified that he is unable to reshoot the short and synch it with its audio track, as he was forced to throw out his assets for the short to conserve space when he was living in a studio apartment.

Photo Gallery

Video Gallery

Billy and Mandy in Trepanation of the Skull and You, uploaded by Maxwell Atoms in Higher Quality!.
Billy and Mandy in Trepantation of the Skull and You, as seen at the 2016 TROMAnimation Film Festival. Taken from an archive of a livestream from the Festival.
RebelTaxi's interview with Maxwell Atoms.

Comments


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Birdlovingbanjo

8 months ago
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The pilot has been found. Maxwell Atoms found it and it will be shown at TROMAnimation Film Festival between 15th - 30th of April
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Anonymous user #1

7 months ago
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April 30th is the only day of the festival.
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Anthony

7 months ago
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I should add that the picture that you see of the pilot is actually not from the pilot, it is from a cel that was drawn by Maxwell to test if it would be worth it to paint cels, and he decided it was not, he rather colored the characters with markers, and then cut them out and pasted them on cels. The short is actually called Billy and Mandy in Trepanation of the Skull and You, and Mandy looked very giddy, and looked like one of those Oswald the lucky rabbit characters, it was also in black and white. I found this out while going through Maxwell's Blog from 2007. - Anthony


http://hurte...archive.html
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Anthony

7 months ago
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Here's a instagram pic of a VHS copy that Maxwell's mom found for him, it shows that Mandy did not look anything like she did a couple years later. https://www....BEKp9pEBtW_/
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Anonymous user #2

7 months ago
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Well we just saw it
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Rocker1999

7 months ago
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Until Maxwell uploads the short himself, I have uploaded it from the stream on my channel. https://www....l=Rocker1999
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Kablamoid

7 months ago
Score 1++
Why is it only partially found
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Nanis149

7 months ago
Score 1++
Terrible quality.
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Insultingiguana

7 months ago
Score 0++
There's a better quality video out there, even the 5 hour troma fest stream has better video
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Bman78

7 months ago
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Here is the Billy and Mandy short, from the Tromanimation film festival stream archive:

https://www....=wu4yDBPf0og
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Bman78

7 months ago
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Also, here's a download link to my stream archive rip if you want:

https://mega...NbJZ3d2WW-y4
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Bman78

7 months ago
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HQ version of the pilot is now found!

https://www....=vVTyJ3Yecx0
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Anonymous user #3

7 months ago
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You know, the fact that this finally got released just reminded me of something: Billy and Mandy was a damn good show. Why the hell did only the first season get a DVD release? It's the same thing with a lot of other old(er) CN shows; they seriously need to step up their DVD game. At least newer stuff like Adventure Time is getting home releases.

Also, was this made in black and white, or is that just the highest quality print that still exists?
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Bman78

7 months ago
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"The animation was hand draw on paper, colored in markers, and then cut out and glued to cels. I thought that would save time over painting cels, but the cut-and-glue process really sucked. So I was probably wrong about that. The film never looked great, but the version you see here was transferred from 16mm shot on a WWII-era Bolex, which was transferred to VHS, then DVD"
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Anonymous user #4

5 months ago
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Well he stored it away then brings it back??? (Awkward) It was inappropriate for children!!!!!
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Anonymous user #4

5 months ago
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That's just odd
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Anonymous user #5

5 months ago
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I just saw it and now my head hurts!!
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Anonymous user #5

5 months ago
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The game has only one picture?
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Anonymous user #4

5 months ago
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I guess that's true
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Anonymous user #6

4 months ago
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Kenya does trepanation on the top of their heads. So yeah... don't do it unless you want to die....

- a message from (STATIC)
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