|Also known as||Totally Spies! Woohp World (S7)|
|Theme music composer|
|Ending theme||"Here We Go" (instrumental) (seasons 1–2)|
|Country of origin|
|No. of seasons||6|
|No. of episodes||156 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||24 minutes|
TF1 (seasons 1–6)
Gulli (season 7)
Discovery Kids (season 7)
|Original release||3 November 2001 –|
|Followed by||The Amazing Spiez!|
Totally Spies! is an animated spy-fi series created by Vincent Chalvon-Demersay and David Michel mainly produced by French animation company Marathon Media and French broadcaster TF1, with seasons 3 to 5 being co-produced with Canadian company Image Entertainment Corporation.[b] It focuses on three teenage girls from Beverly Hills, California, who work as undercover agents for the World Organization of Human Protection (WOOHP). This is the first television series to be co-produced by the two production companies, the second being Martin Mystery, and employs an animation style modelled on anime.
Totally Spies! premiered on 3 November 2001 on ABC Family (now Freeform) in the U.S. 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 2 September 2002. Since the series' debut, 156 episodes were broadcast, comprising six seasons and several specials. An upcoming seventh season, titled Totally Spies! Woohp World, is currently scheduled for a 2023 release.
Several products tied to the series have been released, including various comic books, novels and video games. A prequel feature film, Totally Spies! The Movie, released between the fifth and sixth seasons and co-produced with Italy, was theatrically released in 2009 in France, and later aired in the US on Cartoon Network in 2010.
The series focuses around the adventures of three teenage girls from Beverly Hills, USA – Sam, Clover, and Alex – who live a double life as secret agents 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. The spies sport colourful latex jumpsuits and are provided with various gadgets to aid in their investigations. Their primary missions involve dealing with disgruntled and vengeful criminals who have been inconvenienced in some form in the 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 nemesis Mandy.
- Sam (voiced by Claire Guyot in the French version and by Jennifer Hale in the English version) is the intellectual of the trio. She acts as an elder sister to her friends, being rational, logical, and the most mature of the group. More sensible than Alex and less superficial than Clover, her intelligence and composure allow her to find effective solutions to complicated problems.
- Clover (voiced by Fily Keita in French and by Andrea Baker in English) is the fashionable one of the trio. While she is athletic, agile and strong, she is also impulsive and spontaneous, never thinking twice before jumping into the action. She is always ready to teach villains a lesson, even if she has no chance of winning against them.
- Alex (voiced by Céline Mauge in French and by Katie Leigh (seasons 1–2) and Katie Griffin (seasons 3–6) in English) is the heart of the trio. Though somewhat modest in their presence, she admires Sam and Clover and values her friendship with them above all else, and will do anything to keep the trio united and happy. She is very affectionate and unafraid to show her feelings.
- Jerry (voiced by Jean-Claude Donda in French and Jess Harnell (seasons 1–2) and Adrian Truss (seasons 3–6) in English) is the founder and president of WOOHP and the trio's superior. He is in charge of sending them on missions, and takes a certain pleasure in summoning them at inopportune moments. Despite his age, he is sufficiently athletic when helping the trio on certain missions. He remains attached to his cultural roots and often plays with his British phlegm with the trio, who do not hesitate to tease him about his cheesy gentlemanly demeanor.
Development and production
The series' conception came from the rise of girl groups 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 influenced by anime. 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 materialize, 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 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.
On 8 January 2022, Thomas Astruc, the creator of Miraculous Ladybug, who had previously worked on Totally Spies!, announced on Twitter that a new season of the latter was "in the making". On the 13th, the seventh season of the series was officially announced to be titled Totally Spies! Woohp World, complete with revised character designs for Sam, Alex and Clover. It is set to premiere in 2023. The upcoming series will be produced by Zodiak Kids & Family Studio France, with Ollenom (Production subsidiary of fellow Zodiak Kids & Family subsidiary Monello Productions) as co-producer, and French-broadcaster Gulli and Latin American-broadcaster Discovery Kids as participators.
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 4 September 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).
Telecast and home media
In the U.S., 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 was 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 the Universal Kids channel, which broadcast the show's sixth season for the first time in the United States.
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 aired around Europe. In Canada, season 6 began airing on September 7, 2014 on Teletoon, and on 6 September on Télétoon. The show has been aired 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-TV; Rede Globo in Brazil on terrestrial TV; ABS-CBN in the Philippines on terrestrial TV; ART Teenz, MBC 3 in the Middle East; Dragon Club in China; TVB in Hong Kong; Fox Kids, Jetix, Disney Channel, and Nickelodeon channels in Europe, 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 United Kingdom from 2013. Season 5 started airing in 2015 and season 6 the following year in 2016. It was also briefly aired on its sister network, Pop Girl. It was aired on BBC Alba in Scotland. Season 1 aired on Disney Channel and Disney XD. It aired in Ireland on RTÉ Two from 11 September 2002 until 2009.
Since 2012, the show has had an official YouTube channel that has uploaded the majority of the episodes and even the film, and normally 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 the U.S.
In the year of 2004, Goodtimes Entertainment released the first twelve episodes of the show's first season on VHS and DVD 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 US 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 United Kingdom by Sanctuary Visual Entertainment in 2005 and 2006, Totally Spies – First Secret Missions and Totally Spies – Spy Gladiators. This is released on DVD & Blu-ray in the U.S. 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)|
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."
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.
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 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[d]||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[e]|||
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
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.
- Known as Marathon Media for the first six seasons.
- Produced with the participation of the Le Centre National De La Cinematographie, Procirep, The Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit (Seasons 3-5), the Quebec Film and Television Tax Credit (Seasons 3-5), Telefilm Canada (Seasons 4-5), Bell Fund (Season 5) and the Canadian Television Fund (Seasons 3-5, uncredited), 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). The upcoming 7th season is a co-production with Gulli and Discovery Kids Latin America.
- 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.
- Britton, Wesley Alan (2005). Beyond Bond: Spies in Fiction and Film. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 230. ISBN 9780275985561.
- Totally Spies Opening 1 - German TV Version - HD (YouTube). TotallySpiesGermany. 5 September 2010.
- Dickson, Jeremy (21 January 2022). "Gulli, Discovery Kids Revive Totally Spies!". Kidscreen.
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- "Fall 2002 Highlights: Teletoon". Channel Canada. 28 August 2002. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 866–867. ISBN 978-1476665993.
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- "Interview With David Michel". Geocities. Interviewed by someguy959. 22 October 2003. Retrieved 5 November 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 (1 April 2002). "Marathon totally spies global music and merch potential in its tween girl toon". Kidscreen. Brunico Communications Ltd. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
- Brzoznowski, Kristin (18 December 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 (6 November 2010). "What makes a show run and run?". Variety. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- "Interview with Katie Griffin". Totally Spies Archive (Geocities) (Interview). 26 May 2004.
- Sudrot, Olivier (26 August 2011). "La rentrée TV jeunesse : entre héros préférés et nouveautés". Toutelatele (in French). Retrieved 28 November 2013.
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- "'Miraculous' creator Thomas Astruc says 'Totally Spies!' is getting a new season". 14 January 2022.
- "Totally Spies! Theme Song)". Sonneries123. 19 January 2022. Retrieved 10 February 2022.
- "Classic Cartoon Network Show Returning 20 Years After Show's Premiere".
- Rodriguez, Clément (15 January 2022). "" Totally Spies " : L'annonce du reboot du dessin animé titille la nostalgie des fans". 20 Minutes (in French).
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- McLean, Tom (27 August 2014). "Teletoon Sets World, Canadian Premieres for Fall". Animation Magazine.
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- Milligan, Mercedes (27 September 2013). "New 'Totally Spies!' Hit North America Shelves". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
- "Teletoon Sets World, Canadian Premieres for Fall". Animation Magazine. 27 August 2014.
- RTÉ Guide, 7–13 September 2002 edition and subsequent dates
- "Totally Spies!". YouTube. Retrieved 28 November 2021.
- Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Totally Spies: Season 1-6 now available on Prime Video!". YouTube. Retrieved 28 November 2021.
- "Totally Spies!". Amazon. Retrieved 28 November 2021.
- 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. Archived from the original on October 25, 2013. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
- "Totally Spies Season One: Top-Secret Missions (2001)", Amazon, ASIN B00CBVWX1K
- "Totally Spies: Wild Style (2001)", Amazon, ASIN B00CBVWWOI
- "Totally Spies Season Two, Volume One (2002)", Amazon, ASIN B00DYEBLWU
- "Totally Spies Season Two, Volume Two (2002)". Amazon. ASIN B00DYEBLS4.
- "Totally Spies Season 3: Rank: Super Spies!", Amazon, ASIN B00FGVS06Y
- "Totally Spies Season 3: Mission Mania", Amazon, ASIN B00FGVS028
- "Totally Spies Collection Seasons 1–3 DVD SET (2001)", Amazon, ASIN B00DYEBM0Q
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- Corey, Joe (1 October 2013). "DVD Review: Totally Spies! (Season One – Wild Style & Top-Secret Missions)". Inside Pulse. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
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- Scott Stoute (17 August 2012). "10 Girl Cartoons (That Guys Secretly Love)". Screen Rant.
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- 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. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- "Totally Spies: McDonald's Happy Meals (2004)". YouTube. Archived from the original on 17 November 2021. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
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- "Totally Spies! (2005)". GameSpot. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
- "Totally Spies! Zombie Jamboree! (2006)". Jeuxvideo.com. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
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- "Totally Spies! : Mon Agenda Secret (2009)". GameSpot. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
- TV (22 September 2008). "Marathon to Unveil Amazing Spiez at MIPCOM". Animationmagazine.net. Retrieved 11 September 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 6 July 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2009.
- Cerasini, Marc (28 June 2005). The School of Mandy (Totally Spies!) (Totally Spies! Chapter Books) (9780689877254): Marc Cerasini, Robert Roper: Books. ISBN 978-0689877254.
- Média, Marathon (15 January 2014). Totally Spies 01 - on connaît la musique. ISBN 9782012032798.
- Média, Marathon (24 January 2014). Totally Spies 30 - Enquête à Versailles. ISBN 9782012032781.