Home News Cartoon Network’s Billy & Mandy First Appeared In A Gory Student Film

Cartoon Network’s Billy & Mandy First Appeared In A Gory Student Film

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Note that it was de rigueur in the 1990s for animation students to create shocking, often sickening calling cards like “Trepanation of the Skull and You.” Some ’90s college kids might even recall attending tours of the annual Spike & Mike’s Sick & Twisted Festival of Animation, which featured some of the hottest up-and-coming talents in the animation world. It was at Spike & Mike’s that audiences would first see “Beavis & Butthead” creator Mike Judge’s “Frog Baseball,” wherein Beavis and Butt-head murder frogs with bats.

Future “Powerpuff Girls” creator Craig McCracken similarly exhibited his early “No-Neck Joe” shorts at Sick & Twisted, while the violent, crass “The Spirit of Christmas” by Matt Stone and Trey Parker was the prelude to “South Park.” Fans of “Ed, Edd n Eddy” should likewise know that creator Danny Antonucci is the mastermind behind “Lupo the Butcher” — and no “Courage the Cowardly Dog” fan should go without watching creator John R. Dilworth’s hilarious short “The Dirdy Birdy.”

“Trepanation of the Skull and You” fits squarely into that generation of “shock” animation. Maxwell Atoms posted his early short on YouTube, explaining that it was a copy of a copy of a copy in the comments:

“The film was made in 1998, I believe, as my Junior thesis. The directive was to make a two minute animation, and that’s what I did. I was big into fringe culture at the time, and found trepanning fascinating. I also wanted to do something with this ‘Billy’ character I was obsessed with, and I HAD to have some dinosaurs.” 

Trepanning, for those not into fringe culture, is the medical practice of drilling through one’s skull and exposing the brain, hoping to increase blood flow and attain a constant mild euphoria.



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