|YMMV • Radar • Quotes • (Funny • Heartwarming • Awesome) • Fridge • Characters • Fanfic Recs • Nightmare Fuel • Shout Out • Plot • Tear Jerker • Headscratchers • Trivia • WMG • Recap • Ho Yay • Image Links • Memes • Haiku • Laconic|
Billy the Cat is a Franco-Belgian comic book series by the Belgian Stéphane Colman and Stephen Desberg. Also an animated cartoon version has been produced for broadcast and is ran through American Broadcasting Company, amongst others. Both comic and cartoon deal with the everyday and secret lives of urban animals, and while the characters are largely the same in both versions, the stories and situations are very different.
The Comic follows the story of Billy, a normal schoolboy who often pranks and bullies animals. However, early in the first comic album, he is killed when he carelessly runs out in the street and is hit by a car. Told that his chances of getting into Heaven are slim due to his misdeeds, he is given a second chance by being returned to earth as a young cat. The comic follows Billy's attempts to adapt to living as a cat and chronicle his misadventures while he interacts with other animals. The comic is notably darker and more dramatic than the serialized television show.
Otherwise the television show, created in 1994, follows a similar premise with some major deviations. In the show the transformation is the revenge of an angry magician whose cat Billy had bullied, while the magician's cat assumes Billy's form and lives with his family. The cartoon is more episodic and lighthearted than the comic, though it is not completely unexpected.
- Animal Talk
- Banana In the Tailpipe
- Bratty Half-Pint: Billy as a human, with an equal measure of The Bully.
- Carnivore Confusion: Given that all animals are sapient and can talk, it potentially causes a few issues. In the show at least, the cats eat mostly garbage or food fed to them by a kindly old lady, and not their pigeon friend.
- Cats Are Mean: Averted. Cats have different temperaments and personalities, just like humans. In fact, most of them are implausibly friendly with other animals that real life cats consider food, or at least prey. The only cat who can really be considered mean is Sanctifer from the animated series, and even he goes through quite a bit of Villain Decay.
- Fish Out of Water
- Gratuitous English: The original French title is "Billy the Cat" (an obvious pun on "Billy the Kid").
- Karmic Transformation
- Kick the Dog: As a human Billy would literally do this. Cats and other animals were not exempt from being kicked either.
- How Do I Shot Web?: At first Billy has difficulties with his new cat body and doesn't know how to use his retractable claws or even meow.
- Race Lift: The second friend of Billy with whom he used to taunt cats with is white in the cartoon. In the comic, he's black, and in original French can't even pronounce the "R" letter.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Mr. Hubert
- Cassandra Truth: None of the other animals believe that Billy was ever human.
- Loud of War: Hell in the first Billy comic (even before "in the skin of a cat"). Eternal dance music that's really eternal. A party that never stops! Soonds great, huh? Not really according to Billy...
- Darker and Edgier: The comic to the cartoon.
- Fan Translation: Of the first comic at least. Translated into English into "In the skin of a Cat".
- Mood Whiplash: Most notably in the pilot comic strip.
- Raise Him Right This Time: In a subversion, the wrongdoer in question is given a new life as a cat instead of a human.
- Reincarnation: Oddly, it was bestowed upon Billy by an angel. His second chance is given to atone for all the animal cruelty he perpetrated in his former life.
- Retcon / Continuity Reboot: The very first standalone story of Billy had him also getting crushed under a car, but he actually got into Heaven. Noticing that Heaven wasn't that great, he descended to Hell, where an eternal party with loud music was going on. Then, after noticing eternal was really eternal and the music would never stop, he asks a guru to reincarnate him, and as a fluke he's returned as a cat to Earth. This whole plot was scrapped when they started writing "dans la peau d'un chat" ("in the skin of a cat").
- Transformation Comic
- Baleful Polymorph
- Executive Meddling: The change in the premise.
- Expository Theme Tune
- Freaky Friday Flip
- Humanity Ensues: The magician's cat is transformed into a human to pretend to be Billy while he is being a cat.
- Left Hanging: The viewer never finds out what happens to Billy in the end. Does he stay a cat forever? Does he get turned back into a human?
- Lighter and Softer
- Magicians Are Wizards
- Ret-Gone: The wizard's cat that was transformed into Billy's doppelganger is shown in the opening episode and never seen or mentioned again. It wasn't even present in the episode when Billy visits his former home, where the cat should logically be.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Billy, due to his cat transformation being the result of an angry wizard rather than of an untimely death and reincarnation.
- Status Quo Is God
- What Happened to the Mouse?: So egregious that it borders into Plot Hole territory. In one episode Billy revisits his human home and the magician's cat that took his place is no longer there. And what happened to the magician?