With the perpetually upbeat personalities, in the face of inter-dimensional peril and other curiosities man was not meant to know. Bill and Ted rose to become beloved household names, earning much adoration for both Keanu Reeves and Alex Winters, who would go on to find success in front of and behind the camera. In 1990, the adventures of Bill S. Preston and Theodore Logan took on animated dimension, one that is historical and hilarious adventures of the time travelling dudes, in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures.
We follow William S. Preston and Theodore Logan, still making a tremendous go at making The Wild Stylions a huge success, but the challenges of being typical teenage layabouts still might cause issues. With the help of Rufus, and the mysterious phonebooth. The San Dimas slackers embark on fabulous albeit educational crossing through time, meeting famous faces and inspiring legendary events, as they use their time travelling to solve problems in their day-to-day lives.
Season one has one major benefit that I would assume the other animated shows wish they could: Having the vocal talents of Winters and Reeves even George Carlin is a massive boon, and season one is not alone in bringing the big stars for this late 80s. With the likes of Little Richard and other well-known names. A show like this lives and dies by the adventures in its name, and Bill & Ted’s are not only full of facts (though some may be disputed) also brings the chuckles too. The result is fully worthy of the term edutainment. Whether helping Bubble Gum manufacturers introduce photo cards of their favourite sports players, to helping Mark Twain quit his menial job and get into writing.
Season 2, saw the network try to pivot into their live-action offering, and as such came a dramatic change in the animation style, vocal talents, and other changes to fill the gap. Some may call this a downgrade, but despite the radical changes, a lot of the charm remains. The expanded scope of the educational content is appreciated, as the phonebooth is no longer confined to just being a time machine. Magic School Bus esque adventures into the human body or leaping on to the pages of classic literature is just the ticket and the new cast does an admirable job filling in the roles, and brining said adventures to life.
A lot of classic films would try to pivot to the lucrative franchise potential of their animated spinoff, many of these didn’t last long, yet there’s something about the Wyld Stallyns attempt here. Bill and Ted’s exploits have a lot of humour and heart as well as some fascinating facts, done in a way that doesn’t feel like it’s beating you over the head. The result is a smart translation of the film’s charm into a new format. Though it didn’t last as long as some would hope, the power of the Wyld Stallyns is still reverberating.
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