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Monica's Gang (Turma da Monica in Portuguese), also known as Monica and Friends[1], is an ongoing Brazilian comic book series, created by Mauricio de Sousa.

The series was originally based on a newspaper comic strip in which the protagonists were Blu (Bidu) and Franklin (Franjinha), launched by the newspaper Folha da Manhã in 1959. Over the years the series has been gaining a large audience, with new characters constantly being added to the lineup. Jimmy Five (Cebolinha) and Monica (Mônica) were eventually given their own comic books, hence the title "Monica's Gang." The characters and comics were eventually adapted into cartoons, video games, movies, theme parks and a wide range of products.

The stories revolve around the adventures of Monica and her many friends in the fictional neighborhood of "Limoeiro" in São Paulo. The neighborhood was inspired by the neighborhood of Cambuí, in Campinas and the city of Mogi das Cruzes, where de Sousa spent his childhood. However, the comic books do not simply revolve around the stories of Monica and her friends. Other characters created by de Sousa include Chuck Billy 'n' Folks, Tina's Pals, Lionel's Kingdom and Bug-a-Booo.

Monica's Gang was published by Abril and Globo and has been published by Panini Comics since 2007. In 2008, a manga style spin-off series, Monica Teen, was created, featuring the characters as teenagers.[2]

Publication history Edit

Main article: History

Characters Edit

Main article: Characters

The Monica's Gang series has an extensive amount of main and secondary characters. It has as main protagonists Monica, Jimmy Five, Smudge, Maggy and Chuck Billy (the latter derived from Chuck Billy 'n' Folks) and each has its own comic. Other characters from other series created by Mauricio de Sousa are also included on Monica's, making crossovers or quotations from each other in several stories,among several other characters. The main setting of the stories is the fictional neighborhood of "Limoeiro" in São Paulo.

Most stories focus on the daily lives of the main characters and occasionally on the secondary characters; the humour usually uses various types of repetitions, allusions, appeals to the nonsense, paranomasias, sarcasm and metalanguage. The stories with Monica and Jimmy Five revolve around the conflict between the two. Jimmy Five is a troublemaker and bully who always tries to scold Monica or steal her stuffed bunny to give knots in its ears (usually having Smudge or another boy accomplice), always having Monica get her revenge by hitting him with her stuffed bunny, often leaving him bruised and with black eyes. Often Jimmy Five makes plans against her with various traps, sometimes using Franklin's inventions or talking Smudge into helping, but he always loses to Monica at the end.

Smudge's stories usually focus on his penchant for dirt and mess and his fear of water, without ever having taken a bath in life, and constantly being threatened by villains or his friends to take a bath whenever he gets away with a result at the end of the story. The stories with Maggy generally focus on her gluttony, with a superhuman ability to eat more than a normal person without ever getting fat and sometimes stealing food from her friends.

Among the villains are Captain Fray, a supervillain with the power to control garbage and dirt, and Lord Big Rabbit, a space bunny whose first appearance was in the movies. A joke often breaks the fourth wall.

Related works Edit

Other related works which relate to the series are:

Blu - Based on the first character of Monica's Gang it shows the character Blu as acting as a mere actor in a studio of comics.

Chuck Billy 'n' Folks - Focuses the comic daily life of Chuck Billy, a lazy caipira boy and his friends who live on a farm in Brazil's countryside. He most often appears in contact with Monica's Gang. Like Monica's Gang, it received a spin-off manga-style comic in 2013 called Chico Bento Moço (Chuck Billy Teen).

Bug-a-Booo - Focuses on comedy stories involving monsters of horror films (ghosts, vampires, werewolfs, frankesteins and even the Death) in a cemetery.

Tina's Pals - Shows a daily routine of a group of teenagers and their daily lives as dating, college, among other issues. In 2014 it received his own spin-off comic book series.

The Funnies - Focuses on the comic adventures of Bubbly, an astronaut at space filled with aliens.

Lionel's Kingdom - Focuses on the daily lives of a group of anthropomorphic animals of different species in a forest led by a lion king.

The Cavern Clan - Focuses on Piteco, a caveman inventor who is living in the midst of a pre-history with dinosaurs.

Horacio's World - Focuses on the life of a young dinosaur philosopher, Horacio and his dinosaur friends.

The Tribe - Focuses on the everyday life of Tom-Tom, an amazonian Indian in the midst of a forest constantly threatened by white men.

Media Edit

PublicationsEdit

Monica’s Gang and its related works are released in a number of different books. Firstly, they were published by Editora Abril, from 1970 to 1986, then Editora Globo, from 1987 to 2006. From 2007 on, Panini Comics was chosen to keep the publications. So far there are comic books starring many characters, among the best known and sold are the characters of Monica, Jimmy Five, Smudge, Maggy and Chuck Billy, plus almanacs with republication of classic stories with varying characters. In 2015 was released an app for smartphones gathering more than 500 editions of comics franchise for download.[18]

Television and film adaptationsEdit

Main article: Monica's Gang (TV series)

The characters of Monica's Gang are also the protagonists of which can be considered the first of Brazilian animation series. After being introduced on television as advertising-kids in commercial from the mid-1960s, complete stories began to be produced in 1976 and distributed through film-compilations during the 1980s and 1990s (initially released in movies and then directly video).

In 1999, a series of shorts with the characters debuted in children's programming of Rede Globo (which would display the regular series episodes only between the years 2010 and 2014). A regular broadcast the series on TV only occurred in 2004 after negotiations with Cartoon Network that since this year began broadcasting new episodes exclusively on the channel, still remaining on the schedule together of channels Tooncast and Boomerang.

In addition to the animations, the characters also starred in three animated feature films - "As Aventuras da Turma da Mônica" (1982), "A Princesa e o Robô" (1983) and "Uma Aventura no Tempo" (2007) - as well as two TV specials and video in live-action: "Mônica e Cebolinha: No Mundo de Romeu e Julieta" (1979) and "A Rádio do Chico Bento" (1989).

CompilationsEdit

  • As Novas Aventuras da Turma da Mônica (1986)
  • Mônica e a Sereia do Rio (1986)
  • O Bicho-Papão (1987)
  • A Estrelinha Mágica (1988)
  • Chico Bento, Óia a Onça! (1990) - (Chuck Billy, Watch Out for the Jaguar!)
  • O Natal de Todos Nós (1992, direct-to-video)
  • Videogibi: O Mônico (1997, direct-to-video)
  • Videogibi: O Plano Sangrento (1997, direct-to-video)
  • Videogibi: O Estranho Soro do Dr. X (1998, direct-to-video)
  • Videogibi: A Ilha Misteriosa (1998, direct-to-video)
  • (Coleção Grandes Aventuras da Turma da Mônica (2003, recovery direct-to-video including new episodes)
  • Cine Gibi - O Filme (2004)
  • Cine Gibi 2 (2005, direct-to-video)
  • Cine Gibi 3: Planos Infalíveis (2008, direct-to-video)
  • Cine Gibi 4: Meninos e Meninas (2009, direct-to-video)
  • Cine Gibi 5: Luzes, Câmera, Ação! (2010, direct-to-video)
  • Se Liga na Turma da Mônica - Volume 1 (2011, direct-to-video)
  • Se Liga na Turma da Mônica - Volume 2 (2012, direct-to-video)
  • Cine Gibi 6 - Hora do Banho (2013, direct-to-video)
  • Cine Gibi 7 - Bagunça Animal (2014, direct-to-video)
  • Cine Gibi 8 - Tá Brincando? (2015, direct-to-video)

Monica Toy Edit

A series launched to promote "Monica Toy" line launched by Tok & Stok, which features an ultra-stylized version of the characters of Monica in traits that refer to Toy Arts and famous franchises like Hello Kitty, Pucca and Gogo's Crazy Bones. There are 26 mini-episodes with about 30 seconds long, with 2D animation and exclusive language for web delivery.

From the episode "Hiccups" (released on July 17, 2013), the series is renamed and has its title shortened to just "Monica Toy" . On October 7, 2013, the series premieres on Cartoon Network in the interprogramming format, debuting two episodes a week and airing at various times.

Video games Edit

In the 1990s, three Monica video games were released by Tectoy for the Master System and Mega Drive), all of them werere reworked versions of Wonder Boy games, with translated text and sprites replaced with characters from the comic.

In the 1990s, MSP released three CD-ROMs with short stories complemented by minigames: Mônica Dentuça (1995), Cebolinha e Floquinho (1996) e A Roça do Chico Bento (1998). Two CDs for creating comic books with both Monica and Chuck Billy were also released.

In September 2010 it was announced by Tec Toy to produce an exclusive game for videogame console Zeebo Turma da Mônica - Vamos Brincar Nº1, but the game was canceled months later. The idea was to create a series of eight puzzle games, but due to the end of the island the project was canceled.[3]

In 2012 was released the application for iPhones "Quero Ser da Turma da Mônica", a game where it is possible to create an digital avatar in the style of the characters. In 2013 a game was released for iOS and Android called "Coelhadas da Mônica" (Bunny-Bashing Monica), a puzzle game like Angry Birds.[4] And in 2014, "Jogo do Cascão" (The Smudge Game) was released, a 2D platform running game with multiple stages.[5]

Mônica ParkEdit

An amusement park themed with Mauricio de Souza's characters, located at the Eldorado Shopping in São Paulo. It was opened in January 1993, and features a number of attractions, like the "Carrossel do Horácio" (Horacio's merry-go-round, a carousel featuring dinosaurs instead of horses), the 3-D cinema, and many more. The Parque da Mônica of Curitiba and of Rio de Janeiro were also created, in 1998 and 2001, respectively, but both were closed, in 2000 and 2005, respectively. Until the end of 2006, it had its own comic book, featuring adventures of Monica's gang at the park. When Panini Comics started to publish Mauricio's works, this magazine was replaced by Turma da Mônica.

The park was removed from ElDorado Shopping Center on early 2010, when the space occupied by it was asked back by the shopping administrators.[6] Mauricio de Sousa had already announced that the shopping had requested the area back on July 2009.[6] The administration of the Shopping says that the place is seeking more up to date alternatives, which fall under the consumers' expectation.[6]

In March 2015, it was announced that the park will be reopened at Shopping SP Market.[7]

Merchandising Edit

In the late 60s a line of dolls with characters Monica, Jimmy Five, Thunder, Horacio and Lucinda was manufactured by Trol Company, this was the first merchandising of the franchise.[24] The character Thunder became mascot of a tomato sauce brand of the food company Cica in the late of 60s. A extensive line of toys and other products with the characters began to be manufactured since the 70s by various toy companies and remain heavily sold to the present in Brazilian stores. During the 80s, the franchise also came to have its own store network. The Lojinha da Mônica and Trenzinho da Mônica, had branches in several states of Brazil, selling products related to characters. In 2013, the franchise was restarted in the form of an e-commerce portal.[25]

International distribution Edit

Monica's Gang and related works have been published in 40 countries in 14 languages, including Spanish, Greek and Japanese.[8] In Italy some comic books and classic episodes of cartoon were distributed on DVDs for 90 years, the cartoon was broadcast on Rai Due channel under the title La Banda di Monica.[9]

In Indonesia, the series is published under the title Monika dan kawan kawan, the comics are published there since 1997, along the comic books of the characters Jimmi Lima (Jimmy Five) and Ciko Bento (Chuck Billy N' Folks).[10]

In China the comics were distributed to schools in 2007, receiving years later adaptation of the cartoon, in 2011 one of his albums was awarded to children's literature.[11][12]

There were plans for distribution in the United States and other Latin countries, but they were never made (with the exception of the proper cartoon broadcast in some Latin American countries dubbed into Spanish).


References Edit

  1. 'Monica's Gang' to become 'Monica and Friends' in the USA
  2. Personagens da Turma da Mônica 'crescem' e viram mangá (Monica's Gang characters "grow up" and turn into manga)
  3. Primeiro jogo da Turma da Mônica para Zeebo é coletânea de 6 minigames (First Monica's Gang game for Zeebo is a collection of 6 mini-games
  4. [1]
  5. [2]
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 [3]
  7. Parque da Mônica será reaberto em shopping da Zona Sul de SP
  8. Toon in Monica
  9. La banda di Monica at Cartoni Online
  10. http://operamundi.uol.com.br/conteudo/noticias/14358/turma+da+monica+em+arabe+grupo+do+bahrein+pretende+investir+em+produtos+e+revistas.shtml Turma da Monica em arabe (Monica's Gang in Arabic)
  11. http://www.terra.com.br/istoedinheiro-temp/edicoes/605/imprime133557.htm
  12. Turma da Monica e premiada na China

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