Johnny Bravo

Johnny Bravo is an American animated television series created by Van Partible for Cartoon Network, and the second of the network's Cartoon Cartoons, which aired from July 14, 1997, to August 27, 2004. The series centers on the title character, who is loosely based on Elvis Presley. Johnny Bravo is a sunglasses-wearing, muscular young man who lives with his mother and attempts to get women to date him, though he is usually unsuccessful. He ends up in bizarre situations and predicaments, often accompanied by celebrity guest characters such as Donny Osmond or Adam West. Throughout its run, the show was known for its adult humor and pop culture references.

Johnny Bravo
Johnny Bravo series logo.png
GenreComedy
Created byVan Partible
Written by
Directed by
Voices of
Theme music composerLouis Fagenson
Opening theme"Johnny Bravo"
Ending theme"Johnny Bravo" (Instrumental, seasons 1 and 4)
Composers
  • Louis Fagenson
  • Christopher Neal Nelson (score/end theme, seasons 2–3)
  • Guy Moon (additional music, season 1 only)
  • Gary Lionelli (additional music, season 1 only)
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes65 (whole)
178 (segments) (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
Producers
  • Van Partible
  • Kara Vallow
  • Cosmo Anzilotti (season 1)
  • Davis Doi (supervising producer, season 1)
  • Kirk Tingblad
  • Gary Hartle (seasons 2–3)
  • Jed Spingarn (co-producer, seasons 2–3)
  • Brian A. Miller (supervising producer for Cartoon Network Studios, season 4)
Running time23 minutes
Production companies
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original networkCartoon Network
Picture formatNTSC (480i)
Audio format
Original releaseJuly 14, 1997 (1997-07-14) –
August 27, 2004 (2004-08-27)
Chronology
Related showsWhat a Cartoon!
External links
Website

Partible pitched the series to Hanna-Barbera's animation showcase What a Cartoon!, basing it on his senior thesis project he produced while attending Loyola Marymount University. A pilot short aired on Cartoon Network in 1995. The series was renewed for a second season in 1999, during which Partible left, and the show was retooled under the direction of Kirk Tingblad. In 2003, for the series' fourth season, Partible returned and restored the show to its original format and style. In its four seasons, a total of 67 episodes have aired. The first three seasons were produced by Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, while the fourth season was produced by Cartoon Network Studios.

Johnny Bravo was nominated for four Annie Awards, one YoungStar Award, and two Golden Reel Awards. The series helped launch the careers of several animators, including Seth MacFarlane and Butch Hartman. Spin-off media include comic books, DVD and VHS releases, collectible toys, and video games.

PremiseEdit

The series centers on Johnny Bravo (voiced by Jeff Bennett[a]), a sunglasses-wearing, muscular, conceited narcissist and dimwitted self-proclaimed womanizer with a pompadour and an Elvis Presley-esque voice, apparently of Italian heritage, who lives in Aron City (a nod to Presley's middle name). Episodes typically revolve around him trying to get a woman to go on a date with him, though his advances are usually rejected and result in the woman in question harming him in a comedic way due to his boorish manner. Johnny's companions are Bunny "Momma" Bravo (Brenda Vaccaro), his lively, caring, extroverted, equally dimwitted mother; and Little Suzy (Mae Whitman), a talkative and intelligent little girl from the neighborhood who likes to annoy Johnny, although he rarely remembers her name.

Recurring characters include Carl Chryniszzswics (Tom Kenny), who idolizes Johnny despite being bossed around by him; Pops (Larry Drake), the unscrupulous owner of the local diner who provides advice to Johnny, along with food made from atypical ingredients; Master Hamma (Brian Tochi), a Japanese martial arts instructor who teaches Johnny but never considers him a student due to being the weakest and most pathetic student in the dojo; Donny Osmond (himself), a cheery and optimistic teen idol who irritates Johnny; and Jungle Boy (Cody Dorkin), a jungle-dwelling feral child with super strength and the ability to speak to animals.

Much of the series' humor is derived from celebrity guest star appearances and references to popular culture. For example; one season 1 episode is based around homages to The Twilight Zone,[1] and in another episode, one of the Village People can be seen in the background.[2] The series has had numerous guest stars, including Adam West, Shaquille O'Neal, Seth Green and the previously mentioned Donny Osmond. In the first season, creator Van Partible intended for the show's middle segment to be a form of "Johnny Bravo Meets...", a parody of The New Scooby-Doo Movies, which would feature appearances from popular 1970s icons, but guest stars were used informally after the second season began.[3][4] Many Hanna-Barbera characters had cameo appearances in the series, including the cast of Scooby-Doo, Speed Buggy, Jabberjaw, Fred Flintstone, Yogi Bear, The Blue Falcon, Black Widow, and Huckleberry Hound.

Adult humor is a frequent presence. In one episode, when Suzy calls Johnny to ask if he wants to come over, Johnny nonchalantly tells her to "[call] back in 15 years when [she is] a co-ed.", and in another, when Johnny is hit by a tranquilizer dart and is informed he has only "30 seconds of consciousness left" and to "use it wisely", he immediately pulls out a Girlie Magazine.

In regard to the adult humor, Hartman stated "...being concerned with the content of the episodes wasn't our main focus", and creator Partible remembers that "No one was really watching Cartoon Network [...] As far as content, they were pretty lenient on all the kind of things that were going on."[3]

ProductionEdit

DevelopmentEdit

While attending Loyola Marymount University, Van Partible produced his senior thesis project Mess O' Blues (1993), an animated short film about an Elvis Presley impersonator.[3] Partible's animation professor showed the film to a friend who worked for Hanna-Barbera, and the studio loved the film. They asked Partible to develop it into a pitch for a seven-minute short, prompting him to sell the project to Hanna-Barbera.[4]

For the new short, Partible revised his main character from Mess O' Blues, renaming him "Johnny Bravo" and making him "this '50s iconic James Dean-looking character that talked like Elvis." He was also inspired by Michael Jackson's "impetus for using whip snaps and cracks" (such as in Captain EO) for whenever Johnny striked a pose.[5] Voice actor Jeff Bennett was cast as Johnny, based solely on his young, hyped Elvis impression.[3] Partible, with a small team of animators, animated the short themselves in-house at Hanna-Barbera using digital ink and paint.[2]

The short, titled Johnny Bravo, was aired on Cartoon Network's animation showcase, World Premiere Toons,[3] on March 26, 1995. Two more shorts followed: Jungle Boy in "Mr. Monkeyman" and Johnny Bravo and the Amazon Women.

The name Johnny Bravo derived from creator Van Partible's middle name, Giovanni Bravo, as Giovanni is an Italian name for John or Johnny,[6] or possibly from an alias given to Greg Brady in The Brady Bunch episode “Adios Johnny Bravo”.

Original seasonsEdit

The popularity of the shorts led to Cartoon Network commissioning a first season of Johnny Bravo, consisting of 13 episodes. The crew of the first season consisted of several writers, animators, and directors from World Premiere Toons, including Seth MacFarlane, Butch Hartman, Steve Marmel, and John McIntyre. Veteran animator Joseph Barbera also served as a creative consultant and mentor for the first season.[7][8] Partible stated in a 1997 interview the goal of the series was to have "animation reminiscent of the old Hanna-Barbera cartoons".[8]

Johnny Bravo premiered on July 14, 1997,[9] and the first season completed production in December of that year.

RetoolEdit

After the first season, Johnny Bravo was put on hiatus, until it was picked up for an unexpected second season in 1999. Van Partible got fired during Warner Bros. takeover of Turner Broadcasting and Kirk Tingblad took over as director, leading to a major retooling in the show's visual style, tone, humor, and characters.[10] The show retained this format for the third season.

The series was put on hiatus once again until it was renewed for a fourth season in 2003, which aired in 2004. The final season of the series returned to the humor of the original shorts and first season of the series, with Van Partible returning and co-directing all of the fourth season episodes, although the Jungle Boy character from the first season never returned.

EpisodesEdit

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast airedNetwork
Pilots3March 26, 1995 (1995-03-26)January 1, 1997 (1997-01-01)Cartoon Network
113July 14, 1997 (1997-07-14)[11]December 15, 1997 (1997-12-15)[11]
222July 2, 1999 (1999-07-02)[12]January 28, 2000 (2000-01-28)[12]
317August 11, 2000 (2000-08-11)[13]June 14, 2002 (2002-06-14)[13]
413February 20, 2004 (2004-02-20)[14]August 27, 2004 (2004-08-27)[14]
Specials2December 7, 2001 (2001-12-07)February 14, 2004 (2004-02-14)
India specialJune 28, 2009 (2009-06-28)Cartoon Network (India)

ReceptionEdit

Critical receptionEdit

In 2009, IGN ranked Johnny Bravo No. 71 for its Top 100 Animated Series list.[15]

Legacy and influenceEdit

After the series ended in 2004, the No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet was given a special paint scheme with Johnny Bravo on the hood. It was driven by Kyle Busch in the 2005 Sharpie 500 NASCAR race.

On the long lasting impact of the show, writer/director Butch Hartman states:

When Johnny Bravo first came out, I don't think a lot of people didn't have high hopes for it, and I think it was really cool that prove exactly what kind of character he was. No one really thought it was going to go anywhere. Not only has it gone somewhere, it's actually still around, it's very iconic now, 15, 16 years later.[3]

The title character is considered "iconic", and his catchphrases are relatively common in popular culture.[3]

The show's creative team went on to create many successful television series throughout the 1990s and 2000s, including writer Seth MacFarlane, creator of the popular animated series Family Guy. Shortly after the series' first season was completed, writer/director Butch Hartman left to work on Nickelodeon's Oh Yeah! Cartoons, from which those shorts spun off his own success, The Fairly OddParents. Steve Marmel, writer for Johnny Bravo, has been a producer and writer for The Fairly OddParents since its premiere in 2001. In addition to Johnny Bravo, director John McIntyre directed episodes of several other Cartoon Cartoons, and more recently served as a supervising director on Cartoon Network's original series The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack.

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result
1997 Annie Award Best Individual Achievement: Voice Acting by a Male Performer in a TV Production[16] Jeff Bennett
Nominated
1998 Annie Award Outstanding Individual Achievement for Writing in an Animated Television Production[17] Steve Marmel
Nominated
YoungStar Award Best Performance in a Voice Over Talent[18] Mae Whitman
Nominated
2000 Annie Award Outstanding Individual Achievement for Directing in an Animated Television Production[19] Kirk Tingblad
Nominated
Outstanding Individual Achievement for Storyboarding in an Animated Television Production[19] Mary Hanley
Nominated
2001 Golden Reel Award Best Sound Editing — Television Animated Series — Sound[20] Glenn Oyabe, Kerry Iverson, Jesse Aruda, and John Bires
Nominated
2004 Golden Reel Award Best Sound Editing in Television Animation — Music[21] Roy Braverman
Nominated

Spin-offsEdit

JBVO: Your All Request Cartoon ShowEdit

JBVO: Your All Request Cartoon Show is a short-lived programming block that aired Sundays on Cartoon Network from April 2, 2000, to summer of 2001. It was hosted by Johnny Bravo, along with some infrequent guest stars such as Chicken (from Cow and Chicken). Callers would write into the show via mail or through the Cartoon Network website[22] to call the show and request a cartoon from Cartoon Network's cartoon library, which would then be played, with an exception of half-hour-long shows. One caller of the show named Jennifer requested an episode of Dragon Ball Z. Being that it was a half-hour long, Johnny regretfully had to fast-forward through the entire episode with Johnny providing only expositional commentary.[23] Afterward, Johnny apologized to the caller for the inconvenience.[citation needed]

After the series ended, a spin-off of JBVO named Toon FM was launched in Europe. The series had a few unique changes, such as a Godzilla presenting the weather.

There was also a similar spin-off of the JBVO concept itself entitled Viva Las Bravo, a summer block that aired from 2005 to 2006 on certain European variants of Cartoon Network.[citation needed] Every day Johnny would announce three cartoons, with the one getting the highest votes via email or on CartoonNetworkHQ.net would be shown for two hours the next day. He would also constantly appear in commercial breaks, cracking jokes or answering humorous emails and phone calls.

MediaEdit

ComicsEdit

In February 2013, IDW Publishing announced a partnership with Cartoon Network to produce comics based on its properties. Johnny Bravo was one of the titles announced to be published.[24]

Video gamesEdit

A video game titled Johnny Bravo in The Hukka Mega Mighty Ultra Extreme Date-O-Rama! was released on June 9, 2009 for the Nintendo DS and PlayStation 2.[25] The PlayStation 2 version was released exclusively in Europe and Australia by Blast Entertainment, while the DS version was released in North America by MumboJumbo.

Characters from Johnny Bravo are featured in the Cartoon Network games Cartoon Network: Block Party, Cartoon Network Racing, Cartoon Network Speedway, Cartoon Network Universe: FusionFall, and Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion.

Planned filmEdit

In October 2002, Variety reported that Warner Bros. had secured the film rights to make a live-action Johnny Bravo feature-length film "as a potential starring vehicle" for Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.[26] However, no further developments regarding this project have been announced since then.

Home mediaEdit

Warner Bros. stated in an interview that they are "...in conversations with Cartoon Network" for DVD collections of various cartoons, among which is Johnny Bravo in 2006.[27] Johnny Bravo: Season 1, a two-disc set featuring the complete first season which contains all 13 episodes, was released by Madman Entertainment in Australia and New Zealand (Region 4) on October 10, 2007. On November 4, 2009, the complete second season was released. MVD Company Limited also released Season 1-5 in 2009 in Thailand.

A Region 1 release of the first season, with different cover art and new special features, was released by Warner Home Video on June 15, 2010. The release is first in an official release of several Cartoon Cartoons on DVD, under the "Cartoon Network Hall of Fame" name.[28] The other three seasons have yet to be released, despite many requests from fans of the show and Cartoon Network.

All episodes of Johnny Bravo are available to download on the iTunes Store [1].

The PlayStation 2 version of the video game Cartoon Network Racing contains the episodes "Doommates" and "Johnny's Telethon" as unlockable extras.

Region 1
DVD title Season(s) Episode count Release date Episodes
Cartoon Network Halloween: 9 Creepy Cartoon Capers 1 1 August 10, 2004 3b ("Bravo Dooby-Doo")
Cartoon Network Christmas: Yuletide Follies N/A 1 October 5, 2004 Special ("A Johnny Bravo Christmas")
Cartoon Network Halloween 2: Grossest Halloween Ever 3 1 August 9, 2005 47c ("Frankenbravo")
Cartoon Network: Christmas Rocks 1 1 October 4, 2005 5c ("'Twas the Night")
The Complete First Season 1 13 June 15, 2010 1 ("Johnny Bravo" / "Jungle Boy in Mr. Monkeyman" / "Johnny Bravo and the Amazon Women") – 13 ("Johnny Bravo Meets Adam West!" / "Under the Big Flop" / "Johnny Meets Donny Osmond")

Extras: a look-back documentary, pencil tests, and episode commentaries

4 Kid Favorites: The Hall of Fame Collection 1 8 March 13, 2012 1 ("Johnny Bravo" / "Jungle Boy in Mr. Monkeyman" / "Johnny Bravo and the Amazon Women") – 8 ("Beach Blanket Bravo" / "The Day the Earth Didn't Move Around Very Much" / "The Aisle of Mixed-Up Toys")

ReferencesEdit

Notes

  1. ^ Marc Silk has also voiced Johnny Bravo, in bumpers for Cartoon Network UK & Ireland, when the character hosted a programming block on the channel. Silk did not play the character in the show itself.

Footnotes

  1. ^ Partible, Van (2010). Johnny Bravo season one DVD commentary for the episode "The Man Who Cried "Clown!" / Johnny, Real Good / Little Talky Tabitha!" (DVD). Warner Home Video.
  2. ^ a b Partible, Van (2010). Johnny Bravo season one DVD commentary for the episode "Johnny Bravo / Jungle Boy in "Mr. Monkeyman" / Johnny Bravo and the Amazon Women" (DVD). Warner Home Video.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Van Partible, Jeff Bennett, Butch Hartman, John McIntyre; et al. (2010). Johnny Bravo: Season One. Special Features: Bringing Up Johnny Bravo (DVD). Warner Home Video.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ a b Azar, Philip (2010-04-28). "LMU-originated 'Johnny Bravo' on DVD". Los Angeles Loyolan. Archived from the original on 2013-01-03. Retrieved 2010-06-16.
  5. ^ Partible, Van (June 21, 2010). "JOHNNY BRAVO AND MICHAEL JACKSON". VanPartible.com. Archived from the original on August 12, 2020. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
  6. ^ "Meet the creator of 'Johnny Bravo' | Inquirer Entertainment". Archived from the original on 2018-02-16. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
  7. ^ Partible, Van (2010). Johnny Bravo season one DVD commentary for the episode "The Sensitive Male! / Bravo Dooby-Doo" (DVD). Warner Home Video.
  8. ^ a b "Drawing from Experience". 1997. Archived from the original on 2010-08-25. Retrieved 2010-06-16.
  9. ^ Boedeker, Hal (July 14, 1997). "Cartoon Network zany relief". The Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on March 1, 2017. Retrieved 2011-05-29.
  10. ^ Partible, Van (2015). "In and Out of Toon". LMU Magazine. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Johnny Bravo: Episode Guide (season 1)". Zap2It. Retrieved 2018-02-08.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ a b "Johnny Bravo: Episode Guide (season 2)". Zap2It. Retrieved 2018-02-08.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ a b "Johnny Bravo: Episode Guide (season 3)". Zap2It. Retrieved 2018-02-08.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ a b "Johnny Bravo: Episode Guide (season 4)". Zap2It. Retrieved 2018-02-08.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ "71. Johnny Bravo". IGN. News Corporation. January 23, 2009. Archived from the original on February 20, 2009. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  16. ^ "25th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (1997)". AnnieAwards.org. ASIFA-Hollywood. Archived from the original on 2015-12-30. Retrieved 2013-01-26.
  17. ^ "26th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (1998)". AnnieAwards.org. ASIFA-Hollywood. Archived from the original on 2013-02-23. Retrieved 2013-01-26.
  18. ^ "The Hollywood Reporter's 4th Annual YoungStar Awards Hosts and Nominees Announced". PR Newswire. United Business Media. September 2, 1999. Archived from the original on August 26, 2014. Retrieved 2013-01-26.
  19. ^ a b "28th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (2000)". AnnieAwards.org. ASIFA-Hollywood. Archived from the original on 2017-04-25. Retrieved 2013-01-26.
  20. ^ "Motion Picture Sound Editors, USA (2001)". IMDb. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2013-01-26.
  21. ^ "Motion Picture Sound Editors, USA (2004)". IMDb. Archived from the original on 2010-05-06. Retrieved 2013-01-26.
  22. ^ "Cartoon Network: JBVO". Archived from the original on 2000-08-15. Retrieved 2011-05-29.
  23. ^ "Jbvo Dragon Ball Z Request Confirmed". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2018-02-05. Retrieved 2017-06-08.
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-08-04. Retrieved 2013-05-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  25. ^ "Johnny Bravo: Date-O-Rama!". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on November 14, 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
  26. ^ Dunkley, Cathy (October 17, 2002). "WB to Rock with 'Bravo'". Variety. Archived from the original on February 20, 2016. Retrieved 2016-02-25.
  27. ^ Lacey, Gord (2006-06-07). "Home Theatre Forum Warner Bros Chat Transcript — Part 2". TVShowsonDVD.com. Archived from the original on 2010-08-22. Retrieved 2007-03-26.
  28. ^ David Lambert. "Johnny Bravo long awaited Season 1 DVD". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on 2009-12-25. Retrieved 2009-12-02.

External linksEdit