The Purple Pinup Guru Platform

When purple things are pulsating on your mind, I'm the one whose clock you want to clean. Aiding is Sparky, the Astral Plane Zen Pup Dog from his mountain stronghold on the Northernmost Island of the Happy Ninja Island chain, this blog will also act as a journal to my wacky antics at an entertainment company and the progress of my self published comic book, The Deposit Man which only appears when I damn well feel like it. Real Soon Now.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sparky says — VEXX!

== thinking about a friend in trouble ==

So let's return to comfort TV!

Jonny Quest

Jonny Quest is a media franchise that revolves around a boy named Jonny Quest who accompanies his father on extraordinary adventures. The franchise started with a 1964-65 television series and has come to include two subsequent television series, two television films, and a video game.

1964–1965 television series

Jonny Quest – often casually referred to as The Adventures of Jonny Quest – is the original American science fiction/adventure animated television series that started the franchise. It was produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions for Screen Gems, and created and designed by comic-book artist Doug Wildey.

Inspired by radio serials and comics in the action-adventure genre, it featured more realistic art, characters, and stories than Hanna-Barbera's previous cartoon programs. It was the first of several Hanna-Barbera action-based adventure shows – which would later include Space Ghost, The Herculoids, and Birdman and the Galaxy Trio – and ran on ABC in prime time on early Friday nights for one season in 1964–1965.

After spending two decades in reruns, during which it appeared on all three major US television networks of the time, new episodes were produced for syndication in 1986. Two telefilms, a comic-book series, and a modernized revival series, The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, were produced in the 1990s.

The New Adventures of Jonny Quest

By the mid-1980s, the edited episodes of Jonny Quest were part of the syndication package The Funtastic World of Hanna–Barbera. Each episode was time-compressed and edited to reduce the runtime from 25 to 22 minutes, with edits focused on the comical scenes with Bandit. Thirteen episodes were produced in 1986 (although some sources state 1987) to accompany the originals in the Funtastic World programming block. These episodes were referred to simply as Jonny Quest in their opening title sequence (the same ones seen on the original series since the censoring), and were noticeably less violent and more "kid-friendly" than the 1960s originals, and introduced the new regular character Hardrock ("The Monolith Man"), an ancient man made of stone. Hardrock did not return in any later versions of the program.

A feature length animated telefilm, Jonny's Golden Quest, was produced by HannaBarbera for USA Network in 1993, which again pitted the Quest team against Dr. Zin, who murders Jonny's mother in the film. Jonny’s Golden Quest also reused the storyline of the recent series' episode "Deadly Junket," wherein a little girl named Jessie Bradshaw, the daughter of a missing scientist, asked the Quest party to help find her father. Here she is revealed to be lying about her parentage at Dr. Zin's behest, and to Race's surprise is actually his and Jade's daughter. Jessie would appear as a character in all subsequent versions of the Jonny Quest property. A second telefilm, Jonny Quest vs. The Cyber Insects, was produced for TNT in 1995, and was promoted as being the final iteration of the "Classic Jonny Quest".

All three of these productions featured the voices of Don Messick and Granville Van Dusen as Dr. Quest and Race Bannon, respectively. Messick also reprised performing the "voice" of Bandit in the series, but the features had this done by Frank Welker.

The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest

The cover for a VHS collection of episodes from The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest.

The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, premiered on all three major Turner Broadcasting System entertainment cable channels (Cartoon Network, TBS, and TNT), and met with mixed ratings and reviews. The characters were aged, with Jonny, Hadji, and Jessie becoming teenagers. Dr. Quest's compound has moved to a rocky island off the Maine coast.

Production on the series had been problem-laden since 1992, and when it was finally broadcast, it featured two different versions of its own Jonny Quest universe: the first batch of episodes (referred to as the "season one" episodes) gave the Quest team a futuristic look, while the second batch (referred to as "season two") harkened back to the original 1960s episodes. Several of the "season one" adventures in this series took place in a cyberspace realm known as "Questworld", depicted using 3-D computer animation. Both "seasons" aired during the 1996–1997 television season, and the show was canceled after 52 episodes (26 of each season). A live-action movie was planned to debut following the series premiere but never materialized.[1]

The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest returned in the late 1990s on Cartoon Network. It was part of the original Toonami rotation when the block launched on March 17, 1997 and aired consistently on Toonami until September 24, 1999. It then continued to air sporadically until December 14, 2002. The first 13 episodes of the first season were released to DVD on February 17, 2009.

The character Dr. Zin was believed dead during the first season of The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest. However, creators of the show felt the series wasn't reminiscent of the original enough and brought Zin back[2] in the second season episode "Nemesis," where Zin reveals himself as alive to Quest and holds a NASA station launching a new satellite hostage. Zin's two daughters, Anaya and Melana, returned to later episodes of 'Real Adventures' after being absent from the 'New Adventures' series.[2]

Other media

Feature film

In the early 1990s, Turner planned a "Year of Jonny Quest" marketing campaign to feature a new television series, the release of classic episodes on VHS, the creation of two new animated movies in classic continuity (Jonny's Golden Quest and Jonny Quest vs. The Cyber Insects), and the production of a live-action film.[3][4][5] Director Richard Donner, producer Lauren Shuler Donner, and Jane Rosenthal optioned the rights for the live action film, having expressed interest in the property soon after Turner's acquisition of Hanna-Barbera.[1][3][6] Slated to begin production in mid-1995, filming was pushed back to 1996 and ultimately never began.[6] By early 1996, the project had already fallen well-behind development of other films, such as a live-action Jetsons movie.[7]

Comic books

A Jonny Quest comic book (a retelling of the first TV episode, "Mystery of the Lizard Men") was published by Gold Key Comics in 1964. Comico began publication of a Jonny Quest series in 1986, with the first issue featuring Doug Wildey's artwork. The series was written by William Messner-Loebs and ran for 31 issues, with 2 specials and 3 "classic" issues drawn by Wildey retelling Quest TV episodes ("Shadow of the Condor", "Calcutta Adventure", and "Werewolf of the Timberland"). Wildey drew several additional covers, as did Steve Rude and Dave Stevens. The series also spun off a 3-issue series named Jezebel Jade — drawn by Adam Kubert — which told the story of Jade's relationship and adventures with Race Bannon.

Computer games

In 1991, Hi-Tec Software published Jonny Quest in Doctor Zin's Underworld, a licensed Jonny Quest platform game for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC and Commodore 64 home computers.

In 1996, Virgin Interactive published Jonny Quest: Cover-Up At Roswell for Windows 3.1 and Windows 95.


In January 2009, IGN named Jonny Quest as the 77th best in its "Top 100 Animated TV Shows".[8]


A concert-goer called Johnny Quest is referenced by Less Than Jake on their album Losing Streak from 1996 in the song title Johnny Quest Thinks We're Sellouts.

Bloodhound Gang referenced Jonny Quest on their album Hooray For Boobies on the song Mope.

Powerglove covered the theme song to The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest on their album Saturday Morning Apocalypse.

Parodies and homages

The characters and setting of Jonny Quest have frequently been the subject of brief parodies, especially in later animated programs, some of which have aired on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim late-night programming block. (Time Warner owns both Cartoon Network and the rights to the entire Hanna-Barbera library, including Jonny Quest, which is why Cartoon Network was originally conceived.) In addition, there have been several substantial references to the show:

  • Adult Swim's The Venture Bros. features characters who are satirical analogues of the Jonny Quest cast: Dr. Thaddeus "Rusty" Venture, his bodyguard Brock Samson, and his sons Hank and Dean. Flashbacks reveal that Rusty is himself the son of a Benton Quest analog, now coasting on the fame of his late father. During the first season, the creators of the show realized that Cartoon Network's parent owned Jonny Quest and began using the actual characters, including Jonny as a paranoid drug addict severely damaged by the constant danger his father put him in, Race Bannon as a OSI agent that Brock Samson calls "one of the best" until his death, and Hadji as a hard-working competent engineer for Rusty's successful brother Jonas Jr. However, starting with the third season, the Jonny Quest characters were renamed: Jonny was renamed "Action Johnny", Race Bannon was referred to as "Red" and Dr Zin was simply called "Dr. Z"; there was no in-show explanation for the change.
  • Adult Swim's Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law features the cast in several episodes. In "Bannon Custody Battle", Bannon and Dr. Quest fight for custody of Jonny and Hadji, and in "Return of Birdgirl" the men try to marry. Other episodes featured the Lizard Men from "Mystery of the Lizard Men", the mummy from "Curse of Anubis", a yeti from "Monsters in the Monastery", a gargoyle from "The House of the Seven Gargoyles", the robotic spider from "The Robot Spy", etc.
  • An 8-minute parody appeared in 1995 on the animated series Freakazoid!, under the title Toby Danger. A (somewhat) loving parody of Jonny Quest, featuring the voices of Scott Menville, Don Messick (in his last role before he died) and Granville Van Dusen (all of whom provided voices for JQ). This was originally written by Tom Minton as a twelve minute stand-alone short for Animaniacs, but slotted into Freakazoid! after that series was green-lighted and had an eight minute opening. The completed twelve minute Toby Danger storyboard was trimmed by director Eric Radomski to fit into the available Freakazoid! time slot.
  • In the episode "Channel Chasers" of the show The Fairly OddParents, one of the shows Timmy Turner goes into is called "Jonny Hunt" where the lead character is a brown haired kid, with a pet raccoon.
  • Matt Fraction's spy-fi comic book series Casanova features a genius villain going by the name of Sabine Seychelle, who works with a large Indian bodyguard named Samir; Fraction recounts his inspiration for them in the text column at the end of Casanova #4 that "I liked the idea of Jonny Quest, all adult and crooked. The son of an adventure scientist and his bePolo'd sidekick would grow, exactly? Bent, I supposed. Weeeird. The kind of guy that would create phenomenal machines...and then sleep with them three at a time."
  • The animated series Johnny Test is named similarly, and also features a blond-haired protagonist and his dog, as well as having twin sister scientists (similar to JQ's father), and even has a red haired female protagonist whom he initially dislikes but grows fond of in several episodes.
  • Brazilian pop rock band Jota Quest is named after the series. Originally, they performed under the name J. Quest, but to avoid legal conflict with Hanna-Barbera, the J. was expanded to Jota (the Portuguese name for the letter J) from their second album onward.[9]
  • In the TV show, Community, Troy and Abed sneaked into the dean's office and made random announcements via the college's PA system. Abed announced, "Announcement #3: I am not Hadji from Jonny Quest."
  • In an episode of The Steve Harvey Show, Bullethead dresses as Jonny Quest, while Romeo dresses like Hadji, to get back into Steve Hightower's good graces (and back into his class).
  • The Indianapolis-based punk band, Racebannon, takes its name from the Jonny Quest character.
  • Jet Jungle, a South African radio play and comic-book character may well have been influenced by Jonny Quest. Both Race Bannon and Jet Jungle are black belts with white hair, a fact noted by the distributor of the Jet Jungle figurine, Mego.
  • In 2010, artist/author/film maker Roger D. Evans started work on a stop motion recreation of the Jonny Quest opening title sequence. His behind the scenes blog can be found HERE .
  • Among the DVD extras for the animated film "The Incredibles" is a short called "Jack-Jack Attack", whose title screen features the same music sting that began each Jonny Quest episode.


  1. ^ a b Lefton, Terry (1995-06-19). "Turner Relaunches 'Quest'". Brandweek (VNU eMedia, Inc.) 36 (25).
  2. ^ a b Saturday morning fever, Timothy Burke, Kevin Burke pages 113-116
  3. ^ a b Strauss, Bob (1995-07-30). "On the set, it's either her way of the highway – Shuler-Donner's insistence just a way to show she cares". Daily News of Los Angeles.
  4. ^ Timm, Lori (1994-09-15). "Cue card> Lost on Quest for broad appeal". Peoria Journal Star p. C1 (Peoria Journal Star).
  5. ^ Carter, Tammi (1995-11-19). "Fine tuning". The Times-Picayune p. T51 (The Times-Picayune Publishing Corporation).
  6. ^ a b Hollywood Reporter (1994-04-25). "Live-Action `Johnny Quest' in the Works". The San Francisco Chronicle p. E3.
  7. ^ Hettrick, Scott (1996-03-18). "Turner lets Virgin put spin on new Quest CD-ROM, $1 mil marked for game based on toon". The Hollywood Reporter (BPI Communications, Inc.).
  8. ^ "IGN - 77. Jonny Quest". Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  9. ^ "Jota Quest web site". Retrieved 2010-08-26.

External links