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Johnny Bravo is the second Cartoon Cartoon, created by animator Van Partible for Cartoon Network. The series stars a muscular man named Johnny Bravo who dons a pompadour hairstyle and an Elvis Presley-like voice and has a forward, woman-chasing personality. Plots typically revolve around him trying to get a woman that he has targeted throughout the episode to fall in love with him. He is often beaten up or stunned by his target or companions, or is ditched by them in the end.

The series was originally part of a series of shorts on Cartoon Network's animation showcase series World Premiere Toons. The popularity of the shorts led to the network commissioning a full series for the show, which premiered on July 7, 1997. The series was renewed for multiple following seasons and ended its official run on August 27, 2004. A spin-off of the series, JBVO, was created and ran for one season. A television movie titled Johnny Bravo Goes to Bollywood was made and aired in India in 2009 and in August 2010 in the United Kingdom. A 70-minute movie with the same title aired in Australia on November 20, 2011.[1] [2]

Many of the writers and directors on the series went on to become famous for their own projects, including Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, American Dad! and The Cleveland Show) and Butch Hartman (The Fairly OddParents, Danny Phantom and T.U.F.F. Puppy). Before the series was picked up, two pilot episodes were broadcast as part of What a Cartoon!. The first, titled "Johnny Bravo," aired in 1995 and the second, titled Jungle Boy in "Mr. Monkeyman," aired in 1996.

Format retool

Johnny Bravo was initially not as well received as Cartoon Cartoon contemporaries Cow and Chicken and Dexter's Laboratory, causing its production to stall after the first 13 episodes. The series sat in limbo for two years, until it was renewed for a second season. The series would continue without its original creator Van Partible, and received an entirely new look and direction under Kirk Tingblad.

Beginning with season 2, the show abandoned its "moral lessons" format in favor of a more slapstick style of comedy. Johnny's intellegence was lowered even further, and was made into a more openly self-centered character, which typically resulted in a more violent comeuppance. In addition to Bunny Bravo and Little Suzy, characters Karl and Pops were added to the main cast, with the latter's diner serving as a recurring setting, while the former serving as a recurring foil to Johnny. Unlike season 1, season 2 did not feature guest stars (although season 3 featured Beverly Hills 90210 star Luke Perry), nor did it feature any external cartoons like Jungle Boy. The show's audience widely expanded under Tingblad's direction, with the format being carried into a third season.

Johnny Bravo was renewed for a fourth season starting in 2004, during which Partible returned as the series director. Partible's return resulted in the show being restored to the format featured in season 1, which resulted in the show's audience numbers decreasing once more. The show's final episode aired on August 27th 2004.

In 2009, a new episode, "Johnny goes to Bollywood", was created exclusively for the India market. Partible was the only American involved with the series production, and the episode did not air outside of India. In 2011, an animated film, "Johnny Bravo goes to Bollywood" was created based on the aforementioned episode. The film was similarly directed by Partible, and was the final production of the franchise to date.

Characters

Johnny Bravo (voiced by Jeff Bennett) — Jonathan "Johnny" Bravo is the main protagonist of the series. Johnny has the looks of James Dean and sounds like Elvis Presley. He is incredibly super muscular, narcissistic and dim-witted, traits, that lead to a severe incorrigible inability to attract women, becoming a running gag throughout the series. He can also be interpreted as a male representation of the "dumb blonde." One notable exception to this was that, during Cartoon Network's 1st 13th Annual Fancy Anvil Award Show Spectacular Live in Stereo, during, which Johnny served as the host and was very witty and suave. The character is memorable for his incredibly quick movements (usually done while trying to impress women), which were accompanied by the distinctive sound effect of a bullwhip crack, often flexing his muscles in a bodybuilder fashion. Johnny's catch phrase is "She wants me!" after women beat him up for refusing to leave them alone. He dresses in an oversized black muscle shirt and very small jeans based on one of creator Van Partible's clothes. Though the name "Johnny Bravo" dates back to an episode of The Cheyenne Show, Van Partible stated in an interview for Cartoon Network that he also derived the name from his full given name, "Efrem Giovanni Bravo Partible. He is voiced by Jeff Bennett.

Bunny Bravo (voiced by Brenda Vaccaro) Bunny (better known as "Mama" by Johnny) is Johnny's single mother, whom still cares for him after entering adulthood. The show's original format portrays her as a calm, nurturing woman, but she was made into a louder, more extroverted character once the show was retooled. She's very dedicated to her son, but as a result of her awareness of his low intellect and womanizer attitude, does not always treat him seriously. In the show's second and third seasons, Bunny has a long chaotic history, such as being a stunt car driver or rock and roll musician. Bunny hopes that Johnny will find that special someone he's been looking for. Bunny is mostly referred in the show as Mama by Johnny, who pronounces it in an Elvis-esque manner. She is voiced by Brenda Vaccaro.

Suzy (voiced by Mae Whitman) — Suzy is a little red-haired Scottish girl (10-years-old) from the neighborhood (often called "Little Neighbor girl" by Johnny) who is very cunning and talkative. In many episodes she is shown to have a major crush on Johnny. Her parents were never shown, but she is often shown to be related to big time celebrities. Despite her age and immaturity, she is both highly intellegent and financially capable, making millions through simply selling lemonade. In the early series, Suzy was more of a cute-type character with a round head and in the retooled series, she is thin-looking and more grown up.

Carl Chryniszzswics (voiced by Tom Kenny) — Carl is the main antagonist of the series, although this is only true in the context Johnny considers him a pest. He is a local genius and geek, who is very intelligent, but somewhat eccentric and timid. He was introduced after the show's retooling following at the end of the first season, and seems to be Johnny's only friend, although Johnny often denies that. Carl sometimes uses Johnny for his experiments' sake, and used to make fun of him in high school, as Carl was much taller than Johnny at the time (a fact retroactively written into the series in season 3). Carl really likes Johnny and continues to hang out with him, even after all the mean things Johnny does to him and says about him. Carl remained in the show after the return to the original style, but was relegated to smaller roles.

Pops (voiced by Larry Drake) — Pops is the greedy owner of a local diner who could be considered Johnny's father figure. He often gives fatherly tips and advice to Johnny; however, his advice often turns out to be useless, sometimes provoking trouble for Johnny. Pops is genuinly fond of Johnny, but will not hesitate to use him (or others) for his own means if it means he can profit from it. His diner's chili is made from rather suspicious ingredients and he serves food made from many animals, such as opossums, pandas, cougars, etc. Like Carl, Pops was introduced in Season Two after the show's drastic retooling and remained even after the return to the original format, although he was relegated to brief cameo roles.

Master Hamma (voiced by Brian Tochi) — Master Hamma is a Japanese martial arts instructor. Johnny has taken, and failed, several of his martial arts classes. In fact, Hamma never sees Johnny as a student and often regards him as a chore boy since Johnny is impossible to be taught as well as the fact he is the most pathetic and weakest student his dojo. It is shown that Hamma's most whimsy kid student can defeat Johnny with little difficulty. Like Carl and Pops, Master Hamma was introduced after the series was retooled, though did not appear as frequently.

Donny Osmond (voiced by himself) — Donny is a character who was often used as a minor, laughingly useless character in some key episodes. He is seen as cheery and extremely optimistic to the point of foolishness. This personality is a stark contrast to often very serious Johnny, thus causing tension between himself and Donny. In his first appearance he was Johnny's nanny. Donny only appeared in the show's original format, limiting his appearances to seasons one and four.

Jungle Boy (voiced by Cody Dorkin) - Jungle Boy is a little boy with incredible strength who lived in the jungle with talking animals. His appearances on the series were short lived and he appeared only in season 1 episodes.

Lonnie Dash (voiced by Alanna Ubach) - Lonnie Dash is an 8-year-old Mexican-American country singer and a guitarist. He was also Suzy's favorite celebrity. He was skinny and has black curly hair. He also has a Mexican father and an African-American mother. He was a young Hispanic boy parody of Johnny Cash. In the 1997 music video, Lonnie Dash sings "I Wish, You're Fine"; a parody of "I Walk The Line."

Series Overview

Season: episodes Premiere: Finale:
Pilots 3 March 26th, 1995 January 1st, 1997
1 13 July 7th, 1997 December 15th, 1997
2 22 July 2nd, 1999 January 28th, 2000
3 17 August 11th, 2000 June 14th, 2002
4 13 February 20th, 2004 August 27th, 2004
Specials 2 December 7th, 2001 February 14th, 2003


References

  1. "Blog « Van Partible". Vanpartible.com. http://vanpartible.com/blog. Retrieved on 2011-11-13. 
  2. "Johnny Bravo Goes To Bollywood | Cartoon Network Australia". Cartoonnetwork.com.au. 2010-08-24. http://www.cartoonnetwork.com.au/minisite/johnny_bravo_goesbollywood/index.php. Retrieved on 2011-11-13. 
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