Friday, September 18, 2009

Jonny Quest - 45 Years old Today

September 18, 1964.

Hanna-Barbera Productions released to my generation, and all future generations; the amazing cartoon series officially known as The Adventures of Jonny Quest. Its a science fiction/adventure animated television series about a young boy who tags along with this father - scientist Benton C. Quest.

Jonathan "Jonny" Quest is a 11-year old boy who manages to help his father solve crimes and other adventures.

Dr. Benton C. Quest is Jonny's father - a top leader of world scientists who has a wide range of knowledge in many fields of studies. With the death of his wife (and Jonny's mother) established in the very first episode, this lead to the assignment of a bodyguard to the family...

Roger T. "Race" Bannon is a special agent/bodyguard/pilot to the Quest family from a (presumed U.S. government agancy known as Intelligence One). The character sketches were based on the actor Jeff Chandler. Race has a old girl fiend by the name of Jade who shows up from time to time to make Race's life interesting. Another little bit of trivia - The blonde headed G.I. Joe figure in the 1960s had a bit of Jeff Chandler's look as well.

Hadji - is a orphan from Calcutta, also 11-years old. Eventually, he would be adopted by Dr. Benton Quest. His favorite tag line from the series was "Sim, sim, salabim." We learn in a sequel series that Hadji is some sort of Indian prince who has the last name of Singh.

Finally, there is the pet bulldog known as Bandit due to the black-like mask around his eyes.

The Quest family came from the Florida Keys (island of Palm Key specifically).

There is one recurring bad guy in the series known as Dr. Zin. A asian mastermind almost the equal of Dr. Quest.

For the time period, the Hanna-Barbera's artists did a fairly realistic depiction of human figures and objects with limited animation techniques. The series had a rich music score, scene-toscene dissolves, abreviated dialogue to keep the story moving forward, without extensive new animation of figures for the storyline.

Jonny Quest first aired on September 18, 1964 on ABC in prime time and was a instant success with critics and in the ratings. But the show was cancelled after one season due to the cost overruns for each episode that was produced. And like Star Trek, in syndication, it was a huge profit maker.

There was another Jonny Quest series in the 1990s (The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest). Talk of a Jonny Quest movie comes up now and then.

So, a salute to a grand old cartoon series, Heres (to) Jonny!


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