JOHNNY BRAVO SEASON ONE GALLERY
First off, this show would never have happened if it weren’t for the guidance of my animation professor, Dan McLaughlin. It was through him, that my film was introduced to the development team at Hanna-Barbera. Speaking of which, I would like to thank the amazing people at Hanna-Barbera and the Cartoon Network who gave me my start in the animation industry: Fred Seibert, Buzz Potamkin, Jeff Holder, Ellen Cockrill, Janet Mazzotti, Dan Smith, Julie Kane-Ritsch, Catherine Winder, Joe Mazzuca, Larry Huber, Bob Onorato, Betty Cohen, Mike Lazzo, Linda Simensky, and Khaki Jones. Johnny Bravo has been a labor of love for me ever since I first created him back in college at Loyola Marymount University.
FUN FACT: I was on a silent retreat at the Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center in Sierra Madre, CA when the idea first came to me. So Johnny’s claim to be, “God’s Gift to Women” is pretty substantiated.
"A JOHNNY BRAVO CHRISTMAS" GALLERY
This special marked my return to the Johnny Bravo franchise. For that, I will be eternally grateful to Linda Simensky and Khaki Jones at the Cartoon Network. After three seasons under the supervision of Gary Hartle, they brought me back to see what else I could bring to the table.
The first thing I did was redesign the whole world of Johnny Bravo. Again. The design of Johnny has always been tricky. In talking with Ed Benedict, he told me that when you look at the 1st season designs of Johnny, the head and body don’t make sense together. With that in mind, Vaughn Tada redesigned a Johnny that meshed the straights and curves in a way that felt right to me. The original turnaround is seen above.
We did our best to mesh the different seasons together for continuity purposes. For example, we took the BG designs of Gary Hartle’s seasons, tweaked them, and hand painted them. I also made it a point to bring back characters from the first season like Santa Claus and Donny Osmond.
There’s a picture below of a group of confused folks from Cartoon Network which is my POV as I pitched the storyboard for notes. I know. Comedy, right?
Also, since it was a Christmas special, I wanted to make sure I mentioned the reason for the season which is why Little Suzy utters the words, “Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of baby Jesus. A time for selfless generosity and showing others that you care by spending time with them and giving them presents.” But the scene had to be funny, so Mike the Snake answers her by saying, “One time, Amy gave me a knuckle sandwich. That wasn’t really a present though.” On top of that, there’s a giant Nativity scene on the front lawn of the Bravo’s house (opposite the Christmas volcano) and I also made sure we used the songs “Silent Night” and “Joy To The World.”
In another nod to my original Johnny Bravo, I also brought back Kris Zimmerman to direct the voices on the episode. She was the casting director who directed and helped me cast my first three original shorts. It was delightful to work with her again.
Also, in the end, there’s a mix of various characters designed by Dexter Smith from the Gary Hartle years who are there to support the Bravo household with a giant party.
So in the words of Donny Osmond, “C’mon everybody! Wang Chung!”
"IT'S VALENTINE'S DAY, JOHNNY BRAVO!" GALLERY
After finishing “A Johnny Bravo Christmas,” I decided to pitch the network on another holiday special where I revealed that Valentine’s Day was actually Johnny’s birthday! It being a special, I also wanted him to get the ultimate birthday gift: the perfect date.
I didn’t know whether or not this was going to be my last Johnny production so I wanted to use some Hanna Barbera luminaries while I still had the chance. Not only did Jerry Eisenberg return to help with background design, but I was also able to bring Willie Ito out of retirement to help out as well. It was the first and only time I worked with Willie and am happy to say that it was a delightful experience. He went above and beyond the basic layouts and keyed every scene they were used. This also marked the last time I was able to work with Ed Benedict. I assigned him a whole sequence where he designed the layouts as well as the characters and backgrounds. The finished product is a montage sequence in the middle of the special where Johnny goes on a whirlwind spree trying to collect phone numbers. I’ve included one of his layouts above.
For storyboarding, I brought back Vaughn Tada from the Christmas special and gave the other half to legendary animator, Dan Haskett. I’ve included a few pages of his storyboards above. This particular sequence was cut out from the final version because of time.
FUN FACT: I named both holiday specials in tribute to the two Charlie Brown holiday specials, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “It’s Valentine’s Day, Charlie Brown!”
JOHNNY BRAVO SEASON FIVE GALLERY
For that last stretch, a super special thank you to: Brian Miller, Jennifer Pelphrey, Victoria McCollum, Vince Aniceto, Kris Zimmerman, Rachael MacFarlane, Brian Kindregan, Willie Ito, Dave Brain, Brian Hogan, Joe Binggeli, Don Watson, Dexter Smith, Lou Fagenson, Diana Ritchey, Megan Brain Tindle, Dan Haskett, Vaughn Tada, Alex Almaguer, Octavio Rodriguez, Jerry Eisenberg, Miriam Goodman, Craig Lewis, Amy Rogers, Craig Bartlett, Robert Alvarez, Pat Agnasin, Sandy Benenati, Serapio Calm, Missy Douglas, Jenny Gase-Baker, Karie Gima-Pham, Bobby Lacko, Tammy List, Harry Nickelson, Pete Oswald, Jill Petrilak, Jim Schumann, Robert Serda. and Ian Wasseluk.
JOHNNY BRAVO AT TOONER FIELD
Back in 2005, I was told that The Atlanta Braves wanted Johnny Bravo to be their new mascot. Unfortunately, a few weeks before his debut, we were told that Major League Baseball needed to own the rights to his character in order for him to be used as the mascot. So, it was decided that Johnny would be the official mascot for “Tooner Field” which is the Cartoon Network themed play areaa outside of Turner Field. My family and I flew out for the event which featured Hank Aaron, Baseball Commissioner, Bud Selig, and several team members there for the ribbon cutting ceremony. It was quite the surreal moment. I drew a 14 x 18 portrait of Johnny wearing his Braves uniform at bat that still hangs somewhere in the hallways of the Braves offices.
"JOHNNY BRAVO GOES TO BOLLYWOOD" Gallery
On June 28th, 2009, we premiered a brand new Johnny Bravo episode entitled, “Johnny Goes To Bollywood.” I wrote and produced the 11 minute short and was really pleased with the final product which was done by Famous House of Animation in Mumbai. You may be thinking, “Why haven’t I seen this short?” Well, it was strictly made for an Indian audience. It was all done in Hindi and I was the only American that ended up working on the whole production. I even spent some time in India (which was an adventure in and of itself). It was a different, yet exciting, experience, and best of all, I got to work again on the character that is so near and dear to my heart. The story takes place in Mumbai, where Johnny purchases a new hair gel that magically transforms it’s users into “Love Gods.” As of now, there are no plans to release it anywhere but there, but I thought I’d share a few images from the production and my time in Mumbai.
The following year, we did a 78 minute Bollywood special with the same title, but this time, we got to do it in English! The animation was done at Inspidea Studios in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and if you click on the pictures below, you can read more about it... Jai ho!
All in all, we had the most fun anyone could ever have under the supervision of responsible adults. A special thank you to the countless number of amazing voice actors, especially to my three staples of voicedom: Jeff Bennett, Mae Whitman, and Brenda Vaccaro. And finally, to my family: my supportive family whose love and support provide me with stability and inspiration.
So, if you're still reading this, congratulations on making it all the way through my website! I hope you had fun browsing because I had fun putting it all together. Now, if you're looking for one more thing before you go, just remember: God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good. That's my jam. Thanks for stopping by!
BONUS GALLERY! The 1967 Hanna Barbera EXPOSURE SHEET NEWSLETTER
I got copies of these rare studio newsletters when Hanna Barbera was closing it's doors back in 1997. Some of these issues have been published online, but some of these haven't been seen in over 50 years! I hope you enjoy reading what it was like to work at Hanna Barbera Studios back in the day!