|This is a still from Roger Evans' stop motion version of the Jonny Quest opening. Jonny and Dr. Quest are wearing Journey Girl doll clothes!|
The original "Jonny Quest" is one of my all time favourite shows. The 'Jonny' of the title is the son of a scientist, who travels the world with his father, his body guard, and his adopted brother/pal, getting into dangerous adventures.The show had everything: kid heroes, (even if they did have to be saved a lot.), excitement,mystery, monsters,adventure, travel,and even humour.The show was brought back as a time compressed, edited version of itself in the 80's, remade in the 90's, and new tv movies in the style of the original were made in 1993. Nothing compares to the original though. Amazingly, for all the interest and rehashing at various points, the original series ran only one year, from 1964 to 1965. My son Fuzz and I bought the DVD years ago and spent ages waiting for the 'second season' to come out on DVD. Finally I researched and found out there was only one. I couldn't believe that there are only 26 episodes. It always seemed like more.
Before we go any further, here's some background on the characters:
Dr Benton Quest:
|The real 'Mr. Partridge': Jack Cassidy was married to Shirley Jones and fathered David.|
As a secret agent Race lived in a world of intrigue,danger,and beautiful women.Now he has all that, plus 2 kids and a scientist to look after. And as tough as Race is, he still managed to let someone steal the buttons off his Monkees shirt.
|One, two, three, four...|
Race Bannon, the Fifth Monkee.
I love that Roger Evans described Race's three quarter length shirt sleeves as 'the capris of sleeves'!
I always wondered why Jonny looked more like Race than Dr. Quest, but we won't go there.
Jonny is constantly getting kidnapped and having to be saved. By Race.You have to think that's going to play havoc with Jonny's relationship with Dr. Quest eventually. Plus Dr. Quest is going to develop guilt like Jason Robards in "Something Wicked This Way Comes". At least Jonny has the fashion sense to get everyone into trouble while wearing a black turtle neck. (Those close to me know my opinion of black turtle neck shirts: All guys look better in a black turtle neck.)
|Black turtlenecks are cool...way more cool than bow ties.|
Even a black turtle neck can't work miracles. But everybody looks better.
By the way, Jonny was voiced by actor Tim Matheson, who went on to have an adult career in movies like "Animal House".
|Tim Matheson was 16 when he voiced 10 year old Jonny.|
Hadji's favourite words are, "I don't know Jonny." as in "I don't know Jonny. Maybe we should stay here like your dad and Race told us to." This is usually followed by Jonny's "Oh come on Hadji." You can imagine where this leads.
Hadji has some sort of magical powers and occasionally saves the day by using the magic words "Sim sim salabim". Sometimes he doesn't really have to perform magic, just fool someone into thinking he can.(For the record, Doug Wildey wanted the series to be very believable, and didn't like some of the more extreme uses Hanna and Barbera had Hadji make of his magical powers, like inexplicably popping in and out of various huge urns he was hiding in.) He's very smart too.(Other than falling for that "Oh come on Hadji." stuff.) Basically I think Hadji might have grown up to be a con artist if it weren't for the Quests.
Hadji was voiced by a young actor with the cool name, Danny Bravo. Bravo's real name was Daniel Zaldivar, and he was actually a Native American, not an East Indian. Other than Hadji's voice, his biggest claim to fame is a small role in The Magnificent Seven.
Dr Zin is bald, because of course, baldness makes a good villian. Think Mussolini, Batman's Mr. Freeze, and Erich Von Stroheim.
|Erich Von Stroheim with Gloria Swanson in"Sunset Boulevard"|
"Jonny Quest" also had just about the best theme music ever, composed by Hoyt Curtin. Curtin also composed the theme music to many other Hanna Barbera's shows, including The Flintstones and The Jetsons.The full jazz orchestra that performs the JQ theme consisted of 4 trumpets, 6 trombones, 5 woodwind doublers,(Whatever those are!), and a 5-man rhythm section, including percussion You can watch the opening and closing credits with that great music by Hoyt Curtin HERE.
Kids would never be allowed to watch a cartoon like Jonny Quest these days. Waaaay too violent. I'm pretty sure Race kills at least one guy every episode. Sometimes Jonny and Hadji even kill bad guys! And Social Services would definitely be looking into Jonny and Hadji's upbringing: exposed to constant danger, and home schooled by a guy who let's them break off for Judo lessons whenever they get bored. If you're interested you can watch a great fan made documentary on the original series on YouTube HERE.
And now to the toys!Years ago I came across some proposed Jonny Quest action figures online. The Jonny and Hadji were a little muscley, but the Dr. Quest and Race were pretty good. (There was even a Bandit figure!) With the decided lack of JQ figures I wasn't going to complain anyway. I really wanted them, but they never materialized. You can see the prototype figures, which were to be produced by Playing Mantis, HERE .
The Jonny Quest figure I do own was made by McFarlane in 2006, as part of a series of classic Hanna Barbera cartoon characters.
|Yes, $5 from Big Lots! This was years ago.|
|And finally! A Bandit toy!|
|Sort of the action figure in doll size!|
I always tell my kids that I had to have all three of them to have someone to share all my interests.Emma loved spies,The Muppets, and dolls, and we made many a miniature together. She loved the old series "The Avengers", and watched loads of old movies with me. Ivy loved Shirley Temple, and watched more old movies than Emma, who concentrated mainly on musicals. Fuzz loved pirates, knights,spies,and dinosaurs. And while Emma was never very into Jonny Quest, Fuzz loved it. Even Ivy liked it, and Ivy likes very little. (She's worse than "Mikey" who "hates everything". Even he liked Life cereal. Ivy's only response to this is, "I like spies.")
Apparently Roger Evans wanted to remake a whole episode of the original Jonny Quest series in stop motion. He started a Kickstarter campaign in 2012, but unfortunately he didn't manage to raise enough money in the 30 days of the campaign.
And now for that link to Roger Evans' page, detailing the making of his amazing stop motion version of the JQ opening, Enjoy!