Adventure's Best Friend
September 3, 2011 12:18 PM   Subscribe

In September 1964, Jonny Quest began what was to be its only broadcast season on ABC with this rousing opening sequence (audio disabled). That sequence has now been recreated -- cut for cut, with the original music -- in high-definition stop-motion animation.

Filmmaker Roger D. Evans extensively documented the recreation process.
posted by seanmpuckett (53 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
There are copyright issues with the theme music; YouTube has been disabling audio tracks as it finds them. It remains to be seen if the audio in the recreated sequence on Vimeo will survive.
posted by seanmpuckett at 12:20 PM on September 3, 2011


Sweet enola gay yes yes yes!
posted by ian1977 at 12:21 PM on September 3, 2011


This man is my hero.
posted by PinkMoose at 12:26 PM on September 3, 2011


Nice. That theme music isn't rousing though. IT'S DAMN ROUSING.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:33 PM on September 3, 2011


Daaammmnnn. That was amazing and brought back just how crazy that opening sequence was with the avalanche of images and potential back stories. And err.. Race Bannon was, well, REAL interesting!
posted by jadepearl at 12:33 PM on September 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I loved Jonny Quest. My favorite Saturday morning cartoon, by far. Thanks.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 12:35 PM on September 3, 2011


Why, yes, I *would* pay serious money to have the entire series recreated in this fashion. Where does the line start?
posted by a person of few words at 12:37 PM on September 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


This post compels me to mention the Great Johnny Quest Documentary, which also seems to be available via a YouTube playlist.
posted by hippybear at 12:39 PM on September 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


I was the right age when Jonny Quest hit the airwaves. My fave cartoon, bar-none.

I'll give the guy an A+ for the effort. Not sure if I could handle an entire stop-motion show, though.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:40 PM on September 3, 2011


Wow, first Logan's Run and now this. The Blue is seriously sniffing about my childhood today.
posted by localroger at 12:48 PM on September 3, 2011


GO TEAM VENTURE!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:36 PM on September 3, 2011 [10 favorites]


Catching a whiff of Fireball XL5 here too.
posted by hal9k at 1:37 PM on September 3, 2011


Watching this made me rewatch the original opening to the Venture Brothers.

Also, the Shallow Gravy documentary is up now.
posted by mrzarquon at 1:39 PM on September 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


A definitive JQ documentary is available on YT.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 1:49 PM on September 3, 2011


When I was a kid, that was without a doubt the greatest show ever. Although we hated Bandit because he was always getting captured by the bad guys or barking at inappropriate times. If I were Dr. Quest I would have left the damn dog in Florida. Hard to believe it had only such a short run.
posted by Ber at 1:52 PM on September 3, 2011


I was never a huge JQ fan, but the craftsmanship in the animation of the title sequence recreation is awe inspiring. I think the camera work is what really sells it.
posted by codacorolla at 2:12 PM on September 3, 2011


Wait, JQ was only on for one season? Why does it loom so large in my consciousness? Feels like that show had a million episodes and was on forever. Must've hit me at just that perfect moment in my development.
posted by jbickers at 2:15 PM on September 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


Wait, JQ was only on for one season? Why does it loom so large in my consciousness?

Yeah, I have such great memories of that show (I was 7) yet it seems out of proportion to the number of episodes. The name "Race" Bannon in particular, I use that one all the time. Not bad for a show that was only on one season.
posted by tommasz at 2:22 PM on September 3, 2011 [1 favorite]



Wait, JQ was only on for one season? Why does it loom so large in my consciousness? Feels like that show had a million episodes and was on forever. Must've hit me at just that perfect moment in my development.


I have great memories of it too. I loved it, but it must have been in reruns for some time because I was born in 1974.
posted by sadtomato at 2:53 PM on September 3, 2011


This post compels me to mention the Great Johnny Quest Documentary,

previously on MetaFilter
posted by philip-random at 3:01 PM on September 3, 2011


... and speaking of which, from the blog of the guy that posted the doc to Youtube
posted by philip-random at 3:03 PM on September 3, 2011


Why does it loom so large in my consciousness?

Pterosaur! Robot spider! Machine guns! Mummies! Cool aircraft! Buff guy named "Race." SCIENCE! Really, kids, what more do you want?
posted by SPrintF at 3:06 PM on September 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Maybe I'm jaded, but I feel like the original theme music smoked it in there with a little more red sauce, if you know what I mean.

And hey, am I the only one in the room here who feels like the Cowboy Bebop opening sequence is a more successful knockoff, somehow?
posted by newdaddy at 3:16 PM on September 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I feel like the original theme music smoked it in there with a little more red sauce, if you know what I mean.

Um, I actually have no idea what that means.

DAMN YOU AND YOUR HEP CAT LINGO
posted by maqsarian at 3:47 PM on September 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


That was awesome! I didn't really realize how many shots in the Venture Bros. opening were basically lifted from Johnny Quest.

(It's also worth discussing how the creators have sort of moved away from what was originally a pretty strict JQ parody towards something that's taken on a really bizarre, kind of arcane mythology of its own. But that's another thread.)
posted by HostBryan at 3:48 PM on September 3, 2011


Also, it's interesting to compare that to the 90s-era Real Adventures of Jonny Quest intro, which I remember slightly better.

It's not quite as evocative overall, but the theme song is still pretty awesome.
posted by HostBryan at 3:51 PM on September 3, 2011


I AM SEVEN ALL OVER AGAIN AND WHAT IS THIS?
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 4:22 PM on September 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Great to hear the theme song again (even if only briefly before the copyright enforcers swoop down on the Quest compound).
posted by fairmettle at 4:45 PM on September 3, 2011


Just spent two hours just getting through half of the "making of" stuff..what a cool guy. And his assistant Brandi that makes all the sand bags, foliage, etc for a three second shot is patient and dedicated in a way I rarely see.

The planning, attention to detail and efficiency is just amazing. Very cool that he's also a painter specializing in western-themed realism.

Also really enjoy his "yeah I know the pterodactyl was purple in the original but I ain't havin' it" attitude. It's an homage, not a slavish facsimile.

My first reaction to the stop-motion video was "needs more Toth", but I'm warmin' to it!

A lot.
posted by chronkite at 4:49 PM on September 3, 2011


Let's not forget Bannon v. Quest
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 4:53 PM on September 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is great, I LOVE that show and still easily recall and hear the music in my head.

Dumb but true story. I was walking my dog today and guys my age kept looking at me like they saw a ghost or something or couldn't quite make out where they've seen me before. It was really uncanny. Seeing this post I immediately realized that it's because I've cut my hair and beard to look like Jonny's Dad, Dr. Quest! (That's my theory anyway.)
posted by snsranch at 4:55 PM on September 3, 2011


Let's not forget Bannon v. Quest

That has one of my favorite lines from Harvey Bridman in it:


"State your name and occupation for the court."

"Um...Lizard Man and Lizard Man."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:26 PM on September 3, 2011


Did somebody say... TOBY DANGER?

oh, no?

Well, you really should have.

(via Freakazoid)
posted by Guy Smiley at 5:29 PM on September 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


Attention Hollywood : I want to see that full length feature! I will pay full admission, including the premium for the stupid 3-d glasses, and I could even be persuaded to purchase a tub of overpriced popcorn, and a bucket of soda on the side. And I promise I will only mutter very, very quietly about paying admission to watch commercials while I wait for the movie to start.
posted by crunchland at 5:57 PM on September 3, 2011


I do wonder what a feature length stop motion movie filmed in 3D would look like... People might hate me for suggesting it, but I wonder what Wes Anderson would do with the JQ intellectual property and a decent budget.
posted by codacorolla at 6:20 PM on September 3, 2011


I have just gotten around to skimming the build blog and OH MY FUCKING GOD. I thought the documentary was a big effort but this makes the documentary look like something hammered out on a ThinkPad while slamming whiskey as the tropical storm passes.

For those who are hoping to recreate the entire series this way, I'd say one episode would cost north of a million bucks. This was truly a labor of love.
posted by localroger at 6:34 PM on September 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does anyone remember Clutch Cargo? I never saw Johnny Quest when I was a kid. When I was older and references were made, I always thought, no that's Clutch Cargo. Very similar premiss I guess. If you haven't seen Clutch Cargo, check it out. It is some seriously weird "animation." I am putting that in quotes because basically it is just comic stills with the mouth cut out and a real person's mouth there saying the lines. I always found it very creeeeepy, but could not look away.
posted by Belle O'Cosity at 7:11 PM on September 3, 2011


I do wonder what a feature length stop motion movie filmed in 3D would look like...

Like this?
posted by ThePowerPopFan at 8:29 PM on September 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I remember the first time I saw this on Boomerang. At first I don't know what offended me more -- that someone was poking fun at the Jonny Quest, or that someone was tampering with one of the touchstones of my childhood. The second time I watched it, I loved it!

Now this Mr. Evans comes along, and all I can say is Huzzah! Huzzah!

And yes, that score still kicks serious ass.
posted by arkham_inmate_0801 at 8:37 PM on September 3, 2011


My friends and I loved Jonny Quest. We'd say "Dang, they kill people on Jonny Quest."
posted by wrapper at 9:04 PM on September 3, 2011


This thread needs more Venture Bros.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:44 PM on September 3, 2011


Let's not forget the voices behind those characters: Mike Road as Roger T. "Race Bannon, Tim Matheson as Jonny Quest, Don Messick as Dr. Benton Quest (all but 6 episodes) and Bandit, John Stephenson as Dr. Benton Quest (for the other six episodes), Danny Bravo as Hadji, and Vic Perrin as Dr. Zin.
posted by Quasimike at 10:00 PM on September 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cool! But can we see some:

Da Dweee Da Da Da Dweee Dow,
Da Dweee Da Da Da Dweee Dow,
Dweee Dub da Dweee Dub,
balubaduba Do Dweee Da Da Do Dow,
Za Du Ba Du Ba Du Ba
Baaaaaaa Whoaoaoaoaoa
da do ba loo ba,
duh

posted by BrotherCaine at 3:53 AM on September 4, 2011


Does anyone remember Clutch Cargo? ... It is some seriously weird "animation."

Syncro-Vox animation. This creeped me out as a child. I couldn't get over the idea that I was watching two worms mating.
posted by SPrintF at 8:05 AM on September 4, 2011


For those who are hoping to recreate the entire series this way, I'd say one episode would cost north of a million bucks.

Number of Jonny Quest episodes : 39
Cost to make Toy Story 3 : $75 million
posted by crunchland at 8:09 AM on September 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


One of the great bits from the earlier mentioned documentary is that, the composer essentially wrote the brass parts to fuck up his trombone players. They had joked that his parts weren't challenging enough, so he made these really hard. You can hear them struggling.
posted by Trochanter at 8:25 AM on September 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love the care with which depth of field was managed in this piece.
posted by bz at 9:18 AM on September 4, 2011


I wonder if Dr. Quest had remind Jonny & Hadji to get something nice for Race every Mother's Day.
posted by KingEdRa at 2:11 PM on September 4, 2011


I grew up with the Johnny Quest where they fought Dr Zim in cyberspace. It wasn't horrible...
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:44 PM on September 4, 2011


crunchland, Toy Story was computer animated, and with the tools Pixar has developed that's a lot less labor intensive than the method by which the Quest intro was recreated.
posted by localroger at 10:03 AM on September 5, 2011


My point was, if there are 39 episodes, and we agree that it would cost a million per to create it, it's still a bargain compared to a comparable movie, like Toy Story 3.
posted by crunchland at 10:11 AM on September 5, 2011


crunchland's theory stands. A movie that costs a million bucks a minute to produce is an entirely feasible enterprise ... assuming it can find an audience, and I can't imagine how an audience of geeks, freaks and other small boys wouldn't go hog wild over a feature length Jonny Quest produced in the style presented here.

But there must be killing. blood optional.
posted by philip-random at 7:58 PM on September 5, 2011


A minor quibble -- the eye spider is purple, not black. It completely lost me there for a minute.
posted by rtimmel at 8:46 AM on September 6, 2011


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