The Great Johnny Quest Documentary
June 22, 2009 2:35 PM   Subscribe

The Great Johnny Quest Documentary (YT Playlist Link) A two hour and twenty minute documentary on Hanna-Barbera's first foray into action adventure primetime animation back in 1963. Though the original authors of this detailed and meticulous documentary remain unknown, it was reportedly created for a one-time screening at a private event.. Rapidshare links at the poster's blog.
posted by CharlesV42 (73 comments total) 55 users marked this as a favorite
I'm surprised they didn't make a torrent out of it instead. Rapidshare seems really... sketchy, especially the whole 'reseller' business they have going on.
posted by dunkadunc at 2:41 PM on June 22, 2009 [3 favorites]

Ghost pirates!
posted by Artw at 2:43 PM on June 22, 2009

has anybody else noticed that this post is awesome?
posted by shmegegge at 2:58 PM on June 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

This is beyond awesome. There goes my afternoon...

And this thread would not be complete without mentioning Toby Danger.
posted by hippybear at 3:06 PM on June 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

has anybody else noticed that this post is awesome?


And I'm eternally thankful for Johnny Quest inspiring the Venture Brothers. I only wish there were more shows like that.
posted by dunkadunc at 3:07 PM on June 22, 2009 [3 favorites]

Rapidshare is awful but wonderful. Music Blogs wouldn't be the same without it. I hate using it, but I love what it delivers to me. Maybe someone should download this and set it free into the torrentsphere.
posted by hippybear at 3:08 PM on June 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

posted by champthom at 3:19 PM on June 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

I was beginning to why I should care about this when the documentary started off with a gushing description of Hanna-Barbera, but then everything in the production started going wrong. I wouldn't have thought it, but the story behind this show is fascinating.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 3:26 PM on June 22, 2009

This is really great – but I wish the voice-over guy knew how to pronounce the words he was reading. Shouldn't you check the phonetics for words like "irascible" or "wunderkind" before you commit them to tape permanently?
posted by RogerB at 3:34 PM on June 22, 2009

Sheesh get it right people.
It's Jonny Quest, not Johnny Quest.

Great first post topic CharlesV42.
I'd spend long afternoons as a kid watching this and the Herculoids and the classic Space Ghost. Such great theme music
posted by pantsrobot at 3:45 PM on June 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

Words do no do justice to how cool I thought Jonny Quest when I was seven or eight years old. Though I have since come to wonder about the curious relationship between Jonny's dad, Dr. Quest and Race Bannen ... not that there's anything wrong with it.

And just thinking about that Invisible Monster episode still sorta creeps me out today.
posted by philip-random at 3:54 PM on June 22, 2009

Aw man, dumb? I loved the episode with the mechanical spider thing creeping around!
posted by jamstigator at 3:55 PM on June 22, 2009

I especially love how they literally brought in Jonny and (briefly) Race Bannon in The Venture Brothers. It's brilliant.
posted by spiderskull at 3:56 PM on June 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

Also for your viewing pleasure:the whole classic Jonny Quest season (26 episodes in a YouTube playlist)
posted by filthy light thief at 4:01 PM on June 22, 2009 [4 favorites]

Venture Bros started out incorporating the actual Jonny Quest characters by name, but seemed to lose their rights to do so last season, and started referring to those characters by lame pseudonyms.
posted by anazgnos at 4:02 PM on June 22, 2009

Jonny, Hadji and Race were in a couple episodes, though I don't think they ever called him Jonny Quest (seeing as the strung-out Jonny is not too kind to Hannah Barbara). The crew also appeared in Harvey Birdman as themselves, but in a custody case. Take that, doe-eyed nostalgia!
posted by filthy light thief at 4:05 PM on June 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

I saw this message from Evan Dorkin before I watched any of the vid, but I'm gonna have to agree, now that I have:

"I like everything about Jonny Quest except actually watching the show."

There have been great parodies, it inspired the Venture Brothers, the theme is great, this story is crazy interesting, heck it's a pretty cool concept even. But Afroblanco, I'm with you. The show is just not so much fun to watch. Even as a kid I'd get excited when I found out it was coming on next, and then lose interest partway through...
posted by pupdog at 4:09 PM on June 22, 2009

I feel like a crazy person. I've been trying to get a JQ/ Venture brothers viewing party together for over two years.

I've been trying to explain the Venture Brothers to younger people. If they didn't see Jonny Quest in the early seventies or late sixties around it's hard to get all the in jokes. Especially with all the Nixon-ian and Kennedy era space age cultural references. My wife being seven years younger than me doesn't really get it.

So lonely. So... so lonely.
posted by tkchrist at 4:16 PM on June 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

*moves lips*
posted by Smedleyman at 4:22 PM on June 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

Nice post.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:22 PM on June 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

*lips stop*
posted by Smedleyman at 4:22 PM on June 22, 2009 [3 favorites]

But Afroblanco, I'm with you. The show is just not so much fun to watch. Even as a kid I'd get excited when I found out it was coming on next, and then lose interest partway through...

Pacing, pacing, pacing. The show has AWFUL pacing. It's exacerbated by our MTV-trained minds seeking a kind of dynamism which anything produced before 1981 simply doesn't have. But even without that, the pacing is terrible.

Love that movie's concept and script but hate it? Probably poor pacing. Think that comedy isn't as funny as it could be? Probably the pacing is bad. Went to see a production of a stage play which just didn't work despite find acting? Probably the pacing. It kills more good entertainment than any other single problem.
posted by hippybear at 4:25 PM on June 22, 2009

The Invisible Monster episode always reminded me of the final act of The Dunwich Horror -- and the sheer fun inherent in the idea that a mishap at the lab (or power station) can let loose a monster is something I haven't outgrown.
posted by kurumi at 4:26 PM on June 22, 2009

I've been trying to explain the Venture Brothers to younger people. If they didn't see Jonny Quest in the early seventies or late sixties around it's hard to get all the in jokes.

Tell that to my entire college. I don't know anyone who doesn't at least have a passing familiarity to the show.

But yea, if you really want to get converts just tell people it's a show about failure or mention Molitov Cocktease. No one can not want to see the show after that!

Also, start them on a show a little ways into the first season, like Tag Sale You're It or something. At this point the show becomes less a parody of Jonny Quest and more its own thing.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 4:26 PM on June 22, 2009

I tried to find a video of the Harvey Birdman episode in question to link here, but gave up. That entire show is amazing, but that was an especially hilarious episode.
posted by rokusan at 4:47 PM on June 22, 2009

FWIW I got into the Venture Brothers entirely without having seen Johnny Quest (well, I might have seen some horrible 90s reboot of it or something) - so it's possible.
posted by Artw at 4:50 PM on June 22, 2009

That is a great documentary. The reconstruction of the panoramic stills is especially awesome.
posted by GuyZero at 4:58 PM on June 22, 2009

posted by tkchrist at 5:04 PM on June 22, 2009

At the risk of heresy, I loved the 90s, erm, "re-imagining". Ezekiel Rage!
posted by gdav at 5:06 PM on June 22, 2009

This is the kind of awesome that makes me weep. I watched JQ in its original run as a child and it's a major touchstone for me. Great, great discovery.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:27 PM on June 22, 2009

This is probably as good a place to bring this up as any: does cortex's laugh remind anyone else of Barney Rubble?

Awesome find. Thanks, CV42!
posted by steef at 5:54 PM on June 22, 2009

Let's not forget that Toby Danger short hippybear linked above. One of the best things Freakazoid ever did.
posted by JHarris at 6:02 PM on June 22, 2009

I loved Jonny Quest as a kid. The mechanical spider was The Best.

But the best part of any episode was the theme song.
posted by donpardo at 6:14 PM on June 22, 2009

Awesome. I was gonna say something more complicated but I just hear trombones.
posted by localroger at 6:27 PM on June 22, 2009

The stuff underneath the end credits was always better than the stuff in the show... the way that mummy would lean back when he was shot and then come on again -- I knew every frame.

And yeah, the music was great. Must have been an influence on Michael Giacchino's work on Incredibles.
posted by Trochanter at 7:05 PM on June 22, 2009

To Failure, gentleman and ladies.
posted by zerolives at 7:11 PM on June 22, 2009

Nothing but love for JQ.
posted by MarshallPoe at 7:26 PM on June 22, 2009

Hey, right at the start of the Youtube part nine - it's the Post-War New World Map on Dr. Quest's wall! Odd mashup of forties political optimism and sixties techno-optimism, there. I realize it was added for the documentary, but it's still sort of fitting for the feel of the show, I felt.

Oh, and tkchrist, don't forget about the kids who saw it on early-morning cable syndication in the nineties. There's some of us out here getting the references, too.
posted by The Bridge on the River Kai Ryssdal at 8:32 PM on June 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

For me, as a child, regardless of the content of the episode, the best part was the menacing mechanical spider in the opening credits. Nothing says ADVENTURE! like a robot spider.
posted by SPrintF at 8:47 PM on June 22, 2009

Nothing says ADVENTURE! like a robot spider.

That doesn't always hold true...
posted by hippybear at 9:12 PM on June 22, 2009

Hoyt Curtin did the music (part 16 of the documentary)

There's an interesting text interview with him about his work online, as well as a music blog entry for an album of Jonny Quest music. Find that mediafire link for pure mp3 gold!
posted by hippybear at 9:26 PM on June 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

Thanks TBitRKR for the link to that map!

Has anyone found (or made) a torrent for this yet? 108 RS links is too many for me...
posted by omnidrew at 9:26 PM on June 22, 2009

I think it would take 15+ hours to download the thing without a rapidshare membership. Anyone want to pool money for someone to get a 'premium' account, download it, and make a torrent?
posted by olaguera at 10:05 PM on June 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

Make that 27 hours. I'm working on it, though.
posted by olaguera at 10:18 PM on June 22, 2009

Feel like an idiot with a typo on Jonny not in my first FPP... and olaguera, that was my secret plan in posting this, hoping we could crowdsource it to someplace better. Perhaps a dropbox share? Or I wonder if anyone's abused github for this sort of things yet :)
posted by CharlesV42 at 10:18 PM on June 22, 2009

[remove from favorites] NO! NEVER!

Thank you, CharlesV42. And the robot spider finally doesn't scare me anym oh no oh my god no i can't live with th

well, maybe I can a little longer: Jonny Quest on flickr

posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 10:23 PM on June 22, 2009

Good god, I forgot about the 16min wait between downloads. That makes 56h, I think.
posted by olaguera at 10:34 PM on June 22, 2009

That's my favorite feature of rapidshare. It makes the whole process completely eponysterical.
posted by hippybear at 10:51 PM on June 22, 2009

I appreciate the effort of people to get this on a torrent!
posted by OwlBoy at 11:34 PM on June 22, 2009

Eff it, this is my post, I should own it. 7eur later, i'm pulling all these at a pretty nice clip. I'll throw them on my dreamhost later, and we can all burn through it to seed via tpb :)
posted by CharlesV42 at 1:38 AM on June 23, 2009

Dropbox & Amazon S3 are also helpful to get files out. S3 offers torrent tracking for hosted files, even after they're removed - though I'm not sure how the billing works there.

If we were in a hurry, I'd suggest listing the files as you received them, to get a complete set amongst participants most quickly. Organizing that list here is probably not the best idea, though.
posted by Pronoiac at 3:13 AM on June 23, 2009

I've got them all on my webhosting which should pull down at a quick clip... Unfortunately i'm leaving the country in about 48 hours so I can't really commit to seeding. If you'd like to grab them and start a torrent, mefimail me or regular mail at charlesv at gmail dot com and we'll work it out.
posted by CharlesV42 at 4:46 AM on June 23, 2009

posted by Sailormom at 7:23 AM on June 23, 2009

CharlesV42: once we get 'em up and going, I can put them on Demonoid, too.
posted by hippybear at 8:23 AM on June 23, 2009

We've got a few people downloading them to start seeding. Whenever that comes through I'll probably just mail everyone whose favorited this. So I guess favorite it if you want the torrent when it happens? :)
posted by CharlesV42 at 9:44 AM on June 23, 2009 [9 favorites]

I just got around to actually watching this thing, and, I think it's a really interesting story, and one that encompasses a lot of the big themes and trends in tv animation. Thanks for your efforts, CharlesV42.
posted by box at 5:53 PM on June 23, 2009

Cool. Glad to see everybody banding together to try and get this thing seeded out there. I was going to try and torrent it once I had downloaded all the HQ YouTube videos and concatenated them together, but after downloading most of them, suddenly noticed that two of the episodes had been pulled for copyright violations (one for Family Guy clips, not sure what the other one was for...)

In any case, it's an amazing documentary, and I'm looking forward to downloading and sharing the torrent!
posted by NewGear at 7:12 PM on June 23, 2009

Torrent update: sorry about the 10GB size, someone should be getting a reasonably-sized torrent up by tomorrow.
posted by olaguera at 11:05 PM on June 23, 2009

Here's the torrent, if you'd like to seed, mefimail me and I'll send you the download links.

Thanks, olaguera!
posted by CharlesV42 at 1:05 AM on June 24, 2009

For the sake of my own sanity, can someone help me understand what happened to my download of these RS files. I used JDownloader (which btw recently got a great face lift and makes rs download as painless as can be) and it was about three days for the first 56 100mb files.

Now, in my downlaod folder I find 56 files all numbered sequentially as "" etc. I change the prefix to the first one and voila I have a working QT .mov file in H264 high quality video.

Then I try changing the suffix to the next and I get bubkus, an unreadable file. (All files are 100mb except the 56th one at 88mb)

I try multiple players to see if I can find something that will play the following files, but everything says unsupported format.

I then go to burn the .001 and see that it is a full 1:14:17 long? But it is only 100mb? It looks great, I just do not understand what happened here?

I was going to make to authored DVD's and put them on Demonoid, but at this point I am dead in the water, before I delete the 55 100 files and I guess keep the one readable file and wait for part two to be authored and uploaded as a torrent, can someone give me an idea what I did wrong?

On the original blog it is not very clear about the differenece between part on and part two? Part one files are all callled mov.001, but part two has them lsited as .rar files and that they will be needing unrar-ing.

I am still a knucklehead and that is good news.

Thanks and can't wait to see this darn thing!

posted by silsurf at 8:24 AM on June 24, 2009

The poster of the files split the original mov into 50-some parts, so you'll need a tool that will digitally concatenate them back together. If you're using a unix variant, including OS X, that tool is 'cat *mov* >', otherwise, I think there's a utility suggested on the blog entry linked to in the fpp. The same goes for the 50-some rar files. For the life of me I couldn't get rar to open it as a multi-archive, but concatenating the parts worked.
posted by olaguera at 9:15 AM on June 24, 2009

Approximately 1GB re-encode can be found here:
posted by olaguera at 9:28 AM on June 24, 2009

silsurf: I haven't downloaded the movie... but if you have some kind of UnRAR installed on your machine (my Mac is very happy with Stuffit expander)... you can make these work for yourself.

Rename the first file to have a .rar.001 suffix... and then double click on it to expand the entire batch. Your computer will automatically process and fuze the entire group into one giant movie.

Or at least, that's how it's worked for me in the past. As I said above, I've not downloaded the movie. Yet.

*off to consort with pirates*
posted by hippybear at 9:35 AM on June 24, 2009

olaguera: there are no seeds for your torrent. :(
posted by hippybear at 9:37 AM on June 24, 2009

Seeding the 10GB version now via TPB.
Thanks olaguera & CharlesV42.
posted by omnidrew at 9:48 AM on June 24, 2009

Excellent. I have both torrents going now... I'm not sure what I'll do with the 10GB version... that's basically uncompressed DVD_VIDEO format? Probably has killer resolution. If I can figure out how to turn it into an actual playable DVD, I'll be doing that and possibly reseeding. That should reduce the download to about 4GB.

Thanks, hive mind participants, for helping make this happen! I didn't think I'd care, but after watching on YouTube, I do, and now I get to help others care, too!
posted by hippybear at 11:18 AM on June 24, 2009

I'm actually happy it's so big, although it's going to take a few days. I could easily imagine the original getting lost and the low-res Youtube version being the only one to survive.
I'll seed as long as possible.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:26 AM on June 24, 2009

FYI, for concatinating allthose .001, .002... files on OSX, I've always been a huge fan of MacHacha. Drop the first numbered file onto it, and it'll join them all back into the original movie file.
posted by NewGear at 12:53 PM on June 24, 2009

MacHacha is good -- 7zx is another useful OS X unarchiver/joiner/gadget/thingy.
posted by omnidrew at 9:35 PM on June 24, 2009

Tiny torrent finished a while ago... Big torrent, well, it might be 2010 before my stupid CenturyTel DSL finally delivers the final byte to my computer. Still, persistence pays off, or so I hear. :)
posted by hippybear at 11:02 AM on June 26, 2009

Just finished the tiny torrent myself. i can seed for a little while. Thanks .
posted by Sailormom at 4:50 PM on June 26, 2009

Basd on this post I just finished the first season of the Venture Bros and holy cow, what a pitch-perfect parody of Jonny Quest in spots.
posted by GuyZero at 12:26 AM on July 13, 2009

If the piratebay link isn't working, isohunt has a copy.
posted by acro at 5:04 PM on July 17, 2009

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