Monday, April 19, 2010
Jonny Quest: An Animated Action Series for the Young at Heart
The studio’s original plan was to adapt the radio series Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy for TV. It enlisted comic book artist Doug Wildey to develop the show and give it a unique look. When the negotiations for the rights to Jack Armstrong stalled, Hanna-Barbera decided to create its own character: an 11-year-old boy who accompanied his scientist-father on adventures around the world. The young hero’s original name was Chip Baloo, but it was changed to the catchier—and more descriptive—Jonny Quest.
There have numerous unsuccessful attempts at reviving the Jonny Quest franchise, starting with a new 13-episode series that ran as part of The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera in 1986. The USA Network broadcast a made-for-TV movie called Jonny’s Golden Quest in 1993 and TNT showed a sequel called Jonny Quest vs. the Cyber Insects in 1995. The following year, TNT launched a short-lived series called The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, in which Jonny and Hadji were teenagers.
Every few years, there seems to be discussion of a live-action film version. In the meantime, one can enjoy the complete, original Jonny Quest series in glorious color on DVD.