Friday, 2 November 2007

Jonny Quest

In the early 1960's, TV cartoon gods William Hanna and Joseph Barbera hit upon the idea of creating an animated adventure series that could appeal to not only a young audience but also keep the adults happy. The result was Jonny Quest.

Mixing adventure, science fiction, espionage and a bit of magic and laughs on the way, Jonny Quest followed the exciting adventures of the titular Jonathon Quest, the 10 year old son of leading scientist and inventor Dr Benton Quest, former footballer Roger "Race" Bannon, Hadji, an 11 year old indian boy and Bandit the bulldog.

Featuring better than average animation for a TV show, Jonny Quest first aired in 1964 and boasted entertaining but intelligent scripts that didn't patronise the audience. The show only ran until 1965, cancelled no doubt by a network concerned over the programme's portrayals of violence. It was updated in the 1990's and repackaged as The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest and featured 3-D computer animation and upped the educational content.

For me though the 'real' Jonny Quest was Hanna-Barbera's original series with its big jazzy score by Hoyt Curtin, composer of many of the Hanna-Barbera cartoons' popular theme songs, including those from The Flintstones, Top Cat and The Jetsons. Curtin's Jonny Quest score was later updated to reflect the James Bond craze on the Jonny Quest story LP called 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. Even though Curtin's jazz tinged cues were used many times thoughout Jonny Quest and other HB cartoons they always evoked the action magnificently and as such are a legacy to a great and relatively unsung talent.

2 comments:

vo5vo said...

This is anexcellent post. I never knew this cd existed.
I just loved Jonny Quest when I was a kid and Dad liked it too.
It was on about 7:30 pm, I think on a Tuesday. Vince

Crispy32 said...

Glad you liked it and watch this space as another JQ CD will be up soon