The Adventures of Johnny Quasar (found prototype "Jimmy Neutron" animated shorts; 1995-1997)
Title card of the 1995 demo.
Date found: 14 Aug 2017
Found by: wizknocker
The Adventures of Johnny Quasar (also known as simply Johnny Quasar) is a 40-second long demo that was the precursor of Jimmy Neutron. Created in 1995 by John Davis and his partner Keith Alcorn with initial designs by Paul Claerhout, it was first shown publicly at the 1995 SIGGRAPH conference, winning two awards – Best in Character Animation and Best in Show – for the LightWave 3D engine called "Waveys". Another demo of the same title was produced in 1997, featuring the titular character confronting aliens.
Impressed with the demo, series producer Steve Oedekerk partnered with DNA Productions and helped with the production of a new, 13-minute pilot to pitch to Nickelodeon. The new pilot (titled "Runaway Rocketboy") marked the first appearance of Jimmy Neutron. Apparently, his name was changed to avoid parallels being drawn to other popular characters Jonny Quest and Captain Quasar.
Despite how notable it was at the time, only the first 11 seconds of the 40-second demo surfaced, and what had surfaced was of very poor quality. The first 3 seconds, lacking the original audio, was found on a 1994 VHS demo reel for LightWave 3D. The following 8-second clip came from the old DNA Productions website, from sometime after 1995.
In addition, several poor quality stills featuring Johnny Quasar were also on the old DNA website. Previously, they were presumed to be part of the original demo animation. However, this has been confirmed false by series character designer and storyboard artist Paul Claerhout.
Additionally, several magazine articles have been discovered talking about this animation in varying degrees of detail, sometimes accompanied by images from the demo. Scans are available below.
For a time, it was thought the demo might've been on a rare CD-ROM, from the 1995 SIGGRAPH conference, but it has since come out that this is, in fact, false (It was confirmed by Redditor /u/siliconclassics and the V&A Archive of Art and Design- who both have copies of the discs).
YouTuber and Lost Media Wiki user LSuperSonicQ later made contact with series co-creator Keith Alcorn, who talked to Davis briefly about the demo. Alcorn believed that it was in a particularly large file storage area, saying that he'd look in when he has the chance. Keith did later get back to LSuperSonicQ and told him that Davis briefly did look through the storage area but unfortunately didn't find the short.
Lost Media Wiki user CheatFreak made contact with Paul Claerhout about the possibility of him having a copy - however, he didn't seem to have one, but he did give several new details about the demo, the character designs, and the aforementioned renders from the DNA website.
According to Paul, these stills are actually early production test renders for the later pilot Runaway Rocketboy, made to help sell the pilot to Nickelodeon. They were produced a bit before the revised designs were put into full effect, a bit before the switch to the Jimmy Neutron name and were discarded when they adopted the new designs that Claerhout and Alcorn came up with.
The initial character designs for Johnny Quasar pictured below were inspired by George Pal's Puppetoons, a series of the 1940s stop-motion puppet show films. The revised designs that were eventually used (also shown below) were created in collaboration between both Claerhout and Alcorn together.
The first set of footage featured only Johnny Quasar flying in, introducing himself and Goddard before looking into the camera saying, "Gotta Blast!" and flying off into space - a line later reused for tons of promotional material and other Jimmy Neutron media.
On August 14th, 2017, Johnny Quasar's voice actor uploaded the full 1995 and 1997 demos on his YouTube channel wizknocker..
Magazine and Booklet Scans
Scans courtesy of computerarchive.org, Redditor /u/siliconclassics, and a 4chan anon.
- Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (partially lost TV promos for Nickelodeon animated film and TV series; 2001–2002)
Other Nickelodeon Pilots
- Aaahh!!! Real Monsters (partially found unaired pilot of Nickelodeon animated series; early 1990s)
- The Angry Beavers "Cuffed Together" (non-existent pilot episode of Nickelodeon animated series; early-mid 1990s)
- Back at the Barnyard (partially found original test pitch of Nickelodeon CGI animated series; 2000)
- Bad Seeds (found pilot of "Harvey Beaks" Nickelodeon animated series; 2013)
- Big Beast Quintet (lost Nickelodeon animated pilot; 1990)
- Camp Nick (partially found Nickelodeon game show pilot; mid-1990s)
- Catscratch (found animated pitch of Nickelodeon animated series; 2004)
- The Crowville Chronicles (partially found Nickelodeon animated pilot; 1990)
- Drake & Josh (partially found unaired pilot of Nickelodeon sitcom; 2002)
- Figure it Out (partially found unaired pilot of Nickelodeon game show; 1990s)
- Fresh Beat Band of Spies (found unaired pilot of Nickelodeon animated spin-off of "The Fresh Beat Band" musical series; 2013)
- Generation Gap (partially found Nickelodeon game show pilot; early 1990s)
- Gibby! (partially found unaired pilot of cancelled spin-off of "iCarly" Nickelodeon teen sitcom; 2012)
- Go For It (lost Nickelodeon game show pilot; early 1990s)
- Hey Arnold! (found unaired pilot of Nickelodeon animated series; 1994)
- Humongous (lost pilot of Nickelodeon game show; early 1990s)
- I Don't Think So (partially found Nickelodeon game show pilot; 1994)
- Invader Zim (lost 3D animation test sequence from pilot of Nickelodeon animated series; 1999)
- KaBlam! "The Henry and June Show" (found spinoff pilot of Nickelodeon animated series; 2000)
- Kappa Mikey (found original MTV pitch and Nicktoons pilots of animated series; 2004)
- Morph Sports (partially found Nickelodeon game show pilot; 1995-1996)
- Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide (partially found pilots of Nickelodeon sitcom; 2003)
- Ned's Declassified High School Survival Guide (lost pilot of rejected spin-off series of Nickelodeon sitcom; 2008)
- Pudding Toast (lost Nickelodeon animated pitch pilots; 2012)
- Rocket Beach (found unaired pilot of "Rocket Power" Nickelodeon animated series; 1998)
- Roundhouse (partially found unaired pilot of Nickelodeon comedy series; 1991)
- Slime Survivor (partially found Nickelodeon game show pilot; 2000)
- The Thundermans (partially lost unaired pilot of Nickelodeon live-action comedy series; 2012)
- Tooned In! (partially found Nickelodeon game show pilot; 1998)
- Trash (lost Nickelodeon stop-motion animated pilot; 1990)
- The Weasel Patrol (lost Nickelodeon animated pilot; 1990)
- Who Knew? (partially found Nickelodeon game show pilot; 1998)
- The Wild Thornberrys (found pilot of Nickelodeon animated series; 1998)
- ↑ The 8-second clip from DNA Productions' website. Retrieved 19 Sep '17
- ↑ siliconclassics's Reddit post. Retrieved 19 Sep '17
- ↑ Page describing V&A Archive of Art and Design's ownership of said CD-ROM. Retrieved 19 Sep '17