Mess O' Blues (partially found prototype short of "Johnny Bravo" Cartoon Network animated series; 1993)

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Mess O' Blues.png

The direct quality version of the original snapshot.

Status: Partially Found

Mess O' Blues is an original short film about an "over the hill ageing rock star who thinks he's Elvis" created by Van Partible in 1993 for his senior thesis project that would serve as a basis for the Cartoon Network original show Johnny Bravo.

Origins[edit | edit source]

Concept art.

While working at Loyola Marymount University, Partible decided to pursue a career in animation, and so he started working on a senior thesis project entitled Mess O' Blues.

Partible started with the concept of three Elvis Presley impersonators (or "Elvi," as Van Partible puts it) who fought crime. However, due to his time constraints and the fact that he was doing all of the work himself, the idea was cut down to just one Elvis impersonator.

Becoming Johnny Bravo[edit | edit source]

Johnny Bravo.

Dan McLaughlin (Partible's animation professor) showed the short to a friend working at Hanna-Barbera Productions.

The studio saw the short and loved it so much they asked Partible if he could do a pitch for a seven-minute short cartoon, with Mess O' Blues as the inspiration. This became the original Johnny Bravo short.

The character was changed so that, as Partible put it, "he would be more of this '50's iconic James Dean-looking character that talked like Elvis."[1]

Other changes include his hair color, name, physical appearance, and personality.

This new pilot was later aired on World Premiere Toons (also known as What a Cartoon!).

Resurfacing[edit | edit source]

Despite its success, Mess O' Blues has never been released or even seen publicly, unlike the widely available and similarly made What a Cartoon predecessor The Whoopass Girls - which would later become The Powerpuff Girls.

The only footage that has ever been made available are a few short, mute clips from a short mini-documentary that was included as a bonus feature on the Johnny Bravo: Season 1 (Cartoon Network Hall of Fame) DVD entitled Bringing Up Johnny Bravo.

Footage[edit | edit source]

In January 2017, Lost Media Wiki user YoshiKiller2S got ahold of the Johnny Bravo Season 1 DVD and preceded to rip and upload Bringing Up Johnny Bravo to YouTube and then later to Archive.org and with it, was a total of 15 mute seconds of Mess O' Blues footage. YoshiKiller2S also discovered four animation cels from Mess O' Blues in a YouTube video that was uploaded by the official Loyola Marymount University YouTube channel.

On a podcast in January 2022, Partible revealed that he owns the only VHS copy of the short film and a digital copy on his hard drive, but has no plans to release it online due to its internal value of his growth as an animation artist. He chooses to only show the film to either close colleagues or students participating in his animation classes.[2]

All Mess O' Blues clips from Bringing Up Johnny Bravo.
How Van Partible ’93 Gave Life to Johnny Bravo which includes the four animation cels.
The Bringing Up Johnny Bravo mini-documentury.
A Speech Bubble interview with Van Partible where he talks about Mess O' Blues.
LSuperSonicQ's first video on the subject.
LSuperSonicQ's second video on the subject.


Animation Cels & Photos[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

Johnny Bravo[edit | edit source]

Other Cartoon Network Pilots[edit | edit source]

Reference[edit | edit source]