Mess O' Blues (partially found prototype short of "Johnny Bravo" Cartoon Network animated series; 1993)
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]
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]
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."
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.
Animation Cels & Photos[edit | edit source]
See Also[edit | edit source]
Johnny Bravo[edit | edit source]
- JBVO, Toon FM & Viva Las Bravo (partially found interstitials from Cartoon Network channel blocks; early-mid 2000s)
Other Cartoon Network Pilots[edit | edit source]
- Ben 10 (partially found unaired pilot of Cartoon Network animated series; early-mid 2000s)
- Billy and Mandy in Trepanation of the Skull and You (found prototype short of "The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy" Cartoon Network animated series; 1995)
- Camp Lazlo "Monkey See, Camping Doo" (lost unaired pilot of Cartoon Network animated series; 2004)
- Captain Sturdy (found Cartoon Network animated pilot; 2001)
- Cartoon Network Development Studio Europe (partially lost pilots from animation studio; 2008-2011)
- Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi (found unaired pilot of Cartoon Network animated series; 2003)
- IMP, Inc. (found Cartoon Network animated pilot; 2001)
- Jeffrey Cat: Claw and Order (found Cartoon Network animated pilot; 2002)
- A Kitty Bobo Show (found storyboard of cancelled second animated pilot for Cartoon Network; 2002)
- Major Flake in "Soggy Sales" (found Cartoon Network animated pilot; 2001)
- The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack (partially found "Wedgies pilot" of Cartoon Network animated series; 2007)
- My Gym Partner's a Monkey (lost unaired pilots of Cartoon Network animated series; 2003/2004)
- Nikki (found Cartoon Network animated pilot; 2000)
- The Powerpuff Girls (lost pilot of Cartoon Network animated series reboot; 2016)
- Project Gilroy (lost Cartoon Network animated pilot; 2007)
- Regular Show (non-existent Flash pilot of Cartoon Network animated series; late 2000s-2010)
- Squirrel Boy "Kite Makes Right" (lost unaired pilot of Cartoon Network animated series; 2004)
- Uncle Gus (partially found original English audio of Cartoon Network animated pilots; 2000-2001)