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Friday, December 30, 2011

Fil-Am behind popular 'Johnny Bravo' cartoon character


Johnny Bravo, the popular “muscle head, Elvis Presley wanna-be” cartoon character, may have wrapped up his regular stint on television in 2004, but the man behind him— one who also carries his surname — isn’t putting a halt to his story.

Filipino American Efrem Giovanni "Van" Bravo Partible in real life is the animator responsible for bringing out Johnny Bravo, the mama’s boy who entertained us with his failed pick-up lines and overconfidence.

Partible, who was born in Manila and raised in California, is currently an executive producer for Cartoon Network Asia, supervising projects in India, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Australia, the Asian Journal said.

However, even before rising from the ranks, Partible has made his mark in the animation industry with Johnny Bravo, the blond mama’s boy with tight black shirt, dark glasses, and failed pick-up lines.

Running as a full series from 1997 to 2004, Johnny Bravo ranked 71st in the Top 100 Animated Series list of IGN Entertainment, and is also part of Cartoon Network’s “Hall of Fame” series.

In an article titled “Drawing from Experience,” Partible described Johnny Bravo as “a very narcissistic man” and “kind of a womanizer.”

Partible said Johnny Bravo was a "guy who doesn’t get it. He’s kind of sleazy, but he has a good heart and he listens to his mom."

‘Bravo’ goes to Bollywood

The cartoon character charmed its way to Cartoon Network, where it ran for five seasons and featured celebrity “guests” like Hollywood talents Jessica Biel, Alec Baldwin, Donny Osmond, and Filipina actress Tia Carrerre. Popular singers like Rick Springfield and Mick Jagger also made the series.

After its final run in 2004, Johnny Bravo was shown in India and Australia. With the 11-minute short called “Johnny Bravo Goes to Bollywood,” Partible received a nomination at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in 2009.

The short was stretched to 70 minutes and was aired in Australia. Last August, Partible wrote on his website that it will also be shown in the US.

“The only problem is, I have no idea what that day is!” he quipped in the post, which showed the “mood board” of the animated movie. “As I get more information, I’ll be sure to let y’all know.”

The magic of ‘Bravo’

“When Johnny Bravo first came out, I don’t think a lot of people [had] high hopes for it, and I think it was really cool that [it] proved exactly what kind of character he was,” Partible wrote in the “Johnny Bravo: Season One” DVD.

From being a senior thesis project in college, the Johnny Bravo character went to as far as India and Australia.

In several interviews, Partible shared that Johnny Bravo was originally “Mess O’Blues,” the thesis project he submitted at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles in 1993, which tells about an impersonator of Rock ‘n Roll King Elvis Presley.

What was supposed to be an academic requirement turned out to be a shot of the lifetime, when one of Partible’s animation professors helped him in submitting his thesis project to Hanna-Barbera—the world-renowned studio known for iconic cartoon shows like “Tom & Jerry” and “The Flintstones”—for its shorts program.

Partible’s entry was chosen among hundreds of submissions, which eventually led to the animation studio purchasing its rights, making the Filipino American one of the only two animators the studio “hired directly from college,” the Asian Journal said.


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