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Johnny Test (2005, Seasons 1-3)

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Johnny Test (Seasons 1-3)
Johnny Test season 1.jpg

Johnny Test Season 2.png
TheLastGoodSeason.jpg

"Just another day in the life of a boy!"
Yes, there was actually a time when Johnny Test was GOOD.
Genre: Comedy
Adventure
Action
Science fantasy
Running Time: 22 Minutes
Country: United States (Season 1-2)
Canada (Season 2-6)
Release Date: September 17, 2005 – July 29, 2006 (Season 1)
October 28, 2006-May 12, 2007 (Season 2)
September 22, 2007-March 1, 2008 (Season 3)
Network(s): Cartoon Network (US; Seasons 4-6)
Disney Channel (Spain & Scandinavia)
Kids’ WB (US; Seasons 1-3)
Nickelodeon (Belgium, Germany, Italy, France, Israel & the Netherlands)
Teletoon (Canada)
Disney XD (Poland, South-East Asia, the Netherlands & Scandinavia)
Created by: Scott Fellows
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Television Distribution (United States)
Cookie Jar Entertainment
DHX Media
WildBrain
Starring: James Arnold Taylor
Louis Chirillo
Trevor Devall
Brittney Wilson
Ashleigh Ball
Maryke Hendrikse
Ian James Corlett
Kathleen Barr
Lee Tockar
Seasons: 6
Episodes: 117 (234 segments)
Next show: Johnny Test (2021)


Johnny Test is an American (for Season 1-2)-Canadian (for Season 2-6) animated television series produced by Warner Bros. Animation for the first and second seasons and by Cookie Jar Entertainment for the second season onwards. It premiered on Kids' WB on September 17, 2005, which continued to air the series through its second and third seasons, later reruns of those seasons and the final three seasons then aired on Cartoon Network in the United States, It also aired on Disney XD in Poland, South-East Asia, The Netherlands, & Scandinavia and Nickelodeon in Belgium, Germany, Italy, France, the Middle-East, & The Netherlands, as well on Disney Channel in Spain & Scandinavia. It airs on Teletoon, Family Channel, and WildBrainTV in Canada.

Plot

Johnny is part of the Test family which consists of his 13-year-old genius twin sisters, Susan and Mary, and his over-the-top parents. His mother "Lila," is a workaholic businesswoman. His father, "Hugh" is an obsessive–compulsive househusband whose two biggest obsessions are cleaning and cooking meatloaf. His twin sisters, Susan and Mary, frequently use him as a guinea pig for their various experiments and inventions in their laboratory filled with highly advanced technology built-in over the Tests' household attic. Most of which they try to impress their pretty boy-next-door neighbor, Gil, for whom both harbor a deep love and obsession, although their attempts to come up with some way to attract his attention usually fail.

Johnny is a troublesome and mischievous boy who causes problems in the family and often within the city. His best friend is his anthropomorphic talking pet dog, Dukey, who Susan and Mary gave human-level intelligence and the ability to speak in an experiment. Because Johnny has Susan, Mary, and Dukey by his side, he can live any kid's dream, only to find that most dreams never turn out as hoped. Johnny is very hyperactive and often messes with his sisters' inventions, causing trouble and mayhem, but just as often proves himself to be clever such as by frequently tricking his sisters or saving the day from whatever danger happens to show up. He is also stubborn, a bit spoiled, as he gets what he wants through deceit, blackmail, or manipulation. However, Johnny still has a sense of justice and is always learning from his mistakes. Although, like many kids, he doesn't like school and will often go to great lengths to avoid doing work, often using his sisters' inventions to do so, putting himself and others in trouble as a result.

One of Johnny's main nemeses is Eugene "Bling-Bling Boy" Hamilton, a fellow arch-rival of the Test sisters and frienemy of Johnny and Dukey, who has an unrequited crush on Susan. Another is Sissy Blakely, a tomboy who often serves as Johnny's rival/friend; the two may have crushes on each other, but both frequently deny and compete against each other. Missy Sissy's pink labradoodle is also Dukey's rival/crush. A third is Bumper, the school bully who constantly picks on Johnny. Meanwhile, the General from the army base Area 51.1 and Mr. Black and Mr. White, two federal agents from the Super Secret Government Agency (SSGA), are shown to be close friends with the kids and often get them out of trouble or recruit them for an assignment, help them, distract, or annoy the Tests on various occasions.

History

On February 16, 2005, Kids' WB's unveiling of its new fall schedule for the 2005–2006 television season was announced by The WB Television Network, featuring its returning series Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokémon, The Batman, and Xiaolin Showdown, alongside four new series: Loonatics Unleashed, Coconut Fred's Fruit Salad Island, Transformers: Cybertron, and Johnny Test. The aforementioned schedule was announced by The WB/Kids' WB Entertainment President David Janollari, Kids' WB Senior Vice President and General Manager Betsy McGowen, speaking to advertisers and the media press during the Kids' WB upfront sales presentation in New York. Johnny Test was created and executively produced by Scott Fellows, who also created the Nickelodeon live-action series Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, Big Time Rush, and 100 Things to Do Before High School, Fellows had also served as the head writer for The Fairly OddParents. The show premiered on September 17, 2005, on Kids' WB's Saturday morning lineup of its weekly fall schedule, alongside Loonatics Unleashed and Coconut Fred's Fruit Salad Island. The episode pair "Johnny to the Center of the Earth" and "Johnny X" marked the series premiere.

When the show first aired on Kids' WB, it performed very well in the Nielsen ratings. It ranked as the #1 broadcast program in Boys 2-11 (garnering 2.4/11), ranked as the #2 broadcast series in Kids 2-11 (gaining 2.2/10 in the process) and Girls 6-11 (2.3/11), and ultimately ranking #3 in Kids 6-11 (receiving 3.0/14). Its second season received a slightly higher number of viewers on average in the United States: 2.6 million viewers per 2nd-season episode. Its 3rd season's average number of viewers in the United States was 3.1 million viewers. Its 4th season got an average number of about 4.3 million viewers per episode in the United States. Its 5th premiere attracted over 4.7 million viewers in the United States.

The series was developed for television by Aaron Simpson, with a brief, slightly longer pre-existing pilot short produced by Simpson as well, before the show was picked up as a full series by Kids' WB. Based on Episode 1A "Johnny to the Center of the Earth", the pilot episode was animated roughly in Adobe Flash, but retaining the same plot, used the same color schemes as the aforementioned episode, and was recorded with an American voice cast (retaining James Arnold Taylor as the voice of Johnny Test) instead. The original production design (including character designs, prop designs, and background designs) was created, provided, and contributed by Matt Danner and Marc Perry, and then later worked on by producer Chris Savino and art director Paul Stec at season 1. Fellows, the creator of the series who had interested the network in the series' premise, based the titular character on himself when he was a young boy; he based Johnny's twin sisters, Susan and Mary, on his own two sisters, also named Susan and Mary. In the original pilot and early promotional material of the show, Dukey was referred to as "Poochie".

James Arnold Taylor said that he was not Fellows' original choice for the role of Johnny Test; he had previously voiced the lead character in the initial test pilot. After the show got picked up by Kids' WB! as a series, he was initially going to be replaced by a different voice actor, with a Canadian voice cast instead, but the studio had trouble finding Johnny's initial voice convincing for the first six episodes, so they gave Taylor back the role to redub his dialog for the rest of the first season and managed to keep him on the cast for the rest of the series. Aaron Simpson, who had developed the series and produced the pilot, was the creator and executive producer's first choice to serve as the producer of the show before he turned it down.

Productions

The remainder of the first season was produced in-house by Warner Bros. Animation, but since the show was a U.S./Canada co-production, some of the animation production work was outsourced to Canadian animation studios Studio B Productions and Top Draw Animation, as well as South Korean animation production company Digital eMation, which also provided the original main title animation opening. Storyboarding of some of the episodes was done by Atomic Cartoons.

Why These Test Experiments Succeeded

  1. Clever writing, notably when the mole people's weaknesses are light, stopping the sea animals from attacking people, another notable example of this is in the episode "Johnny vs. Brain Freezer", when Johnny has a smart idea to defeat the brain freezer by using his own frozen coffee to defeat him. That along with many more numerous experiments gone wrong.
  2. Good voice acting, notably from James Arnold Taylor, Louis Chirillo, Ashleigh Ball, Maryke Hendrikse, and more.
  3. Good art style, even when the show went to flash animation in season two.
  4. Generally well-written characters, Johnny himself just wanting to have some fun, Dukey gives good morals to Johnny, the Test sisters, Susan and Mary creating interesting experiments, and creative antagonists.
    • Eugene AKA Bling-Bling Boy is a hilarious and relatable villain, even if he's not really villainous.
  5. Neat sound effects and design in most episodes.
  6. The hand-drawn animation in season 1 looks very good and you can tell an amount of effort was put into it.
  7. The humor can often have its own style, which often involves the Test sisters' experiments.
  8. Edgy yet calm and focused atmosphere, with the backgrounds being pretty smooth.
  9. Cool soundtrack (including its catchy theme songs).
  10. Pretty interesting plots which make good use of conflicts.
  11. Entertaining action scenes in which try not to go overboard, as well as not being too slow paced either.
  12. Teaches good morals after the conflicts of each episode have been resolved.
  13. Many of the character designs in these seasons are good, if not cool-looking such as Johnny himself, Dukey, and Brain Freezer.
  14. Many funny parodies of other media such as Scooby-Doo ("Johnny Dukey Doo") and Pokémon ("Johnny'mon").
  15. Some cute and heartwarming moments.
  16. Lots of good episodes, such as:
  17. Hugh Test was a bit of a firm but fair parent in these seasons. The running gag of nobody liking his meatloaf debuted in the first half of the series premiere (and the second half supposedly had them eating foods other that meatloaf). Hugh somehow realizes that nobody in his family likes his meatloaf in the end of the Season 2 episode "Johnny's Got a Brand New Dad".
    • His role of being a "stay-at-home dad" might have broke the stereotype of doing all the housework is lady's work by showing that even men can do housework, as well as Lila being the workaholic businesswoman like Mac's mother from Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends. In fact, according to the wiki, Hugh was based off of Scott Fellows' mother (which could be implied she did all the housework) while Lila was based on Fellows' dad (who was said to be a businessman), showing that it was indeed meant to show that anyone can do anything.

Bad Qualities

NOTE: Do not imply that it's a ripoff of Dexter's Laboratory since both shows are nothing alike.

  1. Following the end of its first season, the show slowly declined in quality during the remainder of its initial run:
    • It first dipped in quality in its second season upon the switch from traditional hand-drawn animation to adobe flash animation which, while not terrible, is pretty mediocre at best and isn't as good as the first season's traditional hand-drawn animation. Then came along the third season, where the pacing started to become noticeably a lot more faster. While the show was already somewhat fast-paced in its first two seasons, however, it is taken up to eleven during the rest of its run. Despite this, the second and third seasons are still positively received due to having many good episodes, with their qualities even considered to be on the same levels as the first season. Sadly, the show would eventually take a turn for the worse in its fourth through sixth seasons upon channel hopping over to Cartoon Network in late 2009.
    • The third season had also introduced the infamous whip-crack sound effect, while not much of a problem earlier on would eventually (like the fast pacing) gets cranked up to eleven in the rest of the series' run.
    • Additionally, the merger of UPN and The WB into The CW Television Network had resulted in many budget cuts for the show, leading to the show being put on hiatus. Cookie Jar Entertainment, another Canada-based entertainment company, under their then-new action-adventure brand Coliseum, who previously had production assistance in the first season, decided to take control of the series production. Due to this change, the writers, storyboarders, and art crew who worked on the first season were let go, resulting in an entirely new crew managing the show.
  2. Even before the fourth season, the good seasons also had their fair share of bad/mediocre episodes, such as:
    • "Saturday Night's Alright for Johnny"
    • "Johnny-Itis" (The worst episode of the good seasons)
    • "Johnny Gets Mooned"
    • "Johnny's House of Horrors" (depending on your view)
  3. The theme song used since Season 2, while good, sounds suspiciously similar to rock band Green Day's seventh album, American Idiot. Same thing holds true for Season 1's theme song (while good also), which sounds suspiciously similar to the opening riff of "Bastille Day" by Rush.
  4. There is some gross-out humor here and there, though it's not as common as it would be in later seasons.
  5. The Canadian spacemen in the episode "Johnny Gets Mooned" and the Canadian Mountie in the episode "Johnny Mustache" all kept saying "Eh?" at the end of every sentence they said, which is one of the stereotypes of the Canadian people that involves them saying "eh" in almost every sentence they say, when in reality, not every Canadian does that. In fact, anyone can say "eh" in the end of a sentence at any time, but not every time. (Ironically the show was co-produced in Canada).
    • There was also an offensive joke when Johnny and Dukey first met the Canadian spacemen and thought they were aliens and said "Aah, aliens!". But then they said they were Canadians, so they said "Aah, Canadians!". This is also kind of ironic, because the show would be owned by Canada from Season 2 onward.
    • Speaking of the episode "Johnny Gets Mooned", according to the wiki, the title of the episode is a pun on the act of mooning, in which one person displays their bare buttocks to one or more people, making that very inapropriate for a kids show.

Episodes With Their Own Pages

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Reception

The overall responses to the show during these seasons are mixed-to-positive.

Joly Herman of Common Sense Media had written and posted a review of Johnny Test on Go.com, at the time of the show's original debut on Kids' WB. In the review, Herman indicated that the series "is an age-appropriate choice for kids" and was "surprisingly inventive and not as violent as other cartoons in this genre", adding, "The only thing worth mentioning: All the experiments Johnny undergoes are unattended by adults, which allows all types of zany plots to unfold." Herman gave the show three stars out of five.

The first season is the highest rated season on IMDb, scoring a 7.5/10. The second season received a 6.9/10, while the third season received a 6.3/10. In total, the entire series scored a 5.2/10 on IMDb and a 6.5/10 on Rating Graph, thus making it a polarizing series.

Trivia

  • There was a short on YouTube titled "League of Johnnys", released in May 2020, but it was privatized 2 days later. It was supposed to be the first episode of the web series "Johnny Test: The Lost Web Series", but it is so far the only episode and no new episodes were produced.
    • However, WildBrain has explained that Netflix picked up the series for 2 more seasons and a 66 minute interactive special releasing on 2021, with Scott Fellows returning to the series as executive producer.
  • Fellows himself was also co-executive producer of The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle (2018) alongside Jay Ward's daughter Tiffany Ward.
  • When the production of the show began back in 2004, a pilot episode (which was animated differently and some characters had different names) was shown before Kids WB picked it up as a full show. While the pilot episode was never released or aired, a promo was uploaded on YouTube where some scenes of the pilot and original cast can be seen. Not much is known about the pilot, except for two screenshots available online and the following information:
    • The pilot used digital ink instead of Flash animation.
    • Johnny did not have any red highlights on his spiky blonde hair and had a skull instead of a radiation sign on his shirt.
    • Dukey was referred to as "Poochie". This may have been a refrence to the The Itchy and Scratchy Show character of the same name.
    • Bling Bling Boy was referred to as "Golden Boy", and had a completely different design.
    • Susan has a barrette shaped like a crescent, while Mary has a barrette shaped like a star. Susan also wears a T-shirt with a logo of a crescent moon, while Mary wears a T-shirt with a logo of a star on it.
  • On Netflix and reruns of season 1 on TV, instead of using the original theme, they use the theme song for Seasons 2 and onward, probably due to copyright issues.
  • The entire Show originally got a page on Terrible Shows and Episodes Wiki but since the seasons 1 to 3 were good, the first three seasons were moved to this wiki. Here it is an archived version of the page.
  • This is the longest-running Teletoon show that's not targeted towards teens or preschoolers (e.g. Totally Spies! & Caillou) having run for right approximately 9-10 years.
  • Various character rigs from these seasons have been leaked online and can be downloaded from here. So technically you can make your own episodes if you want to.
  • The animation in Season 1 was used with digital ink using Digital eMation (who animated Bless The Harts), from South Korea, being the only season to use this. Since Season 2, the animation has been used with Adobe Flash. Seasons 2-3 used Collidascope (who animated other shows like Oliver's Adventures and Delilah and Julius, in which are other Teletoon series) from Canada. Seasons 4-6 were animated by Atomic Cartoons (who animated Atomic Betty, Rocket Monkeys, 101 Dalmatian Street and Trolls: The Beat Goes On). The 2021 reboot uses Toon Boom instead of Adobe Flash.
  • Seasons 2-4 were initially produced in a 4:3 ratio. However, on Netflix they were reproduced in 16:9, showing much more detail.

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