Seriously.  “Is Johnny Bravo Filipino?”  For those of you who think that’s an odd question, given he’s a blonde, buffed, Elvis talking, American male, I would have to agree.  From all accounts, he doesn’t scream Filipino.

Irish?  Maybe.

German?  Perhaps.

Russian?  That would explain his love of Pancake Week.

Filipino?  You gotta be kidding me!

Yet, I’ve been asked that question more than you would think.

The short answer to the question is, music please, (Pum puh puh pummmmmm!): “sort of.”

Since I was born in the Philippines, have Filipino parents, and know a few Tagalog words (Maraming salamat sa inyo.), that would classify me as “totally ” Filipino.  And since I created Johnny Bravo, and I can’t help but be influenced by my ethnicity and culture, that would make Johnny “sort of” Filipino.

If this were the DC universe, Johnny would be my illegitimate son from Earth 26.

I rarely get the opportunity to do international publicity (let alone Asian ones) so whenever I get the chance, it’s really exciting.  Below is one I did for a story on Cartoon Network Studios back in 2002.  That’s me on the bottom right.  (If anyone can translate what it says, that would be awesome!)

Recently, CN Asia set up a press junket with various publications in the Asian region to promote “Johnny Bravo Goes To Bollywood.”  And this may be hard to believe but, after 15 years in the industry, it was the first time I ever did an interview with a Filipino journalist!  I know, right?!  Unless I count the unaired, sit down, on-camera interview I did with Cheche Lazaro for her Probe show in the Philippines (it never aired as the show ended before they put the spot together).  Of course, all the people I talked to were very nice, but it was interesting to me that they were surprised by my ethnicity.

So for those of you who are still reading this post (who didn’t have to go back to watching “Dancing With Stars” on their DVR), before the PR folks throw you to the media, they usually do a briefing. Below are a few of the “possible questions” I received before my interviews.  Note the Filipino nature of many of them.

  1. Tell us about your lineage. Are you full Filipino?
  2. How long have you stayed in the US?
  3. How old are you and how long have you been with Cartoon Network?
  4. What got you into animation?
  5. Describe the animation process from storyboard to production.
  6. For those who are unfamiliar with the show, who is Johnny Bravo?
  7. What inspired you to create a character like Johnny Bravo?
  8. How long did it take to create and produce Johnny Bravo Goes To Bollywood?
  9. Why did you choose this premise for the movie?
  10. What, in your opinion, is the state of the local animation industry in the Philippines?
  11. What are the strengths of Filipino animators?
  12. What does the future look like for Filipino animation?
  13. What would you want Filipino animators to know about the animation industry?
  14. Do you have upcoming projects with Cartoon Network?
  15. What’s next for Johnny Bravo? Will we be seeing a sequel to Johnny Bravo Goes To Bollywood?

The one comment I kept getting from the reporters was that they were disappointed that I have never been back to the Philippines and know very little Tagalog (Welcome to my world.).  But like the song from “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer” says, “There’s always tomorrow.”  So, in case you haven’t gotten enough of me talking about me, here are a few links to some of the online interviews I did in the Philippines for Entertainment Inquirer and Philstar.

And if you hate clicking links, posted below is an interview I did with Balikbayan, an Asian Journal Magazine in the Philippines, which also highlighted my roots.

So the next time somebody asks you if Johnny Bravo is Filipino (which I know they will!) you can send them over to this link.

Thanks for stopping by!

FUN FACT:  CN Asia had a Bollywood poster artist paint a few 8 foot tall posters for “Johnny Bravo Goes To Bollywood” the way they do with regular Bollywood movies.  Below is a copy of one of them. Enjoy!


19 responses to “IS JOHNNY BRAVO FILIPINO?”

  1. Jasemine says:

    I think Johnny Bravo is Italian, because of his last name, and the stereotypical lifestyle and character personalities and body characteristics as an Italian American of New York or Jersey.

  2. van says:

    Your thoughts are pretty on par with mine. But when I think of Johnny, I picture him from the south. Like Elvis Presley. It’s funny because Elvis’ roots appear to have a lot of discrepancies as well. According to one website, “Most genealogists agree that Elvis Presley’s lineage can be traced back to an Andrew Presley residing in the Carolinas, circa 1750. The ancestry of that Andrew Presley is where the differing theories arise. Some believe he hailed from the Germanic Preslar family, while others suggest ancestry in the Presley Hills and the Parish of St. Elvis in Wales.”

  3. Charles says:

    For me, where he’s from is my least concern. I just love his thinking and character generally.

    Is Johnny Bravo coming back On air?
    Please update me {charlesedd} please!

  4. van says:

    Thanks for your comment. I just finished a 74 minute special, “Johnny Bravo Goes To Bollywood.” It aired in Asia and Latin America recently but the air date for the states and Europe is still TBD.

  5. isaiah says:

    Hi Van,
    i Just saw Johnny Bravo goes Bollywood on Youtube, i loved it. despite the fact im not a fan of Flash animation. it was great seeing Johnny Bravo making a comeback a great comeback at that.

  6. van says:

    Glad you enjoyed it! :-) Thanks for letting me know.

  7. Josh says:

    I live in the us and I want to see the new movie but also I would love to see another johnny bravo scooby doo ,do u think u might ever consider doing a fulllength movie with the two

  8. Jeff says:

    I know a lot of people don’t like the whole animated in flash deal, but I was stepping through some frames of the film with quicktime and I got to say, they did some pretty top notch work, I am especially impressed with the scene of Johnny on the boat and the 3D like pan.

    This was very fun to watch, can’t wait to see the premiere in the US!

  9. Edwin says:

    “Johnny Bravo Goes To Bollywood” should air on Boomerang in The Netherlands on June 2nd, I can’t wait! The show aired in English every night around 9:30 pm last year on Boomerang, I watched every day. Now it’s moved to Cartoon Network but dubbed in Dutch! Greetings, from a Dutch Johnny Bravo fan.

  10. van says:

    Thanks for the props. I take it you watched the “Johnny Bravo Goes To Bollywood” short that was done in Hindi. I can’t take all the credit, so I’d like to share your props with the studio that did the heavy lifting: Famous Animation House (now Studio Eeksaurus) in India. I hope you get a chance to see the long version. I’m really happy with the end product for that one as well!

  11. van says:

    Nice to know that Johnny travels well around the world. :-) Thanks for making my day. In Dutch, even!

  12. isaiah says:

    i was wondering why didnt Cartoon Network Studios didnt do the animation for the film.

    and BTW have you heard Seth MacFarlane is gonna reboot the Flintstones

  13. van says:

    Nice to hear from you again. It was Cartoon Network Asia that wanted to do the project, so they were the ones who decided who was going to animate it. I did hear Seth was going to reboot the Flintstones, but I also heard that they’re putting it on indefinite hold. What are you gonna do?

  14. catflap says:

    Hi. Johnny Bravo Goes to Bollywood was on CN today in Switzerland – 11.August, 2012. It’s excellent.

    Van, who would you ever want to play the role in a live-action version of Johnny Bravo (if it’s something
    you’d like to do, or at least before the actor is too old to play him)?

    Thanks for all the fun times with JB!

  15. van says:

    I LOVE Switzerland! Have travelled all around the area with my wife. I think that there are three folks that would make a good Johnny Bravo at this point in time: Channing Tatum, Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth. They’re all very big, buffed, and nimble. Thanks for the post!

  16. William says:

    It is clear that Johnny Bravo is a Saiyan, a la Dragonball Z. Unknown father, super speed, indestructible, eye color hidden behind sunglasses.

    In all honesty though, that machismo attitude is pretty universal. It’s the respect Johnny has for women that sets him apart from other “meat heads”. When he doesn’t get the girl, which is always, he doesn’t insult them he just figures it’s their loss and moves on.

  17. van says:

    William, I like how you got to the root of Johnny. Thanks for looking past the “meathead” exterior!

  18. Lew says:

    Man I’ve just been on a Johnny Bravo binge, bought Date-o-Rama and Cartoon Network racing earlier this week. JB was my favorite Cartoon Cartoon growing up and I just saw JB goes to Bollywood and absolutely loved it. I’m looking forward the the Season 1 DVD I just ordered off Amazon and really hope there’s more JB in the future! (Or atleast Johnny Bravo goes to Bollywood airs in the states)

  19. Chris says:

    I love Johnny Bravo. Wish Cartoon Network would get their head straight and ask you to make new episodes.

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