|Screencap from the short.|
Mess O' Blues was the original thesis short for Johnny Bravo created by Van Partible in 1993. While working at Loyola Marymount University, Partible decided to pursue a career in animation and so he started working on a senior thesis project called Mess O' Blues. This short was about an Elvis Presley impersonator, (originally three impersonators, before it was shortened to one due to time constraints), who would later become Johnny Bravo.
Dan McLaughin (Partible's animation professor) showed the short to a friend working at Hanna-Barbera Productions and the studio loved the short so much that they asked Partible if he could do a pitch for a seven-minute short cartoon based on it, which became the original Johnny Bravo short, in which 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 hairstyle, name, physical appearance and personality; this new pilot was later aired on World Premiere Toons (also known as What a Cartoon!).
Despite the success it spawned, 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) or the recently found Billy and Mandy short Billy and Mandy in Trepanation of the Skull and You.
- There is a documentary on YouTube which has 5 seconds of footage from the pilot, and it can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oU2ZmCnHV9w&t=1s UPDATE: Turner EST has now blocked this video, and now you can’t watch it anymore here.