on June 21, 2004
When the JONNY QUEST DVD Box Set was finally released I was one of the first to buy it. The wait for these fantastic episodes was finally over. And what a long wait its been! What a shame it is then that the "politically correct" people at Warner Brothers found it their duty to EDIT, that's right, EDIT these classic cartoons! A typical EDIT from DISC ONE "Pursuit of the Po-Ho" A purple Race Bannon confronts the Po-Hos who have Dr. Quest held hostage with,"All right you ignorant savages, get a load of Aquizio you heathen monkeys!" The "REMASTERED" version is a watered down, "Get a load of Aquizio!" All the while Race's mouth is moving but no words come out! At least no words that some idiots at Warners find offensive. Who are they and how dare they think they can just EDIT someone elses work! What's even more outrageous is that for some reason they don't have a problem showing the UN-EDITED versions on their own CARTOON NETWORK! Get it together guys and RE-ISSUE the Jonny Quest Box Set UNTOUCHED, UN-EDITED, and truly REMASTERED as your packaging states! And the next time you think its "your job" to EDIT a classic cartoon, DON"T! Thank GOD your EDIT MONKEY kept his stinking paws off the LOONEY TUNES Box Set!
on June 26, 2004
The shows themselves rate five stars, of course. The two star rating is for the presentation, merited by the following:
1. Dialogue edits from "Pursuit of the Po-Ho"
2. Dialogue edits from "Monster In The Monastery"
3. Atrocious, hack artwork on the box
4. Cutting of JQ title cards from the introduction sequences
5. Use of only one end credit sequence (the only one without creator Doug Wildey's name on it) for all 26 episodes
6. Amping up the colors to an eye-straining saturation level
7. Ridiculous modern extras; as a previous reviewer stated, they should've included pre-production artwork and/or Hoyt Curtin's musical cues
Never, never, never, NEVER trust a bunch of hamfisted, bottom-line watching suits to preserve something like this in the definitive, most complete way it should be. The Peter Principle is alive and well in every company big & small, and this set was spit out by one of the biggest. Keep those VHS copies handy...
Overall with its high tech gadgets / lasers and well written and imaginative stories, "Jonny Quest" remains one of my favorite animated shows from my childhood; I really did grow up in the era of great Television. This DVD set is a real treat for the whole family and for the new legion of "Jonny Quest" fans waiting to discover him. In my opinion the newer versions of the "Jonny Quest" series can't hold a candle to the original and shouldn't even be mentioned in the same breath. I bought this DVD release because my memories of this amazing show had all but faded and purely for nostalgia. All things considered and given the age of this show the picture and sound are really clear and crisp. The opening theme music is still catchy and it pulls you in from the moment you hear it. The colors are vivid and sharp; better than I can remember seeing on any previous VHS or Television viewing. In the "Jonny Quest" complete series set, you get all 26 episodes and some special features spread out over four single sided discs with great disc artwork.
The cast of "Jonny Quest" aren't getting any younger so a where are they now or reunion feature would have been a great addition to this release. I guess my only complaint is that the outer packaging doesn't hold up very well. The outer box slip cover is a pain to take off and put back on and I have had a couple of the discs fall off their posts.
-Mystery of the Lizard Men
-The Curse of Anubis
-Pursuit of the Po-Ho
-Riddle of the Gold
-Treasure of the Temple
-The Robot Spy
-Shadow of the Condor
-Skull and Double Crossbones
-The Dreadful Doll
-A Small Matter of Pygmies
-Dragons of Ashida
-Turu the Terrible
-The Fraudulent Volcano
-The Werewolf of the Timberland
-Pirates From Below
-Attack of the Tree People
-The Invisible Monster
-The Devil's Tower
-The Quetong Missile Mystery
-The House of Seven Gargoyles
-Monster in the Monastery
-The Sea Haunt
on June 16, 2004
It's about time this series was released on DVD.
Johnny Quest was the ultimate show for guys. It had plenty of action, an exciting theme song, and dynamic background music. Yes, the show was violent but it portrayed the world as it was, not as it should be. It taught us that the although the world is beautiful it is also sometimes a dangerous and violent place. Villains met their demises descending into tar pits, crushed in a cave-ins, falling off cliffs, or being eaten by crocodiles. There was plenty use of guns but no one died directly from a gunshot wound. Of course, Bandit would always encounter some indigenous creature.
There was also cool equipment - the vertical take-off jet (Harrier jet), lasers, jet packs, diving bells, and robots. Dr. Quest also had a personal computer when computers were large and ominous. He video screen radio - one could argue the predecessor to the cell phone.
Although I'm not thrilled with the "editing" of the Po Ho episode I'll overlook it. This DVD collection still has a lot action - something the politically correct crowd can't take away despite their efforts.
on June 19, 2004
Born in 1963, I recall many things about the 1960's, but one TV series stands out more than all others (ok, maybe not as much as bugs bunny and the roadrunner) and that is Jonny Quest. This show, although "too violent" for the "Politically Correct" parents of today, was way ahead of its time, and so realistic that the invisible monster used to scare (...)me every time I saw it. Long before we started to see the sillier side of Hanna-Barbera, Jonny Quest helped a world steeped in espionage, cold war paranoia, and the race to the moon stop for 30 minutes every Saturday to see some really cool kids use some really cool "toys" to fight some really scary bad guys in some really cool far-off places. Although I have a hard time visualizing the same Tim Matheson that played in "Animal House" giving a voice to JQ, I still envy him for getting to play the coolest animated kid character of all time!
on June 9, 2004
I'll have to admit I missed the original hey-day of this cartoon (having been born in 1970), but fell in love with it in repeats throughout the 70's. The animation was top-notch and believable, the adventures were incredibly fun, and it was the kind of show which continually presented you with "gee-whiz" moments ("Gee-whiz! Wish I had a rocket belt! Just think of what I could do with THAT!")
This was simply the most realistically animated cartoon, bar none - and it helped the willing suspension of disbelief considerably, leaving us with something engaging, absorbing, and downright *fun*. Having set an early standard, every similar cartoon has had to live up to the inevitable comparisons (mostly failing rather badly, especially the short-lived mis-directed "Real Adventures of Jonny Quest" series from the 90's.)
One tip - watch these episodes one or two at a time, just before bed, with the lights off. Perfect setting for such a show.
Technically, the set is extremely well put together, although I'm a bit confused as to their "remastering" claim, but perhaps it is because I expect some decent amount of cleanup to happen when "remastering". Most of the episodes here exhibit spots and speckles (some astoundingly huge) from the old film prints, but this diminishes a bit as you reach the later episodes. The sound quality is superb. The extras are a bit sketchy (several people are brought out to talk about the show, but you're rarely told why these particular people are the ones doing this commentary) but entertaining and modestly informative nonetheless.
The stories, as ever, are wonderful - compared with modern animation, it's surprising how much plot they squeezed into each episode. It's actually something the first episodes of Scooby Doo did almost as well, making the episode feel longer than a half-hour show.
In short, this is an animation classic, a great example of scriptwriting, and a whole lot of fun. At the slightly elevated prices of these sets (compared to something like "The West Wing", which delivers twice as many hours of programming for ten to fifteen bucks less), this is the only one fully worth it (okay, Scoob. Maybe yours too.)
on July 19, 2004
Yes, it's wonderful to be able to watch the original adventure series on DVD. However -- it is atrocious, inexcusable, and deserving of a kick in a sensitive place to the decision-makers who decided to change the originals.
You can see other reviews for explanations of where dialogue was cut.
Almost as egregious is the stupid, stupid, stupid repetition of the SAME end credits for EVERY episode, EXCEPT for episode 9, "Double Trouble." It's a real shame that a voice talents like Keye Luke, as well as others, are ignored by this lame-brained patchwork job.
Why would somebody do this? Probably not to leave creator Doug Wildey's name off. My guess is that this DVD release was just more metaphorical sausage ground out from the Warner Bros mill. Especially since it was a title created by another studio (Hanna-Barbera), and available for release simply because Ted Turner had bought HB. No, the clueless decision makers probably figured that nobody would care. Or, worse, they may have asssumed that the credits were all the same for every episode. Of course, that doesn't explain the different end credits for "Double Trouble." ...
Anyway, buy this and relive most of your childhood memories. And look on the web for a proper listing of the creators of each episode of the coolest cartoon show on Earth.
on June 1, 2004
I was four years old when this was on Television, yet I remember several episodes plain as day. That was how exciting I found young Jonny Quest to be and how enveloping the inventions and science fiction to be, even as a preschooler. I also remember being excitedly scared by some of the more fantastic elements of the show...like "Turu the Terrible" and "The Invisible Monster!" This was the kind of stuff an eventual reader of Hardy Boys, Tom Swift and Danny Dunn books craved before books began to seep into my life. Now that these DVD's have been issued, it's a safe bet to say they will have a permanent space on my DVD shelf.
So why not a perfect 5 starts? We'll get to that. First the plusses. These were, more than anything else, adventures for boys. Jonny and Hadji were always there when the brilliant Dr. Benton Quest got a call to rush from Quest Laboratories in the Florida Keys to some far off country, travelling on the most recent invention. Lasers and Space Flight were frequent resources for story lines, and as a 4 year old want-to-be astronaut, it made it seem like anything was possible. Of course, this was the era of cold war politics, so the villains were often foreign guys with creepy accents. (Think Dr. Zin.) One of the frequent reasonings for Dr. Quest to have to go out on one of his missions was to make sure that these innovations didn't fall "Into the wrong hands."
But it also meant that Jonny (and, by proxy, I) were able to visit Tibet, the Arctic Circle, South American rain forests and other exotic (and real!!) locales before I even entered school. Looking at these 40 year old episodes anew, it's amazing that Jonny looks like he could be drawn today; an inquisitive eleven year old in black shirt, blue jeans and sneakers, he could be from anywhere USA even now. And who wouldn't want to have an extended family with a cool an adoptive brother as Hadji (one of animation's -- or, for that matter, all of prime time's -- minority main characters), a tutor as devoted as teacher/bodygaurd Race Bannon or a dad as equal parts brilliant to understanding as Dr. Quest? Add that the animation was far more real looking than the club footed dopiness of "The Flintstones" or the animals acting like people of "Top Cat," (Bandit never suddenly started to ask for treats...) etc, and the world of Jonny Quest was something that we all could slip in to.
In the pre PC world, Jonny could react exactly as a kid could when first confronted by an inquisitive girl (in "The Dreadful Doll"). No matter how you slice it, a kid his age would be flustered and annoyed by a female his age making inquiries. By the time the "New Adventures" came out, Jonny had to have a female foil, and my response was just what Jonny's would have been had he been a typical (read: real) 11 years old..."Ick!" And can you imagine a show today with a broad base of young watchers where the Father character smokes? (Dr. Quest enjoys a pipe in one of the episodes.)
Which leads to my short list of minuses. Coloration throughout the set is really good, but sometimes oversaturated, and in "The Werewolf of the Timberland," White Feather's skin is in two different colors! Also of dubious note, what happened to Doug Wildey's credit? It seems to only show up during "Double Danger," otherwise I seem to get the impression that the end credits were remastered from one episode then taped onto the end of all the episodes for DVD transfer.
And the worst offense...what heathen monkey was responsible for editing the dialog out of "Pursuit Of The PoHo"? Is this from the same brain trust that wiped out explosions and gunfire from classic Warner Brother cartoons and then blacklisting Speedy Gonzales for being stereotypical? If I emerged unscathed from that kind of language as a 4 year old, why am I expected to be offended by it now? If that was the root case, why not edit out the smoking, the shooting, the animal cruelty and the really obvious stereotypes from the Cold War era? It's enough to make me want to wave my hands while muttering "Sim Sim sala Bim" and to thusly wipe all of you ignorant savages of the face of the Cartoon Network.
OK, end of rant.
Those are all just me carping. If you were at all enthralled by "Jonny Quest" in 1964 or its countless repeats on Saturday Mornings, you need to have this. As soon as the exquisitely James Bond-ish musical theme comes up (Hoyt Curtain's music for this series was light years beyond most TV shows, and even today's), you'll be back in your PF Flyers and ready for more adventures for boys.
on May 29, 2004
In the early 60s, Hanna-Barbera was among several companies trying to establish animation shows in prime time. Other companies tried to revive Amos and Andy and Alvin & The Chipmunks, but those were only on for one season. Hanna Barbera had a hit with the Flintstones and two strikes with the Jetsons and Top Cat going for only one season. This was thier fourth and most ambitious try. It is unlike any other prime time animation series because it alone did not rely on laughs, instead it pursued a suspenseful course. No other animated prime time series ever tried this, in fact the closest anyone else came to Jonny Quest was the various Supermarionation series made by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson. It's a shame that nobody else ever tried this in prime time. The animated series that comes closest to Jonny Quest was the Star Trek animated series, but that was never shown on prime time, instead it was relegated to the Saturday morning ghetto.
I was 8 years old when the series premeired, and my ABC station at the time (WTAE in Pittsburgh) pre-empted the first run on their station by showing something else. When the time slot changed in the middle of the season (from Friday to Thursday), well, I caught the reruns and I was hooked on the series. When Jonny was cancelled in prime time, oh that was a sad day for me.
I haven't seen the episodes in years, when I got the set, a bunch of friends had an extended lunch and we watched the pilot episode on my Powerbook. There were several complaints about Jonny's Title card being cut from the introduction of the shows and the original Screen Gems (Columbia) tag eliminated at the end of the episode. Oh, I consider those very minor.
I give the set 4 stars because of 1) some of the episodes have color inconsistencies, but that is probably with age. and 2) some of the language has been cut or modified (especially in the Po Ho episode). After I spent the weekend watching these episodes, well, I now understand why Captain Kirk said "I feel young again" at the end of the Wrath of Khan. They help me remember happier times in my childhood!
Thanks Bill and Joe!
on May 26, 2004
As a girl growing up one of my first major crushes was on Race Bannon (until my mother explained the difference between cartoons and real-life, how sad!!!). I was also a major tomboy and I read magazines like Popular Science and National Geographic. This show was for me!!! For years I have fondly remembered how exciting cartoons were when I was a kid. I couldn't wait for Saturday and would volunteer to scrub the kitchen floor if it meant that I could be guaranteed of staying in and watching my shows!!! Now as a mom of two very active boys I mentioned Jonny Quest to them as a favorite of mine. They told me they knew about the show. Turns out all they knew of was the "New Adventures"!!!! What a travesty!! Buying this collection is the best entertainment money I have spent in a long time. One particular bonus is how refreshingly NOT politically correct they are!! Yes there was a time when one could shoot gigantic crocodiles in the Amazon without a bunch of animal right activists jumping out and clubbing you!!!