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Jackie Chan Animated Adventures

Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 118 mins . PG . PAL


The first thing that struck me about this show was the similarity it bears to an animated show I used to work on. Here there are the same subtle complex backgrounds, the same two-frame animation style and the same limited budget. That being said, it’s still a long way from way cheap animation in shows like Pokemon and Transformers: Armada.

Produced by the Rough Draft studio in Korea (who most fans will recognise as the studio that produces The Simpsons), this is a fairly simple show obviously designed for kids. The unfortunate thing is, though, that the show doesn’t feature anything like the kind of situations Jackie Chan gets into in his movies. Here there are only rare instances of Jackie-esque stunts, wasting a huge opportunity in the medium of animation. One would think the possibilities are endless in a world devoid of the rules that govern ours (gravity being the biggie) but alas, no. What we do get is a rather ordinary series of events that, while cool enough, aren’t in any way as good as Jackie’s movies.

Our disc here features six episodes including the pilot and, while the premise is good, the overall feeling is of a mild disappointment, for me at least. Being a fan of Jackie’s work, this seemed just a little too cash cow for me and that is saddening to say the least. Our first three episodes play on side one, before flipping the disc to side two for the last three (DVD 10).

So here they are:

  • The Search for the Talismans.
  • Episode One: The Dark Hand
    We are introduced to an amateur archaeologist (sound familiar?) in Jackie Chan, though he actually works for a secret police department in Section 13, and his niece Jade, a feisty ten year old. Jackie searches the world for thirteen talismans that when combined, will free the Dark Hand himself, a monster trapped in an ancient artefact.
  • Episode Two: The Power Within
    Pursuing the Rooster Talisman, Jackie must teach Jade a valuable lesson about who she is inside.
  • Episode Three: The Mask of El Toro Fuerte
    Jackie’s quest leads he and Jade to the Yucatan where they befriend a wrestler to beat the Dark Hand’s men.
  • (everybody flip!)
  • The Dark Hand Returns
  • Episode Four: Enter the Viper
    When preparing a museum against an attack by the Dark Hand, Jackie must steal a talisman. Unfortunately, The Viper, a deadly female cat burglar, is stealing the Rose Diamond and the two get mixed up landing Jackie in prison.
  • Episode Five: Project A for Astral
    Jade’s dream of solving the mystery of a talisman becomes reality when she astrally projects out of her body. Unfortunately, the Dark Hand projects into her empty body causing all manner of mischief.
  • Episode Six: Shell Game
    Jackie and Jade pursue a talisman embedded in the shell of a Galapagos turtle and must again tangle with the Dark Hand’s men at sea.

As far as good fun for the kids go, this will hit the spot, but for adult fans of Jackie’s extensive work, this probably isn’t such a great idea.


This starts out fairly badly. There is some heavy pixellation of linework in the opening titles which appears to be a compression problem as it occurs as one scene cuts to another. This continues throughout random moments of the show to mild annoyance. There is also frequent aliasing of lines, which is again annoying.

Shot on twos (two shots of same frame as compared to one used in movies) the style is slightly jerked compared to feature work, but this is okay for television. All the work has been scanned and coloured in digital, leaving the archaic cels in the dirt of the 20th century. To this end they squeeze in some special effects that work fairly well. There is a minor animé influence in some character design (big eyes, miniscule pug nose) but this doesn’t extend into the backgrounds at all. Or Jackie’s nose, which is unfalteringly squashed all over his face, as in reality.

Finally, no widescreens here as the show disc is presented in good old 4:3, naturally it is devoid of enhancement.


This is television stuff, so Dolby Digital stereo is the go. It sounds okay for the most part, although naturally the subwoofer idles throughout. Dialogue is clear enough, though the attempted Jackie Chan impersonation isn’t too good, particularly as they’re mimicking Jackie’s real-life halting grip of English. However, the music is pretty good here. Scored by Jim Latham, this is suitably oriental in flavour and pretty cool during the action scenes too. There are also plenty of comical sound effects strewn about the place adding to the intended comic feel of the show.


Not much by way of extras, save for a couple of unseen interview questions asked of real-life Jackie as he trains. The questions come from kids and Jackie answers them among various modern edits and snappy cuts. A nice thought, but this doesn’t really add much to our adult libraries of Jackie info. Probably good for the kids who dig his work though.


As much as Jackie’s work rocks in his films, this is a wasted opportunity as far as over the top stunt gags are concerned. While Jackie does produce the show, I daresay he hasn’t had much to do with the scripting or the choreography of stunts. Oh well.

True fans of all things Jackie will probably like it, but it doesn’t really have too much going for it, either by way of stunts, fantastic animation or additions to the Jackie stable of excellence.

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      And I quote...
    "Awesome opportunities for Jackie-like gravity defying stunts are sadly wasted here in an animated format. Sigh."
    - Jules Faber
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    • Surrounds:
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          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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