Going in to the official DVD release for “Jonny Quest” I couldn’t believe what they’d done with the treatment. There’s a beveled slip cover and a two disc edition with DVD faces that look immaculate. It’s a well deserved treatment because to this day I am baffled as to why this series never broke out on its own and became a hit. Perhaps audiences just didn’t care? Maybe the series wasn’t handled well enough. Or maybe the viewers were too young to understand the complex narrative and intricate characterization that made this series an instant favorite of mine. There may also be some contention at the very suggestively violent moments that included a man being impaled on elephant tusks and blood shed during fights with villains.
I was never a fan of the original series because I frankly found it boring and tedious, but the remake also known as “The Real Adventures” combined all elements of science fiction, drama, and the adventure from the aforementioned series that I grew to enjoy. Factor in the computer effects that were squeezed in to almost every episode, and the gradual transformation of Hadji from stereotype to dignified hero and it’s a surefire winner. It just stuns me that this show is still thought of as a flop. Even for nineties animation “The Real Adventures” has a lot to boast about, because the atmosphere is always shifting per adventure thus allowing our characters to grow and come in to more detailed characterization as time went on.
I loved this series watching the Cartoon Network here in America, and casting all nostalgia aside, it’s still a great action cartoon. Things have changed for the crew and very welcomed do they happen to be. This time Race Bannon is a single dad to a young daughter named Jessie who provides adequate competition for friends Jonny and Hadji, and Jonny has a father complex as a young man trying desperately to grab his father’s approval throughout the running time of the series. These nuances make for some actual three dimensional heroes and not mere carbon copies of the former Hanna Barbera. Volume One brings us thirteen episodes in their entirety and we’re allowed a wonderful redux of the sound and picture that will blast through your television speakers even at a low volume.
Overall it’s not a bad release for a show that nearly met with obscurity as we’re given one extra “Jonny Quest Returns” a twelve minute look at the remaking and remodeling of the classic Hanna Barbera series and the creative experience had by mixing early computer effects with classic hand drawn animation. It’s a good nugget for people still interested in the origins of the show. From a pretty impressive cast (Robert Patrick, Frank Welker) to top notch voice work, “The Real Adventures” deserves to be purchased by anyone who remembers when the Cartoon Network provided quality epic series and not sugar coated dribble; I loved this show then and I love it now.