3 November 2005 | El_Rey_De_Movies
He's finally back!
When I was a kid (you know, back when Hanna-Barbera dominated TV cartoons and dinosaurs roamed the antediluvian plain), there was an incredibly, inexplicably popular show named
"Scooby Doo". But, for those of us who considered ourselves smarter and hipper than the average bear, there was only one cartoon that ruled and it ruled with an iron fist. I'm talking about "Jonny Quest", a combination of pulp adventure, science fiction, spy flicks, horror, drama and comedy that was utterly irresistible to me and millions of other little boys around the world back in the mid-60's. From the opening bars of Hoyt Curtin's driving, jazzy theme song, the opening credits were enough to drive any kid insane: a savage jungle with giant lizards, a mummy, a pteranodon, jet packs, gunfire, fisticuffs, giant robot spiders, hover platforms, giant death rays and then the introduction of the Quest family: 11-year old Jonny, scientific genius Dr. Benton Quest, tutor-pilot-combat expert-bodyguard Roger T. "Race" Bannon, Indian mystic Hadji, and Jonny's bulldog pup Bandit racing around the world to another thrilling adventure in Dr. Quest's sleek, needle-nosed jet aircraft. Jonny and his dad lived in a secluded island fortress-secret laboratory with Race Bannon, Hadji and Bandit. Dr. Quest was a scientific genius working for the U.S. Government, a widower (Mrs. Quest's death is only mentioned once, but the impression lingered that she was killed by bad guys trying to get to Dr. Quest hence, government agent Race Bannon is assigned to protect father and son) who was constantly called to come up with some piece of super-science or a solution to a strange mystery in some remote and exotic corner of the world and, more often than not, how Jonny (with considerable assists from Hadji and Bandit) saved or gave him critical assistance. "Jonny Quest" was different because it was obviously a show that was striving for a maturity and realism that had never been seen in television animation before. From the lush and detailed backgrounds to the almost-adult level of violence (all sorts of people and animals die in this show - and when someone died, they stayed dead), there was a lot in this show that wasn't for kids. And now, after years of waiting, Warner Brothers has released all 26 episodes in a massive and elegant 4-disc set, presented in their original broadcast order. From "Mystery of the Lizard Men" to "The Robot Spy" to "The Sea Haunt", they're all here and looking absolutely smashing along with all sorts of DVD goodies like trailers, a featurette on the animators, everything you'd ever want to know about the good and bad guys on the show and even a vintage commercial for sneakers starring Jonny! I fell in love with this show when I was about 8 years old, watching it dubbed in Spanish and in black-and-white, rediscovered it again in color when we came to the States and now, after 30+ years I can say with total assurance that some pleasures from childhood are just as good when you're an adult.