JACKIE CHAN ADVENTURES, Episode 1 (7 out of 10) –Created by John Rogers; Starring James Sie, Stacie Chan, and Sab Shimono; Originally aired September 9, 2000.
That’s right boys and girls, we’re leaving the hallowed ground of the 80s and 90s to watch a cartoon from a slightly less ancient time, the mythical year 2000. Jackie Chan was bigger than Jesus; they even share initials, coincidence? Statistically probable. Since the Chan name instantly turned other people’s money into yachts, they gave him a cartoon, and you know what, it works.
The series opens with Jackie Chan (strangely not voiced by Jackie Chan, I mean, what’s up with that?) in a Bavarian castle looking for an artifact. This scene has two purposes, to reveal that the fiction Chan is an adventure archaeologist, and to show off his sweet martial arts moves against a bunch of ancient booby traps. Chan escapes with his life and an ancient shield but he is seen by two shady looking groups of people.
Jackie returns home where he is met by his uncle who he lovingly refers to as "Uncle." Jackie then gets a verbal thrashing for not having made morning coffee and "other things." Uncle then reveals nonchalantly that Jackie has a niece he's never known before and that she will be staying with him for the next year. What, what, what? The drama builds. Especially when...
Jackie is attacked by one of the groups following him in Bavaria, a secret criminal syndicate called "The Dark Hand." Cue sweet martial arts training. Chan is painted as almost a superhero in his ability to scale structures and do flips and stuff, almost like a bumbling and friendly Batman. Batchan.
After the fight Jackie is introduced to the second group of people following him, a secret law enforcement agency known as "Section 13" who want Jackie to join them and help protect against the Dark Hand.
During his meeting with District 13 Jackie gets a phone call his uncle. Uncle called to tell Jackie that he had been doing research and discovered some important information. Then the Dark Hand kidnaps Uncle and demanding the shield as ransom.
The Dark Hand escape with the shield but not before Jade (Jackie's niece) removes a talisman, the real source of power, from the shields center.
The events of this episode send Jackie and his family down a path with Section 13 to defend from and fight against The Dark Hand using familial bonds, cooperation, and of course, super cool ninja flips and stuff.
If you have a suggestion for a future “Saturday Morning Cartoon!” slap it down there in the comments section and I’ll probably do it. Cause I like you all as personal friends. Promise.
See you next week.