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Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
Jackie Chan Adventures: The Dark Hand Returns (2000)

"That's what I wanna be when I grow up! A female Jackie Chan!"
- Jade (Stacie Chan)

Review By: Dan Lopez   
Published: March 05, 2002

Stars: James Sie, Sab Shimono, Greg Ellis
Other Stars: Adam Baldwin, Julian Sands, Stacie Chan
Director: Bryan Andrews, Rick Del Carmen, Andy Thom

Manufacturer: DVCC
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (very mild violence, extremely kid friendly)
Run Time: 00h:55m:12s
Release Date: March 05, 2002
UPC: 043396075054
Genre: animation

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

Kicking off in 2000, television now has an animated incarnation of martial arts/action star Jackie Chan, come to life in the form of Jackie Chan Adventures. The premise is fairly simple and, to a certain extent, bland. Chan is an archaeologist who learns that sacred talismans containing evil power are hidden all over the world. An organization called the Dark Hand want to locate these animal talismans to unleash the powers within them, and a government group called Section 13 want the talismans as well. Chan is caught between the two groups as he strives to stop evildoers from getting hold of these special medallions. Along for the ride is his niece, Jade, who just wants to get into crazy adventures.To be honest, the concept for the show is lame, in my opinion. It's a fairly generic premise in order to popularize Jackie Chan further. The problem is, other than brief interview segments after each episode, Chan himself has nothing to do with the show. Instead, someone else does his voice (poorly), and the episodes often come up with situations in which Chan can use some of his more signature moves. The animation tries hard to re-create his mannerisms and is actually pretty successful there, but it's still hard to get over the fact that it's just a very formulaic, average cartoon. Although many folks behind the excellent Starship Troopers Roughnecks show are involved, it lacks the spark and creative drive. It's disappointingly mediocre, considering what could have been done with the concept. Another thing that didn't sit well with me was how the voice actor for Chan's character basically "does" Jackie Chan. Now, Jackie Chan's English ability can sometimes be weak and his thick accent can make him hard to understand. To me though, exaggerating that into a portrayal of him seems mildly offensive.Artistically, the show has an interesting look to it. While the core animation is nothing special, the backgrounds struck me because they are so abstract and minimal. It sounds funny to talk about a cartoon that way, but the weird backgrounds added a certain something to the show. Beyond that, though, the deadpan humor and incredibly lifeless action makes the show extremely slow. Interestingly, actor Julian Sands supplies the voice of one of Chan's enemies, but that's about the limits of things that surprised me. I suppose Jackie Chan Adventures isn't terrible, but it's also not trying very hard to go above the norm. It is rare when an ordinary kids' cartoon strives to be something more, but it would be nice to see a toon with Jackie Chan be just as lively as one of his movies, rather than just a poor marketing tool.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: D+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: As animation goes, this is about as good as it gets. It's completely pristine and artifact-free. The cels might as well be painted on the screen, as they come across perfectly clean. Because of the sharpness, there's a little dot crawl and moire patterning in certain scenes, but that's more a display issue.

Image Transfer Grade: A


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, Spanish, French, Portugueseyes

Audio Transfer Review: Although a Dolby Surround track is used, it's fairly standard and does not feature anysurround effects; at least none that I noticed. The majority of the track is spent on themusic score and other sound effects, and it's essentially very "stereo" in nature. It'sextremely clear and vivid, and there are really no complaints here. The other languagetracks are identical in terms of clarity and quality.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in Spanish, French, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Thai with remote access
1 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Karate Kid II
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Jackie Chan Interviews
Extras Review: There are no supplements of any kind, other than the standard chapter selection options andsubtitles. An additional trailer for The Karate KidII can be found. The Jackie Chan interviews promised on the case are actually just the normal interview clips from the television show, all compiled at the end of the program after the credits. They total about 1 minute.

Extras Grade: D


Final Comments

As with other television programs from Columbia, this disc combines several episodes intoone, long-running film, which may not sit well with certain fans. If you really like this show, it is worth picking up for its good quality presentation, but for me, it's a low-point in current animation.


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