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Universal Studios Home Video presents
The Mummy: Quest for the Lost Scrolls (2002)

"From the four corners of the ancient world comes an adventure beyond time, beyond imagination..."
- Tagline

Review By: Joel Cunningham   
Published: October 21, 2002

Stars: Jim Cummings, Grey DeLeslie, Chris Marquette, John Schneider
Other Stars: Nicholas Guest, Tom Kenny
Director: Eddy Houchins

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (animated violence)
Run Time: 01h:03m:59s
Release Date: October 01, 2002
Genre: animation

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

In recent years, summer blockbusters have been bigger in just about every way. Bigger budgets. Bigger stars. Bigger special effects sequences. And, let's not forget, a bigger marketing push. Now, selling a movie doesn't stop with fast food promos and commercials. Now we get the animated spin off. It doesn't matter that most of these big hits are rated PG-13; the studios don't hesitate to translate them into Saturday morning brain candy. It happened with Men in Black. It happened with Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. And now, it's happening with The Mummy.

Set immediately after the events of the Mummy sequel, the animated series follows the exploits of archeologists Rick and Evy and, of course, their plucky, wiseacre son Alex (a little older here, so the boys will think he's cool and the girls will think he's cute... it's like a marketing textbook, people). Alex manages to get another bracelet stuck to his wrist (a totally different one than in the movie, mind you), and someone manages to wake up the mummy (aka Imhotep), and wouldn't you know it, he wants that bracelet, because it do voodoo.

This DVD splices together episodes one, twelve, and thirteen into an hour-long "movie." Parts of the story covered in the intervening episodes are summarized with clunky voiceover, but nothing of import seems to have been missed—the show follows a very episodic, repetitive pattern, wherein each week, the O'Connells race to find a "lost scroll" before the mummy gets to it. Because if he gets them all, he'll rule the world! But, in a different way than had he succeeded in the movie version.

So, if you can't tell, this series basically takes the exact plot of The Mummy Returns and molds it into something kid-friendly. The filmed version is brainless and mind numbing, if sporadically entertaining, and the same can be said of this incarnation. The writing is no great shakes, but the pace zips along and the action sequences are plentiful. I have a fondness for the animation, however. It's got the same blocky, stylized look as the animated Batman series, another program that aired on Kids WB! at one time.

The voice talent is pretty impressive as well, including (the new) Winnie the Pooh himself, Jim Cummings, as Imhotep (maybe the scrolls piece together a map to the honey tree) and Nicholas Guest (brother Christopher) as Alex's ally, Ardeth Bay.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: C


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: This show looks great on DVD, with rich colors and good black level. I noticed no artifacts or graininess, and no edge enhancement to speak of. Giving such a high grade to a simple TV cartoon might seem a bit much, but I really can't fault this presentation. Any problems can likely be attributed to the quickie animation.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: This is a pretty nice DD 2.0 mix, considering the source material. The front soundstage is nice and wide, with good dynamic range, and good directionality throughout. Surrounds provide some support as well, be it minor atmospheric effects or a bit of the score. LFE is lacking, and more surround use would be nice, but this is actually more than I was expecting already.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 3 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
2 Other Trailer(s) featuring Mummy: Secrets of the Medji, Butt-Ugly Martians
Production Notes
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Trivia Game with Bonus Episode
  2. Character Files
  3. Videogame Trailers
  4. Kids WB! Music Video
Extras Review: Extras are fairly limited, and obviously geared towards the kiddies, but there is at least one worth checking out: answer all the questions in the Trivia Game correctly and you'll gain access to a full-length bonus episode of the series.

Egyptology features about 20 text screens of information on "real life" mummies and Imhotep. Character Files offer scant information about the main characters. Aside from the trailer for this video, there's also a clip for Season Two of the series, sub-titled Secrets of the Madji and a trailer for Butt-Ugly Martians on DVD.

If you still haven't had your fill of ads disguised as extras, there are spots for two Universal-produced Game Boy Advance games and a profoundly dorky "Kids WB!" music video for the song The Mummy from Scott Pearlman and Scott Ward, which contains the lyric, "He's centuries old/He's got no skin."

Extras Grade: C-


Final Comments

The Mummy: Quest for the Lost Scrolls is about what you'd expect from an animated version of a brainless blockbuster. It's got action, monsters, and not a lot of great character development, but the colorful animation helps distract from any story deficiencies. It's totally derivative, but kids will likely get a kick out of it (particularly the ones too young for the live action Brendan Fraser version).


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