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Undeniably, JONNY QUEST is one of the most intriguing and entertaining animated series to ever come out of Hanna-Barbera productions. Instead of the typical "cartoony" animated fare, JONNY QUEST was devised as a youthful action/adventure series with some science (fiction) and a bit of the supernatural thrown in for good measure. The plot focuses on the adventures of its youthful hero, Jonny Quest, who lives with his scientist father Dr. Benton Quest, tutor/bodyguard Race Bannon, best friend Hadji and dog Bandit. Due to Dr. Quest’s work for the government, this group is always investigating strange phenomena and usually find themselves battling the villains responsible for the strange phenomena. Although the show lasted a single season, it has lived on in syndication, developing a cult following in the forty years since it premiered, not to mention having its concept revisited and updated in the 1990s as THE REAL ADVENTURES OF JONNY QUEST.

JONNY QUEST: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON ($65) comes to DVD in a four disc boxed set that features the following twenty-six episodes: Mystery Of The Lizard Men, Arctic Splashdown, The Curse Of The Anubis, Pursuit Of The Po Ho, Riddle Of The Gold, Treasure Of The Temple, Calcutta Adventure, The Robot Spy, Double Danger, Shadow Of The Condor, Skull And Double Crossbones, The Dreadful Doll, A Small Matter Of Pygmies, Dragons Of Ashida, Turu The Terrible, The Fraudulent Volcano, Werewolf Of The Timberland, Pirates From Below, Attack Of The Tree People, The Invisible Monster, The Devil's Tower, The Quetong Missile Mystery, The House Of The Seven Gargoyles, Terror Island, Monsters In The Monastery and The Sea Haunt.

Warner Home Video has made all the episodes that comprise JONNY QUEST: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON available on DVD in the proper 4:3 full screen aspect ratios of their original television broadcasts. As the series is now four decades old, the original film elements doe show some signs of age and wear, nothing too serious, with speckles and minor scratches usually being the worst of it. Additionally, there is some graininess to the picture, but it never becomes particularly bothersome. The comic styled animation still looks quite nice and produces a fairly crisp looking animated presentation. Colors are very strong, stable and stylized- never demonstrating a cartoony look, although they can be quite vibrant. Blacks are accurate, whites are clean and contrast is what you would expect from this type of 2D television caliber animation. Digital compression artifacts are well concealed.

The Dolby Digital monaural soundtracks are quite respectable for their age, and are free from any significant flaws. Most of the background hiss and surface noise have been scrubbed away in the mastering process. Dialogue is always completely understandable. The musical component is free of substantial distortions, although fidelity has its expected limitations. A Spanish language soundtrack has also been provided on the DVD, as have English, French, and Spanish subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the interactive menus, which provide access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a few supplements. Adventures In Animation: A Cartoon Called Quest is a fifteen-minute program looks at the show’s animators and it particular visual style. Quest Files: Fun Facts & Trivia offers Pop-Up Video style information tidbits over episode Double Danger. Jonny Quest Video Handbook offers brief bios on various characters, both heroes & villains, plus locations and gadgets. P.F. Flyer Sneaker Commercial is an original TV ad that aired during the show’s run, which featured characters from the series.

Forty years down the line, JONNY QUEST remains enjoyable animated action/adventure entertainment and it is easy to see why the show has maintained a following for all these years. . The episodes look and sound just fine, so if you are a fan, you’ll want to add JONNY QUEST: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON to your collection.



Jonny Quest - The Complete First Season (1964)


DVD reviews are Copyright © 2004 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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