The Monkey Talisman, in Jackie Chan Adventures, is similar to last year’s Ram Talisman as it had a rather unique super power and did not get used often during the show’s run. However, unlike last year’s Ram Talisman, the Monkey Talisman was significantly more useful and it generated some genuinely funny or comedic moments.
First off, for those who forget, the Monkey Talisman has the power of Shapeshifting, or more correctly, to change the holder or target into whatever animal they think of. Many animals were used during the show’s run such a rabbit, walrus, elephant, giraffe, hippo, and even a chinchilla. The Monkey Talisman can also change the person back to their original form.
Unlike the Rabbit, Ox, Dragon, or Pig Talisman, the Monkey Talisman did not see much use during the show’s run and it’s a real shame too! One of the few times when the Monkey Talisman was not used during a Talisman episode was when the J Team busted in to the Hollowlands Penitentiary in Season 2. Jade turned Jackie into a chinchilla and carried him to another part of the prison.
As such, we don’t know the full extent of the Monkey Talisman’s power compared to the other Talismans. Rooster can make you, or something you’re looking at, fly, Pig can give you heat beam eyes, and Horse can heal you. But what about the Monkey Talisman? What are the true limits to its power?
The show keeps referring to the Monkey Talisman as “shapeshifting” but no one has used it to transform into an inanimate object. Even Haiku, the Noble monkey that was worthy of this power, only used it to transform into other animals. As such, we can assume that you can only transform into an animal with this power.
As for what kind of animal, that is entirely hard to say. In the first couple of seasons, the Monkey Talisman’s victims and users transformed only into vertebrates. But we later find out in Season 3 that invertebrates, such as Haiku’s cricket form, are also on the table. Given the huge phylogenetic diversity, it would not be unreasonable to assume that you can also transform into a starfish, a squid, or even a flat worm.
But what about jellyfish or sponges? Yes! I think you would be able to transform into these as well. I honestly think that the Monkey Talisman can transform anyone or anything into what we regard as animals. As such, the Porifera and Cnidarians could be included although I would certainly feel sorry for the poor bastard that got turned into a sponge. If the Horse Talisman can fix a sinking cruise ship and the Rat Talisman can bring an ancient Aztec deity to life, what’s stopping the Monkey Talisman from doing this as well?
It’s a shame, like I said before, that we didn’t get much of the Monkey Talisman in Jackie Chan Adventures. I’m sure that if Jackie let Jade have access to the talismans, she would have a lot of fun with the Monkey Talisman. And God, this show loved its puns so you can bet that Jade would say things like “being a fly on the wall” or “elephant never forgets” before transforming into that animal. You could even throw in ancient animals like dinosaurs as well. A visit to the natural history museum could be livened up with some actual dinosaurs roaming the halls. Also, we missed a golden opportunity for El Toro and Viper to transform into their respective animals, that would’ve been great (even better is if they got their counterpart)!
Happy Chinese New Year!