Tag Archives: Chinese New Year

The Dog Talisman: The Best Defensive Talisman

Happy Year of the Dog! We’re back once again to talk another talisman and this time it’s the Dog. The Dog Talisman has a special place in Jackie Chan Adventures as it introduced two prominent, reoccurring supporting characters. One was Scruffy, the noble dog that inherited the talisman’s power, and the other is the amazing Hak Fu! That’s right! Hak Fu’s was first introduced in the Dog Talisman episode in season 1, pretty interesting, huh?

But I’m getting ahead of myself, what does the Dog Talisman do? The Dog Talisman’s power is immortality. Whoever holds the talisman will not die and will survive events that would otherwise maim or kill them. We see Scruffy surviving a blast of dark magic from Daolon Wong, Uncle withstanding a brutal, wall-breaking punch from Hak Fu, and Jackie escaping unburnt from Shendu’s fire blast. This is a defensively strong talisman! However, beyond this the power becomes a bit inconsistent. Sometimes, the user does not flinch from attacks (like Scruffy for instance) while other times they seem to feel the pain but exhibit no outstanding injuries (like Finn’s collisional injury or when Shendu was electrocuted). This inconsistency seem to derive more from story convenience and less on the user or the situation. The show implies the talisman brings youth to the aged like it did for Uncle in season 1. Although he did not physically de-age, he fought like he was in his prime (it also cured him of his lactose-intolerance).

Some people scratch their heads though as the Dog Talisman sounds suspiciously like the Horse Talisman and its power of healing. I would also question why the two talismans even exist separately. Remember, the talismans originated from Shendu. An ancient warrior casted a spell on the dragon and extracted his powers in the form of the talismans. Wouldn’t the healing and immortality be the same talisman? Also, I have to wonder why Shendu would even need the Horse Talisman if he’s immortal all the time (even Finn questioned why he would need to carry both at the same time)! But I’m nitpicking here.

If Jackie Chan Adventures had less respect for its characters or storyline we might have seen the Dog Talisman used more commonly as a solution to tricky problems. Luckily, thanks to Jackie’s reluctance on talisman use, this was not the case. When we do see the Dog Talisman, it’s usually in the vein of a talisman episode or a season climax. On that note, characters label the Dog Talisman as one of the “cool” talismans making it one of the first talismans characters try to snatch in the heat of the battle. Whoever carries it means their foe has to think cleverly to win the battle which is always an exciting moment.

Regardless, we have an unusual situation in that we have a “cool” talisman that rarely makes appearances! So there’s not much to talk about the Dog Talisman besides one noteworthy moment in Jackie Chan Adventures. As mentioned before, in season 2, “Enter the Demon World, Part 2” Jackie survives a fiery blast from Shendu thanks to the Dog Talisman. When they escape, Jackie relies on the Dog Talisman for survival and when he loses it, he doubts his own strengths. Jade rallies Jackie though and explains how Jackie by himself is still a great hero. This lifts Jackie’s spirits and helps the J-Team defeat the demons. It’s a touching moment in the series in that we rarely see Jade give an effective pep talk to Jackie.

That’s it for now, hope you all have a great Year of the Dog!

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The Monkey Talisman’s True Power

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!

The Untapped Potential of the Sheep Talisman

Happy Year of the Sheep everyone!

To celebrate this New Year, let’s talk about what some may call the most useless talisman in the great cartoon series, Jackie Chan Adventures.

Finn, Jackie Chan Adventures, Talismans

“Astral Projection…Motion to the Motionless…Yin/Yang? How come I get all the loser powers?”

For those who forget, the Sheep Talisman has the powers of astral projection. Basically, the user’s spirit leaves the host body and is able to fly around unseen and infiltrate people’s dreams. The body is lifeless until the spirit returns to the body.

Now, when you compare this talisman to other, more flamboyant, talismans like Snake, Ox, Dragon, and Rabbit…it looks kind of lame. And truth be told you have the show to thank for that! The show doesn’t use the talisman to its full potential! The only time it is used is either when an episode focuses specifically on it or when all 12 talismans are featured (with one exception which I’ll get to in just a moment).

Even the other, supposedly useless talismans, were embraced more often than the Sheep Talisman. For instance, the Rat Talisman was used to revive the Lo Pei statue, Jackie when he was a puppet, and of course, Mighty Moose many times. The Tiger Talisman was even used several times on Jackie, once by Jade (correctly I might add), and even Captain Black when he was wearing an Oni Mask.

You see, one of the cool things about Jackie Chan Adventures was that it used the talismans even if they weren’t essential to the plot. They were kind of like a last resort or even a solution to a tricky problem the protagonists encountered. All talismans were vital or important in one form or another except for the Sheep Talisman.

Astral Projection, Sheep Talisman, Tohru, Hak foo, Jackie Chan Adventures

It can even be a problem from ignorant users which leads to hilarious results

But what could have they done with the Sheep Talisman? Well, several things come to mind.

One: Infiltration. You can go through walls, be invisible, fly, and be silent. No one can detect you unless they have some sort of magical or spiritual aid. Jackie and his crew could have used the talisman to learn about a crucial plan from the Dark Hand.

Two: Spiritual Possession. Shendu was able to possess Jade’s body while she was using the Sheep Talisman.   This opens up to some interesting plot concepts. Maybe there’s this lifeless object or spirit-less person that Jade or Jackie could take over and control temporary. Maybe you need that person’s fingerprint to access a super secret safe or bank? That would have been awesome.

Three: More Dream Watching. Remember that exception I was talking about earlier? Well, in the season 2 episode “Armor of the Gods,” Jade puts Uncle to sleep using a sleeping potion because he was being cranky. However, later, she needed the anti-demon potion from him to take down the Earth Demon but he was still sleeping hard, what to do? Ah ha! The Sheep Talisman! In the lone episode it was used (to the best of my knowledge), Jade uses the Sheep Talisman to infiltrate Uncle’s dream and learned how to make the potion from him.

Jackie and crew could have used the Sheep Talisman for certain missions involving dreams. Perhaps a Sandman-like villain was stealing people’s energy while they are sleeping. They could use the Sheep Talisman to hop from dream to dream and take down the Sandman villain in the surreal world of dreams. That would have been a funny episode.

It’s a shame that none of those three situations, save for that one episode, came up because that would have taken a talisman that everyone perceived to be useless and made it important. It could have been used as an infiltration tool and that would have made it awesome. Sometimes, you can’t solve your problems by using force; if you want to get ahead in life then you’ll have to be as sneaky as a sheep.

There will still be an article for next Monday but it won’t be the usual length as to accommodate for this special article.