Tag Archives: Jackie Chan

The Rooster Talisman: there since the Beginning

Happy Year of the Rooster!  To celebrate the occasion, let’s once again check out the Rooster Talisman in the Kids WB cartoon series, Jackie Chan Adventures.  The Rooster Talisman (which bestows Levitation powers to the user) is special as it was the first Talisman seen and premiered in the first episode of the series!  Looking back at this episode, I can’t help but be amused how different the show was compared to later seasons such as the rougher character designs and an overall awkward pace.  You can tell the creators were trying to figure out what kind of show Jackie Chan Adventures was going to be.

image from jackie chan adventures wiki

image from jackie chan adventures wiki

But enough about the show, let’s talk about the Rooster Talisman!  Unlike our previous two talismans, the Rooster was prominently used throughout the show, even in episodes where it was not the focal point (a big example being Jade’s battle with the Sky Demon).  It’s now hard to understand why either.  The Rooster Talisman is simply useful.  The power to levitate yourself (and other objects) would’ve solved a world of problems for our heroes had it not been for Jackie’s reluctance to use the Talismans.

This was also one of the best episodes in the series as well.  The Rooster and Rabbit Talismans were just icing on the cake.  Image from the Jackie Chan Adventures wiki

This was also one of the best episodes in the series as well. The Rooster and Rabbit Talismans were just icing on the cake. Image from the Jackie Chan Adventures wiki

The Rooster Talisman has been a constant presence in the series for reasons you may actually not realize.  Okay, so in season 3 when Jackie blew up the Talismans, the Rooster Talisman possessed its noble animal, Eggbert, a rooster that lived in Malaysia and later moved to Kansas.  Eggbert was subsequently paired up with the Pig Talisman’s noble animal, Mordecai.  These two were the best as Eggbert just flew Mordecai around while he caused havoc with his laser eyes.  Now, this episode was one of the few times Jackie Chan an co. lost to Daolon Wong as he absorbed both powers with his freaky mouth hands.  In subsequent episodes, up to the climax of season 3, Daolon Wong frequently used his newfound levitation and heat beam eye powers to his advantage.  I like this a lot actually as Daolon Wong becomes a bigger threat unlike season 1 where the Dark Hand barely used their talismans.  That wasn’t the last of Eggbert though as he and Moredecai were infrequent guests to the show in later episodes such as “The Amazing T-Troop” and “The Powers That Be.”

Luckily, when push comes to shove the Talismans will be used as a last resort.  These instances don’t happen too often though and that’s what makes those episodes great.  Some of the special ones include the awesome Talisman battle in Season 2’s “The J-Team,” the Talisman vs Demon battle in Season 2’s “The Demon World,” and the battle against the Oni Generals in Season 4’s “Ninja Twilight.”  The Rooster Talisman’s insane usefulness combined with the show underplaying them means that every time we see someone use it, we’re in for a good time.

Happy Year of the Rooster!

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!

Nostalgia Filter Test: Jackie Chan Adventures

Full thoughts and review of Godzilla (2014) will be posted next week. For now, enjoy this article on Jackie Chan Adventures!

Nostalgia plays a role in our grown up lives but how much of that clouds our passion for our childhood obsessions?  This is part of a series where I’ll critically analyze a series from my childhood and see how well it still holds up. Enjoy!

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For my free time these past few weeks, I’ve been watching Jackie Chan Adventures on Netflix.  I wanted to rewatch some of the good episodes while trying out seasons 4 and 5 as well.  How well as this series held up?  Pretty good I have to say!

This is probably one of the best shows out there that’s centered on a celebrity.  Though the real Jackie Chan doesn’t lend his voice to his character, he’s still involved in the show as seen in his end-of-the-episode “Hey Jackie” shorts along with his brief cameos in the intro.  Plus, Jade Chan is voiced by Stacie Chan who is actually Jackie Chan’s real life niece!

One thing you’ll probably not hear many people praise on the show is its animation which is alright but definitely better than some modern cartoons’ flash animation style.  However, it’s the story, characters, and voice acting that really pulls the show together. Most of the characters are pretty funny.  Jackie, Jade, Uncle, and Tohru lead the way with some of the best comical moments the series has to offer.  The running gags can be a little overdone but they usually give them enough spin to keep them fresh.  The fights can be frenetic, just like a Jackie Chan movie and that’s fun to watch.  The show really gets creative at times, especially with the use of props, scenery and magical devices.

A primary focus on East Asian folklore gives the show a unique flavor that doesn’t feel stereotypic or watered down.  Uncle’s chi spells seem genuine, especially with the chi spells’ ingredients such as blowfish or lotus flowers.  The standalone episodes also break the East Asian focus by expanding on global folklore such as El Chupacabra and Stonehenge which is definitely needed.

talismans

What’s nice about the show is that each season can stand by itself as they have a definite beginning and end with many conflicts in between.  Season 1 saw the 12 Talismans, Season 2 had the 8 Demons, Season 3 saw the Talismans in animal form, Season 4 had the Oni Masks, and Season 5 had the Demon Chi.  I think the show really took off starting Season 2 as now we have an established universe which is now expanded on and played with.

In fact, Season 4 was probably the JCA’s most creative season.  The season broke away from the Chinese focused plotlines and into Japanese folklore via the Oni Demons.  Now, Uncle is nearly helpless and Tohru’s importance is expanded on.  Also, I loved what they did with the Oni Masks.  They took a concept, Oni Masks give the mask wearer the power to summon a unique shadowkahn and the mask can only be removed by a unique spell, and ran with it.  They did concepts like a dog wearing a mask, or a mask is split into two, or a mask is revived via the Rat Talisman, the list goes on.  I liked it and though it wasn’t as strong as Season 2, it was still enjoyable.

Evil-Masks-jackie-chan-adventures-26036978-1024-768

I wish I could say the same thing for Season 5.  Oh God, why.  I watched a few episodes of Season 5 and I had to turn it off because it was not worth it.  The show had definitely run its course with reused plotlines.  Also, Drago was just not a good villain, especially when compared to his father, Shendu.  And I absolutely can’t stand Ice Man, he’s just sooooo anooooyinnnng.  God, shut up.  Overall, Season 5 just felt stale and I’m glad they canceled the show after that.

But back to Season 2, I think the main reason why this season worked was because of Shendu and his brothers and sisters.  Seeing Shendu in a position where he had to beg, gravel and be frustrated was a delight.  The demons were really fun and I especially liked the Moon and Sky Demon.  The Demon World episodes were also some of the best in the series as we see our heroes at their lowest but even then they still won the day.

ONE MORE THING, it’s funny to see Shendu transform as the series progressed.  We initially see him as a demon who was obsessed in conquering the world to eventually obsessed in killing Jackie Chan.  It’s very amusing.

Anyway, Jackie Chan Adventures has held up well.  Go see it if you have some free time this summer.  I suggest you start with Season 2 and go through to Season 4.  But skip Season 5, bleh.

Nostalgia Filter Test Score: A-