Jackie Chan Adventures is a successful American animated television series chronicling the adventures of a fictionalized version of action film star Jackie Chan. Many of the episodes contain references to Chan's actual works. This series ran on Kids' WB from September 9, 2000 to July 8, 2005 for a total of 95 episodes, or 5 seasons. During its run, it was also shown on Cartoon Network, and afterwards, its reruns landed on Toon Disney's Jetix block. An Arabic translation has been airing on MBC 3 since early 2006. There have been several toys and video games based on the series. Its main character designer is Jeff Matsuda, the same designer of the animated series The Batman.
The series features the fictional adventures of Jackie Chan, who is an archaeologist, martial arts expert and reluctant secret agent in the series. With help from his niece Jade, his grumpy old Uncle (simply known as "Uncle") and his old friend Captain Black, he saves the world from evil forces that attempt to use magical artifacts to rule the world. Later seasons included other supporting characters that comprised the world-saving J-Team. He often works for the spy group Section 13 against the criminal organization the Dark Hand and various evil and supernatural forces. The first season involved the pursuit of 12 magical Talismans. Subsequent seasons featured talisman powers, but more prominently involved Jackie Chan's pursuit of other magical items. While he travels around the world, Jackie Chan lives in San Fran, California, where both Section 13 and Uncle's Antique Shop are located. Note Jackie's adventure suit changed colors. In season one the color was black and yellow black and yellow black and yellow. In season 2-5 it was just khaki. Well a little bit black and yellow too.
The main protagonists are:
- Jackie Chan - an archaeologist, who works part-time for Section 13.
- Jade Chan - Jackie's niece from Hong Kong who is staying with him. Highly adventurous and impulsive, she constantly wants to get into the action.
- Uncle - Jackie's ancient uncle who is the one and only owner an antique shop and is also a very good Chi wizard.
- Tohru - An extremely obese Japanese man who claims to be "too small for Sumo." Originally an Enforcer, he becomes Uncle's apprentice in the 2nd season and remains with the Chans for the rest of the series.
- Captain Black - the leader of super duper top secret spy organization 'Section 13' and an old friend of Jackie.
See List of episodes
Season One - The Twelve Talismans
(16 episodes) Jackie is recruited by Section 13 to search for twelve magic talismans scattered across the world, in order to stop a criminal organization known as the Dark Hand from using them to revive an ancient demon sorcerer, Shendu. When the tiger talisman is split in half, so is Jackie, and his dark half hands over the talismans, allowing the Dark Hand to reanimate Shendu. Shendu travels to China to summon his dragon army to destroy all of Asia. Jackie pulls the talismans out of Shendu, causing him to transform back into a statue, and Jade destroys him. However, this leaves a vacuum to be filled by a new evil force bringing on an extremely spectacular, awesome, action-filled season two where a very large portion of fillers are also placed.
Season Two - The Demon Portals
(36 episodes) Shendu has possessed Valmont and is trying to bring his brothers and sisters - the Demon Sorcerers - into this world through a series of mystic portals, located with the magic Pan'ku box. Jackie must stop this to save the world. After initial failure, Shendu's spirit possesses Jackie as previously planned and travels to Australia, rewriting the Book of Ages so that the demons were never banished and now rule the world, with no one remembering their now-alternate lives. But Jade had managed to retain her memories and, with the help of the J-Team, changes the world back. In this series there are also a large number of "filler" episodes, where Jackie goes off on his own adventures, involving minor criminal organizations and other bandits, Spring-heeled Jack, the Monkey King, as well as more grisly ones with beings such as the Jiangshi and the Chupacabra, and occasional run-ins with Dark Hand members. There are also three episodes set during the time period of Season One. At the end of the season, the Dark Chi Wizard Daolon Wong was introduced, who after having been foiled in his long-term plan to engulf the world in dark chi, pursued the Talisman powers, paving the way for the events of Season 3.
Season Three - The Animal Powers
(17 episodes) When Section 13 is infiltrated by the Dark Hand and the evil Chi wizard Daolon Wong, Jackie destroys the twelve talismans to keep them from being used for evil. This results in the twelve powers being spread all over the world, each taking up residence in one of twelve "noble" animals. Daolon Wong is searching for these magic powers, and it is up to Jackie to try to stop him before he gains them all. In the end almost all animals with these powers are kept in section 13 (Daolon Wong manages to acquire the Rooster and Pig powers however). The only remaining power - from the Dragon Talisman - is lost since there are no more dragons in existence. To acquire the power, Daolon Wong resurrects Shendu, who then goes on a rampage and reclaims all of the Talisman powers. Section 13 arrests Daolon Wong and the Enforcers while Uncle uses the same spell from before to turn Shendu back into stone and recreate the Twelve Talismans. Shendu is stored in Section 13's vault.
Season Four - The Masks of the Shadowkhan
(13 episodes) Tarakudo, the King of the Shadowkhan, is awakened by Daolon Wong. Taking the Enforcers as his servants, he sets off to find the legendary nine Oni masks which, when worn, each release a new type of Shadowkhan. Jackie battles the King of the Shadowkhan to stop him from plunging the world into eternal shadow. Sometime during this season Shendu's son, Drago, travels back in time from the future in a plan to bring back his father but is defeated and detained in Section 13.
Season Five - The Demon Powers
(13 episodes) Drago escapes from Section 13 and sets off to find the seven magic objects that imprisoned the other Demon Sorcerers, which possess traces of their demon chi that would allow Drago to assimilate their powers. Jackie, Jade, Tohru and Uncle set off to stop him.
Every episode features an opening sequence which proceeds the teaser. The opening sequence changes seasonally to accompany the introduction of new characters.
The opening begins with Jackie Chan running into Uncle's shop where the camera then zooms onto Jackie who turns into the live-action version of himself. He then switches to cartoon mode again and is confronted by two Ninja Khan. The screen changes to a silhouette of Jackie defeating the ninjas with a rolling background that is relevant to the season and live-action Chan sneaking past the screen. It changes to live-action Chan jumping onto the screen and performing a marital arts move in front of a background with Ninja Khan scrolling downward. A fan then appears and the screen changes as the fan opens to Jade preforming a move with the fans in hand in front of an orange background with Chinese letters scrolling downward. The screen then slides over to Uncle preforming a move in front of a green background with Chinese letters.
The screen changes to a quick pan of the current seasons' main antagonists with the primary antagonist appearing at the end. It then shifts to Jackie being chased by Shadowkhan through various world landmarks. This includes one of the large suspension cables of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Eiffel Tower and one of the Egyptian Pyramids. It shows a shot of Jackie's face as he is fearfully evading his aggressors, which turns into live-action Chan. A season-relevant object then slides over and transitions the screen to Jade standing by Section 13 and fiddling with another season-relevant object. Jackie then runs over and picks Jackie up before inspecting the object which activates and shines at the screen. As the shine fades, Jackie, Uncle and Jade are then confronted by a large opponent who towers over them. Uncle and Jade run away as Jackie delivers a punch which knocks the opponent out cold but hurt his hand as shown when he briefly turns into live-action Chan who wallows in his pan. A cartoon Jackie then assumes his fighting pose with Jade and Uncle join standing next to him before the screen changes to the series logo.
- In season one and some episodes of season two, the background when Jackie fights the ninjas is of the 12 Talismans. The featured antagonists are the Dark Hand (Ratso, Finn, Tohru, Chow, Valmont) and then the statue of Shendu whose red eyes glare at the screen. The season-relative object that slides over the screen is the Talisman Locator and the object Jade is playing with his the Dragon Talisman. The imposing enemy at the end is Tohru.
- In most of season two and Re-Enter the J-Team, the background when Jackie fights the ninjas is of the other 7 Demon Sorcerers with the Talismans. The featured antagonists are almost identical to the previous season's, except Valmont's eyes will glow red and the screen shifts to Shendu in spirit-form whose eyes glare at the screen. Tohru is also absent. The season-relative object that slides over the screen is the Pan'ku Box, which is also the one Jade is playing with. The imposing enemy at the end is Hak Foo.
- Starting from The Powers Unleashed and the rest of season three, the background when Jackie fights the ninjas is the same as season one. The featured antagonists are Finn, Ratso and Chow, who quickly transform into their Dark Chi Warrior forms before Daolon Wong flies from under the screen whose staff creates a light that envelopes the screen. The season-relative object that slides over the screen is now replaced by Tohru tip-toeing across with a charged blowfish, and Jade is playing with Dragon Talisman again. The imposing enemy at the end is Ratso with Finn and Chow floating next to him.
- For the whole of season four, the background when Jackie fights the ninjas is now of the 9 Oni Masks with the Hana Fuda cards. The featured antagonists are Finn, Ratso, Chow, Hak Foo and then Tarakudo who makes a small shockwave before growling at the screen. The transition with Jade fiddling with season-relative object is the same as last seasons. The imposing enemy at the end is a member of the Sumo Khan.
- The final season opening is noticeably different from the previous season's. The music starts earlier and thus doesn't sync up with what's shown on screen. Jade and Uncle are presented at the same time with their screens being split together. The background when Jackie fights the ninjas is the same as season two. The featured antagonist is Drago alone whose eye is zoomed into to transition the scene. The imposing enemy at the end is the Ice Gang in dragon-form. The parts with Jade at Section 13 and Jackie escaping from the Shadowkhan are omitted entirely.
Magic and the Supernatural
The series nearly always involves magic and the supernatural, like spells, demons, chi, and stone talismans.
The talismans represent the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac:
- Rat: Power of Animation. "Motion to the Motionless". Gives inanimate objects life. When Shendu was under the spell of Lo Pei, this talisman was required to maintain his form if the Talismans were used to free him from his statue form. Found in an ancient Chinese lantern.
- Ox: Power of Super Strength. Found in an ancient Mexican temple. Found by Jackie on the mask of El Toro Fuerte. In the episode "The Amazing T-Troop", it increased Jade's muscle size.
- Tiger: Power of Balance/Ying-Yang. When halved, it also splits the user's positive and negative halves (Yin and Yang) into two separate beings, each holding a half of the talisman. The two beings rejoin when they reunite the broken talisman. Was found within a pie.
- Rabbit: Power of Super Speed. Allows the user to be very fast. Was found stuck in the shell of a tortoise in the Pacific.
- Dragon: Power of Combustion. Allows explosive energy to be discharged from the talisman. Valmont fused it into his hand. Found in a volcanic cave.
- Snake: Power of Invisibility. Found in a secret passage in a cave, near the Amazon River. Found by Jackie in a museum. Another is found in one of the eyes at Mount Rushmore. Jackie discovers that it is a fake to lure him, but it is already too late because he is poisoned by Valmont's potion received from Shendu.
- Horse: Power of Healing. It can "expel all alien forces within," curing the user of illness (foreign bodies), and can also heal physical injuries, repair broken objects and instantly relieve physical pain and disorientation. Found within a structure atop an unnamed mountain.
- Sheep: Power of Astral Projection, or the ability to eject the soul from the body and wander as an invisible spirit and able to enter a person's dreams. It was first found in a crate headed for Istanbul
- Monkey: Power of Shapeshifting. Any item/person/animal may be changed into the shape of any other animal. Found in Micronesia, underwater.
- Rooster: Power of Levitation (Telekinesis). Gives the user the power to float. Found embedded in a shield in an unnamed Bavarian castle.
- Dog: Power of Immortality. "The Dog is best friend to Man, it restores youthful energy and grants Eternal Life"; it can negate the effects of aging (the user won't turn young again, but they will feel as though they have) and make them invulnerable, (this was humorously pointed out when Finn collided with a bridge while atop a moving train and responded with a painful groan,) but only for as long as the user is in contact/wearing the talisman. Found in a wall of a windmill in the Netherlands.
- Pig: Power of Heat-Beam Eyes. Found on a Bavarian clock tower’s mechanical pig with cymbals.
In the universe of Jackie Chan Adventures, several characters can use a form of magic using chi energy. Chi magic involves the use of potions, magic objects, and incantations. Below are some of the Chi incantations that have been used throughout the series. Each wizard usually uses the same incantation but can accomplish many different effects, ranging from banishing demons to turning living creatures to stone.
- Yiu Mo Gwai Gwaai Fai Di Zao-The main good incantation of the series, this spell is used most often by Uncle. It is used for multiple purposes, including: banishing Shendu from Jade's body, returning the Demon Sorcerers to the Netherworld, turning Shendu to stone, and extracting the Demon Chi of the Demon Sorcerers. The incantation is actually Cantonese for "spirits, demons, ghosts and monsters quickly go away."
- Lai Shui Zai-The incantation used by Bai Tza during her attempt to flood San Francisco. In Mandarin it is along the lines of "summon water"
- Kuai Kuai Qi Lai-Incantation used by Shendu (in Jackie's body) to open the portal to the Book Of Ages.
- Nukeru, He Men Ja'aku-The Japanese incantation used for the removal of Oni Masks. It is also used to imprison Tarakudo in his Oni Mask. Can be translated as "Come off, evil face."
- Ya Gaa Mee Mo, Ya Gaa Mee Chi Wa-Drago's incantation, used to absorb Demon Chi and cause destruction.
- Mee-thana Chi. Chi-Mee-thana Chi-Chant Tohru uses to attempt to ambush Drago's absorption of the Demon Chi.
- Qu Yiqi Bushu Ni-Iso's incantation, used for evil chi spells. Its possibly 'Ju E Chea Bu Shun Li (祝一切不顺利)' in Chinese, meaning 'Wish every thing unsuccessful.'
A non-chi spell called Ex Metu Veres that the Magisters used when they stole Stonehenge was also invoked. Neither Chinese nor of any relevance to Chi magic. Latin for: "Out of fear, truth." This spell appears to have the same versatility as other forms of magic. Daolon Wong's incantations - as of present - are indecipherable.
References to pop culture
- During an episode in Season Three, the TV Jade is watching switches to a picture of a man in a yellow jumpsuit with black stripes down the sides. The man is Bruce Lee, and the movie she is watching is called the Game of Death.
- "Enter ... the Viper" and Season 3's "Re-Enter the J Team" are references to Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon also the fight sequences in Jade's dreams are a spoof on the sequences from the 1999 film The Matrix
- The episode "The Good, the Bad, the Blind, the Deaf and the Mute" got its name from the movie The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
- The episode "The Chan Who Knew Too Much" is a reference to the movie The Man who Knew Too Much.
- The episode "Through the Rabbit Hole" is a reference to the book Alice in Wonderland.
- Season 2's "Showdown in the Old West" borrows nearly the entire premise of Blazing Saddles.
- Season 3's "Shrink Wrap", Jackie and Hak Foo find themselves shrunken to the size of ants and eventually end up inside of Tohru's ear. When Uncle and the gang realize where the two are, and that it's too late to stop the spell, Jade asks if Tohru's brain is going to go 'Scanner' on them in reference to the head exploding scenes in the movie.
- The episode "Scouts Honor" includes a reference to The Godfather trilogy when Jade is watching TV, a man on screen says, "Just when I get out they keep pulling me back in!" This line is later said by Jade when she is forced to return to the Buttercup Scouts.
- The episode "Half a Mask of Kung-Fu" Jackie Chan's team and the Dark Hand were searching for the mask online at an auction. The usernames: "Chantastic 4" and "Finn Halen" comes from the comic book,The Fantastic Four and the rock band, Van Halen.
- The Maltese Falcon is seen as part of a criminal's art collection in the second season episode "Enter the Cat".
- In the Episode "Return of the Pussycat", Spring-heeled Jack, a troll able to jump great distances, is released from his stone prison by exposure to water; he is returned to his stone state when exposed to salt.
- In the episode "And He Does His Own Stunts," Jade likes an actor whose last name is 'DiCapissio', which is based off of Leonardo DiCaprio
- StrikeMaster Ice, a delinquent who joins with Drago to hunt for the Demon Chi, is named for Vanilla Ice, the rap star.
References to Jackie Chan's Film Career
There are many references to the real Jackie's live-action film career in the cartoon:
- In one of the first episodes Jackie runs of the side of a building. This is the same Jackie Chan does in the movie 'Who Am I?'
- When Jackie first meets Jade in the first episode, he assumes that she doesn't speak English when she refuses to talk to him, only to find out later that she does. This is a reference to the film Rush Hour, when Jackie's character first arrives in America, and Chris Tucker's character assumes he doesn't speak English.
- Animated Jackie's all beige/khaki clothes are also similar in appearance to the real Jackie in his film Armour of God. A second season episode was titled "Armour of the Gods" reference to his film Armour of God.
- In the first episode entitled The Dark Hand, Jackie fights Finn, Ratso and Chow in a playground. There is a similar playground fight scene in the Jackie Chan film Police Story 2.
- In another first season episode Tough Break, Jackie is seen waterskiing with a cast on his leg. This is a reference to the waterskiing scene from the Jackie Chan film Rumble in the Bronx where Jackie performed the scene with a disguised cast under his costume. Jackie had broken his ankle shooting a prior stunt where he jumped onto a passing hovercraft.
- The episode Project A, For Astral is homage to Jackie's film Project A.
- The Season Two episode Showdown in the Old West has Jackie's ancestor during the Old West looking just like Shanghai Noon. Another episode from season 2 is titled "Shanghai Moon"(instead of 'Noon') where Jackie fights the Moon Demon.
- The Season Two episode And He Does His Own Stunts is a reference to Jackie's stunt work in his movies.
- In The Tiger and the Pussycat, Jackie splits into "good" and "evil" twins. Jackie Chan played dual roles in The Twin Dragons, one is a musical conductor and the other was the lost twin, who is the only one with martial arts moves. Another possible reference can be seen during the fight between "light" and "dark" versions of Jackie in Tiger and the Pussycat where "Light" Jackie fights balancing onto makeshift stilts; using a ladder split vertically by "dark" Jackie. In the Jackie Chan film, Police Story 4: First Strike (known as Jackie Chan's First Strike in the US), Jackie has a fight scene whilst wearing stilts.
- In a Season 3 episode, Jackie is bitten by a snake. The poison affects him, putting him in a drunken state, which he uses to his advantage. This is an allusion to Jackie's movie Drunken Master as well as 'Who Am I?' where a race driver is bitten by a snake. Another possible "Drunken Master" reference appears in season 5, in the episode "Clash of the Titanics." Jackie (wearing SCUBA gear) explores a sunken ship which holds the chi of the thunder demon, Tchang Zu. Jackie, pursued by StrikeMaster Ice and his gang, is forced to surface too quickly and gets "the bends," a condition which makes him delusional, i.e., drunken.
- During the episode when Jade went back in time to Jackie's childhood, adult Jackie and young Uncle perform the same double team technique that Jackie Chan used with Chris Tucker in Rush Hour.
- Another scene pays homage to Jackie Chan's trademark act, where he fights against a number of enemies while talking on the phone.
- The Episode "Half a Mask of Kung Fu" from season 4 is a reference to Jackie's directorial debut, Half a Loaf of Kung Fu.
- The Season 2 episode name "Rumble in the Big House" is a reference to Jackie's movie, Rumble in the Bronx.
- In the episode " The Power Within" Jackie fights the bad guys in a restaurant, which is similar to the restaurant fight in Police Story 2.
- The episode titled "Glove Story" is similar to Jackie's film Police Story.
- In season 3's "The Ox-Head Incident" Jackie sneakingly switches places with Uncle's spiritual head (who's trapped inside Daolon Wong's crystal ball) on top of a headless sculpture while Wong was looking away. There is a similar scene in Chan's film Armour of God where Jackie accidentally breaks off the head of a statue (of whom the natives worshiped) and replaces his head with it at the last second.
- The Season 3 episode "A Night at the Opera" features a scene where Jade accidentally causes the stage background to fall onto Uncle and his old friend Wing, only to avoid getting smashed through the square opening in the center. This is a reference to a scene in Jackie's Project A 2 when the front of a building collapses onto Jackie, but narrowly escapes harm through an open window as it hit the ground. As a side note from this episode, Uncle also describes he was once a part of the stage group called the "Seven Little Fortunes" at the Peking Opera school — which Jackie Chan was a part of in real life.