Jonny’s Golden Quest (1993)

This 1993 original USA Cable presentation , Jonny’s Golden Quest was a made for television movie that attempts to capitalize on an audience who fell in love with the original 1964-65 series. All the familiar characters from the classic Hanna Barbera Saturday morning cartoon are here as well as an unfamiliar face; Jonny’s mom. Throughout the entire tv series, very little mention had been given to Quest’s mother and this film decided to close up that loose hole by including Rachel Quest (voice of Meredith MacRae) into the story line. We also learn something new about Jonny’s family caretaker and bodyguard, Race Bannon (voice of Granville Van Dusen). All the true fan elements were in this action movie, including the nefarious Dr. Zin (voice of Jeffrey Tambor), Dr. Benton Quest’s most formidable enemy. Being an avid fan of the television series I anticipated this cable television adaptation of Jonny Quest to be as adventurous and exciting as the original.

One of the most noticeable setbacks to Jonny’s Golden Quest, in my opinion, came because the show was too long. The key factor that made Jonny Quest a much watched cartoon was a mixture of high-tech gadgetry, mystical adventures and most important of all, precision timing. The original series was a half hour program that moved along at a good pace, leaving just enough time for brief dialogue or lighthearted antics with the boy’s dog, Bandit. It left little time for in depth drama or deep conversations. Golden Quest used the movie’s longer time format to add more family moments of teen angst to the main character that drew away from the action sequences. The animation and color were very much in synch with the original flavor of this series and even improved on fluidity of character movement. So often remakes of classic animated series will try to update the look and feel of characters which leaves disappointment to true fans. I was glad to see that Jonny’s Golden Quest kept the original flavor of the art consistent with it’s roots and did include those high-tech toys we loved to dream about owning.

Jonny’s Golden Quest would most likely be enjoyed by tween aged boys (9-12) but for fans of the original series, I don’t feel the pace of the show would hold your interest. I sat and watched the entire movie for reviewing purposes and out of respect to the genius of William Hanna and Joseph Barbera but I would not say that this was as enjoyable to me as the original. A quick tidbit or trivia for Jonny Quest fans; the voice of Dr. Benton Quest came from the talented Don Messick, whose voice repertoire included the likes of Scooby Doo, Ricochet Rabbit and Papa Smurf among others.

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