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Forgotten Childhood: Jackie Chan Adventures



Do you remember the Jackie Chan Adventures? If the answer is ‘no’ then it’s something to maybe add to your list. It was fantastic, and hopefully I’ll be able to convince you of that.

To be honest, I can’t remember much about any specific memories of watching this other than watching a lot of it but I remember it was very popular. Though there wasn’t much merchandise for it, I can recall the magazine which would come with trading cards, which had a layout similar to Top Trumps and the occasional talisman, nice! I remember when it was common to see large stacks of cards to be shown off and traded though never played funnily enough. I never did get the oh so coveted card of Viper clad in a mech suit…


Disregarding all of that though, the show is enjoyable without the need to collect cards. Each series, in essence, revolved around Jackie, his niece, Jade and their friends, The J-Team (which could signify Jackie or Jade to be fair). The most prominent members featuring Uncle, Jackie’s Uncle and Tohru, a large sumo-esque fellow who started in the show as an antagonist to become one of the most prominent heroes. Of course, there were others, such as El Toro Fuerte, (“El Toro Fuerte never removes his mask!”), Viper, the thiefy character who was supposed to be Jackie’s sort of sometimes romantic interest? And Captain Black, Jackie’s old friend who runs Section 13, a group that hires Jackie and basically facilitate his needs, such as travel and information so they could go on their adventures.

The show had everything: martial arts, magic, demons… Umm, well maybe not everything but it was a fantastic show. The series can be summarised by the outro, just replace ‘talisman’ with the magical or magically inclined object of the season, be it a mask or an animal or the talismans again.

I only found a while ago that it was done by Wheatus. A lyrical reworking of a song called ‘Punk Ass Bitch’ so there’s a fun bit of trivia for you.

Though hat I’ve just said may make it seem formulaic and bland, it never felt that way, sure, almost every episode saw Jackie beating down the Dark Hand and protect his uncle and Niece from shadowkhan and deadbeats. But it wasn’t in pursuit of maguffins but of powerful artifacts that, while holding immense powers in themselves, also had the potential to free Shendu, (the series’ main antagonist) from his stone form prison.

There were twelve talismans in total, one for each of the Chinese zodiacs, each with their own unique powers:

  • The Rat talisman had the power to animate the inanimate, it was occasionally used to bring life to one of Jade’s stuffed animals as a member of The J-Team, Mighty Moose.
  • The Ox, which granted the holder super strength
  • The Tiger, which when activated would split the holder into two parts, their good and their bad.
  • The Rabbit granted super speed.
  • The Dragon, could spout flames.
  • The Snake, invisibility.
  • The Horse, healing.
  • The Sheep was interesting, it allowed the user to leave their body and float around as a spirit or even enter peoples’ dreams
  • The Monkey, shapeshift, awesome, not only on the user but could also be targeted.
  • The Rooster, flight, well, not flight, actually levitation.
  • The dog, invulnerability.
  • And lastly The Pig, it gave its user Laser eyes.


Though there were other things in the later series to hunt down it was the talisman’s that I (and I’m guessing most people) remember mostly. There were many a hypothetical of if you could have two talismans, which two? (The number isn’t the important part of that, it was often thought with various numbers) They were the most prominent of the artifacts but that’s not the say the others were no good, One season revolved around retrieving masks, that if worn would possess the wearer with the soul of the corresponding demon, who could then summon a different variant of shadowkhan.

The various shadowkhan and demons had pretty cool designs, and I’m a sucker for a good monstrous design. It’s a show I’d rewatch again had I the time, unfortunately there are so many of those shows that it’s hard to know if I ever will.

Actually, if you could have two talismans, which would you choose?