How The Monkees TV Show Influenced Jackie Chan Adventures

There is a connection here. Bear with me.

34 years later, Kids’ WB debuted an animated series called “Jackie Chan Adventures,” a fantasy show wherein Chan (James Sie) would do battle with evil sorcerers, demons, and other supernatural creatures that were still thriving in the modern world. This version of Jackie Chan wasn’t a movie star, but a freelance archaeologist along the lines of Indiana Jones. The series played with Chan’s persona, and only occasionally made reference to Chan’s many real-life feature films. Animated Jackie Chan would be assisted by (fictional) members of his own family, including Jade Chan (Stacie Chan, no relation), and his bitter Uncle (Sab Shimono). Other celebrities would pop in from time to time, including James Hong and Julian Sands. 

Most significantly, Chan himself would appear at the end of every episode, in live-action, to answer viewer mail and talk about martial arts. It was this last portion that show co-creator Jeff Kline enjoyed the most … because it reminded him of “The Monkees.” 

In a 20th-anniversary retrospective on “Jackie Chan Adventures,” published in the pages of SyFy in 2020, Kline talked about filming those sequences and how they related directly to certain portions of his favorite TV shows from the 1960s. In his words:

“At the end of every episode, they used to do a live-action Q&A with Davey, Mickey, Mike, and Peter, and I used to love that part […] It was a way of seeing them off-script, just being themselves, so it grew out of what ‘The Monkees’ did, so that we could give the audience more Jackie.”

Leave a Comment