Anthony's Film Review
James Bond Jr.
(TV Series, 1991-1992)
Though not official James Bond canon, this attempt to bring Bond to kids is exciting enough...
When Ian Fleming created MI6 agent James Bond, it was entirely targeted for the adult audience because of its dark, violent, and sexual nature. The late film producer Albert Broccoli and company brought Agent 007 to the big screen in a somewhat more light-hearted style. That allowed even the youngsters to experience the excitement of the international superspy. That's not to say it was a bad business move. On the contrary, this expanded the audience and, therefore, the profits from the box office.
James Bond Jr. was a short-lived animated series on television, partially involving the company behind the Bond films. The reason it is not official Bond canon is because it goes against one thing that Ian Fleming created. Bond Junior is supposedly the nephew, not the son, of James Bond. According to Fleming, James Bond was the only child to a mother and father who died in a climbing accident. If he does not have any siblings, he cannot be an uncle in the first place. I therefore look at James Bond Jr. as sort of an alternate fictional universe where one could experiment with the idea of a younger yet equally daring spy.
It's not entirely a bad or unbelievable idea. If you watch the show's 48-second title sequence at the start of each episode, which is really played after the episode's first scene just like how the Bond movies do it, you can get a good idea of what Bond Junior is all about. He may be about 17 years old, but he could dodge a helicopter, somersault over a fence, crash through a glass window on skis, and dodge a charging enemy on a boat. The theme music is reminiscent of the James Bond theme from the movies. The adventures of Bond Jr. are no different from the older James Bond. There are villains that include a scientist named Dr. Derange, an evil Egyptian, and even newer versions of familiar Bond villains like Dr. No, Oddjob, and Jaws.
But James Bond Jr. isn't doing it because he is hired by a spy organization. Rather, he is a schoolboy whom trouble just happens to find. He is enrolled in an academy specially designed to protect any spy's next of kin. Besides the nephew of James Bond, there is also the grandson of Q named Horace Boothroyd, nicknamed I.Q., along with the son of CIA agent Felix Leiter named Gordo. Other classmates include Phoebe, Tracy, and a snobbish British gentleman named Trevor. Often, their adventures take place on class trips all over the world, and that of course is where Bond Jr. dives into action.
It's not easy to rate a film or television show from childhood because there is both the childhood perspective and the current adulthood perspective of it. I think the easiest way to rate it would be to view it from the perspective of the intended audience along with a bit of the secondary audience. With James Bond Jr., I can say that it is an exciting cartoon to watch as a kid, even if you are not acquainted with the adult Bond, and it's not so cheesy and stupid that I would discredit it. Rather, there's enough of the Bond formula from the films incorporated into this TV show. That is probably why I think it worked in my opinion. I would easily rate it 6 out of 10 stars, but with a somewhat successful effort to bring the excitement of Bond to kids, I would make that 7 stars instead. Or should I say, 007 out of 0010 stars.
For more information about James Bond Jr., visit the Internet Movie Database.