It's always fun returning to your childhood, especially when that return includes a high quality television show (or, if you will, a series of television movies) based on one of the most popular trilogies ever to grace the silver screen: Indiana Jones.
The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: The Complete Volume One is now out on DVD in a 12-disc collection that includes seven full-length television movies and tons - I mean tons - of special features. I've never seen a 12-disc box set that contains "only" seven movies/episodes - that is, until now.
I won't begin to claim that in the week or so I had to review this collection that I watched most of the special features, but I will say I'm impressed by the amount of stuff that has been offered to fans. Of course, in reality, I would have preferred to get all three volumes in one collection, so I'd have all the movies rather than a bunch of documentaries, but hey, Paramount and Lucasfilm will make a lot more money by selling three volumes instead of one.
Having watched the first couple movies, it's nice to see that the production values still hold up quite well. These first two pictures focus on Indiana Jones as a young boy, as he travels around Egypt and Africa with his parents. Amazingly, I remembered small parts of the movies from when I was a child, but for the most part they played like new. These Young Indiana Jones movies featuring Corey Carrier are a bit slow at times as they feature Indiana more in learning mode as he collects information on different cultures and just happens to stumble across adventures accidentally. The later movies, starring Sean Patrick Flanery, are a bit more action based if I recall.
Of course, these movies are actually re-edited versions of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, the series of 45-minute shows that featured an old Indiana Jones who flashbacked to his childhood and teenage years typically in the same episode. Apparently, Mr. Lucas decided to do what he liked to do - revise things he already created and "finished" and make 2-hour movies out of them, effectively removing the alternating storylines, flashbacks and old Indiana Jones (I don't remember particularly enjoying watching Indiana Jones as an old man anyway) to make a more chronological series of movies. The result is that the first several films focus entirely on Carrier's Indiana, which means that the adventures aren't quite as explosive. Still, it's a good way to go, although I'd rather view the episodes how they were originally intended - and how I remember them.
Fans of the show and fans of Indiana Jones should certainly take a look at the box set, as these movies, even if reconstructions based on the original series, are pretty well done and do a good job of extending the Indiana Jones storyline.