The Ninjabot

NERD OFF – What’s the best Indiana Jones Film? Tyler Says it isn’t a Film at All – it’s The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.

Posted on March 31, 2013 at 9:00 am by Tyler Waterman

The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones Volume 2 - The War Years

All weekend my fellow Geek Legacy allies have been explaining to you which of the Indiana Jones movies is the best iteration of the Indy mythos. While I love them all dearly, all of them are wrong; the single greatest version of Indiana Jones never hit the movie theaters at all. The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (later The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones) was truly the ultimate Indy experience, the main course to the appetizers that were the films. Madness, you say? Let me convince you, with the most effective way a geek can argue his point: a list!

Top 5 Reasons Young Indy is the Best Indy


5. Star power

Young-Indiana-JonesDon’t let the absence of Harrison Ford keep you from thinking this could be the best vessel to tell Indy stories. Just like the films, George Lucas is at the helm for this show, which helped it never lose that genuine Indy feel. Even better, while little kid Indy was played by a child actor that no one on Earth remembers, teenage Indy was played by none other than Sean Patrick Flanery! A young Boondock Saint is a young Indiana Jones; just try and and contain that amount of awesome, I dare you. Still can’t handle having no Harrison Ford? Don’t worry, he makes a cameo appearance, which I assume he agreed to do once he saw the show and realized it was the ultimate form of Indy.

4. This show took MacGuyver’s TV spot

That’s right, folks, Young Indy is greater than MacGuyver. MacGuyver previously held the coveted lead-in time slot before Monday Night Football, and Young Indy took its spot. MacGuyver may have been able to build atomic bombs from a banana peel and a paper clip, but he couldn’t stop the force of a youthful whip-cracking adventurer. Should you ever find yourself embroiled in a “Who’d Win in a Fight” debate that sets MacGuyver versus Young Indy, now you have your definitive answer.

3. It’s a backstory buffet

indiana-jones-20080521035525470One of the best parts of the Indy films is the relationship between Indy and his father. There’s so much tension there, and their interactions leave everyone wanting more. You know what Young Indy does? It actually gives you more! This show is all about the relationship between the two, as the episodes featuring little kid Indy are all about him traveling the globe with his father. You get to see how these two developed the relationship we came to love, and it’s awesome. Also, many of the treasures and locales referenced in the films are featured prominently in the show, in particular the Eye of the Peacock from Temple of Doom. Young Indy is all about giving you the whole picture when the films gave you a glimpse and nothing more.

2. Every single important person in history ever is in this freaking show

When Young Indy was first conceived, it was intended to be an educational program for kids. Frankly, this is brilliant: who better to teach our children than Indiana Jones?! That being said, the best way to achieve that was to ensure that Young Indy would cross paths with every single important historical figure they could possibly find. He fights crime with Eliot Ness. He goes on a safari with Theodore Roosevelt. He gets relationship advice from Sigmund Freud. He talks art with Norman Rockwell, Pablo Picasso and Edgar Degas in the same episode. By the time you watch every episode of this show, you’ve technically taken every history class you had in elementary school over again, just this time your history teacher had a sweet hat!

And the single most important reason that Young Indy is the best iteration of the Indiana Jones legacy is:

1. It denies the existence of Mutt!

According to the narration from the elderly Indy that bookended every episode of the show, he had a daughter, grandkids, and great-grandkids, but did not have a son. Sorry Mutt, apparently you simply didn’t exist! This furthers the 100% accurate theory that Crystal Skull isn’t actually a real movie, but was in fact a terrible mass-hallucination that somehow we all shared… which is also a theory that makes far more sense than the actual plot of Crystal Skull in the first place!

So there you have it folks; while the Indy movies are (for the most part) a blast to watch and fantastic parts of American film history, they are not in fact the greatest form of Indiana Jones. When you really want to dive in to the very best of Indy, clear your weekend, cancel your plans, bring the family together and watch every episode of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. You’ll learn a lot, you’ll enjoy every minute, and you’ll walk away knowing it was the ultimate Indy experience.

Haven’t read everyone else’s reviews? You can find the other installments of the Indy NERD OFF here: Raiders of the Lost ArkThe Temple of DoomThe Last Crusade, and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

If you don’t have the movies already, please consider buying Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures on BlueRay or Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventure on DVD at Amazon through Geek Legacy’s affiliate links right there in order to support the site. Amazon also has the complete Young Indiana Jones – Complete Adventures on DVD if you’re looking for something to binge watch.

    • Michael

      I always wanted to watch this, but never get around to it. I guess there's no time like the present.

      • Do it! You won't regret it! If you have time, watch them all in order. If not, just check out the Sean Patrick Flanery ones and avoid the young kid (Corey Carrier) episodes.

        The Old Indy (George Hall) bookends were never officially released except for the first 6 episodes on Japanese VHS and laserdisc, but you can see them all on YouTube and torrents from original TV airings. It's kind of sad to see the decrepit 90-something Indy constantly telling kids how it was back in his day, but it is wicked cool to see him with a huge scar on his face and an eyepatch. As a kid it made me wonder what kind of wild adventures happened after the movies. I never would have imagined "interdimensional beings"…

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