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Jonny Quest DVD Audio Deficiencies
Fans of the classic "Jonny Quest"
series (ABC, 1964-65) were disappointed to find out that several lines of dialog
had been censored from the May 11, 2004, Warner DVD set.
them so our readers can hear what they're missing and judge for themselves
whether the edits were appropriate for a home video release for a 2004 audience.
When Turner Entertainment created digital masters of the shows ca. 1996, a hybrid version
of the main titles was created. This includes the production credit from Version
A and the "Jonny Quest" title from Version B. This version was used for the 1996
home VHS releases and on Cartoon Network (starting January 2000) and Boomerang.
In this episode, Race swims up to the Po-Ho village and delivers a warning
to the Indians that includes the insults, "ignorant savages" and "heathen
monkeys." Those phrases have been deleted from the DVD's English and Spanish
audio tracks, but not from the subtitles.
Missing Sound Effect
The splash sound effect when Race
pops out of the water is also gone, but it's been missing from Turner station
broadcasts since 2000 (and maybe earlier). Sadly, it's also missing from the 2019 Blu-Ray release, but the dialog has been restored.
The section as it was originally heard:
(595K MP3, 25 seconds)
For some reason, the episode title card is silent
on both "Pursuit of the Po-Ho" and "The Curse of Anubis." That's not how those
stories were first heard, so the flaw must be in the prints. Listen to the
distinctive title card underscore here:
(166K MP3, 7 seconds)
In this episode, the leader of the Yeti-disguised bad guys shoots at Jonny
from a stone staircase. Jonny fires arrows to burst oil bags above him, causing
the leader to fall down the steps and plummet off the mountain to his death. The
DVD is missing Jonny's joke as the man rolls toward him, "Uh-oh. Here comes the
Oriental Express." The line has also been taken out of the subtitles.
The section as it was originally heard:
(271K MP3, 11 seconds)
The DVD also immortalizes a puzzling
insert into this story that also appears in the early 1990s VHS release
of this title. On these versions, right before the Yeti leader unmasks himself,
we hear a Bandit growl, an unidentified sound effect, and Jonny says, "Quiet,
boy." This didn't exist on the original broadcast. The insertion also pushes
Hadji's line, "Hey, what's he doing?" back several seconds, resulting in his lip
moving but no sound coming out.
This is what you hear on the DVD and VHS:
(206K MP3, 8 seconds)
Here's the original version:
(194K MP3, 8 seconds)
Both clips start with Hadji's line, "Carrying a
lamp?," and end with the sound of the Yeti removing his mask.
Here's the scene from the Blu-Ray with the extra audio clip, followed by the original version:
Here are the individual elements in a DVD-compatible WAV audio format
(for best results, save them to your hard drive):
(2.1 meg, 11.5 seconds, corresponding to 16:38.534 to 16:50.025 in the full English audio track)
(1.3 meg, 7 seconds, corresponding to 10:27.041 to 10:34.115)
Note: If you listen to the DVD where the dialog has been removed and
compare it to the unedited version here, you'll notice that the music and sound
effects are unaffected by the edits. This means that either the original
music/effects tracks for these episodes has survived the past 40 years or that
the censors were able to reproduce the background audio from other sources.
It's clear from listening to the Spanish versions that separate background
audio tracks were created for translation purposes.
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