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The Robot Spy

The Robot Spy

The Robot Spy (1964) Episode Z-10- Jonny Quest Cartoon Episode Guide The Robot Spy

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  • Jonny Quest Cartoon Episode Guide
  • Distributed by: Columbia/Screen Gems
  • Cartoon Characters: Roger T. "Race" Bannon, Radar Man, Jonny Quest, Dr. Benton C. Quest, Bandit, Pilot Red 1, Jones, Hadji, Dr. Zin, Officer, Gate Guard, Zin's Servant, Soldier Guarding Robot Spy, Sergeant.
  • Originally Released in 1964.
  • Color
  • Running Time: 30 minutes.
  • U.S.A.  U.S.A.
  • Buy This On DVD

Cartoon Comments:



The Robot Spy

Posted: January 08, 2004

The Robot Spy

By
This is the quintessential JG episode: minimalistic, stripped-down animation, a giant bug of an espionage ploy, and the best story involving the psychotically envious Dr. Zin, the JQ version of Professor Moriarty. The story is told for the most part with images and music--not much dialogue compared to the other episodes. The atmosphere of creeping dread is perfectly built until the final explosive minutes when the robot spy stilts out of the Quest compound, ignoring flamethrowers, bazooka fire, and a tank blockade.

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The Robot Spy

Posted: March 04, 2003

Robot Spyder

By
recurring Fu Manchu-like villain Dr. Zin sends the title entity after the JQ gang. really entertaining. (a similar entity was in the otherwise forgettable movie 'The Explorers'. Recommended.

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The Robot Spy

Posted: August 06, 2001

The Robot Spy

By
<I>The Robot Spy</I> episode has numerous examples of what, IMHO, makes the classic 1964 Jonny Quest series stand head and shoulders above other animation shows. This, for lack of any better term, I call "less is more". The show's writers and artists collaborated in the use of dialogue and scenes to create a world that feels much, much richer than it was drawn. Other shows have attempted to capture this feeling by drawing scenes so full of detail that they appear cluttered and, actually, more unrealistic. Jonny Quest takes the opposite approach, by letting the viewer's imagination fill in the scenes instead. Following are some examples from this episode that show what I mean:
<UL><LI>When Race hauls the robot spy back to the warehouse, we see the backs of Dr. Quest and a soldier watching as Race drives the sand truck into the building. Then Dr. Quest says, "Lower away!" and we imagine Race (now off-camera) complying and gently lowering the robot to the floor.<LI>When Dr. Quest is preparing the para-power ray gun for use against the escaping robot, he gives urgent commands: "Jonny, hook in the power line", "Race, turn on the generators" and "Hadji, you handle the hydraulic pressure". During all this, we see a brief scene of Jonny nodding his head as he gets his instructions, and then it's back to Dr. Quest at the console. But the feel of the scene is much more dramatic; we can imagine Jonny, Race, and Hadji moving quickly to accomplish their tasks.<LI>There are numerous scenes when the character speaking is "off camera", and we simply see others listening to the speaker. But the words carry the scene; we don't need to see the speaker to hear those words, and it sets the scene for the next speaker's words, which are often delivered by someone "on camera" listening to the first speaker.<LI>Also, there are a number of examples when we see the speaker from behind, and see the face of the listener. About the only motion is the speaker's head gently bobbing as he speaks. Much less complicated than drawing mouths that match the words being spoken, yet equally (if not more) effective! </UL>
It is writing and artistry like this that make Jonny Quest feel so realistic -- and a lot of what we experienced during the show was provided by our imaginations! Note that there are lots of details still in this episode, but they are small rather than over-large. Some examples:
<UL><LI>When Bandit spots a jackrabbit in the desert, we see the rabbit's nose wrinkling as he sniffs the air in Bandit's direction. The only reason this is even noticed at all is because almost everything else in the scene is absolutely still.<LI>the hair on Bandit's back is raised, making his outline appear slightly ragged.<LI>When Dr. Quest admonishes the boys to keep the noise down, the camera is focused on Jonny and Hadji. When the view shifts back to Race and Dr. Quest, we see the good doctor turning back toward the robot craft. In our minds, however, we see what happened before, Dr. Quest turning from the craft to speak to the boys. Subtle? Sure, but effective.<LI>After the para-power ray brings down the robot's escape craft, the camera cuts to a shot of Dr. Quest with his face buried in his hand. No words are spoken by the good doctor, but we certainly feel the intensity of the moment, and the great relief coursing through the scientist at another disaster averted.</UL>
The rest of the episodes are full of these details and scene techniques; next time you watch an episode, try to find some -- you'll be amazed at how many there are!

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